Narwhal embroidery

Narwhals and mermaids just are a great pair! Here’s some embroidery that I’ve done for a pillow for Charlotte’s rocker in her nursery.   You can find the inspiration here, I chose to use the template to embroider Mr. Narwhal instead of the applique.  Finished project coming soon!




Shadow Box Pirate Map


Isn’t this fabric sooo stinking cute!!!  I order Sarah Jane Out to Sea , and when I saw it in person I fell more in love!  The first thing that I thought when I saw this super cute soft coral pink map, frame it!!  A lot of people are putting fabric into embroidery hoops right now for nurseries and I wanted to do something a little different!  I got this large, shallow shadow box from Joanns half off, I think that I paid 12$ for it.  I grabbed some smaller ones as well that I will share with you!

Here’s what you will need:

Shadow Box

Fabric/embroidered piece

Fusible batting

Embroidery floss, hoop & needle


Fabric glue


Open up the shadow box and take out the insert there, you will need that as a template and will be attaching your project onto it.


Trace the size of the shadow box with a sharpie onto the fusible batting and cut on the inside of the line, you want to make it just a smidgen smaller so you don’t have any puckering when you place your piece inside.


Flatten and smooth out your fabric on top of the fusible batting, fusible side up.  Press with an iron to set into place, attaching your fabric to the batting.


This fabric is darling as it is, but I wanted to do a little something to it.  I took a navy embroidery floss ( I always use DMC) and stitched over the print in certain areas.  I went over all the hashed treasure map lines, the “X marks the spot” x’s and I made a little heart over California for Charlotte’s home!


Grab your fabric glue and trim your fabric to about an inch border around the batting.  Fold over and glue as you go, trimming the edges.  Trimming off excess bulk will help you when you are trying to jam it in the shadow box!



I love this glue for fabric!



Next, place a little bit of glue around the back and place the same cardboard insert piece on top, this gives it a little more stability.  Once you sandwich those together, you can insert into your frame!

Nursery madness begins!

Hey y’all!!  So we decided on Charlotte’s nursery theme!  A mermaid/nautical with bright fun girly colors!  And of course there will be LOTS of getting hot chocolate wasted crafty!  We can’t begin to tell you how excited we all are to welcome this lil one, and we are having fun putting this special space together for her!

So, I started off by picking the textiles, which I think that this is the only way to start such a large project.  I found this adorable, whimsical fabric by  Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.  I bought almost every piece in the line from  I love ordering from!  Always great prices and free shipping over $35!  I ordered a little bit of each one, plus some others.

We bought the crib and changing from a dear friend which belonged to her daughter and was in great shape. I also bought this changing table for all of my cloth diaper stash.   An old dresser that belonged to my great grandmother is getting an uplift from Dad.  We are still trying to decide on a rocker.

For wall color, we chose Kelly Moore Pool Party, its a beautiful soft cool blue. The dresser is also Kelly Moore in Lively Coral.

I will keep y’all posted on where this fun project goes!!!

Jungle Play Time Floor Blankie

Well, it’s been some time!  I’ve been baking a baby, yes, that’s right!  We are expecting our first child in August, and we couldn’t be more excited!  I am already planning all of the diabolical craftiness that will come!  So, I took a little break from blogging and crafting while I got through the ever so infamous first trimester.   I am feeling so much better!

So, with all my excuses out of the way, on to the crafting!  I started my blog journey off during the holidays, so it was only natural to post one of my many crafting talents, home decor and baking!  But sewbakelove is also about, well, sewing!  It has been a great passion of mine for so many years, and I have learned many new tips and tricks from family, friends and blogs of course!

This was a little project that I put together today for two special little boys.  A co-worker is adopting two precious little brothers.  How exciting!  They are young, but not baby’s, and lately my focus has been on all the little bambino’s that have been popping up.  This was a fun & simple project, and I hope that they love them!

I think that a lot of people think that making a blanket is huge under taking, that it’s so much work, and will take a long time.  While that mostly is true, there are some short cuts, it doesn’t always have to be a huge undertaking.

