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!

In Light Photography said...

First of all, those candle holder toppers are just too cute. They look classic, like they could be from our childhood. LOVE them!
Second of all, you should definitely wait to open them until your helper comes too. The anticipation will rise and make it that much more exciting – for you and her! Have fun! And hope I win!!

August 17, 2009 08:20 AM
Lovebird Gift Box FAQ said...

I would wait for your neice to come. But I would also call her on the phone RIGHT now and say get your cute little butt over here!

August 17, 2009 08:22 AM
nadège said...

so …wait…if you can.

August 17, 2009 08:22 AM
Chris said...

There are hundreds of us eagerly waiting, waiting, waiting……
noses pressed up against the screen……. just trying to peer into the nicely wrapped boxes…. just one little peek…..waiting…

If we can put up with this suspense you should too. Wait….. then run to your computer and let us see what it is.

August 17, 2009 08:28 AM
Kristin Reinhard said...

You should wait – i think anticipation makes a surprise just that much better!

August 17, 2009 08:30 AM
Tracilm said...

I think you should wait for your niece, but don't wait too long. Make sure you see her soon so we can all see. lol

August 17, 2009 08:31 AM
LeAnn said...

I think you should wait. You can tell your niece about them now, and that way you won't have to suffer alone! It will be a really special moment when the two of you FINALLY get to break into your gifts.

August 17, 2009 08:35 AM
Yael said...

I love the suspense of waiting and surprise! The anticipation is so much fun- I say wait!!

August 17, 2009 08:36 AM
Christina said...

open it. I hate surprises.

August 17, 2009 08:36 AM
Alice said...

honestly? If I only had to wait a couple of days I'd open them together… But if it was going to be a long wait I wouldn't be patient enough and I'd open mine!

August 17, 2009 08:41 AM
611 (Cassie) said...

Oh I think you should wait…enjoy the surprise together :)

August 17, 2009 08:44 AM
Dallas said...

Ooh, even the packaging on your packages is cute! I'd definately wait, but I'd probably need someone to hide them from me so I wouldn't be tempted. Be sure to post some pics of what in them when you open them.

August 17, 2009 08:45 AM
mdvelazquez said...

I would wait too.

August 17, 2009 08:47 AM
Maryam Al Awadhi said...

well, that is one of the hardest things 2 decide…

wait coz the look on ur niece face will definitely be worth the wait…

man… those little toppers will be so freakin cute on my cupcakes…

August 17, 2009 08:52 AM
Jodie said...

I, too, am firmly in the "wait" camp – the long-term happiness of a niece that feels special outweighs the pull of your own, inner 4-year-old ;)

Jodie (at)

August 17, 2009 08:55 AM
pezadoodle said...

WAIT WAIT WAIT!!! the torture is delicious (kinda like rubbing sore muscles) pus your neice will feel so good!

BTW i thought my head was going to explode from cuteness too EGADS!!! heading there now – isn't etsy THE greatest place to shop!?!??!?!?

August 17, 2009 08:56 AM
Bambi. said...

I definately think you should wait for your neice, it'll be worth it to see the surprise on her face. Seeing two mystery presents is alot more fun than seeing one on its own (especially if is been hastily rewrapped :P).

And those cupcake toppers are so cute! There is literally no shops in england that sell all the cake things you have. I get so jealous seeing pictures of the shop/s you go to!

August 17, 2009 09:01 AM
Clare said...

I say wait til your neice comes, definately! The only thing better than a surpise is sharing a surprise with someone special! I cant wait to see what you get!
Clare xx

August 17, 2009 09:07 AM
amandajane said...

I would wait, but it's over a month then maybe just a little peek wouldn't hurt.

August 17, 2009 09:08 AM
dicope said...

I surely couldn't wait !! You make me so curious now but you will have to wait for your niece ! I'm sure you will love to see her face when she opens it! Actually could we have photos of that ? ;D

mmm I just make cupcakes yesterday but I never made frosting ! I will have to try this one ?

Kisses ^^


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

Of course you should open them together but just to mix things up a bit, you could open hers and she could open yours to see what each other got! Then switch back for a double surprise! Just be sure to take loads of pictures! Thanks for sharing the wealth!!

August 17, 2009 09:12 AM
Dana said...

I would open mine, then rewrap it and then wait to open again together.

August 17, 2009 09:13 AM
Marian said...

