Wanna Cupcake? Bakery Review

Nestled between the bustling city of Tacoma, Washington and the majestic Mount Rainier, Wanna Cupcake? is a sweet dessert & cupcake shop in the Puyallup Valley that bakes delicious treats for every occasion.

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

Wanna Cupcake? owned by Karie & Jim Romano has been around since 2009.  They began selling their cupcakes at local Farmers Markets but realized their passion would be greater served by opening their own store front!

Before I moved to Germany, I had tried to connect with Karie to sample her delicious cupcakes… but our timing never worked out.  So, when I had a last minute trip back to Washington State I reached out to Karie and scheduled a visit to her cupcake shop!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

Upon entering Wanna Cupcake? the first thing I noticed was the big chalk board with the daily flavors along with the beautiful display of cupcakes at the counter!  It’s like the cupcakes were calling out to me… PICK ME! PICK ME!  Bring pink cake stands and pink walls created a very welcoming, fun-loving vibe in the store.

Next, and my most favorite part of the shop is the open kitchen!  I have been in MANY cupcake stores (dozens and dozens!!!!), but Wanna Cupcake? was the first cupcake shop that had their kitchen and decorating stations in plain view!  I absolutely loved this!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

I remember when I was a kid leaning against the glass at the Cinnabon staring at them make the rolls and being in awe.  This open kitchen at Wanna Cupcake? gave me that feeling again!  I was giddy when I realized I could actually see the bakers baking and decorating the cupcakes that I was about to enjoy!  I was fascinated with the boxes and boxes of caking supplies and those giant stand mixers!! EEEEK!  I need all of it!  I probably could have sat at the counter watching those ladies bake for hours!

WannaCupcake-53

Meet Karie.  Hi Karie!!  Karie and her husband Jim began baking cupcakes for their kids birthdays back in 2009 and quickly realized they could do more with their baking passion!  So, they began selling their cupcakes at local farmers markets (which is how I first heard of them!) until they realized they wanted to do more!  In 2010, they moved to Puyallup and opened their Wanna Cupcake? store front, which is their home today! They have 8 employees and still sell their cupcakes at 3 local farmers markets! (Puyallup, Steilacoom and Tacoma for the locals!)  Karie hopes to participate in several local festivals this year too!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.comLet’s talk cupcakes.  All of their cupcakes are baked fresh daily from scratch using only the finest ingredients and their own special recipes.  Wanna Cupcake’s frostings are all fresh American Buttercream, Italian Meringue, Cream Cheese or Chocolate Gananche, depending upon the flavor, and each one is hand piped and decorated to exacting standards.

Every day, Wanna Cupcake? offers 13 different flavors consisting of daily standards plus a selection of specialty flavors of which they have more than 100!  I was in the shop on a Wednesday, which mean they had Moose Tracks, Chocolate Cherry Cordial, Coo-Coo Coconut  and Snickerdooodle as their special flavors!  In their case, Wanna Cupcake? also had a few extra mini cupcakes from a special order for sale.  They don’t typically stock mini cupcakes but if you catch them on a day where there’s extras… you’ll be lucky!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

Karie treated me to any cupcake I wanted to try.  I was with my Dad and son, Matty, we we picked out 5 to sample.  Coo-coo Coconut for Dad, Happy Birthday for Matty and Moose Tracks for me then Snickerdoodle and Lemonicious to share.

My favorite was the Moose Tracks.  There’s just something about that sweet, salty, chocolate and caramel that does it for me.  So darn delicious.  My Dad absolutely loved the coconut.  He raved about it for weeks after.  And Matty, he loved the sprinkles!

Every cupcake I tried from Wanna Cupcake? was moist, not too sweet and full of amazing flavor.  These cupcakes are what a cupcake should be.  Full size cupcake, generous dollop of frosting and quality ingredients made with pride and love.  I could not find one thing wrong with these cupcakes.

Karie said their #1 selling cupcake was their Salted Caramel made with their homemade caramel sauce.  I tried it.  It’s amazing.

In fact, we loved them so much that instead of making cupcakes for my son’s birthday party in Washington… I ordered from Karie! Aren’t these birthday cupcakes the cutest? My family couldn’t believe I bought them… they thought I made them! hehe Nope… Karie did!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

Since it was Valentine’s Day, Karie had her shop set up with super cute themed display and lots of extra goodies to eat.  Cake pops, rice krispie treats, chocolate pretzel rods and hand dipped cookies!

The hand dipped cookies… they’re dipped in CHOCOLATE!  Karie sent me home with one of those too.  I didn’t share.  It was so good!

Oh… don’t let me forget… but Wanna Cupcake? also does custom cakes for every occasion!!  Seriously, they do it all!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

Karie and Jim asked me not to give away all their big plans… but some awesome things are coming next for Wanna Cupcake?  One thing I can share with you though is parked out front of their shop.  A big cupcake van!  Karie and Jim hope to someday mobilize their cupcakes and bring them to a party or sporting event near you!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

I plan to be in Washington again late this summer and I can’t wait to see all of Karie and Jim’s plans come to life!  I really wish nothing but the best for these two hard working, cupcake loving folks!

So, if you’re in Washington you must make the time to visit Wanna Cupcake?! Not only are Karie and Jim the best… but their cupcakes are awesome!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

Their Puyallup bakery & store front is located at 2102 East Main in Puyallup, WA between downtown Puyallup and downtown Sumner.  Wanna Cupcake? is open every Tuesday-Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm but are available every day for weddings & special events.

You can also check them out on Facebook & Instagram where they post updates and lots of fun pictures!

Wanna Cupcake Bakery Review | JavaCupcake.com

A HUGE thank you to Karie and Jim for their hospitality while I was at their shop.  It was a thrill to meet you both and I thank you so much for the bakery tour!  I am looking forward to seeing you again in the Fall when I return!

Conversation Heart Cupcakes

I know, I know… Valentine’s Day is over.  But really, how many of us still have a box or two of conversation hearts in our house?  I know I do.  And really, I don’t know if I could stand to eat one more of them!  So, why not take inspiration from those little heart shaped candies and make some sweet Conversation Heart Cupcakes?

Conversation Heart Surprise-Inside Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

I’ve wanted to try a “surprise inside” cupcake ever since I got i am bakers book “Surprise Inside Cakes”.  The entire process seemed so simple that I thought I could surely create a heart surprise in a cupcake!

