Countless Cute Cupcakes - From The Witch's Kitchen Blog at - 229745

From The Witch's Kitchen

Countless Cute Cupcakes 
Mar. 30, 2011 2:19 pm 
Updated: Apr. 6, 2011 6:59 am
As I've mentioned before I volunteer cook at a

local youth center once a month or so. At the

end of February I was supposed to go in and

do a treat night but I became very ill the day

before I was scheduled to be there and had to

cancel. Once I was recovered I rescheduled for

March and started planning a treat. I've done

cakes, cheesecakes (about 3 times), cinnamon

rolls, pies, brownies, various cookies, and

biscotti. I thought about fudge, candied apples

and caramel popcorn and discarded each idea.

Finally I had a lightbulb go off, cupcakes! I've

never done cupcakes and they're perfect for the

youth center. Single serve, eye appealing, tasty,

and the possible flavor combinations are

endless. Not to mention that they're a lot of fun

to make and decorate.

I decided to go all from scratch and set about

making flavor decisions. I had to have a

chocolate and I chose to use my go to

chocolate cake recipe Dark Chocolate Cake II,

this makes a nice fluffy moist cake, uses oil as

the fat and SCORE it's a one bowl cake. I

mixed it up according to the recipe directions

and it made 24 nice sized cupcakes. I baked

them for about 17 minutes at 350 F in a

convection oven and they were perfect. As tasty

as plain chocolate cake is I wanted them to be

a little bit fancy so, once they had cooled, I cut

a small cone shaped dip into the tops of each

cupcakes and filled them with canned cherry

pie filling. Then I topped them with

unsweetened whipped cream, chocolate curls

and a singe maraschino cherry. These were the

clear favorite of all of the cupcakes I baked.

Thinking that some of the kids are a little picky

and like things to be quite plain I decided to

make a vanilla cupcake with buttercream

frosting. To make them exciting I added

rainbow sprinkles to my batter and did a rainbow

swirled frosting to top. I used my

recipe for Basic Mint Cake and omitted the

mint extract and green food coloring.  I folded

in about a half a cup or so of the sprinkles into

the batter and divided it evenly to make 24

cupcakes. These baked for about 15 minutes at

350 F in the convection oven. To make the

frosting I made Buttercream Icing and used gel

food coloring to paint vertical stripes on the

inside of a frosting bag before filling it with the

prepared frosting. Then I piped the frosting in

a swirl onto the cupcakes. This was my first

attempt at tye-dyed frosting and I it came out

pretty nicely. My frosting was a little thick and

I did put a couple holes into my bag squeezing

it out. I asked a helpful person to wrap some

duct tape around the disposable frosting bag to

seal the holes and carried on.

I had noticed this tasty sounding recipe for

Gingerbread Cupcakes on the buzz a few weeks

before and just had to make them. I doubled

this recipe, and was a little heavy handed with

my spices, to make two dozen cupcakes and

had to scrape the last of the batter very

carefully to get my 24th cupcake into the tin.

Taking my cue from the photos already posted

of this recipe I made miniature gingerbread

men at home the day before to use as toppers

for these little beauties. I didn't use the frosting

included in this recipe but instead used a

standard cream cheese frosting recipe

(doubled to use for another type of cupcake

later) and sprinkled the finished cupcakes with

cinnamon. These were lovely, moist and spicy,

not overly sweet and perfect with the cream

cheese frosting. The kids really loved the cute

little gingerbread men toppers.

I decided to go with something a little more out

there in order to expose the kids to something

that they may have never tried before and

chose Red Velvet Cake IV. I was able to get 24

very large cupcakes out of this recipe and

probably should have made 26 as they swelled

over the tops of the tin and baked together on

top a little.  I used gel food color and did not

mix it with the cocoa before adding it. I added

the food coloring gradually while mixing until

the batter looked bright enough to my eyes. It

took 17 minutes at 350 F in a convection oven

to bake them. I topped these with most of the

remaining cream cheese frosting, red sprinkles

and chocolate hearts. I made the hearts at

home the day before by melting some chocolate

melting wafers for one minute in a ziploc bag in the

microwave.  When the wafers were smooth I snipped a small

hole in a corner of the bag and piped hearts onto

wax paper. I chilled them then peeled them off

and packed them in a plastic container to

protect them while traveling. This was a great

cake, rich and smooth textured, I will make it


I chose to do a lemon raspberry cupcake

because I'm a lemon lover and one of the staff

members shares my predilection for all things

lemon. I picked Lemon Cream Cupcakes to

make my batter and was very heavy on the

lemon zest. I also added the juice of two

lemons to the mixture and used splenda as the  

aforementioned staff member is borderline

diabetic and has to watch his sugar. I filled 24

muffin cups half way with the batter added a

scoop of seedless reduced sugar raspberry

preserves then added more batter to the top.

