Monthly Archives: December 2013

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Sugar Cookie Toppers

So we got the house!

I’m ecstatic, but cautiously optimistic because my life is beginning to play out like the opening scene of a scary movie.  Young family moves into beautiful but secluded home in a snowy lakeside Minnesota town.  The name of the town is Lake Elmo which sounds innocent enough but you know it’s hiding a dark, sinister past.  Female lead character steps into home and says something like “this is better than I ever hoped for!”  All the while, you’re waiting for the other shoe (or severed head) to drop.

Ok, so I know it’s just my own personal psychosis that makes me feel like if something good is happening then I’ll be paying dearly for it soon.  Why is it so hard for me to accept that life can just be good?  It could just as easily play out like this:


Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
Charlie Bucket: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.

Anyway, enough of the heavy crap.  Let’s talk baked goods.



So I managed to get through the entire month of November without baking anything.  With traveling, packing and moving it just wasn’t in the schedule.  To make up for my absence I decided to do a two for one – my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe with a few tweaks and the ultimate edible cupcake topper, a mint buttercream sugar cookie!

The cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water with 1/4 cup hot cocoa mix, prepared

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together thoroughly.

Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute.

Add half of the prepared hot cocoa and beat for 20 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the remaining water.  Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth.  The batter will be thin enough to pour.

Divide it evenly among the lined cups.  Bake 18-22 minutes (rotating the pan from front to back half-way through the baking time), just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Set the pan on a rack to cool.  Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.  Store and serve at room temperature.


Sugar Cookie Toppers

Recipe found here.

Use any combo of Holiday shapes and colors to make these your own!

Whipped Cream Frosting

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Pre-chill bowl and beaters.  Beat all ingredients on medium speed until stiff peaks form.



Pipe on whipped cream frosting and place cookie toppers as desired.  I also added some super cute jumbo snowflake sprinkles – thanks Craft!

Merry Christmas and if I don’t make it back this month (due to holiday travel and/or laziness) then Happy New Year also!


Happy Blogiversary Thingy

Hey to all  (3) of you out there!  It’s been a year since we started this blog!  Can you believe it?  A whole year of posting infrequently and half-assed content!  Wooohooo!  Bet you can’t wait for another year, eh?  Well, merry early Christmas to you then. We will continue to vaguely entertain you, intermittently, for the foreseeable future.  You’re welcome.

We don’t have a giveaway for today or even a meaningful post to put up, so here are some random pictures from Halloween and other times for you to (mock) enjoy!  And since dear Bake is moving house, today of all days, these pictures will be of me and my family.  Enjoy!


Here are all of us in our Halloween costumes.  My hat is made of craft foam with an led light in the top. My hair is blue, though hard to see in this picture.


Here I am after I got my hair dyed purple.  I love it!  I feel like a superhero with it.


Here is my costume re-styled for the Dr. Who 50th anniversary show.  I got to go to a real movie theater and see it!

(it was Fantastic by the way!)


Up close shot of makeup and hat. That’s blue eyeliner on my lips.  Worked great.

The skirt for my tardis costume was a Burda pattern that I had to increase by about 4 sizes.  They say you shouldn’t upsize patterns more than 2 sizes but it seemed to work out okay.  I left the pieces a bit long for my short frame but it fit and it was warm which is always nice in October and November.

  The girl zombie got a thrifted cardigan that worked out well and I made the oldest boy suspenders and a bow tie to round out his costume.  Baby zombie didn’t get the centurion hat I wanted but he was cute anyway.  He loved the knife (fake) that I picked up for him, a little too much really.

Thanksgiving went well and we’re settling into a Christmas groove. I hope to have a few little mini projects to show before too long.  Thanks for visiting with Craft and Bake!