Red, White & Blue

Better Than Poundcake, by local bakery Upper Crust, fresh berries from local farms, fresh cream from local dairy. Delicious patriotic dessert. Happy Summer!


Little Flowers for Spring!

These orange yogurt pound cakes are delicious. The recipe came from this book. I would have loved to have crafted something like these cuties, or these incredibly delicious looking candbury creme egg cupcakes (!!!), or even recreated these, but I am working with a 2 1/2 year old assistant, and I have a photo session today, so I needed to stick with something simple. And simple is just what this recipe is, everything in one stand mixer, no frosting required, though I will be serving them with fresh whipped cream, and the taste is simply delicious.


Double Rainbow Cake

I was recently reminded by a friend that I have a cupcake blog that has been significantly neglected for the past 2 1/2 years. I'll say. But I have been back to baking, here and there, and though I highly doubt I have any readers left, I figured I could start blogging about the baking I have been doing, whether or not it's cupcakes. So here it goes...

I cannot believe this baking accomplishment was not blogged immediately - I made it nearly six months ago. But it was a fabulous accomplishment and deserves to be recognized! The rainbow cake inspiration and instructions came from here, however I did not want to use a cake mix, so I used the Amy Sedaris vanilla cupcake recipe but added a little lemon juice and lemon oil to cover up the taste of the food dye (I used food gels), and I topped it with cream cheese frosting. It was a HUGE party success and made my little rainbow-loving 2-year-old very happy.

Next time I'll pay attention to which way is up and hopefully won't end up with upside down rainbows! I don't think she noticed though...

file this under "I want"

They have them at Costco!!!!!
[Update: File it under "I still want that!" - look a few blog posts down. A trip to Costco is clearly in order, as I am now reminded that I have wanted one for years!]


banana sour cream cakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting

I intended on using this recipe but got tired/lazy/blame-the-baby-late and ended up going with a box mix recipe from here, except instead of a pkg of powdered sugar for the frosting I used 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. They were absolutely delicious. One special little person especially loved them...


deep fried cupcake w/ chocolate sauce and sprinkles

I just recently discovered this blog (thanks Melanie!) and am loving each delicious, ahem, I mean disgusting, post. I thought I should share this one here. Enjoy!


Happy Valentine's Day!

This is how I said Happy Valentine's Day (a day early) to my husband last night. What's better than coming home to a plate of cupcakes?! Easy chocolate cake, raspberry cream cheese frosting, sprinkles and picks from Target. Simple and simply delicious!


It is Time for Change, and Cookies...

Michelle Obama's Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon each orange and lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto (almond liqueur)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg white
  • Chopped nuts or dried fruit (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix together butter and 1 ½ cups of sugar.
Add egg yolks one at a time and beat until smooth.
Stir in flour, zest, amaretto and salt, and mix only until everything is incorporated.
Spread dough evenly onto baking pan and brush top of dough with egg white and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle with nuts or fruit if desired.
Bake until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes. Cool for a short time, then cut while still warm.


I'm baaaaack...

Well, sorta. Not really. I'm not even totally sure what to do here. Maybe I'll bake something once a month and blog it, but will anyone even look? I'm not baking cupcakes like I used to, I'm not doing anything like I used to. I really just need a place to reflect upon and store my recipes. So I'll be back from time to time with party cakes and other baked treats.

These baby cakes were my first attempt at cupcaking postpartum so I went to super easy cheater's route - I bought a box of Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix and used butter instead of oil and milk instead of water. Oh and added a splash of vanilla. I frosted with the super easy cheater's buttercream (1 stick unsalted butter, splashes of vanilla and milk, confectioner's sugar until it is right).

I was asked recently for some help in the cheater's cake department - someone was requesting homemade cupcakes but the baker didn't have time for all that nonesense. Here are the tips I have, that I know I have given here before but will repeat just so I have something else to say while I'm here.

