Best of 2013: My Favorites

Best of 2013: My Favorites |

Delicious.  If I had to describe 2013 in one word, that’s what it would be… delicious!  I made so much delicious food this year, that I think I gained a few pounds!  Seriously!  Most of the time when I make something I like it, it’s yummy… but there were a handful of times out of the 120+ recipes this year that I made and I was like WOW!  I need to either make this again or enjoy EVERY BITE because it was THAT good.

Not only were my favorites this year desserts, but a few dinners and side dishes made the list too! I don’t know if you noticed or not… but I started sharing dinner recipes, especially soups that my family loved.

As I share with you my favorites of the year, I’ll tell you a little bit about why I loved each one.  Some because they were delicious, others because it was a goal to find the perfect recipe and others because it was just fun to make!

Enjoy this look back on the Best of 2013 – My Favorites!

Half Baked Cake

Half Baked Cake by - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frostingThe Half Baked Cake was one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever made.  It had thick, chewy layers of fudge brownie cake with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside are layered between a brown sugar cookie dough frosting. I mean seriously… is there anything more amazing than this cake?  Probably not.

French Macarons

French-Macarons | JavaCupcake.comI wasn’t until I read Mindy Cone’s tutorials on how to make French Macarons that I felt confident enough to try these delicate confections.  I had yet to even taste one before I made them, but I had seen plenty in bakeries across Europe.  Because they turned out so well the first time, I put together a brief tutorial and scared many links to other tutorials in my post in hopes that you would feel confident enough to try them too!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits | JavaCupcake.comFor years my biscuits have come out like hockey pucks and a complete failure… until, one of my fabulous readers sent me her family recipe for buttermilk biscuits.  I am happy to report now that I’ve finally perfected the biscuit with this recipe and they are light, fluffy, flaky and are never hockey pucks!

Yuengling Beef Stew

Yuengling Beef Stew by JavaCupcake.comMy husband and I love to cook dinner together and one of our favorite things to make is a hearty stew.  This time we used his favorite beer from his home state of Pennsylvania to create one of the most amazing stews we’ve ever eaten.  This recipe is definitely going into our family cookbook!

Roll & Cut Oatmeal Cookies with Pumpkin Filling

Oatmeal-Pumpkin-Cookies_-5These oatmeal & pumpkin cookies were a new way of making cookies for me.  I had never rolled, cut and filled a cookie before, but I am completely in love with how they turned out.  They weren’t very popular on the blog, but in person they were just so cute and delicious that they became an instant favorite!

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies | JavaCupcake.comA classic cookie with a twist… that’s what these cookies are.  I always love a good chocolate chip cookie, but the added cinnamon in these brings them to a whole new level!  LOVE these cookies!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake | JavaCupcake.comThe PSL (pumpkin spice latte) at Starbucks is my favorite drink of the Fall season and this was the first year that Starbucks sold it in Germany!  I was so excited about that fact that I made this cake dedicated to the PSL!  I brought it to a potluck for 100 people and it was the most popular dessert of the evening.  Everyone ranted and raved about how delicious it was.  And seriously… it was that delicious… and a favorite of mine for 2013.

Fresh Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

Fresh Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins by JavaCupcake.comI eat fresh raspberries for breakfast every morning, so when I decided to incorporate them into a muffin I didn’t realize how good that would be!  If I could eat these muffins every morning… I would.

Original Karamelgebäck Creme Cupcakes

Original Karamelgebäck Creme (aka Cookie Butter, Speculoos and Biscoff) Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.comIf you don’t know what Karamelgebäck Creme is, don’t worry… it’s just the German for Biscoff, Speculoos or Cookie Butter.  These cupcakes were really fun to make because I used Biscoff straight from Belgium!  One of the perks of living in Europe is that I have easy access to so much YUM!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies by #chocolatechip #cookiesThis year I finally found the best recipe to make my version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Crisp edges, chewy center, and loaded with chocolate.  I don’t like a flat cookie and these bake up tall.  So much yum going on with these cookies.

