Cupcake Flavors

I’ve had endless requests for a list of all the cupcake flavors we make. My initial reply is “tell me what you want, and we’ll make it,” but I’m quickly realizing that no one likes that answer. So here’s a current list of all the flavors we’ve made so far. We’re not limited to these flavors – we can literally develop any flavor your heart can dream up – but this is just to give people an idea of what they have to choose from. If you don’t see something you want, suggest it – emcd84@gmail.com

Chocolate
Chocolate cake with vanilla or chocolate buttercream

Vanilla
Vanilla Cake with vanilla or chocolate buttercream

Yellow Cake
Buttery yellow cake topped with chocolate buttercream.

Strawberry
Strawberry Cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting

Almond
Almond Cake topped with almond buttercream

Lemon
Lemon Cake topped with lemon buttercream

Dreamsicle
Orange Cake with orange cream swirl frosting*

Vanilla Caramel
Vanilla Cake topped with salted caramel buttercream and chewy caramel bits.

Oreo
Devilโ€™s Food cake layered with vanilla buttercream.

Red Velvet
Red Velvet Cake filled and topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting.

Key Lime Pie
Sweet Key Lime cake topped with key lime cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, and graham cracker crumbs

Angel Berry
Light Angel Food cake topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Double Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate cake topped with dark chocolate cream cheese frosting

Sโ€™mores
Chocolate Cake filled with marshmallow fluff, topped with chocolate buttercream, graham cracker, and toasted mini marshmallows.

Peach Cobbler
Cinnamon Cake filled with peach compote, topped with cinnamon ice cream cheese frosting**.

Bananas Foster
Spiced Banana cake filled with rum-glazed banana puree, topped with vanilla ice cream cheese** frosting and a rum-glazed banana slice.

Cherry Pie
Almond Cake filled with our award-winning cherry pie filling, topped with a flaky lattice crust and homemade whipped cream.

Peanut Butter Cup
Chocolate Cake filled with smooth peanut butter, topped with our Reeseโ€™s peanut butter cream cheese frosting and a Reeseโ€™s peanut butter cup.

Caramel Apple
Green Apple cake topped with a caramel apple buttercream, caramel sauce, and chopped peanuts.

Lemon Cream
White Cake filled with fluffy lemon cream, and topped with vanilla crumbs.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Yellow Cake filled with pineapple and cherry compote, topped with pineapple buttercream and a cherry.

Coconut Rum
Toasted Coconut Rum cake soaked in a rum glaze, topped with a coconut and rum buttercream and toasted coconut shavings.

Pumpkin Pie
Spiced pumpkin cake topped with spiced pumpkin cream cheese frosting and whipped cream.

Carrot Cake
Award-winning carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting.

Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake
Godiva Dark Chocolate cake filled with Godiva dark chocolate mousse, topped with Godiva chocolate cream cheese frosting.

White Chocolate Strawberry
Strawberry Cake with white chocolate sauce, strawberry cream cheese frosting and white chocolate chips. Topped with a white-chocolate-dipped strawberry slice.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Strawberry Cake with milk chocolate sauce, strawberry cream cheese frosting and milk chocolate chips. Topped with a chocolate-dipped strawberry slice.

Tiramisu
Sponge Cake soaked in amaretto and espresso, topped with light Italian custard and dusted with cocoa and cinnamon.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Our classic vanilla cake filled with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, and topped with white chocolate mousse and vanilla bean whipped cream.

*Our Orange cream swirl frosting is a swirl of orange cream cheese and vanilla ice cream cheese frostings. It tastes exactly like a dreamsicle.
**Our ice cream cheese frostings are cream cheese frostings that are designed to taste like ice cream ๐Ÿ™‚ They’re quite good.

Note: We’re still working on fun names for our flavors – it’s a marketing move that we’re putting a lot of effort into. Don’t worry – they’ll be doozies! ๐Ÿ˜›

Cupcake/Pie Auction

Every year our Church hosts a pie auction/spaghetti lunch to help raise money for youth group mission trips and camp. It’s something my parents contribute to almost every year, so since the baking gene was passed down to me, Bethany and I decided to contribute this year. We went all out and decided to donate a mixed dozen of our jumbo cupcakes to see what they sell for in the hands of an auctioneer. There were a handful of people in the audience who had sampled our cupcakes in the past, so we expected a handful of bids. My goal was to at least raise more than we spent on the cupcakes.