Cheater's Baking Tips:

Use a boxed cake mix and add a box of pudding - I prefer Duncan Hines Devil's Food with chocolate fudge pudding, Duncan Hines Strawberry with vanilla pudding, or any mix that doesn't come with the pudding already in it, then you get to add the pudding yourself (it's better, I promise).

Use melted butter instead of oil.

Use one of the following instead of water: milk, buttermilk, 1/2 sour cream 1/2 milk, coffee, white wine (really! you don't taste it and it makes it nice and moist).

Soup it up with spices - cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, lemon or lime zest, get creative

Add flavor bombs - chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips add a surprise inside - or you can add sprinkles and make your own confetti cake

Frost with easy cream cheese frosting - 2 sticks cream cheese, 1 unsalted butter, confectioner's sugar to taste; lighten with milk if you need to. Add vanilla, almond extract, a pint of raspberries or blueberries, pomegranate juice, flavored syrup, or just brighten it up with food coloring.

Use pretty cupcake liners. Put your cupcake tins on baking sheets so the bottoms don't burn. What else? I don't remember, I haven't even finished my coffee.



cupcake in a jar

this is f-ing genius! it's almost as good a gift as this. merry x-mas, or whatever you celebrate!



maternity leave

Alright folks, I'm officially going on maternity leave from this blog. I've been slacking on the cupcake blogging (and baking) for most of my pregnancy, but as of now I am officially done, until, you know, I feel up to it again, which will likely be in 2008. We shall see.

I was happy to discover this morning that the one true Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson, is coming out with a new cookbook of quick recipes called Nigella Express one month after my due date. Thank you Nigella. If I do any cooking at all in the coming months, the recipes are sure to be quick and easy ones, so they may as well be tasty, and you know, accompanied by fabulous photos (as all Nigella recipes are). I've already placed a copy on hold at the library. Yay!

Maybe next year around this time I'll be crafting up a cupcake costume like the one seen above, but for now I'll leave you with the darling photo (she's so cute!) and article with instructions from Wondertime Magazine.

Happy Halloween, and all the holidays that follow until I return.
And, of course, happy cupcaking! xoxo


Cupcake Jones

My husband picked me up from work on Friday with a trio of cupcakes from Portland's new Cupcake Jones and roses (!!) 3 days before our anniversary (I was having a bad pregnancy day). He really is the best.

The cupcakes were beautiful, unfortunately I dropped them as soon as we got home. I managed to get a couple of good shots of them anyway, but they really were much much more beautiful pre-drop.

Here's what we tried:

Mimosa: orange yogurt cake pastry cream, filled with orange champagne pastry cream, topped with champagne buttercream and a strawberry "floating" on top

Downtown Chocolate Brown: delicious devil’s food cake filled with sour cream chocolate ganache, topped with rich fudge icing and fresh grated chocolate

S'mores Please: rich chocolate cake with fresh made marshmallows melted in the center, topped with rich fudge icing, graham crackers, and homemade toasted marshmallows

I really really wanted cupcakes, but I probably shouldn't have eaten any. I was having a sick day and I should have avoided heavy sweets. But I didn't, I ate the Mimosa (how could I not?). Unfortunately it's hard to review a cupcake that made you sick (which it did), but I will say this, the cake was very moist and dense (which I love) and, different. I don't know how else to say it. It wasn't your standard fluffy cake, and I loved it. Just a hint of orange, and filled with a yummy orangey filling. Now the description says "topped with champagne buttercream" but I don't know, after nearly 8 months of not drinking I think I'd be able to detect champagne, and I didn't. The frosting was really heavy and possibly what made me so nauseas, so I probably shouldn't review it at all. It tasted like cream whipped to almost butter. I would probably love it as the normal me, but the pregnant me thought it was too rich and heavy. I didn't try the DTCB but Matt declared it "super chocolatey" and "yummy." It looked it. The S'mores sat in the fridge for two days until this morning when he decided to eat it. I sliced off a little bite and will say that the cake didn't have the chocolate cake problems I've discussed in past posts, it wasn't dry after being in our fridge for two days, and the creamy filling was the way you want a hostess filling to taste (really yummy, not gross-out yummy). The chocolate fudge frosting was perfect perfect perfect, just the kind you want on top of a homemade yellow cake, which unfortunately they don't make at Cupcake Jones! Like the hostessy middle, the fudgey frosting tastes how you think the frosting in a can should taste. It's the real version of that and it is oh so good. So yeah, I'll be going back to Cupcake Jones when I'm feeling better. They're fancy and expensive, but I'm impressed thusfar and I'm really enticed by their menu (especially the Almond Joy, Black Forest, Belmont Berry and most intriguing, rose-water flavored Rose City).

