Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sweet meet Salty (Caramel)

It has been a while since I have posted, sorry about that.  The holiday season has been busy to say the least, but I have been trying new recipes.  And the star cupcake I have recently taken on is the chocolate salted caramel cupcake!  It just sounds decadent, doesn't it?  A friend of mine asked me to try and make one for her.  It is a chocolate cupcake with salted caramel filling and a salted caramel buttercream.  Take a look...

You can't see it very well, but on top of the caramel drizzle is a sprinkling of sea salt...sweet and salty in one awesome bite!

Did I mention that this is a homemade creamy salted caramel?  It doesn't get any better than that!  Here is how it happens...
This is how it starts...
then it starts to look like this, then...
I add some of this, and...
this is how it ends up!

I mean, look how yummy that looks.  Combine with chocolate and...heaven!
You might need to fight the urge to lick your computer screen :)

So, what do you think of these treats?  Any ideas on new cupcake flavors I can try?  I can tell you that I plan to tackle a gluten-free cupcake soon, so stay tuned.
Congrats to Ruth, who won December's drawing for a free dozen cupcakes!!  Check back again in January for another drawing.

Tip of the Blog: 
When doing anything involving cooking sugar, be very careful-it gets extremely hot!  Always make sure that it doesn't splatter and it's best not to stick your finger in it to test it-you might end up with a sore finger.  To give you an idea how hot the sugar needs to be to be completely melted and ready to finish a caramel sauce, it has to be at a temperature of 350 degrees-ouch! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot like...well, you know!

Christmas is my all-time favorite time of year.  My family celebrates the birth of Jesus and everything the season has to offer.  I came up with a couple of holiday-inspired cupcakes to get in the mood: orange-cranberry and mint chocolate chip.  And to try out how well these flavors worked, I had the opportunity to be a vendor at a local craft fair this past weekend.  I have never sold at a craft fair before, so this was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience.  How many cupcakes do I make?  How to showcase them?  How well will they sell?  I ended up making over 300 (yes, folks, 300!) cupcakes.  I made my holiday cupcakes as well as Snickerdoodles.  Thankfully, I had a good friend help me (again, thank you Denise!!).  I think I overestimated how many cupcakes I would need, but I got great feedback on my cupcakes.  The fair was successful, though, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Take a look at my table and these delicious cupcakes:
Here I am...freezing! It was pretty chilly in the building. Luckily, my sweet hubby went home and got me some boots!
I used frames to display the price list and a flyer describing the business
Cranberry-Orange with Orange Buttercream
Mint Chocolate Chip with Mint Buttercream
Snickerdoodle with Cinnamon Buttercream
As I said before, I had such a great time and enjoyed seeing all the other vendors.  I even got some Christmas shopping done! 

Now, since my first random drawing was such a success, I am going to do another one for December.  Go to my Facebook page and find the picture of the Mint Chocolate Chip cupcakes and "like" it by December 18th.  If you win, you can pick between either the Cranberry-Orange or the Mint Chocolate Chip to have delivered by Christmas!

Tip of the Blog:
The Cranberry-Orange cupcakes were garnished with orange peel.  When grating any fruit peel (called the zest), be cautious to only grate the outer peel and not the white pith underneath.  The pith is bitter and will take away from the sweetness of the zest.  If you are looking to add some great flavor to a batter, zest is the way to go!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cake Making 101

Let me start by saying thank you to everyone who entered Yellowroses Cupcakes' first random drawing.  I had over 100 entries, which I think is awesome for a first-time drawing!  And congratulations to Janis, who won the free dozen pumpkin cupcakes!! 

I am furiously working on two new flavors for December, and hopefully they will make you think holiday thoughts.  Check back soon!

