I Am Baker

“marry me” cookies

I saw these delightful creations on the Cooking Channel website and knew I had to try them.  The official name is, “I want to Marry You Cookies” and they are from the genius mind of Melissa Stadler.

"marry me" cookies!  So good, they will propose!

 

Her recipe includes pretty much every favorite ingredient of mine.  Sugar, (da) brown sugar, oats, chocolate, white chocolate… I get happy just thinking about it.

And she is right, they are downright delicious!  What makes them amazing is her method; she uses one saucepan!  It’s quite inventive.

"marry me" cookies!

 

I think I was impatient and didn’t wait long enough during cooling times, so my cookies are a bit flatter than hers.  In all the pictures I have seen these cookies are puffed up and thick, so I will stress that you should follow the directions better than I did!

I also opted for a good quality semi-sweet chocolate chunk.  It really makes a difference in my opinion, as I love the deep rich cocoa flavor among the sweet (oh so sweet) sugary cookie dough.  You could even go more pure with your chocolate selection, and find something over 60% cacoa.

"marry me" cookies!

 

Then there is that white chocolate.  I love white chocolate with a passion in my soul, and what it brings to this cookie is nothing short of confection perfection.

“marry me” cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter until melted, over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes. (Do not skip this step. You can also transfer the mixture to a different bowl so that it is no longer being heated from the pan.)
  3. Remove he cookie dough from the refrigerator and stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon and mix together with a spoon.
  5. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips and chocolate chips.
  6. Chill dough until it is firm enough to be hand rolled, about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Roll by hand into 24 medium-size balls or use a scoop, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.
  9. While the dough is chilling, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn golden. (Do not overbake)
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Recipe just barely adapted from Cooking Channel.

"marry me" cookies!

 

Now, since I am already married, I will need to harness to power of these cooking into other notable pursuits.  Maybe convince a husband that my new home office is a little bit higher up on his honey-do list than he previously thought.

Or rewarding some thoughtful and well deserving kids.

 

"will you marry me" cookies!

Or even just for me, as a treat for making it through another week. ;)

I Am Baker

classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies

Yesterday, three of my boys left.  My husband took our oldest and second oldest (Colton and Parker, respectively) to Canada fishing.  This is an annual trip for him, but the first ever for Parker.  Colton is already a veteran with one year under his belt!

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

As I mom I am torn when these events come up.  As a wife I get it, a hunter and fisherman is who I married.  I know Chad’s passion lies in the great outdoors and that for him, fishing and hunting is soul refreshing.  He is a true hunter/gatherer!  Him leaving for days and weeks at a time to pursue angling dreams is ok with me. (mostly, with five kids it come sometimes get tough alone)  Heck, I love that his passions are so rudimentary in their core.

But as a mom there is something entirely different going on.

Those are my babies, not being babies.

Those are my sweet angels, learning how to forage and survive in remote back country.

My babies, becoming men.

And I just don’t know if my heart can take it.

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

My tradition for the annual trip is that I make my Monster Cookies.  This is one of Chad’s favorite cookies, and the rest of the guys on the trip always seem to enjoy them too.  But this year I left the baking down to the very last minute (bad mom), as in I literally had 3 hours to get the cookies prepared, baking, cooled, and packaged for the trip.

So I asked them what flavors they wanted.  Chocolate Chip!  Peanut butter!

Ok.  I can do that.

Granted, I will be baking through a blurry haze with all my mommy-hood blubbering, but whatever.

classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (I set my convection oven to 325) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Remove bowl from mixture and fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips.
  6. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden.
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Recipe slightly adapted from bag of Guittard Chocolate Chips.

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

The kids loved the cookies and I hope every time they eat one they are reminded how much mom loves them.  I have plenty to keep me busy while they are gone, with a 1 year old, a 3 year old and a very precocious 5 year old princess-in-training.

But I sure will miss my babies.

So if someone can send me a large shipment of cheap wine and romantic comedies that would be great.  This is going to be a long week!

I Am Baker

cherry limeade cake

After having recently made these Cherry Limeade Cupcakes, I haven’t stopped thinking about them.  Maybe ‘thinking’ isnt the best world.  More like obsessing.  It is by far one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted, and now… it’s a cake.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

A simple cake adorned with cherries.  It really is simple too; easy to assemble, easy to bake, easy to decorate and so easy to eat.  As a matter of fact, this is the second Cherry-Limeade Cake I have made in 3 days.

It’s that good.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

As if the cake itself being awesome wasn’t enough, that frosting.

At a very weak moment in my life I may or may not have piped it directly into my mouth.  Like, 13 times.  Give or take.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting!

