Friday, December 31, 2010

It's a Mystery!

The idea of a mystery is super appealing to people of many different ages! So, a mystery birthday party is certainly worthy of your consideration!

No matter what age, choose an age appropriate mystery party, and let your guests solve the clues.

You can use traced footprints to lead them to clues around the house, and give each guest a mystery pack complete with magnifying glass and other mystery pieces. The first guest to solve the crime gets a special treat!

Hire someone to be "Sherlock Holmes" Your guests would really love that! Or better still, get the parents of your guests in on the scheme, and make them a part of the big mystery!

You can find more information for mystery parties here:

Party Goin' On!

What are you doing for New Year's Eve? Just planning a day with your family? Or are you going all out with a great big bash with your friends?
Here are some tips for a great night!

Have everyone write down a New Year's Resolution and throw them in a hat. Have someone randomly read them and everyone guess which one belongs to whom!

Plan your party theme around something that has meaning to everyone - like money! Decorate lightly, though, because it's safe to say that after midnight, you're not going to feel up to doing a lot of clean-up!

Make a pinata! Who says adults can't have fun with those? Fill them with adult contents and have a blast!

Whatever you choose to do tonight, remember to stay safe!
Have a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gooey Butter Cupcakes with Lemon and Strawberries

If you want something ooey and gooey, but with a little class, try these Gooey Butter Cupcakes with Lemon and Strawberries!!! Talk about fruity deliciousness! And aren't they beautiful? Read on to see the recipe!

1/2 cup of butter

1 box of yellow cake mix
3 eggs

8 oz of cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

4 cups of confectioners sugar

2 lemons

 Preheat oven to 350. Using cooking spray (Pam) spray a cupcake tin and the cupcake liners you intend to use, the batter sticks to anything and everything otherwise.  
Melt the butter, then mix it, along with one egg, into the cake mix to form a bulky dough. Press the dough into the prepared cupcake papers.
In a large bowl mix the cream cheese, almond extract, remaining 2 eggs, and sugar until thick and creamy. Spread over the tops of the yellow cake.
Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes or until brown on top. Allow cupcakes to cool. Cake will be gooey on top so be sure to not over bake.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cupcakes and serve with strawberries.

These are very rich cupcakes, so the lemon juice serves to counteract the sweetness and yields a beautiful masterpiece!

Ooey Gooey Cupcakes!



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder (for chocolate cupcakes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, cracked into a small cup or saucer
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Ooey-Gooey Filling:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • Chocolate Sauce, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin tin with 12 paper muffin-tin liners and place 4 paper muffin-tin liners inside another muffin tin. Add 2 tablespoons of water to each of the paperless muffin wells. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the remaining ingredients, adding the hot water last. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the paper muffin-tin liners.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut. Drop the cream cheese mixture into the center of the cupcakes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cupcakes rise and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle chocolate sauce over cupcakes when serving.

Chocolate Sauce:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a small, heavy saucepan, bring the cream to a bare simmer over low heat. Place the chocolate pieces in a medium bowl. Add the cream into the chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and whisk until the chocolate melts and the sauce thickens.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We all like a surprise every now and then, right? Well, why not surprise your guests with a little extra special cupcakes? On the outside, they look like an every day cupcake....but they're not!!! And they're super easy to make!

Chocolate Surprise-Filled Cupcakes

1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Prepare chocolate cake mix according to package directions for cupcakes.
  2. In separate bowl cream together cream cheese and sugar; beat in egg, mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers. Fill 2/3 full with chocolate cake batter. Add 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture to center and top with more cake mix.
  4. Bake according to directions for cupcakes. Cool and frost with chocolate or cream cheese frosting.
Makes 1 dozen cupcakes.

For a little twist, try this one!

Oreo Surpise!

1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 egg
2 Tbsp.  sugar
48 Mini OREO Bite Size Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
1-1/2 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

HEAT oven to 350°F.
PREPARE cake batter as directed on package. Mix cream cheese, egg and sugar until well blended.
SPOON half the cake batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Top each with about 1-1/2 tsp. cream cheese mixture and 1 cookie; cover with remaining cake batter.
BAKE 19 to 22 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
FROST with COOL WHIP. Top with remaining cookies. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cupcake Sleepover

As our kids get older, it becomes harder and harder to come up with ideas for birthday parties. Well, I've got one you may be interested in!
Host a Cupcake Sleepover!

Invite several of your daughter's best friends over to stay the night. Order pizza, popcorn, movie - the works. Then, as an added bonus for both you and your guests, go crazy with cupcakes!