Conversation Heart Surprise-Inside Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

I used the basic white cake recipe from i am baker, which you can find in her book.   I tinted some of the frosting pink and baked it thing in a large pan.  Once it was cool, I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut heart cake shapes out to put inside of the cupcakes.

Conversation Heart Surprise-Inside Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

I wasn’t sure if these hearts would dry out when I baked them a second time, but I am happy to report that they were as moist as the white cake!  Each bite of these conversation heart cupcakes provides a surprise inside heart.  Fun, huh?

Conversation Heart Surprise-Inside Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

So if you’ve got some extra conversation hearts in your house, whip up a batch of these cupcakes.  They don’t have to be all pink and girlie either, they can be in any fun color you want… just like mine!

Conversation Heart Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 dozen cupcakes
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1¼ tsp vanilla extract (clear is best)
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • pink gel food coloring
  • heart cookie cutter
Buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • purple & green gel food coloring
  • Conversation hearts
  • purple & green sugar crystals
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9x13 cake pan with parchment paper, grease and flour.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. In a measuring cup combine the milk and extracts.
  5. Add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined. Then, add half the liquid and mix in slowly. Repeat with the next third of the flour mixture and half of the liquid. Finally, add the remaining flour and mix until no more lumps of flour remain.
  6. Pour the batter into a large bowl and clean out your mixer bowl making sure it is completely clean and dry.
  7. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter and continue folding until combined. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites too much or to over mix the batter.
  8. Remove about ⅓ of the batter to another bowl and add the pink food coloring, mixing very gently until uniform in color.
  9. Spread the pink batter evenly into the prepared 9x13 pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once the pink cake has cooled, use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes.
  11. Line your cupcake pans with liners. I used fun heart liners to continue the theme.
  12. Place about 1 Tbsp of white batter in the bottom of the liner then place a cake heart standing up into the batter. Spoon white batter around the heart until it's almost completely covered. Repeat until all the batter and hearts are gone.
  13. Bake each pan at 350F degrees for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the white batter. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, salt, half the cream and extract and mix until combined.
  2. Add the remaining cream and beat on high for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Remove about ¼ of the buttercream and tint green. Color the remaining buttercream purple.
  4. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the purple buttercream. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cupcake then sprinkle with purple sugar crystals.
  5. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large open star, multi-pronged tip with the green buttercream. Squeeze a dollop of frosting onto the purple buttercream on each cupcake. Top with green sugar crystals and a conversation heart candy.
Notes
Cake recipe from i am baker.

 

Digital Wallpaper & Printable Art

Anyone who has been reading my blog for the last 3 years knows that I am often inspired by my friend Rachel of the DIY blog MyDIY.life (formerly Glitter & Bow).  She has introduced me to the world of DIY and her creations have inspired me to create baking versions of my own to use on my Galaxy S4.

LOVE Digital Smartphone Wallpaper | JavaCupcake.com #gold #blackandwhite #stripes

Today, I took one of her cell phone wallpaper designs and recreated it with a bakers theme.  I used Photoshop Elements 12 to create make it and I think it turned out really cute!  It was so simple to make, I decided to come up with a few others to share with you!

These wallpapers are sized at 1080px by 1920px and are sized to fit my Samsung Galaxy S4 screen.  However, I’m pretty certain they’ll fit most smart phones because their sizes are all pretty similar.

BAKERS GONNA BAKE Digital Smartphone Wallpaper | JavaCupcake.com #gold #blackandwhite #stripes

Of course, my version doesn’t have the JavaCupcake watermark across the front… which leads me to the next exciting part of all of this!

JavaCupcake ETSY Shop

I’ve opened the JavaCupcake ETSY SHOP so that my digital wallpapers and printable art is available to everyone!  How sweet is that?  AND… to celebrate I’m offering 50% OFF EVERYTHING in my shop for the next week exclusively for blog, newsletter and Facebook readers!  Just use code CUPCAKE50 at checkout!

ETSYCupcake50Promo

Also in my ETSY Shop are some a few wall art printables perfect for your home office!  You may have seen these on Instagram a couple weeks ago when I made-over my work space at home.

They are available in my Etsy Shop too!! Sweet, huh?

1But First Coffee Wall ArtWM free-printable-wall-art-oh-deer.psd free-printable-wall-art-oh-deer.psd

So go check out my ETSY Shop and download your smartphone wallpaper and office art!

Enjoy!

Farmhouse Style Doughnuts

What a fun treat for your family?  Whip up a batch of these Farmhouse Style Doughnuts made from a no-yeast dough that’s gently fried and dipped in chocolate and sprinkles!  Because really, everything… even doughnuts… are better with sprinkles!

Farmhouse Style Doughnuts | JavaCupcake.com

I made these Apple Filled Doughnuts a few weeks ago and was amazed at how easy the dough came together.  I’m a fan of instant gratification so the fact that I didn’t have to use yeast in these doughnuts made them perfect for me.  I decided that I needed to make another batch, but this time I wanted chocolate!

Farmhouse Style Doughnuts | JavaCupcake.com

These doughnuts reminded me of something I’d see at the farmers market on the weekends in my town growing up or from the local bakery in the farming town near by.  Fried with no toppings is my Dad’s favorite way to eat them.  Yum.

Farmhouse Style Doughnuts | JavaCupcake.com

I used a 3 1/6″ round cutter for the large doughnuts and a smaller 1 1/4″ for the doughnut holes.  These seemed to create the perfect sizes for my doughnuts!  Topping these little fried beauties is a rich chocolate ganache with chocolate or rainbow jimmies or a simple coating of cinnamon and sugar.

Farmhouse Style Doughnuts | JavaCupcake.com

They really are so amazingly delicious and simple to make!  Your family will love them!