 

The combination of the tart lime cake and the sweet cherry buttercream is enough to make you weak in the knees.

So just sit down while you eat it ok?

limeade cake with cherry buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.
  4. Add in vanilla, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Remove from mixer then fold in lime zest with spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly between two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
  7. Transfer cakes tin to a wire rack.
  8. Use pastry brush to brush remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice over the top of the each cake.
  9. Let cakes cool completely and dry before topping with cherry frosting.
  10. Frosting
  11. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  12. Add almond flavoring and cherry juice continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more juice if needed for spreading consistency.
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Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

The main difference between the cake and the cupcakes was texture;  I found the cake to be a bit more dense.  I also added an additional tablespoon of lime juice to the cake.

A couple tips for success:

It is important that your ingredients are at room temperature before assembling and baking.

Don’t over mix cake batter!  (Not speaking from experience or anything, ahem.)

Make sure the lime juice is fresh squeezed.

Brush the lime juice onto the cakes while they are still warm.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

I absolutely insist that you make this cake immediately.  Well, not immediately immediately, but sometime in the near-soon future.  Of just call your bestie and tell them to make it for you.  Besties are good like that. :)

I Am Baker

Blueberry Lemon Skillet Rolls

I have a brilliant idea.  Drop everything and go make these.  Seriously.  They are simple to do but produce a surprisingly delicious result!

Blueberry & Lemon Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Skillet

 

I am hard pressed to get the kids a delightful hot breakfast in the summer, but I think that should change.

The nice thing about this uncomplicated recipe is that I can change it up!  Use plain biscuits, use a differnet fruit, make my own glazes… and none of those changes add any more prep time!

Blueberry & Lemon Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Skillet

 

But for me, this was the winning combination.   Cinnamon roll (hello perfect breakfast food) covered in lemon infused blueberries that playfully burst in a flavor explosion with each bite.  Not to mention the sweet glaze dripping off of every fork full.

The end.

Kidding.

But really.

Blueberry & Lemon Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Skillet

Blueberry Lemon Skillet Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 can cinnamon rolls with icing (should have 8 rolls)
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Prepare a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with butter.
  2. Open cinnamon rolls and separate dough into 8 rolls; set icing aside. Flatten each roll slightly with your hand and arrange rolls in single layer to fill skillet. (My rolls did not fill the entire space of the skillet so the had them mostly in the center.)
  3. In small bowl, mix blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch and then pour on top of rolls.
  4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove lid from the icing container and microwave for about 10 seconds, until it is pourable.
  6. Right out of the oven, drizzle icing over rolls.
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Recipe just barely adapted from Just a Pinch.

If you want to make additional glaze here is an easy recipe:

1 tablespoon butter melted

1 cup powdered sugar

3-4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Stir together butter, 3 teaspoons lemon juice and powdered sugar in small bowl. Stir in more lemon juice if needed, you want the glaze to be smooth and can be drizzled easily.

 

Blueberry & Lemon Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Skillet

 

Next on my list of things to do?  Buy another skillet so I can make more of these at once!  With a family of seven, these were gone in 3 minutes flat!

Nest next on my list?  Try these with cinnamon rolls made from scratch!

Next, next next on my list?  Finding that darn list.

I Am Baker

heath brownie dessert pizza

Have you noticed I have been on a dessert pizza kick?  It’s really quite a fun way to enjoy a treat after dinner.  Or before dinner.  Or all day long.

Brownie Pizza with buttercream, ganache and heath candy bars!  Amazing!

 

This dessert pizza was inspired by my Heath Cake.  That cake is da bomb.  (As is using hip terminology from the 90′s.  It just makes me cooler.  Right?)

How to Make a Heath Brownie Dessert Pizza!

 

And it really was pretty easy!  I made the brownie, cooled it, then covered it in a little more than a cup of buttercream.  Then whipped up some chocolate ganache (recipe below), and then covered in heath bits.

But just the bits weren’t enough, so I loaded up my five kids and went to the store to buy a huge bag of mini Heath bars.  I have been to the grocery store four times in four days.  With my five kids.  There were a couple moments there when I wanted to “accidentally” walk into the liquor store instead of the grocery store.

But I didn’t.  It’s much more fun to be sober for all this fabulousness.

Just kidding, I am dominating a bottle of wine later tonight.  It’s Friday!

Heath Brownie Dessert Pizza!

 

Back to the pizza.

It’s good.

It’s sweet.  Brownies with frosting and frosting and then candy bars?  Yes, I think sweet is an appropriate description.  Also, ridiculous, insane and cavity inducing.