I’ve been trying to use the ridiculous stash of fabric that I have aquired over the years.  And, since Baby Von is coming soon, by secondary back-up crafty room/storage area needs to be overhauled.  There is a crib in there, somewhere…under the yards and yards of flannel thats currently taking up the space where my child will eventually slumber.  On that note, I searched in my closet and found these super cute jungle panels that I had forgotten that I had!  I found these at a Joann’s store that was relocating to a different part of town, and everything was 70-80% off!!!  Usually the panels are pretty pricey, but at this price, I couldn’t pass them up, and I bought 3 of them.  Seeing them, I knew that these would be a perfect, cheery play time floor blankie for these precious little boys!  They are a perfect size, super cute jungle buddies on the front, and I made them nice and thick so they would hold up.  Here’s how I used what I had on hand to dress up this panel to make these fun gifts!


The panel measures at 35×40, however, the were VERY uneven!  After washing and pressing, there was a good portion that had to be trimmed because the seams were all wonky!  Annoying says the girl who will rip seams til the wee hours for straight lines!  Grr!  Well, there is always a way I say!  I will get to how I fixed them soon.

The outer borders are made of flannel, and the animals are a thick, uber soft felt.  The felt gives the panel a adorable 3d look & feel.  The sun is made of a satin, giving it some shine.

Since the boys are bigger, I wanted to make something that they can use when they play on the floor, or nap, that would be cute and comfortable.  I used two layers of cottonImage batting, and used anti pill fleece for the backing.  I decided to not do binding on these, instead I serged the edges.  This not only gives it a cool look, it was super fast!

After pre-washing and pressing, a must with all projects, I laid the panel out on top of the two layers of batting and fleece.  Pin all layers together, making sure all layers are flat and smoothed out.  Always, always, make sure you have an extra allowance for your batting and backing!  You will thank me later!  After pinning, quilting and top stitching, things move and shift around.  There is nothing worse than having a wonky edge or you are short somewhere due to your fabric moving.  And trust me, it will move a little even if you press and pin.



Next step, decide what you want to quilt.  Since this panel is adorable on its own, I didn’t want to do too much, but wanted add something to it, and ensure that the top piece is attached to the batting to prevent shifting in the future.  I used a dark brown thread, and stitched in the ditch around the brown borders.

For those new to sewing that have never heard of “stitching in the ditch”, its pretty awesome.  It’s an easy and quick way to attached pieces together through batting or just attaching the top piece or panel, to the batting as I did here.  You can use a regular foot or a walking foot to do this.


As you can see, you stitch, right in between your fabrics, in the ditch!  Go slow until you get the hang of things!  You will have an invisable stitch if you take your time!

Another awesome tool in my crafty aresenal, are these crafty life changing pens!  I read this on another blog so long ago, and I can’t rememeber which one, but man oh man!  These are the best!  The Pilot Frixion Ball pen’s are just a normal erasable ink pen, you can get them anywhere the sell office supplies, but they are like magic on fabric!  I use these when I quilt, embroider, or need to mark on fabric for cutting or stitching marks.  They dissapear when you iron them!  And you barely have to put the iron on before it dissapears!  It truly is the best marking pen for fabric.  No chalk, no pencil, no washing.  Awesome.  Always test it out on your fabrics, I have used it on cotton, flannel, fleece and ribbon.  So far so good!


I love these, and it makes drafting a quilting design so effortless!  You can draw and make what ever designs, then just erase it if it doesn’t look right.  This panel is very cute, and I wanted to add a few more details.  I chose to outline the grass and have the elephant squirt out some water of his cute trunk.


Use the Frixion pen, draw out your design.  Choose your thread color and change your sewing machine foot to the quilting foot.  Also, bring the thread though the hole and out to the side, and make sure all of your screws are on nice and snug. Make sure you lower the lower feed dog on your sewing machine.


