Outside In Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I think this may be my best cupcake yet…

Outside In Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes | Shake Bake and Party

I found this fabulous Pineapple Upside Down Cake Rum from Malibu a few weeks ago, and then over the weekend I decided I needed to bake something with it.

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I didn’t want to do a traditional style pineapple upside down cupcake.  I LOVE the taste, but they are a sticky mess.  🙂  So I figured I’d stick the outsides back in, and top it off with a brown sugar buttercream.

Outside In Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes | Shake Bake and Party

Every now and then, I feel like I have a brief moment of foodie genius.  This was definitely one of those moments.  These are ABSOLUTELY delicious, and would be perfect for one of those upcoming summer gatherings.  Luau party anyone??

Outside In Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes | Shake Bake and Party

Lately I have been noticing that a lot of the recipes on food blogs come with step by step pictures of the ENTIRE process.  I have a few thoughts on this:

  • I don’t have time for all that.  I want to bake, snap a few pics of my cupcakes and then sit on my couch and eat them.
  • I am pretty sure you know what it looks like to throw some eggs, oil and cake mix in a bowl and then mix it up.
  • If you’re anything like me, you might just want the damn recipe.  So here you go:

Take your favorite yellow cake mix.  Follow the directions on the box, except substitute the Pineapple Upside Down Cake Rum for the amount of water called for.  If you want to make a booze-free version, you can sub pineapple juice for half of the amount of water called for.  Bake the cupcakes according to the directions on your cake mix box.

After the cupcakes have completely cooled, core the centers.  You can use a cupcake plunger, or take a sharp knife and cut out a cone shape from the middle of the cupcake (you don’t NEED to put these bits back on after you fill the cupcakes, so feel free to eat them as you go!).  After your cupcakes have been cored, spoon a small amount of pineapple topping (you can find this with the ice cream toppings) into the center of each cupcake, and then insert a maraschino cherry into each hole.

After that, whip up a batch of this delicious Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting from Two Sisters Crafting and have some fun decorating your cupcakes!  I rolled mine in yellow sanding sugar, and then used some Wilton Christmas tree sprinkles as my “pineapple leaves”.

I will post a picture of the most important step… Take a bite and enjoy!!!

Outside In Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes | Shake Bake and Party

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Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

Happy Fall Y’all!!  I have turned my favorite fall cocktail into a cupcake and let me tell you – the result was delicious!

A group of my friends and I had a fall themed painting party at one of those wine and canvas places that have become so popular over the last few years (I highly recommend Canvas Mixers is you are in the South Jersey area!).  I wanted to bring a pitcher of my Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail but you can only bring wine or beer to the venue, so I decided to bake my booze into some cupcakes!

These cupcakes contain all the ingredients from one of my most popular recipes on the blog: apple cider, Pinnacle Caramel Apple vodka, and RumChata.  Everyone at the painting party loved them, and we all had a great time creating our masterpieces!

Now, on to the recipe.  As I tend to do, I started off with a boxed cake mix, doctored it up a bit and topped the whole thing off with a made from scratch frosting.

Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients and Directions:

1 box of white or yellow cake mix
Eggs and oil as called for in directions on box
Pinnacle Caramel Apple vodka, or Caramel vodka
Apple Cider

Combine mix, eggs and oil.  Omit the water as called for on the box and substitute equal parts apple cider and caramel apple vodka.  My mix called for one cup of water, so I substituted 1/2 cup apple cider and 1/2 cup vodka.  Bake according to package directions and let cool.

RumChata Frosting Ingredients and Directions:
(adapted from Butter Cream Frosting II on allrecipes.com)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon RumChata

Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat well.

Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

I also added some orange gel color to some of the batter and decorated those one for Halloween. 🙂

Halloween Cupcakes

Michael’s Way

Hey all!  How has everyone been?  I’m dropping in with a quick post about some cookies I just made!  I didn’t get a chance to take any nice, professional looking photos before I sent these out the door (new work responsibilities, grad school and attempting to have a life in between have me feeling like everything is moving at warp speed these days, know what I mean?) but I wanted to do a little write up, mostly to spread the word about a great charity.

Michael’s Way is an organization in the Philadelphia area that provides assistance to the families of children battling pediatric cancer.  According to their website, “Michael’s Way has raised more than $6 million to lessen the financial hardships of hundreds of families whose children are suffering from cancer. 100% of money raised, as well as private donations and grants received from foundations goes directly to the families, not to overhead.”  I think that’s pretty amazing given the number of “charities” that spend more per dollar on salaries, marketing and who knows what else than they do on actually helping people.

For the third year in a row PMC Property Group is sponsoring a bowling party at Lucky Strike in Philadelphia to raise money for Michael’s Way (4/20/16 – details here if you are interested!) and I was more than happy to make some Michael’s Way logo cookies for the event!

So here’s my crappy picture of what turned out to be a pretty cool cookie!!

Michael's Way Logo Cookies #charity #decoratedcookies

If you suck at bowling or aren’t in the area, but are interested in making a donation to this wonderful organization head over to their online donation form!

 

Creepy Fang Cupcakes

I can’t believe it’s almost Halloween already! Is this year going way too fast for anyone else, or is it just me? I certainly couldn’t let one of my favorite holidays pass by without making some Halloween cupcakes. These are scarily simple – I just made some chocolate cupcakes using a boxed mix, frosted them with a vanilla buttercream and decorated them with these super fun gummy fangs I found at Target.  Yes, I went to Target for toilet paper and ended up leaving with gummy fangs.  You know how it is, don’t lie.

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!As you can see, I also bought gummy tongues. How could I resist?! They look so realistic! Damn you Target!

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!In addition to the gummy fangs, I used these cool Wilton sprinkles I found. I just love the little spiders!

