Monday, August 17, 2009

Monkey Business

Banana Cupcakes

Check out the frosting on these banana cupcakes. Super smooth and creamy, cream cheese buttercream … so delicious and creamy. Did I mention creamy? I also used a little added yellow to tint the otherwise cream colored creamy cream cheese frosting … you know, just to enhance the senses. I’m tricky like that.

Banana Cupcakes
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large ripe banana (or almost 1 cup)
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tray with 12 baking cups.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl with a wire whisk.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a mixer for about four minutes.
  • Add banana and mix until combined.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add half the flour in three additions alternating with milk in two additions. Scrape down the sides with each addition.
  • Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until done.

Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box (1lb) of confectioner’s sugar
Buttercup yellow icing color (optional)

  • Cream butter and cream cheese in mixer until thoroughly combined
  • Add vanilla. Then Add sugar in small batches until combined and creamy.
  • Add a small amount of buttercup yellow icing color to frosting and mix.

Now you can eat them just like this or …

Confetti Cupcakes

Party them up a little bit with small pastel colored confetti sprinkles … just because it’s that kind of day.

But, these banana cupcakes need something else… something to keep them company.

A little friend maybe?


Yes definitely.

But my little monkey needs a friend, too.

Cupcake Toppers

So this little piggy and teddy joined in on the fun.

Cupcake Toppers

And so did my favorite martian, robot and bumblebee.

My head is actually going to explode from all this cuteness.

Bumblebee Cupcake Topper

Could these be any more adorable? Look at that bumblebee bottom.

Cupcake Towers from Lollipop Workshop

Why yes, yes they can! These cupcake toppers are also candleholders. I’m officially in love here.

Cupcake Toppers from Lollipop Workshop

And it gets even better. They want to be your friends, too. Not these, they’re mine. All mine.

Cupcake Toppers

But these could be all yours.

When I bought these cutie pies from the Lollipop Workshop on etsy (also be cheery on flickr), I bought enough for two more sets. And I want two of you to have one. Well I want all of you to have them, but I only have two sets to give away. (Martian and Robot colors may vary from above.)

All you have to do to enter is give me some advice.

You see, Lollipop Workshop also sent me something else … A surprise … when she mailed the cupcake toppers.

I’m 10000000% certain it will be crazy cute!

From Lollipop Workshop

It’s in this box and I haven’t opened it yet.


Lollipop Workshop Goodies

Because she also sent this box for my little helper. So sneaky and sweet of her.

So the question is…
Should I wait until my niece visits again so we can open them together?
Should I rip open mine now and show you what’s inside?
Should I open both of them? I could re-wrap ‘em and no one would be the wiser.
But I do like surprises. Hmmmm… tortured by sweetness.

Okay, so you know I’m really gonna wait, right.

But, I’m just curious – what would you do?

  • Leave your answer in the comment section below and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a set of assorted cupcake toppers from Lollipop Workshop.
  • Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win.
  • Deadline to enter is Tuesday, August 18th at 5 p.m. TIME’S UP!
  • Two winners* will be picked at random and announced sometime Tuesday evening on this post.

*Winners will be chosen using the integer generator.

Good Luck!

And, here’s some more cuteness from Lollipop Workshop. Custom cake toppers, lollidolls and candleholders. The store sells out quickly when she adds new products, so just send her a message if you need a custom order.

Okay, Time’s up and here are the two winners

#1619 – Elle
#831 – The Pettit Family

Congrats! You’re getting some super cute cupcake toppers!

Melissa said...

Wait!!! It will make the surprise even sweeter :)


August 17, 2009 03:51 AM
Sleights said...

I would only open mine but I was be soooo curious as to what was in the other box!! :)

August 17, 2009 03:52 AM
Nancy said...

Wait. It will be so much fun to open together. And you can tell her you waited for her since the packages were for you and your helper. She will feel special.

August 17, 2009 03:52 AM
Anonymous said...