In the meantime, my youngest daughter, Abby, turned one yesterday.  We had a party for her, and I made her a cake.  That's right, the cupcake lady made her child a cake.  And it took a lot of time, a lot of patience and a very steady hand!  It was a caterpillar made of five separate cakes.  I could have made Abby some very yummy cupcakes, but I have been wanting to expand my skills and what better way than with a delicious birthday cake?!
The birthday girl enjoying her cake!
Here is a little breakdown of what is going on here.  The yellow and blue cakes are chocolate and the pink cakes are Snickerdoodle.  The frosting is buttercream, piped on to look like stars:

 The face is chocolate candies and Twizzlers.  I spelled Abby's name out with fondant, held up with lollipop sticks:

 Oh, and the little jelly beans are the feet!

I have a long way to go before cake decorating will be part of my business, but it is a lot of fun to practice and create cakes.  But, back to the cupcake making I go!

Tip of the Blog:
One way to create lighter cakes is to sift the flour.  Using a simple mesh strainer, pour your leveled measuring cup of flour through the mesh.  This will add more air to the flour, which helps produce a lighter cake.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Special!

So, we just celebrated Halloween (for those that celebrate it), and now we are in the full swing of the holiday season. Here is a pic of my kids all dressed up:
We had a bug/insect theme this year: Ethan is an ant, Hannah is my ladybug and Abby is our little bee
Doesn't it seem like the holiday season is starting earlier and earlier every year?!  I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is definitely my favorite time of year, but I am not too sure about seeing Christmas decorations one aisle away aisle from the skulls and cauldrons for Halloween in October!  Anyway, I want to help YOU celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday by offering up a great deal on my delicious pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  So, if you order a dozen or more of these treats by Friday, Nov. 16th, they will be $20/dozen (that is a 20% discount from a regular dozen!).  Just think, you can bring something yummy to the Thanksgiving table without lifting a finger!  And for those folks with smaller needs, a half dozen will run you only $10!  Oh and did you know that I make mini-cupcakes as well?  Two dozen mini's are only $16.  Just think of all the time you will save not having to go get the ingredients and bake and decorate.  These would be a great alternative to pumpkin pie, or as fun little treats before or after the big meal.  If you enjoy decorations on your cupcakes, I am more than happy to make chocolate or fondant pumpkins or fall leaves as a decoration for $2/dozen.  To add to all this holiday cheer, if you like my Facebook page, find the picture of my pumpkin cupcakes (posted Nov. 4th).  If you "like" this picture, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free dozen pumpkin cupcakes to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving!!  That drawing will also end on Nov. 16th, so better make a stop on Facebook at  To give you a glimpse of what you can take home, see below!

Did I mention these are made with brown butter?  It adds so much flavor-too bad your computer is not scratch and sniff!

Fondant leaf decoration-how festive would this look on your Thanksgiving table?!

Tip of the Blog:
When baking, always have your ingredients at room temperature.  Even your eggs, milk or buttermilk and butter.  This will help the ingredients to mix together better with less mixing, which can cause dry cake.  There is no problem letting your butter and eggs sit out overnight, it can take a few hours for them to come to room temperature.  However, if you are short on time or forgot to let everything come to the same temperature, you can simple immerse your eggs in warm water and soften your butter in the microwave (don't let your butter melt, unless the directions say to do so!).
If you haven't "liked" my Facebook page yet, here is the link again:  This is a great way to keep up to date on specials and discounts!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Day on the job!

Yesterday was my first day using the community kitchen to make my first cupcakes as a REAL cupcake business!  I am renting kitchen space from an awesome place in Lancaster, called East Side Community Kitchen.  It is a great place for new businesses who are trying to get a good start and for businesses that don't have or want a storefront.  Some of the people who use this kitchen are private chefs, caterers, a gourmet dog treat business and a biscotti business.  I am definitely in good company!
I got to the kitchen very early and was able to bake in peace and quiet (it was still dark out, kinda eery!).  

One of the commercial convection ovens and my baking station-there is so much space!

Piping away!

