R2-D2 Cupcake Toppers

July 6, 2008 at 8:30 am | Posted in Cupcakes, Dessert | 15 Comments
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My son is a HUGE Star Wars fan. So it was no surprise when he said he wanted a Star Wars party. My mind immediately went to the cake, wondering how I would pull it off. (Did I mention my kids turn 6 next Sunday?)

Then I remembered Bakerella’s Mother’s Day Post and wondered if I could use the same technique to create R2-D2’s…it worked!!!!

Here’s what I did…First I searched the computer for an R2-D2 that I could (or hoped I could) draw. Once I found it I traced it onto a sheet of parchment paper using a permanent marker.

Next, I cut and taped my flipped parchment paper onto an upside down sheet pan. (I worried the edges would impede my piping skills and I didn’t want the marker to run into the candy).

Then, I melted some Winton candy melts, stirred in some blue coloring and started with the outline and blue squares and shapes. Whoops, while piping the candy I realized that R2-D2 does not look right flipped so I improvised with my squares and circles.

Again, I melted more candy melts to fill in the gray areas. Then, more melted candy for the bright blue circle.

Again, melt more candy melts to fill in the white areas. Make sure you bang the pan against the table or counter to release any air bubbles and force the candy into the nooks and crannys.

Finally, patience patience patience as these set up in the refrigerator.

These easily moved once they set up on the parchment paper. I had no trouble flipping them over with my fingers.

So, I am quite happy with how these turned out. Now, I know that they are not wonderful, but they will make for a very happy 6 year old boy! Plus, I have 6 little R2-D2’s that will look great on my son’s cupcakes. Thank goodness we didn’t invite too many kids. Although this didn’t take too long.

I have these sitting in an airtight container in the freezer, but I am slightly worried about breakage. So, I will probably make more again this week, just to be on the safe side.

Classic Cupcakes

July 5, 2008 at 8:32 am | Posted in Cupcakes | 8 Comments
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I know, with me it’s either jello jello jello or cupcakes cupcakes cupcakes. Not a lot of variety. But I’m a traditionalist, and when I know something works I stick to it. Like these cupcakes for example.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

beatty’s chocolate cake
from barefoot contessa at home, by ina garten

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 cup nonfat milk*
  • 1 T vinegar*
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 cup hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. I get 36 cupcakes from this recipe.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into standing mixer’s bowl. In another bowl, combine the milk, vinegar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Keep the mixer on low and slowly pour in the hot coffee. Be sure to scrape down the sides and mix again.

Because this is a wet batter, I pour it into a 4-cup measuring bowl and then pour it into my cupcake liners. Fill 1/2 way to 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter softened to room temp
  • 1 block of cream cheese softened to room temp
  • 1 box of confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Cream the butter and cream cheese. With the mixer on low, add the sugar slowly. Then the vanilla.  The frosting made enough for 24 cupcakes.  I would make 50% more to frost all 36.

I put the frosting in a piping bag with a big star tip. Start by going around the outside of the cupcake and then work your way up to the center. Store covered in the refrigerator.

When you are ready, bring the cupcakes to room temperature and decorate with sprinkles and fruit.

I brought these to our neighbor’s Fourth of July party and they were a hit. The first dessert gone and finished (the jello was second, of course!)

Coconut Cupcakes

March 1, 2008 at 11:13 am | Posted in Cupcakes, Dessert | 25 Comments
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I got it in my head that it would be fun to make a cupcake version of a Lava Flow. This got me thinking of Ina’s Coconut Cake. And then I started to think about Coconut Cupcakes…


Coconut Cupcakes (adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home)

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz sweetened shredded coconut

In a large bowl mix the oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla and almond extract. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour, one cup at a time. Then add the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on medium until well combined. Turn the mixer back to low and pour in milk. Then mix in coconut.

Using a cupcake scoop, fill a prepared cupcake pan. This makes 30 cupcakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then cool completely on a cooling rack.


For the Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Cream together the cream cheese and butter, add the vanilla and almond extracts, then sift in sugar.

Fill a pastry bag with frosting. Cut a 1 inch hole. Generously pipe the frosting. Sprinkle on sweetened shredded coconut and then pat gently.


These can be made the day ahead. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. frost the cupcakes before serving. Allow the cupcakes to come up to room temperature.


For my dear friend Crystal, Happy Birthday!

Love Language

February 3, 2008 at 9:58 am | Posted in Cupcakes, Dessert | 11 Comments
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My dear daughter loves to draw. Probably more than I like baking, which is a lot. Everyday she sits and colors, creating wonderful pictures, cards, and various art projects for her friends and family. And it just dawned on me that this is her love language. This is one of the ways she lets us know that she loves us. Now I make every effort to sit and color with her, giving her some of my own drawings. I channel my inner 5 year old and draw rainbows, hearts, flowers and people for her.

So I was thrilled when she asked to bake something with me. We do bake something together just about every week, but when she asked that baking be our “Girl Time” activity, I was so touched. Oh, we colored too, played tea party with her stuffed animals, and indulged on these Cherry Chip Cupcakes.


In the cupboard I had a Betty Crocker Cherry Chip cake mix and some Pink Cherry frosting. I dusted off my heart shaped cupcake pan, found the valentine sprinkles, and pulled my Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor cookbook.

Here’s Anne Byrn’s recipe for The Best Birthday Cupcakes.

  • 1 package cake mix
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. Place the cake mix, cream cheese, sugar, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape the bowl, and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scoop the batter into paper cupcake liners and bake for 24-27 minutes. Cool completely.

For the frosting: With the Betty Crocker Pink Cherry frosting I put some of it in a plastic bag, microwaved it until very soft, snipped the corner, and let my daughter decorate her heart shaped cupcakes.


I also made a quick batch of regular frosting:

  • 1 package softened cream cheese
  • 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla

I spooned out half of the frosting and put in a plastic bag, keeping it white. To the remaining frosting I added about 2 T of maraschino cherry juice and a little pink food coloring, mixed, and then spooned into another plastic bag.


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