Well I would chose to wait. And everytime that I passed the package it would make my mind wonder and the pressure would get worse and worse to open it but I would stick to my decision until that one time that was the straw that broke the camels back and I would break. The guilt would be overwhelming and then I would be forced to buy another gift for my "little helper", to clear my causcience.

August 17, 2009 03:52 AM
Michelle said...

Holy smokes! Those are so cute! I would definitely open them ASAP! I wouldn't be able to handle the anticipation! Great giveaway!


August 17, 2009 03:52 AM
Karina said...

AdORaBle – both the toppers and the wrapped packages. You should definately wait untile your niece "helper" comes…but you need to call immediately – maybe right now – even though she is most certainly in bed…and make arrangements that she must come for a visit sooner than planned. I don't think I could wait too long, and I'm pretty sure shaking the boxes would not be a good idea. Can't wait to see!

August 17, 2009 03:52 AM
the emily said...

open it. absolutely.

August 17, 2009 03:52 AM
Kim - The TomKat Studio said...

I can't wait to see what is in those PRETTY packages!!! Go for it! Inquiring minds want to know! :)

August 17, 2009 03:53 AM
Codi said...

Ooohh…tempting! I would get her over there ASAP!

I would want to open them, possibly rewrap the other until she comes. I would definitely wait until she comes though and open it together. It would me much to tempting to open yours and then keep wondering what is in hers!

August 17, 2009 03:53 AM
Marina said...

Open it, open it NOW!! I have the patience of a two year old, so if I was you I would have 'accidently' opened it and then re-wrapped it for the little helper!

August 17, 2009 03:53 AM
Erica said...


August 17, 2009 03:53 AM
Melissa said...

I would try to wait until she got there. But I would probably end up opening and then re-wrapping if it took longer than a few days. :)

August 17, 2009 03:54 AM
Sarah said...

Wait for your niece!

August 17, 2009 03:54 AM
Triplets07 said...

I'm not sure how I came across your blog but I LOVE it! I WILL be making these cupcakes for my Boys they LOVE anything with Banana!!!

I also think you should wait for your niece:)

August 17, 2009 03:55 AM
Leslie said...

As much as I would want to open them up…I'd wait.

August 17, 2009 03:55 AM
Jessica said...

Out of guilt…I think I would have to wait until my niece was with me to open them both! :)

So, good decision on your behalf!

August 17, 2009 03:55 AM
Mari-Leigh Smith said...

Wait! Shared surprises are always more fun. And especially when they are with someone special!

August 17, 2009 03:56 AM
Abby said...

I vote for waiting to open the boxes with your niece, although I have a very hard time waiting to open surprises too.

August 17, 2009 03:56 AM
Poulsen Family said...

I'd totally open it…I spoil surprises too…nah, really I'd wait…unless it was like a really long time and then I'd peak and then wait:)

August 17, 2009 03:56 AM
Lealou said...

Those are adorable!

Definitely wait for your niece. Shared surprises are far more exciting than opening it alone.


August 17, 2009 03:57 AM
chandy said...

Wait for your little helper…what little girl wouldn't LOVE ripping into a package like that??

August 17, 2009 03:57 AM
Steph said...

There is absolutely no way in the world I could wait! I would open mine for sure, and would peek and then re-wrap hers! :o) So very cute!

stephanie925 at

August 17, 2009 03:58 AM
Melany said...

Wait for the niece. :D

August 17, 2009 03:59 AM
anna&jack said...

I know it's difficult…but so worth it!


August 17, 2009 03:59 AM
boredmando said...

Oh definitely wait for you niece, and make sure you get her reaction on camera! If the inside is as good as the outside it's going to be awesome!

August 17, 2009 03:59 AM
Andi Anderson said...

I would try to wait and open them with my niece, but I probably would sneak a peek and then re-wrap them. :)

August 17, 2009 04:00 AM
S said...

