Final Farewell

Here is my final farewell video! Thank you to all my followers! I hope you had fun reading my blog and learned a little along the way! It’s been fun, but I don’t think I will blogging anymore. Cupcakes are only my hobby. Someday when I am retired I plan on owning a bakery near my hometown, but until then, baking will only be a past-time activity!

So this is goodbye! Keep calm and bake on! May the results be ever in your favor.

Stay sweet,
B. Saunders

Breakfast Cupcake

Muffin

Hey cupcakes!  I know what you’re thinking, there’s a breakfast cupcake? Well that’s not entirely true! This, my friends, is a muffin. Muffins are very similar to cupcakes. In my opinion, muffin just means breakfast cupcake in another language.

Cupcake and Muffin Similarities:

  • Same basic ingredients
  • cooked in paper
  • different flavors
  • baked in same pan
  • same texture

These delicious cousins to the cupcake family are perfect for a great and easy breakfast! My flavor of choice is the blueberry muffin, but you have several options. You can check out one of the simplest recipes I have ever tried on inspiredtaste.net. Give it a taste and let me know your opinion!

Stay sweet,

B. Saunders

P.S. Here is some Blueberry Muffin humor for you all!

(Here’s the link just in case the embedded version doesn’t work) http://youtu.be/yqEeP1acj4Y

Red Velvet Rendezvous

Red VelvetRed VelvetRed Velvet

Red velvet cupcakes are one of the most popular types of cupcakes.  I myself am a huge fan! Red Velvet, unlike most flavors of cupcakes, is not one that people tweak often. This flavor is very traditional. I had the bright idea to mix it up and a little something special to my red velvets!

Before I reveal my mix up of red velvet I have a few facts to tell you about Red Velvet that I recently learned. The name “red velvet” is a description of the cake. Way back in the day before Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines were manufactured cakes were very dry, not like today’s crumbly moist creations. Red velvet cake was seen as a higher quality dessert, and like most fine delicacies the name had to match. When you think about red velvet and how it sounds as you say it, it all makes sense. The smooth rich taste of a moist cake deserves such a title. The red in the red velvet is a different story. Some say it’s because of brown sugar, others say it’s pure cocoa which has a naturally red tint to it but now the red mainly comes from red food coloring. (Source: gilttaste.com)

Although those facts may not necessarily be helpful with this recipe, they sure are interesting! Plus, I like to know all the facts. My special addition to this traditional cake is mini chocolate chips. The subtle hint of the chocolate chips mixed with the flavor of the cake and icing (cream cheese, of course) is amazing. I wish I could say I made these from scratch, but not this time. I used the box mix. Some see it as cheating, but I see it as using time wisely. (The college life is a busy life!) That is why I decided to make the small addition. Spice up the box cake and make it taste a little more homemade! There are so many subtle ingredients you can! My suggestions include white chocolate chips, a pinch of cinnamon or brown sugar, vanilla flavoring, pudding mix, a stick of butter, etc. The list goes on and on. I would limit your changes to one or two. I’m all about experimenting, but I want my cake to taste good too!

Best baking wishes,

B. Saunders

Cupcake Update

One of the latest and greatest social media trends out right now is Storify. It’s a timeline of events that tell a story using various social media networks. Storify is used predominantly in news and politics, but I thought why not Storify the beautiful cupcake world! This story is filled with several recipes, pictures and updates from some of my favorite bakeries around the U.S. This is a journey of food through the various creations and adventures of other peoples’ baking. The recipes are very diverse and the difficulty of making them varies. Through this Storify I bring you a challenge. Step outside your normal box of cake mix, bake every recipe on here, and eat every cupcake put in front. Experiment, explore, dive in and enjoy!

Sprinkled with love,

B. Saunders

http://storify.com/BaileyNicole/cupcake-overload.html

Cookies on Cookies

I know what you’re thinking, this blog is supposed to focus only on cupcakes. There is no need to worry! This post is not even about cookies, the baking of cookies, etc. Yes, it does feature a slideshow of the step by step process of baking cookies, but I want to focus on the topic of efficiency.

Efficiency is very important. The more efficient you are, the more successful you can become.  This is true for various things in life, but we’re only talking about the wonderful world of baking.  There are several ways in which you can become more efficient in the kitchen.

