Cup Cakes

My Birthday was this past Sunday. I turned….. old enough!! It was a good day with lots of BarBQue and lots of cake. Perfect!!

And since it WAS my birthday week, Kaye chose CAKE for our theme this week. Thanks, Kayte!

But it also happened to be Father’s Day.  And the Man’s favorite cake is Carrot Cake.  Mine happens to be…cake!!  Any cake with lots of frosting!  So kill two celebrations with one dessert!


There are not many cake recipes in Ellie’s books but there happens to be a darn good Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe in The Food You Crave.  It is just as good as the one I make for his birthday every year only healthier.  Less sugar.  Less oil.  Same frosting.  Same great taste. Still moist. Still sweet.  This may be my new g0-to for carrot cuppys!!

The recipe or Carrot Cupcakes with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting is on page 285.  But it is also on Food Network.

What other cake did we enjoy this week.  Check out Let’s Make Cake at Eating with Ellie.


Limencello! I have seen that name several times as ingredients for recipes. I know it is an Italian lemon liqueur but really hadn’t thought about it much. When I saw it was used in this week’s Baking Chez Moi cupcakes I knew I would have to find some. And I did, but it was WAY more than I would ever need. After considering the alternative – NOT making the cupcakes – I decided I would see if I could make some. Fortunately there are LOTS of recipes out there. I made just enough to make these cuppys and have a little left over.


I have to admint it would not be something I would actually DRINK as many in Italy and France do, but it does make a nice little cupcake and frosting.


I was really afraid we wouldn’t like the cupcakes since we didn’t like the liqueur at all but it just adds a little kick to the whole treat.


And then the orange marmalade adds to the sweet side.

The recipe is on page 194 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi. I am sure the other cupcakes made this week by the Doristas are quite lovely and very tasty so click on over to view all of them on the Tuesdays with Dorie Website.

The limoncello recipe I used – The Kitchen

If you haven’t met Mary you need to do that right away. Along with her chickens, goats, emus, cows, and donkeys. Living on a 5 acre farm all of the creatures keep her busy as does all the wonderful cooking and baking she finds time to do. The pictures of her lovely house and all of the animals are lovely.

Mary – in case you haven’t recognized it yet – is the author of The Egg Farm and my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club for October. I perused her recipes for days, pinning more than I will ever cook, and finally ended up with a few I really really wanted to make asap. The other 20 or so can wait.

The garden gave us tons of tomatoes this year. I put up quite a few and they were still bearing in September when my assignment came through I managed to save two large green ones so I could make Mary’s Fried Green Tomatoes.


I haven’t made them in ages. These were so good. Nice and crispy. Lots of flavor. I didn’t change her recipe at all.

    2 large green tomatoes, sliced into ½ inch slabs
    Buttermilk sufficient to cover the tomato slices
    Dash of hot sauce
    ½ cup all purpose flour
    ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
    ½ TBS kosher salt
    Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
    Canola oil for frying

Place sliced tomatoes in a glass pie dish. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Pour buttermilk over the tomatoes to cover. This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight. The great thing about letting them set overnight is that the water separated from the solids of the buttermilk leaving a nice thick white layer of buttermilk solids.
In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients except the oil. Remove the tomato slices from the buttermilk and carefully press each into the bread crumb/flour mixture. Have oil pre-heated to medium in a large frying pan. Add the tomatoes to the oil as soon as the are coated. Fry the tomatoes until each side is golden brown, turning only once. Remove from oil and allow the oil to drain a bit before placing the fried tomatoes on a plate. Serve immediately.

I usually just use a little flour and cornmeal, but Mary’s addition of the Panko bread crumbs added a great texture.


Needing something for lunch I made


The picture doesn’t do it justice. Full of basil and lots of cheese – I used Asiago, Parmesean, and Pecorino/Romano – the flavors really shined through. The only think I did different was to make it crustless. Delicious. Writing this I want it NOW for lunch.


I love a good simple but filling dish for lunch. I really don’t like sandwiches unless they are hot. I went back to Mary’s blog and found –


her Asparagus Fritata. And I had just bought some asparagus so I figured it was an omen! Especially since she had JUST posted it. A fritatta is much like a quiche except it is finished under the broiler and is crustless. Perfect!!