Heath Brownie Dessert Pizza!

I used my Homemade Brownie Mix recipe for the brownies.  It makes a smaller batch, so is perfect for this recipe as it just perfectly covers a 12-inch round pizza pan.  Bake the brownies for about 18-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.

I recommend a 1/2 batch (or even a 1/4 batch!) of this  Basic Buttercream.  I used about 1 1/2 cups on the pizza, and you can use more or less depending on your preference.  I had quite a bit of crumbs in my frosting due to the amazing flaky layer of deliciousness on the brownie.  If you want no crumbs in your buttercream, you can chill the brownie prior to frosting.

The ganache recipe was a little different from my normal, so I will be focusing on that recipe in the post.  I pour the ganache on then spread it evenly over the buttercream with a small offset spatula.

pourable chocolate ganache

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5-6 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Pour chips into a microwave safe bowl and add 2 tablespoons heavy cream.
  2. Heat for 30 seconds then remove and stir. Chips should be half melted.
  3. Add in 1 tablespoon heavy cream.
  4. Return to microwave for up to 30 seconds.
  5. Remove and stir until chips are all melted.
  6. This is where you will want to gauge how runny you want the chocolate to be; I added in 2 more tablespoons of heavy cream, one at a time, and stirred after each. I would consider this a "spreadable" consistency, as in it was easily spread over the dessert pizza.
  7. To make it much more pourable, add in 1-2 more tablespoons of heavy cream and stir until incorporated.
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The Heath chips were purchased as were the candy bars.  I did chop the mini Heath bars in half and then sprinkled on top of the pizza.

Heath Brownie Dessert Pizza!

 

So there you have it, a super indulgent and sugary way to enjoy dessert!  Which is basically what my blog is.

I see a new tag line in my future!

Check out my other Dessert Pizza’s!

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Dessert Pizza!peanut butter marshmallow dessert pizza

Rustic Blueberry Dessert Pizza!

rustic blueberry dessert pizza

Personal size rainbow fruit pizza!

mini rainbow fruit pizza’s

I Am Baker

peanut butter cookies

This classic cookie is always a treat for kids and adults alike!

Perfect peanut butter cookies!

 

I discovered this recipe on allrecipes.com, where it is called “best ever peanut butter cookies ever” and has over 700 reviews.

I think it is named appropriately!

One thing I found interesting is the fact that these cookies do not contain any flour.  I am slightly addicted to gluten and never thought I could get a thick cookie with a great crumb without it… but I was wrong!

The only changes I made were to halve the recipe (that is like the first time I have ever said that, so weird) added brown sugar and increased the vanilla.  I love vanilla!  So basically I am sticking to the original recipe and am thankful to the creator.

And the Creator. Can I get an Amen?

Perfect peanut butter cookies!

 

As much as I want to personalize things and make them my own, this is one cookie that I am not willing to mess with. I absolutely adore the iconic criss cross pattern and wouldn’t change it for a million billion dollars.

Ok, ok, so I would probably change it for like $20 but whatever.

best ever peanut butter cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I use chunky)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, all all ingredients and stir together until smooth.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Perfect peanut butter cookies!

 

Be sure to head on over to my Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Dessert Pizza where I also used this recipe!

I Am Baker

peanut butter marshmallow butterscotch pizza

This dessert pizza is amazing.

If you only ever make one thing from my blog ever… please let it be this.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Dessert Pizza!

My first bite of this sweet (oh so sweet) pizza was bliss.  Pure bliss.

I had visions of world peace.  Kids getting along.  Hour long pedicures.  Laundry done.  Basically everything was right in the world for just a moment.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Dessert Pizza!

 

That right there is a dessert pizza.

And it is amazing.  The flavor combination is based off of this Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake I made.  (That cake is amazing as well!!)

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Dessert Pizza!

 

It is a layer of peanut butter cookie, marshmallows, then my super special unique peanut butter and butterscotch sauce.

The sauce.

It’s magical.

Maybe even has healing powers.

Or the ability to turn crappy days into fantastic days.  I don’t know for certain, but I am willing to test it out as much as possible.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Dessert Pizza!

 

I think the real testimony was my husband.  I asked him what he thought and he said,

“That is probably one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life.”

(unlike me, he is not prone to exaggeration, so this was a big statement.)

He then went on to say, “I don’t even like marshmallow.  Or peanut butter desserts.  But there is something about this that once all together, is very good.”

I am sure he meant to say AMAZING, AWESOME, FANTASTIC, PHENOMENAL.  Also, did you know he doesn’t use exclamation marks with wild abandon like I do?!?!

