When I started this silly blog I thought it was just going to be a spot for my friends to easily access my recipes (and where I could show off my cupcakes photos). Now it seems I've delved into the cupcake obsession and can't find my way out! I couldn't resist posting about this website because it is oh so cute and clever, and because you can custom order a cupcake pendant with the colors AND SCENT of your choice. The creator of Pancake Meow is a genius, and currently my hero.


Saint Cupcake - A Completely Biased Review

Yesterday I ventured out to Saint Cupcake, Portland's first exclusive cupcake bakery (something Tones & Bepo should have done first!). Upon entering I was very very impressed, in fact, I was jealous. If I were to open a cupcake bakery it would have looked just like Saint Cupcake. Their color scheme (pink & brown), the polka dot molding, the frilly font and cute story of Saint Cupcake, and the aqua colored formica tables. Saint Cupcakes looks the part. They serve good coffee (stumptown) and very wisely offer bite-sized "dots" in addition to full sized cupcakes. Each day Saint Cupcakes offers up a different selection of flavors. I decided to try the three that sounded most interesting: Big Top (said to taste like a chocolate chip cookie & cupcake combined), Hot Fudge and Toasted Coconut Cream. I ate the Big Top first and was disappointed. The cake is just a simple vanilla cupcake, nowhere near as good as Magnolia's, with chocolate chips and a somewhat sour cream cheese frosting. Pretty, but not so tasty. Next I ate the Hot Fudge, which I was most excited about. I loved the frosting, it was perfectly hot fudge like - I have got to figure out how to make one of my own. But the cake was the same boring vanilla cake. I feel a cupcake called Hot Fudge should be all fudgey. It was pointed out to me that maybe it is supposed to be like a hot fudge Sunday, vanilla with hot fudge sauce, but if that is true the cake needs to taste more like vanilla ice cream and less like a boxed white cake. The last, and what had most potential, was the Toasted Coconut Cream cupcake. Great idea! As a matter of fact I'm going to start working up a recipe, because I love this idea. The cake is supposed to be vanilla toffee, but didn't taste any different than the boring vanilla of the others. The creamy frosting was good, but not coconuty enough, just sweet and creamy with some toasted coconut shreds on top. Overall I was very let down by Saint Cupcake. I was told by friends who'd visited before me that mine are better, but I thought they were just being good friends. Based on only the three flavors I tasted, I would have to agree that my cupcakes do indeed taste better. And I have no doubt that there are many, many, many cupcake bakers out there that are WAY better than me, I'm just having fun with baking. But it seems to me that an exclusively cupcake bakery should offer outstanding cupcakes. I should have been jealous of not just the look and feel of the place, but of their genius cupcakes as well. But I was underwhelmed and sad. Of course, that won't stop me from returning to Saint Cupcake and testing all of the flavors. Once I have done that I feel I can give a real review.


Still no camera cord

I am still unable to post any new photos but will have the issue resolved by the end of today. Until then, here is a photo of how you can make Silver Cupcakes colorful (these were for Easter 2004, more on Easter cupcakes to come!).

Oh! I'll be making my first trip to Saint Cupcake today - scientific research purposes of course - will report back and post photos by tomorrow. Promise!


Dark Red Roses

Beautiful and delicious! Seriously, I'm tooting my own horn on this one, these Dark Red Velvet cakes were quite possibly the best little cakes I've ever made. I reviewed numerous recipes and adapted them into my own by tweaking the things I think should be different. What follows is just about the yummiest thing you'll ever taste in cupcake form. Their only truly rival maybe being the Lemon Drop Cupcakes.

Dark Red Velvet Cakes
2 c. sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 eggs
1/4 c. dark chocolate cocoa powder
1-2 ounces red food coloring, depending on how red you want them
2 1/4 c. all purposecake flour
1 dash salt
1 c. buttermilk
1-2 Tbsp. Godiva Liquer
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until well blended/creamed
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between
  • Mix in the cocoa powder and red food coloring
  • Add flour and salt alternately with buttermilk, in 3 segments
  • Add chocolate liquer
  • In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture
  • Pour batter into tins, liners, whatever you're baking in
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes, 25-30 for mini bundts, 30-35 for cake pans
Oh my they are so good I want to go whip up onther batch! YUM



Well I didn't get around to making St. Patrick's day cupcakes but I saw a lot of them online and I didn't like the way most of them looked. Here's my favorite, made by Martha, of course (or more than likely a Martha slave). You can find her recipe on her website or you can make the super delicious Magnolia Bakery recipe for Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes (below) and decorate them with a shamrock/clover and save yourself from having to eat more green food coloring. OR you could make any chocolate cupcake recipe substituting the required liquid with Guiness and top it with a cream cheese frosting and a clover or two.

Have a fun beer drinkin' evening! I promise to get to work on some of my own this weekend and post a pretty one by Monday.


