Chew This! Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 6th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Lemon Cupcakes Perfect for Spring
Blaise Doubman

I know that the weather for the past several weeks has been very unspring like, but spring is here, and we need to enjoy it before the heat and humidity of the summer lurks in. I have always been someone who loves all four seasons, but spring has always been my favorite, followed by the fall. Spring is a time where, after a long winter, trees and flowers start to bloom and the weather starts warming up, without the humidity, and it feels like Mother Nature is offering everyone everywhere a “rebirth” of sorts. When I think of spring flavors I think of citrus flavors like lemon, orange, lime and pineapple. I also think about lighter feeling meals and lighter desserts that are deliciously tasty but do not weight down your body or stomach. When developing recipes, I often think of the season they will be enjoyed in and some of the seasonal aspects of what is fresh for that time of year. That is where this recipe started.

In the past I have experimented with all types of “fruit brownies” such as orange brownies, lemon brownies, lime brownies, strawberry brownies and even tropical pineapple brownies but this time I wanted to change things up and create a light, but flavorful, cupcake. I also wanted to create a glaze, or an icing, instead of a thick heavy frosting for the top. The cupcakes call for fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, which is very important for the overall fresh flavor. Fresh lemon juice is also called for in my icing. You can decorate the tops of these with a piece of candied lemon, a sprinkling of lemon zest, a dash of lemon sugar or simply leave them undecorated and with a smooth and shiny top. The best part of these cupcakes may be that they are extremely versatile. If you do not care for lemon, simply replace the measurements below with fresh orange, lime or even pineapple! This recipe is simply amazing.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

These cupcakes can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. I prefer eating these chilled, so feel free to store inside the refrigerator as well. Always use fresh lemon juice and never the bottled variety. There is no substitute for fresh lemon zest or fresh lemon juice. Also remember to zest your lemons first before cutting and juicing. To get the most juice from your lemons, roll the lemons back and forth across your cutting board before cutting or place in microwave for about 10 seconds to get the juices flowing.

For the cupcakes…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

For the icing…
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
Fresh lemon juice

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-count cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and beat together until light in color and fluffy in texture. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth and glossy.

In a separate bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together well until all dry ingredients are combined and free of lumps.

Add the dry ingredients gradually to the beaten butter and sugar until combined, being careful not to over mix the batter. Add in the whole milk, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice and beat just until the batter has come together and is light and glossy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Once baked, remove and allow to cool to room temperature before icing.

To make the icing, combine the confectioners’ sugar and whole milk in a bowl with a whisk. Slowly add in fresh lemon juice until the desired constancy is reached. I prefer a thinner icing for these cupcakes, but a thicker icing can be made by adding less fresh lemon juice.

Prepare the cupcakes by icing the tops, serve and enjoy.

Ask and Answer: I heard from so many of my readers with my previous column dedicated to my sweet fur baby Macy. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughtful messages. So many of you wanted to know if I had any more “doggie recipes” and I have a few but want to remind everyone to check with your dog’s veterinarians and ask about any possible food allergies. Dogs, just like humans, may have food allergies that a person would need to know about before providing or recommending any specific recipes. I will, however, recommend a cookbook for those interested. “Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook” By: The Bubba Rose Biscuit Company is a wonderful resource for those looking for safe and non-toxic “doggie recipes”.



Chew This! Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help!

My newest column features my “Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes” which when served in gold wrappers and a huge strawberry on top of each for garnish, makes one glamourous dessert! These were so fun to develop and my taste testers loved these! Do not worry about the champagne in these – the alcohol bakes off – while leaving a special “bubbly” flavor. Feel free to replace with white grape juice if you so desire. These are perfect for baby showers, birthdays or just an everyday celebration!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature contains information on where I buy the lemon sugar that I feature so often in my recipes.