Men.

peanut butter marshmallow butterscotch pizza

Ingredients

    Peanut Butter Cookie Crust
  • 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunch is fine)
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2-3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • Peanut Butter Sauce
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use chunky)
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a piece of parchment paper on a 12-inch round pizza pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg then stir in the baking soda, vanilla and salt.
  3. Place mixture on parchment paper. Get out another piece of parchment and lay on top. With a rolling pin, flatten out peanut butter dough to fit the 12-inch pizza pan. Remove top piece of parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the center does not look wet. (Slightly underdone is ok, as you will be placing it back into the oven.)
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and peanut butter over medium low heat. Once they are fully melted and combined, add in butterscotch chips. Remove from heat and stir continually until mostly melted. There will be chunks in the bottom of the pan, this is ok. Set aside.
  6. Remove peanut butter crust from oven and immediately place mini marshmallows evenly over the crust.
  7. Turn oven to broil then put the crust with marshmallows back into oven. Watch closely and remove after about 1 minute, or right when the marshmallows start to turn golden.
  8. Pour sauce over marshmallows.
  9. Pizza can be served immediately. (Best served warm or at room temperature)
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I spent quite a bit of time finding the perfect peanut butter cookie crust.  I ultimately went with a recipe that does not utilize flour, and find that the texture and consistency perfectly compliment the pizza.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Dessert Pizza!

 

This entire dessert pizza took less than 30 minutes to prepare, bake and eat.  Er… ah… um, to prepare and bake.  It’s actually more like 15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Dessert Pizza!

I don’t even need to tell you to “Enjoy!”.  I already know you will.

I Am Baker

Blueberry Dessert Pizza

In the spirit of experimentation, I have been trying out various dessert recipes.  Trying new things is something I am making a conscious effort to do more of here at i am baker.  (So if you have requests, do let me know!)

Rustic Blueberry Dessert Pizza!

 

You may have noticed the change, maybe not.  In the last three weeks I have posted considerably more.  This is completely unlike me, as I used to post once a week or less.  But I love the challenge and the new personal goals that have been established.

There are some really positive changes happening around here and I am truly excited where it’s leading me.  I hope you will consider coming along for the ride!  It is definitely more fun with you!

Email Notifications from iambaker

I get asked on Facebook and Google+, “How can I get emails when you post?” Here is the easiest way to do that… simply locate this box on the right hand side of my blog and enter your email address.

It is by far the best way to know when I am updating and to be the first to get access to some pretty fun desserts!

Rustic Blueberry Dessert Pizza!

Back to dessert pizza.  One of the best things about this is the shortbread cookie crumble on top of the pizza.  I asked my sweet Parker if he would help out and he was happy to lend a hand.

Ha!  I seriously need to stop laughing at my own jokes.  That or just keep on laughing.

I think I will choose laughing. It’s helps you lose weight right?  And after this pizza that is a good thing.

Rustic Blueberry Dessert Pizza!

 

So this is a layer of cinnamon and sugar pizza, a cream cheese layer, a blueberry pie filling layer, then shortbread crumbles.

Not too shabby eh?

Blueberry Dessert Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 12" thin pizza crust, pre-made
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can (21 oz.) blueberry pie filling
  • 1 cup crushed shortbread cookies

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter with cinnamon and brush over the entire pizza crust.
  3. Bake crust for about 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown, then allow crust to cool.
  4. In a stand mixer, blend together cream cheese, softened butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  5. Add powdered sugar and brown sugar and mix well.
  6. Carefully spread cream cheese mixture evenly over pizza crust.
  7. Add an even layer of blueberry filling.
  8. Generously sprinkle top of pizza with crushed shortbread cookies. (I use Walkers and used 6 round cookies)
  9. Serve cool.
  10. (Contrary to my pictures, no forks needed!)
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Recipe just barely adapted from Boboli.com.

Rustic Blueberry Dessert Pizza!

These four pieces look about right.  The kids can split the small ones. ;)

 

Rustic Blueberry Dessert Pizza!

 

I know I have a fork in the picture, but in my defense, I took the picture before actually trying the pizza.  Once I actually had a bite, it was immediately apparent that this was a job for the ole hands.  No utensils needed!

I Am Baker

Patriotic Cake {surprise inside cake}

So I do this thing with cakes where I hide surprises on the inside.  I have been doing it for about 4 years now.  I even wrote a whole book about it.

It’s kinda my thing.

Red White and Blue Surprise-Inside Cake!

