Dexter, will you bring me doughnuts?




In honor of Halloween, and one of my favorite shows, Dexter.

I have been wanting to make these cupcakes for a little while, and all I needed was a good excuse from one of my girlfriends like, “Hey Holli, my brother is having a Halloween party, can I come over and make some awesome cupcakes with you?”

Um, YES.

But the only bummer is.....I got really distracted and forgot to take pictures while making them. =[

I will do my best to describe how I made them to make up for it!

First, I made some simple vanilla cupcakes, you can use any recipe or even a box! Shh I won’t tell.

THEN, I took a can of cherry pie filling and pureed it.

You can’t forget the most important part, the knives...First I melted some chocolate wafers in a piping bag and piped out the knife handles onto parchment paper. (Using a knife stencil of course, just google knife and print out a picture of a knife shape you like.) Then I dyed some white melting wafers gray, and piped the knife blades, making sure to connect it to the handles so they stick together!

Once the cupcakes were cool, we filled them all with a little bit of the pureed cherry.

See?




And then we dyed some buttercream a light skin tone color. Not guna lie, we could’ve gone darker haha. Pale is the new tan right?

Lastly, frost the cupcakes with a thin coat, splatter on some red cookie icing, and stab em. Literally. Gently though, the knives are fragile!




Dexter cupcakes off to their Halloween party in Palm Springs!





I hope you Dexter fans love these as much as I do!

Thanks Kayla and Caitlin for helpin me out, love you!

<3hollicakes
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Wedding Shower Cupcakes!



I LOVE making cupcakes for special events, especially weddings! So when a friend from high school asked me about cupcakes for her wedding shower, I was so excited!

We ended up deciding on half chocolate, half lemon with a pastel pink and white theme! And of course cute little ring toppers =]

I whipped up the chocolate cupcakes so fast I didn’t end up with any pictures. But you guys have seen my chocolate cupcakes before, right? Yep. And same with my swiss meringue buttercream, which is what I used on these cupcakes. I just dyed half of it pink for the chocolate cupcakes and added a little lemon zest to the rest for the lemon cupcakes!

Lemon! Mmm oh how I love when my kitchen smells like lemon zest.



Hello baked cupcakes!



It is hard to see in the pictures, but I loaded these cupcakes up with edible glitter to match the sparkly ring toppers!



See?







Congratulations Kim!


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Jack-O-Lantern Cake Pops + Hello Bakerella



So in honor of meeting Bakerella this past week, which I will tell you all about at the end of this post, I HAD to make some Halloween cake pops!

Jack-O-Lantern cake pops to be exact. My friends started calling them “hollipops” and all the sudden that was the new name for my cake pops.

In Bakerella’s book she has tons of cake/frosting flavor combinations for her pops, but there was one flavor I really wanted to make that was not featured in her book. Pumpkin! So I had to get creative...And it was a lot easier than I thought!

Pumpkin “Hollipops”

1 box vanilla or yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or I’m sure a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves would do!)
eggs, oil and water amounts directed on box
1 can cream cheese frosting (you won’t need all of it)
3 bags orange candy wafers
1 package green apple tick-tacks
48 lollipop sticks
48 plastic lollipop bags and ribbon
edible food markers

-will make about 48 pops

1. Preheat oven to 350 and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Coat pan with non-stick spray then pour batter into pan, bake as directed on box, depending on the size of the pan.

Cool cake, then cut into 4 sections, taking two at a time and crumbling them together into a big bowl.



Add your cream cheese frosting a little at a time until it becomes dough-like and sticky enough to roll into a ball.



Mix evenly, then start rolling out the cake into little balls about one inch thick.



Get the decorating ingredients ready...



Melt your chocolate, I used an old easter egg kit cup since they are nice and deep. Dip the sticks in chocolate, then insert them into the pops.



Let the chocolate dry.



Then dip away! At first my chocolate was too thick, so I added a little bit of shortening and it thinned right away!



Right after you dip them, place a green tick tack at the top for the pumpkin stem, then put them in styrofoam to dry!

Then draw your pumpkin faces! Sadly, my black edible marker ran out after the first four pumpkins =[



So the rest of the pops got wrapped up all cute!



Happy Halloween!





So this past Monday there just so happened to be a Bakerella book signing at the Williams Sanoma near my house.

And I finally got to meet the famous Bakerella! So exciting.

It started off with a Q&A session, then on to the book signing. I was number 113, in other words, I was there for quite a while.



About an hour and a half into standing in line...Met so many awesome people though.



Not so great of a picture, but Bakerella had ridiculously amazing pink heels on!



Finally at the front of the line!



Telling her how much I loved her shoes.



YAY! I’ma huge nerd and I know it.



