Churro Cupcakes

Although this post is a little late, it’s still very worth perusing just in case you get the hankering for the most delicious cupcake you will ever eat in your life.  Please read on…

Sometimes when it’s the 5th of May, you have to celebrate by making and eating Churro Cupcakes!  I’ve heard that Mexico doesn’t even really celebrate Cinco de Mayo like we do here in America.  Which is pretty funny.  But whatever.  As if anyone needs an excuse or a holiday to eat a cupcake that is impersonating as a churro.

Cinco de Mayo fell on a Monday this year, which just so happens to be our Family Dinner night, so I was able to make these delicious cupcakes for people that I love!  While there are a lot of steps in the recipe, they are all super easy so I wouldn’t hesitate to make these again!

Churro Cupcakes

Sugar, butter, caramel, cream cheese…you really can’t go wrong!  So stop whatever you’re doing and bake these NOW!  You won’t regret it!

Churro Cupcakes (recipe courtesy of Food Network)

Yields: 28 cupcakes

Ingredients – Cake Batter:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for brushing
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup whole milk

Ingredients – Filling:

2 cups sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature

Ingredients – Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • For the cake batter: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixing speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk. Beat until combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  • For the filling: Combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon water into a medium bowl over medium-high heat. Constantly stir until the sugar dissolves into a liquid form. The sugar will dissolve and start to turn brown. Once the sugar and water have completely dissolved, add in the butter and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream. Let cool for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 1 hour to let the caramel thicken before using.
  • For the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese until light and creamy. Add in the vanilla. Add in the powder sugar, 1 cup at a time, incorporating fully before next addition. Add milk as needed if the frosting is too thick. Place the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, pull out the centers with a cupcake corer. Melt down the butter. Mix together some cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Using a rubber brush, brush the melted butter onto the cupcakes, then roll the tops of the cupcakes into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Fill the cupcakes with the caramel sauce. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, dust with more cinnamon and sugar. If you choose, drizzle the cupcakes with leftover caramel sauce.


Peach Cupcakes with Peach Buttercream

I really love planning a party!  I can find any excuse necessary to create a menu, pull out decorations, and make everything on my table match.  Don’t believe me?  Just last night I spent at least an hour considering throwing a FRIENDS party.  It’s only my all-time favorite tv show ever!

There is no good reason to throw a FRIENDS party.

There is no tv reunion happening.

The show has been in reruns for over a decade.

But I have friends!  And they’re great!  And I can’t think of any better reason to make Phoebe’s chocolate chip cookies, or Rachel’s Thanksgiving trifle (minus the beef sauteed with peas and onions).

But I digress…

I started planning Ivy’s first birthday party when she was 6 months old.  I couldn’t wait to throw her the sweetest, most beautiful, peachy party!  I spent months on Pinterest finding every peach idea possible and pinning every cute first birthday party photo idea I could find.  It was so much fun and worth every minute hour I spent. 🙂

I finally settled on these delicious peach cupcakes with peach buttercream, and I couldn’t have been more pleased!




Is it too early to start planning for her second birthday party? 😉

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Peach Cupcakes with Peach Buttercream


2-2 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup sugar
1 cup fresh peach puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar

¾ cup butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup peach puree
Vanilla, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin, or lightly grease and flour a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into a bowl. In a measuring cup, mix together the peach puree, oil and vanilla. Add the peach mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined. At this point, you may want to add some yellow and food colouring to achieve a peachier colour. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly. The batter will foam slightly where the baking soda and vinegar are reacting. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 20 minutes if making cupcakes, or 25 to 30 minutes it making cake. Allow to cool before glazing or frosting.

Peach Buttercream
Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add peach puree and vanilla and beat again until smooth. You may want to add some yellow and red food colouring to achieve a peachier colour.
Can be piped or spread onto cakes.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage…

Several months ago I received a funny little message on my facebook wall.  It went a little something like this…

“In your opinion, do people that have three-month old babies like to bake wedding cakes?”

My gut told me to reply with any of the following answers:

“Are you kidding?”

“Not this gal with a three-month old!”

“Absolutely not.”

But my heart made my fingers type,

“This gal with a three-month old would love to.”

The one who asked me that silly little question was my sweet friend Jessie.  We have been friends for the past four years, and have been through lots and lots and lots together.  As much as I knew it was going to be difficult to juggle baking 250 cupcakes for a wedding while taking care of a baby, I’m so very glad I said yes.

This past weekend we celebrated Miss Jessie Carpenter and Mr. Alan Dale as they became Mr. & Mrs. Dale. ♥  It was beautiful and sweet and I’m so thankful I got to be a part of it.

The Johnson Estate at the Metolius Headwaters

Best friends, Clara and Ivy!

Miss Ivy enjoys the wedding!

