The Cupcake Finale

7 Feb

The moment has finally arrived.  365 cupcakes.  Today, we decide which one reigns supreme.

(A little dramatic for cupcakes?  Perhaps…but I’m okay with it.)

The 3 winning Semifinalists are:

Day 93 – Chocolate, Banana, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcake

Recipe from Craftstorming

CBPB-CD-Cupcake

Day 223 – Churro Cupcake

Recipe from The Novice Chef

Churro-cupcake

Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcake

Recipe from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Choc-Cherry-Cordial-half

Let’s see how they stack up:

Well, there you have it!  A surprising, but tasty, ending to My Year of Cupcakes.  Thanks again to our Cupcake Panel – George, Anastasia and Dara!  And a huge thanks to my hubby, Ken, for filming and original music (not to mention thanks for tasting all those cupcakes with me!!)!

The top cupcake is chosen, but it’s not over.  Check back soon for more fun and more recipes!!

The 3rd Semifinal Competition

4 Feb

Okay.  The 3rd (and final) Semifinal Competition.  Almost down to the moment of truth.  After today, we’ll know which 3 cupcakes will compete in the Finale for the title of “Best Cupcake on Pinterest”.

So excited!

Our Semifinal Competitors are:

April Monthly ChampChocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcake

Recipe from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Choc-Cherry-Cordial-half

May Monthly ChampTres Leches Cupcake

Recipe from A Few Shortcuts

Tres-Leches-Cupcake

June Monthly Champ –  Ballpark Caramel Cracker Jack Cupcake

Recipe from Suitcases & Sweets

Cracker-Jack-halved2

July Monthly ChampFrench Toast Cupcake

Recipe from The Smart Cookie Cook

French-Toast-Cupcake

Let’s see how they do:

Thanks again to our Cupcake Panel – Nadine, Erin & Robbie – and to my hubby, Ken, for all filming and original music!  Check back very, very soon for our Finale to see which cupcake is crowned “the Best Cupcake on Pinterest”!!

The 2nd Semifinal Competition

2 Feb

As promised, the 2nd Semifinal Competition.  Yes.  One step closer to discovering the best cupcake on Pinterest!

(My mouth is watering already…)

This time the competitors are:

December Monthly ChampChocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcake

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

CB-PP-Cupcake-halved

January Monthly ChampS’more Cupcake

Recipe from The Soul of the Matter

Smores-halved-top

February Monthly ChampSamoas Cupcake

Recipe from Bakers Royale

Samoa-Cupcake

March Monthly ChampChurro Cupcake

Recipe from The Novice Chef

Churro-cupcake

And, now for the competition!

Thank you to our Cupcake Panel – Jesse, Maddy, Alex & Shelby – and to my hubby, Ken, for the original music!  Check back soon for the 3rd Semifinal, when we find out which cupcakes will compete in the Finale!

The 1st Semifinal Competition

31 Jan

Well, wow!  I can’t believe how long it’s been.  Sorry for the delay, everyone.  As some of you know, I was quite pregnant when we finished the last cupcake.  Needless to say, we quickly filmed ALL the semifinals and the finale… and then had the baby…before I could post them.

K4

My son, Kenneth (named after his Daddy), was born on November 4th.

Yes.  He’s almost 3 months old now.  And those of you that know anything about babies know why I am JUST NOW getting around to these videos.

So, without further ado, I give you our 1st Semifinal Competitors:

August Monthly ChampToffee Crunch Cupcake

Recipe from Bakers Royale

Toffee Crunch Cupcake

September Monthly ChampS’mores Cupcake

Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

Smores-Cupcake

October Monthly ChampBlackout Cupcake

Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Blackout-Cupcake

November Monthly ChampChocolate, Banana, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcake

Recipe from Craftstorming

CBPB-CD-Cupcake

Alright.  Here we go!

Thank you to our Cupcake Panel – Bailey, Megan and Sarah – and thanks to my hubby, Ken, for all filming and original music!  Check back soon for Semifinal #2!!