Oh the dilemma! That's a tough one! I'd be tempted to open them both and re-wrap, buuuuut I have to admit the anticipation would probably grow and the surprise would be that much sweeter with the wait, and your niece would probably be tickled pink that you did. I don't know how you could stand the suspense though!!!

August 17, 2009 09:15 AM
Panya said...

For me it would totally depend on how long it would be until the helper came over again. If it were only going to be a day, or maybe a week or so, I'd wait. If it were going to be longer, I'd definitely open mine. Depending on what it turned out to be, I might open hers too. I might or might not rewrap them.

August 17, 2009 09:16 AM
nancy said...

I say wait and open them together. But I don't know if I could hold onto my end. It would be worth the wait.

August 17, 2009 09:21 AM
miss sarah said...

even though it would be SO hard, i would wait for the niece helper! that is going to be so much fun!!

August 17, 2009 09:21 AM
Chgoest said...

Wait for your niece! And I hope she comes by soon…

August 17, 2009 09:22 AM
Willow said...

I'm dying for you to rip into them and post photos, but really the only right thing to do is to wait for your niece.

August 17, 2009 09:22 AM
Jessica said...

You should probably wait. But I know I could never do that so if you can't resist, I think it would also be acceptable to open your box and leave the other box unopened for your niece. With enough enthusiasm, she'll never know that you already opened yours.

August 17, 2009 09:23 AM
Dimpy said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh, so cute………..just loved them

For sure wait…

August 17, 2009 09:25 AM
Christine! said...

That's really cute! WAIT UNTIL YOUR NIECE COMES! The surprise to wait will be well worth it. :D

August 17, 2009 09:25 AM
Kelsey said...

I would leave it and let the delight of opening a gift be even better!!

P.S. I am so ordering these right now!

August 17, 2009 09:27 AM
Christa said...

you should wait and open them together..

August 17, 2009 09:27 AM
CamilliaMadonna said...

Hide the gifts in a closet so they're out of sight and out of mind until your niece gets there. Then you can open them together and you'll both enjoy the surprise!! And of course you need to bake with whatever's in the box…and put up pictures!

August 17, 2009 09:30 AM
CamilliaMadonna said...

and is my e-mail…I need some cupcake candle holders! :)

August 17, 2009 09:32 AM
Jewelz said...

Are we STILL discussing this???????? Haven't you opened the bl@@ming things yet!
The agony of the waiting game ;0)


August 17, 2009 09:34 AM
Elvina said...

You should definitely wait and open them together. Why not share the joy with her the same way you're going to share your cupcake toppers with us?

August 17, 2009 09:35 AM
Christine said...

I love the little piggy! You should definitely wait for your niece, so both of you will be surprised! It will make the gift opening wonderful!

August 17, 2009 09:36 AM
Callie said...

I think that you should wait until your niece comes back. But, if it were me, I'd probably open them and then re-wrap 'em because I wouldn't be able to wait!

August 17, 2009 09:38 AM
Angie said...

You have to wait! You will be so much more enthusiastic if you haven't already seen the surprise!

August 17, 2009 09:39 AM
Melaina25 said...

Hmm, how good are you at re-wrapping and how long until you see her again?

melaina25 at gmail dot com

August 17, 2009 09:41 AM
Suzi C said...

Well I think you should wait and see. The surprise may not be even worth ripping open on your own, but with your little helper it will be worth the wait :)

Suzi C

August 17, 2009 09:46 AM
Jenn said...

I don't think I could wait to open mine!

August 17, 2009 09:46 AM
Twee said...

I think you should wait for your niece, that way you can take some great photos of you opening them together and post here, for all of us to gush over. :) But, I know it's hard. I would be all over those adorable boxes, trying to figure out what's in them.

August 17, 2009 09:48 AM
Esmerelda Johnson said...


August 17, 2009 09:49 AM
Stasi said...

I say re-wrap and no one's the wiser. of course the thing to do would be wait. but who has patience for THAT?

August 17, 2009 09:50 AM
savedbythebrew said...

I'd definitely open it. No patience here :)

August 17, 2009 09:52 AM
Jade said...

I would rip into them! I love opening gifts, doesn't matter who they're from. :D

jade dot case at gmail dot com

August 17, 2009 09:57 AM
Julie said...

