Very Merry Christmas Cupcakes

Throughout the month of December the Crusaders (and a friend of the Crusaders)  have been gathering Christmas themed cupcakes to share in one big post. We hope you enjoy these reviews as you spend these next couple of days wrapping presents, baking, and spending time with family.

Crumbs Bake Shop – NYC
This year Crumbs had an assortment of cupcakes decorate and flavored for Christmas. Unfortunately, when Crusader Elisa and I stopped by they only had the following two, Vanilla/Vanilla and Vanilla/Chocolate with holiday sprinkles. We decided to go ahead and give them a try, since we haven’t had any of Crumbs classic flavors and we had waited in a long line. We were so glad we did!


(Crumbs Bake Shop’s Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting)

This cupcake blew me away! I’m still often pleasantly surprised by how good a vanilla cupcake can be. The cake was light, moist and very buttery. It brought back memories of the vanilla cake my mom used to make when I was a kid. The vanilla cream cheese frosting was the perfect compliment and it was double perfect because I ate half of this cupcake for breakfast. Vanilla is quickly becoming a favorite flavor of mine, which is still a bit shocking to me.


(Crumbs Bake Shop’s Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting)

The cake on this cupcake was exactly like the cake on the Vanilla/Vanilla cupcake. The frosting was just as light a fluffy as the vanilla cream cheese frosting, but the milk-chocolatiness of it complimented the vanilla cake perfectly.

Magnolia Bakery – NYC
While visiting NYC Elisa and I also stopped by Magnolia Bakery. It’s not typically our favorite place for cupcakes, but we were in the area and figured “why not?” They were out of a lot of options, but they did have these Red Velvet Rockette cupcakes left:


(Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting)

Unfortunately this was not a good cupcake. The cake was really dry and dense and there wasn’t much flavor to it at all. The frosting was just okay too. Unfortunately the best part of this cupcake was the edible glitter and the chocolate Rockette on top. One redeeming quality was that even with how busy they were, the staff was incredibly friendly, so we had a great experience while we were there.

IcedGems – Baltimore, MD
IcedGems has a huge assortment of holiday flavors and decorated cupcakes this year. The options are amazing and thanks to one of Elisa’s co-workers – a fellow cupcake lover, Rebecca – Elisa has five to show you below. Thanks Rebecca for hooking us up with such awesome cupcakes!


(IcedGems’ Peppermint Cupcake)

Chocolate, peppermint, Hershey’s Kisses… what more can you ask for?! The perfect blend of sweet and peppermint, this cupcake made me go, “MMmmmmmmmm.” The cake was moist and rich with flavor, while the icing was smooth, creamy, and unfolded a peppermint taste on your tongue. Find their truck and buy one of these asap!


(IcedGems’ “Christmas Tree” holiday cupcake)

This was their “birthday cake” cupcake, which is fun-fetti cake with sweet buttercream icing. With it’s adorable star on top, this cupcake screams Christmas cheer! It was moist, delicious, sweet, savory, and just plain yummy. Simple flavors sometimes get lost in the mix of extravagant, complex, flavors, but this one was a shining star!


(IcedGems “Elf” holiday cupcake)

This adorable cupcake was very moist and sweet. It was a peanut butter swirl cake with vanilla buttercream icing. Elisa said that while it was really good, it wasn’t her favorite, but that there was some pretty steep competition with some of the other flavors.


(IcedGems “Santa Pants” holiday cupcake)

This chocolate cupcake was very good. With Santa’s legs sticking out of it like he’s stuck in a chimney, the flavorful cupcake was a sweet treat – with it’s reese’s peanut butter cup and marshmallow on top, this cupcake wasn’t just fun, it was flavorful too!


(IcedGems’ Egg Nog Cupcake)

Rebecca said that this cupcake was very good. In her own words, “The buttercream frosting was smooth with the right hint of spice and richness. While the cake wasn’t as moist as the others, it was also eaten a couple of days after it was purchased, and was still light with a nice kick of spice in it as well.  With an edible, white chocolate ornament on top, this cupcake all around was great!”

** IcedGems also very kindly gave Rebecca a Red Velvet, knowing that it’s Elisa’s favorite. We will be sharing that review in a separate post in the next week or two. So keep an eye out for that!  🙂

Sprinkles Cupcakes – Georgetown, DC
Another big “THANKS!” must go out to our newest Guest Crusader, Rebecca, for bringing a Red Velvet Sprinkles Cupcake to Elisa and sharing a review of the chocolate peppermint she got for herself.


(Sprinkles Cupcakes’ Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake)

This cupcake is described as a “Belgian dark chocolate cake topped with bittersweet chocolate-peppermint frosting. Sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies, it will get everyone rockin’ around the Christmas tree!” Apparently Rebecca agrees because she said, “Delicious! Moist, yummy, and great flavor.”


