Just thought I’d update y’all a little on my pregnancy. I’m 21 (almost 22) weeks along now- over halfway there! Feeling great physically, albeit a little tired. Joel and I sing in the praise band at church and each week I’m finding it harder and harder to sing without feeling like I’ve just run a marathon. My diaphragm feels like its being shoved up into my throat, so having enough breath support is tough. The extra hormones are driving me a little batty this time around. One day I’ll be feeling great, all sunshine and roses and the next day…
Let’s just say, poor Joel has been a saint to put up with all of my craziness lately. Cassidy is starting to understand a little better and talks a lot about the “baby in Mommy’s tummy”. So sweet.
So anyway, the purpose of this post is not only to share with you these yummy cupcakes, but announce that….
WE’RE HAVING A BOY!!!
We went for our anatomy scan a couple of weeks ago and were totally blown away to find out Cassidy will have a little brother! I had made these boy-themed cupcakes months ago in honor oF my friend’s soon-to-be baby boy but never posted them; little did I know I’d be repurposing them to announce our own little boy!
I used my favorite recipe for white cake, reserved a little of the batter, colored it blue, then swirled it into the tops of each unbaked cupcake. It didn’t sink down into the cupcake during baking as much I would’ve liked, but the tops still looked pretty cool before I frosted them (which really ended up not mattering, since the frosting covered that part up. Oh well.). They tasted great, and that’s what mattered! Now I think I need a cupcake…
Blue Marbled Vanilla Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and working with the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the buttermilk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the buttermilk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Set aside 1/4 of the batter in a separate bowl. Mix in a few drops of blue food coloring until you reach the desired shade of blue.
Using a small spoon, fill each cupcake liner 1/2 full with the batter. Drop a small spoonful of the blue batter on top and swirl with the back of a spoon or a toothpick to create a marbled effect.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a toothpick inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to cooling racks and cool completely before frosting them. Makes approximately 24 cupcakes.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
blue food coloring
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading or piping consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Stir in a few drops blue food coloring until the desired color of blue is reached. Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled. Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes.
Recipe sources: white cake adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours; frosting adapted from Magnolia Bakery
I’m an extremely dramatic person. Those of you who know me or gave birth to me (hi, mom!) know this for a fact. I bring the drama wherever I go. Not necessarily always in a bad way- sometimes I’m just very dramatically funny, or loud, or goofy (drama’s not always a bad thing, you know.). However, sometimes it can be a bad thing; like on days when something goes wrong or something disappointing happens, I totally succumb to the drama and immerse myself in a could of moodiness instead of accepting what happened and simply moving on. I walk around in a fog. Just for the record- that’s not a good thing. It’s one of the characteristics I most dislike in myself. There’s always that little voice in my head saying, “just move on, Amy. There’s still so much to be happy about!”; but it’s so much easier to be dramatic. Slowly but surely, I’m trying to fix this.
Like today, for instance. I had sort of a rough morning, but chose to rise above the drama and just move on. Know what I did? I lit a pumpkin-scented candle, put on some music, and baked these pumpkin mini bundts with my baby girl (she mostly just sat in the floor and played with a whisk). And it really helped!! I pulled them out of the oven and realized I hadn’t felt sorry for myself or dwelt on the bad news at all! Nothing like a little fall baking to pull you out of a slump!
Now, let’s talk about these mini bundts! Aren’t they just adorable?! And so easy- all I did was take the recipe for my pumpkin pound cake (with a couple of tiny tweaks), bake it into mini bundts, and whip up a quick and easy cinnamon glaze! The house smells amazing and my blues are long gone! I’ll be honest with you, I actually had to level off the bottoms of these because they rose quite a bit during baking, but that was no biggie- Cassidy loved snacking on the bottoms!
Pumpkin Mini Bundts with Cinnamon Glaze
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package instant butterscotch pudding mix
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt, and pudding mix; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition. Batter will be thick.
Transfer to 2 greased mini bundt pans (if you don’t have 2 pans, just bake one pan at a time). Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. If cakes rose too much during baking (as mine did), simply level off with a sharp knife and save the bottoms for snacking!). Makes 24 mini bunts.
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together until glaze reaches a thick consistency; just make sure it’s still runny enough to drizzle. Drizzle over cakes and serve.
