Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pretty in Pink!

What better way to celebrate the love of animals or pink or even china! Use the Oreo cupcake recipe from a few weeks ago - just search oreo! Panda pride!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cupcakes, Up, Dude!

TGIF!!! Summer themed and hilarious!!

Talk about telling a story!! I LOVE THIS ONE!

The ultimate shark bait!

And some much weirder ones...

BBQ-ed cupcake, anyone?

Corn on the cupcake??

My cupcake tastes like feet...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sprinkles - Rolling to Your Hood Soon!

EXCITEMENT!! Cupcake lovers and fast food lovers rejoice! Cupcakes are now cruisin' around Los Angeles! When the news of the mythical cupcakes-on-wheels Sprinkles truck reached me, I had to share my excitement with the world immediately!

Designed by Pimp My Ride's West Coast Customs, this truck is cruisin' around for peeps with sweet teeth! For a mere $2000, you could potentially rent the truck to sit in front of your office all day... hmmmm... maybe I should draft a memo to corporate...

More importantly, how do I get MY car pimped out to have a cupcake factory in my trunk?!

Rockin, Rollin, and Cupcakin

When Christyn from Bead Up! cooked up her famous Pink Raspberry Lemonade cupcakes for her boss' birthday, she had no idea how much they would ROCK! Using her boss' three favorite musicians (mounted on cardboard and wooden bbq skewers) as sign holders and Hanna Montana candy guitars, Christyn really rocked out on these cupcakes!

Christyn: "I started with a standard white cake mix and added two Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light to-go packets in the mix - both for flavor and color. I put 1/2 the batter in the cupcake tins, followed by some blue food coloring in the other half to get a purple look (my boss' favorite colors are pink and purple)."

The Raspberry Lemonade packets served to turn the cake a lovely shade of light pink that is perfect for baby showers, Valentine's Day or just for the love of pink! And it tastes AMAZING - sweet with a little tart kick at the end.

Alternatively, Christyn has also made a Raspberry Lemonade cake with similar ingredients but involving raspberry jello. Click on the link above to let Betty C show you how it's done!

As for these cupcakes, I think Christyn deserves a Grammy!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ingredients for Cupcake Obsession!

For the truly cupcake and tupperware obsessed, this blog post is going to be like cupcake crack to you! From individually-sized cupcake containers to snap-on-snap off carrying cases, these are items that can all be carefully rationalized to purchase.

How many times has icing been smudged or cake squished because you had to carry your cupcakes on a dinner plate covered in tin foil? I used to carry mine in a brownie pan which not only yielded the squish-factor but also limited the load to nine cupcakes - nine cupcakes! Pff!! That's a tiny enough amount to cause certain war! Now with this handy-dandy stackable, snap-on-snap-off carrying case, no cupcake shall be left behind again!

Its cutie counterpart is for the individual cupcake that you are bringing for an afternoon snack at work/school the next day or perhaps giving to a friend ;-) They can be dressed up for a little present or just reused to keep any leftover cupcake fresh!

Now a toothpick or a sharp knife might be adequate for testing whether your batch of cupcakes are ready to eat, but this little tester is so much cuter!! If you're going to wait for 30 excrutiating minutes while your divine dessert is baking, what better way to celebrate that their time is up than to test them with this! Adorable!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Major Cupcake Players

Los Angeles - Home to the $4 Cupcake! How do you decide which shop to visit when they are sprawled out all over the city? Well from a bit of research and interviewing fellow Los Angelean cupcake connoisseurs, these are the major players:

1. Sprinkles of Beverly Hills - the first cupcake place to consistently have lines out the door and, at times, around the corner for these tasty treats. Don't be deceived by the small size of this glass windowed shop, just down the street from Rodeo drive.
PRO: Only sell cupcakes (and cakes on special order!) which means that the quality is consistently good - the icing is rich and the cake is moist. GREAT black and white cupcakes!
CON: They are standard sized cupcakes... so even though you're paying top dollar, you aren't getting any more cake (though I will concede that the icing is thick). They have classic flavors, nothing too interesting and the icing is pretty much buttercream vanilla or chocolate.

2. Crumbs of Beverly Hills - Equal distance from Rodeo drive in the opposite direction of Sprinkles - so you could feasibly hit two in one day! - this fine bakery sells a wide and diverse variety of cupcakes from Oreo to Pistachio. What put them on the list is the size and the filling in the cupcakes. YES! The cupcakes have an icing filling which is decadently delicious.
PRO: Diversity of flavors and the size of the cake part (definitely king sized!); if you crave something else sweet they have cookies, brownies, etc. Excellent Oreo cupcakes!!
CON: Inconsistent quality... I had a delivery order at work that was FABULOUS, but then went to the actual shop only to have them be a little stale-tasting. Maybe since they have so many flavors, they have to recycle yesterday's batch? Just speculation.

