Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes

I saw this idea on Pinterest and just knew I had to do it. I made a vanilla cupcake and added cinnamon. Then made a whipped cream cheese frosting and added crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Yum!!

Cupcakes (Makes about 18)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • **1 3/4 cups cake flour (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
**Cake flour: I didn't have cake flour so I made my own. For every cup of all-purpose flour you use, take out 2 Tbs. and add 2 Tbs. of cornstarch. Transferring from one bowl to the next, sift the flour and cornstarch about 4 times until it is really fine.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla.
  3. Using a spatula or fork, mix together well to break up any clumps created from the vanilla.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the sugar and vanilla mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  9. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. 
  10. Add in cinnamon.
  11. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  12. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. 


  •  1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • **1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  **2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • **1 1/2 cups crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
**The recipe I originally saw called for a lot less vanilla and sugar. It didn't taste all that great so I just kept adding vanilla and sugar until it tasted right. I'm not totally sure these are the right amounts but it's my best guess based on how much I think I added. I didn't measure out the cereal but I'm pretty sure it's around 1 1/2 cups. Really, it's all a matter of taste so you may prefer more or less of each of these ingredients.
  1. In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream. 
  3. Mix in crushed cereal.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baby Boy Cupcakes

A co-worker asked me last week to make cupcakes for a baby shower she was hosting. I was so excited because this was the first time I was making cupcakes for an event for someone other than myself.

I found the cutest little cookie cutter from Hobby Lobby and used brown fondant for the decorations. I thought they turned out really cute!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Girl Scout Thin Mint Cupcakes

One word...Bombdiggity! That's what one of my students said when I made these cupcakes for his class this week. I'm going to agree. They're pretty good....pretty, darn good!

I used my normal dark chocolate cupcake recipe but added 10 crushed Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies to the batter. I frosted the cupcakes with mint cream cheese frosting and then crushed 8 more cookies and put them on top. Recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.


Mint Creme Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 box confectioner's sugar (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 tsp. peppermint extract
  • green food coloring (optional)
1. Beat together cream cheese and butter with paddle attachment until well blended.
2. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts.
3. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time until you like the sweetness.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

9 Months Old!

So I think the craziest thing about having a 9 month old is realizing that she has been in my life for the same amount of time that she was growing inside me. That's just crazy! Here are her 9 month updates.

The biggest thing that I have seen this month is that Blakely has become a lot more interactive. She has started clapping her hands when Kevin and I say "Yay!" It is the cutest thing. She is also beginning to roll her hands when we sing "Pat-a-Cake."

Riding in my car!
She has started eating finger snacks and her favorites are the Gerber Yogurt snacks. I've also tried feeding her some whole foods in the past week to get her use to not eating baby food. The other day, I gave put some whole peas on her high chair for her to try. I was really excited to see how she would do with food that was not mashed. Now, Blakely has never really been a fan of peas so I'm not sure why I thought whole peas would be any different than mashed ones. She put one in her mouth and made the funniest face. Then she tried chewing it but was so disgusted by the taste that she wasn't giving it much effort. I turned my head away for just a second and when I looked back at her she was leaning over and spitting the pea into her lap. She quickly looked back up at me and kept chewing. It was hilarious!! Although I know my daughter's a genius, I'm sure she isn't advanced enough to try and trick Mommy yet. But it was sure funny to watch.

She has become a crawling machine and will go from one side of the room to another in no time. My mother-in-law has used this to her advantage and Kevin and I have also started doing this at home. Blakely's never been a great napper so my MIL has now started making Blakely crawl to whatever she wants. If she needs a diaper change, she has to crawl to her room. A bottle? Yep, she has to crawl to get that as well. All the crawling tires her out so much that now she is starting to sleep better during the day.

Speaking of sleeping, she's still not sleeping through the night. I don't feed her anymore when she wakes up but instead put her in bed with us. She falls right back to sleep and it's great Mommy/Blakely cuddle time. I know I will probably regret making this a habit for her but she's small for only a short time and having her near us for part of the night is really special.
She's starting to stand up when she's in the bed or any other soft surface. I think she gets scared on the hardwood floors and try as I might, she will not stand up on them. I know this will come as she gets more comfortable.

Her main fascinations right now are the remote control, my cell phone, my glasses, and any kind of cord. Yep, I think it's time to start baby proofing. If there is a cord anywhere in the house, she will find it and chew on it. Because of this, any time I leave the room I have to make sure she's in her playpen so she doesn't chew on them while I'm gone.

Thank you God for this beautiful gift! Blakely, we love you!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lexie Kate's Alphabet Book

 I found this incredibly adorable idea on Pinterest and just had to do it for my niece Lexie Kate's birthday. She will be 1 year old tomorrow and I thought this would be the perfect way to document her first year of life. Plus, she loves to look at books so I knew she would love looking at herself in the book.  It was super easy to put together and only cost about $35.
I added the text to the pictures using Picasa and then created the book using Blurb. Also, I found a $10 off coupon for the book just by searching online.
Here are some of my favorite pictures.

This is by far my favorite!!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cupcakes

I wanted to make strawberry cupcakes for Lexie Kate's birthday and came across several recipes online. I combined them and then made some changes to make them fit exactly what I was looking for. These cupcakes are divine and although I'm usually not a strawberry fan, they might be one of my favorite cupcakes so far.

Cupcakes (Makes about 18)
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream.
4. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor.
5. Fold the strawberry mixture into the batter.
6. Bake for 14-20 minutes. (My oven cooks quickly so I do 14 minutes but adjust time according to your oven.)
7. Scoop the middle out of the cupcakes with a small spoon (I use a melon baller) and put in a small amount of strawberry mousse.
8. Pipe on the frosting with a piping bag and a 2M tip from Wilton.
9. Enjoy!!

Strawberry Mousse Filling

  • 3-4 cups of frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
1. In a food processor, combine strawberries and sugar; cover and process until smooth.
2. Add in pudding mix.
3. Put mixture into a bowl and fold in Cool Whip.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cups of confectioners sugar (I prefer my frosting not too sweet so I use 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt

1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add vanilla and whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Add salt.