Now, if you have never ever played with this foot and lowering the feed dogs, practice, a bunch, before you quilt on your labor of love!  It is a fun skill, but it does take a lot of practice.  Use old fabric scraps with some batting and do some free hand and also practice with your Frixion pen to get really comfortable with tracing designs.  Since you are lowering the feed dogs, you will be the only force moving your fabric.  The faster the speed the more control you will have.  Also, be careful not to sew over your finger.  This hurts, a lot.  Don’t do it.  Some people use gloves to protect themselves and also to get a better grip on the fabric that they are guiding.  Also, you will most likey, depending on the size of your project, want to roll or fold the sides of your piece, to have better control over it, and also so it fits in the work space of your machine.


I am most comfortable working from the far end in towards me.  Before I start my line, I stitch in place a few times to have a grounded point.  Follow your line and I gave it a little swirl at the end.

ImageYou can use your lines exacly or as a guide.  When it comes down to the quilting, I do my best to stick to the plan and keep it controled, but it can get away from ya.  Little boo boo’s here are ok in my book, gives it character!  It is difficult to seam rip qulting because there are so many sticthes going into the material because your feed dog is down, and because you are hauling butt on that pedal.  But thats why I say practice practice practice!!

After you are fininshed quilting, just place your iron over the stiching and watch your pen marks disapear!


Ok, so remember how I said that these panels are all wonky? Well, here’s how I fixed that problem!  Cutting something like this at times can, well suck.  You can measure wrong and then you have cut too much.   You can NEVER go back once you cut.  Instead, I used y Frixion pen, and made marks along the edge.  I used that as a cutting point when I surged the edges.  I did a 3 inch edge from the brown fabric, which was even and straight.


I serged and cut the edges, man I love my serger!!!  Tied off the edges and used a dab of fray check on each corner.


Once the fray check was dried, I gave it a final press!

Both of these from beging to end took me about an hour and a half!  For two blankies!  Uh yes please!!!!


Holiday Dessert & Hot Cocoa Bar

This time of year, is a crafty girl’s time to shine!  With so many yummy things to eat getting passed  around, it’s hard to choose what to bake.  You want to do something different and something that will stick in the memory of the recipient.   What do I do?  Just try to make it all!  It’s a downfall of mine, I will find 2-5 new recipes every few days while blog surfin’, and I will want to try them all.   I love trying new recipes and flavors, and this time of year is a perfect excuse to bake away! 

It seems that people are more likely to eat baked goods or “cheat” during this time of year, and I take advantage of that!  Co-workers, neighbors, family and friends are some of my victims!  They just can’t resist! 

Every year, my dear mother in law host’s the “Very Von Christmas”.   The Von crew gets together for tasty appetizers, wine and desserts .  We get to catch up and spend time together, without the presents.  It makes for such a fun time!  Since this was the first year having Christmas in their new home, I knew that I had to have an awesome dessert spread!  We had about 20 people, so it was super difficult to choose what to make!  I am used to making so many different things which is easy, because I can choose a few recipes, which make about 2 dozen cupcakes each.  Well, I know that I can pass on the left overs, but 4 dozen cupcakes is a lot! 

So, I decided on this:  Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Ginger Bread Cupcakes, Egg Nog Cupcakes, and a Hot Cocoa Bar.  Yummo!


I think that it turned out pretty good!  There were some more details that I could have incorporated, but I am happy with it!


I am in love with apothecary jars, just saying!  They have so many possibilities!   I use them around the house and they look awesome for dessert tables or parties!  I have several different styles and sizes, I got them at Home Goods, a few at a time.  They are about 12-18 dollars a piece.  Jumbo marshmallows are super cheap and fill a large jar and then some!  You can also tie a cute ribbon or some raffia around them if you want to add that extra pop of color!  If you are tight on storage space and want to keep costs down, try going in on these pieces with family or friends, and just trade-off as you need them!  Mama Von and I just started doing this, and it makes the men of our houses very happy!