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 1st 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Glamorous Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes
Blaise Doubman

A couple of months back my family and I went to Alexandria, Indiana and had a nice meal at the Gather’s Family Resource Center Café. I had their root beer based bbq chicken, small red potatoes, salad and of course dessert. They are famous for their “Red Raspberry Cake”. I tried a piece and immediately set out to make my own version. Gloria Gather, the matriarch and one of the founding Gather family members, said that her secret was in using a white cake mix mixed with the raspberry Jello. I set out, found her recipe in a cookbook and made one myself. It was delicious! I posted the recipe on my blog and people went crazy! Since then I have adapted the recipe in many ways, such as cupcakes and even a Bundt cake using assorted flavors of Jello and different corresponding types of fruit.

The recipe I am sharing here today is my favorite adaption of the original recipe I posted on blog. By turning the cake into a strawberry based cake, transforming them into cupcakes and adding a small splash of champagne, it elevates the dessert into something glamourous and fun. I just love the looks of these – and the taste! The alcohol in the champagne is baked out of the cupcakes when baked so have no fear when serving these to the underage crowd. I have made these several times and people go crazy! It is best to use frozen strawberries in the cake and the frosting but best to use fresh strawberries for the garnish. Sometimes I will dip the strawberries in melted chocolate before garnishing the top of each cupcake or simply roll them in a little edible glitter or a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Serve these and enjoy!

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

These are perfect for movie parties, graduation celebrations, showers and birthday parties. You can substitute the champagne for white grape fruit juice, sparkling cider or diluted strawberry syrup. You can find the glamourous gold liners I have used here in specialty shops and online.

For the cake…
1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 small box strawberry Jello
3 heaping tablespoons white all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
½ cup water
2 tablespoons champagne
1 package (10 oz) frozen strawberries

For the frosting…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
Remaining frozen strawberries
5 cups confectioner’s sugar

Fresh strawberries for garnish

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. I used the glamorous gold foil liners but feel free to use any liner you would like. Spray pans evenly and lightly with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl whisk together the white cake mix, strawberry Jello and white all-purpose flour.

In a glass measuring cup whisk together the vegetable oil, large eggs, water and champagne.

In small increments add the wet mixture to the dry. After all of the wet ingredients have been added, gently fold in half of the bag of frozen strawberries.

Divide the batter evenly between the 24 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the melted unsalted butter with the remaining half bag of frozen strawberries. Add in the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition, until the desired consistency is reached. What you are looking for here is a consistency much like that of a thick, but spreadable, ice cream.

Remove the cupcakes from their pans, frost generously and top with a whole fresh strawberry.

These may be chilled for up to six hours before removing and serving.

Ask and Answer: Several people have written to me wondering where I bought the “sweet and sassy lemon sugar” that I use on or in most of my lemon baked goods. The answer? It can be bought online through “King Arthur Flour”. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat you have probably seen me using it on and in lemon bread, lemon cookies and lemon frostings. It is a fine powder and lives up to the name! It is very much sweet and sassy – a little goes a long way!


Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

I am a huge fan of cupcakes! I love making them, eating them – but not decorating them… I am not the World’s Best Decorator by any means – I think it is because my focus is always on the eating of the dessert – and less on how it looks. Regardless, the perfect garnish can hide some imperfections – like the sliced banana garnish I use for these!

This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart. You can Google her version of the recipe and see what changes I made. I added more cupcakes to the total amount baked, changed some of the measurements and added some flavorful ingrediants. I am always looking on how to improve a recioe – and in this case – I have done it!

Instead of making banana bread next time you have some ripe bananas to use – make these moist and delicious cupcakes!

Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

For the cupcakes…
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
4 ripe bananas, mashed 
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

For the frosting…
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
1 tablespoon pure honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Lightly spray cups with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. 

Next, add in the melted and cooled unsalted butter, mashed bananas, large eggs and pure vanilla extract. 

Gently fold everything together, being very careful not to over mix the batter. Gently fold until all the white streaks of flour have disappeared. 

Next, divide the batter evenly between the cupcake tins. This batter makes 18 cupcakes and you need to fill them each 3/4 of the way full to the top.

Pour a small amount of water into the remaining 4 empty cupcake cavities. 

Place in preheated oven for exactly 27 minutes.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the melted and cooled unsalted butter with the honey, ground cinnamon and salt. Add in enough powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. You’ll want a frosting that is thick, ice cream consistency, but yet easy spreadable. 