The batter was so thick that I was unable to

spread it to cover the jam properly so instead

of raspberry filled cupcakes I ended up wih

lemon raspberry swirled cupcakes. These

baked about 15 minutes in the convection oven

at 350 F and looked pretty messy before they

were topped with unsweetened whipped cream

and a fresh raspberry. They were soft and

dense and lightly sweet. Great for people who

find tradtional cupcakes make their teeth hurt

from all of that sugar.

Finally I decided that since it is spring we

needed to do coconut. I chose to use the recipe

for Coconut Cake IV, as I'd made it before and

knew that it made great cake. I added a great

deal of lime zest to these singing "You put the

lime in the coconut and drink it all up..." while

I mixed. This recipe made 24 perfect cupcakes,

not too big and not too small. They took about

15 minutes in the convection oven at 350 F.   I

had a tiny bit of leftover cream cheese frosting

so I added some butter and a little more cream

cheese and just sort of winged this frosting.  I

put lime zest, lime juice and some green food

coloring into it and it turned out to be sort of

like a lime cream cheese lite frosting.  I

sprinkled these with coconut so that it would be

obvious that they contained it and thinking of

margaritas used coctail umbrellas as a topper.

These were my favorite of all of the cupcakes.

This really is a great recipe for coconut cake,

so moist and buttery, and the lime was a

fantastic addition.

The chaos at the end of the day in the kitchen

was a little extreme and I had frosing smeared

all over the front of my shirt and flour on my

pants. The finished results though were well

worth the effort. The constant stream of kids

coming into the kitchen and their eyes lighting

up when they heard I was making cupcakes for

them to eat for dessert and not some special

occasion were more satisfying than all of the

sugar I consumed 'tasting' frosting and batter,

you know, just to make sure it was good.