Keep your table linen simple,  think of it  like a blank canvas.  Starting off with a fresh,blank slate to work on will keep the eyes where they matter, on the delicious, sugary stuff!  Use table runners or fun placemats to add color and character. 


Not the gum drop buttons!  I am in love with this little guy!  He was another Home Goods find at $12.99.  And yes, you can take his head off, and put some goodies inside!  Those beauties next to him would be the Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting.  Ahhh so yummy!   


I just added these little cake stands to my crafty arsenal.  They were $7.99 at Home Goods, and you can change out the ribbon!  I pulled the blah blue ribbon out and wove in some of my gingie bread man gross grain!  In love!


I love the color that these came out, I sprinkled a little nutmeg on top.  I did tweak the recipe slightly,    here’s the original link .  I followed the cupcake recipe almost exactly, I did use vegetable oil because I didn’t have any canola.  The frosting I did change quite a bit.   I just used a little bit of butter, I don’t really like this kind of butter cream, I hate using it because it doesn’t hold its shape as well as a cream cheese based frosting or a real butter cream does.  And I don’t know how I feel about putting shortening in a frosting, but I will have to give it a shot some day!  Gotta go with what ya know!


I do wish that I had time to put a wee lil’ gingie bread man on top, but with the way they taste, no one cared!  Here’s what you will need to make 1 dozen cupcakes

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar

  • 1/2 cup canola oil, I used vegetable
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, room temp and beaten
  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda

Pre-heat at 325.  Put flour, ginger, cinnamon,salt and ground cloves in a large bowl and mix.  In your mixing bowl, mix oil, sugar and molasses, mix together, adding the egg, until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture.  Boil the water, I just used the kettle, way fast!  Pour the water into a bowl with baking soda and mix well.  It’s a beautiful caramel color!

Use your ice cream scoop and scoop into liners.   Bake at 325 for 22 mins, or until your tooth pick comes out clean.  Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then place on a cooling rack.  On to the frosting!

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Whisk cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Mix in the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon,vanilla and butter.  Once combined, add in your powdered sugar.  I usually add in 1/2 cup at a time to prevent a scene from Scarface in my kitchen.  Plus Boston Terriers do not like powdered sugar, so I’d have to clean it myself.  Take a taste, and wrap them up in your frosting packets!  Put them in the fridge for a little while if they are too soft.  Once they are cool, frost them up!  Sprinkle with some nutmeg.   They looked and tasted amazing!


So, when I bake, I try to use what I have on hand, unless I need to make something specific.  We had a bunch of egg nog left over that hadn’t been opened yet left over from Thanksgiving.   Pinterest has never let me down!  Here’s where I found it, and let me tell you!  These were rummy!  They tasted so good, and I hate eggnog! 


I did alter the recipe a bit, based on what I had on hand & to my preference! 

Eggnog Cupcakes with Rum Butter Cream

Makes about 24 cupcakes

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place flour in a large bowl.   In the mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until mixed well.  Scrape your bowl before adding the dry ingredients. 

Mix in the flour, in parts, alternating with the eggnog.  This gives you  a nice, smooth batter.  Mix in the vanilla.  Use the ice cream scoop, fill up your liners, 1 scoop each.

Bake for 20-22 mins at 325, until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to the cooling rack. 

Now for the rummy frosting!  Like I had mentioned before, I am not a eggnog fan, but half the fam bam is, so I had to give this recipe a shot.  In the original posting, they used a beautiful gold sprinkle!  So pretty!  I did follow the frosting recipe exactly.  I am in love with this butter cream!  I think that I will use this method from now on and just change-up the flavors as needed!

Spice Rum Butter Cream

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup spiced rum, I used Captain Morgan.  Everyone needs a little captain in ya!

I used my double boiler, but you can also just use a bowl over simmering water to make this frosting.

Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl in the double boiler.  Use your whisk and keep on whisking away until you get the mix to 160 degrees F.  Once you have reached that temp, place the mixture into your mixer bowl with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed, use either speed 6-8 on a Kitchen Aid mixer.  You will be mixing for quite some time, about 8-12 mins, until its light and fluffy and it has doubled its size, and it has stiff peaks.   This is a good time to start cleaning up! 

