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Almond Rose Cupcakes with Strawberry Mascarpone Buttercream

If you are looking for a cupcake with a fun unique flavor this is a great one to try.  But don’t be frightened away by this uncommon flavor combination. These cupcakes have a light delicate crumb and can be made into an everyday almond or vanilla cupcake with the omission of extracts. The addition of mascarpone to the buttercream gives the icing a light whipped-cream like texture and the strawberry adds a fruity vibrancy to this noteworthy amalgamation. Continue reading

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Tiramisu Cake

Do you need a pick-me-up? I thought you just might so
I baked this delicious Tiramisu Cake to tempt your tummy and lift your spirits.  Let me tell you, this cake is more than wet, tasteless sponginess and frothy filling. It is mildly sweet with a potent kick of double power espresso and rich, creamy mascarpone and amaretto filling that may make you a little bit giddy.  Trust me, you want to make this cake! Continue reading

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Gluten-Free American Mud Cake with Triple Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate is often the default flavor that bakers go to  when asked to make a gluten-free cake. It makes sense; chocolate is pronounced enough to cover any unsavory flavors that non-wheat flours present and cocoa powder can be used as a starch substitute for some of the wheat flour.  But clear your mind of any preconceived notions of gluten-free chocolate cake.  This is just straight forward delicious cake. This recipe is based on my American Mud Cake and boasts of the same great chocolate complexity and rich, moist, goodness! Continue reading

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Gluten Free Vanilla Cake and Gluten Free Baking Tips

Gluten free Vanilla Cake is by far the most challenging of all gluten free cakes to formulate. It is quite naked in that it is the most revealing of cakes when it comes to flour exposure.  There are no secondary flavors to hide behind such as fruit or chocolate. This purist among pastries must stand alone and operate in perfect unity with its supporting ingredients to create a cake  that both tastes delicious and feels correct on the tongue. Continue reading

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German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake, an American classic, popularized in the heart of Texas, may not win any beauty contests (at least not my cake ;) ) but this moist, tender chocolate  cake, filled and capped with thick, sweet Coconut Pecan Icing is a treat for all to behold.  Here is my take on this beloved cake with a couple of my own twists which make it easier and tastier than ever before! Continue reading

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Orange Cake with Passion Fruit Buttercream

It is difficult to tell that we are beyond summer solstice here. The sky is gray and there is a good chance of rain. It is par for the course in June in Oregon but my heart still pines for rays of sunshine and warmth on my skin. If I cannot have the climate I hope for I will have to settle for a cake full of tropical sunshine and flavor. This Orange Cake with Passion Fruit Buttercream is not the kind of cake that you bite into and wonder what flavor one could possibly be trying to convey. It is fully and intensely orange and bright and perfumed. I need something sunny and in its full splendor! Continue reading

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Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream

People make banana baked goods for one of two reasons: one, they love banana treats and will wait patiently for their bananas to ripen in order to use them; or two, their bananas did not get eaten while they were in the edible range and they hate to throw away totally usable bananas. While I am frequently subject to a bunch of declining banana I truly am a member of the former group.  I am a big fan of banana bread, banana muffins and these sweet little banana cupcakes! Continue reading

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Lego Chima Party

One of the great joys of watching my children grow is seeing how their own beautiful personalities and interests develop. Ever since my kids were old enough to have an opinion I have let them choose their birthday theme. This year Asher’s love of Legos has really grown and he particularly likes the Chima theme.  So he decided on a Lego Chima party for his seventh birthday. At first I was at a bit of a loss as to which direction to go with this. Chima characters are not the same as many other Lego characters and their story line has a much more organic feel than the boxy rigidness of most Lego genres.  After painstakingly (and painfully) watching many Chima television show episodes I set off to create the Land of Chima in our home.  Continue reading