Happy Virtual Halloween Birthday Cupcake to Kim Leffler in Spokane, WA!

My niece...Kim...is one of those Halloween babies...well, she's not a baby anymore...the BIG day was October 31, 1960...yikes, she's getting up there...but I thought that these Williams-Sonoma Halloween Pumpkin Patch Petite Cakes would just be the perfect virtual celebration for Kim! She lives in Spokane, Washington, and is a real sweetie. Don't tell her I told you this, but I'm the one who potty trained her. CQ loves ya, Kim!

Layla, however, only loves cupcakes! She waited a long time yesterday to get her treat for staring at these babies, so I just has to give her something special. One of her favorite treats is doggie ice cream. I know...I know...bad mommy...but she really loves Frosty Paws. They have two flavors: original and peanut butter. And, you can even order a Frosty Paws Party Kit for your dog's birthday party! Layla hasn't has one of these yet...but her birthday isn't until January....hmmmm

If you want to make the pumpkin patch petite cakes, you're going to need Williams-Sonoma's "Pumpkin Patch Pan."

Here's the recipe:

For the cakes--
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 tsp. salt
5 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
14 Tbs. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 2/3 cups pumpkin puree [I used a can of pumpkin]

For the frosting--
8 oz. cream cheese
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring as desired

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously grease and flour the wells of a pumpkin patch pan; tap out excess flour.

To make the cakes, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the brown and granulated sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Divide half of the batter between the wells of the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cake half comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake halves cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.

Gently tap the pan on a work surface to loosen the cakes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cakes cool completely before decorating. Wash and thoroughly dry the pan, grease and flour the wells and repeat with the remaining batter.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in food coloring as desired.

To assemble the cakes, using a bread knife, cut off any portion of each cake that rose above the rim of the pan. Place a cake half, flat side up, on a cake stand or plate and spread the frosting on top. Place its matching cake half, flat side down, on top. Repeat with the remaining cakes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then decorate as desired.

For unassembled cake halves, decorate the exterior of each half as desired.

Makes 24 cake halves or 12 assembled cakes.

from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Here's hoping you have a scary Halloween...don't you wish it was your birthday, too?



Eat, Drink and Be Scary Pt. Deux: Here Come the Halloween CupKin PumpCakes!

The Halloween Cupcakes Scene was going strong in our house today ...waiting for the CupKin PumpCake to come out of the oven ...and it did! And, it was made out of pumpkin and cranberries and some chocolate, too!

These pumpkin and cranberry cupcakes were based on Julie Hasson's 125 Cupcakes books..remember the first cupcake book contest? I added cranberries instead of the raisons she suggested.

The frosting...black and white...was Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Frosting...it never fails me! I'd been collecting Halloween items here for most of the year. Whenever I went on a trip I found some little thing that I thought might work for Halloween party cupcakes...have you noticed how much Halloween stuff there is for sale now...not as much as holiday stuff, of course, but pretty close.

I think I like the skeleton ones the best ...they look like someone drowning in black goo! The skeletons are made out of plastic ...unedible ...but cute!

I also found some Halloween Oreos with bright orange frosting...I broke them up and used them as topping for some of the cupcakes. And, of course, Halloween wouldn't be complete without a photo of Layla and some bones!

Hope you have a blast on Halloween!

Rock on!


Halloween Cupcakes

Holey Cupcakes...It's the Great Cupkin Pumpcake

I'm getting my stuff ready for Halloween cupcakes...aren't you? Preparing to unveil my scary cupcake scene next weekend...the 22nd...I've been collecting all kinds of fascinating items for the cupcakes...My partner in slime, Margaret, and I decided it would be fun to make a Halloweenie 52 Cupcakes type t-shirt (see design above)! She illustrated the Great Cupkin Pumpcake and I came up with the rest of the design. I think I'll order one for my niece, Kim...Halloween is her birthday!

We have several versions up on CafePress...long sleeved, short sleeved...well. you know!

Check in HERE to see the Eat, Drink and Be Scary shirts.

BIG NEWS: Elaine Cohen, author of the new book, Super, Duper Cupcake, wrote and told me about an event she is having in NYC on Saturday, October 21st. It's a FREE HALLOWEEN CUPCAKE DECORATING EVENT and book signing. It makes me wish I lived in New York City.....