Prior to the sleepover (or while your girls are going crazy in the next room) bake cucakes for a birthday party. Give them a good mixture of chocolate ones, vanilla, even lemon. After they've cooled, invite the girls into the kitchen where you've laid out all sorts of decorating stuff for the cupcakes! You can even provide pastry bags so they can try their hands at adding some filling. You can then have the family come over the following day for the birthday party and serve the cupcakes the girls decorated the night before!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snowman Cupcakes

Sometimes, we don't have to get all fancy to impress the guests - sometimes we just need a little boost in creativity!
Here is a really cute idea for a winter themed party - snowman cupcakes!

They're so easy to make. Simply make your favorite cupcake, cover with white icing, and do as follows:
1.Insert a toothpick halfway into the bottom and another halfway into the top of one large marshmallow. Place in the center of the cupcake. Insert one toothingpick into the top of another marshmallow, and place it over the first on the cupcake. Take a third marshmallow and cover the remaining toothpick. Decorated with your choice of icing, or candy and serve.
Have a wonderful day!

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

I found these the other day and thought they would be lovely around this time of the year....

12 waffle cones (2 to 2 1/2 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches long)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, perferably Dutch-process
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Invert two 9 1/2-by-3-inch disposable round foil baking pans. Using a craft knife or a paring knife, cut six X shapes in bottom of each, spacing them evenly, to make 1 1/2-inch openings. Fit a waffle cone snugly into each opening, standing the cones upright. Line each cone with parchment paper, and then place a dried bean or a hazelnut in bottom to prevent batter from leaking. Place pans and cones on parchment-lined baking sheets. Line a 12-cup mini-muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. With a mixer on low speed, gradually add egg mixture to flour mixture, beating until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and beat for 3 minutes. Carefully pour batter into cones, filling each two-thirds full. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons batter into each muffin cup (these will be the tree bases).   Bake until a skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for cones. Let cakes cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from cones and parchment. Let cool completely on the rack. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days before assembling.)

If necessary, use a serrated knife to trim top of each cupcake to create a flat surface. Place a dab of frosting on top of each cupcake, and position a cone cake on top. Insert toothpick through each cupcake base and into "tree" to support it (remember to remove toothpick before eating). Place frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip (such as Ateco #3) or a small plain 1/8-inch tip, and pipe frosting decoratively all over tree. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Trees can be refrigerated, uncovered, for up to 6 hours before serving.

Read more at Christmas Tree Cupcakes - Martha Stewart Recipes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Info About Wedding Cupcakes

Wedding cupcakes seem to be an "in" thing right now. Why? Because they're so easy to do and it doesn't require a major cake artist to accomplish, that's why! But how many do you make? Who is going to make them? Here is some information to help answer your questions.

Visit our other blog post for more ideas.

First, in order to answer the question, "How many?" you need to ask yourself a few more questions. How many guests are coming? Are they heavy eaters or dieters? Does the majority of them hit the food like a buffet or do they stick to serving portions? How many extra do you want to have as back-up, should some get dropped in the decorating process? Answer these questions, and you should know about how many. If you have 100 guests, and the majority of your friends and family diet frequently and watch what they eat, and you want say, 10 extra to cover mistakes, make about 120 - 130. If you have 100 guests that LOVE to eat and LOVE buffets, and you want 10 extra to cover mistakes, make 175 - 200. Get the idea?

Second, who is going to make them? You and your bridesmaids could make a big party of it if you'd like, or you may have a wonderful mother and grandmother that would do it. Just don't put them all on one person, or you may end up seeing grandma come to the wedded looking frizzed and frazzled!

Now, decide on cake flavors, frosting colors and how you're going to set up your beautiful cupcakes! Many people do the classic stacked wedding cake look with a stacked cupcake plate - which turns out beautiful!
Oh, and don't forget a small cake for the Bride and Groom to cut!

Good luck with wedding planning, and have a blessed life!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lots of love in the middle!

Forget just a plain cupcake! Fill the center with something ooey and gooey that will have your guests begging for seconds!
There are a couple different options for this surprist in the center - read on to pick one that suits you!

Icing Filled!
Kids love icing, so why not give them a bit more with this!

Step 1
Prepare a decorating bag with your icing filling and Round Decorating Tip 230; insert tip in top center of an uniced cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of filling. Or, use the Wilton Dessert Decorator, which includes a filling tip and an easy-to-control cylinder for adding just the right amount.
Step 2
Cut open your cupcake or take a bite and find a yummy surprise!

Jam Filled Center!
For Christmas cupcakes, try filling them with some beautiful strawberry jam! Or, choose your own favorite jam for the filling!

Step 1
Prepare a decorating bag with your jam filling and Round Decorating Tip 230; insert tip in top center of an uniced cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of filling. Or, use the Wilton Dessert Decorator, which includes a filling tip and an easy-to-control cylinder for adding just the right amount.
Step 2
Cut open your cupcake or take a bite and find a yummy surprise!

Stay tuned for more cupcake filling ideas and recipes!