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Farmhouse Style Doughnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 18 doughnuts
Ingredients
Doughnuts
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, large
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup sour cream or yogurt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted, browned and cooled
  • vegetable oil for frying
Toppings
  • ½ cup sugar + 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
Doughnuts
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and sour cream until smooth. Add the cooled butter and whisk until completely incorporated.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the wet mixture. With a rubber spatula, slowly fold the flour into the wet mix until it forms a sticky dough.
  4. On a well floured work surface, turn out the dough and lightly dust the dough with more flour. Knead dough 2-3 times then pat or roll dough out to ¼ in thickness. Dough may be sticky, so use more flour as necessary.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  6. Using a 3 1/16 inch round cutter, dip the cutter into flour then cut out rounds of dough. Use a 1¼ inch round cutter to cut a center hole out of each doughnut. Place the cut dough on prepared baking sheets.
Frying & Toppings
  1. Pour enough oil into a deep skillet to make a layer at least 1½ inches deep. Slowly heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350F degrees.
  2. Fry the large doughnuts on one side for 2-4 minutes or until they are dark brown. Then turn them over with tongs or the frying spoon and fry another 2-3 minutes until dark brown all over. (NOTE: You may want to try frying 1 doughnut first to get the timing & temperature down to ensure the dough cooks all the way through.) Use the frying spoon to lift the doughnuts out of the hot oil and place them on the paper towel lined baking sheet.
  3. Repeat this process with the doughnut holes but for only 1-2 minutes or until brown all over.
  4. For the cinnamon sugar doughnuts: Once the doughnut is cool to the touch, roll it in the cinnamon and sugar mixture and set aside to cool or until ready to serve.
  5. For the chocolate donuts: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium glass bowl with a wide mouth. In a sauce pan, heat the heavy cream to a gentle boil then immediately pour it over the chocolate and let it sit untouched for 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate until all the cream has been incorporated. Stir in the butter, salt and vanilla until smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool for 10 minutes or until thick enough to stick to the doughnuts.
  6. Once the doughnut is cool to the touch, dip the top side into the chocolate letting any extra drip off. Set it on a wire rack and garnish with sprinkles, jimmies or any topping of your choice.
  7. Repeat this frying and coating process with the remaining dough.
  8. Serve immediately.

 

Apple Filled Doughnuts

Freshly fried homemade doughnuts, there’s nothing like them!  Fill them with apple and you’ve got something special!  These Apple Filled Doughnuts are a sweet breakfast treat everyone will love!

Apple Filled Doughnuts | JavaCupcake.com

I get inspired to try new recipes from all places in my life.  Over the Christmas season, the local German bakeries were filling their pastries with apples.  Everything from doughnuts to pastry dough to cakes and tarts, it all had apples in it and my husband and I were in love!  Several times a week we were picking up a delicious bakery treat loaded with apples.

The Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented cookbook by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito has been on my shelf for about a year.  I flip through the pages to look at the beautiful food photos but nothing had really inspired me yet to want to bake from it’s pages.

Apple Filled Doughnuts | JavaCupcake.com

Well, that is until I had an epiphany.  What if I took the Baked recipe for farm style doughnuts and filled them with the apple mixture we loved so much from the holidays? YES YES!  That’s it… I’m inspired!  I must make this!

And so I did.  And these Apple Filled Doughnuts were AMAZING.  My only regret was that I didn’t’ make more.  Or… that I couldn’t eat more.  Ha!

Apple Filled Doughnuts | JavaCupcake.com

The dough is very simple to make.  No yeast, no waiting… just put the dough together, roll it out, cut it, fill it, fry it and roll it in sugar!   Too easy not to try, right?

I really hope you do!

Happy Baking!

Apple Filled Doughnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12-16 doughnuts
Ingredients
Apple Filling
  • 3 medium Gala apples, cored & diced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter,
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Doughnuts
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, large
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup sour cream or yogurt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted, browned and cooled
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1¼ cups sugar + 3 Tbsp cinnamon for rolling
Instructions
Apple Filling
  1. Core and chop the apples into small diced pieces and set aside.
  2. In a large pan on medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stirring constantly cook the butter until browned. The butter will begin to smell nutty and can burn quickly, so only slightly brown it.
  3. Add the apples to the butter and toss to coat them.
  4. Add the sugars, spices, vanilla and salt and stir to combine. With the heat on medium-high cook and stir the mixture until it begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the apples are tender but not mushy.
  5. Sift in the corn starch and cook 1 more minute until the apples thicken.
  6. Remove the mixture to a bowl to cool completely.
Doughnuts
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and sour cream until smooth. Add the cooled butter and whisk until completely incorporated.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the wet mixture. With a rubber spatula, slowly fold the flour into the wet mix until it forms a sticky dough.
  4. On a well floured work surface, turn out the dough and lightly dust the dough with more flour. Knead dough 2-3 times then pat or roll dough out to ¼ in thickness. Dough may be sticky, so use more flour as necessary.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  6. Using a 3 inch round cutter, dip the cutter into flour then cut out rounds of dough. Place the cut dough on prepared baking sheets.
Filling & Frying
  1. Pour enough oil into a deep skillet to make a layer at least 1½ inches deep. Slowly heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350F degrees.
  2. While the oil is heating, you'll fill the rounds of dough with apples.
  3. Place 1 teaspoon of apple filling in the center of a round of dough. Lightly brush a small amount of water around the edge of the dough. This will create the glue to hold the dough together. Place a second round of dough on top and pinch the edges together. Pat the dough gently in your hand to create smooth edges. Place the doughnut back on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used.
  4. In a wide-mouthed bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar for the rolling mixture. Line another baking sheet with 2-3 layers of paper towels.
  5. Once the oil has reached temperature, use a wire-slotted frying spoon to gently place 2-3 doughnuts in the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pot by putting more than that in the oil at a time.
  6. Fry the doughnuts on one side for 2-4 minutes or until they are dark brown. Then turn them over with tongs or the frying spoon and fry another 2-3 minutes until dark brown all over. (NOTE: You may want to try frying 1 doughnut first to get the timing & temperature down to ensure the dough cooks all the way through. With the apple filling, it's easy to undercook the doughnuts leaving gooey, uncooked dough in the center.) Use the frying spoon to lift the doughnuts out of the hot oil and place them on the paper towel lined baking sheet.
  7. Once the dough is cool to the touch, roll it in the cinnamon and sugar mixture and set aside to cool or until ready to serve. Repeat this frying and coating process with the remaining dough.
  8. Serve immediately.
Notes

DIY Mustache Cupcake Toppers

Right before Thanksgiving,my friend Chrissy asked me to make cupcakes for her daughter Liza’s birthday.  Chrissy said Liza liked zebras, mustaches, Paris, Yogerette chocolate bars, and hates fruit and her favorite colors are black, white and blue.  I can handle all of that!

DIY Mustache Cupcake Toppers | JavaCupcake.com

Luckily I had just enough black and white zebra cupcake liners on hand from Sweets & Treats Boutique to make these cupcakes and used them as a starting place for the theme. Chrissy also showed me a photo of a cake with alternating white and black baked in the cake to make the zebra pattern so I knew I definitely had to incorporate that into the mix.

