A Baking Adventure: Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes

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I don’t think I need to explain the awesomeness of Cadbury Creme Eggs, right? There’s something about them that causes excitement for their return every spring. So it seems only natural for the cupcake-lover in us to desire a merge between these wonderful morsels and cupcakes.

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Because of this desire, there are A LOT of Cadbury Creme Egg cupcake recipes on the internet, but when I saw one from Pizzazzerie (one of my favorite blogs) it really stood out to me. I shared it with Guest Crusader Jen because teal is her favorite color and she loves Cadbury Creme Eggs more than anyone I know. She was visiting me the following weekend and quickly requested that we make them while she was here. So we did!

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After looking at Pizzazzerie’s recipe, Jen and I decided to make a few modifications. While I would have loved follow the chocolate cake (from scratch) recipe, we decided to use a boxed mix, adding in a pack of pudding for extra moisture. It turns out that this was a really smart choice because I managed to forget the eggs in our batter! Thirty seconds after placing the cupcakes in the oven, we had to pull them out, fish out the chocolates, dump the batter back into the bowl, just to mix in eggs and start all over again. Can you imagine how much I would have messed up a scratch recipe? It was not my night to bake!

Another small change we made was using mini Cadbury Creme Eggs instead of the full-size ones. The full-size chocolate eggs would have been better in the end, but it would definitely be more costly. The mini eggs sunk to the bottom and melted more than it seems the full-size do. One tip a friend gave me is to freeze the candy first and then it doesn’t melt as much during the baking process.

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I did make my own frosting, using Pizzazzerie’s recipe. Instead of almond extract I substituted pure orange extract, since Jen isn’t keen on almond flavor. I like almond, so I’m sure that would be an amazing complement to the Cadbury Creme Eggs, however the orange gave the frosting a hint of citrus flavor that went perfectly with the chocolate. I’ve only ever used fresh oranges for flavor, so I was concerned about overpowering the cupcake with citrus. For that reason, I only used 1/2 a tablespoon of extract. In the end, Pizzazzerie’s recipe yielded the perfect consistency for piping frosting (and also had a great flavor before adding the extract). It will now be my go-to buttercream recipe.

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Jen and I of course kept the teal color, since that was one of the elements that originally attracted us (and it matched the Easter cupcake liners perfectly). The piped frosting created a “nest-like” look around the chocolate egg, which I loved. Once done, I couldn’t help but think that these might be the prettiest cupcakes I’ve ever made! Well…maybe the teacup cupcakes were a close contender…

We hope you are able to indulge in some fun cupcakes this weekend. Have a Happy Easter!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

A Baking Adventure: Princess Cupcakes for Our Princess Niece

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Lylah, my 3-year-old niece, talked about her birthday party for 3 months. It started when her little sister, Lily, turned 1. “It’s my party? Those are my presents?” she would ask. Then when Leah turned a year old, we got the same questions, only to answer, “No Lylah, those are Leah’s. But your party is next!” As soon as items were purchased for her party, I was greeted with, “Auntie Jenny! Look at my princess party!” For the next few weeks, she talked about her princess party, which would have (of course) princess cupcakes.

We had all the fixings for a perfect 3-year-old princess party: My sister purchased a Wilton kit that had a Disney Princess cupcake stand, cupcake liners, and picks, and also bought the Disney princess frosting transfers. Crusader Stacy purchased purple metallic liners, which would be a complementing color, and I provided extra pink sugar crystals. Stacy came up with a plan of action for the frosting transfers, which included rolled fondant. After Leah’s party I’m now the fondant “expert” in the group, so I volunteered to help with the cupcakes.

I baked and frosted the funfetti and chocolate cupcakes the day before the party. We used Duncan Hines Strawberry Shortcake Flavor Creations for the pink frosting, which I had to add confectioner’s sugar to in order to pipe.

I did my best to pipe a flat swirl on the cupcakes that would be getting fondant circles placed on top.

I was really nervous about the transfers. I didn’t want to mess them up, because we didn’t have any extras, so I practiced with one a few days early and it worked great. The ink on the transfer didn’t get funky after a couple of days, so I was able to calm down a bit about preparing the cupcake decorations in advance.

The night before the party I prepped the fondant-transfer decorations, to place on the cupcakes the morning of the party. I rolled out the fondant, like I did for Leah’s birthday cupcakes, this time using the larger cutter to fit the whole top of the cupcakes. Then, following advice I found from Google searches, I used a damp cloth (AKA: a wet paper towel) to moisten the top of the fondant. The instructions for removing the transfer from the sheet worked perfectly and they peeled off easily.

I was really proud of trying something new again and it turning out well. The fondant with the transfers stayed perfect through the night (stored in an air-tight container), so the next morning I was able to finish up the decorating.

We rolled the edges of the frosting in sugar crystals, just to give it a finished look. Plus, a princess party needs a little extra bling!

