Monday, March 3, 2014

Dig Up a Fossil Cupcakes

Remember when I used to have a cupcake blog?

And I had *TIME* to write on it?

Happily and unappily, I am no longer a professional-make-cipcakes-after-school-teacher. Which means I have a lot less time to bake. When I do bake, I often don't chronicle it.

BUTwhen I do, it is amazing.

I teach fifth grade, and I spend entirely too much time figuring out how to turn key science concepts into a a cupcake. I have joked it is my million-dollar idea, but for real, when it works, it works. Know that cupcake activities compliment and ehnhance review, and students have already done hands-on science investigations.

Today was a snow day, and thus, I have had time to: a) clean every.single.thing. in my house, b) do a Jillian Michaels workout that made my spleen hurt, and c)scroll through my old photos until I found my fossil cupcakes.

We teach our landforms (aka ROCKS) unit in the fall, hence all the Halloween-themed decor in the pictures. It occurred to me one fine afternoon that I could teach the essential knowledge in a very novel way.  The core idea is for students to understand that fossils are usually found within sedimentary rocks,  and this is because those rocks are layered, and fossils are slowly buried over time in the layers.

DISCLAIMER: I am not Ross Gellar. I am not a geologist. I do my thang.

On the bottom , I put an Oreo. Because everything is better with an Oreo layer. And it gave the sedimentary rock cupcakes an additional level to examine.
Then, I used 2 plain cake mixes, but I tinted it with varying amounts of brown food coloring gel, I keep items like this on hand, because you never know when you might have a brown food coloring emergency. But if you need some, you can find it at Michael's.

Then, I layered 1 color of batter. I would use about 2 tablespoons of each, enough to evenly coat a layer. I also added some chocolate chips, as sediment.


Then, I layered the other batter on top.  I added Sweet Tarts Skull & Bone candy, easily found during the spooky season, to the top, then covered it with batter.
I baked them following package directions.
I made a simple glaze with powdered sugar and milk, and it was delicious.

On the day of the lesson, I introduced the activity by saying they would be digging up sedimentary rocks to look for fossils. They had strict guidelines not to eat anything, They were a little thrown off when handed a cupcake, but quickly got to work, looking for fossils.

Was this effective for lerning? yes.
Was it fun? yes.
Will it stick with them? I sure hope so.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Margaritaville Cupcakes

Warning: these cupcakes are delicious.  And addictive.  A fellow teacher made them for a cupcake challenge, and they were simply so wonderful I had to make them myself.  I am not a huge buttercrema fan, but this tequila & lime juice buttercream tastes like Jimmy Buffett himself whipped it up.

I would highly recommend these treats for any backyard bbq or sunny tiki party this summer.  Delicious!

Also I dded lime zest and used a littttttttle less tequila, but otherwise, the recipe is the same as found here, at Brown Eyes Baker.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Coconut Heaven
Scrolling back, I haven't written anything on here with an actual recipe since last August.  That is crazy, Who'd have thought teachers could be too busy to bake?

Coconut Tres Leches Cupcakes
Recently I decided a)I'm hungry and b)  I love my pink mixer.  This resulted in coconut tres leches cupcakes with mango lime frosting.  if you're a pinterest fan (who the hell isn't?), you've probably seen the recipe, had you ever searched for "tres leches cupcakes".  They are super tasty, rich, and dens.  I know because I ate one for dinner on Thursday before bringing the rest to school,.  They were all eaten, which is always a good sign.

The recipe can be found here at Bakeaholic Mama

Happy baking!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CupcakeCampDC 2012

The results are in!
And I had a hand in them!  I was so excited to serve as a judge for this year's CupcakeCampDC event, which unites novice and professional bakers in competiton to see which cupcake packs the most delicious & unique flavors with beautiful presentation.
Judges' top choice?  The Chicken & Waffle Cupcake by Joel Gill of Josie's Confections
Maple cake, with maple buttercream, a Belgian waffle and fried chicken.
Why I l<3ved it: I have never tasted a better combination of sweet & savory, ever, in a cupcake.  Last year, I saw a picture of a chicken & waffle themed cupcake and decided I wanted to make one.  Having tasted Joel's, I know it is pointless to try my own, having tasted perfection.  If you weren't lucky enough to grab one, hopefully I will be one day bringing some to a Superbowl party near you.

My other fave:   Salted Caramel Apple by Monika Geraci
This cupcake was described as an apple spice cake, filled with salted caramel, and topped with cream cheese frosting.

The judges differed on some cupcakes, but definitely not this one.  Soooo heavenly and the weather is now perfect for just such a cupcake.

More on other cupcakes to follow.......congratulations, winners!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cupcake Tour Through Georgetown

What a FABULOUS idea!
This Sunday, August 26, Take a cupcake tour through Georgetown.  A professional tour guide will lea you to the world-famous Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles, and Baked & Wired.  This posh area has three amazing cupcake boutiques.  If you're curious about this spots but worried about getting lost, this is a great idea.
I highly recommend the Blueberry Cheesecake cupcake at Georgetown.  It is August's flavor, so only a few days left to grab this delicious treat!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Slice of Americana: Persnickety Cakes

This summer, Persnickety Cakes had a great Specialicious deal.  I collected on my cupcakes this summer, and I was beyond pleasantly surprised.  First, they suggested I pre-order, so I could choose from their *entire* menu of cupcakes.  Second, this bakery is situated in Old Town Manassas, just steps from the Pavilion, which was filling the air with the sweet sounds of bluegrass music.  It feels like you got on the old-fashioned car ride at Kings Dominion, and took a trip back in time.  During these last few weeks of summer, take a mini-trip out west of the 'burbs to enjoy this gem of Americana.
My pick: Strawberry Shortcake
This is my *signature* cupcake, and it was AMAZING.  The cake was light as a cloud, the strawberry tasted berrylicious, and the whipped cream frosting perfectly complimented the flavors.  Will definitely return for another!
Other enjoyable flavors:
Caramel Cafe