Girl's Weekend Rum and Cherry Coke Cupcakes

Monday, April 23, 2012

I few weeks ago I hosted some friend's from out of town.  It made for a wonderful girl's weekend with many fun memories.  The coordinator of the weekend was my dear friend Kellie, who's birthday we would also be celebrating.  When deciding what cupcakes to make for Kellie, Cherry Coke was one of my initial thoughts.  How to make them into girl's weekend cupcakes?  Rum!  Lucky for me, I had recently purchased a new cookbook (as if I didn't have enough!) that was sure to provide the perfect recipe (with just a few changes).

The title says it all, "Intoxicated Cupcakes 41 Tipsy Treats".  I think there will be more recipes being made from this book soon!  Check it out HERE if interested in getting your own copy.  I started with the Rum and Cola Cupcakes recipe:

Rum and Cola Cupcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/3 cups sugar

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup butter-flavor shortening, cut into small pieces

2/3 cup buttermilk

½ cup cola

¼ cup rum

1 large egg

2 egg yolks from large eggs

1.        Preheat oven to 350.  Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners.  Set aside.

2.       In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and cocoa.  Set aside.
3.       In a large bowl, beat the shortening, buttermilk, cola and rum.  Add the egg and yolks, one at a time.  When well mixed, add the flour mixture and beat for an additional 2 minutes, or until smooth.
4.       Pour the batter into the prepared cups.  Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.

Above are all original ingredients from the cookbook.  For the cola, I used Cherry Coke.  The cherry flavor wasn't as strong as I would have liked but I would make up for it in the frosting.  I was working around a red dye #40 allergy otherwise I would have added some maraschino cherry syrup for a burst of cherry flavor.  Do you remember the frosting I shared at the beginning of the month?  My Favorite Frosting recipe is what I used to top these cupcakes.  I simply added black cherry spreadable fruit and a bit of rum.  Again, maraschino cherry syrup would also work quite well to add cherry flavor but I think this black cherry spread added a nice cherry flavor without being too sweet.

I decided to add a bit of sparkle to these cupcakes.  I've seen disco dust used before by Amanda Cupcake (she makes amazing sparkly cupcakes!) and decided to give it a try for myself.  I dried the excess liquid off maraschino cherries and then rolled them in the disco dust.  I thought they made the perfect toppers for a girl's weekend treat!

The weekend also included a hike at a near by nature preserve where we learned how maple syrup was made and a beer and wine festival where many samples were had.  The cherry one top?  Spending time with friends, old and new.  

Happy Earth Day

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How are you celebrating Earth Day?  I'm taking a break from cupcakes to give you a glimpse of an awesome project my sister did this week with her 6th grade students.  They decorated paper grocery bags in celebration of Earth Day.  Today they are being used at the local Piggly Wiggly.  How cool is it that customers will get to bring their groceries home inside small works of art.

Enjoy your Earth Day, don't forget to do your part in preserving our beautiful planet!  

Favorite Things Friday {#1}

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trying something new today.  A little round up of my favorite things of the moment.  This is the first of many (I hope).  I haven't decided if it will be weekly, bi-weekly, maybe monthly.  It will be a surprise for all of us, I guess!  Here we go!

I've used them several times, in molds or drizzling out my own designs, to make toppings for cupcakes.  This past weekend I tried something new {to me}.  I entered the world of cake pops.  I used a few colors, adding white to make lighter versions too.  I used the leftover Easter sprinkles and some pastel nonpareils to finish them off so they weren't so plain.  I've only made cake pops once, years ago.  I don't think they turned out too bad for my adventure back into doing them.

#2 Pinterest
What an amazing place to find all sorts of ideas.  I've found myself pinning away but not trying nearly as many of the things as I would like to.  My favorite "pin" this week in on my "to do, try or create" board.  I WILL make this planter. 

Pinned Image

This cute idea comes from  I think something like this would make a cute addition to my porch plus it would just be nice to see one more of my "pins" come to life.  If you haven't checked out Pinterest yet, go check out all the inspiration that is out there. 

#3 Little Talks
It's my song of the moment.  You know the one.  The one that you always seem to catch on the radio (Music Choice Adult Alternative channel on TV in my case) and can't seem to get out of your head.
Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men, take a listen HERE

#4 Blogging
I just love all the creativity that is out there in the blogging world.  There are so many great ways to connect and share.  I try to add my posts to link parties, comment as much as I can, and REALLY appreciate when I get new visitors to this silly little blog.  I recently joined a facebook group of fellow Midwest bloggers, just another great way to connect.

I've found that making a few changes to pictures, whether it is editing or simply adding a border or text, can make a huge difference.  I don't have a fancy camera and sometimes snap quick photos with my phone.  Having the ability to make some changes/enhancements helps!  I was using picnik but that site is going away next week.  Dorothy at Crazy for Crust had posted about PicMonkey a while back so I decided to check it out.  It is super easy to use and can change even the worst cell phone photos into something special.  That actually leads to my last "favorite thing" for this Friday {the 13th I might add}.

#6 This Picture

I took this last weekend with my cell phone, through a screen door.  My Dad and Izzy were just hanging out on the deck.  A few quick changes to the photo using PicMonkey and it turned out to be really cute!
{yes Mom, I will get you a copy!}

I have many more than just 6 things that are my favorite, these were just the ones from the last week that really stood out to me.  I'll share more on future Fridays.  Have a great weekend, enjoying YOUR  favorite things!