Photo Detail
Photo Detail
Photo Detail
With raspberry swirl
Photo Detail
Mar. 30, 2011 2:28 pm
Wow I think you went over and beyond the call of duty! Great job. Which was your favorite?
Mar. 30, 2011 2:36 pm
Omg, all the cupcakes look amazing! the kids will love it:D . Did you use any specific tips for frosting the cupcakes? I'm just getting used to frosting and using tips so i'm curious lol
Mar. 30, 2011 2:38 pm
They all look great- You definitely went above and beyond for the kiddos. Which was your favourite? The chocolate one looks so dark and yummy :)
Mar. 30, 2011 2:56 pm
Thanks Skoo, I like them all but I think the best were the coconut lime, they were wonderful.
Mar. 30, 2011 2:57 pm
Thanks Annie.W I used a star tip for the rainbowfrosting otherwise I went tipless ;P.
Mar. 30, 2011 2:57 pm
Thanks RMSR, I like the lime coconut best but you're right that cake is dark and delicious!
Mar. 30, 2011 2:58 pm
holy smokes Sarah-May! I bet that took HOURS AND HOURS!!! I bet the kids were just gobsmacked to see all those cuppies!! :D Great Job!
Mar. 30, 2011 3:09 pm
Oh, wow! That's a LOT of cupcakes! I'm not a little kid, but I love cupcakes and would have been thrilled to death to see all of the different varieties :o) They all look delicious and I bookmarked this page so I can come back and make some of them! The lime cream cheese frosting sounds especially good.
Mar. 30, 2011 3:24 pm
It's always a great time for cupcakes! These are very cute. :-)
Mar. 30, 2011 3:28 pm
Oh my goodness Sarah-May. Your "aftermath" picture almost sent me straight into a panic attack. LOL! Great blog!
Mar. 30, 2011 3:34 pm
Fantastic, Sarah-May! (I knew there would be a delicious blog coming when I saw all your fabulous photos). That was a lot of work. What an great thing you did for those kids. I don't know how you did that, and all by yourself. Great work!
Mar. 30, 2011 3:41 pm
Thanks Gitano! The kids were pretty impressed :D.
Mar. 30, 2011 3:42 pm
Thanks ElCay. :)
Mar. 30, 2011 3:43 pm
Those kids have no idea how lucky they are! They all look perfect, but I love the idea of the cocktail umbrellas - sheer genius.
Mar. 30, 2011 3:45 pm
lol SLN, I take it you're a "clean" cook. I try but even though I do some cleaning while I cook the kitchen always looks like a whirlwind went through it by the time I'm done any major project :D. There were a coule older kids doing community service hours to clean up after me anyway ;).
Mar. 30, 2011 3:46 pm
Thanks CC, it's amazing who much you can get done when you don't have a toddler or three chasing you around and hanging off of your legs! I could never have done that much at home ;).
Mar. 30, 2011 3:47 pm
Thanks BigShotsMom, I can't claim that idea as my own, I saw a photo of some cupcakes that were covered in sugar "sand" with tiny umbrellas and stole the idea.
Mar. 30, 2011 3:48 pm
thanks The Bunny Chef! I could eat that frosting with a spoon, I hope I can make it again when I want too! (you almost got lost in the shuffle there ;))
Mar. 30, 2011 3:52 pm
How great! I bet those kids really look forward to what you bring! I know I'd be all over those chocolate ones! Yum!
Mar. 30, 2011 4:04 pm
They all look wonderful! Do you cook with the kids as a learning experience? The more self-sufficient they become as teenagers in the kitchen, the better off they will be as they move through life!! I think any type of life-skills they learn are invaluable, be it cooking, cleaning, finances, etc. And in this case, disguising it as CUPCAKES,,,,, well that is just brilliant!!
Mar. 30, 2011 4:24 pm
Thanks What's for dinner, mom?. I had my cupcakes picked and my grocery list written up before I discovered your boston cream cupcake recipe or that would've been on the list too! Now I need an excuse to make them ;).
Mar. 30, 2011 4:26 pm
Thank-you Chris K. Sometimes the kids cook and somtimes they don't. What I usually do is show up and start cooking if kids come into the kitchen and ask if they can help I get them to wash their hands and put them to work :). This time I didn't have help but there have been times when I've had 5 or 6 kids in there cooking away. I've even been impressed with how comfortable a few kids were in the kitchen. One boy even made and rolled out a chocolate pastry from a recipe with no help!
Mar. 30, 2011 5:43 pm
Holy crud!! I've been watching the photos lately, and you totally had me at the teeny gingerbread men. AWESOME JOB!!!!
Mar. 30, 2011 5:55 pm
I like the flavors and variety you picked. Wow, what a lot of work you put into that! My favorite cupcake is red velvet, but I might have to try some of the others now. Only problem is the blog has the words over-lapping so I am having trouble reading it. Thanks for sharing! You have sparked in interest in cupcakes, which I had not been a big fan of before. Nice to see more than pastel frosting & sprinkles. :)
Mar. 30, 2011 6:06 pm
Thanks Mominator! You're back to yourself ;).
Mar. 30, 2011 6:07 pm