When our cupcakes were up for bid, the auctioneer said “cupcakes by Eric and Bethany McDowell” but before he could even start to describe what kind of cupcakes were in the box, someone yelled out “$100!” which shocked me. The bids continued all the way to $275 when the auctioneer sold it. Not too bad! All that money goes to fund the youth missions/camp, so I couldn’t be happier. We’re definitely going to make this an annual event. Bethany and I have always agreed that if you have a special talent/gift, you have to give it back to the community somehow. When we do finally open a bakery, one of our first missions is to adopt a charity to support. We’re strong believers in contributing back to society, and this pie auction is a wonderful first step for us.

Now, I know you want to see what we auctioned off ๐Ÿ™‚

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakeย ย Vanilla Caramel Cupcakeย ย Cherry Pie Cupcake

The mixed dozen included…

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes – chocolate cake with a smooth peanut butter filling, topped with our Reese’s Peanut Butter cream cheese frosting, and garnished with peanut butter cup “wedge.”

Vanilla Caramel Cupcakes – Vanilla cake topped with our salted caramel buttercream, garnished with bits of chewy caramel.

Cherry Pie Cupcakes –ย Almond cake filled with our incredible (family recipe) cherry pie filling, topped with a flaky handmade lattice crust, and garnished with our fresh whipped cream (not shown).

Put them all together and you get this:
Mixed Dozen Jumbo Cupcakes
Beautiful! And as you can tell, our decorating skills are on an upward swing ๐Ÿ˜‰

White Chocolate Strawberry and Key Lime Cupcakes!

Our church hosted a feast for the teachers of our church-sponsored elementary school last Monday, and they asked me to bake up a couple dozen cupcakes for the event. Being married to a teacher, I obviously recognize the value of our teachers, so I obliged.

We decided to make up two dozen white-chocolate-covered strawberry cupcakes, and two dozen key lime pie cupcakes.

white chocolate covered strawberry cupcakeย  ย Key Lime Pie Cupcake

I have to say that our strawberry cupcakes are the best I’ve had anywhere. We make the cake with fresh strawberries, and top them with a strawberry cream cheese frosting. So for this occasion, we decided to add an extra dimension with some Ghirardelli white chocolate “chips” and garnished with a strawberry slice dipped in white chocolate. Absolutely incredible ๐Ÿ™‚ The first time I made key lime pie cupcakes they were amazing, but I ran into some chemistry issues that cause the cakes to deflate after baking. So this time around I made some changes to the recipe to keep the cakes lofty. I got the loft I wanted, but to be completely honest I wasn’t too fond of the new flavor. It was strong key lime flavor, but it lacked depth. Now, don’t let my opinion fool you – they were still delicious, but they aren’t up to my standards just yet.ย I still have some work to do. I topped them with my amazing whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs, and a wedge of key lime. They may not be up to snuff in the flavor department just yet, but they do look incredible, don’t they? ๐Ÿ™‚

Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake!

carrot cakeThe other day at work we were discussing the fantastic carrot cake that a coworker of ours make, and Jackie (another coworker) stopped us all and said SHE made the best carrot cake. So of course I decided that we needed to have a bake-off to prove who makes the best carrot cake. I joined the bake-off to act as a control since I had never baked a carrot cake before. And assuming they both bake the best carrot cakes around, my entry should validate that, right?

So we agreed on a date and everyone brought in their wonderfully decorated carrot cakes for the judging. The three judges consisted of 2 talented bakers and a former restaurant chef, and the cakes were judged based on presentation (5pts), originality(5pts), and taste(10pts). The winner was the person with the highest total score.

Stormy, the seasoned carrot cake master, scored 25 pts

Jackie, the one who claimed she makes better carrot cake than anyone, scored 36 pts

and I, the carrot cake newbie with no prior carrot cake experience that submitted a cake as a control sample, scored 46 pts.

I thought Stormy’s was fantastic, and I thought Jackie’s was awful. I voted Stormy for 1st, me for 2nd, and jackie for 3rd.

After the judging, we opened up our cakes to the rest of the building to hold a quick People’s Choice Award contest. The results of that were exactly how I voted originally. Stormy 1st, me 2nd, Jackie 3rd.

Needless to say, I’m pretty impressed with my cake. I did a lot of research to figure out the best methods for making a carrot cake, then constructed my own recipe with ingredients that were based on my own personal preference, and it came out a success. My first attempt was atrocious – it was more like a carrot bread :-& I didn’t care for it.