Suuuuch cuteness! As much as I myself have absolutely no patience, I think you really should wait for your niece…. It's only right. :)

August 17, 2009 04:00 AM
Anonymous said...

wait for your neice…nothing like the utter surprise and joy from a child! it will make you sooooo happy to see her face and to share in it together!


August 17, 2009 04:00 AM
y said...

Wait to open it with your niece!

August 17, 2009 04:00 AM
Marly said...

It would be hard, but I would definitely wait…it'll be sweeter! marly dot coldiron at gmail dot com

August 17, 2009 04:01 AM
Jenna said...

Oh, just wait until your niece comes back. You know it'll be ten thousand times better when you open it together!

gallaure at yahoo dot com

August 17, 2009 04:01 AM
Shylah at simplyshylah dot com said...

I have no self-control. I'd open it.

August 17, 2009 04:01 AM
kristy mae said...

Can you just go get your niece right now??? Then waiting would be a whole lot easier. So I vote wait, but make the wait verrry short!
mommyo @

August 17, 2009 04:02 AM
Rachel said...

i say wait untill your helper's there, thats what id want if i were her….. although i'd understand either way.

August 17, 2009 04:02 AM
Carin said...

Gently shake them. Sniff them. Take them to an X-ray machine even! Ahhh, can't wait to see!

August 17, 2009 04:02 AM
Anthonette said...

Super cute toppers. At first I thought you made them. I wouldn't be surprised.

If I were you I would open both boxes and the re-wrap one of them. Thanks for a chance to win the toppers.

Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to try it next time.

August 17, 2009 04:02 AM
Lara and Jayson said...

I would wait to open them together with your niece. Even though waiting is hard there is something thrilling about the wait, and it makes the opening all the more exciting!

August 17, 2009 04:02 AM
SarahD said...

When is the next time your niece is coming? If its gonna be awhile, I would send one of the gifts to her in the mail. Then open them together on Skype!

August 17, 2009 04:03 AM
Erica said...

I vote for waiting and opening them together!

August 17, 2009 04:03 AM
Elizabeth said...

I would look at them and then never tell her…actually I would wait because surprises are always fun!

August 17, 2009 04:03 AM
Cake Believe said...

I would insist that she come over right away so you don't have to wait! Can't wait to find out…..

August 17, 2009 04:04 AM
Lisa Cunningham said...

I would have to just rip into them!!!!

August 17, 2009 04:04 AM
Christina said...

It would be so neat to look at all the things they could have sent and try and guess. Waiting will make the opening that much more sweet!

August 17, 2009 04:04 AM
rkostakis said...

If it were just me, I'd tear right in! But for my niece, I'd wait so that we could have the surprise together.

August 17, 2009 04:04 AM
Michelle said...

It will be hard but you will love it even more if you wait and open with your niece. :)

mnhub-junk (at) yahoo (dot) com

August 17, 2009 04:04 AM
Amy said...

I think you should get the blow-dryer out, pry up the tape, take a look inside, then wrap it up all pretty again. Your niece will never know. Win-Win!!!

August 17, 2009 04:04 AM
gnomees said...

What would I do? It depends on which nephew I'm talking about: Joe, I'd wait; JT, I'd pop that thing open and pretend that he didn't get anything, and then surprise him by tucking it in his backpack later. He's constantly leaving little presents for me in my purse, so it's about time I return the favor!

August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
The Nor-esters said...

I'd have a hard time waiting so I'd have to hid it from myself…or call and have her come over right then! Surprises are fun but I get pretty anxious…wendy (

August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
ninibella said...

Endure the butterflies in the tummy and wait until she gets there. Rip into it at the same time. You'll both get a big kick out of it. She'll love you forever.
Tell her before she gets there and make her just as anxious as you!

August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
Stella said...

OMG! those toppers are ADORABLE! I would wait and open them together. It will be a fun moment to have both your reactions happen at the same time! :)

August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
The Maag Family said...

I would wait: surprises are always best shared, especially with the people we love!