Thanks Baker Bee, I went back in and triple spaced it. whenever I type it single spaced it over laps for me so I double space usually and that had it fixed for me, I hope an extra space fixes your view of it too. :D
Mar. 30, 2011 6:48 pm
Good heavens! You are a dedicated and creative baker. After the last round of essays I graded, I promised my students that if everyone in the class got a "C" or better on the current essay I would make them treats. Of four classes, it looks like maybe two of them have achieved that goal. Looks like I'll be making some of your cupcake recipes this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!
Mar. 30, 2011 7:06 pm
I am totally wowed by you, Sarah-May! The cupcakes are gorgeous and sound delicous. I would have chosen the Coconut! Thanks for the great blog and keep up the good work.
Mar. 30, 2011 7:31 pm
Mar. 30, 2011 8:25 pm
Thank-you Mangel. That's an awesome way to get your students to put a little bit of effort into their essays! Great idea.
Mar. 30, 2011 8:25 pm
Thanks Monica Joy :D.
Mar. 30, 2011 8:25 pm
Thank-you Magnolia Blossom!
Mar. 30, 2011 10:41 pm
I'm speechless. That is one heck of an accomplishment! They all look wonderful and if I were one of the kids, honestly I don't know which one I would want to grab first. How many kids are there anyway? Did you have any leftover, or were they all gone? The other thing, thanks for pointing out that Mominator is back. I saw her post and just read right through it without noticing. And since I've had a minute to think about it, I'll start with the coconut one, and move on from there.
Mar. 31, 2011 4:05 am
They all look and sound great! I'll take a dozen of the lime coconut, please :)
Mar. 31, 2011 6:39 am
Awesome cupcakes! I love all of the little toppers you have one them ;)
Mar. 31, 2011 6:41 am
Wow, you must like Cream Cheese Frosting! Cute cakes, good job.
Mar. 31, 2011 6:56 am
Thanks Avon :D. I never know how many kids will be there lately it's been 40 - 60 throughout the whole day so about 30 for dinner, plus stragglers later on if I'm doing desserts. At Christmas time there would 100 - 120 kids throughout the day.
Mar. 31, 2011 6:56 am
Coming right up Alex ;), if I can duplicate the frosting.
Mar. 31, 2011 6:57 am
Thanks SB, coming up with toppers was the funnest part of planning the "menu".
Mar. 31, 2011 6:58 am
Thank-you BellesAZ, I do adore cream cheese frosting but some of those high piles of white frosting are whipped cream :).
Mar. 31, 2011 7:00 am
You are one awesome lady! I couldn't decide which was greater; your heart or your stamina. You are a beautiful example to all of us.
Mar. 31, 2011 7:18 am
Sarah-May, you are my HERO!! When I saw that you'd uploaded all those scrumptious photos to the gallery, I eager anticipated the blog that would follow! How thoughtful and creative you were to have put so much time, energy and LOVE into that project. Those kids are lucky to have you...
Mar. 31, 2011 10:33 am
Wow! I am impressed! I wish I was a good baker! I think I'll have to try those lime coconut ones tho....I LOVE coconut! (And thanks to you, I'll have that song in my head ALL DAY LONG! Lol)
Mar. 31, 2011 10:50 am
oh my goodness Sarah. That is a lot of cupcakes, good on you! I love your decorations and am so jealous, I am ccc, cupcke challenged. If I ever need some cupcakes, I am making a call to you and placing an order girl. I will drive to your house to pick them up -put the coffee on:) Excellent!
Mar. 31, 2011 12:35 pm
Thank you Texas Tornado :D.
Mar. 31, 2011 12:36 pm
Thank you so much Melanie! I'm tickled that you were waiting for my blog, makes a person feel good!
Mar. 31, 2011 12:37 pm
lol Brooke, you and me both, I'll have it in my head for at least a week! Thank-you
Mar. 31, 2011 12:38 pm
Anytime Gramma! I love to make them but if they're here I eat them until I can hardly walk!
Mar. 31, 2011 1:39 pm
I am also impressed! I bake one batch of cupcakes and I'm tired! Great Job Sarah-May, those all look beautiful. You should be very proud.
Mar. 31, 2011 1:41 pm
And I love the tie dyed icing. My daughter has been wanting to try that. I'm glad to hear it's not as hard as it looks.
Mar. 31, 2011 8:13 pm
Oh My! What beautiful cupcakes! I want one of each. They all sound so yummy and all are decorated perfectly. Have you ever thought of applying for "Cupcake Wars." You only have to make 1,000. LOL! BTW, what was the total number you made?
Mar. 31, 2011 8:32 pm
Those all look fantastic! So creative and professional, not to mention delicious!
Apr. 1, 2011 6:59 am
Thanks TEXASTRACE, the tie-dyed frosting is WAY easier than it looks, my painted strips were uneven in thickness and it still turned out :).
Apr. 1, 2011 7:00 am
Thank-you Candice, I've never considered it as I don't usually make cupcakes :). All together I made 12 dozen or 144 cupcakes.
Apr. 1, 2011 7:00 am
Thanks Good EatNZ!
Apr. 1, 2011 1:25 pm
Wow! Great job and all such beautiful cupcakes. I'm sure the kids really enjoyed and appreciated all of your hard work. :)