3. Yummy Cupcakes of Burbank - a frequent provider of movie-themed cupcakes to the studios, you can special order designs from them and enjoy a free mini cupcake while you wait! With the most adorable pink exterior and the accompanying cupcake souvenier shop, you can't help but love this place. Watch the chefs work their magic right in front of you too!
PRO: Cupcake while you wait! and the cute shop to walk around in while they ring you up!
CON: Icing stiff on many of the cupcakes... chocolate flavor isn't particularly special and the assortment of flavors is limited.

4. Joan's on Third of Los Angeles (Beverly Center Mall) - a deli to the stars, this hot spot has the Hilton sisters and cast members from Grey's Anatomy as regulars and for good reason! Aside from the huge selections of cheese from all over the world and a deli counter that could make any meat-lover moo, the confectionery section is decked out with a gelato bar and plates full of fresh baked goodies from cookies and pies to a variety of cupcakes.
PRO: Cupcakes are always fresh, generous portions of icing, the crowning achievement of the cupcake section at Joan's in dubbed "Joan's Favorite Cupcake" which consists of rich chocolate cake with sweet white icing and coconut. YUM! There's a reason it's Joan's favorite!!
CON: The whole shop isn't dedicated to cupcakes and they are sooo good!

5. Delilah's Bakery (Echo Park) - Also a favorite among studios for the delivery cupcake service, Delilah's is located in a small shop sort of in the middle of nowhere - ie Echo Park residential area. Despite its location, the cupcakes are definitely worth the journey with the rich flavors and particularly creamy icing!
PRO: Buttercream icing is excellent, cake is jumbo sized, will deliver to the greater LA area for a price ($$)
CON: Cupcakes go fast and they only bake at the beginning of the day, so order ahead if you want to get what you want. Out of the way location makes it an inconvenient stop over - tho the reward is delish!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Supersize My Cupcakes!

Brought to you by the culinary artist - Sherry, from Florida.

Sherry celebrates the accomplishments of members of her 4Kids fellowship program with individual cakes every month. What do you think Sherry, does starting one's own cupcake blog count?! YUM! Check out these individually made mini-cakes aka GIANT CUPCAKES!!

Sherry: "I used one cake mix for two cakes, using my 6 inch cake pans. Most of the flavors are obvious, however there are a few unusual ones: one is Key Lime, one with no frosting (per request), and one banana cake with chocolate frosting. The hits were the Orange Grand Marnier cake and the strawberry cake. The Oreo cakes were not shared as their owners wanted to take them home for themselves!"

They turned out great! Thanks for sharing, Sherry!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Petrificus Cupcakilous!

If only there was a spell to make cupcakes appear out of thin air!!

In honor of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opening day, I thought I'd feature these magical cupcakes (from Cupcakes Take the Cake) - oh yes, I'm one of those. By those, I mean the person who saw this movie (and every prior movie in the series) at the midnight showing and have been known, in the past, to create custom t-shirts for the occasion. Oh yes, one of those.

It was great, by the way. More dynamic than any of the other movies for action, comedy, and romance - oh, and creepy children. Between Katie Bell being possessed and meeting a disturbed adolescent Voldemort, there was no shortage of gasping moments! The scene where Dumbledore and Harry go to find the locket is EXACTLY how I pictured it - amazing! I feel like that never happens, and my crazy fan friends agree. You will not be disappointed if you love the book for this movie. Sure, they had to tweak a few plot lines, but honestly, the flow was excellent for all 2 hours and 40 minutes. And they added a scene at the Weasley house that was positively INSANE! A+ David Yates, A+.

Friday, July 10, 2009


(brought to you by Christyn of Bead Up!)

1. Start with a white cake mix

2. Crush about a dozen generic Oreo's into the mix using a Ziploc bag with a potato masher)

3. Fill the muffin cups about 1/3 full

4. Add a whole Oreo to the top

5. Add another 1/3 of mix to the top

6. Bake them on 350 degrees for 22 minutes

7. After letting them cool down for awhile, put about another dozen crushed generic Oreo's into 1.5 tubs of whipped vanilla icing.

8. Add a Mini-Oreo to the top and you have...
Oreo/Cookies and Cream madness!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Icing, Icing Baby!

Ok, so I tried this Buttercream Icing recipe that I found randomly online over the July 4th weekend - most of the buttercream recipes I found were much like this one, calling for shortening and butter... so I tried it:

Buttercream Dream Icing

1 stick salted butter - room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter - room temperature
1 cup shortening
1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
4-6 tablespoons very cold milk

Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk... one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

In comparison with my own icing recipe:
1 pound of confectioner's sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Whole milk to get to desired consistency

- Which I made at the same time, I personally found that adding shortening with butter made it kind of greasy in taste-tecture. The spreading consistency of the online buttercream recipe was much more even than my recipe, but
it wasn't as sweet. Anyone else have good icing recipes?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cupcakin' Shout Out!

