Apple Cupcakes

I made some really delicious apple cupcakes this weekend for an Octoberfest party. I have never baked fruit in a cake before, and I definitely want to try it again soon.
Apple Cupcakes
Makes about 36 cupcakes

- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups apples, peeled and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare cupcake pans with wrappers.
2. Mix dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt), in a large bowl. Pinch out any lumps in the sugar as you mix.
3. Add wet ingredients (milk, oil, vanilla) and mix together until smooth.
4. Add apples and stir until evenly distributed.
5. Fill cupcake pans and bake for about 20 minutes.

I used a simple white icing to frost the cupcakes.
White Icing
Make 2 batches to frost 36 cupcakes

- 1 stick butter (room temperature)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 4-6 tablespoons milk

1. Cream butter using a mixer with the paddle attachment.
2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla then the milk, one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

Once the cupcakes were frosted, I asked Anthony to take some pictures. He couldn’t help taking a bite!

Kids are Awesome – what do I do with them?

At the beginning of August, I am going to be babysitting for my niece and nephew for a few days. They are hilarious and super active, and I have been looking around for a few projects and games that will keep them occupied and happy.

This is an amazing idea from Tokketok for a M&Ms color game.

We’ll definitely be making our own bouncy balls, following these instructions from the Idea Room. Who knew you could do that?!?

If it is as hot in August as it has been in July, this water balloon pinata from ohdeeoh might be perfect.

I also love to bake with the kids (my nephew is great at cracking eggs!), so I already bought some small condiment cups to make little muffins or cupcakes, like these ones from Holiday with Matthew Mead.

It is going to be so much fun!

Must Make Projects (thanks Pinterest!)

I have been spending a TON of time on Pinterest lately. It is an awesome way to keep track of all of the great projects I find online. Here are a few that I am definitely going to try ASAP.

Chocolate Bowls from Sprinkle Bakes.

Button Monogram Picture from Little Adventures.

Inside Out Apple Pies from Tiny Urban Kitchen.

Painted Rug from House of Smiths.

Internet people are so smart!

Chocolate Pink Princess Cake – Part 1

My niece is turning 3 and she asked for a chocolate pink princess cake. I am not completely sure what that looks like, so I’m winging it. I decided to make a two-tiered cake, since that seems more special. I also bought some pink edible glitter to decorate it with.

I started with Martha Stewart’s One-Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe, which I love because it makes a huge batch, is super-easy to clean up, and is only slightly more cumbersome than a boxed mix but much more delicious.

I want everything to come out perfect, so I was extra careful about buttering the pans, lining them with parchment, buttering the parchment then dusting with cocoa. Usually I am too lazy to go to the trouble, but it is totally worth the extra step.

While the cakes baked I made some white chocolate mousse for the filling. I used a regular chocolate mousse recipe, so I am not sure if it turned out right. I’m letting it chill overnight, and if it tastes good I will use it between the layers.

The cakes came out perfect and they’re sitting on our kitchen table waiting for the next step – frosting!

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