DIY Mustache Cupcake Toppers | JavaCupcake.com

But how could I incorporate mustaches into the cupcake?  Oh, right… toppers! At first I thought I may be able to commission another friend of mine who works with fondant to make 3D toppers for me.  But when we couldn’t find a mold, I decided that paper toppers would be just as cute and super simple to make.

These Mustache Cupcake Toppers take just a few minutes to make and add a cuteness factor to the cupcakes that is undeniable!

DIY Mustache Cupcake Toppers | JavaCupcake.com

For the cupcakes, I used this vanilla cake recipe and a basic almond flavored cream cheese frosting.  To create the zebra effect in the cupcakes, I used this technique.

Happy Baking!

DIY Mustache Cupcake Toppers

Supplies

  • Printer
  • DIY Mustache Topper Template (download HERE)
  • Black card stock or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue – glue stick and liquid glue
  • Toothpicks or lollipop sticks

DIY Mustache Cupcake Toppers | JavaCupcake.com

Instructions

  1. Print the DIY Mustache Topper Template.
  2. Using the glue stick, glue the template directly onto the black card stock or construction paper.  This will help give the topper stability.
  3. Carefully cut out each mustache.
  4. Using the liquid glue, place a small dollop onto the printed side of each mustache and set the end pick/stick into the glue.  Make sure the stick does not poke over the top.  Let the glue dry completely before inserting into the cupcake.

DIY Mustache Cupcake Toppers | JavaCupcake.com

Stamped Winter Sugar Cookies

Take your sugar cookies to the next level by using these super cute cookie stamps by Core Kitchen!  With a little effort, time and the right tools, you can create these Stamped Winter Sugar Cookies that are not only delicious, but almost too cute to eat!

StampedWinterSugarCookies-21

Over the holidays, Core Home surprised me with a gift of cookie stamps from their Core  Kitchen line.  I have been making sugar cookies for years with cookie cutters, but I’d never thought to use cookie stamps.  Maybe it’s because I’d never seen stamps as cute as these from Core!

StampedWinterSugarCookies-68

I was immediately inspired to bake up a batch of cookies and get to decorating!  It took a little bit of trial and error to figure out exactly how to use these stamps.  I chose to use the winter themed pack first.  The set included a bamboo stamp with three silicone templates including a snowman, snowflake and winter hat.  So adorbs, right!? And those snowflakes…. can we say FROZEN cookies!? Seriously… how perfect would those be for a Frozen themed party?!  The instructions on the packaging were a little ambiguous so I wasn’t quite sure how to start.  But, after some practice I mastered it and my turned out so cute!

StampedWinterSugarCookies-16

The biggest take-away I got from my practice was to stamp the dough before cutting out the shapes.  At first, I was cutting the dough with the round cutter then stamping, but I found that pressing the stamp into the dough after cutting created a distorted shape because of the pressure from the stamp.  Then, I decided to press the stamp into the dough just after I rolled it out to 1/8″ or so.  The dough had less space to move and distort because it was still in one big piece. Cutting the circles after stamping created perfectly round cookies every time!

I had no plan when it came to decorating these cookies.  I basically took each stamp shape, the supplies I had in my baking closet and went with it.  I did decide that the less colors I need to make would be easier, so I stuck to the white and blue theme for all of them.  And, instead of having to pipe eyes, nose and buttons on the snowman, I used the sprinkles I had in my baking cabinet.

StampedWinterSugarCookies-41

When you use these stamps to make your cookies, I’d suggest doing the same as far as your approach to decorating is concerned.  You don’t have to make yours exactly like mine… yet use your imagination and the tools you have at your disposal guide you to the perfect design.

At the end of this process, I just stared at the cookies.  I could not believe I had made them.  The process was simple, not as difficult as I expected and so much fun!  I was truly impressed with how easy the Core Kitchen Cookie Stamps made creating stunning cookies!

StampedWinterSugarCookies-42

Needless to say, I asked Core to send me more stamps.  So you can count on seeing more of these types of cookies over the next year!  I can’t wait to get them and start using them!

As of today, writing this post, these cookie stamps can be found only at JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores.  JoAnn does have three of eight collections available online for sale, so you can get started with those!  But check out all the designs below… aren’t they awesome!?!?

cookiestampsbycoreCore Kitchen has set up a website for their Cookie Stamps, but have not yet made them available for sale online.  I have been in contact with them and they hope to get an online store up and running soon!

Happy Baking!

Winter Sugar Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Core Bamboo Cookie Stamps
  • 3⅛" round cutter
Buttercream
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
For Decorating
  • blue & black gel food coloring
  • Disposable piping bags
  • Wilton piping tips #2/3/4 and #16/17
  • Orange jimmies
  • Blue nonpareils
  • Blue and white sugar crystals
  • Large black sugar pearls
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and shortening. Add the sugar and mix on high 2 minutes until combined.
  3. One at a time add the eggs and mix until combined. Turn mixer to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the almond extract.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In two parts, add the flour to the wet mixture and mix until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure you've incorporated everything and mix again if necessary.
  5. Chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.
  6. On a floured surface, turn out the dough, sprinkle flour over the top and knead a few times until the dough is smooth.
  7. Roll the dough to ⅛" thickness. Press the cookie stamp into the dough to make an impression. Use the round cutter to cut a circle around the impression. Place the cookie on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been used. You may want to keep the dough chilled between batches to keep it from getting too soft.
  8. Bake cookies for 5-7 minutes or until the edges and bottoms just being to brown. Do not over bake! Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Add the sugar and mix until combined. The mixture will be thick at this point.
  3. Add ½ cup of the heavy cream, the extract and salt and beat until completely combined for about 2 minutes. You'll want a consistency that's thin enough to pipe through a very small piping tip. Add up to ¼ cup more heavy cream to get this consistency.
  4. Remove ¼ cup of frosting and tint it black. Divide the remaining frosting in half and tint one half blue. Leave the remaining frosting white.
To Decorate
  1. Fill piping bags attached with the #2, #3 or #4 small round Wilton piping tip (I used all three, but what you're comfortable with will be what you should use) with the black and blue buttercream. Reserve a small amount of white and put the remaining in a bag with the small round tip. Put the reserved white in a bag fitted with the #16/17 small star/flower tip.
  2. SNOWFLAKES: Fill in the main snowflake with blue buttercream using the small round tip. Sprinkle the blue with blue sugar crystals. Using the white buttercream and the small star tip, pipe the outter edge impressions with a star. Sprinkle the white with white sugar crystals.
  3. SNOWMEN: Using the white frosting, fill in the head and body of the snowman. Be careful not to pipe over the eyes and nose or where the hat will be. Sprinkle white sugar crystals over the white. Use the black and pipe on the hat. Finally, use the blue and pipe the scarf then sprinkle blue sugar crystals on the scarf. Use the blue nonparallels as eyes, orange jimmies as the nose and large black sugar pearls as the buttons. You may need to "glue" these pieces on with a bit of frosting.
  4. BUNDLE UP: Fill in the winter hat with blue frosting. Sprinkle with blue sugar crystals. Using the white frosting with the star tip, pipe on the three balls on the base of the hat and the large ball on top. Sprinkle the white with white sugar crystals. Using the white frosting and the smallest tip you have, pipe frosting into the "Bundle Up" and sprinkle with white sugar crystals.
  5. Allow the cookies to sit for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight) before stacking for storage. Store in a plastic bakery box with a lid for up to 3 days.