they were so pretty and then...


cupcake heaven

The Cupcake Heaven cupcake tree, by Wilton. It was anything but heaven to put this thing together - it took multiple attempts, three people (at once), and a hammer, but we got it! The cupcakes are peanut butter chip dipped in chocolate, always a crowd please. The recipe can be found here.


Amy & Her Cupcakes

Apparently the every so fabulous Amy Sedaris hostessed the signing for Todd Oldham's new book, Charley Harper, last night at Barneys in New York. And being the hostess with the mostess, she brought cupcakes. She really couldn't be much cuter.

(photo: Getty Images)



Sorry, kids, I haven't been baking, at all, so I'm sticking to blog posts about cupcake related items for the time being. I'll whip up a batch of something yummy soon, I promise.

Fabulous covered cupcake bowls - and a steal at $15!



Those William Sonoma geniuses are at it again.
I love
this cupcake tin!
Love love love it.

Happy Tuesday.


Saint Cupcake - Part 3

As any Posy Party Cakes reader knows, my first visit to Saint Cupcake was disappointing, my second was much less so, I actually liked most of what I ate and started to turn the corner on my Saint Cupcake dislike (and jealousy). Well, as noted in the post below, I had a cupcake-mergency on Thursday that required an immediate cupcake injection. I met my husband at Saint Cupcake after work for a pre-dinner dessert treat. While there (sitting outside on a lovely evening) I had Pumpkin Spice, which if I've had before. The Pumpkin Spice is heavier on the spice than the pumpkin, but it's nice and moist (like all St. C cupcakes, they don't lack moisture). The Pumpkin Spice is topped with cream cheese frosting that is good basic cream cheese frosting. I think it was a little sour the first time I went there, but it's either been improved upon or I just hit a bad day (or started it with a sour taste in my mouth!). Because I was in such a state that one cupcake (full size!) would not satisfy, we got four more to go. I didn't taste my husband's choices (all chocolate based) so I can't report on those, but here's what I'll say about what I did eat (oh and how cute is that cupcake carrier?!!):

Fat Elvis: There's more to love than the clever name. This is their signature banana pound cake with chocolate chips (we at Posy's Party Cakes call them "flavor bombs"), topped with peanut butter fudge frosting. While I don't love peanut butter, and would prefer this cake without it, the peanut butter fudge is good. Again, I'd say too peanut buttery and that the pb flavor over powered the yummy banana, but I'm probably the only one with this complaint. Though I think I prefer a chocolate cream cheese on banana cake, this is yummy nonetheless.

Turtle: Perfectly described by St. C as "chocolate cupcake coated with gooey caramel, topped with a toasted pecan, then drenched in hot fudge," I have saved the best for last! GOOD GOLLY I could eat these all day. Maybe I've said it before, I don't think this is the best chocolate cake I've ever had, but who cares? This caramel topping is like a melted praline from New Orleans. It is the most perfect homemade caramel taste and is only made more perfect by drizzling that delicious hot fudge across the top. And those pecans? They just make it better. I am really in love with this cupcake and in awe of Saint Cupcake for creating it. I will def have to go back for another!

One note on the chocolate cake - why does it seem that often in homemade chocolate cake recipes you can taste the flour more than the chocolate? This is a problem, no? It is for me. Luckily the topping on the Turtle is so delicious it covers up that problem, and this isn't just a Saint Cupcake problem either, I've had this happen before and I don't understand it. Increase the chocolate!!!

