Friday, February 10, 2012

Wedding Cupcake Trial: Part 6: Funfetti Cupcake

Wedding Cupcake Trial: Part 6: Funfetti Cupcake 

This is the only cupcake to date that was note first inspired by Pinterest. 
When I first asked Jordan what kind of cupcakes he wanted for the wedding, his first response, in all seriousness, was Funfetti. In general, funfetti is not the first kind of cake I think of when I think of wedding cakes, but it is his wedding too after all - so if he wants a funfetti cupcake- he will get a funfetti cupcake gosh darn it! 

It seemed a little too much like cheating to straight up use a box of Funfetti cake mix and funfetti frosting though, so I decided to try to be a bit more creative.  I used the base of the Wedding White Cupcakes and add in nonpareils (I wanted to use regular sprinkles, but they were no where to be found in the grocery store.) 

For the frosting I also tried another version of the "Best Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, softened  
1 cup white granulated sugar
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk (I used Silk Light Soymilk)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 tablespoon sprinkles or nonpareils 
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix flour and milk stirring constantly until batter becomes thick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl place butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. This can take a long time (10-15 minutes) to get the granulated sugar fluffy but it is worth it. If you have a stand mixer- this would be an ideal time to use it. 
  3. Add cooled flour/ milk mixture to butter and sugar, and beat. 
  4. Add in extracts and some sprinkles or nonpareils and beat until combined. 
  5. Refrigerate for about 1/2 an hour until slightly thickened. 
  6. Pipe or spread onto completely cooled cupcakes. Add any other decorations (I added some more nonpareils on top). 


  • As you can see in the interior picture above - there were some holes and tunnels in the cake. This can be a result of over mixing. Also adding the dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly can help prevent this as well.
  • I also made these at the same time as the wedding white cupcakes where I admitted to undercooking them, so these also came out a bit undercooked. 
  • Overall I did really like the taste, and the texture likely would have been good if they were not undercooked. 
  • Nonetheless-- I think the box of funfetti cake would still win in this situation unfortunately. 
    • Boxed cake 1 - Jamie 0 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fit In Fitness!

Health experts agree we need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children and adults.

But you are busy! - We get it.

Did you know the 60 minutes does not have to all be at once? You get the same benefits of exercise even if you break up the 60 minutes into 4- 15 minute sessions, 6- 10 minute sessions or even 20- 5 minute sessions! 

Here are some tips for fitting in fitness into your day: 

·      Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
·      Take breaks and walk around at least 5 minutes for every hour of sitting.
·      Go to the bathroom on another floor.
·      Walk to see a colleague rather than phoning or emailing
·      Parking off site somewhere with a shuttle? Walk, don’t wait for the shuttle.
·      Walk or bike to errands that are a mile or less away,
·      Park your car further away. Leave close spots for the the elderly, disabled, and mothers with small children. Get in some extra steps while being considerate.
·      On the phone? Get up and walk around.
·      Trade out your desk chair for a stability ball,  you will engage your core, and improve posture.
·        Watching TV? Use commercial breaks to do squats, lunges, pushups, sit ups or jog in place.
·         Keep a light weight or resistance band on your desk or somewhere convenient, do a few moves for three minutes every hour.
·       Stuck in line? Do calf raises, or mini side lunges.
·       Waiting for a train or bus? Stuck on hold? Pace back and forth, do a little dance.
·         Do a wall sit, leg raise, or V step while brushing you teeth.
·      Meet up with friends for a walk or workout date instead of going out the eat.
·      Have a pooch? Take him/ her for a walk! Or offer to walk a neighbors dog – everyone will appreciate it.

How do you like to fit in fitness into your day? 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wedding Cupcake Trial: Part 5: Champagne Cupcakes

Wedding Cupcake Trial: Part 5: Champagne Cupcakes

Inspiration picture via Pinterest  via Eats Well with Others  Recipe modified from Eats Well with Others 

Champagne Cupcakes 
Makes about 6 cupcakes 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup champagne, prosecco, or any sparkling wine

    Champagne Custard Filling
  • 1/4 cup light cream, divided
  • 1/4 cup champagne or prosecco
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2.5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

    Champagne Frosting
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp champagne or prosecco, divided
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar

Start the cake!
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F
  2. Prepare cupcake pan and liners (about 6) 
  3. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Set aside.  
  4. In another bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda until combined. Set aside. 
  5. In a third separate bowl, mix Greek Yogurt and Champagne together.  
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture and yogurt mixture (alternate between the two) into the butter and sugar mixture and mix until combined. 
  7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter. 
  8. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center. 
While the cake is cooking start on the custard! 
(Sorry I am copying this part of the recipe almost verbatim because I was so afraid to mess it up!! Again- all credit goes to Joanne-eats well with others! ) 
  1. In a medium bowl mix 1/8 cup of cream with corn starch. 
  2. Combine the remaining light cream, sugar and 1/2 cup champagne in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from heat.
  3. Beat the whole egg and egg yolks into the cornstarch/heavy cream mixture in the stand mixer.  With the stand mixer on, slowly pour 1/3 of boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook.  Return the remaining champagne/heavy cream mixture to a boil.  Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
  4. Cut hole out of cupcake (Again I just used a cupcake corer) and fill with cream. 
Finally make the frosting
  1. In a sauce pan heat 1/2 cup of champagne over low heat until it reduces to about 1 tablespoon. (keep an eye on this I kept letting it reduce too much and having to do it again!) 
  2. In a large bowl cream softened butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the Tablespoon of reduced champagne and 1/2 Tablespoon of champagne from the bottle and continue to beat until well combined. 
  3. Pipe or spread on cupcakes and decorate as desired! We added some cute little Nonpareils and sprinkles.

This picture shows the champagne cupcakes and the Wedding White cupcakes 

  • The frosting was sweet, but not too sweet. 
  • Cake was moist, fluffy and had a nice crumb. 
  • I could have eaten that champagne custard with a spoon (Ok, Ok- I totally did with the extra!) 
  • Nonpareils make cupcakes super cute- but I am shocked I didn't break my teeth trying to eat them.

Along with taste testing cupcakes today - we were also quite productive by:
  • cleaning the house
  • sending out save the dates 
  • and giving Ghreylin a shower! This is how he positions himself when he wants you to spray under his wings.  

Photography by Jordan Garry unless otherwise stated