Welcome to A Cuppy Cake Life

Follow me on my journey as I experiment with different types of cupcakes and the joy a simple little treat can bring.

Freedom Friday

I just wanted to thank everyone who contributed their tips, tricks and ideas to Tricky Tuesday this week! You guys are so smart! I am going to be taking a break from Tricky Tuesday in August. Instead I will be participating in Hoosier Homemade's Cupcake Challenge! Please take some time to go check it out as you may want to participate as well.
I am not going to be participating in my usual blog hops this week. Instead I will be lying in bed at home recovering from my surgery. Is it sad that I have to have surgery to have a "vacation?"
Please have some fun this weekend! I really hope the weather is nice where you are and not too hot. I will be recuperating and instructing my hubby on how to make cupcakes. This should be interesting! See you next week.

Butter Pecan Cupcakes

I love butter pecan ice cream. I think I get it from my mom. So when I found a recipe for a butter pecan cake in my trusty Taste of Home cookbook, I knew I had to turn it into cupcakes. These were such a hit that my father-in-law asked me to make his mother's birthday cake like this.

These are very simple to make. I toasted the pecans on the stove because there were so many of them. If you want to work in small batches you can use the microwave, too. To top the cupcakes, I sprinkled the remaining pecans over the icing. If you would like, you can just mix them into the icing and spread it on.

I hope that these make you as happy as they made my family. Don't eat too many though! They are very rich and there is over a pound of butter between the cupcake and the icing.

Be sure to check out Cupcake Tuesday and Delicious Dishes!

Butter Pecan Cupcakes
(makes approx 30 regular cupcakes)

2 2/3 cups chopped pecans
1 ¼ cups softened butter, divided
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt ¼ cup of the butter. Add the chopped pecans and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Do not overcook the pecans. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and remaining cup of butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition. Stir in 1 1/3 cups of the toasted pecans. The remainder will be used to top the cupcakes.

Spoon ¼ cup of batter into each liner. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Butter Pecan Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
8 ½ cups powdered sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream together the butter, vanilla and 3 cups of the powdered sugar. Once well incorporated, add evaporated milk alternating with a cup of sugar at a time until all ingredients have been added. Beat on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Spread on cupcakes and top with remaining 1 1/3 cups toasted pecans.

Look What I Found!

If you have had your television on at all lately I'm sure you have seen that cupcakes are taking over! From Cupcake Wars to DC Cupcakes as well as all the individual cooking programs that are featuring cupcakes, you would be hard-pressed to find a day when they aren't on somewhere.
What do you think about all of these shows? I personally prefer Cupcake Wars. The show is a great competition and focuses on the recipes and presentation of the cupcakes. I have now seen a few episodes of DC Cupcakes as well. I'm kinda on the fence about this one. I feel like it relies heavily on the drama in the shop and many of the lines feel scripted. If you have watched these programs, let me know what you think about them.
Have you found an amazing cupcake recipe on TV lately? I am always looking for new ideas and love seeing what's going on around the country.
I hope you are having a great week! Please take some time to check out the store! I'll see you back here in the morning with some yummy cupcakes!

Tricky Tuesday: Reader Favorites

Alright my dear readers! It is time for you to share some of your favorite tips and tricks when it comes to baking or cooking.
So go ahead and leave a comment! Do you have a favorite kitchen tool that helps with tedious jobs? A special trick to speed up prep time? Advice for dealing with certain ingredients. Post away!

Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...
#39 - Ruthann!
Ruthann, since you left your email address, I don't need you to contact me. I have sent you an email with instructions for redeeming your prize.
Thank you so much to everyone that entered! Please spread the word about A Cuppy Cake Life so that more giveaways will be possible in the future.

Freedom Friday

There is a lot going on here this week at A Cuppy Cake Life!

First is the awesome giveaway for a $40 gift card to CSN Stores. With 200+ online retailers, the possibilities are endless for what you can choose. Be sure to enter today if you haven't already! The giveaway ends tomorrow night and the winner will be announced on Monday. Right now the entries are low so everyone has a good chance at winning!

Next, you may have noticed some changes to the page links at the top of the blog. I have added a few resources to help you navigate the site a little easier. There is a Recipes tab where you can find an alphabetical listing of all posted recipes. I also have a Calendar page so you can see the upcoming ideas. Be sure to check out the March of Dimes page as well!

I have started a Links page to feature sponsor advertisements. If you are interested in showcasing your blog or business here I would be honored to have you. You can find the package pricing information here. Also included on the Links page are the blogs that have featured A Cuppy Cake Life.