Healthy Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

27 Feb

So, technically the name is ‘Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars {vegan & gluten-free}’…but I didn’t wanna give it all away in the title!  (Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.)

squares2

I know, I know.  I’m usually not on the vegan OR the gluten-free bandwagon.  But, they looked so tasty, and I LOVE banana bread, so I had to try them.  And they did NOT disappoint!  Even without the butter, dairy and eggs that are typically 3 of my favorite things.

batter

The batter (forgive the pic taken with my phone!) is surprisingly simple to make, despite making your own flour.  Yup.  That’s right.  You make your own flour.  I’m not gonna tell you how though, cause you need to check it out for yourself at Ambitious Kitchen!  But this handy trick means that they are gluten-free.  They are also vegan, depending on what kind of chocolate chips you use.

squares

The bars have a good bread-like texture, despite being thinner than a typical banana bread.  But they have a little heartier bite, thanks to the oats.  The chocolate offers a nice balance to the sweetness of the banana.  Overall, just yummy.  And they’re lacking all oils and grease too, so they don’t leave your fingers all messy.  Bonus!

half-eaten

But seriously.  My favorite thing about these bars is that they’re healthy enough to call a breakfast bar (only 116 calories and 2.9g of fat per bar) but tasty enough that we also ate them for dessert.  Yeah.  They were gone within about a day and half.  And there are only 2 of us eating.

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars (recipe from Ambitious Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave nectar if vegan) — I used half honey and half agave
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • For chocolate drizzle:
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

For directions visit Ambitious Kitchen.

Monster Cookies

19 Feb

So, I wanna start another project.  I know that much.  But, it’s a huge undertaking, especially with a 3 1/2 month old at home.  So, alas, for now, I’ll stick to just some random recipes on random days when I get the chance to bake.  Some will be new (for me).  Others, like these Monster Cookies from Paula Deen/Food Network, are not new.  At all.

whole-organized

These have actually become one of my go-to cookie recipes.  They’re tasty, they’re SUPER easy to make and everyone loves them!  In fact, I’ve made these with my nieces who are 3 and 5, cause they’re so easy AND they have M&M’s (or num-nums, as they call them), so it’s a win-win.

(PS I’d love to try out your “go-to” recipes too!  What are they?!  Leave me a comment or shoot me a note.)

dough

They can be made as large or as small as you want.  I used my cookie scooper (like an ice cream scoop, but smaller…for cookies).  My husband thinks this is a crime, because cookies should be large.  So, the choice is yours.  I will say, though, that mine took about 13 minutes to bake, not the 8-10 that the recipe calls for.  So just keep an eye.  They should be “set” but not firm.

whole-top

The other great thing about these is that they are “mixer optional”.  In the video, Paula Deen makes them with just a bowl and a wooden spoon.  I used my stand mixer, just cause it’s so easy to do.  But, either way…yum!

half-eaten

Monster Cookies (from Food Network)

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 12-oz jar creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies (aka M&M’s)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins, optional
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal

For directions visit Food Network.

 

Announcing the semifinalists…

11 Aug

Ok.  The results are in.  The 12 Monthly Champs have been decided.  Starting soon, these 12 semifinalists will compete for the title of “Best Cupcake”.  Let’s review the tasty competition!

August Monthly ChampToffee Crunch Cupcake

Recipe from Bakers Royale

Toffee Crunch Cupcake

September Monthly ChampS’mores Cupcake

Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

Smores-Cupcake

October Monthly ChampBlackout Cupcake

Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Blackout-Cupcake

November Monthly ChampChocolate, Banana, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcake

Recipe from Craftstorming

CBPB-CD-Cupcake

December Monthly ChampChocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcake

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

CB-PP-Cupcake-halved

January Monthly ChampS’more Cupcake

Recipe from The Soul of the Matter

Smores-halved-top

February Monthly ChampSamoas Cupcake

Recipe from Bakers Royale

Samoa-Cupcake

March Monthly ChampChurro Cupcake

Recipe from The Novice Chef

Churro-cupcake

April Monthly ChampChocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcake

Recipe from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Choc-Cherry-Cordial-half

May Monthly ChampTres Leches Cupcake

Recipe from A Few Shortcuts

Tres-Leches-Cupcake

June Monthly Champ –  Ballpark Caramel Cracker Jack Cupcake

Recipe from Suitcases & Sweets

Cracker-Jack-halved2

July Monthly ChampFrench Toast Cupcake

Recipe from The Smart Cookie Cook

French-Toast-Cupcake

Check back soon for the semifinalist competitions!