Recipe source: adapted from a Sing For Your Supper recipe; originally adapted from Taste of Home
As promised, here’s the second trifle I told you about. And my personal favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I love, loooove a good chocolaty trifle, but something about this lemon variety won me over. Maybe the sweet, lemony syrup- soaked angel food cake, or the lemon-vanilla pudding between layers, or the slices of fresh, ripe strawberries…whatever it is, this dessert is a WINNER! And so ideal for a summer cookout! No one wants to turn their ovens on during the hot summertime, so this trifle is where it’s at. No oven required.
Summery Lemon Strawberry Trifle
1 angel food cake, cut into cubes
3 large lemons
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 3.4-oz. boxes vanilla pudding mix
3 3/4 cups milk
1 16-oz. container Cool Whip
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons (be careful not to get the white pith or you’ll end up with a bitter taste). Squeeze the juice from the lemons into a small bowl and set aside. In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, bring the water, sugar, and lemon peels to a boil and simmer until sugar has dissolved (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove peels.
Whisk the pudding mix and milk until thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon juice. Set aside.
In a trifle dish or large glass bowl, place half of the angel food cake cubes in an even layer; drizzle with half of the lemon simple syrup. Layer half of the sliced strawberries, then spread half of the pudding, then half of the Cool Whip. Repeat layers. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Serves 12.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
This week, I’ll be sharing not one, but two awesome trifle recipes! I know…that’s kinda weird to just randomly post a bunch of trifle recipes, but I have a reason. We threw a graduation party for the son of our good friends a couple of weeks ago and when I asked his mother what his favorite dessert is, she told me he loves chocolate cake and my lemon-lime sugar cookie truffles. I wanted to do something unique that incorporated both of his favorite things, and after lots of thought, ended up making two kinds of trifles- chocolate and lemon. They were both a huge success! I really love this kind of dessert, not only because can they be made ahead of time (and should be!), they’re super simple to throw together and the result is always fantastic.
This trifle features chocolate cake soaked with coffee, then drizzled with a bit of hot fudge and layered with chocolate pudding and cool whip. I’m not kidding when I say this is decadent. The best part is, the longer it sits, the better it gets. I love “soggy” desserts, so naturally, this one ranks pretty high on my list. If you’re looking for a dessert that looks beautiful, tastes amazing, and requires minimal time and effort, this one’s for you!
Decadent Chocolate Trifle
1 chocolate cake, baked, cooled, and cut into cubes (you may have some left over- save ‘em for a snack!)
hot fudge, for drizzling
1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee that has been allowed to cool
2 3.4-oz. boxes chocolate pudding mix
4 cups milk
1 16-oz. container Cool Whip
Whisk together the pudding mix and milk until thick; about 2 minutes. Set aside.
In a trifle dish or large glass bowl, place half of the cake cubes in a single layer; spoon over half of the coffee, then drizzle a small amount of hot fudge over the cake. Spoon half of the chocolate pudding and spread evenly, then half of the cool whip. Repeat layers, reserving one or two small pieces of cake for the top. When layers are complete, crumble the cake and sprinkle over the top of the cool whip for decoration. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Serves 12.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
What happens when you’re short on time and ingredients but need an impressive cake that not only looks great but TASTES great? I’ve written a whole post on how to get homemade results from a boxed cake mix over at my family blog, A Little Something Lovely and I hope you’ll check it out! Click here to see the post.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve really gotten a taste of some glorious weather. Sunshine, 80 degree temps, and nice cool breezes. I’ve been taking Cassidy and Izzy on lots of nice, long walks every day to enjoy the beautiful weather. We even had a little picnic in our front yard last week!
So, with all the gorgeous weather, I’ve just been dying to get in the kitchen and bake up some bright, springy treats. And then- BOOM! Freezing temperatures and high, cold winds. *sigh* Oh well. That’s what you get when you live in Texas. However, I STILL decided to bake up something bright and sunny- this Orange Yogurt Cake. It’s nice and moist with a great pop of fresh orange flavor. So even if it was freezing outside, we brought the sunshine indoors with this yummy cake!
Orange Yogurt Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon, juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, yogurt, oil, orange zest and juice, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Pour into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Garnish with additional orange slices if desired.
Recipe source: adapted from Martha Stewart
I don’t post political rants. I don’t even post my political opinions. This is a food blog, not a place for me to try to sway others toward my ways of thinking. That’s why I had to chuckle while reading my twitter feed during the days leading up to and during the election.
“Oh, I’m a big, important food blogger with my own cookbook (who doesn’t have one these days?….ok, me…. womp, wah), so naturally, people will change their votes based on my snarky, foul-mouthed tweets…”. Really? Really??