On Sunday I have the wonderful opportunity to guest post over at The Very Best Housewife. She is going to be busy getting ready for her sister's wedding and I am honored that she chose me to fill in for her. Please take the time to check out the post and her blog.

Finally, A Cuppy Cake Life now has it's own store! You can find it here or by clicking on the green box at the top of my left-hand sidebar. At the store you can find all sorts of fun cupcake-related items. I do hope you will check it out and help me keep the recipes coming!

I hope that everyone has a nice, relaxing weekend ahead of them. If you get some down time, please be sure to check out the following blog hops. See you back here on Monday with the winner of the giveaway!

Smart and Trendy Moms
New Friend Fridays

Oreo Dirt Cupcakes

I have always loved dirt cake but I have to be very careful since most are made with cream cheese and I am allergic to it. I was so excited to eat these cupcakes. Not only do they contain actual cake in addition to the Oreos , they don't have cream cheese in them.

I found the small, plastic flower pots in the dollar section of Target. I swear I am in there every day! They were sold in packs of four and I only bought two packs the first time around. When I went back for more they were half price. I figure that $3.00 for 16 flower pots is a very good deal. Especially since they were a perfect size for my cupcakes.

These can be garnished with gummy worms, fake flowers or anything else you can think of. The pots can even be reused for another project. If your flower pots have holes in the bottom be sure to cover them before inserting the cupcakes. I just used a piece of aluminum foil.

If you haven't already done so, please check out the giveaway I have going on right now. Be sure to enter soon! It ends on Saturday and the winner will be announced on Monday.

Check out Hoosier Homemade's Cupcake Tuesday and It's A Blog Party Delicious Dishes!

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
(Makes approx. 30 regular cupcakes)

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cup whole milk
1 package Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins (or grease and flour them) and set aside.

Place one row of Oreos from the package in a zip top bag. Break into bite size chunks. Set aside. The remainder of the package will be used later for the topping.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate and vanilla until well incorporated. Add the dry mixture in thirds alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition. Fold in the Oreo chunks and stir just until mixed.

Scoop ¼ cup of batter into each liner. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. When cool, remove the paper liners if they were used before inserting into flower pots.

Chocolate Pudding Mousse

2 boxes Jell-O instant chocolate pudding
4 cups whole milk
16 ounces Cool-Whip

Beat together both boxes of pudding with the whole milk. Refrigerate until firm. Stir in Cool-Whip until well blended. Top the cupcakes and spread smooth.

Oreo Crumb Topping

Place the remainder of the Oreos into a food processor or blender. Pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Spread an even layer over pudding in flower pots. Garnish with gummy worms or fake flowers.

Look What I Found!

If you haven't noticed, cupcakes are everywhere. I'm not just talking about the edible kind either! If you search for cupcake merchandise you will be amazed what you can find. Every type of clothing and accessory possible including aprons and necklaces. You can also find candles, place card holders, pinatas, bath sets, and flavored lip gloss. I must admit that the strangest thing I found was "cupcake flavored waxed dental floss." Check it out for yourself!

What are some fun cupcake items you have found? I found a crib bedding set that is adorable if we have another girl down the road. What item would you love to have with a cupcake on it?

Make sure you enter my giveaway for a $40 CSN Stores gift card! In addition to cute cupcake merchandise they have tons of items to choose from. Please see for yourself!

The new links are now at the top of my blog. Please be patient with me as I set them up! I hope they will make things easier on you. Have a great day and I will see you back here tomorrow with this week's recipe!