It is with much appreciation and Cupcakin' love, that I bestow a Golden Cupcake onto Christyn Koschmann (http://beadup.blogspot.com) for her enthusiastic design of my blog header - she made pink possible! Thanks, Christyn :-)

Additionally, if you have any awesome cupcake creations that you would like included on Cupcakin' It Up, please feel free to email me at cupcakinitup@gmail.com

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cupcakes: The American Dream

I pledge allegiance to the greatest dessert in the America! So to celebrate our country and the love of all that is cupcake, I decided to deviate from the traditional July 4th red/white/blue cupcake and celebrate peace, love, and happiness - and fun! - of tie-dye cupcakes!

I started with dyeing white cake three different, primary colors. The slight snag that I encountered was that I used regular eggs instead of egg whites, which caused the white cake batter to turn a light yellow shade. So, to compensate I added extra dye.

Then, I put the three colors of dye in the muffin cup together, making sure that they overlapped. In the first batch, I just scooped the colors in with each other, without mixing them myself - this didn't yield any other colors (like green or orange). In the second batch, I mixed it lightly with a spoon, and I did manage to see some green.

The final effect wasn't exactly what I imagined, though, in the end, they did turn out rather patriotic looking! However, the cake part was a little bit dry - I can only conclude that because I added so much dye, it caused the cake to be more dry than usual.

My solution, in the future, would be to add a little extra oil - as the fat might help it be a little more moist - and by fat, I of course mean imaginary calories.... holiday cupcakes don't have real calories ;-)

To counteract the dryness, I cut a little cone-shaped tunnel in the center and filled it with icing - it worked very well! The icing in the center was a hit!

Of course, I only had this stroke of ingenuity after I had put a new batch of Devil's Food chocolate cupcakes in the oven... which yielded a more traditional yet still delicious 4th of July treat!

Check out these adorably patriotic, Raspberry Crystal Light-infused treats, contributed by Christyn from Bead Up!

Christyn: For these cupcakes, I used extra large, white cupcake papers. I used a box of Funfetti cupcake mix along with 2 packets of Crystal Light raspberry drink mix to make the batter red and more flavorful! After baking them (extra long since each cupcake was double it's intended size!) I took a container of Whipped Vanilla icing and mixed it up with half a container of Light Whipped Topping (generic brands - what what?). This gives the icing more spreadability and a fluffier topping. To finish, I used sprinkles from Target's One-Spot (which also go with my preferred 4th of July color scheme: http://beadup.blogspot.com/2009/07/i-love-you-wednesdays.html). They were a hit :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Everybody needs goals...

How adorable are these??

I pulled these from the Michael's website as some inspiration for future designs. I thought they were pretty cute!

Those little feet are built into the muffin cups!... it seems like you would make the standard sized cupcakes and then just place them into the feet muffin cup - that way you could reuse them with little mess! If anyone has used the little feet muffin cups before, I welcome any execution tips!

As for the lady bug, my thought was to use a mini oreo for the face and maybe chocolate chips for the dots. I want to minimize the use of the icing colors that might not taste very good. My sister, for example can taste red dye - and let's face it, black icing doesn't taste good or look appetizing. I read that Wilton's No Taste Red works well for the food dye, so I'll try that and get back to you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

For the Love of Cute Cupcakes!

Welcome Dessert-Lovers of the World! Although my blog will be focused on cupcakes, I want you to know that I don't discriminate... I love all sweet treats equally. Ooo well, that's a lie. I am partial to things of the chocolate variety - the chocolate, white icing variety. YUM. I could go for a cupcake right now. Ah yes, now we've come full circle to my central blogging thesis: For the love of all that is cupcake!!

I live in a city where the gourmet cupcake trade began - selling pricey little cupcakes for $3.75 each - wtf?! So, I have made it my prerogative to see what all the fuss is about. I like to think of it as a science - you know, comparing quality, and sometimes visiting one place three times to see if the product is consistent. Science. Ok, my personal brand of dessert science ;-) My conclusions thus far? Everyone can make the cake part - that is pretty hard to blow unless they are stale or burned. It comes down to the consistency of the icing and the cuteness of the design. Time and time again, I've visited shops where the icing is stiff and the cuteness is sorely lacking. Well, it's time to spice it up a little, don't you think?

Cupcakin' It Up is a platform to share ideas, techniques, cute executions, and general love of all that is cupcakes! If you have any images you would like to be posted on CupcakinItUp, shoot me an email at cupcakinitup@gmail.com!

Here's some sugary sunshine that I created just last week for a "Good-bye California!" party we had for one of my friends. It's hard to tell from my camera phone, but that's vanilla icing dyed yellow and orange with Starbursts cut into halves diagonally to make rays. What better way to remember California than with these sweet treats?!