I just couldn’t help but laugh. In fact, that’s all you can do when people you normally look up to and respect are posting things that are mean, condescending, and downright nasty about others. So food bloggers, let’s stick to what we know – food. Speaking of food- Thanksgiving is a mere 2 weeks away! Do you know how exciting that is?! Get those cans of pumpkin ready, because the best time of the year (next to Christmastime, of course…duh) is UPON US! Yippee!!!
This cake rocks. Moist, pumpkiny, cinnamony, cake drizzled with sweet, sticky sweetened condensed milk. I’m in love!
Sticky Pumpkin Cinnamon Cake
1 boxed yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pumpkin, oil, eggs, and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Spread into a greased 9×13 pan; drizzle the melted butter over the top of the batter (I used a knife to swirl the butter into the batter so it would be a little more evenly drizzled over the cake, but you don’t have to do this.) Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, mix the sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon.
While the cake is still warm, poke holes all over the top using a toothpick or fork. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the cake and spread evenly. Let sit at room temperature until all the glaze has soaked into the cake. Serve immediately. Serves 12.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Are you ready for an EASY recipe that will knock your socks off?? Well, this is it, folks! This 4 ingredient dessert is one of those awesome, easy, and quick recipes that everyone is sure to love. I promise.
My sister first introduced me to this “cake” awhile back. She had made it for a party and was kind enough to share the leftovers with me. I was skeptical at first (and really, who could blame me- graham crackers, instant pudding, and canned chocolate frosting?), but was singing a different tune after one bite. Something magical happens when graham crackers and vanilla pudding sit together for awhile. The end result is strangely similar to a real eclair. And since I don’t have time to mess with pâte à choux…this is perfect! Try it- you won’t be disappointed!!
Chocolate Eclair Cake
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 cups milk
1 (16 ounce) package graham cracker squares
1 (16 ounce) container prepared chocolate frosting
In a medium bowl, whisk the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk.
Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking pan and evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
Soften the frosting in microwave for 30 seconds, stirring halfway through and spread over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Serves 12.
Recipe source: My Baking Addiction
I have to admit, it’s been over six months since giving birth to Cassidy and I’m still having trouble losing the last bit of weight. We’ve been watching our portions and trying (TRY-ing) to cut back on sweets. However, for me, this proves veeeerrrry difficult…I can’t be expected to quit cold turkey! That’s why recipes like this make me happy- I still get my sweet fix, but I don’t have to feel so guilty afterwards!
This one couldn’t be easier- a box of angel food cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple. I loooove angel food cake, and the addition of pineapple makes it even yummier! Just bake it up in little cupcake liners and you have the perfect portion sizes! (of course, then, you’ll have to practice a little self control and not eat 12…..).
Pineapple Angel Cakes
1 box angel food cake mix
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the pineapple into the cake mix and pour into cupcake pans lined with cupcake liners (you’ll have enough batter to fill around 24 cups).*
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Cool before serving. Serves 24.
*You can also bake in a 9×13 pan or a tube pan.
Recipe source: adapted from allrecipes.com
Poke cakes have been around for ages. I’m not sure when they first hit the scene, but I bet if we could peek back in time, we’d find Martha Washington bringing a poke cake to the Revolutionary potluck (what? It could’ve happened…). Poke cakes are an American tradition, after all.
My favorite poke cake is this Piña Colada Cake, which is drizzled with cream of coconut (nectar of the gods, I tell you!) while hot and topped with pineapple-y whipped cream. A family favorite. BUT this Oreo version is pretty stinking awesome as well. Rich devil’s food cake studded with crushed Oreos, drizzled with Oreo pudding, then sprinkled with MORE crushed Oreos, and finally topped with whipped cream and you guessed it, more Oreos. An Oreo lovers’ dream come true.
Chocolate Oreo Poke Cake
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
Oreos, roughly chopped (you’ll need almost an entire package. I use double-stuff)
1 large packet instant Oreo pudding
2 cups milk
1 small tub Cool Whip
Prepare the devil’s food cake as directed on box; stir in a large handful of the chopped Oreos. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Combine the milk and Oreo pudding mix in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth.
Using a chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon (while the cake is still warm), poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the pudding over the cake and spread evenly so it will soak into all of the holes (you’ll need to do all of this fairly quickly as the pudding will set and get thick after a couple of minutes). Top with more chopped Oreos. Allow cake to cool completely. Spread the Cool Whip over the top of the cake and sprinkle with more chopped Oreos. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serves 12.
Recipe source: I didn’t follow any specific recipe, but I’m sure this particular poke cake has been around for awhile.
My little photographer’s assistant!