August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
..Karen.. said...

I think you should open them together.. so get her over there ASAP so we cal all see what's inside!!

August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
Linny said...

If I were you, I would wait until your niece comes. I love the look on little kids' faces when they open up surprises. It'll be more fun for her if you open up your surprise at the same time. It might be hard for you to wait, though – it would be hard for me! :-) Have a wonderful day and keep creating beautiful treats!


August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
SR said...

open open! I couldn't wait!

August 17, 2009 04:05 AM
The Harrisons said...

Oh my goodness! Those are so stinkin' cute!

As for your question, I think I would wait and open them together. Although, I'd like to know what's in there. *lol*

Email: harrison.jamie (at yahoo)

August 17, 2009 04:07 AM
Jen said...

I think I would have to rip it open the moment I got it. Birthday adn Christmas present torture me. :)
I Love the little candle holders they are just too cute!!!

jred_88 at

August 17, 2009 04:07 AM
Steve & Margaret said...

I would wait, but I would have to hide them somewhere so I didn't have a moment of weakness!
allhomesewn at

August 17, 2009 04:07 AM
Good Times and Chaos said...

I wish I could wait, but I would open and then scramble to make them look perfect as I re-wrapped them. :)

August 17, 2009 04:07 AM
Jen said...

I think you should allow your niece to open them. That way you get to experience the surprise together!


August 17, 2009 04:07 AM
Brittanie said...

That package should be torn into by an adorable little girl, so definitely wait! Her reaction will be priceless :o)

August 17, 2009 04:08 AM
Alicia said...

I actually LOVE surprises. Especially when it's something like this! Waiting longer actually makes it THAT much better when you finally do open it!

August 17, 2009 04:08 AM
Kim S. said...

I wouldn't be able to wait. You should open it.

August 17, 2009 04:08 AM
Liz said...

Personally, I'd grab an exacto knife to open it (just yours), take a peek, and carefully wrap it back up again… but that doesn't mean I think you SHOULD.

August 17, 2009 04:09 AM
Stacy said...

I *say* open them with your niece but the cuteness of those little boxes would make me open them in a frenzy of flying polka-dotted paper!

uaxostacy at hotmail dot com

August 17, 2009 04:09 AM
Katie said...

I would probably wait, but depending on how long the wait was going to be I might have to take a peek and re-wrap them!

August 17, 2009 04:09 AM
RWG said...

Wait and open it together – that's my vote… although I'm dying to see what's inside :-)

August 17, 2009 04:09 AM
Jamie said...

Hm. If you can wait, you probably should. If you can't, just open yours.
I personally would probably just open mine, and then when the niece comes, she can open hers.

My email is


August 17, 2009 04:09 AM
Anonymous said...




August 17, 2009 04:10 AM
Vinkento said...

What if whatever is in the box is perishable? You'll want to open it before it goes bad!

August 17, 2009 04:10 AM
Adrianne M. LaFrance said...

ooooh, you should totally wait! as the great spock rightly notes, having is not always as great as wanting.

August 17, 2009 04:10 AM
Lisa! said...

You need to wait… it will be that much more awesome.

August 17, 2009 04:10 AM
John, Kara, Andrew and Grant said...

I always wait to open presents (I've never peaked at a present), even if it's really hard. So I say wait, it'll be even more fun that way.

Though I'm curious to see what you got, so maybe you should open it…

August 17, 2009 04:10 AM
Ladybug said...

Make your niece's day. Wait for her.

August 17, 2009 04:11 AM
Samye said...

You should totally wait…as much as it is going to eat you up inside!!

August 17, 2009 04:11 AM
Anonymous said...

oh – I didn't leave my suggestion!

Open them together!! It will be a double surprise. I'm sure it's hard to wait – but it'll be worth it!


August 17, 2009 04:11 AM
Lisa said...

