Monday, May 12, 2014

Showered With Love...

     Douglas Adams wrote: I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.  This is so very true of me.  This past year has taught me that perhaps everything does indeed happen for a reason.  We just may not be aware of, or receptive to that reason until we are able to look back upon it from the direction we were sent.

     A few years ago, I never would have imagined that I'd be working as a teacher and a baker. I was happy and settled in my career as a Librarian. We all know what they say about the best laid plans.
Before I knew it my direction was altered and I had to find a new path.  I have been lucky. I found not only one new profession to love, but two! 

Grade one fun!

      This  past week I have been fortunate enough to busy with both of my new professions.  I had the opportunity to work with a fantastic group of students in a grade one classroom and make wonderfully decadent desserts for several special occasions including a bridal shower.

     These lemon blueberry cupcakes were made for a special bride to be in Toronto.  She had a craving for something lemony and her bridal colour was lilac so when I came across this recipe I just knew it would be perfect. It involves the ideal pairing of zesty lemons with sweet blueberries. An added bonus was the fact that the blueberries naturally coloured the buttercream to match the bride's colour scheme!

     While this recipe is easy to follow, it is a bit labour intensive and will require more of your time, but it is worth it. This lemon curd is wonderful and perfect for spring. I may even make some just to keep on hand for cravings!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
You Will Need:
For The Cupcakes:
1 box white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1/4 cup oil
4 egg whites
3/4 cup buttermilk (see my recipe on how to make your own by clicking here)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For The Lemon Curd Filling:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon zest

For The Blueberry Buttercream:
1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons mashed blueberries pushed through a strainer
4 cups powdered sugar

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners
  •  Sift cake mix into a small bowl to remove any lumps and set aside
  •  In a large bowl, gently whisk together oil, egg whites, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla
  •  Stir in cake mix until well combined
  •  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until and inserted toothpick comes out clean
  • While your cupcakes are cooling begin to make the lemon curd...
  • Using a double boiler (or, in my case, a make shift one; one medium pot placed over a smaller pot filled with boiling water), whisk eggs and sugar together
  •  Add lemon juice, butter and lemon zest and stir constantly over medium heat for about 15 minutes
  • When it's done, the mixture should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon
  • Let cool and begin to make your buttercream...
  • Beat butter for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy
  • Scrape down bowl and add mashed, strained blueberries 
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency
  • Once your cupcakes have cooled, use the wide end of a piping tip to cut a hole out of the top of each cupcake
  • Fill the holes with your cooled lemon curd and finish by topping them with your buttercream

Thanks to YourCupofCake for inspiring this recipe!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pulling A Rabbit Out Of My Hat...

  This past Sunday, I had to perform a magic trick.  After what was a hectic and unusually busy week, I was looking forward to making a delicious, homemade Sunday dinner that would make my family actually want to sit down at the table. As supper time approached, however, I realized that I was on the line for a cake donation for a fundraising auction the following day at my boys' school.  To make a long story short, dreams of a Walton style family dinner went out the window and I began making a cake instead of a main course.
    I will admit that I often feel guilty about the amount of time I waste on Pinterest.  On Sunday though, all of that time wasting paid off!  I just so happened to have pinned this creation and knew it would save the day. If you, like me, lack cake decorating skills, this is the cake for you! Cake decorating has never been my strong suit. Sure I can frost a cupcake, but cakes require more precision and talent.  Not this cake though.  This one creatively covers up any decorating flaws perfectly. It requires very little expertise and turns out impressively. In a little more than the time it takes to bake and cool a cake, you too can create this beauty. Honest. Give it a try and see for yourself!
PS- This one brought in a bid of $80.00 at the cake auction! I'd say that's not bad for a last minute effort.  (Boys, you owe me one!)

You will need:

~A two-layer 9-inch cake, frosted
  • If you are using a box of cake mix simply follow the directions on the box for a two layer cake (you may need to use two boxes depending on the type of mix you choose)
  •  Be sure to level cakes so the tops are no longer domed and let them cool completely before frosting
  • You may frost your cake with any frosting of your choice. Check out some of my recipes, come up with your own, or simply purchase some to make this cake come together even more easily! I recommend using chocolate frosting as it will be less noticeable in the gaps between the Kit Kats. (this I learned by using white frosting!)
~ 10 Hershey Kit Kat Bars, the 4 stick bars (you may need more or less depending on the size of your cake.)
~ 3 regular sized boxes of Smarties, or any small candy of your choice (I've also seen it done with Strawberries and M&Ms)
~ Ribbon ( I used school colours. Choose any colour you like!)


  1. Place your frosted cake on the platter, tray or plate you'd like to serve it from.
  2. Immediately after you finish frosting your cake, begin to stick the Kit Kat bars around the cake.  I did mine by breaking the bars into twos. You may also choose to alternate, as I did, between milk chocolate and white chocolate bars.  *Tip: put them in the fridge first so they don't melt while you are handling them.
  3.  Pour the Smarties evenly on top of the cake.
  4. Finish your cake off by wrapping a decorative ribbon around the Kit Kat Bars to secure them in place.