Firework Cupcakes Recipe

The title of this post should really be Yellow Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting. So if you were looking for a cupcake recipe that exploded, cracked or popped, this isn’t the place. If you read my blog, you know that yesterday, July 5th, I went to my brother-in-law’s lake house and brought corn bread muffins. That recipe called for 9 oz (or half a box) of yellow cake mix. With the other half, I decided to make cupcakes with blue frosting and red sparkling sugar. With half a box of cake mix I made 3 cupcakes. They. Were. Huge. So I guess they did literally explode when they baked. You can make whatever size cupcakes you want with this recipe, but I went overboard and it was fun! Try it sometime 😉 Let’s go…

Oh and I’m going to add that this is the perfect recipe for when you don’t need 12 cupcakes. Just use half the box and store the rest for later!

What you will need:

Cupcake/muffin pan lined with paper liners (I used foil ones)

For the cupcakes:

About 9 oz. of yellow cake mix (half a box)
1 egg
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the frosting: (note: this was enough to cover 3 huge cupcakes)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Sparkling sugar or sprinkles (optional)
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined. Pour into prepared pan, half full if you want normal size cupcakes, or almost to the top if you want huge ones like mine. Tip: If making huge cupcakes, fill every other hole so they don’t run into each other when they bake. Bake for 18-20 minutes but check before the time is up if making regular sized cupcakes. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then remove and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting:

In a medium sized bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla and milk and beat until combined. If using, add a few drops of food coloring and mix until you get desired color. I used blue.

Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Brownie Butter Cake Recipe

This cake did not turn out how I had hoped, but it still looks cool, doesn’t it? Sorry for the bad photos. I use my iPhone 4s for everything. Plus, I took these shots at different times of the day so the lighting was off. Oh well. I don’t get paid to do this (yet).

I find a lot of recipes and inspiration from Pinterest, and this one caught my eye from a mile away. We are spending July 3rd at my parents to see a parade, and then July 4th, early in the morning, we are seeing hot air balloons at Eyes to the Skies in Lisle. My son is obsessed with balloons right now. And, of course, I’m bringing something sweet to eat. This delicious cake is very easy to make, just read the directions carefully (you always should anyways). Let’s get to making this beauty…

What you will need:

4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pan that is lined with aluminum foil and greased

For the brownie layer:

4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the butter cake layer:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/2 tablespoons milk

To make the brownie layer: Note: This cake bakes twice at different temperatures

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Place chocolate and butter in heat proof bowl over simmering water. Stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in brown sugar until blended. Add egg and mix well. Stir in flour until combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

To make the butter cake layer:

While the brownie is in the oven, start making the butter cake. In a small bowl, sift together flour and baking powder, and set aside.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add in the flour mixture and milk until incorporated.

As soon as the brownie is out of the oven, spread butter cake batter evenly on top. Change oven temperature to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Keep checking for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer in the center. Let cool on wire rack completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Here is how I cut mine. I also found putting it in the fridge for a couple hours made cutting easier (and it tasted good, too).

Chewy Cinnamon Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

Everyone who knows my husband, knows he LOVES peanut butter. He loves it so much, he even puts it in his cereal. I’ve tried it, it’s good, but I don’t love peanut butter as much as he does. This cookie is perfect for him! They taste amazing, are so easy to make, and are super chewy! I just inhaled 3. If you need a weekend dessert, here it is…

What you will need:

1 cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon for rolling

To make the dough:

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), mix the first 6 ingredients until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Combine the last 2 ingredients in a shallow bowl or dish. Remove the dough from the fridge (duh). ( I can’t believe I just said duh, but I realized I do say it quite often.) Using a small spoon, form dough into balls and roll them around in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Using the tines of a fork, pressing down slightly, create a crisscross pattern on the tops of each cookie.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar when they are still hot. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Yellow Butter Cake Recipe

Cake. Probably my favorite thing to bake and one of my favorite things to eat. I’m so happy to be making this cake because it is for my dads 60th birthday! Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you! We went over to my parents house today and of course I brought the cake. This cake is made with egg yolks to get that lovely yellow color, and the frosting is my go-to chocolate buttercream (also in this recipe). I have used many boxed cakes, they are very good. There is nothing wrong with them. It’s easy; you mix and pour. But making your own is easy, too, and it’s so much more special! So, let’s bake a cake!

