Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Lightest and Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes EVER

I may have mentioned that I have a "high spirited child".  Or more like a too highly spirited child.  He is stubborn, moody, loud, and crazy... oh just like his parents.  However all that has changed since I did a little research on the food dyes that have been all over the news as of late.  Turns out they are petroleum based.  Last I checked petroleum is not actually food, but hey I'm also against high fructose corn syrup so you know that makes me a tree hugging hippy around these parts.  I'll admit it, I've hugged a tree, I don't care, I'll do it again.  I'm not scared.

So the first thing to go was Red #40.  Absolutely NO red 40 under any circumstances, and no Blue, and preferably no yellow either.  Which means no processed foods, no cake mixes, and no bakery cakes.  This is fine day to day but posed a problem when I remember that ummmm I don't really bake and I had a child with a birthday last week.  Okay... what can we make that will pass for cake on short noticed that is not a cake that I could screw up.... dudududaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  Carrot Cake to the rescue.

I was worried they weren't cooked all the way through but they were and they were moist so don't cook them until they are firm to the touch or they will dry out.  I was sad to miss out on that heaping mound of cream cheese frosting but everyone else loved them.  His teachers said that even the fussy kids ate them with no complaints.  And the teachers have had no complaints about his new enhanced calm, and sweet disposition.  Bye bye Red 40 go make someone elses children crazy.  PS.  The UK found that after banning food dyes that about a third of all ADHD cases disappeared.  Mainly because they were most likely caused by food interactions not actual ADHD.  If you have a child making you nuts, try cutting out their red food for a week (takes about a week to get out of their systems).  We say a difference instantly.  Now he's not a saint as he is still a 3 year old boy, but what a difference.  Making a cake from scratch is a small price to pay for such amazing results.... I meant in the child, but the cake is pretty amazing too... give it a try.

The Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Paula Deen


For Cake:
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can of crushed pineapple, well drained
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Small pinch of ground cloves
3 cups grated carrots, grate on larger side of cheese grater
1 cup chopped pecans

For Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh coconut, shaved and toasted for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugars, pineapple and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and small pinch of ground cloves. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into muffin tin lined with beautiful paper or foil liners. Fill each liner 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 min. Let cupcakes cool completely. While cooling, prepare frosting.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pile the frosting high on the cooled cupcakes and garnish with the toasted coconut if desired.
Yes those are blue decorations but how much could be in those really?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giveaway Winner and the Coconut Blondies

And the winner is.... msheavt said...

I would LOVE to wear hats and I would love to see American women embrace the tradition! I have a baptism to attend in June and was acutally thinking of wearing something fancy. I do agree with all your comments on the above photos. I think my fav is probably the Princess of Kent.

Congratulation Msheavt!  Your selected piece is on it's way and hopefully you will love it.

I was going to take this time to vent about a piece I recently ordered that I did not love.  It was not from the shop above, but I decided I am above all that nonesense and will go about my day.... uh... no.. okay I have to at least show you a picture of the acclaimed "Quality piece" sent to me by AwardDesigns.

Here my friend is a $50 piece of road kill!  I am sorry to say this is a fairly good picture.  Let's take a look at the underside shall we?
Why yes that is glue from a hot glue gun and a metal tab froma  party hat string, thank you for asking.  Still fuming.  I wrote to Etsy who unfortunately couldn't help me because the woman would not take this back.  Looks just like what she advertises doesn't it?

I meant to say... looks NOTHING like what she advertises.  Oh well.... when life hands you a piece of road kill, give it to the cat, report the shop owner to paypal and make blondies.

Coconut Blondies


1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled


In a bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the brown sugar, beating the mixture until it is light and fluffy, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl whisk together the salt, the baking powder, and the flour, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat the batter until it is just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and the coconut, spread the batter evenly in a buttered and floured 13- by 9-inch baking pan, and bake it in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and crumbs adhere to a tester. Let the mixture cool completely in the pan on a rack and cut it into squares.

Makes about 32 blondies.