Mocha cupcakes and Champagne cupcakes

The girls eyes are glued to that bouquet!

Some of the girls I love most!

What a fun evening filled with friends, laughter, good food, great wine, beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, and lots of love. ♥ Congratulations Alan & Jessie!

Dreaming of a maple dance

I love, adore, and sometimes even crave maple.

A little piece of my heart died the day Starbucks decided to no longer carry their maple lattes.  And as a teenager working my first job in a doughnut shop, a maple long john (known in the Pacific Northwest as a maple bar) was my pastry of choice.

So when I came across this recipe for maple cupcakes topped with rich maple buttercream frosting, you bet your buttons I fired up the mixer and got down to business.

I was super interested to learn more about maple syrup and how exactly this sweet nectar made its first appearance.  According to Wikipedia (the world’s most reliable source) the process of making maple syrup was first done by the indigenous peoples living in the northeastern part of North America.  Aboriginals developed rituals surrounding their sugar making  in celebration of the Sugar Moon, which was the first full moon of Spring.  One of these rituals was a maple dance.  For the love of all things sweet, I don’t know exactly what a maple dance is, but I think I want to be a part of it. 🙂  They learned how to tap the maple trees to extract the sap that was eventually turned into maple syrup, and I don’t know about you, but I’m forever grateful.

I made these heavenly cupcakes for a dinner get together with all of our dearest friends and they were a hit!  At the end of the night our good friend Corey mentioned that he thought I should have topped them with a slice of bacon.  While I think the maple/bacon  trend is interesting, I also find it extremely weird.  I’m sure my distaste for these flavors mixed together hasn’t helped, but I just haven’t been able to jump on that band wagon.  However, Corey celebrated his birthday just a few weeks later, so these just happened to make an appearance on his doorstep…

Maple Cupcakes

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups pure maple syrup,, preferably Grade B
3 large eggs, room temp
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard or mini muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medum-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Add the maple syrup, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture, and beat well to combine. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until glden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes for standard, 10 to 13 minutes for minis. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Maple Buttercream

For the buttercream, use whichever buttercream recipe you love and substitute Mapeline maple extract for the vanilla extract in the recipe!

Christmas Cocktails and lots of Cheer!

Some things you wait for all year long.  And this just happens to be one of them for me.

That’s me, right smack dab in the middle, beaming from ear to ear at the thought of having walked through another year with these people surrounding me.  Our annual Christmas Cocktail party hit #4 this year, and it’s one of my favorite events of the year!  So many of my favorite people in one place!  Eating good food, drinking lovely drinks, taking a much needed break from the busy Christmas season, and chatting and catching up on each others lives.

This was my date…

…so handsome is he, that I couldn’t take my eyes off of him…even for the picture. ♥

This year Christmas seems to have crept right up on me, and I didn’t have near the time to plan for this shindig as I usually do.  So Costco saved my dear life as I threw meatballs, cheese, crackers, candy, and dips into my cart.  I did, however, find the time to make these adorably delicious Christmas cupcakes!

I’m so sad to say that because of the overly busy season, and the fact that I haven’t felt top notch lately, I haven’t done near the baking that I so desperately wanted to.  But I found this recipe for Sugared Cranberry Vanilla Cupcakes weeks ago, and was determined to make them, no matter what!  I’m so thankful I was able to make them for this wonderful group of people!

It was a night full of fun, laughs, eating, drinking, and merriment to our heart’s content…and I’m already looking forward to Christmas Cocktails 2012!

Caffeine in a cupcake!

Autumn. It’s one of the busiest seasons of the year for many. Fitting in the last long weekend before schedule becomes a necessity. Frantically shopping for supplies and new clothes. Starting fall sports practices. Orientations, meetings, paperwork, fees, assemblies, and schedule changes. The start of a new school year is full of hustle, and Aaron and I are right smack dab in the middle of it. 🙂

Aaron is starting his first year as activities director at Mt. View High School, alongside his teaching schedule. He’ll be heading up all dances, student leadership, assemblies, spirit week, bonfires, clubs…basically all of the things that make high school fun! This year’s group of leadership kids is going to be so contagiously fun to be around! The job title comes with one of the busiest schedules on staff, having to be present at nearly everything the school puts on.

And while my cheer schedule technically started way back in July and has been going strong since then, things really ramp up right about now. With their first day of school assembly just days away, I have a group of 15 teenage girls that are bound and determined to pull off a perfect performance, which means practices are a plenty. Once school actually starts things go from busy to crazy, and we love (nearly) every minute of it!

This school year is going to be the definition of hustle! Which is exactly why for the back to school BBQ for the staff last week I baked these delightful cakes…

These mocha cupcakes pack more of a caffeine punch than any other dessert I know. For that matter, they may possess more caffeine than a shot of espresso. Glory be. ♥ We are going to need it this year!