I figured we would have enough time to sprinkle sugar on the pink frosted cupcakes when I got to the party location. Well, I’m glad I waited because as soon as I got in the car, on the way to the party, I noticed that the pink frosting had slide right off the tops of the cupcakes. It was a disaster. I’ve decided that moisture is a big issue with the Duncan Hines frosting and they are better off being left out to “set-up” (which is a problem when you want moist cake). Luckily I was going to be early anyway, so Stacy and I went into cupcake-rescue mode. We scrapped frosting and reapplied it to the cupcakes, sprinkled, and double-lined the wrappers, to hide some of the mess. The results? Not too bad.

Although it’s not exactly what I had envisioned, no one noticed. We did have a few pink survivors, which stayed at the forefront of the display.

The cupcakes with the fondant and transfers still stole the show and the birthday girl was giddy with delight over her princess cupcakes.

There was one casualty of this experience: my batter dispenser. A fallen hero, really. Cupcake baking hasn’t been the same without it, but it put up a good fight. So long, kitchen accessory. You shall be missed (until I’m able to get a new one)…

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

Fun with Frosting: Red, White, and Blue

Looking for a fun and easy way to jazz up your Labor Day? This frosting technique that I added on top of classic Rice Krispy Treats is the perfect thing. You can even add it on top of your favorite cupcake recipe!

I started with a simple butter cream recipe (butter, confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla bean paste) and then divided the frosting into three different bowls and added food color until I was happy with the color.

Next, using a technique I’ve seen on countless other blogs, I put each color in their own piping bag and then inserted all three piping bags into one bag that contained my chosen tip.

Last, you just pipe the frosting onto your selected treat as your normally would. It’s that easy and the results will having everyone at your gathering wondering how you did it!

What’s great about this frosting technique is that you can pick and choose your colors depending on the time of year (red, green, and white for Christmas?), the color scheme of a party, or just whatever you are in the mood for.

For more ideas on fun Red, White, and Blue themed sweet treats, visit our Pinterest board.

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

Valentines “Luv” from Frosting

Frosting is an adorable cupcakery that the Crusaders visited during their most recent cupcake tour, this past fall.

I happened to be down that way last Friday and decided to stop in and see if they had any “luv” inspired cupcakes. Boy, was I in luck!

This cute and simple cupcake was their “Autumn Luv” cupcake, spice cake with their signature almond buttercream icing. I was so excited that they had a Valentine’s Day decorated cupcake that I bought it (and a latte) right away! Sadly in my excitement, I forgot to ask Jenn or Stacy if they wanted any – we have a pretty strict “text/call and make sure we don’t want any cupcakes before leaving any cupcakeries empty-handed” rule – so when I got home, I carefully cut up this lovely cupcake and saved 1/4 for each of them.

Saving those quarters was next to impossible once I took a taste of my half. The spicy, sweet cake paired with the dreamy almond buttercream icing made for a completely indulgent and wonderful cupcake. And the tiny, shiny, pink fondant heart was the perfect topper, understated and simple with a explosion of flavor under it (not unlike love for some of us – calm upon first view, and passionate and a little spicy underneath.)

I know both Stacy and Jenn enjoyed their “bites” and I sure hope the next time I am down that way, Frosting has more “Autumn Luv” to spread around!

How did you show your “luv” yesterday? And, Happy Valentine’s Day (one day late) everyone!

2011 Cupcake Tour: 4th Stop – Frosting, A Cupcakery

By the time we got to Frosting, A Cupcakery in Chevy Chase MD, we were all ready for another cupcake, since we weren’t able to eat any at our previous stop, Georgetown Cupcake. Frosting is a cute shop on the corner of Wisconsin Circle and Western Ave NW.


(Being the coffee lovers that we are, the 3 Cupcake Crusaders loved this message on this sign board).

I think both Jenn and Elisa will agree with me when I say that this was the best decorated shop we visited all day.

We all loved the built in shelves displaying a variety of cake and cupcake stands with touches of Halloween decorates throughout. There was a chandelier hanging over the booth (yes, they had a booth that you could sit and eat your cupcakes in) that was also decorated for Halloween. Although, I think my favorite had to have been either the wall that was lined with amazing cupcake photography or the frame wall (which I’ve been planning to do in my own home. Just need to hang all the frames I have).

Their cupcakes were decorated just as well as their little shop, and actually had the same “feel” as the interior decor. Simple elegance is the best way I can think to describe it.

After making our selections, we each grabbed a spot at the both with our cupcakes:


Elisa and I chose: 2 Frenchies, 1 REDiculous, 1 Elvis Pretzely, and 2 edelweiss.


Jenn and her husband, Dan, chose: 2 Elvis Pretzelys, 1 Frenchie, 1 Cookie MOMster, and 2 edelweiss.