I can’t help but love this cake.  I am so excited by this new way to share a surprise-inside and so excited that the idea police haven’t taken away my oven yet.   I mean, some of my ideas are crazy weird and should never be attempted in real life.

But occasionally this happens and for a moment all is right with the world.

Red White and Blue Surprise-Inside Cake! #usa

 

Yay!!  I spelled out USA in a red, white and blue cake!!

Whoops!  My ‘s’ is backwards.  Well, on one side of the cake it is anyway.

Red White and Blue Surprise-Inside Cake! #usa

 

In the piece it reads right.

I based the design of this cake off some of my previous cakes, and used this surprise-inside cake method to get the letters into the cake.

I also teach a class on Craftsy on how to get letters inside a cake!  It is a full 20+ minute video tutorial, going over every single detail and showing you step-by-step how to spell out what ever you want in a cake.

I wish I had the time to really perfect this cake before sharing, but I have another appearance on Twin Cities Live tomorrow and have to bake FIVE cakes to get ready!  (One of them is a surprise-inside of course!)  Talk about procrastinating… I just had to get this one done before starting them though!

This is the very first ever (anywhere) surprise-inside cake with letters stacked out vertically in different layers.  I am so, so so excited about where this simple design will lead me and can’t wait to share those ideas with you!

Want more Surprise-Inside Cakes?  Check out my new book.  It is the ONLY book in the world about surprise-inside cakes!

And be sure to check my Facebook page tomorrow when I update it with a link to my Twin Cities Live segment. :)

I Am Baker

patriotic hi-hat cupcakes

I think it’s safe to say that I love all things surprise-inside.  These hi-hat cupcakes are a perfect way to celebrate with the classic red, white and blue theme, but to pleasantly surprise family and friends!

Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

I really enjoy making hi-hat cupcakes and since I make them so often, I really experimented with these.  My vision was to have them be all white from top to bottom.  White cupcake then the white candy coating shell.

However, that does not bode well with bright red and deep dark blue frosting.  It took me no less than four coats of candy coating to cover the colors of the frosting, and then the shell was so thick it was hard to imagine eating it!

Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

And even then the red, white and blue was still visible.  Sprinkles were the next logical step because, hello, sprinkles are always the answer.  But even that didn’t cover up the massive globs of white chocolate candy coating.

So back to semi-sweet chocolate shell.

Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

Which worked great!  Still tastes amazing, still conceals the wonderful surprise, still perfect for any July 4th Party!

Here is my recipe for chocolate candy coating. (or magic shell)

And here is my new FAVORITE recipe for white cake cupcakes.  I am not kidding, it is truly delicious!  Perfect every time.  It is adapted from the Cherry Limeade Cupcakes that were adapted from Sprinkles.

the perfect white cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffins tins. (This recipe yielded 15 muffins for me.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.
  4. Add in vanilla and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack.
  7. Let cupcakes cool completely and dry before topping with frosting.
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Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

To make the red, white and blue colors inside the cupcake, prepare one batch of frosting.  I recommend this Basic Buttercream, but use an imitation clear vanilla extract to help frosting stay white.

Evenly divide buttercream into three bowls then tint one bowl red and and blue.  I use Americolor gel food coloring and a LOT of it to achieve these vibrant tones.

Place frosting into pastry bag with a 9PT tip from Bakery Crafts.

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

Holding bag directly above cupcake start to apply pressure.  Do not move bag up, keep at steady and apply more pressure, letting the frosting fill out around the cupcake.  When you have reached the desired size of dollop, release pressure and lift up.

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

I tried this method in a pastry bag without the 9PT tip and while you can still achieve a somewhat similar result, it’s not as perfect as when the tip is used.  There is a little line from the pastry bag and the shape is not perfectly round.  But it could work in a pinch!

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

Repeat with the red frosting.  You can really see here what a difference the 9PT tip makes!

Then I switched things up and did the colors in opposite order, and this happened.

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

Just look at the perfect swirl.  Man I love that tip!  (For the record, I have no affiliate links, or pay-per-click links, in this post nor does Bakery Crafts know I exist, I just truly love their products and the beautiful results they give!)

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

I have one more amazing-never-been-seen-before patriotic dessert to share this week and I am SO EXCITED for you to see it!

In the mean-time, here are some other fun patriotic desserts!

July 4th Surprise-Inside Cake!July 4th Surprise-Inside Cake

Red Velvet Graham Crackers!

Red Velvet Graham Crackers

Patriotic Rose Cake (the Original!)

Original Patriotic Rose Cake (video tutorial)

Patriotic Cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes! (100% edible, even the wrapper!)

Patriotic Pancakes!

Patriotic Pancakes