Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

Since my last post I went on vacation for about three weeks. I’m not telling you this to make you jealous- it sets up the story of the recipe I’m posting this week. I spent two weeks in Croatia and then jetted off to California a few days after I got back. Both amazing trips, but after three weeks of being gone I was ready to be back home! Obviously I had to completely clean out my pantry and refrigerator before I left so I wouldn’t have new things growing in my kitchen when I came back. This is what brings me to this recipe.

I decided last minute one night to bake something to take to the lake the next day. The only problem with this is that I hadn’t really restocked my kitchen since before vacation. I scrounged around to find what ingredients I DID have and then hit up pinterest to see what I could do with it. This is what I found:

Eggs, butter, cream cheese, cake mix
Eggs, butter, cream cheese, cake mix

If you’re wondering why I would have cake mix when I bake all my cakes from scratch, it’s because I have a habit of buying cake mix when it’s on sale. One of my parents told me once that they do that (I can’t remember which one!) and it’s just something that I picked up on. You never know when you might need some! I couldn’t make a cake or cupcakes because I didn’t have anything to make frosting. I narrowed my search to cookies and found this recipe at Cookies and Cups. They were incredibly easy to make and they disappeared FAST the next day! Funfetti is pretty hard to resist! I love the flavor that the cream cheese adds. These cookies are super light and fluffy and perfect for any get together!

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies
Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add in the egg, mix to combine. Gradually mix in the cake mix. Fold in the sprinkles. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour (Mine was still pretty soft after this, you could also put it in the freezer to firm up the dough).

Preheat the oven to 350*. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1″ balls and dip in the powdered sugar. Place balls at least 1″ apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a minute before moving them to a wire rack. Enjoy!


Mickey Mouse Smash Cake

Last weekend I ran my third marathon, but the main reason I’m telling you this is because of the name on my bib. I honestly don’t remember giving them this name. The lady handed me my bib and said, “You’re cupcake?!” Why, yes…yes I am, but how do you know that? Apparently I was feeling clever when I registered.

Fact: People love to cheer for someone named "Cupcake"
Fact: People love to cheer for someone named “Cupcake”

Which brings me to cake. I’ve witnessed my share of baby’s first birthday cake. The idea of a smash cake is pretty ingenius- the baby gets their own cake to dig into, while the other guests can eat their own baby germ free piece. And it makes for cute pictures. However, the majority of the babies I’ve seen do not dig in and make a mess of the cake! They are not taking advantage of this. I know plenty of adults that would love to attack a piece of cake. But anyways. This was a Mickey Mouse smash cake I did recently. Vanilla cake with buttercream frosting- babies don’t have many preferences by one year. Have you ever seen a kid really smash a smash cake?

Mickey Mouse Smash Cake

Happy Birthday Dean!
Happy Birthday Dean!

Toy Story Cupcakes

The past couple of months I have gone back and forth between starting a website or just maintaining this blog. Well I finally made the leap and created last weekend. If you feel like drooling over some cupcakes, hop on over there to check it out! I will still be posting weekly recipes and the projects I’m working on here.

In other news, BSpears is BACK with “Work Bitch”. Yes, I am a fan and yes, I am excited for her new cd. Gotta have good music to dance around to while baking!

Toy Story Alien
Toy Story Alien

This week’s project were Toy Story cupcakes. These were for a boy’s 1st birthday party and they asked for the aliens in Toy Story. I went back and forth on what to do, and finally decided gumpaste would look much cuter and neater than anything I could do freehand. I anticipated cutting and “gluing” the gumpaste taking me forever, but I was actually able to use a cookie cutter to cut most of the shapes.

Coloring Gumpaste

This is messy. No way around that. I have an old school Tupperware mat that I use when working with gumpaste or fondant. Use a toothpick to get whatever color gel you’re using, and stick it in the center of your gumpaste. Grease your hands with shortening and start kneading the gumpaste. Try and fold the gel to the inside of the gumpaste instead of immediately rubbing it all over your hands. The shortening is to keep the gel from dyeing your hands (although it will still stain, just not as bad). I made 3 colors- blue, purple, and green.