#23 Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

We just returned from the great state of Texas where we spent 6 very hot days visiting my parents!  It was so joyous.  We had such a good time with them, and couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off our summer.  I always have a hard time readjusting to my life here in Bend after I come home from being with my family.  I’ve lived thousands of miles away from all of them since I turned 18, and you would think it would get easier…but it just really doesn’t.  I love them dearly, and wish I could see them way more often.  It does, however, make our time together that much sweeter, and there is definitely something to be said about that.

This year I’m thankful that even though I don’t get to spend Father’s Day with my dear dad, I got to spend the entire week leading up to it with him.  Here are some of the very reasons I love him so!

♥ I used to fall asleep at night to him singing and playing his guitar in the room next to mine.

♥ When I get out of line, he never hesitates to address the hard stuff…because he loves me more than that.

♥ Right before my freshman year of high school I got the worlds worst haircut, and while I cried, and cried, and cried, he still tried to comfort me and tell me how beautiful I was.

♥ He prays for me…incessantly.

♥ He taught me who Jesus is and how a relationship with Him will be the most important thing in my life.

♥ After choosing to read a book to me about tornadoes in Lubbock, Texas for my bedtime story several nights in a row, he built us a tornado shelter in an attempt to ease my fears.

♥ He’s out of this world talented!

♥ He loves my mom so very much.

♥ He used to be the only parent that would stand up and join in on the cheers when I was cheerleading in high school.

♥ There were a few times in my teen years when he had to tell me no.  And while I was angry at the time, I’m so very thankful today.

♥ He required meeting and talking with all of our dates before they could take us out.  Horrifying then, but now I see why.

♥ He’s smart, witty, and holds a wealth of useless knowledge in his head.

♥ He loves me!

When I was in high school my dad and I really got into Snack Pack pudding cups.  My mom would buy them for us on payday, and we would get real excited.  It didn’t take long for us to start accusing each other of eating more than our fair share of the pudding cups.  After this when my mom would bring them home we would immediately split them up evenly and put our initials on the tops of the cups so we couldn’t steal each others.  Now every time I see Snack Packs, I think of this memory.  We have the same affinity for Hostess snack cakes such as ding dongs or cupcakes.  While we didn’t get those very often, when we did we were both in Heaven!

These sweet cupcakes remind me of him!  I didn’t get to make these for him while we were there, but my mom and I worked on several other sweet desserts for him to consume.  And he did!

Dad, thanks for being the best father in the whole entire big wide world!  I love you more and more each day!

Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart*)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for muffin tins
2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme (7.5-ounce jar)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 6-cup (each with a 1-cup capacity) jumbo muffin pans; dust with cocoa powder to coat, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add half the flour mixture, followed by sour cream, ending with remaining flour mixture; mix just until incorporated (do not over mix).
  • Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool in pans, 5 minutes; remove cupcakes and cool, right side up, on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, prepare filling: In a medium bowl, whisk marshmallow creme and butter until smooth. Chill until slightly firm, 15 to 30 minutes. Transfer mixture to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, and seal; cut off one corner of the bag to make a 1/8-inch opening.
  • Using a small melon baller, scoop out center of each cupcake from the bottom, and reserve (you will use this to plug cupcake after filling). Hollow out each cupcake a bit more, discarding crumbs. Insert tip of plastic bag into each cavity, and squeeze to fill; replace plugs. Using remaining filling in plastic bag, decorate top of cupcakes.
*I don’t normally like Martha Stewart recipes, but her cupcake cookbook has been wonderful!  If you like making cupcakes, pick it up!
What I love about these nostalgic cupcakes:  Adorable!…and they remind me of my dad. 🙂
What I hate about these nostalgic cupcakes:  The cupcakes are easy to overbake and then tend to be a little dry.

#12 Champagne Cupcakes

I have to admit that I was a bit more excited for the photo opportunity with this celebratory cupcake than I was to actually make it.  But then I tasted the frosting and thought if it was actually possible to get a buzz off of champagne laced frosting…well then, that made me a little bit more excited than I was before.  I’ve been dying to try champagne cake and frosting for awhile now, but haven’t had a good event to make them for.  Now that I know how truly wonderful they are, an event may not be necessary in the future.

Here’s the things I’m celebrating today!

♥ Come October, I’m going to have a new adorable niece to love on!

♥ We’re leaving to go visit my parents in the great state of Texas in less than a week!

♥ The rodeo is coming to town, and please believe I will be there with all my friends in boots and curls!

♥ I have a few new sundresses that I’m dying to wear, and will finally get to while on vacation next week…where there is actual sunshine!

Who says you need a big event to celebrate!  I’m certain we could all find at least one thing to celebrate on any given day, justifying the act of eating one of these delights.  However, somebody should seriously hire me to make these for their wedding because they are simply stunning!