Once you have peaks, start adding in your butter, little by little.   Be patient!  I really took my time, adding just a few pieces of butter at a time, and the frosting was perfectly smooth and fluffy!

Now, put your leg up and Yarrgggh!  Put all that yummy rum inside the mix, and add the salt.  Mine curdled up a little, I just turned up the speed back to 8 and re-fluffed it. Ahh, crisis avoided!   They do have a strong rum taste, but not like throwing a shot of Captain back.  It’s the prefect amount!  Kiddo’s will probably not like the taste, but you can always use less rum and add as you go.

Get out your plastic wrap and wrap up in your frosting packets, and you are ready to frost these yummy cupcakes!


In addition to all the baked goods, I wanted to do a Hot Cocoa Bar.  Well, I wanted to dip a bunch of stuff in chocolate actually so this seemed like a good excuse to try a few new culinary tricks.  

I added on the table some glass bottles filled with peppermint,vanilla and hazelnut extracts.  Whipped cream, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, walnuts, peppermint chunks we amongst the fixin’s.








Sugar coma!!!  It was so fun putting this together and everyone enjoyed it!

Full of Thanksgiving

Ahh, I love the fall!!!  A lot of people think that Christmas is the only holiday that they can dec up the house for.  Me?  Any holiday where I can make something is a holiday that I can dress up the house!  There are so many beautiful ways to decorate!  Here are some ideas to utilize all of your crafty hard work and make everyone oooh and ahhh when they come over! Here is how I love to make my home into a place where we love coming home to everyday, and one that our family and friends also love coming over to!

First off, a helper is always nice!  This is Otto, he is always on my side.  Loves to pull things out of my bins as I go!

We are blessed to have an amazing home, with a lot of storage!  Since we only have fur children, we have extra storage in some rooms, as of now.  But, as the family grows, how do you manage storage?  I am a full believer in having an organized home, and especially an organized crafty space!!!  I will be posting some of my tricks and tips on how to organize your crafty space soon!

First things first, I looooove all the home decor stores!  And I know that I am not the only one out there! With so many wonderful stores, great deals to be had, and all the awesome seasonal decor out there, how do you choose!  My husband Charlie always ask, whats that for and where are we going to put it!  It’s important to limit your decor habit to what you can store!

If I am at some of my favorite store, I always have 2 rules:

First Rule:  Always make sure that you have a place to store it.  I utilize storage bins.  After Christmas, there’s always sales on the colored bins, and I took advantage of stocking up on those when I can.  I hop on the computer and print out a sign on whats in the bin, that way you can easily find what you are looking for.  Take a page protector and use some packing tape and slap it on your bin.  I do this with all of my holiday decor.  Garlands, wreaths, lights, ornaments and floral picks etc all have their homes.  I use gift wrap tissue to wrap everything that can be to prevent all that glitters in check.  I save the paper tissue that you get when you buy stuff too.  Bubble wrap and the packing that comes when you get all that stuff when you order online is a good tip too.  I keep it in a large bag in the closet for future use.  I always put the next holidays bins on top, that way you don’t need to pull stuff out from the bottom.  Larger weird shaped things get wrapped up in the bags that I purchased them in.  The bags that Pier One gives you are perfect for this!   In this house, we are always about re-using things!

Second Rule:  I am always looking for things that I can re-use for multiple holidays.  This not only saves you money, but saves on storage space.  I love lanterns and apothecary jars.  These can be dressed up in so many different ways!  I try to stick to the basic colors, black, white and browns.  I have some beautiful red ones that I use for Christmas, Valentines and Independence Day.  They look great for everyday decor too!