 

 

 

 

 

July Monthly Competition

31 Jul

Ok.  Last Monthly Competition.  Here are the competitors:

Root Beer Cupcakes

Root-Beer-Float-Cupcake

French Toast Cupcakes

French-Toast-Cupcake

Reese’s Cupcakes

Reeses-Cupcake

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

Check out the video below to see which cupcake wins.  And check back soon for the semi-finals and finale to find out which cupcake is the best cupcake on My Year of Cupcakes!

Day 365 – Stuffed BBQ Cupcakes

31 Jul

It’s the last day.  Last cupcake.  (Let’s just skim right over the fact that this means I’ve eaten about 365 cupcakes, please.)  And this momentous occasion requires a special cupcake.  Something like I’ve never tried before.  Well, after 364 cupcakes, I thought it would be hard to find something insanely unique.  Until my friend, Christy sent me these Stuffed BBQ Cupcakes (recipe below from Snappy Gourmet).  I’ve never seen (or tasted) anything like them.  Perfect for day 365!

Stuffed-Cupcake     Mini-Stuffed-Cupcake

The cupcakes are dense and crumbly. They look a lot like corn bread muffins. They have a slight cornbread flavor, but the meatiness from the pork filling really permeates the flavor of the cake. It’s almost smoky.

Pimento-Cheese-Frosting

The frosting is really thick. It has chunks of pimento in it, so don’t attempt to do any fancy frosting. Just simple round tip or spread it on. It has a strong cream cheese/other cheeses flavor. Very creamy. Strong spice flavors, but no one sticks out.

Stuffed-BBQ-Cupcake     Mini-Stuffed-BBQ-Cupcake

This is a cupcake for the BBQ lovers. For sure! It’s just fun. It’s meaty. It’s cheesy. The flavors work really well together. The bbq sauce, the spices, the cheese, the meat and the corn bread. I mean, they’re all involved in any good BBQ. This just puts it all in one bite. It’s surprisingly easy to eat. You look at the ingredients and think it’ll be messy. But as long as your pork doesn’t have too much sauce on it, you’re good to go. Together, it’s like a complete thought, where the pieces were just parts. It all adds up.

Stuffed-BBQ-halved

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19

Stuffed-BBQ-top

RECIPE

Stuffed BBQ Cupcakes (recipe from Snappy Gourmet)

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup corn meal
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • ½ cup precooked BBQ pulled pork (with or without BBQ sauce)
Pimento Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • dash onion powder
  • dash garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons pimentos, drained
Garnish (optional):
  • BBQ sauce

For directions visit Snappy Gourmet.

 

Weekly Winner #48

30 Jul

So, yes.  There are 52 weeks in a year.  But only 48 weeks in My Year of Cupcakes.  That’s because I fit 4 weeks into every month.  No overlap.  Nonetheless, there are 365 amazing cupcakes that filled this year…or there will be tomorrow.  So, here are this final week’s competitive cupcakes.

Snickers Cupcakes

Snickers-Cupcake-halved

Ginger Ale Cupcakes

Ginger Ale Cupcake

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate-Caramel-Cupcake

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

Funnel Cake Cupcakes

Funnel-Cake-Cupcake

Mudslide Cupcakes

Mudslide-Cupcake

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Strawberry-Lemon-Cupcake

And, with 19.5 points, the winner is…

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

The Banana Cream Cupcakes from Every Day Desserts Blog.  Check out that adorable day here.  And check back tomorrow for the final Monthly Competition, featuring these yummies:

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root-Beer-Float-Cupcake

French Toast Cupcakes

French-Toast-Cupcake

Reese’s Cupcakes

Reeses-Cupcake

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

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