We All Scream for Sour Cream.

I love experimenting with recipes – it may be one of my absolute favorite pastimes. So this weekend, I really wanted to try a new icing – a sour cream-based buttercream. I just needed the perfect cake to test it out on. It was kinda like getting a brand new pair of shoes and planning your outfit around them, rather than getting dressed first and choosing the shoes to match. I had my heart set on this new icing. So I picked up this tub of sour cream, and thought, “well I’m sure not gonna use this whole thing; I hope I can figure out another use before it goes bad.” And like a bolt of lighting to the brain, it hit me  – red velvet cake calls for sour cream in the recipe. Eureka! I’ve found my test cake!

I quickly went to work, and whipped up a batch of red velvet mini cupcakes, then proceeded to use almost all of the remaining sour cream for the icing. The result? One of the most-loved desserts I’ve created, to-date.

what comes is better than what came before.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (mini) cupcakes.

Over the weekend, I participated in two Holiday craft fairs. The first one was the Traveling Wares which is a very cool series of “traveling” craft shows with a handful of very talented and artistic vendors, held at bars around Philadelphia, and of which I’ve been participating for probably about 8 years now. The second was the Punk Rock Flea Market, which is also very cool in a more “giant warehouse full of punks and funky junk” kinda way. Although both shows were very different, one thing remains the same: everyone loves cupcakes.  And apparently, everyone loves mini cupcakes even more.


minis all boxed up and ready to be devoured.


At show number one, someone saw me with the unopened box, and asked to buy the whole thing. At show number 2, I couldn’t even finish setting up my table before people were asking how much for the mini cupcakes. Now, I don’t know if it was the size, or the flavor (they were white chocolate mint), but something about these miniature cups of cake really caught everyone’s attention, whether they were a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, 
a poet, a pawn or a


i'm dreaming of a white chocolate christmas...

This was the fastest I’ve ever sold out of baked goods, and probably the most I’ve sold at one of these fairs. Had I known they’d be in such demand, I would have made more. But we learn from experience, and from this particular experience I’ve learned that mini cupcakes sell like hotcakes, and get more “look how cute!” reactions then a puppy. Ok, maybe about the same as a puppy. But you can’t eat a puppy.   

Recipe Sunday: Gingerbread Mini Cupcakes.

I’m not sure why, but I always imagined that gingerbread was really hard to make. I think it was because I always associated it with gingerbread houses, and those ARE hard to make. Well, not hard, but complicated. Sure, you could make an uncomplicated gingerbread crap shack, but that’s defeating the purpose. A gingerbread house is supposed to be elaborate – covered in various candy adornments. Gingerbread itself however, contrary to my longstanding belief, is not.

I made gingerbread for the first time last week in class. It was the school’s recipe, and it was very good. But, I thought it could use a few minor adjustments, so I went home, and tried out my tweaked version as mini-cupcakes. It worked. And here it is, for you to try, too! I topped them with a very very simple pear frosting. I’m almost embarrassed to post it, it’s that simple. But the two worked together so well, that I’ll share.


no house, no problem.

Gingerbread Cupcakes.

What you’ll need:

10 oz Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Ginger

9 oz Molasses

4 1/2 oz Water (hot)

2 1/2 oz Butter (melted)

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and ginger. On top of the dry ingredients, add the molasses, hot water, and melted butter. Mix until homogenous. Line a mini cupcake pan with paper liners, and using a small ice-cream scoop, fill each cup with one scoop. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes.  Makes about 4 dozen minis (about 2 dozen regular sized).

one bite wonder.

Once cooled, you can top with whatever you like, but I went with the super easy aforementioned Pear Frosting…

What you’ll need:

1 Stick (about 8 oz) Shortening

2  TBSP pureed pear (made from a fresh pear)

1 tsp water

about 16 oz confectioners’ sugar – depending on how stiff you like your icing.

What you’ll do:

Peel and slice a pear, and place in a pot filled with equal parts water and sugar on the stove. Once it boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Place in a food processor, and puree. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, pear puree and water. Add the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time, mixing between each addition. Stop adding sugar when desired thickness is reached.