Finished product, ready to be packaged!
Very happy about starting a new adventure (don't look to close at the hair-it was really early!)
I feel so blessed to have this chance to do something fun and creative.  While this is not my full-time job (my priority is always my family), this is definitely a great venture as a baker and business owner.  As always, if you are looking for some sweet treats for a party, birthday, wedding or a Saturday afternoon, give me a call and I will share my cupcakes!

Tip of the Blog:
If you are making cupcakes for a special occasion, but you don't need to use the entire batch at that time, you can freeze your cupcakes.  Let them cool to room temperature, then wrap them individually with plastic wrap and place in a Ziploc bag.  They will stay fresh for several months, just remove when ready to use and thaw, then frost.  You can freeze frosted cupcakes, just let them set in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then wrap in plastic wrap.  However, frosting with cream cheese, eggs or whipped cream should not be frozen.

My website is currently being created, but a temporary site is up.  For some basic information, check it out! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cupcake Business Update

I am excited to be starting in the community kitchen where I am renting space!  Wednesday will be my first time cooking in the kitchen!!  To get you excited about what Yellowroses Cupcakes offers, I have a few pictures of some products I have made.  My website is coming soon, but you can place your order by emailing me or calling me.  However, I recently found out that my email was not set up correctly (this is why I bake, because I am technology challenged!  I should have had my husband check things out to make sure I did them right!!).  Here is my correct information:

Phone: 717-725-5499

I have also corrected my comments section, so feel free to leave comments or suggestions!

There will be a pricing page on my website, but I will fill you in on what my prices are:

Standard Cupcake......................................................................................................................$2.00/ea

Jumbo Cupcake............................................................................................................................$3.00/ea

Mini Cupcakes (dozen minimun)............................................................................................$10/dozen

Dozen (standard size).................................................................................................................$24

* Orders of two dozen or more (standard size).....................................................................$20/dozen

chocolate or fondant decorations..............................................................................................$2/dozen

* Sugar decoration can also be ordered, please call or email for pricing and options

Delivery or Pick-up is available

Delivery is free within 10 miles of Ephrata. For deliveries beyond 10 miles, there is a $10 delivery fee to cover the cost of fuel. Pick-up is available in Lancaster at the East Side Community Kitchen, located at 347 North Plum Street, Lancaster. If you would like to arrange pick-up, please call to set up a time.

Now, on to the good stuff!  I will post pics from the kitchen soon, so check back!!
From furthest to closest: Snickerdoodle, Margarita, Chocolate w/Peanut Butter mousse filling and Banana w/chocolate mousse filling

Pretty packaging for yummy treats!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

More than just a cupcake...

As I mentioned on my previous post, cupcakes were originally baked in teacups before the invention of the muffin pan.  When muffin pans came around, they were greased and floured to prevent the cupcake from sticking to the edges.  Then came the invention of the cupcake liner, and "aahhhh"-it is now so easy to keep cupcakes from sticking!  Cupcake liners have now become more than just plain paper cups, you can get them in practically every color and with designs to suit most occasions.  There are also foil liners, silicone liners and Eco-friendly liners.  There are occasions to not use liners, too.  I have done some research and here are some interesting tips for choosing and using liners:
1. Paper liners come in all colors and designs now.  As you can see from the small selection I currently have, you can get solid colors, fun designs for children's birthdays and more sophisticated liners.  At one point, I used liners that resembled tulips to display my cupcakes.  They looked like these (picture courtesy of CupcakeFashion on Etsy)...
2. There are liners for mini-cupcakes, standard size and jumbo size cupcakes.  I lucked out not too long ago at Michael's-they had birthday, striped and strawberry liner packs with both standard and mini sized liners on clearance!