(Sprinkles Cupcakes’ Red Velvet Cupcake)

From Elisa: “Having previously reviewed the red velvet cupcake from Sprinkles, I was afraid this one wouldn’t live up to my memories… But it just confirmed my original review of simply scrumptious cake with fabulous cream cheese icing. Anytime I go there, I will have to get their red velvet.”

We hope whether you are baking cupcakes or ordering them from your local bakery, that you and your family have a very “sweet” Christmas.

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

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Bring on the Holiday Fun(fetti)!

He’s cute, right? When I saw this cupcake topper and liner set while out doing some Christmas shopping at Target, I couldn’t resist getting it. I had already purchased what I thought would be my holiday cupcake liners, but these were far cuter. Then, I spotted Pillsbury‘s Holiday Funfetti cake mix and frosting!

Being the “non-baker” that I am, I often look to box mixes to help me out, but I’m not sure why I get so excited about Funfetti cake. All you have to do is add sprinkles to the batter. It could be any box mix or recipe, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I love Funfetti.

Just look at all those “fun” red a green specks in the cake. Do they add flavor? No. They are purely for our visual enjoyment.

I was a little disapointed with two things though (regarding the Funfetti frosting). First, there weren’t nearly enough red sprinkles. Luckily I have a tub of them at home, so I just added my own. Second, the frosting was more of a minty green, and not the sage green that is on the packaging. I could have tried tweaking it with my own food coloring, but it didn’t seem so bad that it was worth messing with.

End result?

An army of festive penguin cupcakes.

Love it. Enjoy!

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

Deck the… Cupcakes?

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that your tree is up, your house is decorated and you have finished all your shopping. Well, maybe you haven’t finished ALL your shopping… but since Christmas is less than a week away, we wanted to share some of our favorite Christmas decorations for your cupcakes so that it’s not just your baking skills that impress your family and friends.

Cupcake Liners
A great place to start when “Christmafying” your cupcakes is with the liners. Here are two that we think would be a great addition to any dessert table:

1.Martha Stewart Crafts Holiday Cupcake Wrappers (Photo Courtesy of Scrapbook.com)
2. Meri Meri’s Christmas Cupcake Cases (Photo Courtesy of Meri Meri)

Cupcake Wrappers
If you want to take it just a step further, instead of just using liners, add these cupcake wrappers to any cupcakes for an instant “wow” effect.


1. Bella Cupcake Couture Cupcake Wrapper (Photo Courtesy of ChefTool.com)
2. Cakedoodle on Esty.com (Photo Courtesy of Cakeadoodle)

Free Printable Cupcake Toppers
Want to show your crafty side, but still want something professional looking? Try out these FREE cupcake toppers printables. All you have to do is print and construct at home yourself.

1. Cheery Cupcake Toppers from Bake It Pretty (Photo Courtesy of Pink Bake It Pretty)
2. Printable Christmas Cupcake Decorations from Craft Jr. (Photo Courtesy of Craft Jr.)

Decorative Cupcake Toppers
Would you rather purchase your cupcake toppers? No assembly required? How about these options?

1. Ho! Ho! Ho! Holiday Cupcake Topper from Stunique (Photo Courtesy of Stunique)
2. Christmas Character Cupcake Picks from Oriental Trading (Photo Courtesy of Oriental Trading)

Edible Cupcake Toppers
While paper cupcake toppers are great, what about a cupcake topper that you can eat? Here are a couple we love:

1. Santa Clause Fondant Cupcake Toppers Cake and Kids on Etsy.com (Photo Courtesy of Cakes and Kids)
2. Lucks Royal Icing Decorations (Photo Courtesy of ChefTools.com)

Cupcake Kits
Want to get the full package instead of “mixing and matching?” Look at these cupcake kits that include the liners AND the cupcake toppers.

1. Meri Meri’s ‘Tis the Season Cupcake Kit (Photo Courtesy of William-Sonoma)
2. Wilton’s Holiday Homemade Cupcake Combo Pack (Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com)

Cupcake Boxes
Giving the gift of cupcakes? Then you’ll probably need some packaging for them. Instead of trying to figure out how you are going to wrap a box of cupcakes, order these holiday cupcake boxes. All the hard work has been done for you!

1. Christmas Cupcake Boxes (Photo Courtesy of Oriental Trading)
2. Cookie and Cupcake Boxes (Photo Courtesy of Crate & Barrel)

This time of year can be stressful for some, but don’t let your holiday baking stress you out. Instead, have fun with it. We hope these cupcake decorating ideas have helped spark some ideas!

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