Category Archives: Cakes | Cupcakes | Muffins

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

Can I say that I find any opportunity to bake?

St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to make a batch of cupcakes!  Chocolate cupcakes are one of H’s favorites.  I felt like I should make Guinness chocolate cake, or at least buttercream flavored with Irish Cream.  Honestly, I had none of those in my pantry, so I went with my standard tried and true chocolate cake recipe.  If you do have Irish Cream on hand, feel free to swap out the milk or whipping cream for it!  I really must add a bottle to my shopping list!

These cupcakes are everything you would expect: intense chocolate flavor, fudgy, moist and perfectly sweet.

While we dislike sugary-sweet frostings, chocolate cupcakes need a regular buttercream.  The intense bittersweet chocolate paired with this type of buttercream is perfect.

I thought about tinting the buttercream green, but I personally didn’t think they would look appetizing.  I try not to use too much food coloring, and I would hate to confuse anyone who might think they were mint flavored.  We are obviously not fans of mint!

The vanilla buttercream is my standard recipe.  It has the perfect ratio of 1:3 (butter:icing sugar).  Duff Goldman also uses the same measurements.

Enjoy; you will not be able to stop at eating just one!

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from
Makes 28-30 cupcakes


  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (see kitchen notes)
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee or 1 cup boiling water mixed with 1 tsp espresso powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place cupcake liners in your cupcake/muffin pans.
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  4. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  6. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  7. Fill each liner 2/3 full.
  8. Bake 22-25 minutes (depending on your oven).  Insert a toothpick randomly, it should come out clean.

Kitchen notes:

  • I find it helpful to pour the batter (it will be thin) into a large measuring cup.
  • Make sure each cupcake liner has the same amount of batter, otherwise you will end up with some cupcakes that are baked, and some that are not.
  • If you do not have buttermilk on hand (I never do), fill a measuring cup with 1 tbsp vinegar or fresh lemon juice.  Add milk to equal 1 cup, stir and let sit for a few minutes.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream

Adapted from


  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or whipping cream (or Irish Cream)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together butter and icing sugar on low speed until well blended.  I tend to rock the switch on my mixer between off and number 1, back and forth to avoid splattering the icing sugar everywhere.
  2. When the icing sugar is incorporated, increase speed to medium and beat for another few minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract and milk or cream and continue to beat on medium speed for a few more minutes.
  4. Add additional milk or cream if needed (in very small amounts), to your desired spreading consistency.


  • If your kitchen is warm or the butter is too soft, place it back in the fridge for a bit.  Don’t worry, when you whip the butter, it will come together.



National Cupcake Day 2018

Every day is cupcake day for me, but a National Cupcake day?  Yes!

This year’s date is February 26, 2018, and it’s not too late!  You can help animals in need by hosting a cupcake party or making a donation.  For more information visit National Cupcake Day!

This is not a paid advertisement.  I am a supporter of Ontario SPCA and hope you will join me.




Dark Chocolate Halloween Cupcakes

These may not be the scariest looking cupcakes, but they sure are delicious!

I used my standard chocolate cake recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.  The recipe makes approximately 26-30 cupcakes, depending on the size of cupcake liners used.  This is an oil-based recipe, which results in an incredibly moist texture, with a deep, dark chocolate flavor.  The buttercream frosting from is a must!

Have a safe and sweet Halloween!

Kitchen notes:
I doubled the frosting recipe and used a food processor instead of my KitchenAid mixer.  It’s less messy.  I also used more whipping cream, a little at a time, until the texture was fluffier, along with 1/4 tsp espresso powder.

I’m not embarrassed to say I ate two for breakfast!

Birthday Cake!

This cake is pure decadence!

It’s a vanilla sponge cake perfumed with strawberries and raspberries. The filling is a light and refreshing strawberry Bavarian cream, with a luscious layer of vanilla whipped cream.  The finishing touches are macarons, meringues, fresh berries, candied orange peel and fresh basil.

Truly a cake lover’s dream!

Birthday Cake 2014


Birthday Cake 2014

Birthday Cake!

This was my second birthday cake!  A totally different cake from the first, both in design and taste.  It’s a raspberry vanilla cake, filled with lemon curd, and iced with American buttercream.  The cake is very sweet, but balanced with tart flavors.

Birthday Cake 2014


Birthday Cake 2014

Sticky Toffee Pudding – Pure Decadence!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of the most decadent and delicious desserts on this planet … okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but the first time I tried this dessert, I was hooked!

Who knew that a cake made with dates could taste so scrumptious??? H couldn’t even detect the taste of dates.

I’ve tried so many recipes, but the one I keep coming back to is from the Barefoot Contessa. Her recipe makes 2 cakes, but I easily cut it in half. H loves the toffee sauce so much that I make extra and freeze it (it is simply amazing on vanilla ice cream with toasted pecans!)

Please don’t try to serve this extremely moist cake (I don’t know why it’s called a pudding?) without the toffee sauce; it will taste really, really bland. And yes, the fresh whipped cream is a must!! Or, even a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Sticky Toffee Pudding is a very filling dessert so I like to serve it after a light lunch or dinner. Oh heck, I’ve even eaten it several times for breakfast and any time in between!!

The cakes can be made in any size (round, square or muffin tins). I used my jumbo cupcake pans because one small muffin size is NOT enough! The cakes and sauce freeze really well – just thaw and heat in the microwave for a minute or two. There have been times when I craved the toffee sauce for another dessert, and I just scooped it straight out of the container from the freezer (use a very strong and sturdy spoon) and microwaved it!

I just know you’ll fall in love with Sticky Toffee Pudding … we have!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Makes two 9” cakes or 20 muffin sized cakes
Adapted from


  • 2½ cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3¼ tbsp baking powder

Toffee Sauce

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream (35%)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Butter and flour two 9” round cake pans or 20 muffin tins
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt and set aside
  4. Place the dates in a large saucepan with 3 ½ cups cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring a little to break up the dates. Watch carefully as it can boil over. Simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat. Stir in the baking soda (this will cause the mixture to bubble up) so stir carefully but quickly. Set aside
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand or electric mixer until creamy
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and middle of the mixing bowl after each addition
  7. Add the vanilla extract and then the flour mixture and mix briefly, the batter will be lumpy
  8. Add the warm date mixture in two batches. Scrape down the sides and middle of the bowl in between mixing. The dough will now be quite watery (this is normal)
  9. Add the baking powder (this will bubble up also)
  10. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans or muffin tins
  11. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes for cake pans and about 20 minutes for muffin tins. Test if they are cooked with a small toothpick, it should come out clean when cakes are done

Toffee Sauce

Combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan
Bring to a boil and whisk gently, then reduce to simmer for a minute or two until thickened and well mixed. Be careful as this mixture will become very hot (use caution when whisking).


When the cakes are done, poke little holes all over with toothpick, this will enable the sauce to be absorbed more easily. Pour the toffee sauce over cakes while both are still warm and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out upside-down onto serving plates.  Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


I like to serve the cakes with the toffee sauce poured over the cakes, but it’s entirely up to you 🙂

Kitchen note:

  • I cut this recipe in half and it makes 1 round or square cake, or 8 jumbo cupcakes
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