Here are the details:
Cupcakes and frostings for children to decorate and eat.
- Where: in NYC at Broadway Panhandler at 65 East 8th Street (between Broadway and University)
- October 21st, 2:00 pm

AND, Elaine has agreed to donate two autographed copies of her new book to 52 cupcakes for the November contest!!! More about that later!

Now, get out there and an scare someone...just kidding...Whew! My Halloween evil twin keeps popping out...I think I need a nap!

Rock On!


Dora the Explorer Birthday Cupcakes...and Layla Meets Dora!

Today was the perfect day for the Dora the Explorer Birthday Party...out came the sun and the birthday cupcakes! Of course, the first matter of business was to go to the PARTY store...Yay! Was it ever halloweenie today...I just had to buy some spider web stuff for the Halloween cupcake scene..what fun. I was terribly tempted to purchase this little package or tiny little rubbery rats...oh and there was the bag of squishy eyeballs...pretty amazing what they can do nowadaze! I did pick up a cute skeleton ring that has glowing eyes. You never know when you might need something like that....

The next stop was the grocery store to pick up the Dora the Explorer Animals Crackers...I don't know why they call them Animals Crackers, I always thought they were simple Animal Crackers.......neways, these include Dora and her friends: Boots, Swiper Map, and Backpack, of course.

But, I digress..the Doras cupcakes were inspired by the Yellow Cupcakes recipe in another new cupcake book: A Baker's Field Guide to Cupcakes. It's a lovely book and...like Crazy About Cupcakes...teaches you all types of fun things to do. Dede Wilson is the author and she her "field guide" includes major holiday cupcakes, wedding cupcakes, graduation cupcakes, and Kids' Bake Sales cupcakes!

And, this is the first time that I've used Wilton's Color Mist Food Color Spray, and I must admit it unleashed something wild in me...After I was finished with the cupcakes, I wanted to go out and graffitti something! Whew!
Layla was so happy to be attending the the Dora the Explorer birthday party. She had never met Dora and her friends before and...picture thhis...right now she's sitting smack in front of the tv just waiting for her new friend Dora to appear!

Adios, CQ

We Have Two Winners!

Sorry I'm late....my real job got in my way!

But, can you believe this? We actually have two winners of Crazy About Cupcakes: Queue and Sylvie! What fun!

Queue's blog is Me...as soon as I figure me out...Sylvie's blog is Soul Fusion Kitchen.

Sylvie: Please send your address to me at 52cupcakes@gmail.com. I already have Queue's info.

To all of you who entered and made comments: Thanks! You are all so sweet...just like cupcakes...Keep your fingers crossed for the next contest...it's coming in December!

And, don't forget to Rock On!


Milky Way Cupcakes for Frenchie Picnic...Bulldogs, That Is!

How can you resist that face? This weekend we had the great experience of attending our first French Bulldog picnic held annually by Karen and Jeff Robertson of Rock N' Roll Frenchies near Shamokin, Pa.. It was so much fun...there were at least 25 Frenchies there!

I made Milky Way cupcakes...both chocolate and vanilla...another fun and easy recipe to try out!

Layla was present for the frosting of the cupcakes...as you can see. She actually ate one when we weren't looking...well...it was one of those crazy Friday nights trying to do too many things at one time. You've been there, haven't you? Layla could not attend the picnic...she's an American Bulldog and only Frenchies were allowed!

This what they looked like when they went in the oven....I had just left the milk way bar on top and the batter covered it over a bit. it didn't sink that much.

And, this is what they looked like when they came out! When I did the chocolate batch I actually pushed the candy bar piece all the way down into the batter and it ended up at the bottom of the cupcake. I like the way the vanilla ones turned out better. Then I just put some nice vanilla frosting, sometimes combined with chocolate frosting, on top and we were ready for the picnic!

This is Harry...one very happy, tired, French Bulldog...on his way home from the picnic. He was exhausted!

BTW, don't forget to enter the contest...the post below this one...It is over tomorrow (Wednesday night, October 4th at 11:59 p.m.!

Rock on, Cupcake Lovers~