Tricky Tuesday: Kitchen Equipment Essentials

Everyone has a favorite item in their kitchen. When I am baking I have several "go to" items that I couldn't live without. They make baking cupcakes not only easier, but more enjoyable. Here is my list of essential kitchen equipment when making cupcakes.
Stand Mixer: I was so lucky this past Christmas! My amazing hubby got me my dream gift - a red, 6-quart, professional KitchenAid stand mixer. I was so excited, you should have seen me! I took it out of the box right away so I could check it out. I mainly use my stand mixer for icings. While it can be used for making the batter as well, I find a hand mixer is easier for me. That brings me to my next essential item.
Hand Mixer: Mine is a cheap Hamilton Beach hand mixer with a case to hold all the attachments and store the cord. I believe I found it at Target for about $20. It's a lifesaver though and makes incorporating everything into the cupcake batter a piece of cake. No pun intended.
Mixing Bowls: I have a set of nesting glass mixing bowls as well as a large plastic one and a set of stainless steel as well. I usually use my plastic bowl as my main bowl and smaller glass ones for holding sifted ingredients or eggs. I don't use the stainless because the hand mixer leaves a lot of scratches on them. Just make sure that you clean a plastic bowl very well as it can absorb odors and flavors.
Measuring Cups and Spoons: I have a cheap set of dry ingredient cups and spoons from IKEA. It's fine to use cheap ones as long as you know they are accurate. A lot of cute ones (like heart shaped ones) don't always measure correctly. I also have a Measure-All cup from Pampered Chef. This is my favorite item for measuring liquid as well as tricky ingredients such as peanut butter, shortening and molasses. It pushes them out so that you get every last drop. I love it!
Spatula/Rubber Scraper: Okay, here is another Pampered Chef item. I have a large spatula that is slightly indented in the center so it can also spoon and scoop things. It is heat-safe to 400 degrees as well. You don't have to have something fancy. Just make sure you have one that works for you and that you take the time to scrape down your bowl several times. This way everything will be incorporated.
Muffin Tins and Cake Pans: You want to make sure you use quality pans when baking. They make your cupcakes brown and cook evenly at the correct temperature and in the right amount of time. I am a huge fan of Wilton products. All of my cake pans and muffin tins are from them. There are many other brands. Just shop around and make sure to get something good!
Decorating Items: Again, I use Wilton products for this. I prefer their Featherweight Decorating Bags because they are reusable. I have one cut to fit a large coupler as well as a small one. You don't need anything fancy! A zip top bag, an angled spatula or even a butter knife are fine. Just make sure you have something.
I hope this list has helped you! If you are in need of new kitchen equipment (or anything else), please be sure to check out my giveaway. It is for a $40 gift card to CSN Stores. You can use it on anything you want, just make sure to enter soon since it is ending on Saturday.

Giveaway! (CLOSED)

I promised you a giveaway and here you go! If you haven't yet heard of CSN Stores you are about to discover a jewel. CSN Stores is a group of online retailers with over 200+ websites ranging from a bathroom vanity, pet supplies, and of course cupcake products. They have asked me to host a giveaway for a $40 gift card that can be used at any one of their stores for anything you want! Just to give you an idea of what is available, check out these baking-inspired items:

Obviously you are not limited to baking items. You can spend your $40 gift card on any item of your choosing! If you are ready to enter for your chance to win, here are the rules:
#1 - Leave a comment letting me know that you have become a follower or that you already follow me through Google Friend Connect. This is your first entry and must be done before you can enter another way.
#2 - Go to CSN Stores and leave a comment telling me what you would buy with the gift card.
#3 - Follow A Cuppy Cake Life on Facebook and/or Twitter. These are each worth one entry. Please leave a comment letting me know for each one.
#4 - Post about this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or your blog. These are also worth one entry each. In your comment please leave a link to your post.
It's just that easy to win! In all comments please leave an email address where you can be contacted should you be chosen by random.org as the lucky winner. The giveaway is open until 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, July 24, 2010. The winner will be posted on Monday, July 26, 2010 and will also be contacted via email. You will have 48 hours to respond. If I haven't heard from you, another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to all of my followers in the U.S. and Canada. Good luck to all!
Disclaimer: I was asked by CSN stores to host this giveaway. I have not been compensated in any way.

Freedom Friday

My surgery to remove my gallbladder has officially been scheduled. I will report to the hospital on July 29th and should be able to come home the same day. That last part makes me really happy! My amazing hubby will be able to take off work to help me out and take care of our daughter. If all goes according to plan, I will be back to normal in a week.
As far as surgeries go this one is very common and easy. I will only have four small holes that will be closed with one or two stitches. And any pain involved is fine by me since it means I won't have anymore gallbladder attacks. If you have never had one they can be horrible! My mom thought she was having a heart attack when she had one. She went to the emergency room and had it taken out that night. She was home at lunchtime the next day.
I have already warned my husband that he will be making cupcakes (under my supervision) while I am recovering. He isn't happy about it but he said he would do it. Let me tell you this - if he can make cupcakes, anyone can! He is the first to admit this too! I am supposed to prepare everyone and let you know you may see some "ugly" cupcakes. I think he is going to do a great job. I guess we will have to wait and see.
Please make sure you check back in on Monday. I will be hosting another awesome giveaway! You won't want to miss out and you will only have a week to enter.
You may also begin to notice some small changes to A Cuppy Cake Life next week. I will be adding a Recipes page as well as a Calendar and a page for March of Dimes. You will be able to see a list of all of my recipes in one spot and click on any that you would like to see in detail. You will also know in advance what recipes to expect in the upcoming months thanks to the Calendar page. Just so you know - I have all my recipes planned through the end of the year!
I am always looking for more March of Dimes stories to feature. If you (or someone you know) would like to share your experience I would be honored to post it. Please email me if you are interested or would like more information.
Today I am participating in the following blog hops. Please take time to check some of them out. I hope all of you have a great weekend and I will see you back here on Monday for the giveaway!