Silver Shower Cakes

silver cupcakes are perfect for a wedding shower
but can also be frosted in any color and served at any party
they are especially delicious when baked for you on your birthday by a special girl named Juniper

  • 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 2/3 c. butter, room temp
  • 1-2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 5 egg whites
  1. heat oven to 350
  2. beat all ingredients except egg whites in large bowl at low speed for about 2 minutes
  3. pour in egg whites and then beat on high for at least 2 minutes
  4. pour into cupcake tins (lined with silver foils) and bake for 20-25 minutes
Ingri's Creamy Frosting:
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • about 2 tbps milk
mix powdered sugar and butter, add vanilla and milk until right texture, food coloring, sprinkles, whatever you like

*silver cupcakes are also delicious when made in mini bite size form*

easy & delicious chocolate party cakes

  • 1 box Pillsbury devil's food cake mix (or any devil's food mix that has 1 c. pudding in ingredients)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup coffee, room temp (use more or less depending on how mocha-like you want them, just make sure that you compensate with the milk/water so you end up with 1 1/4 c. liquid)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or water)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  1. Bake according to box instructions, but start testing 5 minutes before earliest time and continue checking every 2 minutes.
  2. Frost with regular cream cheese frosting colored however you like, rocking raspberry cream cheese frosting (my favorite) or 2 G's frosting for extra chocolatey goodness.

rockin raspberry cream cheese frosting

2 pkgs Neufchatel cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1 container raspberries
1/2 lb confectioner's sugar (that's 1/2 of one box)
1-2 tbsp raspberry liquer

beat it all together in your Kitchen Aid, slop it into a pastry bag, chill in fridge for at least one hour, slather onto cupcakes (I like it on chocolate cakes the best) and enjoy.


tips for a perfect cupcake

There are no rules, or even guidelines for making the perfect cupcake. I've received tips from a cupcake extraordinaire, feedback from friends, and just general trial and error, and this is what I've discovered helps to make for a perfect cupcake:

  • always double the vanilla (unless you're following one of my recipes b/c I've already doubled). AND for the love of cupcakes use good bourbon vanilla (I like the Madagascar bourbon vanilla). Trader Joe's is a good place to find good, not too expensive vanilla (and other extracts)
  • use booze (substitute wine or liquor when it calls for water)
  • keep it moist (add milk, sour cream, pudding mix, buttermilk, crushed pineapple, juice...)
  • use melted butter instead of oil
  • don't overbeat (unless making silver cakes)
  • don't burn the bottoms -- keep your cupcake tins on top of cookie sheets and start testing 5-10 minutes before recipe says too
  • when a recipe calls for self rising flour cut the amount in half and use half all purpose flour (to avoid tunneling)
  • substitute yummy liquers or other extracts (lemon, orange, mint, cherry, almond) for vanilla
  • spice up a cake mix with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, coffee, vanilla/extracts, booze, melted chocolate... be creative and don't be scared
  • when making cream cheese frosting, use light (Neufchatel) instead of regular, it is less heavy and makes for tastier frosting


If I was a drink I'd be a LEMON DROP


  • 1 1/2 c. Self Rising Flour
  • 1 1/4 c. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon extract
  1. Prehead oven to 350
  2. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with pretty papers or foils
  3. In a small bowl, combine flours and set aside.
  4. In your Kitchen Aid (or large mixing bowl) on medium speed, cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts alternating with wine, juice and extract. Be careful not to overbeat.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cakes completely before icing them with lemon buttercream frosting (see recipe for frosting under Strawberry Lemonade recipe)
Decorate with lemon drop candies or thin slices of lemon jellies

Tropical Carrot Cakes

These cakes are from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook, with a few minor changes - I've put in the parenthesis what they recommend. Enjoy!


  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. melted butter (Magnolia calls for oil)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar (Magnolia says 1 3/4)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla (Magnlia says 1 1/2)
  • 2 c. freshly grated carrots (I use a bit more)
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 c. coarsley chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Fill your cupcake tin with pretty liners
  3. In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  4. In your Kitchen Aid on medium speed beat together melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a timeand beat until light and thick, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until well incorporated. Stir in the carrots, pineapple and juice, pecans, and coconut.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 full with batter
  6. Begin testing after 15 minutes and continue to test every 2 minutes until done
  7. Frost with tropical cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
Tropical Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 pkgs light cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2-1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp pineapple juice concentrate
  • confectioners sugar to taste (about 2 cups)
Chill frosting until it becomes the consistency that you want.

I decorated these with a sprinkling of toasted pecans (and colored the frosting to a shade of pale green with a little food coloring). You could also top them with lovely candy carrots (which can be found at
Confectionery House).

If you feel a tropical overload just make regular cream cheese frosting (use recipe above minus cinnamon, coconut, and juice)


Strawberry Lemonade


1 pkg Strawberry cake mix
1 recipe lemon buttercream frosting

Follow directions on cake box except:
replace 1 1/3 cups water with 1 c. rose (pink) wine and 1/3 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice

let cool completely then heap on the frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter (unsalted) softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil/essence/extract
  • a few drops yellow food coloring
  • fresh lemon zest (if you must)

Mix it all together in a kitchen aid - you may need to use more or less confectioners' sugar, just remember that the cakes are super sweet.

Confetti Cakes

Devil Ducky Confetti Cakes:
  • 1 box confetti cake mix (follow directions)
  • 1 batch cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
  • brightly colored edible confetti
  • mini devil ducky pencil toppers (I found them at Archie McPhee)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 pkgs light cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • confectioner sugar to taste (about 2 cups)

Mix it all together until in a kitchen aid, add confectioner sugar until it tastes good (remember when using boxed cake mix the cakes will be sweet so you don't want the the frosting to be too sweet).

Vanilla Vanilla from Magnolia Bakery

The Cakes:

· 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

· 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

· 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

· 2 cups sugar

· 4 large eggs, at room temperature

· 1 cup milk

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I double it)

  1. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from tins and cool completely on cooling rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

· 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

· 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar (I only use 4-5)

· 1/2 cup milk

· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.