3. Foil liners are great to use for batters that are greasy-typically, ones that have a lot of butter.  Foil liners are also fun to use because they can be a little glamorous looking.  When I was trying out different vanilla recipes, I tried a recipe that used quite a bit of butter.  When I used the foil liner, the cupcakes did not come out greasy, as opposed to when I used the paper liners.  Let's face it, it isn't very appealing when you pick up a cupcake and the liner is all greasy!
4. Silicone liners are another fun choice, they are able to be washed and reused.  However, these sort of defeat the purpose of using liners since it is recommended to spray them with non-stick spray.

This picture is from the website, who sells these silicone cups
5. Eco-friendly liners have become more popular.  Eco-friendly liners are coated with silicone, which is a natural substance.  It contains no metal toxins, namely a chrome-containing product called quilon.  Eco-friendly liners may not be as pretty or have as many design options yet, but it is nice to know they are more earth-friendly. 
6. There are cases where using liners may not be the best choice.  If you want to cover your cupcakes in fondant, it is a better idea to not bake them in liners. 

So, as you can see, the options for making a delicious cupcake extend to the many options available to display your creations.  I personally think the liners are just as important as the decorations used!
Tip of the Blog:
If you are going to use a foil liner, keep a close eye out for your cupcakes.  The batter may bake faster in a foil liner, and you don't want to over bake your yummy desserts!  Also, if you are using foil liners, you don't necessarily have to use a muffin pan.  Foil liners are typically sturdier than their paper counterparts.  To use them without a muffin pan, simply line them up, with the sides not touching, on a baking sheet and fill as usual.

I have been baking still, here is a pic of some cupcakes I made for a friend's son's birthday.  They are a chocolate cake with a peanut butter mousse filling and a chocolate whipped frosting, complete with sports-themed liners and sports balls icing decorations!

I am so excited to announce that the paperwork is done and I have heard back from the Health Dept-I am officially a licensed cupcake business!!  I can now officially take orders!  My website is under construction and should be up soon.  Meanwhile, if you would like to place an order, you can either email me at: or facebook me.  Once my website is up, I will post the link here.  Check back for monthly specials and new flavors to come!

Friday, October 5, 2012

All About the Cupcake

I am currently between trying new recipes, so I thought I would talk a little about where cupcakes come from and some fun facts about them.  But let's first get you hungry for a cupcake...

Chocolate cupcake with Peanut Butter frosting 
Now that you are enticed, here is some interesting cupcake history:

* The first mention of a cupcake dates back to 1796, in a book called "American Cookery."  The book, written by Amelia Simms, referred to "a cake to be baked in small cups." 
* The first time the actual term "cupcake" was used was by Eliza Leslie.  She wrote a book called "Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats" in 1828.
*The first cupcakes were baked in individual ramekins or teacups, until the multi-cup pans were invented
* Cupcake liners have more than one use-they are used to make it easy to remove the cupcakes from the pan, but also to erase the need for greasing and flouring the pan.  And hey, it makes for easier clean-up!
* Cupcakes may have gotten their name from the earliest recipe, called the 1234 cakes.  This recipe is made up of 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour and 4 eggs.  Hence, cupcakes.
* Other names for cupcakes: fairy cake, patty cake and quarter cakes
* The record for the most cupcakes eaten in 30 seconds? 29!!
* The World's Smallest Cupcakes measures only 1.5 centimeters high and 3 centimeters wide
* The World's Largest Cupcake, according to Guinness Book of World Records 2012, was made by Georgetown Cupcake and weighed 1,176.6 kg (2,594 lbs).  It was 56 inches in diameter and 36 inches tall!
* December 15 is National Cupcake Day (stick around my blog and maybe something special will be offered on that day!)
There are a lot of facts out there, but these were some of the fun ones. 

