Chocolate Cupcakes

I struggled with making chocolate cupcakes for years. It was challenging to get the amount of batter for each cupcake correct. I would end up with giant cupcakes or poorly-risen cupcakes more oftentimes than not. I finally figured out that the method for mixing up cupcakes can really affect the final product. This recipe calls for adding the boiling water late in the process and beating on high speed for a minute. The cupcakes have baked perfectly every time for me! Every time I’ve made them, they yield 12 cupcakes. They also work nicely for the mini cupcake size. If you bake them as minis, they need 13 minutes in the oven.

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How to Make a Popcorn Bag Cake

Design by Invitation

One of my friends always has me design her children’s cakes from a custom birthday party invitation she sends out. She introduced another one of her friends to me and her friend had the same idea for her daughter’s 11th birthday. Samara’s invitation had a big bag of popcorn on it, so of course we’d need a “bag of popcorn” cake!

I LOVE to design cakes this way. Sometimes they are almost identical to the invite and other times the invitation simply serves as a launching point for inspiration. For Samara’s birthday, the cake was pretty similar to the invitation:

The Cake

The cake was for a sleepover party for 11 year old girls. Knowing this, and the fact that the design of the invite lent itself to a rectangular shape, we decided to go with a 1/4 sheet cake. Serving would be easy and they’d be smaller pieces than if we went with a layer cake. Once the size was selected it was time to assemble the cake! Continue reading

Molasses Cookies

My father really enjoys molasses cookies. In early retirement, he and my mother would regularly go to our local Barnes and Noble in Ithaca. The kids and I often went with them. There were two gentlemen that worked there and we all got to know them really well because we were there all the time! Naturally when it was time to celebrate his 65th birthday we decided to have a surprise party! We decided we’d buy Barnes & Noble cookies for the occasion. That was the start of my desire to make my own giant molasses cookies. I created a recipe that would be just as good (or better) than my Dad’s favorites. Several years (and a lot of molasses cookie tastings) later, I have a great favorite recipe for molasses cookies!

molasses cookies

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