Rolling and Cutting Gumpaste

First I rolled out the blue gumpaste to cut out circles for the base. I have a little pouch made of cheesecloth that contains a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. I use it to powder the mat and rolling pin to keep the gumpaste from sticking. I cut out several blue circles with a medium sized circle cookie cutter. Next I made the alien’s “collar”, still using the cookie cutter. I would cut a purple circle, then place the edge of the cookie cutter a fraction of an inch away. I used a knife to cut the length of the collar. Using the cookie cutter ensured it would align perfectly on the base.

Gumpaste Base and Collar
Gumpaste Base and Collar

Next, I cut out green circles for the actual alien using the same cookie cutter (once again allowing for all the pieces to line up together). Every circle made TWO aliens. TO make the head, lay one circle in front of you and create a “venn diagram” with the circle and the cookie cutter. It overlaps in the center creating a pointy football shape, or in our case, an alien head. Repeat on the other side of the circle. I used the rest of the circle to cut ears and an antennae. Wilton has candy eyeballs and I glued those on top. Carve a smile with a small knife and you are done!

Gluing Gumpaste

Gumpaste “glue” has to be made ahead of time. It’s extremely simple though. Take a piece of gumpaste, a tiny piece, and place it in a small container. Fill with water and let the gumpaste dissolve. That’s it! I used an old spice container for mine and that size was perfect. Use a paintbrush to brush the “glue” on to the gumpaste and then press together.

I placed the aliens on top of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. Gumpaste is definitely edible, although the cupcake tastes much better!

Toy Story Cupcakes
Toy Story Cupcakes

Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes

I hardly ever go to the movies and this past week I went twice. Gotta love having the summer off. First I saw Man of Steel, which was pretty good and Superman is rather attractive (plus we went to an early matinee so the theater was basically empty). We also went to The Heat the day it came out. I’m not a fan of crowds, but this movie was so hilarious it didn’t matter. You laugh the entire time. Those are my in depth movie reviews for the week- you’re welcome. I actually invest myself more into So You Think You Can Dance. I’m still waiting for a season to to win me over since I’m still obsessed with season 4 (they’re on season 10.) Last week was a good start though. I clearly find substantial things to fill up my time off. Fortunately baking consumes quite a bit of my time. I’ve had some interest in paleo cupcakes lately, so I thought I’d share the vanilla cupcakes I made earlier this week. I may have had these for dinner the day I baked them. They don’t even need frosting. A while back I found a gluten-free cupcake recipe book at the grocery store and to my surprise most of the recipes were paleo. This recipe came from that book, although I made a few changes. She has some good GF recipes on her blog, so you should check her out.

Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes
Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes

Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes (~7 cupcakes)

  • 1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350* and line your cupcake tin. In your mixer, combine the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Fill the cups 2/3 full and bake for about 18 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.

They look just like real cupcakes- and taste like it!
They look just like real cupcakes- and taste like it!

I made a frosting with coconut milk, coconut butter, and honey. However I want to tweak that before I post it. Honestly it’s much easier to make a chocolate paleo frosting than vanilla, or you can try pairing these with my paleo salted caramel frosting (that would be my first choice!). These cupcakes are so good you don’t even need the frosting though!