Here’s a beautiful large lantern that I got from Home Goods for about $30.  I use it all over the house!  On my buffet in the dining room, on the floor (if ya don’t have little monsters or crazy dogs around!)  For this one, I used a box that I saved from and Amazon order and placed it inside, then I used some gold tissue to place on the bottom.  I look for the glass marbles after holidays, they are much cheaper than, and layed them on the bottom.  Using the tissue helps add more height inside so you don’t have to use as much.  The pumpkin is one of the foam ones that can be carved, placed on top of the box.  Then, you put what ever you want inside!  Leafs and floral were then added!  Love it!

The mirror was a steal!  It was in a clearance area at Cost Plus, and was further marked down, so it was 25 bucks!!!  I always have it there, filling the space up.  I have a good stash of vases and jars, that I rotate throughout the house.  Fill the bottom with glass marbles and put some more of the gourds or potpourri in there, topping with some floral.  Same with the apothecary  jars.  I like to use larger framed photos with photo stands.  Flameless candles are always a nice touch, Costco has packs of these and tea lights that I get around the holidays, and the timers on them are perfect!  I love coming home to the warmth that these candles give.

I love having areas in our home that give you a focal point when you walk inside the home.  We have a beautiful table that was handed down by my grandmother, and I will always have a beautiful table runner on it.  Table cloths are nice, but runners are usually less expensive and they are super easy to make!  You can make them longer or have a small one in the center to add that pop of color, without being too outdated or overwhelming for your center piece.

I purchased all of the floral from Michael’s when they were 70% off post holiday season!  Grab a pair of pliers and start cutting them off the bundle.  Lay everything out that you have, you will be surprised of the look when you mix different colors and textures together!  The planter was purchased at Home Goods, and I originally bought it for our wedding.  It was used on our sweetheart table with beautiful fresh flowers.  I saved it and reuse it for holidays!  I put 3 blocks of floral foam inside, and used tissue paper to fill in some gaps.  This helps in using less floral foam and less flowers.  Use the bigger florals first, then add in the smaller taller pieces, taking care that you don’t miss any spots.  I do this in the kitchen, so I have a 360 view so I can see which spots I miss, and I always have hubby take a final look to see if there are bare spots.  Drop a few leafs around, some raffia.  I found the cute vine style LED light string to wrap around and you are done!  Place on top of a runner and there we go!!!  I made this runner for our wedding as well, and its perfect for the fall!!  When I make my runners, I try to do a different pattern or style on the other side.  I have a Halloween runner, and when you flip it over, it has a Thanksgiving style on the other side!!!  This is awesome for storage.  All of the floral for Thanksgiving and Halloween lives together in its bin, saving on storage.

We have two awesome fire places, which means  2 awesome mantels!!!  I always have something all year round on these, keeps everything tied together.  I have garlands with leaves in two different colors and styles that I use.  I used another one of the garland LED lights.  Simple but beautiful!

For the dining room, I placed some garland with flowers on it, some small hay bales, candle holders, and some jars with flameless candles inside wrapped with raffia, tied in a bow. Those were wedding leftovers too!  You can tie ribbons around as well.

The fall time is full of warmth and love.  I hope you all enjoyed how I made our home warm and inviting!!!  Now, for Christmas decor!!!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This time of year, I always look forward to great times with family and friends, and of course, all the yummy food!!!  When it comes down to baking, pumpkin is one of the first things that comes to my mind!!!  With all the choices out there, what do you make?!  I love pumpkin pie, but sometimes its too expected.  Making the dough can be daunting to some people, to get that crust just right, can be tricky!!!  For me, I love-making pretty cupcakes.  So easy and they don’t take all that much time, don’t require utensils or plates, and they don’t require the possibility of leaving one of your beloved pans behind!  They can be frosted and decorated in so many different ways and cute cup cake liners.  They smell great, look great, and taste amazing!  Trust me, everyone will love this one and be very impressed!

I have used and tweaked this recipe a few times, and it’s always a hit!