Ok, but clearly, the bottom line is, I can't bad-mouth Saint Cupcake anymore, and now, I just want to try all the other flavors I haven't had. Like, um, now!


cupcakes more fattening than pizza

I heard this on NPR today and found it to be hi-larious! Based on the report, I'm lead to believe you could have one Magnolia cupcake and a slice of pizza and be A-OK! Just avoid the giant cupcakes at Crumbs, right? Oh whatever, we all know cupcakes aren't diet friendly, they're just cute and delicious. So rather than letting this sway me from cupcakes, it just made me hungry for them. And because I'm pregnant I can't just think "oh that sounds yummy." Nope. I have to sit here thinking about cupcakes all afternoon. AND because I'm pregnant, I'm too tired to even think about whipping up a batch, but not too tired to make a stop by Saint Cupcake on my way. Hope ya'll have a yummy evening, I know I will...

ps I didn't take this photo, it's by Mike Pesca and swiped from the NPR article linked above, it was just too fab not to re-post!


jungle boogie

i'm not totally sure that there are lions, monkeys and pandas in the jungle, but whatev, babies sure don't seem to care. here are some pretty goofy jungle cakes i made for a little monkey's first birthday...

real monkey cakes these were not. i just made easy chocolate cupcakes with easy cream cheese frosting. however, i wanted to make the monkeys with banana cakes and chocolate cream cheese frosting, but i ran out of time. so on sunday i whipped up a batch (because i've been craving them since i went to tribeca treats) and they were deeeeelish! i used chockylit's recipe for banana cakes found here, but i didn't do any of here fancy additions. i just used the basic cake recipe and added a couple teaspoons of toasted cinnamon. and i used some defrosted chocolate cream cheese frosting that i made sometime last year. these cupcakes were so good i think i'll be whipping up yet another batch as soon as these are gone. i may add pecans, or chocolate chips, or both.


Tribeca Treats

tribeca treats, a bakery and party supply store, hmmm... exactly what i should have done a year ago. i hear there's a place in seattle now that sells yummy flavored cupcakes and vintage party supplies. you know when you say "we should open a/start a/do a___" and then you don't do it. someone else does, they do it right, and you could just _____? well that's how i feel. but oh well, i have a much bigger project on my hands (or rather, in my belly) and can't worry much about couldawouldashouldas. so anyways, the treats:

red velvet, not fabulous, but tastyish. good density, moist, etc., just not the yummiest. but their cream cheese frosting was done to perfection. and though you might think that's easy, many places over sweeten. no sugarbitus here.

ok, so a little disappointed with the red velvet, but the banana cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting? perfection! the cake wasn't fakey banana, but delicious fresh banana cake, like banana bread, but not so dense, and topped with perfect (better than2 G's!) chocolate cream cheese frosting. oooooweeee, i'm going to have to replicate this one!

some flavors i didn't try - pbj (left) and chocolate caramel (right)

and they make the cutest birthday cakes! i hope jack enjoyed his rocket ship!

and the party supplies were fab too, though not a huge selection, what they did have was cute and clever, and they have a great selection of cards too!


buckle up!

(photo from marthastewart.com -
I forgot my camera but swear mine looked
almost identical,without the
powdered sugar)

Last night, at the request of a birthday tyrant for "something raspberry," I whipped up a raspberry buckle ala Martha Stewart. You can find the recipe here. It was super duper easy and even more delish. I served it with fresh whipped cream. It was a huge success and led the group of us to discuss future buckles. Marion berries were mentioned, which would be yummy. I'm thinking dark chocolate and sour cherries. Or rhubarb. Martha has a peach buckle recipe that calls for cinnamon and almonds (yum!). There will definitely be more buckles to come...


Drunken Irish Cakes

In honor of good ole Saint Patrick, I whipped up some drunken Irish cupcakes. Easy, tasty, and boozey, these cakes are a perfect way to celebrate.

Dark Chocolate Fudgey Guinness Cakes

1 box Dunken Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 box Jello brand Devil's Food flavor instant pudding
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs
1 1/3 cup Guinness

Mix it all up, put in it your cupcake liners, bake at 350 for approx. 20 minutes.