To frost the cupcakes, divide the frosting evenly between the cupcakes, and frost accordingly. 



Chew This! Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! Please pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” today – or become an online subscriber – and let me know what you think of my newest column! I am beyond excited to share this recipe with everyone. Every time I eat, or make, Devil’s Food cake – especially cupcakes – I think of my Great Grandma Flora. These cupcakes are a family favorite and I think they will quickly become a personal favorite for you as well. Try them – and let me know what you think.

On a side note – send me an email and let me know YOUR “earliest” childhood memory and how old you were. I write in my column that in the photograph I was two years old – I may have actually been less than that. Maybe a year old!? True story – I remember.

Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting 

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 3rd 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

This old-fashioned cupcake is updated with flavor and frosting…
Blaise Doubman

Not many people know this about me, but my memory is pretty good. Well, let me rephrase that, my long term memory is pretty good. I remember when I was little, hearing that my memory was “like an elephant’s”. Do elephants have a good memory? Must have…I’ll have to make a mental note to Google it later and find out for sure. Regardless, I remember hearing that and being pretty proud of the fact – true or not. One of my earliest memories is having my picture taken with my Dad, Jamie, his Mom and Dad, Barbra and Junior, his brothers (my uncles) Brett and Troy, and my Grandpa Junior’s Mom and Dad, Flora and Jim. I very distinctly remember that hot summer day, having my picture taken, my Dad holding me, and me wanting to be anywhere but there – I was burning up! When I tell my family this, they just laugh at me. Why? Because I was only two years old at the time… Yes, I know – strange. But true.

One of my very earliest food memories in the kitchen would be in my Great Grandma Flora’s kitchen. My Grandma Barbra and I were visiting and I remember Great Grandma Flora in the kitchen making chocolate cupcakes. I remember seeing her sifting the dry ingredients, pouring in the liquid, adding coffee to the mixture and really working hard. The smells and sounds from that day in the kitchen, are still with me to this day. I even still associate Devil’s Food cupcakes with my Great Grandma Flora. I have taken an old-fashioned recipe and updated it with instant coffee granules, a little extra butter, and topped them with a frosting that is almost too good to be true – almost. But, I have kept the old-fashioned mixing process intact, which results in a moist and tender cupcake that you will want to make again and again.

Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

As with almost every other recipe in baking, start with room temperature ingredients before attempting to make these cupcakes and frosting. It’s essential for the butter to be soft, the eggs to be room temperature and the milk to be the same temperature as the butter and eggs. If you only have salted butter, use it and leave out the pinch of salt. Other milks can be used as well, but if you use anything less than whole milk, the texture of the cupcakes will change slightly. Baking is a science, but that doesn’t mean you can’t substitute ingredients, experiment and have fun!

For the cupcakes…

1 cup white all-purpose white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
Pinch of salt
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2/4 cup white whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…

2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ stick (2 oz.) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup regular size cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Lightly spray the tin and liners with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee granules and salt. Using a wire whisk, whisk all ingredients together to ensure the ingredients are combined and lump free.

In a separate bowl, combine the unsalted butter and white granulated sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Next, add in the two large eggs and combine thoroughly.

Add the pure vanilla extract to the white whole milk and stir together.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the beaten butter and sugar mixture, and stir to combine. Next, add in the milk and pure vanilla extract mixture and beat. Finally, add in the remaining dry ingredients and combine until mixed thoroughly.

Fill each cupcake liner three-fourths of the way full and place in preheated oven for exactly 19 minutes. After baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, whisk together the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and salt to ensure the ingredients and combined and lump free.

In a separate bowl combine ½ cup of the powdered sugar mixture with the unsalted butter and tablespoon of whole milk. Beat together until smooth.

Next, add in the remaining powdered sugar mixture and tablespoon of whole milk. Beat together until smooth. Add in the pure vanilla extract and light corn syrup. Beat this mixture well to incorporate as much air as possible. The finished frosting will be smooth and thick, lump free and deep in color.

