Every year I like to make a treat for my husband's work for Halloween. So, I thought I would share with you one of the favorites, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream. One of the best things about these tasty little cupcakes is that they make your house smell sooooooo good when baking. I wish I had them in a scented candle, so I could enjoy the smell everyday. Because even though I like to bake, I don't want to bake the same thing everyday :) 
Pumpkin Cupcakes:
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4 c. water
2 T. vegetable oil
3 eggs
3/4 c canned pumpkin

Combine cake mix, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add water and eggs; beat with a mixer for 2 minutes, add pumpkin; mix until well blended. Spoon mixture into lined cupcake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Maple Buttercream:
6 T. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
3-4 T. milk
1 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth with a mixer. Ice cooled cupcakes.

Note: The toppers on these cupcakes are simply piped out of Wilton Candy Melts. They make a super yummy topper for a cupcake.

I hope you all have a fun and enjoyable Halloween, and stay safe!
I was finally able to figure out my holiday plans and get my December schedule put together. I will have 2 Course 1's that month, so it is a great month to get started and learn some new great techniques for your neighbor gifts. I hope to see many of you there!

December 2012:
Course 1: Decorating Basics
Thursdays: 11/29, 12/06, 12/13, 12/20
Time: 9:30-11:30 am
Cost: 55% off $45! That is only $20.25 and the lesson plan is included!

Course 1: Decorating Basics
Thursdays: 11/29, 12/06, 12/13, 12/20
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Cost: 55% off $45! That is only $20.25 and the lesson plan is included!

Course 2: Flowers and Cake Design
Saturdays: 12/01, 12/08, 12/15, 12/22
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Cost: 55% off $45! That is only $20.25 and the lesson plan is included!
Everyone out there has a s'more cupcake recipe. Well, I thought I would share with you one that I came up with and like. I only like cupcakes with a filling, so my recipe has a marshmallow cream filling and is then topped with a chocolate ganache. Soooo good. Try out the recipe and let me know what you think.
S'mores Cupcakes

Graham Cracker Crust:
10 graham crackers, crushed
1/4 c. butter, melted

Combine graham crackers and butter. Press mixture into cupcake papers. Bake 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool completely.
Chocolate Cupcake:
1 box Devils Food chocolate cake mix
1 box (4 oz.) chocolate pudding
1 c. chocolate chips

Prepare cake mix according to box instructions adding in the box of pudding. Fold in the chocolate chips to cake batter. Pour batter on top of prepared graham cracker crusts, only filling liners 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes about 20 minutes or until done. Cool completely.

Marshmallow filling:
3 T. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. marshmallow creme
1 T. milk

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix at medium speed with mixer until all ingredients are combined. Fit a pastry bag with a tip 12. Fill the pastry bag with filling, insert into top of cupcake and gently squeeze to fill your cupcake.

Chocolate ganache: 
1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips
8 oz. heavy whipping cream

Place heavy whipping cream in a small sauce pan on medium heat, once cream starts to come to a boil remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and all is combined in a rich chocolate color. Dip the top of a filled cupcakes into the ganache. Set aside and let ganache cool completely. Then enjoy!
I continually get asked the question "what is the easiest way to make black icing?" It is very simple... start with a chocolate icing. It is a lot easier to start with a brown color and get to black, than it is to start with white and get to black. If you only need a little bit of black icing for your cake, simply take a small amount of cocoa powder and add it to your icing first then add your black coloring. Simple as that. And remember your colors will intensify after they sit for a few hours, so if it doesn't look dark enough at first, let it sit for a bit and it will darken.

If you have a question you might like answered contact me. I would love to help out.
Absolutely, you can have cake for breakfast. Especially when it is an Apple Spice Cake. Anytime I make this cake it never lasts more than two days. Note that this is not a cake that can be decorated, mainly because you won't want to wait that long to taste it :) I have even modified my original recipe to make it a little more healthy for ya too. Perhaps try making it for breakfast this weekend.
Apple Spice Cake
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. sucanat evaporated cane juice sugar 
(Using the sucanat cuts down on the amount of refined sugar, however you can all regular white sugar if you would like. You can find sucanat at health food stores, like Whole Foods.) 
1/2 c. margarine or butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. low fat sour cream
2 eggs
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (you can use all regular flour if you would like)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 c. chopped apples (about 2 large)

Spice mixture:
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 c. sugar

In a mixer, beat sugars, margarine or butter, vanilla, and sour cream until well blended. Add eggs and beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat at low speed until well blended.

Combine the spice mixture. Add 2 tablespoons of spice mixture to chopped apples and toss to coat. Fold apples into batter. Pour into a greases baking dish and sprinkle with remaining spice mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until the cake is done in the center and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool on wire rack. Then ENJOY!
Do you ever have a hard time getting your cake out of the pan? Well, there are a couple of tips on getting your cake out successfully... 

One product I like to use is Wilton's Bake Easy spray. All you do is spray it in your pan before you put your cake batter in. When you cake is done it will come out of the pan very easily with few crumbs. 
Another method you can use, is if you are using a cake mix you can coat your pan with shortening and then sprinkle some dry cake mix in the pan, shake the pan around to coat it with the cake mix, pour your batter in. Your cake will come out clean this way too. This is a much cleaner and better way than the old shortening and flour way.

Treating your pan is the first step to successfully getting your cake out, but the second step is just as important. After you take your cake out of the oven, only leave it in the pan to cool for 10 minutes, and not a minute longer. After it has cooled for 10 minutes you can remove it from the pan and let it continue cooling completely.

These tips should help you in becoming a successful cake decorator. Happy Baking!
Wilton's Course 1: Decorating Basics is a perfect place to start your cake decorating career! Even if you have had no cake decorating experience, this class will make you look amazing with the new talents you will develop. 

Here is a list of a few things you will learn in Course 1: Decorating Basics:

* How to be successful at baking a cake
* Making a buttercream icing that is good to decorate with
* How to level, torte, fill and ice a cake properly
* How to use icing bags with tips and couplers
* Create many different flowers and leaves
* Dimensional decorating techniques
* Several different borders, including the shell border
* and much more!

There is still time to sign up for my Course 1 this Saturday! View complete schedule here.
If you live in a dry climate like I do, you may have the problem of your Wilton gel Icing Colors drying out after they have been open for a while. Whatever you do, DO NOT throw them away! They can be saved. All you need is a bottle of Wilton Glycerin . 

To bring icing color back to its original consistency, I remove all of the foil from the top of your coloring (if it is one with foil). Then I stick it in the microwave for a few seconds. Each microwave is different, however it usually does only take about 5-8 seconds. Remove from the microwave and add a few drops of glycerin to the color and stir. Your color should be good as new!