What you will need:

Two 9 inch round cake pans

For the batter:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tip: Unfortunately, this cake came out dry. So to avoid that next time, I would add an extra 1/4 cup of vegetable oil or applesauce to achieve a moist texture.

For the frosting:

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Butter (or spray) and flour your cake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy (this may take a few minutes). Add in 3 egg yolks and beat well. Add in 3 more egg yolks and beat well. Add in the vanilla and beat until incorporated.

To avoid over-mixing the batter, alternate adding the flour and milk. First, add a little flour, mix, then add some milk, mix, flour, mix, milk, mix. Got it? 🙂 The batter will be somewhat thick.

Next, evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans. Smooth out evenly with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for 22-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place the cakes on a wire rack for about 15 minutes to cool. Then, invert the cakes onto a greased rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the chocolate and mix until incorporated and the frosting looks smooth.

Frost the cake once it has completely cooled.

Decorate how you would like, using sprinkles, candles, etc. In my case, I used an edible white chocolate  “60” that I made myself!

A fun tradition my moms side of the family has done since forever, is to put 3 dimes in birthday cake. Don’t worry! They are boiled in water beforehand. If you find a dime in your piece of cake, you will have good luck. Here is a picture of me placing them in the bottom layer of the cake…

Then, when you frost the cake, no one knows where they are! We still have so much fun finding out who gets a dime. ❤



Simple Chocolate Cake Recipe

I love chocolate cake and since it was just my birthday, why not make some? This recipe is so easy and can be doubled to make a 2 layer cake. It’s frosted with a homemade chocolate buttercream, recipe also down below. Not much to say, let’s go bake a cake!

What you will need:

One 9 inch cake pan lined with parchment paper

For the cake:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Butter or spray a 9 inch cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, water, vegetable oil and vanilla. Tip: You can use coffee instead of water to help bring out the chocolate flavor.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 27 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting on serving plate.

To make the frosting:

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add the cocoa and beat until everything is incorporated.

Frost the cake once it has completely cooled and decorate however you like 🙂 As you can see, I made a 30 (using cookie cutters) out of sprinkles, and also used sparkling sugar. Have fun and enjoy!

Monkey Bread Recipe


Butter. Cinnamon. Sugar. If only these were the three foods we needed to survive. Luckily, they all come together in what is called Monkey Bread. Mmmmmm. I made this for my family on Christmas morning last year and it was so good, it will definitely be a new tradition for us. Monkey bread was easier than I thought to make, too. There are no crazy ingredients, so if you bake regularly, you probably already have them on hand. The best thing about this recipe, is you can put it all together the night before you bake it. Perfect for Christmas morning or if you have early morning plans. All you need to do when you wake up is stick it in the oven. So let’s go…

What you will need:

9 inch greased bundt or tube pan

To make the cinnamon sugar:

3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

To make the dough:

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup warm milk
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter melted

First, make the cinnamon sugar. In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together, set aside. Next, in a small bowl (I used a glass cereal bowl), heat 1/4 cup of water in microwave until warm, not hot (or you can just use warm tap water, whatever is more convenient for you). Sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir, and let stand about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), add salt, sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, milk, egg and yeast mixture. Beat until blended. Add flour, one cup at a time, until everything is incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Cut (or pull) dough and make 1 to 2 inch balls (see picture). Roll each ball in 1/2 cup melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture and place in pan. Once all the dough is used, sprinkle any remaining sugar and drizzle remaining butter on top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, take pan out of refrigerator and set it on your counter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes before inverting onto serving plate. Enjoy! Seriously, so divine 😉

What it looks like right out of the oven