Smart and Trendy Moms
New Friend Fridays

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Don't be scared to try these just because zucchini is involved! These are amazing, tender and moist muffin-like treats. The grated zucchini actually melts away when the cupcakes are baked and you can't taste it.

I would describe the flavor of these as a spice cake with a hint of orange and chocolate chips. The recipe was adapted from one in a Taste of Home cookbook I bought a few years ago. I topped them with a simple glaze so the icing would not take away from the flavor. I promise you will enjoy these even if you hate zucchini. Your kids will too and you can be happy knowing they are eating their veggies.

Because these are made like muffins, be careful that you don't over mix the batter. Stir just until everything is moist and incorporated. To add the glaze to mine I used a squeeze bottle. Feel free to drizzle it on with a spoon or dip the top of the cupcake right into it. It is thin and runny at first but will thicken and slightly harden over time.

When selecting a zucchini for this recipe, I like to use an extra large one. Peel it and then grate it with a box grater like you would a block of cheese. Be careful to avoid the seeds in the center.

I hope you enjoy these! My hubby took a few to work and everyone loved them. I am sure you will too!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
(Makes approx 24 cupcakes)

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, applesauce, oil, orange zest, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Fold in zucchini, walnuts and chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the liners so that they are 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18 - 23 or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle on top of cooled cupcakes.

Be sure to check out these blogs!

Cupcake Tuesday at HoosierHomemade.com

It's a Blog Party


As you may have noticed, I had the past week off. We went to the mountains for the 4th and I have been hanging out around the house the rest of the time. Things were great until Thursday when I woke up in pain. After a couple doctor's visits and tests it turns out I will probably have to have my gall bladder taken out. I am not sure when exactly this is going to happen since I need to meet with a surgeon first. I should know more later today.

I do plan to post as much as possible so please keep checking in! Just a preview of the upcoming recipes for you - Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Oreo Dirt Cupcakes, Butter Pecan Cupcakes, and Peppermint Patty Cupcakes. If there are any particular subjects you would like to see discussed on a Tricky Tuesday let me know. Also, if you see anything cute for Look What I Found please share. I will give you the credit! And one final tidbit - there should be another giveaway in the near future.

I hope everyone had been enjoying summer! Keep cool and have fun!

Freedom Friday

I hope everyone is getting ready to celebrate this weekend! We are going to be hanging out at a family reunion/picnic. It's going to be a great time seeing relatives from all over the state. I am even bringing cupcakes (imagine that)! I decided to make my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes. I was in the mood for that wonderful flavor combination.
What are you doing to celebrate America's birthday? Are you having a cookout? Seeing fireworks? Do you have any traditions?
I hope that your holiday is relaxing and enjoyable! Have fun with your friends and loved ones and I will see you next week!

Patriotic Cupcakes

I have a confession. I've been busy. I've been exhausted. I've been lazy. So I cheated this week and used a box mix. But in my defense, I added milk instead of water and I dyed it myself. I also made the icing from scratch. I just didn't have it in me to measure flour and sugar. But I do like the way these turned out!

I found these adorable cupcake liners and picks as a set from Wilton at Wal-Mart for $2 about a month ago. I bought the stars and stripes sprinkles around Memorial Day in the dollar section of Target. Can you tell that I love bargain shopping?

I have been planning these for months and apparently so has everyone else in the blogosphere. I have seen so many red, white and blue cupcakes it's crazy! All of them are basically the same idea with their own little twist. I hope you enjoy my twist.

To make the cupcakes, be lazy like me and go buy a box mix. Or you can be fancy and use your favorite recipe for a basic white cake. Make according to the package directions. I used milk instead of the water but you can use whatever you prefer. Once the batter is made, divide it into three equal portions. Mine was about 1 1/3 cups per color. I then added 1/4 teaspoon of red gel food coloring to one bowl and 1/4 teaspoon blue gel food coloring to a second bowl. The third bowl I left white. After lining my muffin tins, I spooned about a tablespoon of red batter into the bottom followed by white and blue. Make sure you spread the batter all the way to the sides so that you get a striped appearance on the outside. Bake according to your directions and allow to cool completely before icing.

Vanilla-Almond Buttercream

½ cup vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 cups powdered sugar
½ cup half and half

In a large bowl, mix together shortening, salt, vanilla, almond extract and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add in remaining sugar, 2 cups at a time and alternate with half and half. Add more half and half to thin and more sugar to thicken the icing, if needed. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.