Apr. 1, 2011 3:00 pm
Those cupcakes look soooo good. I especially like those cute little gingerbread men!
Apr. 1, 2011 6:03 pm
Oh my gosh! those look amazing and delicous. I think i'll make this recipe for my family dinner to impress them. Sarah-may you worked so hard on those cupcakes and the umbrellas where genius!
Apr. 1, 2011 6:05 pm
oh and please tell me how you made your gingerbread men.
Apr. 1, 2011 6:15 pm
Thanks Crikkitt!
Apr. 1, 2011 6:16 pm
Thanks SweetCravings, I was excited to use my mini cutter for something :).
Apr. 1, 2011 6:18 pm
Thank-you tabbycookslol, I used this recipe : for the cookies and a very small cookie cutter that I picked up at a kitchen shop in Moose Jaw, then I piped a thick corn syrup and icing sugar glaze onto the cookies to makes eyes, buttons, etc.
Apr. 1, 2011 8:00 pm
Oh my gosh! You did a great job!!! I'm sure the kids loved them!
Apr. 2, 2011 12:12 am
Those cupcakes look amazing. Yum!
Apr. 2, 2011 5:01 am
Sarah-May, you are my kind of insane! That sounds like so much work! You have the most generous heart to do all that for those kids. The cupcakes look so appealing and I am sure that they were delicious. You did a terrific job! The youth center is lucky to have you for a volunteer.
Apr. 2, 2011 5:52 am
Holy cow, that's a LOT of cupcakes! Beautiful cupcakes! I'm sure the kids really appreciated your effort and dedication. Of course you know they're going to expect this every time you volunteer, lol! Keep up the good work!!!
Apr. 2, 2011 7:51 am
Thanks Mamabear!
Apr. 2, 2011 7:52 am
Thank-you Kristen B.
Apr. 2, 2011 7:54 am
Thanks Cookie Monster! You made me giggle, your kind of insane eh? Does that mean that if you were going to do cupcakes you'd have to do several different kinds and fussy decorations too ;).
Apr. 2, 2011 8:23 am
Thanks Pam-3BoysMama! One of the bonuses is that aside from a handful of regulars the kids are different from day to day so I blow minds every time I come in ;).
suzanne Jonah 
Apr. 2, 2011 10:42 am
I think you did such an amazing job, I love all the cupcakes, I have tried two of them, but I will try the other two kind. Nice job!
Apr. 2, 2011 2:24 pm
Looks Yummy. I am beginning to play bake w/fondant and food coloring. Yours look terrific, with all of the baking shows on I can't wait to begin. Just a hobby for now but who knows? Thanks for your tips
Apr. 3, 2011 8:00 am
Thanks Suzanne Jonah!
Apr. 3, 2011 8:01 am
Thank-you Cheeco! I've yet to tackle fondant, someday maybe. Kudos to you for taking it on!
Apr. 3, 2011 3:25 pm
absolutely beautiful.. your'e very talented and GOD bless you for doing what you do for the kids...
Apr. 3, 2011 3:27 pm
and p.s. you also found time (after clean up) to explain step by step how you prepared all the cup cakes. lol thank you
Apr. 3, 2011 8:37 pm
That is so sweet of you and the cupcakes look amazing!!
Apr. 4, 2011 1:52 am
kudos. you gave me some awsome ideas. love the gingerbread cupcakes and , well all of them look and sound spectacular.
Apr. 4, 2011 4:54 am
Please send me one of each so I can do a "true" taste test:) MY OH MY!
Apr. 4, 2011 2:37 pm
Thank-you Cathy!
Apr. 4, 2011 2:38 pm
Thanks Cheoah :).
Apr. 4, 2011 2:38 pm
Thanks evelynvw. Glad you found some inspiration here :).
Apr. 4, 2011 2:39 pm
LOL Mauigirl! Shall I send a Dr along to help with the sugar coma that will follow ;P.
Apr. 5, 2011 6:38 am
Lovely! I like cupcakes. Mine never look as pretty as yours though. Although my kitchen has looked similar :)
Apr. 5, 2011 1:59 pm
This is so inspiring to do! I've been interested in making a ton of things, but I don't have anything "thing" to bake for. I should look into volunteering to make them for something good :)
Apr. 5, 2011 6:29 pm
How did you transport the cupcakes? I have a Cupcake Courier, that is the brand and it carries 36 cupcakes in one is awesome!
Apr. 6, 2011 6:57 am
Thanks Cat Hill! lol I can't cook cleanly to save my life ;).
Apr. 6, 2011 6:58 am
Thanks digger! That's one of my favorite things about volunteering, I get to make all sorts of goodies and not have them all hanging around the house telling me to eat them ;).
Apr. 6, 2011 6:59 am
MySweetCreations, I baked them in the kitchen at the center so I didn't have to trasport them. A cupcake courier is on my "want" list for sure though.
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About Me
I'm a self/family taught cook. I love to try new recipes and experiment with exotic ingredients and spices. I have 4 young children and I've been married for 6 years.
My favorite things to cook
I love curries, yeast breads, (any kind of baking actually) and anything different.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The pre-Christmas appetizer party that I've started throwing for just my mom and step-dad, my family and my little brother and his family. Chinese Christmas eve at Grandma's, The Harvest feast we throw in September.
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