Sunday, December 7, 2014

Oh Deer! Mini Cupcakes.


I thought it was time to cute up some cupcakes, so I made merry mini reindeers for you.

Chocolate covered chocolate cupcakes all dressed up for the holidays.

Oh deer! So cute.

To get started, we’re going to need a bunch of miniature cupcakes.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Okay. Done.

Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup hot water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line mini cupcake pans with 48 mini baking cups.
  • Sift dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add eggs and mix until combined.
  • Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Slowly add hot water and mix until combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners with batter about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes. Cool and decorate.


Chocolate Antlers

Next, we need a bunch of little antlers.

Drawing Antlers

I used my Chocolate Fudge Wafers, a toothpick and a template to make these.

Download and print the antler template I made and place it under wax paper. Then just trace it with a toothpick dipped in the melted chocolate.

Make the lines thick so they will be sturdier. Let them dry and then gently separate the antlers from the wax paper and safely set aside until ready to decorate.

Chocolate Reindeer Cupcake

To decorate, we’re going to dip the cupcakes in melted candy wafers.

But first, hold the chocolate antlers near their base and gently press them into the mini cupcake to create a hole. Remove the antlers and dip the cupcake. Then after dipping, immediately insert the antlers back into the holes you made and the coating will dry and hold them in place.

Reindeer Steps

Let’s look at that in steps.

  1. Put antlers in position and then remove.
  2. Dip mini cupcake tops in melted chocolate coating. Note: I added my Marshmallow White Candy Wafers to make a lighter brown color, so the antlers would stand out.
  3. Immediately place the antlers back in position.
  4. Before the coating sets, place two sugar eyes in position and a black jelly bean for a nose and let dry.

DIY Sugar Eyes

My DIY Sugar Eyes are fun to use for faces because you can have your eyes look in different directions.

I think it gives them character.

Reindeer Cupcake

See. This one is giving me the side eye.

Mini Reindeer Cupcakes

To finish them, use some a toothpick dipped in some of the leftover melted chocolate and draw on a sweet little smirk.

Reindeer Cupcakes

Or use the melted coating to attach pink confetti sprinkle cheeks and draw on eyelashes for girls.

Super cute!

Mini Reindeer Cupcakes

And of course, the group wouldn’t be complete without a red-nosed reindeer in the mix. I used a red sugar coated peanut for the nose, but a red M&M would be cute too.

Hope you like these little guys as much as I do.


You can find my Bakerella for Make’n Mold Candy Wafers and DIY Sugar Eyes in stores at A.C. Moore Craft Stores or online directly from Make’n Mold.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Vanilla Vanilla

Vanilla Bean Doughnuts

We’re talking vanilla today. I know. I know. Something must be wrong when I don’t have chocolate all over my treats. But, no… I’m fine. I’m just loving on chocolate’s often overlooked sister with these beauties… Vanilla Bean Doughnuts from the book Pure Vanilla and a very vanilla giveaway.

Vanilla, but definitely not plain.

Dougnuts Rising

You know, I don’t work with dough and yeast nearly enough. But when I do I remember how much I love to watch it rise. It fascinates me.

Doughnut Dough

If doughnuts can be adorable – or adoughable (ha) – then this one definitely is.

I mean, look how cute and puffy it is.

Glazed Doughnuts

But not as cute as when it’s warm and bathed in vanilla bean icing.

I did have to fight my urge to decorate these with bright, colorful sprinkles though. What a pretty pretty backdrop that white would be.

But I didn’t. I refrained. I mean it would be a shame to cover up all those beautiful tiny vanilla bean specks in the icing don’t you think?

Dipping Doughnuts

Oh my. Send help.

Vanilla Bean Doughnut

Never mind. I’ve got this.


Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted – plus more for kneading
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand until the mixture is foamy, about five minutes. Whisk in the remaining two tablespoons sugar, milk, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, egg yolks, and butter. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and begin mixing on low speed.
  • Add flour and salt and mix for three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle often to keep the dough moving.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand several times, dusting with flour as needed. Place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut out the doughnuts with a three inch doughnut cutter, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 30-45 minutes or until doughnuts have doubled in size.
  • Pour 2 1/2 inches of vegetable oil int a 4 or 5 quart pot and heat to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Fry doughnuts in batches of up to four at a time, until the are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side, turning only once. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • For the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, salt and vanilla bean seeds until smooth. Spoon glaze over warm doughnuts and serve.

Makes 12

© 2012 Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever, used with permission

Vanilla Vanilla Giveaway

Now, to help get you in the vanilla baking spirit, I have a fun very vanilla giveaway to share with you. We’re talking a TON of vanilla all courtesy of Vanilla from Tahiti.