 

Biscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles

Is there anything better than a fresh, hot from the oven cookie? Probably not. Well, maybe if it’s stuffed with Biscoff… right? These jumbo Biscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles are rich, chewy and simply delicious!

BIscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles | JavaCupcake.com

 

Who can say no to something called “cookie butter”? Especially when it’s baked into such treats as Caramel Biscoff Brownies, Crunchy Biscoff Pretzel Cups, or Biscoff Buttercream Cupcakes? The taste is similar to a sophisticated peanut butter, but this delicious spread is made from cookies, not nuts. It was born in Belgium on a reality television show and became wildly popular almost overnight. Soon, recipes for sweets made with Biscoff
cookies spread went viral and Americans everywhere were clamoring for the stuff. Lotus Bakeries obliged, and the spread is now available nationwide.

BIscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles | JavaCupcake.com

My sweet bloggy friend, Katrina, author of the new cookbook The Biscoff Cookie & Spread Cookbook: Irresistible Cupcakes, Cookies, Confections, and More and owner of the blog, In Katrina’s Kitchen has created the ultimate snickerdoodle!  This cookie is filled with Biscoff Cookie Spread and covered in cinnamon and sugar.  Every bite oozes with the irreplaceable flavor of cookie butter deliciousness.

We can’t forget to mention that these Biscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles are JUMBO size!  One cookie is equal to at least 2, probably 3 regular size cookies.  So you really only need one to satisfy your cravings! (Okay… maybe 2!)

BIscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles | JavaCupcake.com

Katrina’s recipe is super easy to follow.  Her directions are simple and straight to the point and a truly no-fail.  A beginner or a seasoned baker could make these cookies with no problem!

A few tips I took note of when I made these cookies…

  • Use an ice cream scoop to measure out the entire amount of dough you’ll need for 1 cookie.  Divide that in half and make two discs of dough then fill one disc with Biscoff and place the second half on top. Finishing the cookie as Katrina describes. Making one cookie from start to finish seemed easier than doing each step one at a time for all the cookies.
  • I baked for exactly 12 minutes and they were perfect.  Sprinkling extra sugar/cinnamon on top made the top of the cookies even more scrumptious looking too!
  • The recipe said it would make 18 cookies, but I only got 16.  Maybe mine were a little too big.  Oh well :)

BIscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles | JavaCupcake.com

Make sure to follow Katrina & Biscoff on the web for more deliciousness!
In Katrina’s Kitchen:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Google+
Biscoff:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

BUY Katrina’s cookbook here: The Biscoff Cookie & Spread Cookbook: Irresistible Cupcakes, Cookies, Confections, and More

Biscoff Stuffed Snickerdoodles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 2tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Creamy Biscoff Spread
  • Cinnamon sugar (1/3 cup granulated sugar + 2tsp ground cinnamon)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cream of tartar. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
  6. (See my notes above). Using a cookie scoop, place 6 rounded tablespoons on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Gently press dough into discs. Top with approximately 1tsp of Biscoff Spread then top with another disc of cookie dough. Pinch the seam with your fingers to seal in the Biscoff Spread. Roll in cinnamon sugar and return to the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle each cookie with more cinnamon sugar if desired.

GIVEAWAY!

Want to make more of Katrina’s delicious Biscoff recipes?  Enter to win a copy of her book by simply filling out the widget below!

One winner will be sent a copy of The Biscoff Cookie & Spread Cookbook: Irresistible Cupcakes, Cookies, Confections, and More by Katrina Bahl.  Open to all who have a USA mailing address.  Winner will be announced on January 16, 2015.

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365 New Days – Hello 2015!

I usually begin the new year with a post filled with links to last years recipes that were hits with my awesome readers and a few of my personal favorites. This year, I’m doing things a little bit different.

2014 was a bittersweet year for me personally so it’s hard for me to look back with feelings of happiness.  So instead, I’m going to look ahead to 2015 and lay out my plans for my blog, my family and my life!  A positive look at a clean slate of a year… 365 new changes to make better decisions,  experience happier days and choose to have a more positive experience in life.  Don’t worry though, I’ll be posting the best of 2014 in another post later this week.

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I really like this philosophy… 365 days in a year and 365 chances to wake up and choose to make a better life.  But doing that isn’t easy…  I need goals and a plan and inspiration!  And in order to do all that, I needed to sit down, really think about what I want in 2015 and make a list.  As I was doing that, I started to clean up my desk and realized all the things I had around me really help to inspire my work.

MyDesk2015-7

So here’s a peek into my desk.  Right now I’m working in my bedroom on a small IKEA computer desk.  It has two shelves above the desk (but I won’t be showing you that disaster!) but overall it’s a pretty small work space so I have to do my best do keep it cleaned off so I have room to work.

On my desk I have a few things to help keep me organized.  Of course a Starbucks mug for my pens and a little organizer for note pads, usb & memory cards, binder clips and push pins.  Behind the picture, is a glass jar that’s filled with change and money.  I have that jar there for easy access to tossing lose change and small bills into.  Before I know it, I’ve got enough money for a weeks worth of coffee or even a dinner date with my husband!  We call it our “funny money”!