The look on your niece's' face when you open the packages together for the first time will make the wait worth it :)

August 17, 2009 09:58 AM
aniy said...

i simply cant wait to see whats wrapped up in those luscious red wrapping paper…… (:

August 17, 2009 09:58 AM
chucky said...

I couldnt wait!! I also thought they were cake pops :) Karyn

August 17, 2009 09:59 AM
aniy said...

which means to say, OPEN THEM NOW!

August 17, 2009 09:59 AM
Premadasa Family said...

At first thought i wanted you to rip them open so we all didnt have to wait, but how special will your "little helper" feel if you wait until she comes. I love your blog, i am always checking it for updates!

August 17, 2009 10:03 AM
Alexis said...

I love a surprise and the longer you wait the more exciting it becomes. Definitely wait for your niece :)

Can't wait to see what's in the package.

frogsarecool at gmail dot com

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

I would open mine to make sure it was something your niece would want – then she doesn't need to know there were two packages!

August 17, 2009 10:05 AM
Ofa said...

Well, you should take a peek and then wait for your niece to "officially" open it and you wouldn't really have to act surprised since you will be snapping away at your camera…..noooooo….I was just kidding….wait for your niece she is a great helper!!!

August 17, 2009 10:07 AM
whitney said...

i think you should wait for your neice. just getting to see the look on her face and yours will be well worth the wait. excitement all around!

August 17, 2009 10:08 AM
Donna said...

I'm sure that Miss Manners would say, "wait for your niece." But oh, my, waiting is beyond me- I'd say rip it open! (Of course, I go nuts waiting to open Christmas presents!)
Donna (

August 17, 2009 10:12 AM
Anonymous said...

I would totally rip mine open and then rewrap it! (I've done something similar before!) I'm horrible about waiting …


August 17, 2009 10:13 AM
Rachel said...

How can you even stand it? I would be tearing those things open the second I got my hands on them!

August 17, 2009 10:15 AM
Tegan said...

I have been in this situation several times and only once did I open the gift and re-wrap. I was so annoyed and disappointed that I had ruined the surprise :( …Definitely wait and open them together!

August 17, 2009 10:16 AM
Kim said...

My choice would be opening them together, but if it were me, I'd have to hide them out of sight so I wouldn't buckle to temptation. :) Or have my hubby hide them, so I have no clue where they are….but make sure he writes down where he put it or something for only his eyes…I know how my (and his) mind is getting with age! HAHA! :)

August 17, 2009 10:16 AM
kchal11267 said...

Those are adorable! So unique! I would wait – suspense will make it more fun!

August 17, 2009 10:16 AM
Rebecca said...

Sorry, I think you should wait, but I would get her over soon, cause if it takes too long, no one could possibly blame you for taking a peek.

August 17, 2009 10:16 AM
Tegan said...

Wait for her to come and open them together. You will be disappointed that the surprise is gone if you open it beforehand!

August 17, 2009 10:17 AM
Andrea said...

You should wait for your niece, but be sure and show us what it is!

August 17, 2009 10:20 AM
Anonymous said...

aagh, open it now, don't make me have to drive there to open it myself. Hurry we have to know….

August 17, 2009 10:20 AM
Mary said...

I think you should open yours now and then have your niece open the other when you see her – then you get the fun of opening surprises twice!

August 17, 2009 10:20 AM
MMG said...

These are so adorable — I totally understand your temptation to see what the beautifully wrapped box can hold… but WAIT! It will make it even more sweet when you open it with your niece!

Take pictures and be sure to share! I'm curious now, too!

August 17, 2009 10:22 AM
Estir_BunE said...

I am a waiter… I love the anticipation and the build up before I get to open something! So I say wait for her! :)

August 17, 2009 10:27 AM
Becky said...

Wait for your niece, the surprise will be more fun if you experience it together!

August 17, 2009 10:28 AM
Becky said...

Wait until your neice comes over! Get her over soon because the contents could be perishable?

beck_t78 at yahoo dot com

August 17, 2009 10:31 AM
Grimmy said...

I would wait. Having the "helper" there would make it so much more exciting, I think.

August 17, 2009 10:31 AM
Rachel said...

The little pig is TOO CUTE!!