Frost cupcakes and serve.


Here is a photograph that took place during one of MY earliest memories. I was less than two years old…

From left to right and down: Grandpa Junior, Brett Doubman, Jim Doubman, Troy Doubman, Flora Doubman, Barbra Doubman, Jamie Doubman and Blaise Doubman (me). 

Karen’s Molten Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe is dedicated to my “Blaise the Baker FAN OF THE YEAR 2015”. It is a recipe for delicious and foolproof molten chocolate cake – in cupcake form! The instant coffee granules and extra splash of pure vanilla extract really gives these cakes that unmistakable rich chocolate flavor.

Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature before starting. You will want to save this one… Perfect for the upcoming Holiday season AND easy to make ahead.

If making ahead – bake and allow to cool. Wrap each individually in aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to reheat, place cupcakes, still in foil, into preheated 200 degree oven for about 15 minutes. 


Karen’s Molten Chocolate Cupcakes 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
½ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the unsalted butter, and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. If hand-mixing, beat about 75 strokes after each egg addition. 

Next, add in the white-all purpose flour and salt. Mix well.

Gently stir in the pure vanilla extract and instant coffee granules. 

Finally, add in the melted chocolate and stir just until combined together.

Divide the batter evenly between all 12 cupcake cups. 

Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes exactly. Once baked, remove cupcakes carefully, and allow to cool slightly – but not too long. Cut into and eat. 



Photo credit: Karen Wirima

Chew This! Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

I am so excited to be sharing this “Chew This!” column with everyone! This one was a labor of love that involved quite a few people, and several recipes (that I narrowed down) and honestly – it was such a fun experience! Special thanks and shout out to Patricia McDaniel, Lisa Perry, Donna Cronk and, in passing, Charlene Perry and Catherine Winters. We may never know what happened to Catherine, but we do have some inspiring recipes.

The angel food cake with bitter sweet icing (original spelling) was a huge hit – as was my Jell-O red velvet cupcakes (which have appeared here before – but with different frosting). Such an interesting history presented itself with this column… And last but not least, thank you to YOU (the reader). Without you – I would not be able to do any of this…and words can not describe how much you all mean to me.

Thank you xo

Blaise the Baker Chew This Angel Food Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 20th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Recipe mix: Catherine Winters, Angel Food Cake and Cupcakes…
Blaise Doubman

Not that long ago, I was contacted by Patricia McDaniel, Chair of the Historic National Road Yard Sale, to let me know that two of my submitted recipes had made the upcoming cookbook the “Historic National Road Yard Sale Cookbook” – Volume 6. I expressed my excitement, and told her of my plans to write about it here for my column. We were discussing ideas and she asked if I had ever heard of Catherine Winters. I told her yes! While working at the New Castle – Henry County Public Library, I would hear questions about Catherine Winters from patrons several times a week. I always found the story fascinating. After talking about Catherine for awhile, Patricia sent me a few recipes that can be tracked down to that family and that time in history.

I’m sharing two of those recipes here with you. I am also including a recipe for my red velvet cupcakes – which will appear in Volume 6 of the “Historic National Road Yard Sale Cookbook”. Patricia told me that more of Catherine’s family recipes will be included in the cookbook, as well as my recipe for “Grandpa Max’s Stuffed Green Bell Peppers”. For more information please contact Patricia at

Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing

This cake is an old recipe that was originally found in “Good Things To Eat” By: The Gleaner Glass. The old, brittle and coverless book was discovered by Charlene Perry in an antique store along route 40 one summer. Since then, the book and recipe have been shared by Charlene’s daughter, Lisa. The recipes have a connection with Catherine Winters – it was Byrd Winters’ who submitted this recipe, along with some other recipes that were published and shared by her Sunday school class…

For the cake…

1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cold water
½ cup hot water
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cream of tarter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 egg whites, beaten until stiff

For the icing…

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Beat together the white granulated sugar, egg yolks and cold water until very light in color. Next, beat in the hot water. Sift together twice, the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, cream of tarter and salt, before adding to the mixture. Beat in pure vanilla extract before gently folding in the beaten egg whites. Place mixture in a tube-pan and bake in preheated oven 60 minutes. Once baked, remove from oven and invert pan until cake has finished cooling.