In front of the jar is one of my favorite pieces of art by my friend Jessie of CakeSpy.  I keep this one my desk because it’s super darn cute and because it reminds me of why I started blogging!  Jessie’s blog inspired me to start my own and looking at her art work keeps me motivated!  Two cupcakes in love under the Space Needle!

MyDesk2015-4

I always have my custom May Designs note books at my disposal to take notes.  I probably have 2-3 of these going at a time with recipes, lists and plans jotted down in them.  I love them because I can change the designs, colors and text on the front and they’re a perfect size to fit in my purse.  I have colorful pens and note pads to jot notes down with too.  It makes things more fun when I have pretty things to work with.

As you can see, I’ve got a pretty good list going so far.  Since I took that picture 4-5 more things were added to the list!  Lists = Goals = Motivation = Getting things Done!

One of the essentials on my desk that my external hard drive.  It’s that silver box up in the left corner of the picture above.  This little contraptions is my life saver.  I’ve got it set up to sync everything from my important folders on my computer to the external drive and then to the cloud.  This is the first of four computers I’ve had over the last 10 years that I finally decided to back up.   The three previous computers have pictures and files on them lost forever, but not this computer!  External hard drive + cloud storage = Double Back Up!  I’m not losing anything on this computer!

MyDesk2015-16

Here’s a closer look at my bulletin board.  I try not to keep it cluttered because my desk is so small.  So, I’ve got a few areas on my board that I use to help keep me organized and motivated.

The left side of the board is usually covered when I have my laptop open,  so I keep a picture of my oldest daughter Emily and a picture of my new son and husband. They remind me of where I started as an adult and how far I’ve come today.  I’ve also got a list going of tattoos I want and movies I missed in 2014 to watch.

The right side of the board has all my blog related & motivation stuff.  Things I can glance at and see every time I sit down to work.  Up top are notes I keep on ideas for posts, recipes I want to make in the coming year and a breakdown of my social media stats from Jan. 1, 2015.  I’ve got my best friends phone numbers, an inspirational quote and a gold sequin “B is for Betsy” from my friend Rachel who is a lifestyle blogger! Also, I have one of the firsts checks I got for being paid to create recipes and a sweet thank you note from Jenny Kelly of jennycookies.  (She inspires me!) All these things remind me to work hard for what I want in 2015 and motivate me to get there!

Untitled-3

So, what exactly are my goals for 2015?  I’ve got two lists going, a short term-do right now list and a long term-work on over the year list.

First, the short term goals (some of which I’ve already completed!):

  • Get rid of the landing page on my blog. One of the comments made in my reader survey was that my landing page wasn’t really necessary and made it hard to get to my blog posts.  I agreed and got rid of it.
  • Revamp the JavaCupcake logo & colors.  Another comment on the reader survey was that the colors on my blog were just a little too bright.  Although I happen to love bright colors, I happen to agree with this one a little.  So, I updated my background to grey and got right of the bright teal chevron.  It’s still my style, just a little more muted. I also updated my logo.  I wanted a logo that was a bit fancier but that included a graphic.  I found this fun font and added the piping bag for some flair.  I really like it for 2015!
  • Update my newsletter, media kit, social media with new fonts and logos.   With a new logo and colors means updating everything in my social media presence as well as my media kit.  My statistics are always changing and updating keeps things fresh and current.
  • Comment more on other food, military and DIY blogs.  I find myself oohing and awwwwing over my blogging friends new recipes and ideas, but often don’t comment and tell them how impressed I am or if I tried their idea/recipe.  This year I plan to comment more on blogs I like and recipes I try.  One of the reasons I blog is the community it builds.  I need to do more on my part!
  • Organize my desk.  For this blog post, I cleaned off my desk… but not completely.  I really need to organize the top half where the shelves are too.  It’s not pretty up there.

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Now, here are my long term goals to meet throughout 2015:

  • Move to Hawaii! Yup, that’s right… my family is moving to Oahu in August 2015!  Yes, that means we have to leave Europe after 4 1/2 years of living here, but I am so looking forward to the sunshine and new adventure.  My best friend, Chrissy, also moved there so I’m really looking forward to being close to her again.  We’ve already started getting the house ready to move by purging things we don’t need.  It’s really cathartic actually to get rid of the clutter!
  • Get Healthy.  This is a pretty broad statement for me and I mean it in many different ways.  I want to eat healthier, work on my mental health, exercise and support my family in those same ways.  I’m not a dieter… so that’ll never be a goal for me… but I do want a generally healthier lifestyle… so that will be a goal of mine this year.
  • Grow & Strengthen Brand Partnerships.  2014 was a great year for me and brands.  I connected with several great companies who produce quality products and created some great recipes with them.  My goal is to continue to partner with these companies, strengthen our relationships and hopefully grown one into a long term ambassadorship.
  • Make New Brand Connections.  Now that I have a little experience partnering with brands, I want to do more!  I hope that my move to Hawaii will allow me to connect with more stateside brands.  Me being in Germany was a deterrent for many brands because I was technically “overseas”.
  • Grow My Readership.  My blog has grown over 2400% since I started recording my stats in 2010.  That’s a huge deal!  But, last year I only grew about 8%.  In 2015, I want to grow at least 20%.  This growth will in turn bring in more revenue and allow me to upgrade my equipment, blog, and life.  More money is always a good thing!
  • Write a Cookbook.  I’ve been thinking and dreaming about his for a long time.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to write a book in 2015 since I’ve got a big move planned in the middle of it, but I want to at least make connections in the publishing world and get the ball rolling.  I have some ideas of what I’d like my cookbook to be about… but I really need to take the time to research the industry and make those connections.  How awesome would a JavaCupcake cookbook be though!?  My high school English teacher would be so proud!

So, I think I’ve got my work cut out for me this year.  I’ve tried to keep my goals realistic and reasonable since I’ve got a lot going on in my personal life.  If I meet and exceed these goals… well, then I’ll make new ones!

365 new days… 365 chances at a better life.

Let me leave you with this question…

goals2015

Gluten Free Spritz Cookies

Celebrate the holiday season with all your friends and family with these delicious gluten-free Spritz cookies!

Gluten-free Spritz Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

No one in my family needs to eat gluten-free, so I don’t typically buy the ingredients necessary to bake that way.  Recently, my good friend Rachel of the blog Glitter & Bow decided to change her diet and eat according to her blood-type.  One of the changes she implemented was cutting out gluten.