Horchata Cupcakes

Cinco de Mayo is a fun little non-American holiday that Americans love to celebrate. But who doesn’t love an excuse for excessive margaritas and guacamole? Or watching someone try to knock down a pinata after a few too many drinks? Or a dog in a little sombrero? We had a good time with it.

cinco de mayoziggy








Naturally every holiday deserves a cupcake. I’ve made margarita cupcakes before, so I needed something different. My friend Janet suggested horchata cupcakes. I had never even heard of horchata so I was a little hesitant. But I did some research and it seemed like it would work. I think they sell horchata at the store, but I made my own for this since I didn’t need much. It’s incredibly easy. And delicious- like candy in drink form. Which obviously makes for an amazing cupcake. This is one of the main reasons I keep Janet around- she has pretty innovative baking ideas. We get a lot done at work. Horchata is easy to make but you do need to start the day before you plan to make cupcakes because it needs to soak overnight. Fortunately the prep work is less than 5 minutes!

Horchata Recipe (*This makes enough for the cupcakes and frosting)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher (or some type of container…I used a large water bottle I had). Let it soak overnight. Blend the mixture to break up the rice (it won’t blend all the way). Strain the mixture and throw away the rice. Your horchata is ready!

Yes that's my redneck wineglass. I had limited options in glassware, okay?
Yes that’s my redneck wineglass. I had limited options in glassware, okay?

Horchata Cupcakes (~12 cupcakes)

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups  flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh Horchata
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream together the butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg and egg white to the butter mixture.  Alternately add the flour mixture and horchata to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until combined. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake for 22 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.

Horchata Frosting

  • 1/2 cup horchata
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of salt

Cream together the butter and shortening. Add in the salt. Slowly add the horchata. You can choose to add it gradually as you add the powdered sugar. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, allowing each cup to be mixed in before adding the next. After you frost the cupcakes, sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Ole!

Horchata Cupcakes
Horchata Cupcakes

Owl Birthday Cake

Saturday mornings for me usually consist of working on squats and then going for a run (I lead a thrilling life, I know). Yesterday I was running late out the door (as I am every Saturday) and couldn’t find my armband for my ipod. Okay. Guess this run was going to be just me and the sounds of the suburb. Then I checked my gps watch and its battery was dead. This run went old school real fast. It was kind of nice though- running without any distractions. I actually enjoy running and not having all that technology I usually have stripped it back down to the basics. People usually give me a hard time for not being a people person, but one of my favorite parts of running on popular trails is to say “Hi” or “Good morning” to everyone I pass. So there- I can be social.

Half way through my run I came across a banana peel laying in the middle of the sidewalk. Is this real life Mario Kart? I can’t honestly say I’ve ever seen a banana peel on the ground like that, but I have played enough Mario Kart and seen enough cartoons to know that I should not step on it. Try again Bowser.

One of the reasons I was so scattered that morning was because I had stayed up late working on a cake the night before. I don’t work with elementary kids anymore, so I’m not entirely up to date on those trends, but apparently owls have become pretty popular amongst girls. I had a birthday cake for a 9 year old to do and was supplied with this party theme.

owl bday

I know the owl doesn’t seem like a feature of the theme, but I was told the birthday liked owls. I decided to make an owl cake that looked like the little orange guy on the invitations.

I baked two 10″ round cakes and two 6″ round cakes. They wanted chocolate and vanilla cake, so I made the “eyes”, or the two 6″ cakes, vanilla and the two 10″ cakes chocolate. Don’t worry…they wanted more chocolate. It’s best to make the 10″ cakes first because you need to freeze those. Cutting out the wings, feet, and top of the head is a LOT easier when the cake is frozen. One 10″ serves as the body, the eyes are the two 6″, and then from the second 10″ you cut out the wings, feet, and top of the head.

Ready for frosting.
Ready for frosting.

Little tip: you want the wings pretty close to the body. Or you can angle them way out like he’s flying…just remember you have to be able to frost in between the wings and the body! I used frosting to “glue” the extra pieces to the body. I wanted to star this whole cake so I put on a crumb coat layer first. Then I frosted the eyes since I didn’t want to star that part. After that, star away. I did the feet, pupils, and nose last.

Owl Birthday Cake

And there you have it. Owl cake. What a hoot.

Owl Birthday Cake Owl Birthday Cake