To make the icing, mix together the powdered sugar, melted salted butter, cream and pure vanilla extract. Spread this on the cooled cake. Drizzle melted dark chocolate on top before serving.

Jello Red Velvet Cupcakes

This recipe was originally published on my “Blaise the Baker” blog, and went on to be one of my most popular recipes for 2014. It’s also one of the recipes that will be published in the upcoming “Historic National Road Yard Sale Cookbook” – Volume 6. For the publication of this column, I’ve changed my original recipe to include a delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting, which is perfect for Autumn…

For the cupcakes…

1 package Red Velvet cake mix
1 3.9 oz. package of Jello Instant chocolate pudding

For the frosting…

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 ½ – 3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Whole milk

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake wrappers and lightly spray each cup with non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk together the cake mix according to the package directions, being sure when adding the water, the water is hot.

Once thoroughly mixed together, add in the package of Jello instant chocolate pudding, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the unsalted butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Next, beat in the powdered sugar and pure vanilla extract. Add in the ground cinnamon and combine. To reach desired consistency, add a little whole milk if needed.

Frost cupcakes and serve.


Jello Red Velvet Cupcakes

Late last night, I had a craving for red velvet (thanks to my friend Monica Holland and our new “Nutffles” red velvet addiction. More information here – and I had to whip out one of my Grandma Barbra’s old recipes for “Jello” red velvet cupcakes. Yes, they call for a boxed mix…and no, they are not from scratch, but they evoke good memories of days past for me. The recipe holds a special place in my heart, and I hope after making these the recipe will give you good memories as well.

Red Velvet Cupcakes Blog

Jello Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cake…
1 package Red Velvet cake mix
1 3.9oz package of Jello instant chocolate pudding

For the cream cheese frosting…
1 stick of unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla
Whole milk (to possibly add for desired consistency)

The frosting recipe is a spin off of my “Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting” minus the lemon, with the addition of vanilla. See the “original” recipe here…

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake wrappers and spray each cup lightly with non-stick cooking spray. (This helps the cupcakes remove themselves from their wrappers.)

Whisk together the cake mix according to the packaged directions. When adding the water though, make sure the water is HOT. (I usually add milk to cake mixes, but this recipe my Grandma noted needed to be “HOT water” so that is what I use.)

Once thoroughly whisked, add in the package of Jello instant chocolate pudding, and whisk to combine.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans.

Bake them (one pan at a time) in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove them and allow to cool completely.

Next make the frosting.

Start off by bringing the butter and cream cheese to room temperature! This is a very important step. If you do not bring the butter to room temperature, you might have bits of butter throughout the frosting, and the cream cheese will have “graininess” – you do not want this…

Once the ingredients are at room temperature, combine the unsalted butter and cream cheese. Blend together with hand mixer for about 4 minutes.

Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend together.

Add the vanilla extract.

Blend with hand mixer and beat for 5 minutes.

Depending on your desired consistency – you may want to add a couple of tablespoons of whole milk to the frosting. I like my frosting super thick – not everyone does though… Make it to suit your tastes.

Fill a pastry bag with most of the frosting. I find it easiest to invert the bag into a drinking glass, fill it with frosting, and then shake the frosting to the bottom – then cutting a small slit into the corner to create a slit. You do not really need a “tip” – just a pastry bag.

Once the bag is filled with most of the frosting, dive right into the middle of each cooled cupcake and fill them slightly with the cream cheese frosting.

Do not overfill the cupcake – it will explode. Trust me! Just a little squeeze should do it.

After that, frost the cupcakes anyway you like.

I generally squeeze the rest of the frosting on all 24 cupcakes, and “smash” the frosting down to create a “homemade” appearance.

The rest of the frosting in the bowl can be used on top of the cupcakes for even MORE frosting, or eaten as a snack. I generally save any leftover frosting for snacking.