This made things (selfishly) hard for me this Christmas because I love giving the gift of baked yummies as gifts.  I gifted her a loaf of gingerbread, but sadly she couldn’t enjoy any of it.  Her husband however did, so it didn’t go to waste.  I knew I needed to bake my friend something she could eat and enjoy! Spritz cookies have very few ingredients, so I thought they’d be perfect to try out as gluten-free.

Gluten-free Spritz Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

My friend Deb had given me a bag of Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour a while back and I had yet to bake with it, so I thought this was the perfect time to do so.  These cookies cake out almost perfect!  I had to adjust the baking time down after the first batch in the oven because they bake very quickly.

I also think next time, I’ll double the amount of almond extract I use.  I love a spritz cookie that packs a huge flavor punch.  But don’t let that deter you from making these spritz, they were so delish!  I could barely tell the difference in texture and flavor!

Gluten-free Spritz Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

A little more about Cup4Cup from their website

“Our founder, Chef Lena Kwak, developed Cup4Cup while serving as Research and Development Chef in the kitchen of the famed French Laundry in Yountville, CA. She and her mentor, Chef and Owner Thomas Keller, knew they had stumbled upon something special when a guest tasted Lena’s gluten-free brioche and cried with joy because she hadn’t tasted bread in seven years. They knew this was a product that had to be shared.

Today, Cup4Cup isn’t just great-tasting gluten-free flour, it’s a great-tasting flour for everyone. Our name comes from Cup4Cup’s ingenious ability to replace all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour (with our new Wholesome Cup4Cup) in traditional recipes, cup for cup, which makes it simple to translate your favorite recipes for everything from cookies to biscuits, cakes to quick breads, and never know the difference.”

Gluten-free Spritz Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

You can also connect with Cup4Cup on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

I also wanted to try the recipe with almond flour, since I had baked with it before and thought the almond flavor would be awesome.  The almond flour I used was a German brand, which is a lot less expensive than what you can buy in the states.  The almond flour spritz spread a lot when baking, had a cakey texture, fell apart and just were not pretty.  I won’t be sharing that recipe today.  :)

So, since the almond flour did not work at all in this cookie recipe, I think I’ll just stick to using Cup4Cup in the future!  It’s an amazing alternative to all-purpose flour for our gluten-free friends and family!

Gluten-free Spritz Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

Giveaway!

And to get you excited for gluten-free baking, Cup4Cup is giving away 2 of their amazing products to one JavaCupcake reader!

One person will win:

To enter, simply fill out the information below!  Giveaway open to those with USA mailing addresses only.  Winner will be chosen Jan. 30, 2014.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Gluten Free Spritz Cookies (with gluten-free flour)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (8oz or 113g) unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup (70g) granulated sugar
  • 25-27g egg yolk (about 1½ egg yolks), lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp heavy cream or whole milk
  • 185g Cup4Cup Original Gluten-free Flour Blend, sifted
  • Wilton Leaf Green gel food colorin
  • Wilton candy holly leaves & red balls
  • Cookie press with wreath cutout
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg yolk, cream and extract and mix until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Slowly add the gluten-free flour and mix until completely incorporated. Add 2-4tsp more flour until the dough no longer sticks to the paddle attachment.
  5. Fill the cookie press fitted with the wreath cut out with the dough and chill for 10 minutes in the freezer.
  6. Press the dough onto a baking sheet. Do not line or grease the baking sheet - the cookies will not stick to it if you do.
  7. Place the holly leaves and red balls on the each wreath.
  8. Bake for 4 minutes or until the bottom begins to brown.
  9. Cool on the baking sheet for a minimum of 5 minutes before removing carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
Helpful Tips:
Measure all ingredients carefully and by weight. This will ensure the proper consistency of the dough to make the perfect spritz cookie.

If the dough is sticking to the cookie press, try these tips..
-Add a teaspoon of flour at a time and mix into the dough until the dough no longer sticks to the beater.
-Chill the dough until firm.
-Do not line the baking sheet with any paper or grease. The dough needs the surface of the baking sheet to stick to.

Make sure to allow the cookies to almost cool completely on the baking sheet before removing them. The gluten-free flour is very fragile and the cookies will break if you try to move them too quickly.


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Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves

Fresh ginger, ground ginger and lemon juice make these Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves packed full of undeniably delicious flavor and charm! They are perfect as gifts for the holiday season!

Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves | JavaCupcake.com

Every Christmas I usually make about 10 different kids of cookies to give away as gifts.  This year however I was not feeling as motivated to do that much baking but still wanted to give home baked gifts.  One of Matty’s favorite German Christmas cookies is the Zimtsterne… a star shaped cinnamon and gingerbread cookie topped with a lemon glaze.  This cookie is what inspired me to make these gingerbread loaves!

Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves | JavaCupcake.com

I knew I wanted to incorporate lemon and ginger into the recipe and there’s no better way to do that than by using fresh!  I peeled grated a big piece of ginger root and pressed it into the granulated sugar before creaming it with the butter.  Pressing the root into the sugar releases all the oil and flavor creating a fluffy ginger sugar that packs a big flavor punch in the bread.

Fresh squeezed lemon juice and candied lemon peel add the perfect amount of tart acidity and texture to the glaze.  The candied ginger came from a small shop in Nuremberg, but I’m certain you could find it at a local candy store or specialty market like Trader Joes.

If you love the Starbucks gingerbread… then you’ll definitely love this!  The flavor is spot on… if not better than the Starbucks loaf and the texture is insane.  LOVE this bread, so much!

Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves | JavaCupcake.com

I’ve never used paper baking pans before these loaves.  I wasn’t quite sure how they’d bake, but I am surprised to say that I love them!  It was great to be able to give gifts of bread loves instead of cookies or cupcakes… something new and fun is always a joy to give to others!  I really only wish I would have bought more of them when the PX carried them last month!  They’re a great investment if you love sharing your baked goods!  I’m giving these loaves to friends and teachers of Emily for the holidays!

Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves | JavaCupcake.com

The only downside of this recipe was that it didn’t make enough for me to keep a loaf for myself!  Next time, I’ll make the recipe twice so I have enough for me!

Happy Holidays!