Now that I have procrastinated enough, I am off to make a S'mores cupcake to add to the list of flavors!  Check back to see how they turned out-and as always, there will be free samples :)

*The above info was acquired by using Wikipedia, guinnessworld, and

Friday, September 28, 2012

Let's Pretend it is Cinco de Mayo

I know it is the start of Fall, but a friend from church told me about a local bakery's Margarita cupcakes and asked me if I could bake one as good.  I am always up for a challenge.  I did some research on different cupcake recipes and found one that made some great tasting cupcakes.  I topped it with some Margarita-flavored buttercream and a lime wedge and I think I accomplished my goal of making a great tasting Margarita cupcake!
The majority of the recipes I researched used tequila. I have always heard that when you cook or bake something with alcohol in it, the alcohol will cook or bake out. However, I did some research on the topic and I found that it's not necessarily true that the alcohol will bake out. I decided to try an alcohol-free cupcake, especially since many of my friends and family don't like the taste of tequila. I bought a margarita mix and just replaced the tequila. I did the same for the buttercream frosting and then topped it with a fresh lime slice. Yum...and I think if you are a margarita drinker, you will love these and not even miss the tequila! 
So, even though the weather is getting chillier and I saw Christmas decorations already displayed at Target the other day (no joke, it was behind the Halloween stuff!), you can still enjoy a taste of the warm weather!

Tip of the Blog:

My favorite frosting is buttercream.  I enjoy the Italian Meringue and the whipped cream, but I would pick buttercream over any other frosting any day of the week.  However, I am not a fan heavy of buttercream frostings.  I found a little trick to make buttercream a little fluffier and a little lighter, while keeping the sweetness.  Instead of adding milk to the frosting, add some heavy whipping cream and whip the butter and powdered sugar and any other ingredients with the cream until it starts to form soft peaks.  Then, you will have a lighter, but still delicious buttercream frosting to complement your cupcake!
We are getting closer to opening a cupcakery!  Unfortunately, all the paperwork and waiting for a health license takes time, but soon I will be able to offer all the decadent treats I have been blogging about (and many more) at my Internet Cupcakery!! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall is coming!

The Women's Committee at my church holds an annual sign-up for all the ministries the church offers.  We usually have a breakfast, so the ladies can enjoy some good food while learning about the opportunities that are available.  This year, however, we decided to have a dessert night instead.  I signed up to make cupcakes (I love a chance to make new cupcakes and to share them!).  Since I am usually ready for Fall to start by the beginning of September, I thought what better cupcake flavor to make than pumpkin?  And because I am always wanting to expand my decorating skills, I made fondant Fall leaves as a topper.

How yummy do these look?!
The cupcakes were pumpkin with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting-sometimes it is nice to stick with a traditional favorite.  These cupcakes were particularly moist and light because sour cream was added, and who doesn't like pumpkin?  Cream cheese is a natural complement to the pumpkin, and now you have a Fall-inspired cupcake.  I could have left them undecorated and they would have still tasted great, but I have really been wanting to work with fondant and making leaves made perfect toppers for these little treats.

Fondant is edible, but I don't really like the taste. But it is a great medium for making decorations, it is pliable, holds its shape well and versatile. I have only worked with fondant once before, to make a stem for a flower cake I made for my daughter's 1st birthday party. This time, I wanted to use a fondant cutter or mold to make the leaves. I found this nifty little contraption at the store and thought I would give it a try...
The fondant rolled out and marked for putting in the press.
After removing the excess fondant, you are left with three little leaves, ready to be painted.
While I was at the store, I found this cool stuff called Color Dust.  It is an edible dust that you can use to paint your fondant or gum paste decorations.  I had a great time making all the leaves, and then painting them. 

Here they are before they are painted...
and after...

 and the final product again...
My friend, Lisa, took a picture for me of the cupcakes on the cupcake stand at the dessert party.
Tip of the Blog:
When you roll out fondant, powder your work surface with powdered sugar and occasionally pick the fondant up to make sure it is not sticking to your work surface.  Also, just like when rolling out dough for bread, make sure to powder your rolling pin (with powdered sugar).

I was given the challenge of making a Margarita Lime cupcake that would taste as good or better than a local bakery's version.  I am up for the challenge and will let you know what happens!