I topped my cake with my regular cream cheese frosting and I piped out a carrot on top, and surrounded it with chopped pecans because I felt the need to be cliche for the contest ๐Ÿ™‚

Just thought I’d take the time to toot my own horn ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now I just need to adapt the recipe into cupcakes, and add them to my menu.

Peach Cobbler Cupcakes!

peach cobbler cupcakeI’ve been meaning to try out a recipe for peach cobbler cupcakes lately, and finally got around to it this past weekend…which also means that there are no fresh peaches anywhere. So I settled for frozen (which is suitable enough for recipe development).

I have an incredible peach cobbler recipe that I came up with a few year ago that has been given rave reviews by those who have tried it. So, naturally, I converted that recipe into a cupcake by adapting my vanilla cake recipe to fit by adding cinnamon and nutmeg. I made the peach filling and blended it to make a more appropriate consistency for cupcakes, then scooped the spiced vanilla batter into the cupcake liners and topped them with a scoop of the peach filling. When they bake, the batter bakes up around the peaches, creating a nice peach cobbler cupcake ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I topped them with a scoop of my cinnamon ice cream cheese frosting. They taste exactly like peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream! Definitely one of my favorites so far (I know, I say that about all my new cupcakes :-P).

The only problem with these is that the cupcakes are REALLY messy and once you remove the liner they don’t hold their shape anymore. So to remedy that, I made just the spiced vanilla cake, scooped out the middle and packed them full of the peach filling. Then topped them with the cinnamon ice cream cheese frosting. The end result was FAR better than the first attempt. They held together, they looked more like a cupcake, and the overall taste improved because there was a better contrast of flavor between the cake and the peaches. Definitely a winner! However, in my haste I didn’t take a picture of the second attempt, but you can use your imagination ๐Ÿ˜›

Oh, and to update one of my previous posts, the If You Care liners are WONDERFUL! They don’t peel away after baking, and they look so good! The brown is a much better color for the cupcakes, and it doesn’t look anywhere near as greasy as the white ones (which is ALWAYS a plus). I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend these liners!

One small step…

So I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my Wilton baking cups peeling off by themselves after baking lately. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out why. After Googling extensively for the remedy, I came across these fancy paper liners. They’re made by the company If You Care, and they’re unbleached and totally chlorine free. Chlorine bleaching apparently releases toxic chemicals into the environment, so it’s a big no-no. Seems legit, right?

if you care baking cupsSo I went down to Whole Foods and picked up a box (if you go to buy some and cant find them, they’re in the paper goods aisle – next to the trash bags and paper towels. I don’t know why they didn’t put them in the baking aisle, but that’s neither here nor there.). They’re a little more expensive than standard white baking cups at $1.50/60-pack, but it’s an expense I can justify. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, but I’m hoping to make up a batch tonight and see how they stack up.

I’m not a big ole hippie, but every little step to improve the word we live in helps ๐Ÿ™‚

My first fondant experience…

I apologize for the delay in my posting. Life is getting pretty hectic lately.

Another coworker of mine requested cupcakes for her daughter’s 13th birthday party. Her only requests were that it be softball themed (with YELLOW softballs, not white) and that the flavor be reminiscent of the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. I love using high-end ingredients to make lavish desserts, so I was very excited about this particular order.

I decided that I was going to try my hand at making fondant as well, so I could turn the cupcakes into softballs, and add something new to my repertoire. I mean, after all, making fondant is pretty fundamental for a baker, right?

softball cupcake dozenSo for the cupcake I made our traditional chocolate cake, and I filled it with a variation of our chocolate cream cheese frosting (I tweaked a few things to make it taste more like cheesecake than a traditional chocolate cream cheese frosting) made from Godiva 72% dark chocolate. I then made an incredible dark chocolate mousse from the same chocolate and piped a little of that on top of each cupcake.

I made up a batch of fondant and colored it yellow using Wilton gel colors. I also made a small amount of purple fondant to make her softball number for one of the cupcakes. Both turned out perfectly – I was very happy with the results considering it was my first attempt at the stuff. So I rolled them out, cut out the number and the softball circle, then decorated each softball with gel icing and a toothpick (which gave it a very realistic look IMO), then slapped them onto each cupcake.

softball fondantOriginally I was concerned about the dustiness from the powdered sugar, but I left them alone and put them in the fridge to keep until I delivered them the next morning. When I opened the box the next morning, the hazy powdered sugar look was gone and they were shiny and looked like real softballs. I was very happy!

They went over really well at the party, and it seemed to have caught the attention of some of the parents there who have started inquiring about my services ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m gonna have to start using fondant more often!