Last Minute Easter Cupcakes

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Will there be cupcakes in your Easter baskets this weekend?  I hope you all answered yes!  If you didn't, it's not too late to add some {more} tasty sweet treats to those baskets.  I made these last minute cupcakes today.  I had extra cupcakes on hand (I try to make a couple extra now and then to freeze).  The only thing I had to make was a quick batch of vanilla bean frosting.  The rest of the decorations were pre-made or candy.  It's nice to sometimes "cheat" and not have to make everything from scratch.  I used a variety of Wilton Easter items and Easter Candy.  The only down side was the stomach ache I got from too many jelly beans!  I may have ruined my dinner from candy.

I used green food coloring to make some "grass" for a few of the cupcakes.  The rest were topped with sugars and sprinkles from THIS  Easter Sprinkle Assortment.  And a few were topped with THESE cute Royal Icing Bunnies.  Add in a few M&M flowers, jelly beans and even a Peep....all making great cupcake decorations.  I even made a mini "basket" with wraps similar to THESE.  Worried about cupcakes sinking to the bottom of your basket, no worries!  I placed a few small cake pedestals in the basket to hold my cupcakes up to the top.  Not a fan of finding last year's jelly beans under all that silly "grass"?  Again, no worries!  Cupcake papers make great little "bowls" to hold jelly beans, M&M's or mini eggs, whatever your favorite candy may be.  I used THESE cute tulip looking papers in my basket.  My basket was finished off with a bunny cookie on a stick (made in mass production by my Mom), a chocolate bunny and a few dyed eggs. 

The last thing to do was "hide" my basket.....or maybe just take photos.  It really is easy to make fancy looking Easter cupcakes last minute.  Anyone searching for their basket on Sunday would love to find cupcakes inside. 

I know, not a cupcake picture, I just the love the blossoms on the plum tree in my parent's yard!
The best part of today was having my trusty side-kick (aka my sister) helping me out.  Behind each of these pictures, just out of frame she was giggling and making me laugh.  I will be celebrating Easter with her and the rest of my family, so I already know my Easter will be perfect.  Happy Easter to all of you.

John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

Favorite Frosting

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

O.K. I'm not sure I can really pick a favorite frosting but this one ranks right up there.  It's an easy frosting to whip up in a large batch with things you most likely have in your pantry.  Most of you bakers out there have probably seen this recipe before but in different name/versions.  I found this recipe on an insert pamphlet inside my container of Wilton Meringue Powder.  It is simply called,  Fluffy Boiled Icing.  Most of you have probably seen something similar called Seven Minute Frosting.  Maybe like or unlike some of you, I have a fear of double boilers.  Not sure why, I've never had a double boiler incident that would bring out this fear.  It just seems like one of those steps in the kitchen I would prefer to avoid or skip.  The Fluffy Boiled Icing recipe was just the thing I needed.  No double boiler required, hooray!  So let's get to it, here is the recipe and then I'll tell you how I switch it up for different cupcake toppings.

Wilton Fluffy Boiled Icing

3 tablespoons Wilton Meringue Powder
1/2 cup cold water

2 cups granulate sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water

Beat meringue powder and cold water until stiff, about 4 minutes.  In a large microwave safe measuring cup, stir sugar, corn syrup and water.  In microwave, bring syrup mixture to a boil (approximately 5 minutes).  Remove when boiling stops.  Slowly add syrup to meringue mixture-while beating on low.  Beat on high for 4 minutes until stiff and glossy. 

That's it!  Easy peasy!

Yes, this recipe takes longer than 7 minutes but being able to skip the double boiler and worrying about temperature is worth it for me.  This will make a large batch and easily frosts 2 dozen cupcakes with tall swirls of frosting.  The texture is so light and fluffy, you won't feel guilty making the frosting taller than the cupcake.

I first used this frosting recipe a few months ago when I was looking for a raspberry frosting to top both chocolate and lemon cupcakes.  I made a batch of this frosting, adding a few tablespoons of seedless raspberry preserves, a teaspoon of raspberry extract and a few drops of pink food coloring.  It looked and tasted great on both the chocolate and lemon cupcakes.  I added simple candy hearts on the lemon cupcakes and a chocolate drizzle and heart on the chocolate cupcakes as these were for Valentine's Day and an Anniversary.

I next used this frosting when I had the honor of making cupcakes for my friend's son.  Aiden was celebrating his 1st Birthday and we decided on a circus theme.  I simply added some almond extract to this batch as I was topping almond marble cupcakes.  I divided up the frosting and made multiple colors to match the bright colors of the toppers I had made.  Each color was piped on the cupcakes using different tips so each cupcake was unique.  Again, easy frosting but oh so tasty!

yep, I think he liked them!

I once again made this frosting this past weekend.  This time topping Rum and Cherry Coke Cupcakes.  I added a bit of rum and cherry coke but needed a bit more cherry flavor so I added some black cherry fruit spread.  Once again, the perfect topping for some tasty cupcakes!

I know what you are can you mention rum and cherry coke cupcakes and not share the recipe?!?  I'm going to share the recipe soon.  Today is all about the frosting.  I hope you take the time to try this recipe.  If you've never had this (or other version of) this frosting, it's worth the try!  Feel free to stop back to let me know what you think, I hope you love it as much as I do. 

Check out my "linking up" page to see where I may be sharing this post.