  • 16 oz Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
  • 100 g Ground Vanilla Bean Powder
  • Vanilla Coffee
  • 20 6-inch Vanilla Beans
  • Tahitian Vanilla Sampler with ground vanilla, vanilla extract and Tahitian Vanilla Beans

That should keep you set in the kitchen for a while.

But that’s not all. It’s a double vanilla kind of day because the winner will also receive a signed copy of the book Pure Vanilla from my friend Shauna Sever. Yay and yum! And full of fun recipes like the ones below.

Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever

Vanilla Cloud Cake, Vanilla Lollipops, Twinkie Bundt Cake, Vanilla Waffles and much more.

Enter for a chance to win the Tahitian vanilla products and the book Pure Vanilla

  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me the last dessert you baked or sweet you made.
  • Deadline to enter is Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at midnight ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winner announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Thursday.

Good luck!

Giveaway items shared courtesy of Vanilla from Tahiti and Shauna Sever. 


And the winner is Lisa!!!!! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy all the Vanilla from Tahiti when you bake.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankgsgiving Throwback Treats

This week is going to be busy busy. I’m trying to get ready for all the cooking and baking … and eating (YAY) for Thanksgiving. It’s like my favorite day. Things are coming along and most of the menu is planned. I just need to figure out what I’m making for dessert to sit beside the sweet potato pie my mom is bringing. I think I want to make something I haven’t tried before, but I can’t decide what. Buttermilk Pie maybe. While I’m being indecisive, I thought I’d share a handful of Thanksgiving-worthy treats if you need some last minute dessert inspiration. These sweet throwbacks might just fit your menu this Thursday.


Sticky Toffee Pudding


Sticky Toffee Pudding (2013)


Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Maple Brown Butter Frosting (2008)


Turkey Cake Pops


Turkey Cake Pops (2008)




Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares (2010)




Brownie Pecan Pie (2010)


Pumpkin Pies


Pumpkin Pie Bites (2009)


Scarecrow Cake Pops


Scarecrow Cake Pops (2013)




Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Pie (2009)


Cinnamon Rolls


Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (2013)


S'mores Cupcakes


S’mores Cupcakes (2014)




Biscoff Fudge (2011)


Happy Thanksgiving friends!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

I have some yummy yummy chocolatey caramel-y crunchy cupcakes to share with you today. I created the recipe for my friends over at Harry & David using their famous flavored popcorn. Visit their blog here for the cupcake recipe, more photos and a peek of their new Moose Munch® Gourmet Popcorn packaging.

Cupcakes and Popcorn

Chocolate cupcakes and caramel coated dark chocolate Moose Munch. Yes! And Yes!

Caramel FIlling

Filled with caramel, too. Oh my.

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

Get the recipe here:

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes created for Harry & David.

I really, REALLY enjoyed these and hope you do too!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

KitchenAid Giveaway and Cake Pop Con Weekend

I had the most wonderful, incredible, emotional and unforgettable few days at the first-ever international cake pop conference in Philadelphia this weekend hosted by KCBakes. I was the keynote speaker and shared my story of creating cake pops back in 2008. It was the most humbling experience talking to so many people whose lives have been touched by cake pops. From simply inspiring creativity in the kitchen to completely changing the way people make a living through home businesses and large scale bakeries, pop products, boxes, books and more – Cake Pops are so much more than just a little ball of cake on a stick.

Here’s a quick little slideshow of some of my pics from the weekend or view them individually on Facebook.

Now … since I was away from the kitchen this past weekend, I didn’t have a chance to bake anything fun for you today. So I thought I’d continue the cake pop love and give away something here on the blog that I also gave away at the conference.

Enter for a chance to win

1. A 5 qt. KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Cranberry … or color of your choice if you don’t like pink as much as I do.   : )


2. The NEW line of Bakerella for Make’n Mold products now available in stores exclusively at A.C. Moore Crafts.


To enter for a chance to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite dish for Thanksgiving is. Easy as Pumpkin pie.
  • Deadline to enter is November 14, 2014 at midnight ET. SORRY, TIME’S UP! Winner announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Saturday!

Good luck!


We have a winner! And, Oh my gosh, I am totally craving Thanksgiving dinner right now. I think my favorite is dressing and cranberry sauce, oh and cream corn casserole. Yum! Thanks for sharing your favorite dishes. And the winner of the mixer and products is…………

Congratulations Danielle! Enjoy!


Giveaway sponsored by me.

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