One way of baking more efficiently is to raise the oven temperature and shorten the amount of time you allow it to bake. This can be tricky! It requires some trial and error and close monitoring.  This skill can really shorten the amount of time you spend in the kitchen especially when baking large amounts.  This is the method I used while I was baking my cookies. I needed to bake 160 and was in a time crunch. I was able to shorten the time from 10 minutes to about 5.

Another efficiency tip is to start preparing the second batch of whatever you are baking. I only had one cookie sheet to use for the large order of cookies. I knew that only having one sheet would slow me down so I began to pre-ball the cookie dough and place it on the lid from the cookie dough bucket. I didn’t think this would speed the process up as much as it did, but i was able to do quick turn around from pulling the baked off and putting the dough in.

Those are the only tips I can offer you today! I am sure there are probably hundreds more out there. If you have any other efficiency tips around the kitchen please comment with your tip and use!

Stay sweet,

B. Saunders

Queen Cupcake App Idea

I know there are several apps out there that that refer to cooking, baking, and even cupcakes themselves, but none of them contain exatly what I am looking for. I have come up with the idea for an ultimate cupcakes only app for any smartphone user. The name of the app is very specific to its objective. It was named “Queen Cupcakes,” because it will focus on the wonderful world of cupcakes. Most of the features are catered to cupcakes. Queen Cupcakes has three amazing features for cupcakes, a super search for recipes, a list of great bakeries near you, and of course, some photos and fun.

The super search is a look through various recipe sites on the internet. The search bar can be used to look for certain kinds of cupcake recipes that you’d like to try or just browse for entertainment. After you type in your search, a directory list of all the relative recipes are listed below the search bar. Simply click on the most relevant recipe that you are  looking for. The recipe is then pulled up from the website it is linked to. There will also be a few favorite/ highly rated recipes will already be uploaded to the app as well.

The second tab is a search for great bakeries around you. This option will use your GPS system on your phone, very similar to the Google Maps app. The second tab will be similar  to the first. The directory will display several, if any, bakeries near you. You can change the difference of how many miles away it is from 20 to 100. After you have selected the bakery of your choice it will then lead you to a screen that will display a map. The map will offer you turn by turn dicrections. Now you’ll be able to get a sweet treat sooner than you originally  planned.

The last tab will feature pictures of cute creative cupcakes, and even the not-so-funny or failure cupcakes. There will be a search bar also within the tab. You can see if your version of the cupcakes look compared to the professional chefs. There will also be a short fun matching game within this tab too. Baking the actual cupcakes takes up some time, so I have decided to put another form of entertainment within the app.

 

QC app

Uh-Oh Oreo

oreo cupcakesHow do you eat an Oreo? Do open the middle and eat the inside, or maybe you like to dunk it in milk? I like to eat my Oreos in my cupcakes! Yes there is a recipe for this! And I have it right here, instructables.com. This indulgent recipe is sure to knock you off your feet! My version of these cupcakes look a little different than that of the page the recipe take from.

My cupcakes vary from those of instructible.com for several reasons. My kitchen I use is not up to par. I live in a dorm and have limitations on some things with in the kitchen setting. Another restriction is time.  Life in general is very fast-paced. Though some may find tweaks and changes to their recipes an insult, I sometimes find it absolutely necessary. Cooking is not about copying, it’s about creating.

One of the ways I have tweaked this recipe that is the most obvious is the icing. While the crushing of oreos into crumbs is a very intricate detail, it is very time consuming. I went with a much more simple yet still delicious option. Instead of taking time to crumble Oreos into crumbs, I simply put broke a few cookies into large chunks. Then, to get the crumb effect I emptied the the remainder of packaging of the Oreos (after it was empty, of course) onto the tops of the iced and crumbled cupcakes, giving it that freshly fallen snow look.

Another change I made to this recipe is not as visible as the first. In the recipe found on the outside link, the baker puts an entire oreo on the bottom of the cupcake. While I have tried this and it is very good, but I wanted to mix it up! Instead of the entire Oreo, I simply broke them into pieces and put the chunks in the batter before cooking. This gave the cupcake a hint of surprise! Some bites were filled with bits of cookie and some of cream. All in all they were still as delicious despite the fact that I deviated from the original recipe.