Irish Cream Cheese Frosting

2 sticks cream cheese (I use the low fat)
1 stick unsalted butter
about 3/4 box powdered sugar (to taste)
1 little airline size bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream

Frost, decorate, serve, do a jig!


Happy Valentimes!

Lazy cupcakes here folks. I bought the Duncan Hines Red Velvet box mix, which turns your tongue, teeth and fingers red. I mixed up 1 pkg cream cheese, 1 c. sugar, 1 egg and 1/2 bag mini chocolate chips. Set it aside, mix up cake batter according to box, fill cups 2/3 full, drop a dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the center (or try, like I did, to make hearts, it didn't work out so well). Bake for 25 minutes. Sweet!


i heart brownie edges

this is brilliant!

I was just asking myself the same thing...

This was the cover of the Oregonian's FoodDay on Tuesday. I've been wondering the same thing myself (and had guessed/hoped it was pie). Layer cake and Madeleines? I dunno. I do know that when I started this blog I did it out of my love of baking and requests from friends to make my recipes accessible. I've loved cupcakes since childhood and always preferred making them over making a big layer cake, for special occasions and whatnot. But I'm a little burnt out. I'm sure you've noticed, as I seem to post more about baking-related things rather than baking myself. I have a few recipes up my sleeve that I want to test out. And I'm by no means quitting, but I may start blogging about baking things other than cupcakes. Whaddya think?

I thought this was the best part of the Oregonian article:

Five recent baking obsessions

Muffins: A staple of early 1990s coffee breaks with wide-ranging variations, from super-sized cakey monstrosities from warehouse stores, to pop-in-your-mouth mini sizes. Their popularity made big sellers out of special pans producing just the muffin tops.

Bagels: Though frozen bagels had been widely available since the 1970s, they reached critical mass only in the mid-'90s, when chains like Noah's and Einstein Bros. made freshly baked varieties widely available. Sales dropped significantly in 2002, as low-carb dieting became a national obsession.

Scones: Starbucks is directly responsible for the ultra-sweet updating on this Scottish biscuit. In the late '90s, the coffee giant began filling its bakery cases with dense cookielike pastries filled with cranberries, blueberries, nuts and what-have-you. These days, they're touting "healthy" multigrain versions with zero grams trans fat. Not surprisingly, they aren't very good.

Doughnuts: Oddly, while Americans were shunning bagels during the Atkins era, we were also obsessing about sugar-glazed rings from Krispy Kreme. When outlets arrived in Oregon in 2003, customers lined up for hours for the sweet treats. Interest waned in 2005 as the brand's cult following faded. In the end, it was a very good doughnut, but it was still just a doughnut.

Cupcakes: The recent return of these staples of the '60s and '70s inspired best-selling cookbooks, specialized baking equipment, even the popular blog Cupcakes Take the Cake on the Internet (http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com). The resurgence gave legions of home cooks new uses for all those muffin pans they bought in the '90s.

-- Grant Butler


go here now

just a quick post to say: go to cupcake bakeshop or vanilla garlic and admire all the creativity! i mean, these baking masters have some crazy delicious recipes on their sites, and now they've kicked off this contest bringing out all the crazy cupcake heads. the 60+ recipes have my head spinning. i don't know which recipe i will try first! avocado?!! cuba libre? vanilla saffron, figs and mascarpone, lemon curd & whiskey? pear walnut and cardamom?


A Yummy Smelling Valentine's Gift?

new from philosophy - red velvet and buttercream frosting 3 in one shampoos (hair, body and bath). i'm gonna git me some.



Stay Super Sweet!

Over at Fred Flare you can get a hand-made by Amy Sedaris FAKE CAKE! There's only one of each color, and they are expensive. But they're made by and SIGNED by Amy! I think I'll stick to baking real cakes, it's much cheaper and yummier, but I might have to order some of these overpriced Amy Sedaris Jimmies. Cute!