You can tell I’m so stoked. Needless to say I was so happy after that I went and bought some new shoes =]




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Chocolate Chai Latte Cupcakes




A couple of days ago I was planning on making some halloween cake pops, but I just happened to find a recipe for chocolate chai latte cupcakes with cream cheese filling! You probably understand why I postponed the cake pops.....

I’m usually the type that likes to make the cake from scratch, but this super simple recipe calls for a box of chocolate fudge cake mix. Can’t say no to that.

Here are the 4 main ingrdients.




Chocolate Chai Latte Cupcakes
-makes 24 cupcakes

Cake:
1 1/2 cups boiling water
5 chai-flavored tea bags
1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate fudge or chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
3 eggs

Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg

Chocolate Chai Buttercream:
3 tablespoons reserved prepared chai-flavored tea
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan cups; set aside. Combine all filling ingredients in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy; set aside.
2. Combine boiling water and tea bags in glass measuring cup, let stand 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing out excess liquid. Add enough water, if necessary, to equal 1 1/2 cups.
3. Reserve 3 tablespoons prepared tea; set aside. Place remaining prepared tea in large bowl; add cake mix, melted butter and eggs. Beat at low speed 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
4.Spoon about 2 tablespoons cake batter into each prepared muffin cup. Top each with 1 tablespoon filling. Spoon additional cake batter over filling until cups are about 2/3 full. (DO NOT OVERFILL!) (Batter does not have to cover filling completely.) Bake for 19 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
5. Combine 3 tablespoons reserved prepared tea and milk in 2-quart saucepan. Add flour and cocoa; whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and just comes to a boil (4 to 6 minutes). Remove from heat; cool about 15 minutes.
6. Combine 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Beat at high speed until creamy. Continue beating, gradually adding cocoa mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until light and creamy and sugar is dissolved. Frost or pipe cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

The batter and the filling.



One scoop batter, one scoop filling, one scoop batter!



I tend to put a little bit of extra filling in my cupcakes, and a couple of them sank a little in the middle because of this! So worth it though.



Break a buncha pretzels in half! Make sure to munch as many of the mess ups as you can.



Bite-sized latte anyone?



For the pretzel handles, I just cut a hole in the middle of the cupcake liner with an exacto knife and stuck the end of the pretzel in! So easy.





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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!



This rainy Monday inspired me to think outside the cupcake and break open one of my other baking books for a change! It just so happened to be this one...




I originally didn’t plan on making whoopie pies, but when I saw the recipe for pumpkin paired with a maple buttercream filling, I couldn’t resist.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
-makes about 30 cookies, 15 sandwiches

2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup, or 1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift( I whisked) together flour, baking powder, baking soda, all spices and salt.
3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Add the flour mixture a cup at a time until just incorporated, don’t overmix!
5. Using 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the batter about two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cakes begin to crack and are firm to the touch.


Maple Buttercream Filling
-makes enough to fill about 15 sandwiches

1/2 cup, or 1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Sift powdered sugar, then add it 1/2 cup at a time to the butter.
2. Add the milk and maple syrup and beat for 3-4 minutes until fluffy.
3. Using a piping bag with a round tip, spread the buttercream onto one of the whoopies, then top with another!


Flour and all the spices!



Butter, brown sugar, egg and pumpkin!



My whoopies actually didn’t flatten out as much as the picture in the book. So after taking them out of the oven and cooling them for about 5 minutes, I lightly flattened them out with the palm of my hand!



Looks like a cookie, tastes like cake, with buttercream in between =]




Enjoy!

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The Life of a Nerd's Girlfriend: D&D Cupcakes



So many of you won’t understand what these cupcakes are or what the heck D&D means. The thing is, a friend of mine ordered some Dungeons and Dragons cupcakes for her boyfriend’s birthday.

I know what you’re thinking. What does that mean? How would I decorate them? That’s nerdy.

That’s exactly why I couldn’t say no to these cupcakes.

I love a challenge, I love brainstorming decoration ideas. And most of all I love my boyfriend, who also happens to be a nerd that plays D&D.

The main theme of the cupcakes is a 20-sided dice, the most commonly used dice in the game. Dylan was a huge help by offering to let me borrow his D&D dice.

At first we were going to make two little dice for the top of each cupcake....then we realized how time consuming making these suckers is.

So we decided to do half with the fondant dice, the other half piped with buttercream.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
-makes 18

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
1 cup pureed raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and raspberry extract; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed. Mix in raspberry puree.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


Chocoate Fudge Frosting

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low.
3. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
4. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.

This frosting recipe makes 5 cups, which is wayyy too much for the cupcake recipe! I halved the frosting recipe and still had leftover!

The ingredients.



Mix in the pureed raspberries.



Spend a good amount of time perfecting the art of a 20-sided dice made out of fondant.



The model dice.



Rasta dice!










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