Lightning Fast Desserts

There is nothing I love more than making desserts from scratch…expect maybe aside from eating them! 😉

I love taking the time to ensure that everything is done correctly and I love seeing (and tasting) the final outcome! In making desserts from scratch YOU control the quality of the ingredients – which I love.

BUT – I know that everyone does not have the time to make homemade desserts from scratch, so I am going to share FIVE of my favorite “lightning fast desserts”! TWO of these desserts have already been featured on my blog and they are the recipes for my “Any Flavor Chip Fudge” (which has just been updated) and my “Turbinado Peanut Butter Cookies”. You can find them here…

Fast blog

Lightning Fast Fudge recipe

Lightning Fast Cookie recipe

The other three recipes I am going to share are super simple and super delicious! I have made them a LOT over the years, and I hope that you will to. They are…

Lightning Fast Biscuits and Jam

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough lightly for about a minute.

Roll the dough to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. My biscuit cutter is approximately 2 inches.

Bake at 425 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 14 minutes exactly.

Top with your favorite jam and serve!

Makes about 6 large biscuits.


Lightning Fast Banana Bread Cookies

2 overripe bananas
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Mash the 2 bananas in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.

Add the oats and walnuts and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 12 cookies.


Lightning Fast Cupcakes

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 can room temperature soda

Any flavor of cake mix and any flavor of soda will work! Experiment! Try them all! My favorite though is chocolate cake mix and “Coca-Cola” – so delicious!)

Combine cake mix and soda and whisk together until smooth.

Pour the batter into a cupcake paper lined tin and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes exactly.

Let them cool completely and then frost as desired! I really like “frosting” them with whipped cream!

This makes 12 regular size cupcakes.



Vanilla Almond “Wedding Bell” Cupcakes

I have never been a fan of weddings…but I’ve always been a fan of wedding CAKE! There is just something about a wedding cake that (when done right) is moist, delicious and has that “something something” that you can not quite figure out. Well…I think I have figured it out, and it could not be anymore simple!

I interviewed a wedding cake professional to uncover the “secrets” to wedding cakes. She told me that there are basically three secrets to a delicious wedding cake. Those secrets are…

1. ALMOND EXTRACT Almond extract, when added to the cake batter (any flavor of cake – but especially vanilla) brings out that “wedding flavor” that a lot of wedding cakes have. She says that the “almond extract” trend dates back to the 1970’s when bakeries first started adding it to wedding cakes – for unknown reasons.

2. UNDERBAKE Underbaking the cakes let them have a delicate and yet moist crumb when completely cool. Most people do not know…but cakes continue baking in their pans until completely cool. She recommends underbaking only about 2 minutes. Any longer and the center will be runny – do not eat a runny cake! (Unless it is a “molten lava cake” which is an entirely different story…)

3. MILK NOT WATER Adding MILK instead of water, will give the cake a little more “taste” than if it was made with water. Check for milk allergies first though of course, before doing this step.

If you follow these steps – you will be baking like the professionals!

Vanilla Almond “Wedding Bell” Cupcakes

Wedding Cupcakes Blog

I made cupcakes today that followed these steps – and a few of my own. I made just a typical “white” cake mix but added the egg WHITES only. I also added about a tablespoon of almond extract, followed by some “candy batter bites” that I found at Hobby Lobby that I just HAD to try.

I underbaked the cupcakes by about 2 minutes and let them cool completely in their pans.

For the frosting, I used just the typical “chocolate buttercream” frosting, but whipped it for awhile by hand with a whisk. I’m sure you could use an electric mixer…but I prefer working by hand for this.

I frosted the cupcakes after they were completely cool and then decorated them with edible glitter and edible pearls. I included a “tasting fork” on top of each cupcake – but that part is optional.

I am still working on this recipe and will post it completed, once I am satisfied with it. Using a cake mix is not ALWAYS a bad thing… That was an “extra tip” from the wedding cake baker I talked to. She said almost 80% of the time…they use what everyone else uses to make their wedding cakes. A boxed mix.

I admit that I am not the biggest fan of boxed mixes and store bought frostings…but once in awhile, it is fun to experiment and see how you can “improve” the original!