Champagne Cupcakes (recipe courtesy of Sugar and Charm)

Makes ~24 cupcakes

2 3/4 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup champagne (sweet, not dry…look for moscato or asti)

6 egg whites

Champagne Buttercream:

3 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp champagne, room temperature

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with the champagne.
  • In another large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in remaining egg whites.  Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • To make the frosting cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer.  Mix on low until well blended and then on medium for another 2 minutes.  Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.  Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with edible glitter if desired.

What I love about these buzzed cupcakes:  Easy, elegant, and simple…but absolutely makes a statement!

What I hate about these buzzed cupcakes:  You have to open an entire bottle of champagne to only use about a cup of it.  On second thought…shouldn’t be too much of a problem. 😉

#2 Campfire Delight Cupcakes

Summer is upon us!  At least that’s what I hear.  Bend has really yet to see a decent Spring, which only makes me think we may be skipping that season completely and going straight for Summer months.

Ask me how I feel about that.

Irritated.  Really, really irritated.

However, knowing that Summer can’t be too far away, I can’t help but think of my favorite thing to do in the summer…days and nights at the lake with some of our favorite people!

Being at Triangle Lake means laying in the sun, late afternoon boat rides, reading magazines, lots of food, tons of laughs, floating in the water, naps, lazy mornings and cooked breakfasts, way too many cups of coffee, sitting around the fire at night…and s’mores!  So when I found this recipe for Campfire Delight Cupcakes, I was more than a little excited.

Campfire Delight Cupcakes (recipe found at

Makes: 18 cupcakes


1 3/4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup strong black coffee (okay to be hot)

1 cup buttermilk, room temp

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 Tbsp vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients.  Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Pour into prepared cupcake liners until 2/3 full.  Batter will be liquidy.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with few crumbs.  Try not to overbake.  Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until cool.

Malted Chocolate Frosting:

Makes enough f0r about 18 cupcakes

2 sticks butter at room temp

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup Ovaltine or malt powder (brown in color)

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted

1/4 cup whipping cream

  • In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the powdered sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.  Add vanilla and Ovaltine and beat on low until well combined.  Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Add whipping cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute.  Best used right away, but once piped it keeps well at room temperature.

Toasted Marshmallow Filling

Makes enough to fill 18 cupcakes

8 large white marshmallows

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 stick butter at room temp

1/2 tsp vanilla

4 oz. marshmallow cream

pinch of salt

  • Place marshmallows on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place on lower rack of oven and broil marshmallows until nice and brown.  Be sure to keep an eye on them–they burn very, very quickly.  Combine butter and powdered sugar in electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, on low until blended (about 1 minute).  Add vanilla and mix on high for about 3 minutes.  Add marshmallow cream, toasted marshmallows, and salt, and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute.

Cupcake Assembly:

  • Once cupcakes are cool, cut a cone shape hole from the top center of the cupcake downward, using a sharp paring knife.

  • Using a small spoon or a piping bag fitted with a plain round piping tip, fill the cupcake hole with the toasted marshmallow filling until it’s level with the top of the cupcake.

  • Fill a large pastry bag  (fitted with decorative tip of your choice) about 2/3 full and swirl on the malted chocolate frosting in a circular motion, beginning on the outside rim and moving inward.
  • Top with real chocolate sprinkles and a malt candy like Whoppers.  *I toasted some smaller marshmallows and used those as my decoration on top.

  • The cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made, but these keep particularly well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  If you do refrigerate them, serve at room temperature.

Here’s what I love about these cupcakes:  The marshmallow filling is to die for!  Marshmallow filling is awesome any day, but toasted marshmallow filling?  Heck yes.

Here’s what I hate about these cupcakes:  The name.  Can we all agree that’s a really stupid name?

Coconut cupcakes and lots of grace

This past weekend I had the absolute honor of providing the cupcakes for a dear friend’s birthday party.  It was at Tetherow Golf Club here in beautiful Bend, Oregon.  While I know absolutely nothing about golf, I can say, without doubt, that this course is extraordinary.  It was designed by this guy who is absolutely brilliant.  The view from the club is breathtaking!

This is what I made the birthday guy to ring in year number 49!

Coconut cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting!

This great birthday guy is the husband of this great gal and they have one lovely family!  In the last couple of months their family has received news that has turned their world upside down.  And yet even in their darkest moments the love and grace of Jesus shines through any amount of fear, worry, or doubt that may be present.  They are a gem of a family, and Aaron and I feel blessed to be called their friends.  I hope these cupcakes made their family smile big!

If there’s one thing that has been made brilliantly clear to me especially in this past week through our own personal struggles, it’s this…when nothing else makes sense in the world, Jesus remains.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.~2 Cor. 12:9