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!As you can see, some simple store bought decorations can make a fantastically creepy cupcake with minimal effort! I love simple things that make a big impact!

If you have some creepy cupcakes of your own that you’d like to share, head over and share a pic on my Facebook page! Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!!

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!

Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars

Hey all!  Hope everyone had a great summer!  It’s been a while since I made anything worth blogging about.  A business law class (whose dumb idea was it to take THAT in a 5 week condensed summer session???) left me pretty burnt out  and uninspired.  I have spent the last few weeks hiding out in the air conditioned glory of my living room and watching Naked and Afraid XL on the Discovery Channel.

Leave it to my favorite season to bring me out of my baking funk… About two weeks ago all kinds of fall themed goodies started popping up in my Pinterest feed, and then I saw an article about the newest seasonal flavor of M&Ms – Pecan Pie!  I managed to get my hands on a bag last week and then these Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars were born!

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars
Adapted from Samoa Magic Bars by The Domestic Rebel

Ingredients

Cake Base
1 box of Butter Recipe cake mix from Betty Crocker
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted

Brown Sugar Crumble
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Topping
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup Pecan Pie M&Ms
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.  (I used a metal, nonstick pan.  The baking times may vary if you use glass.)
  2. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, egg and melted butter until a soft dough forms.  Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While the dough is baking, make the brown sugar crumble by combining the melted butter, flour and brown sugar with a fork until crumbs form.
  4. When the 10 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and pour about 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk on top of the cake.  Next, evenly cover the cake with the dried cranberries, chopped pecans and Pecan Pie M&Ms.  Drizzle on the remaining sweetened condensed milk and then top everything with the brown sugar crumble.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the crumble begins to brown.
  6. Remove from the oven.  Allow the bars to set at room temperature until cool before cutting into bars.

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

These bars would be perfect for a fall bake sale, or a Thanksgiving dessert table – not that you need a specific reason to make them.  Sometimes you just want something to stuff in your face snack on while you watch Fear the Walking Dead (why is it so stressful?  We KNOW what happens!!).

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Whatever your reason for making them, you will find these magic bars an easy treat to whip up.  If you can’t find the Pecan Pie M&Ms the Harvest Blend M&Ms would make an excellent substitute.  I just love the fall color palette!

Now, I just need Mother Nature to get on board with my seasonal obsession.  Today’s forecast high is 94 degrees!  Not quite pumpkin picking weather just yet…

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Perfect Cupcake

Sometimes you have an idea about a certain cupcake flavor in your head but it can be difficult to find the right recipe.  I don’t yet consider myself good enough to just completely whip something up on my own like the contestants on Cupcake Wars.  Once, when I was a teenager I wanted to make microwave brownies but I didn’t have the cocoa called for in the recipe.  I (mistakenly) thought I could use hot cocoa mix instead.  Instead of gooey, chocolaty brownies I created the most foul-smelling thing to have ever come out of a microwave.  So you can see why I don’t quite trust myself to just wing it.

A friend has asked that I make Rum and Coke cupcakes for her son’s 21st birthday coming up later in the month.  Having never made them before, I wanted research some recipes and do a test batch.  I found this recipe for Cola Cake, direct from the makers of Coca Cola themselves.  I figured that would be a good place to start.  I followed the recipe exactly, and then topped the cupcakes with a basic vanilla butter cream icing that I spiked with some Gosling’s Bermuda Black Rum.

I got to have some science experiment type fun, dissolving the baking soda in the buttermilk and watching it fizz up, and I ended up with a very tasty, slightly chewy around the edges cupcake that tasted NOTHING like Coke.  : /  The icing did taste like rum at least, but I was definitely not getting the Rum and Coke vibe.  Back to the drawing board…

I found a recipe on Betty Crocker‘s website for rum cupcakes which I think I will try, and then I purchase a bottle of cola extract online which I will try to incorporate into the icing.  I have never used cola extract before so if anyone has some experience with it and can offer some advice, I’m all ears!

As you can see, in the meantime I got my Rum and Non-Coke cupcakes all gussied up for the upcoming holiday!  I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July!  And here’s  just a little bit of humor for the road…

Hop, Hop, Hooray!

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the bunny trail… One of my favorite things at Easter (aside from candy out the wazoo) was this old tin egg we had.  It looked exactly like this (I love the internet!!) –

Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Here Comes Peter Cottontail (Photo credit: NedraI)

When you turned the hand crank, it played Peter Cottontail.  I loved turning the crank really fast; here comes Peter Cottontail flying down the bunny trail!  I can still hear the tinny tune in my mind.

My absolute favorite Easter memory is of dyeing eggs with my brother, mom and dad.  I remember the smell of the vinegar, the fizzing sound of the dye tablets after you dropped them in the cups.  My dad always got really into things – making crazy designs with rubber bands and bits of paper towel dipped in various colors.  His eggs were always works of art.

These days my dad’s art takes the form of wooden carvings in the style of Easter Island Moai and (in case this is your first visit to my blog) my art is of the cookie variety!

This is my first Easter making decorated sugar cookies, and I’ll admit, I went a little nuts.  I had a bunch of coworkers and friends to make cookies for – about 200 cookies all together!  So last week I took a half a day off of work on Thursday and a full day on Friday.  I baked Thursday, ran out of dough, made more, then baked again Friday morning.  After lunch I spent a few hours mixing up all the icing colors I would need and then I decorated well into the night AND all the next day!  By the time Sunday rolled around I think I was partially crippled.  Apparently my cookie decorating stance is very bad for my back.  It still hurts!

However, despite the long hours and the concern that someday I will become a hunchback because of Easter 2012 , I am SO HAPPY with the way my cookies turned out!  I absolutely love them, and I hope you will too!

Check out my snazzy slideshow, and have a Happy Easter!!

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