Posts Tagged 'independence day'

Pipe Dream #279: To Chop ‘Em Off – Sparkler Vehicles

cupcakes sparks 5

This post is less about the recipe, and more about creating a cutesy vehicle to get more party in your life. The nut graf of this blog post is: Make more cupcakes so you can light more sparklers. It don’t matter if they’re fancy.

But to sum up:

You can find the recipe for the glazed muffins here. Chocolate peanut butter banana based on my roomie’s no-fail banana bread recipe.

For the cupcakes, I used some leftover batter from a layer cake I made using this recipe. As cupcakes, this batter wasn’t great. While this cake is amaze  as a layer cake (so dense, so moist), the cupcake version didn’t have pretty, domed tops. So I cut them off. The tops.

Haha, so many applications for this strategy of life that I just thought of. Hair frizzing out? Shave it all off. Toenails no longer prettily polished? Chop ’em.  Woops, sorry. A little seck for a Tuesday.

cupcakes sparks 6

The fudge frosting was a small batch of this rich Hershey’s recipe, which I discovered in college.

The peanut butter frosting was from AllRecipes. I swapped in half and half for the milk, and the frosting split. I couldn’t get it to come back together, and I was too lazy to try for very long. It tasted like the best peanut butter frosting you ever had that wasn’t this frosting, which is the actual best peanut butter frosting, though.

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These cupcakes (or these, remember?) would be perfect for Fourth of July, no? Especially with sprinkles and sparklers. Sprinkles and Sparklers should be the new name of this blog.

Party on. Excellent.


Pipe Dream #204: To Dissociate – Black and White Berry Ganache Cupcakes

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I have written in my planning notes that these black and white cupcakes would make a good pre-Independence Day post. I think I wrote that because these cupcakes are highly transportable (for all those sparkler bashes you’ll be attending). But I think the bigger reason I wrote that is because these cupcakes are decorated with blue and red berries, and obviously, anything blue and red combo triggers thoughts of fireworks and grillouts. Oh, and like, patriotism or something. #foodie #canadian #canadianfoodie

ganache cupcakes 1

Anyway, coming up is my favorite holiday, which I celebrate for untraditional reasons, mainly sparklers and fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with America, it’s a lovely place to live! I just don’t feel like wearing flag sweaters most days. Feel free to be untraditional and associate these cupcakes with something other than the 4th, even though this is the week. Ideas: Berry season, Britain, bomb pops. Beets.

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One point of regret: Do you see how lovely and perfectly creamy the above ganache is? It is actually beautiful. When I whipped it up to make the frosting for these babies (such a cool party trick), it split in the heat/humidity of my kitchen. Maybe save the whipped ganache for another, less summery day. You could try a quick buttercream, or a thin glaze, or heck, just a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

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I still frosted them. It tasted fine.

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Happy 4th!


White Cupcakes

Adapted from i am baker

2 cups + 1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour
1 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened but still cool, cubed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Whisk the room temperature milk, egg whites, and extracts in a medium bowl until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of an electric mixer at low speed. Add butter cubes and continue beating on low for 1-2 minutes. Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for 1 minute.

Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling each tin about 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcakes comes out clean, about 18 minutes (but please check at 15 minutes, don’t overbake). Allow the cakes to cool about 2 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Black Cupcakes

Adapted from Ina Garten

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

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. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for abou 18 minutes (checking at 15 minutes), until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 2 minutes, then remove onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I used this recipe. Make sure you are whipping the ganache (or any frosting for that matter) in a cool kitchen. Don’t overbeat it either. Heat and overbeating will result in a curdled frosting.

Pipe Up! On Your Favorite Thing In This Wide World

If I ever tell you that I love you more than sparklers, you will know that you are loved a lot. Like Top 10 loved. And something else will probably be less loved, because sparklers are not being bumped out of the Top 10 Things I Love anytime soon.

Ok that’s pretty dramatic; I don’t actually have a list of Top 10 things I love, but I do adore those bursting fire balls that don’t hurt you when you stare into their fascinatingly changeable hearts and cause endless joyful wellings of laughter from my soul. I could go on, but I’ll spare you the rest of my heartfelt outbursts for later.

I had such a fun time messing around with the camera settings to capture the evening light, and I was so impressed by how sharp and interesting all the little sparks are! I didn’t even know my camera could work so well. Does anyone know why cameras can do this? Are they really just that fast? Is it something to do with how bright the sparks are? What is your favorite thing to capture?

Pleasantly puzzled,


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