First things first, always make sure you let everything get to room temp and make sure your butter and cream cheese is soft!  Have you ever had lumpy cake or frosting?!  Ick!  Tips and tricks make the process easy, fun, and always come out with consistent results.  Over many years of baking and trials, it really does make a difference using quality ingredients.  Investing in quality vanilla,sifting your flour, and good spices is a must in my book!!!   Here’s what ya’ll will need:

Pumpkin Cupcakes     

Makes about 30 cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp

1 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 cup of milk, or heavy cream

2 cups pumpkin puree

Pre heat the oven to 325.  Oven temps vary, but it’s always a good idea when reading recipes for baking to set the oven to a lower temperature.  Most recipes always say 350 for baking cupcakes and cakes, but lowering the temp and cooking for a little bit longer makes a difference!  This will always give you a nice, moist cupcake.  Theres nothing worse than seeing a beautiful cupcake and biting into a dry hard mess!

Grab a large bowl for your dry ingredients.  Mix in flour,baking soda & baking powder, salt,cinnamon,ginger and nutmeg.

Take a whisk or your spatula and give it a little mixin’

Place the butter in the mixer, and let er rip!  I like to mix up the butter and get it all fluffy in there!  Add the sugar and brown sugar until nice and creamy.

Add your eggs, one at a time, mixin’ it well before adding the next.

Next, add your mixture of all the dry ingredients, alternating with milk until its well mixed.  Have your spatula handy, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.  Adding, alternating and scraping as you go will give you a nice, creamy mixture minus all the lumpy’s.

Mix in that yummy pumpkin!

Grab your cupcake pan and fill with liners.  Having good cupcake liners is a must!  Have you ever baked and had a super oily bottom on the outside?  Those cheap liners are hard to pass up, but when cookin’ with butter, its nice to have a thick quality liner so you don’t have a hot, oily mess under your delicious goodie!

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up the batter and plop in your liner.  This gives you a perfect sized cupcake, and its way easier than using a spoon.

Pop em’ into the oven, at 325 for 20 mins.  If you aren’t sure how your oven’s runnin’, I would check them with a tooth pick at about 17 minutes, just in case.  I check them at 20 mins, if it’s coming out clean, take them out, let cool in the pans for 5 mins.  Place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling down.

Now, for the even yummier part!  Frosting!!!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

4 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 tsp of vanilla bean paste, if you don’t have it, you can use 2 tsp of vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Place the cream cheese in the mixer, give it a quick whip and soften it up.

Add the confectioners sugar in sections, and make sure that your speed isn’t at  80 mph, or you will have a huge mess!  After you have all the sugar mixed in, add the vanilla bean paste, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Mix until nice and creamy!  The color is beautiful!  I love the look of the vanilla bean!

Ok, so here’s a trick that I learned awhile back, that makes frosting cupcakes easy and quick!!!  Makes for easy storage too, or if your frosting is a little too soft, you can stick these nifty little packs into the fridge to get a little firmer, or to save that extra deliciousness!

Grab your frosting, a spatula and some good plastic wrap.  From personal experience and recent explosion all over the kitchen, trust me on this one!!

Pull out about a 1-1 1/2 foot size piece and lay it on the counter.  Make sure its nice and flat.  Scoop out some frosting and place it in the middle of the plastic wrap, taking care not to spread it out too far.  You may want to just use a little bit of frosting when you first try this trick, if not, you may have a frosted ceiling.

Fold the plastic wrap up one side at a time, wrapping the frosting into a nice, compact package. Fold ends.

Now, don’t go getting all crazy on me here, take your time and make sure you have folded the wrap up so it’s completly covered!  Grab the ends and gently swing the wrap around like a jump rope.  This will give you frosting packet.

When you are ready to frost, get your piping bag ready, cut one end of the frosting wrap off, close to but not at the end, and drop into your piping bag.  Gently give it a squeeze and your frosting is ready to go!  When you are done with that bag, you can just pull the empty plastic wrap out, and repeat!  Your piping bag stays clean and its much easier to refill than scooping it into a frosted bag that sticks.  It’s so fast!  You can even change tips in between without washing out the bag!

Frost up these yummy cupcakes!!!  And eat one.  Or two!