We each only ate one while there, so I’ll start with those:

The Frenchie (french toast bottom with maple buttercream top ):


This was the one that I decided to eat while there and OMG, it was good! I’m sucker for anything maple, especially in the fall, and this really hit the spot. I honestly wish I had gotten another one to take home with me. After trying an assortment of cupcakes when we all got home, Jenn said that she thinks that the Frenchie is probably her favorite one from Frosting. Elisa had her’s the next day for breakfast (becuase let’s face it, it IS basically breakfast in a cupcake form) and said, “The cake actually tasted like French Toast – YUM! The icing was just as good with a sweet and true maple taste. I love all things french toast, so this is my 4th or 5th ‘french toast’ cupcake… and it is my favorite.” Being the bacon lover that she is, she thinks that if there was bacon on top it would have sent this cupcake over and above, but for me, the non-pork eater, I’m really glad it didn’t have bacon on it because then I would have missed out on one seriously good cupcake.

Edelweiss (almond bottom with almond buttercream top):


Jenn had this cupcake while we were there. She liked it and said that it was very almondy, and that the cake was really moist, but that since it was so sweet she was glad it was the last cupcake she ate that day. Elisa and I tried each of ours later at home, and I thought that it was sweet, but not the sweetest I had gotten that day. I loved that it was so full of almond flavor, and even my husband, Mr. Non-Cupcake Man (that might be his new nickname…) really enjoyed this cupcake. I think that he was actually sad that he had to share it with me. Elisa was pleasantly surprised becuase usually when something says almond it just kinda tastes like almond, but this was jammed packed with almond flavor. She did say that she would have loved the addition of a raspberry filling but mainly becuase she loves almond and fruit flavors combined.

REDiculous (red velvet bottom with vanilla cream cheese buttercream top):


Elisa decided to have the REDiculous while were were there. It has become somewhat of a mission of hers to find decent red velvet cupcakes and after the disaster red velvet at our first stop, Just Cakes, I think she was craving a decent red velvet, and this one did not disappoint. She said that, “This was just as they described it, moist red velvet cake with delicious cream cheese/buttercream frosting. The cake was a close second to the best Red Velvet I’ve ever had (see here for her favorite) and the icing was a DREAM!”

Two other cupcakes that aren’t pictured in the group shots above are the Pumpkin Teenie that Dan got, and the ‘nilla ‘nilla that my dad got.

Pumpkin Teenie:


Here is Dan, happy as can be becuase he got the very last Pumpkin Teenie of the day. He said that even after trying all the other cupcakes they brought home, that this is still one of his favorites of the bunch. I really wish they had two left that day…  😉

‘nilla ‘nilla (vanilla bottom with vanilla buttercream top):


My dad usually enjoys the basics. I don’t normally get vanilla or just chocolate, but he really enjoys the classics, so it’s nice when he’s around and I can take a bite of the classics too.  🙂  He said that he really liked this cupcake, but that his favorite stop of the day was still Fancy Cakes.

Okay, so now on to the cupcakes that we all had at home:

Elvis Pretzely (Pretzel cake bottom with milk chocolate ganache, pretzel crumbs and coarse sea salt):


Jenn and I both had this cupcake, and we totally disagree on it. Like, total opposite ends of the spectrum. She feels that it was her least favorite of the entire trip because the pretzel inside the cake took on a stale texture and the chocolate ganache wasn’t chocolatey enough to give the whole thing a chocolate covered pretzel flavor. I, on the other hand, really enjoyed this cupcake. I’ll admit when I first saw the cupcake I almost didn’t get it becuase there wasn’t a lot of ganache on the top, and then when I bit into the cupcake, the softness of the pretzels threw me off a bit, but by the end, I was sold. The cake was moist, the small chunks of softened pretzel blended into the cake, the ganache on the top was soft and wasn’t overpowering the pretzel flavor, and the salt and sweet combo stood out above everything. This cupcake was a little messy to eat, especially when you reached the chocolate covered pretzel on top, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a party, but in front of my desk, I don’t care how messy it is as long as it taste good.

Cookie MOMster (chocolate bottom with almond Oreo buttercream top):


Jenn thought that overall the almond flavor overpowered the chocolate and that from looking at this cupcake it looks as if the chocolate would come first, with the almond a secondary flavor, but that it almost tasted just like their edelweiss (almond/almond) cupcake. She also said that it seems like the only place the “cookie” (Oreo) comes into play is with the chocolate cookie crumble on top.

While we were there, Elisa decided to purchase an Oatmeal Cream Pie that they made there (becuase let’s be honest, who doesn’t love an Oatmeal Cream Pie?) and it was awesome!


Since Elisa bought it, I’ll let her explain in her own words: “just like the Little Debbie’s we grew up with as kids, but 1000 times BETTER! And, while not a cupcake, the Oatmeal Cream Pie was better than the Little Debbie kind you’d find at 7-11. Just another example of fantastic baking by Frosting. If you’re in the area, go in, buy cupcakes and pick up a Oatmeal Cream Pie too!”

Overall we had a wonderful experience at Frosting. The staff was really friendly, the environment was beautiful and relaxing, and the cupcakes were top notch.

Cheers cupcake lovers! Only one more post in this series. Look out for that tomorrow.  🙂

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)