Lavender lemon cupcake blooms with a lemon cream cheese icing

I know that no one needs to be reminded that I love cupcakes.

But just in case you do…

I LOVE THEM I LOVE THEM I LOVE THEM. I love them so much that my obsession justifies my lack on punctuation.

I also love making them. And buying stuff to make them pretty.

Hence the purchase of these lavender cupcake liners.

Remember a million years ago when I explored St. Lawrence Market in Toronto? In that post, I raved about this wonderful kitchen supply shop they had set up in the middle of the second floor. It was here, that I found these beauties.

I have wanted to make lavender cupcakes ever since.

Since I’m really rather logical, I chose Thursday, the hottest day on record since 1956 to bake things. No, I did not bake them outside. You’re funny, though. Luckily for me, my awesomely super student home came equipped with AC. This blast of cold air made mixing, scooping, piping and living tolerable.

It turns out that because these cupcake liners were so gigantic, I was unable to correctly estimate the amount of batter that was to go in each. And so, the Godzilla-sized cupcakes were born. My doubled (thank god I did this) recipe made a dozen of them, and frankly, each cupcake is the size of a small coffee mug. They were good though, so I didn’t mind. I also still managed to eat two (mom: this does not warrant another hyper-concerned type two diabetes email, but thanks for having my back).

Also, holy cow these were awesome. Seriously, really, really yummy. And I consider myself fairly well versed when it comes to cupcake tasting. The lemon and lavender flavours were balanced in the perfectly moist cake, and the cream cheese icing had a nice citrusy shot. Okay, maybe the icing was a little too sweet for some, BUT I LIKED IT.

Anyways, I took plenty of pictures of my cupcakes in bloom. Since she demanded that I do this, I must say that Ariel was the photo director for this cupcake shoot. She stood outside in a completely inappropriate heatwave day outfit and held cupcakes in the blistering sun while I snapped at my cupcakes from all angles. She also had the idea for the sunflower leaf photos. Very Thumbelina, n’est ce pas?

I have more than half a dozen cupcakes leftover, as of Friday evening. Perhaps I will give them away, or perhaps I will eat them all in one sitting and let a stomach ache blossom in my stomach. Yeah, I just went there.

Update: I brought the cupcakes to a fiesta-themed party I went to Friday night. It was Mexican-themed and they were boys. Could I get the theme anymore wrong?

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Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes: happy birthday to ME!

I do a lot of happy birthday wishing to a lot of different people on my blog.  This entry is a 100 per cent self-indulging birthday post to ME.  That’s right.  It is my birthday today and I am now 21.

My birthday celebrations, circa 1993. My cake was chocolate and shaped like a snake.

I wish I had time to post this earlier, but I’ve had an absolutely exhaustingly busy day.  Today in my television class we had our first same-day assignments due.  For those of you who don’t understand the j-school lingo, this means that we had to interview and edit a news feature piece on tight deadline.  It was a tad stressful in the end, but thanks to my two awesome teammates Ariel and Christine and a little birthday luck (also found wicked lucky quarter on the bus this morning), we got through it.

I didn’t actually intend to bake or cook anything special for myself, so when my class was cancelled yesterday morning, I spontaneously made the decision to spoil myself.  While I’m glad I did, my spontaneity left me with several kitchen dilemmas.  First, I had to rush to the local grocery store to buy milk, whole milk and raspberry jam.  Second, I realized after the oven was preheated and the cupcake batter was mixed that I was out of cupcake liners.  Oh terrible misfortunes!  THANK GOD I live in the best neighbourhood that has ever existed.  I quickly got changed out of my pajamas and rushed around the corner to Grace in the Kitchen where a speedy visit provided me with these semi-ugly but completely effective unbleached muffin liners.  Beggars can’t be choosers.  Also, while I was there I met one of the workers, Andrew, who says he has read my blog!  So what if this is mostly because I shamelessly plugged it to him when I bought a massive amount of white chocolate, it’s still neat.

Anywho, I got this fantastic recipe off of Tastespotting.  The blog is called A Spicy Perspective, and the original recipe was named “zingy raspberry lemon cupcakes.”  Two reasons I liked these: (A) the blogger totally made up the word “zingy” and (B) they were completely adorable.  As a half asian, I 200 per cent fulfill the stereotype of liking cute things.  I squealed with delight when taking the pictures you see below.

PS: Britt got me a brie baker for my birthday!  BRIE. BAKING. Need I say more?

Finally, can we please just appreciate the cool and creative qualities of iPhone photo apps (thank you Hipstamatic!)

Lemon Sour Cream Loaf

My goodness, I have been such a slacker with blogging this past week!  It has been four days since my last post, a record-breaking amount of time since the summer began.  This is my oath to the blogging world to try and be better.  School is absolutely crazy right now, and I am running around left, right and centre trying to get journalism stories organized before Thanksgiving.  Right now it looks like October may just be the month from hell, but I will try my very hardest to charge on through, treating my hard work with delicious meals every once in a while!

I made this loaf last week.  The reason why the pictures you see below were taken inside was because I made this little baby at 9 p.m. and, by the time the next day rolled around, the majority of it was gone (yes, this was also due to my near midnight snacking, I had a stomach ache).  That being said, no pictures were able to be taken outside, to my great dismay.

This lemon sour cream loaf is actually just Canadian Living’s Lemon Yogurt Loafwith, you guessed it, sour cream.  Why is sour cream in absolutely everything I make nowadays, you ask?  I have no idea, but it is good.  The original recipe called for the use of “balkan-style plain yogurt,” something I have never heard of.  Apparently it’s like a low-fat yogurt or something?  Not too sure.  Whatever, our fridge was crowded beyond belief (I blame all the plastic containers of spinach) and I needed to use up this sour cream.

When Canadian Living says “use parchment paper” in your loaf pan, I definitely recommend you follow their instructions.  Unfortunately for me, our lowly student home had run out of parchment paper  just a few days earlier, and I instead was forced to heavily oil the pan as an alternative.  This worked…sort of.  After the loaf was semi-cool, I could be seen standing over the deep freeze (I use it as a counter), whacking the bottom of that pan like there was no tomorrow.  After a substantial shaking and use of brunt force, the loaf surrendered to my attempts, and plopped nicely down on the cooling rack, with a mere chunk taken out of the bottom.  Needless to say I bought parchment paper the very next day.

Finally, the reason why the surface of this loaf looks like it has reflective properties is because of all the delicious lemon glaze I put on it!  The glaze was just icing sugar and lemon juice, and the loaf soaked it up like a sponge.  Absolute heaven.