Surprise Heart Cupcakes

As you all know, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Since I’ve been single all my life, this day really has no meaning to me… but I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to try a new recipe. So, I made my mom some cupcakes to take to work (which is where most of my baked goods currently go).

I used Wilton’s Vanilla Cupcake Recipe. It was the first time I had tried it and the cupcakes turned out really nice. Cake from scratch is not my strong point but I have been getting better and for me this recipe is definitely a keeper. Now, these look like ordinary cupcakes but they have a cute little surprise in them. 🙂

Hearts! Now I’m fairly certain that the heart in the cupcake pictured above some how ended upside down but I still like it. And I’m fairly certain no one who ate them noticed that there were hearts in their cupcakes, but I know they were there and it was just for practice and fun. I got the idea from this video on the blog Cupcakes Take the Cake. So, basically, you take some of your cupcake batter and color it. Then you bake it in a small pan; the woman in the video uses a square pan but I didn’t have one so I used a round one. Then once it cools you use a small heart cutter (or any other mini cutter you want, I want to try it again with some of my mini butterflies and flower cutters).

My cake was still a bit warm so it made a mess of my cutter but the hearts came out pretty nice. I will definately wait until it is cooler next time, though. I got about 15 hearts out of my cake. To bake them into the cupcakes, you put a little bit of batter at the bottom of the cupcake pan; I put about a tablespoon. Then you put the heart in the middle and cover it with another tablespoon or so of batter.

Then you bake them. It’s that simple. It takes a little time since you have to bake a cake, let it cool and then bake cupcakes but it definitely wasn’t difficult. My hearts seemed to shift when I put them in the oven, though. Note the heart that is completely face up after baking.

I frosted the cupcakes with buttercream. I am always trying new buttercream recipes, trying to find one I really like and the one I tried here was really awesome. It is this Classic Buttercream Frosting  from the blog Savory Sweet Life. It was light and fluffy and had a great taste. I had every intention of coloring it a light pink but as I learned last week, my attention to detail needs work, so it was just a lovely white frosting. 😉

So, that’s my first adventure in baking fun shapes into my cupcakes. Check out the video linked above, then try out your own surprise cupcakes and let me know how it goes. What other shapes would you bake in the middle?

Hearts, Hearts, and Stars

I made sugar cookies yesterday. I recently bought some heart shaped cookie cutters and since its the season for hearts, I used them. However, I didn’t want to use just hearts. I needed another shape…just to see what how I could decorate them. So I made stars. 🙂 I have a limited supply of cookie cutters right now. It’s Christmas cutters and the new hearts and a few mini butterflies and flowers (which I also made but didn’t decorate) and Christmasy ones just didn’t seem right. But stars aren’t just for Christmas; they are for anytime you want. So anyway, I made the cookies and I decorated them in a variety of ways.

First I made “Owl Always Love You” cookies, inspired by these over at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle (one of my favorite cookie blogs, she is crazy talented)

Note the missed eyebrows on that back one. I guess I’m not as detailed oriented as I should be. These are decorated with buttercream (as are all the cookies I’m posting today). I’m a little afraid to try royal icing right now which means I can’t fill the background of them in the same way as Sugarbelle did hers but they still turn out super cute. I tried these cookies last week treating the buttercream in a similar way to royal icing but it didn’t quite work…

So anyway, I also made these cute Cat Cookies (note the missing whiskers on a couple, I really need to pay more attention 🙂 )

And these are some Talking Hearts:

The way these hearts are shaped, they remind me of the talking bubbles in comics and so I wanted them express some Valentine’s Day sentiments.

And here is a random assortment, a couple bows and a small rose with polka dots:

And these are my favorites! They are decorated with brushed embroidery flowers:Brush Embroidery Hearts

And last but not least, the stars:

Here I wanted to try piping a swirly design. It wasn’t easy and I need a lot more practice but that’s okay, I’m up for the challenge.

Love to Bake

I love to bake. I’ve been doing it since I was like eleven or something and now I am turning 23. That’s pretty crazy for me to think about. Anyway, I am starting this blog to share what I love with those who love it as well (or anyone who wants to read about yummy food). I want to share the cookies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, muffins, pies, and the list just goes on and on. And I also want to encourage myself to continue to learn new things. While I’ve been baking for 12 years or so, I know very little and, therefore, have so much to learn. I’m fairly new to decorating and making cakes/cupcakes but I’m very excited to learn and to try new things. I can’t wait to show y’all what I learn and to share my baking adventures with you. 🙂