I would totally open mine and leave hers for when she comes. I'm horrible with surprised ;0)


August 17, 2009 10:31 AM
greenbean said...

open and rewrap! the suspense would kill me. i don't know. the packaging is too cute. maybe i'd rush over to my niece's and allow us to open at 2am. :-)

August 17, 2009 10:37 AM
Neha said...

aww, you need to wait for your neice!oamgine her little face when she sees a package just for her!and then again when she opens it!

August 17, 2009 10:38 AM
Lizzy said...

I would definitely wait! Even though the suspense would nearly kill me, it'd all be worth it to do it together.

August 17, 2009 10:39 AM
Becky said...

I would wait and open it together :)
You can contact me through my blog.

August 17, 2009 10:39 AM
Erin said...

You know you'll do the right thing and wait – she'll love you for it!!

August 17, 2009 10:40 AM
Megan said...

I suggest to anyone more patient and less curious than me to wait. I would open it instantly. I cannot wait. Ever. Thank you for the extreme cuteness!

August 17, 2009 10:42 AM
Eileen said...

Open yours now and give your niece hers the next time you see her! Unless you see her often – like every few weeks or so – in which case, open them together. :)

August 17, 2009 10:46 AM
Anonymous said...

I'd open yours, and when she comes around give her hers. Or just invite her around right now so you don't have to wait!

August 17, 2009 10:47 AM
Jeanmarie said...

As much as I would like to, I could NEVER wait..I would have jumped in the car to get her five minutes after the packages arrived :-)

August 17, 2009 10:50 AM
Señora H-B said...

How adorable!

August 17, 2009 10:51 AM
Maistuvat paistuvat said...

Open your own package and second packet can wait when niece visits again. I would not be able to wait!

August 17, 2009 10:51 AM
Rebecca said...

OMG – Those are DARLING!!! I don't think I COULD wait to open my package, but I think I would totally leave your neice's package until she comes!

August 17, 2009 10:51 AM
Stacy said...

I thought when I stopped having children I'd never have to answer the should I wait or find out now question again! But, I'm a big fan of the surprise-wait for your niece!

August 17, 2009 10:52 AM
Amanda said...

EEEK! It would KILL me too wait but you really should! I am pretty sure that I would opening a tiny corner though!

August 17, 2009 10:53 AM
becky said...

How cute! I love wrapped presents like that-they show that somebody put alot of time and thought into it.
If I were you, I'd open yours now, that way you know what's in there and what fun project you could put together with the gift inside.
But that's just me! ;-)

rebeccalynnsmith @

August 17, 2009 10:53 AM
Katrina said...

Well, for me, it kind of depends on how long until you'll see your niece again! Dang cute toppers!

August 17, 2009 10:54 AM
Karen said...

Oh the cuteness!!!!

Wait. You have to wait. It will be better if you wait! But, get your helper over ASAP.

August 17, 2009 10:56 AM
anduhe said...

You deserve a surprise, too so wait and share the excitement with that cutie-patootie niece of yours! Can't wait to find out what it is!

August 17, 2009 10:56 AM
delightfullysweet said...

Oh I personally think you should wait until your niece comes. It will make the surprise all the more sweeter!

August 17, 2009 10:56 AM
hate2clean said...

I think you should wait… wait as long as it takes… as long as it takes to get into your car and hand deliver the package to your neice that is! :)

August 17, 2009 10:56 AM
Kendra said...

I love surprises! Wait until your neice comes so you can both enjoy it together!

August 17, 2009 10:56 AM
MinnieK said...

Wait for her…then you can post an entry of the both of you opening you gifts together! It will be adorable :)

August 17, 2009 10:57 AM
Anonymous said...

wow… that's tough! I say, if your neice is visiting within the next week, then you should wait. If it's going to be longer, then open yours, because you should probably follow up with a thank you, and you don't want to wait too long.
But don't open hers… that way you can be surprised with her!


August 17, 2009 10:57 AM
Mrs. G said...

I think you should wait for your niece.

August 17, 2009 10:58 AM
Dawn Young-Pavasco said...

Ahh…What to do?!?! I would definitely wait to open it with your niece and share the surprise together! Those cupcake toppers/candle holders are so cute!!


August 17, 2009 10:59 AM
Alison said...

oh this is hard, I think that you should wait so you can share in the suprise. I am sure that you have several things that you can make till then. Thank you so much for all of your great creativity, I have made several things from your site and you make me want to bake all the time. Alison

August 17, 2009 10:59 AM
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