I would put them somewhere out of sight in order to not be tempted before the little helper arrives and then wait to open them with her. Easier said than done, but worth it! Have fun :)

August 17, 2009 04:11 AM
carizolli said...

I think you should wait and open them together…but if it were me, I have Z-E-R-O willpower and would have torn that paper to shreds by now!

August 17, 2009 04:11 AM
jessie. said...

Oh my Lordy are those adorable. Banana cupcakes with monkeys? Wayyyy too cute.

August 17, 2009 04:12 AM
Erin said...

Open yours now! Then when your niece comes, don't show it to her until she's opened hers.

August 17, 2009 04:13 AM
Anna María said...

Most certainly you should wait….it will create that special moment that great memories are made of!!!

August 17, 2009 04:13 AM
Jasie VanGesen said...

I really like to think I'd save both so we could open them together, but I know that wouldn't be reality. I'd be opening ATLEAST mine.

August 17, 2009 04:13 AM
Miss-tearious said...

I'd say it depends on how often your niece normally visits. If it's more than a few weeks, you should definitely open yours… But don't peek into hers!

August 17, 2009 04:13 AM
Raven said...

Well that is just too much cuteness in one place! It all depends on how soon you'll see your little helper… if it's soon, I would wait. If it will be awhile.. well, that's a different story. :)

August 17, 2009 04:14 AM
Izzie said...

Rip those suckers open, well your sucker. Then you can re-wrap yours if you want to and reopen it with your niece.

August 17, 2009 04:14 AM
Ephemeron said...

I'd wait and open them together. :-)

August 17, 2009 04:14 AM
Lauren said...

aaww…open them together, it will be more fun that way (and the suspense will build even longer!)

August 17, 2009 04:14 AM
The French Bear said...

Definitely wait, if you don't then you won't feel jaded when she opens hers. Surprises are best done together!!!! Have fun!
Margaret B

August 17, 2009 04:15 AM
Geneve said...

Definitely wait. She will feel so special to know that you waited just for her to open yours. And those cupcakes are super cute!

August 17, 2009 04:16 AM
Hannah said...

The suspense is killing me, but I would still wait. It'll be so much more fun to open it with your niece!

August 17, 2009 04:16 AM
Ashleigh said...

I think you should definitely wait for your "little helper" to open it with you- what a fun surprise it will be for you BOTH! And don't forget that handy camera of yours to capture her face when she gets the gift!!

August 17, 2009 04:16 AM
Sarah said...

I would unwrap & rewrap. I'm just patient like that!
these are ADORABLE!

August 17, 2009 04:16 AM
Aersi said...

I would TRY to wait for her. And then in three days I'd tear them both open wildly and then re-wrap them. >_<

But that's just me.

August 17, 2009 04:17 AM
Anonymous said...

I would wait, hard as it would be… There are not enough surprises in the world – take advantage when you can!

August 17, 2009 04:17 AM
Candise said...

It would be fun with your neice, but if you are anything like me you will never be able to wait…rip 'em open!
gilbertcandise at

August 17, 2009 04:17 AM
aggiemomof2 said...

Very smart Lollipop! You've got to wait for your neice…I'm not sure that I actually could, but it's easy to tell you that you should!
sylviarj at yahoo dot com

August 17, 2009 04:17 AM
Jenni said...

You better wait. You can do it.

August 17, 2009 04:17 AM
Renee Clinton said...

I think waiting for your neice is the way to go…

August 17, 2009 04:18 AM
tHe XouMpHonPhACkDy'S said...

Totally wait for your little niece to open them!! How fun to open them together!

August 17, 2009 04:18 AM
Sophia said...

i'd say you should be the grown up here and wait for your neice, but…TEAR THAT SUCKER OPEN!!!

August 17, 2009 04:19 AM
Stacey said...

I would first, not have posted a picture of the original wrapping on your blog :-). Then, I would tear them both open and re-wrap them both and open them together. (Not that I've ever done that or anything ;-)

August 17, 2009 04:19 AM
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