Mini Gingerbread Lemon Loaves
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Serves: 8 loaves
Ingredients
Gingerbread
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp roasted ground cloves
  • 2 Tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated peeled ginger root
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange extract
  • 3 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 8 free standing paper baking pans (4.5in long x 2.5in wide x 2.25in high)
Lemon Glaze & Garnish
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 lemon, zested/peeled and juiced
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • candied ginger strips
Instructions
Gingerbread
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Arrange the baking pans on two baking sheets, 4 on each sheet.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, salt and baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the grated ginger root and the granulated sugar. Using the back of a rubber spatula, press the sugar into the ginger releasing the oils and flavor from the ginger into the sugar. Continue for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar is fluffy and fragrant. Add the brown sugar and mix together on low speed.
  4. Add the softened butter to the sugar and ginger and cream together for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times. Add the orange extract and beat 1 more minute.
  5. Pour in the apple sauce and mix on medium until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again. Don't worry, the mixture will look curdled, but it will fix itself once the flour has been added.
  6. Add the flour in three parts and mix on medium-low until each addition is just combined. Finish the batter by folding until all the flour has been incorporated.
  7. Separate the batter evenly into the 8 baking pans. About 1 overflowing cup of batter per pan.
  8. Bake both sheets of batter on the same shelf for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread is a deep brown color. If both trays will not fit on one self, bake them one at a time. You may need to reduce the baking time by 5-10 minutes if only one tray is baked.
  9. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Glaze & Garnish
  1. Zest/peel the lemon into long strips of rind then cut the strips into small pieces. Toss lemon pieces in granulated sugar until covered. Once covered, spread out on wax paper until ready to use.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Mix in the salt.
  3. Add the juice of the lemon mix until combined. Glaze should be thick enough to spread without running but still loose.
  4. Spread or drizzle glaze over the cooled loaves. Garnish with sugared lemon peels and candied ginger pieces.
Notes
This recipe makes 8 medium sized mini loaves. If you want fuller loaves, make 6-7 instead of 8.

 

Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kick things up a notch for the holidays by baking these Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies!  A festive twist on a classic cookie perfect for your Christmas cookie plate!

Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

I’m super excited to be participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for the fourth year in a row!  Check out 2013’s Apple Snickerdoodles, 2012’s Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms and 2011’s Grinch Cookies!

This year I’ve taken my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and gave it a special holiday twist!  I added a few spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and decorated them in festive red and green colors!  A touch of sprinkles on the top brings it all together!

Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

Sometimes, it feels as though Christmas cookies need to be super fancy and creative in order to be made during the holidays.  Not true!  I love these chocolate chip cookies any time of the year because they’re simply perfect!

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The 4rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things cookie. Last year we had over 620 bloggers participate and raised over $14,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. That’s a lot of cookies doing a lot of good!

For more info or if you want to participate next year, visit The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap‘s website!

Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

This year my Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies went to The Chocolate Cult, Sweet Potato Bites and NY FoodGasm!  I hope they enjoyed these cookies as much as I did!

Since it’s a swap, I also got cookies too!  I received Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt from Sophia at NY FoodGasm (which were my FAVORITE – I didn’t share these at all with my family!).  And I got Salted Chocolate & Caramel Shortbread Cookies which my husband immediately stole and took to work to share with his soldiers from Heather at Majorly Delicious! Finally, were Oatmeal Lace Cookies from Marjory at The Dinner Mom – delicate and delicious! They were all so yum!

I can’t wait until next years swap!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 7-8 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 4½ cups (590g) all-purpose flour
  • 2tsp (10g) baking soda
  • 3tsp (10g) corn starch
  • 1tsp (5g) salt
  • ½tsp (2g) nutmeg
  • 1tsp (3g) cinnamon
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
  • 1½ cups (325g) granulated sugar
  • 24Tbsp (340g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2Tbsp (25g) vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks (155g total)
  • 16oz bag of holiday colors chocolate chips
  • Red, green and white nonpareils (sprinkles)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, corn starch, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars until no more clumps remain. Add the melted butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  3. One at a time, whisk in the eggs and continue to whisk until completely incorporated.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk/blend until smooth and no clumps remain. The dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Add the holiday chocolate chips and fold until evenly distributed.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 hours or until the dough is firm. Alternately, you can chill the dough in the fridge overnight.
  7. Once the dough is cold, preheat your oven to 350F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Roll a 1in ball of dough in your hand and flatten slightly. Press the top of the ball into the nonpareils until lightly covered. You don't want too many sprinkles on top, so brush off any extra. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake each tray for about 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Do not overbake! The cookies will puff up during baking but will collapse while cooling.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Twice a year, a vendor from Belgium visits USAG Bavaria here in Grafenwoehr, Germany and brings with him several cases of Biscoff Speculoos cookie butter spread along with dozens of brands of Belgium. Of course, I stock up on Biscoff and my husband stocks up beer.

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | JavaCupcake.com

This time, however, his visit came at a perfect time for me to make a quick bread since I had several over ripe bananas on my counter.  I had never made a Biscoff bread before, but I knew that I could use the spread the same way I used peanut butter… so the Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread was born!

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | JavaCupcake.com

If you’ve never used Biscoff cookie butter spread before, you can find it in many US grocery stores, although it’s a bit harder to find here in Germany.  In Europe, the spread goes by it’s parent company name Lotus and is called Speculoos.  I used the crunchy version of the Speculoos in this recipe which added a slight more texture to the bread.

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | JavaCupcake.com

This quick bread has a uniquely delicious flavor.  The caramel tone from the Biscoff spread shines through the strong banana taste white the white chocolate chips add a hint of creamy sweetness.  It’s a delicious break from a traditional banana bread.

It was a huge hit in my house!

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | JavaCupcake.com

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Quick bread
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 3-4 large over ripe bananas
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup Biscoff Crunchy Spread (this is also called Speculoos or Cookie Butter)
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (dark chocolate would be excellent too)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Grease and line a 9x5 loaf pan. I also like to line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. I like my bananas chunky, but you can make them more mushy - it's up to your preference. Add the sugars and whisk until smooth.
  4. Mix in the Biscoff, milk, oil, extract and eggs and beat with a whisk or wooden spoon until completely incorporated and smooth.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Add the chips and fold until no more flour can be seen and the chips are even through the batter. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for about 75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread is a dark golden brown color.
  8. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Girl Versus Dough.

 

Holiday Baking Guide

Holiday-Baking-Guide-2014-CollageWhether you’re looking for a basic sugar cookie and buttercream recipe or a unique dessert to wow your family, The JavaCupcake Holiday Baking Guide will help you discover recipes perfect for all occasions!  Get inspired!

NOTE:  Not all of these are JavaCupcake recipes.  Some come from a few of my favorite food bloggers from around the world.  Enjoy!

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