I encourage you all to try this recipe. Then come back and comment on your results.

Later love cakes,

B. Saunders

Plain Jane Chocolate, or is it?

Plain Jane Chocolate

This recipe was brought to my attention by one of my fellow family members who shares a love for all things sweet like myself.  Like most families, everytime we get together there is always food involved.  She was telling me about this recipe she had found amazingly odd. The taste and texture were so great, but you would have never guessed it based on its ingredients.

The taste is quite interesting in this cupcake compared to that of your usual store bought box mix. The cake part is much more rich than the average grocery store. It’s heavier than regular chocolate, but it’s light enough to not be considered dark chocolate. The flavor is very bold. It is not a super sweet, but rather a consistent flavor. The icing is similar to that of the cake. its not a light taste, nor is it heavy with sugar. It is the perfection in between. The icing and cake complement each other. While the tastes are similar they do differ in taste slightly. This variation is what makes the cupcake so great.

The texture of the cupcake is another great aspect that makes it different from your plain-jane chocolate cupcake. The cake is more dense I think that is due in part becuase of the special ingredient. The cake is very solid compared to your normal grainy cake. Don’t get me wrong, it still crumbles but not like regular chocolate cupcakes.

I know you’re probably still wondering what the special ingredient is. Here’s the big reveal. The secret ingredient that makes this cake so different from regular chocolate cupcakes is sour cream. Yes that’s right, sour cream. It gives the taste a certain bitterness that complements the sweetness of the chocolate. When it comes to texture, it is almost as if adding a package of pudding. It makes the cake more dense without making it heavy. If you’re in to odd recipes I dare you to give this one a try! You can find the recipe here, and let me know how it goes!

Baked with love,

B. Saunders

Cupcakes You Don’t Have to Make

SprinklesSometimes we just don’t feel like baking whether it’s exhaustion or just a case of the I-don’t-want-to’s. If you are in dying need of a cupcake. Sprinkles Cupcakes started on the west coast and has slowly begun to spread across the nation. The founder of Sprinkles, Candace Nelson, was inspired by her great grandmother who owned a popular restaurant. This bakery she has created is known for its cupcakes. In fact, that is all they produce. These are no ordinary made-from-the-box cupcakes; they are gourmet. Some are made with Madagascar bourbon, Belgium chocolate, and/or other all-natural ingredients. The price is slightly higher than your average cupcake, but they are so worth it!

There are several factors that make it so great. They sell different flavors every day. You know what that means, you can go every day and there is always something different! Another great aspect is the word of the day. The word of the day is a secret to most. If you whisper the word of the day at the counter, you receive one free cupcake either of their choice. You can find the word of the day on their twitter, facebook,  and also through their very own mobile app, Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Their mobile app tells you the flavors available for that day, the word of the day, and locations nearest to you. Other less important features of this app includes several short games and virtual cupcakes that can be shared through facebook, twitter, etc.Sprinkles is one of the most famous bakeries in the country, if you’re ever near one of there locations I advise you check it out. If not nearby, I suggest you get the app, plan a trip, and get there as fast as you can!

Later Cupcaker,
B. Saunders

Rockin’ Red’s Rainbow Cupcakes

The steps in making a Rainbow Cupcake

The steps in making a Rainbow Cupcake

These cupcakes are not what come to mind when you think of Rainbow Cupcakes. They put a new twist on the old rainbow. Instead of each layer being a different color, there are random streams of color within the cake. Where does this random color come from? It’s not food color; it’s M&Ms within the cake! As the cupcakes bake the M&Ms sink to the bottom and leave a trail of color behind.

The cake is very light and fluffy if perfectly cooked to the appropriate time. The cake does however have a somewhat bitter taste. It was not like the usual vanilla/butter taste that I was expecting. When I made them I was concerned I missed a step or left out an ingredient. False alarm. That is just how the cake tastes by itself. When icing and M&Ms are added on top they combine to make the perfect amount of sweetness.

This recipe was actually given to me in a box of 99 differnet cupcake recipes. These cupcakse are simple and fun. The M&Ms really make this recipe so great. I haven’t heard very many recipes involving m&Ms in cupcakes. I suggest you try it for yourself: Red’s Rockin’ Rainbow Cupcakes These cupcakes are definetely a can-do!

Happy baking,

B. Saunders