• Cupcake Bouquets

    So I have started to make cupcake floral bouquets.  These are the prettiest thing ever and such a nice change of pace to the standard box of cupcakes.

    I have been making the floral cupcakes for some time now so that part was a “piece of cake”...sorry...had to say that...but the packaging has proved to be quite challenging.

    It was easy to pack them all up in their individual “secret” containers but when I had to wrap the tissue around the bouquet and the cello it was next to impossible.

    I tried cutting it to different sizes and even making the cello round instead of the suggested square but still it all fell in on the pretty buttercream beauties.

    I also needed an extra pair of hands so this whole concept was starting to fall by the wayside. 

    But finally, it occurred to me that the weight of the cello was the issue.  You need to have a good thick gauge cello wrap in order for it to hold its shape. 

    So how come nobody mentioned that ANYWHERE! 

    All that said, here is my recipe for the most delicious chocolate cupcake (or cake) ever.

    This is my go to...

    Chocolate Cupcake/Cake Recipe


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
    • 1 cup milk buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable  oil, or melted coconut oil
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
    • 1 cup boiling water


    1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring. Or 2 place 2 dozen cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.

    For the chocolate cake:

    1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix thoroughly to combine.
    2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
    3. Distribute the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.
    4. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.



    This cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake. You will love it!





  • The Birthday...

    I  was excited to find out that my daughter was coming to surprise her sister for her birthday. And, she was bringing my 10 year old grandson and also her hubby.

    Keeping the secret of their arrival in itself was hard to do. Not alone trying to plan for the birthday party and the visit. So in keeping with my personality, I attempted to organize the days preceding the arrival.

    I got up one morning and made a beautiful batch of Italian Meringue Buttercream for the giant cake I was going to make.  Once it was completed, I wrapped it carefully because Buttercream can take on flavours that cohabit with it in the fridge.

    The plan was then to bring it to room temperature on the day that I needed it and I would be ahead of the game.   Right? Ya… NO…

    wanted to do the cake.  The kids had all gone shopping but my grandson stayed with me and was watching his IPAD. So the day arrived that I

    I was impatient to get started on icing the cake and of course, forgotten to take the buttercream out of the fridge soon enough.  It was warming up but not quickly enough so I thought…why don’t I put it in the stand mixer and whip it a bit to help warm it up.

    That is exactly what I did.  And, I also left the room for a few short minutes to get some baking supplies from the spare room.

    Pretty quickly I could hear my Grandson screaming at me.  Nana! Nana! Come quickly!!  Not having any idea what the problem could be a ran into the living room and asked “What’s wrong honey?”

    He looked horrified and pointed to the kitchen.  I turned around and looked where he was pointing….OMG!  The buttercream had separated and there was a sugary syrup ALL OVER THE WALLS, CABINETS AND FLOOR! And it was still splashing around while I took the image in…

    I ran and turned the mixer off and stood there in the syrupy mess and almost cried.  There was SO much sticky mess I didn’t know where to start cleaning up.

    Now in the mixer there was a small amount of buttercream left so I did manage to save it.

    I went about the task of cleaning up and let me tell you, it took days…Even though I got most of it cleaned up when it happened, my flip flop still stuck to the floor several times for a few days….

    So much for planning ahead this “time saving” step.  But wait…there is more..

    Remember I saved a small amount of buttercream…Well I used it for the crumb coat on the cake.  It did seem more yellow in colour and I figured that was because of the loss of the syrup…but didn’t really matter because I was going to cover it with the final buttercream when I actually managed to ice it.

    However, it seems that the “yellow” colour wasn’t all I had to deal with.   I guess it was more buttery or oily and the new batch of buttercream did not want to cover it.  It kept sliding off…What fun!

    Finally, I managed to get a coat of icing on it but the cake looked rough…So I came up with the idea of making a chocolate trellis to cover it.  I thought “what a good idea” It will mask the mess and I can put leaves and flowers on it….Yay!



    Well then I realized I didn’t have any chocolate but I did have some candy melts which I coloured a pretty yellow.  I then drew a very pretty trellis pattern on some carefully measured parchment paper and proceeded to pipe the trellis on it.

    Once completed and cooled slightly, I placed it gently on the cake and put it in the fridge.

    Feeling pretty proud of myself at this point.

    Did I tell you there were a lot of people here by then….People helping themselves to things out of the fridge…People accidentally touching the parchment paper…Yeah, well they did…And so when I took the cake out and pulled the parchment off, it had hardened in a less than desirable position.  Kinda like a broken trellis..

    Well, the story doesn’t end there…You know that carefully drawn trellis I did on the parchment…well I had forgotten to turn the paper over and the pencil mark had transferred to the candy melts and you could see it all over the cake.  Good one…Well pencil isn’t made with lead anymore…right? right?  Hope so, cause I fed it to them anyway…Thank goodness there are no more birthdays in the near future…


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