Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes

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I know that I am totally late for a St. Paddy’s day themed cupcake, but come on- it’s got Bailey’s in it, do we need a reason to make (and eat) these boozy treats?! I’m pretty proud of these cupcakes, the cake and the buttercream frosting came out the way I hoped probably because I finally had a real free day to just bake! I admit I have a tendency to bake in the middle of the night and be rushing to finish and go to bed.

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For these delicious Bailey’s Irish Cream cupcakes I followed the Sweet Tooth blog version of it. Her decorations are so cute and festive! I don’t tend to drink to often, but I do remember being pretty fond of Bailey’s in college so thought St. Patrick’s Day weekend was the perfect opportunity to try an alcohol-infused cupcake.

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This is the star the show- using 1/2 cup in the batter (it leaves a light, barely-there hint of Irish Cream. Later in the buttercream, you’ll use 3 tablespoons which gives plenty of strong, smooth flavor of the liquor.

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Alternate adding the dry flour mixture and the Bailey’s into the egg mixture, starting and ending with flour.

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As soon as the mixture looks evenly mixed, fill the cups with the batter and bake for about 16 mins.

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They come out with a lovely light cappuccino color and they smell AMAZING. While they are cooling, get started on the buttercream. For the butter cream (the best part!), cream together 1 cup of room temperature butter, 4 cups of powdered sugar, and 3 tablespoons of Bailey’s. My family don’t like too much sweetness, so I definitely only made one batch of the buttercream for 24 cupcakes and I still had SO much left.

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I realized that after many failed attempts making frosting does not come easily to me and I realize that’s because I’m never well prepared or I’m in a hurry and I under mix or over mix the cream. This time, it came out perfect: thick, rich, smooth and fluffy!

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For a bit of jolly green cheer, I added some green sprinkles I bought from Michaels.

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Because of the Bailey’s in the buttercream, I would not actually give this to children! For those over 21, eat responsibly and don’t just lick off all the frosting! Cheers!

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Wilton Course 2: Flower and Cake Design (Day 3 & 4)

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Week 3 of the Wilton Course 2 was pretty much more practice of making flowers, that week: bright sunny daffodils and delicate little violets – both great for the upcoming spring season!

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One the last class, we got to bring what we learned in the past few weeks all together. At home we designed and planned what cake design we wanted (well at least we were supposed to, I wasn’t a very good prepared student). We practiced and made more flowers at home and let them harden to bring to class. I decided to make a simple violet cake.

I over mixed my cake batter and it came out with a giant dome that I had to even out with a knife, unfortunately I realized I should really invest in a cake leveler. Thankfully most flaws were hidden by layers upon layers of icing! We started off learning to do a basket weave design to cover the cake up, it was surprisingly easy and creates a complex-looking design on the cake. The picture of the cake slice below will reveal the ridiculous amount of icing used.

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I started by adding the large violets in a bunch as the center piece of the cake. Then I started “sticking” the little violets to the sides as “randomly-even” as possible all around the cake.

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After making sure the flowers were where I wanted them to be, I piped little leaves and foliage to give it some color. Makes a big difference!

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This was a cake to look at not to eat, it definitely was a super-sweet cake and I sadly ended up tossing most of it. I know I still have a long way to go, but even practicing this takes real dedicated time, effort and lots of money buy supplies (and a lot of dish washing!)

Wilton Cake Decorating Class- Lesson 4

All good things must come to an end…and my classmates and I couldn’t believe that we were already on our last lesson!

These classes totally made my Mondays, but I’ve been so busy with 2 jobs and other obligations that the end was bittersweet. The preparation for the classes takes quite a good amount of my Sunday nights. At times it did become stressful. But I have absolutely no regrets taking these classes, they were good therapy for a stressful month.

So this course had 4 lessons and totaled 8 hours, in those 8 hours we learned everything from baking cake to making roses, this last day we put all those new skills to use!

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I gave in and bought Tip #789 aka “The Cake Icer” and it made such a difference! Hate to admit it but I definitely needed this. Tip #789 helps create the right thickness of the icing to cover the cake and not pull crumbs when smoothing it with a spatula.

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This last class was the hardest for me, I could not for the life of me get the darn “ribbon rose” right! The instructor had to practically hold my hand through the steps and my roses still came out all funky. Believe me everyone else’s did not look like mine.

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When decorating a cake, writing goes first so you ensure yourself to have enough space. Not really knowing what I was going to do with this cake and who I was going to give this to, I wrote a very vague message.

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Next we learned to transfer our flowers on to the cake with clean scissors. It was pretty exciting to see this cake come together, step by step.

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Then you add the leaves and the border. I decided to use the same light teal color as the lettering for my border with my favorite designs: rosettes. Doing the border takes a lot of patience and a steady hand- let me tell ya!

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Lastly I just added some “vines” so that the roses look like they are bordering the message. I had plenty of icing to do more but I do like the simplicity of this cake.

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Ohhh….so official!

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4 weeks ago I never would have thought that I could do this! I can’t wait for someone’s birthday to come up so I can practice more!

Fresh Strawberry Buttercream for Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Despite the realities of chilly, gray mornings – San Franciscans hold on to the hope that summer IS around the corner. We huddle in our Northface jackets and hoodies daydreaming about BBQ picnics, ice cream cones, and a refreshing glass of sweet strawberry lemonade in 75 degree weather (that’s hot by SF standards!).

This summer-inspired recipe was made for a celebration for a youth program at my new job (!). We BBQed kabobs and other yummy things at Alamo Square Park (where you can see the Full House house!). I offered to bring dessert of course.

To focus on making the frosting, I made the cupcakes from a Betty Crocker mix, I love that they put pudding in the mix because it makes the cake super moist and soft. I added a few extra drops of lemon extract to intensify the lemon flavor.

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I adapted this recipe from Gimme Some Oven blog for Strawberry Buttercream. Silly me I was already to make the frosting when I realized I did not have enough powdered sugar at 1am in the morning. I woke up at 6:30 in the morning to go to the store, make the frosting, and get to work on time!

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup pureed strawberries (I used fresh ones)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 cups of powdered sugar

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I love how I did not have to use food coloring for this frosting. The dark red strawberry puree made the frosting a delightful light pink color! It’s au naturale!

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I slowly added the powdered sugar, half-cup by half-cup, to get the right consistency that I wanted. Making frosting is a process that takes patience and can’t be rushed. Mix it enough so that it gets air in it and becomes light and fluffy.

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I took the frosting separate to work and piped the frosting on to the cakes there, however, I think I left the frosting in the car for too long and the buttercream started melting and couldn’t hold it’s shape!

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By the time we got to Alamo Square, that is what happened. Ugh, I was so embarrassed- thankfully it tasted better than it looked!

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Couldn’t help but Instagram this.

After I went home, I took the second half of the batch and frosted the rest. The frosting is pretty sweet but with plenty of ripe strawberry flavor, and it balances the tart citrus flavor on the lemon cake. Tastes like summer!!   I will definitely be making this again- and learn to make frosting that will hold its shape!

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Eating one as I type this entry!