    2 tablespoons butter
    ¼ cup diced shallots
    ½ teaspoon salt
    Few turns of black pepper
    1 pound thin spear asparagus spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
    ½ baked potato, cubed
    4 large eggs = 6Tbl egg whites
    1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
    1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and translucent.
Add the asparagus cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add in the potatoes (mine were still hot so I added them later.) Save a some spears to top the frittata.
Mix the eggs, ¾ of the cheese, chives, salt and pepper and beat them until a little fluffy. Pour the egg mixture over the onions and asparagus in the skillet. Arrange the reserved asparagus spears on top. Cook until almost set. Pre-heat broiler.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the eggs broil until cheese is melted and browned, and the center is set. Carefully remove pan from oven and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges. Can be served warm or room temperature.

It was a yummy lunch. I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing. Happily, now I have leftovers!!

We wenyto a huge car show in Mississippi with 6 other people I took dessert. Mary’s Irish Cream Cupcakes caught my eye for two reasons. First – I love chocolate and second so does our cousin, Randy. Cuppys it is! These were so good and gone quickly. I did take pics but they are lost in cyberspace. You’ll just to trust me.

Thanks, Mary for some amazing recipes.

If you want to visit with the other members of Secret Recipe Club check out the link below. Lots of good stuff there!!

Mine is chocolate! Deep. Rich. Velvety. Chocolate. And right now it is off limits.

Annie looked it up for us: Guilty Pleasure

    A guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The “guilt” involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one’s lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes, such as campy styles of entertainment. Fashion, video games, music, films, and junk food can be examples of guilty pleasures.Wikipedia

So this month it is my Guilty Pleasure for Let’s Lunch.


    Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

I found these on Brown Eyed Baker’s blog and they looked perfect for something I couldn’t shouldn’t eat!! Bittersweet chocolate, COFFEE, a dollop of ganache on top before they were baked, with buttery chocolate frosting. Perfect! And because I wanted to make them MORE GUILTY I added Honey Caramel to the tops of the cuppys before I baked them. And THEN I drizzled them with a little of the Honey Caramel because….well, why not?! {We found a place called Honeyville while we were traveling thru’ Colorado this summer. Lots of Honey based goodies – wine, chocolate, caramel, even honey!!}Oh. My! Oh. My! Thanks, BEB, I think! The ones I didn’t eat were soooo good! And, yes, not a bit of guilt with the FIRST one!! The recipe makes 12 cuppys so make sure you have 11 friends over for them. Otherwise…….

BTW My other guilty pleasures include Fried Twinkies, Walking Dead, and really bad B-movies of the scary kind!!

Let’s Lunch is a monthly cooking/baking group. Every month we have a theme (Last month’s was PIE) and we all just make what we want to fit the theme.

So check out the Guilty Pleasures of the Lunchers below!

Cheryl’s Japanese Crisp Choco Bites
Lisa’s Mars Bar Slice
Emma’s Homemade Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Grace’s School Cafeteria Peanut Butter Bars
Dark Chocolate Whoopie Piesfrom Spice Box Travels
Annabelle’s Figs and Ricotta with Honey
Anne’s Purple Yam Jam
Lisa’s Nutella Cookies
Lucy’s Cheesy Apple Casserole
Tammy’s Pulled Pork
Lsa’a Capt Crunch Sammy

I think that is everyone. Hope I got every one’s name right. Looks like the perfect lunch!!

On June 6, 1944, my Dad was flying over Europe as a navigator-bombadier in a B-26, commonly known as the Widow Maker. He was a 21 year old First Lt. He was part of D-Day!

He was proud of his country, proud to fight for it. And almost died for it. After the war was over he said the rest of his life was pure gravy since he had survived WWII. In 1953 he was flying over Korea as a navigator-bombadier in a B-25. He volunteered for Viet Nam but was sent to Germany instead. Sunday was his 89th Birthday. I made him cupcakes.

Not just any cupcakes – Malgieri’s Golden Cupcakes on page 261 of the Modern Baker made with 6 – yes SIX – large egg yolks. They were beautifully yellow and very rich.

He liked them. He blew out the candle, smiled a lot. And then Tuesday afternoon he went to the ER with pneumonia and he is not able to swallow.

We are waiting. Waiting to see if he will survive something worse than a war. Old Age and pneumonia.

But there is no doubt in my mind he will win this battle, too. After all, he is a member of The Greatest Generation!!

Cupcakes are from Malgieri’s the Modern Baker on page 261.

It is Malgierei Monday. And since today is the First Monday in June it is also the first day of the last section of The Modern Baker ChallengeCAKES!!

I had to really think about which one to start with as there are 17 I really want to try out of the 25 total. Chocolate came to mind. But which one – there are 6 chocolate cakes to choose from. And then we were invited to a Crawfish Boil. Cupcakes would be sooo easy to eat so the choice was now easy.

      Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

And they WERE – moist – and very delicious. They were very easy to put together and they did not last past the trip home!! I made only 1/2 the recipe and ended up with 19 cupcakes. Perfect number!! Only 18 made it to The Boil. I HAD to test one!!! PERFECTION!!

Malgieri suggests chocolate fudge icing. I made it but it never ‘set’ so I iced with a Peanut Butter Frosting and used the chocolate fudge as a drizzle. Chocolate and PB – Heaven!!

The frosting is from Two Peas and their Pod and was a filler for Oatmeal PB cookies. It was the perfect texture for frosting.

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
    3 tablespoons heavy cream

Combine the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth. Add the heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy.

Malgieri’s chocolate fudge is really good. But then, it IS Chocolate!! I am not sure what I did wrong so that it remained too soft to use as a frosting. But it does make a good drizzle.

If you want to join us just visit The Modern Baker Challenge Website – Cakes – And let Phyl – our fearless leader – know you want to Bake-along with us!

This cake is on page 263 of Malgieri’s the Modern

Cakes will be here thru’ the end of December. And then….. well, we are still working on THAT one!!

I know it has been forever (Jan 2011) since I have baked cuppys with Martha, ie. MSC I may even still be on the blogroll. But when Tracey mentioned that she and Kayte were making these cuppys this morning I jumped back in.

    Lemon-Yogurt Cupcakes with Raspberry Strawberry Jam

And so glad I did cause they are delicious. I only made 1/2 the recipe and still got 15 cuppys out of the recipe. After they cooled we ‘gently sawed’ them into three layers and filled the space between with jam.

The recipe called for raspberry jam but I used strawberry jam and it was delicious. Then I also used lemon curd for some of the layers. The mix of strawberry and lemon curd in the different layers was really good. These don’t require any frosting like regular cupcakes. With the powdered sugar on top and the jam between they are plenty sweet. And by keeping the whole amount of lemon in 1/2 the recipe they had perfect lemon flavor.

Please stop by the MSC blogroll and see the other cuppys. And don’t forget to stop by Tracey’s and Kayte’s. Their cuppys look great.

And if you want to try these you can find the recipe on Holly’s Blog or in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Those are little bites of coconut and lemon. Little Bites!! They are an invention of Nick Malgieri and found on page 134/135 of his newest collection of goodies – Bake!

A mixture of eggwhites, very little flour, sugar and both sweetened and unsweetened coconut. Don’t they look delightful?

Hubs liked. I am still thinking about it. I love coconut. I love lemon. But I’m not sure if I liked them both together in this little cuppy.

Phyl and Kayte and I made them Sunday afternoon. Check out there little cuppys!!!!

I haven’t made cup cakes for MSC for a couple of months. But when I saw the selection for January I knew I couldn’t skip them.

Black Forest Cupcakes

A deep chocolate cupcake filled with cherries and custard and topped with chocolate ganache. There was no way I was skipping these.

I only made 1/3 of the recipe which gave me 6 Texas sized cupcakes {baked for 30 minues}. Perfect size for this rich and delicious treat. I had some dark chocolate ganache on hand so that is what I used instead of Martha’s ganache.

It just added to the richness of this treat.

Janine of Janines Crazy World chose this month’s selection. Great Pick Janine. It got me back into MSC.

Please visit the other MSC bakers and see how they liked this cupcake. You can find the recipe on Janine’s site or on Martha’s site.

…are. Especially if it is her Cardamom Crumb Cake.

If you like Cardamom you will love this cake. If you don’t like it make this cake with cinnamon and nutmeg instead because the Cardamom flavor is VERY strong. I decreased the amount to 1 Tbl from 1 1/2 and it was still a lot of flavor. I enjoy the flavor of cardamom which is why Chai masala is my favorite tea. In fact I used tea in this cake instead of the coffee Dorie recommends. Unfortunately the tea was not noticeable in the flavor. Ah, well!!

The only change I made (you knew THAT was coming!!) was to make these as small individual cakes instead of the 8″ x 8″ baking pan. The recipe gave me 12 2″ cakes and 3 small cuppys.

This wasy I can include the cakes on my Christmas platters.

These were really tasty. The crumb topping included more Cardomom along with orange zest {I used satsumas ’cause that is what I had} and chopped walnuts. Since I made little cakes they only took 20 minutes to bake. Quick and easy!!

Thanks to Jill of Jill’s Blog. This was her pick today for Tuesdays with Dorie!! Nice one, Jill. You can find the recipe on her blog or in Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours.

Just found out it was supposed to be 1 1/2 TEASPOONS not TABLESPOONS. No wonder the cardamom was so strong. Read, Margaret, READ!!!

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