White Chocolate Molasses Cookies

White Chocolate Molasses Cookies - thin and chewy molasses cookies topped with white chocolate | JavaCupcake.comMolasses cookies have been made in my house before, but this was the first year I topped them with white chocolate.  WOW!  What a huge difference it made… the white chocolate brought these cookies to a whole new level!  I sent them to Dave in Afghanistan and they were his favorite of all I’d sent him!

Mini Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes

Mini Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.comI had seen some recipes for cupcake shaped dinner foods before, but when I came across these pot pie cupcakes I knew I had to make them.   So simple and so good… these pot pie cupcakes have become a favorite & staple dinner in my house!

Best of 2013: Your Favorites | JavaCupcake.comMake sure to check out these other Best Of posts from this year and years past!

Best of 2013: Your Favorites
The Best of 2012
Top 25 Cupcakes of 2011
Top 10 Cupcake Recipes of 2010
Top 10 Recipes of 2010 (non-cupcake)


Best of 2013: Your Favorites

Best of 2013: Your Favorites |

2013 was a great year of growth for JavaCupcake!  I felt as though I really produced quality recipes and tutorials that were far above anything I’d ever created before.  I pushed myself to become more consistent in my photography, design, and presentation and I really think it showed in my work!

Throughout the year, I was able to turn some of my creations into tutorials.  These tutorials were more than just a recipe and a little story to go with it… they were in-depth, well photographed, detailed step-by-step instructions  that would guide my readers into success with their baking!  I have a feeling that there will be more tutorials in my future since two of found their way into the Best of 2013!

Here are a few stats that I’m proud of from 2013:

  • 121 New & Original Recipes
  • 7 tutorials including 2 video tutorials (not too bad considering it was my first year doing them!)
  • More than 559,000 unique visitors came to JavaCupcake creating…
  • More than 2.165 million page views in 2013!

Wow! Those are some great numbers for me!  I’m super impressed with myself and how much I’ve been able to grow my blog this year!

Without further adieu… let’s take a look back on a great year and recap what Your Favorites of 2013 were!

Red Velvet Nutella Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream by

The Perfect Peanut Butter Buttercream

The Perfect Peanut Butter Buttercream by

Tutorial: Sesame Street Cupcakes

Tutorial: Sesame Street Cupcakes by

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies by #chocolatechip #cookies

Salted Caramel Layer Cake

Salted Caramel Layer Cake by

Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms

Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms |

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge |


Peanut Butter OREO Cupcakes

Mini Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes by

Tutorial: Royal Icing Flowers

{Tutorial} Royal Icing Flowers by

Chewy Carrot Cake Cookies

Chewy Carrot Cake Cookies |

You guys sure know how to pick some amazing recipes!  If you’re wondering how I came up with this list… I use Google Analytics to keep track of how many pageviews each recipe or tutorial gets.  The recipes & tutorials in this list had the most pageviews from the new content created in 2013!  Pretty awesome that Google can help me keep track of that!

Make sure to come back tomorrow when I’ll share with you some of my personal favorites of 2013.  Many of them are my favorites for personal reasons and well… just because they were super yummy and delicious to eat!

And if you were curious about years past…. here’s a look back at my earlier years of blogging!  (Don’t laugh too much at some of the posts!)

The Best of 2012
Top 25 Cupcakes of 2011
Top 10 Cupcake Recipes of 2010
Top 10 Recipes of 2010 (non-cupcake)

Happy New Year!

The Best of 2012

JC Best of 2012 header

WOW! I can’t believe it’s time to do another year in review post for my blog!  I love doing these posts too! It’s so much fun to go back and remember all the fun I had creating and baking this year!  This blog is like a baking diary of my life! Let’s start by taking a look back at 2010 and 2011…

Top 10 Cupcake Recipes of 2010
Top 10 Recipes of 2010 (non-cupcake)
Top 25 Cupcakes of 2011

And just cause I think it’s interesting, here are few stats from my blog:
Total #of posts in 2012: 125
Total New Recipes: 87
Cupcake Recipes: 23
Cookie Recipes: 22
Cake Recipes: 10

These numbers aren’t as high as 2011… but still impressive considering I had a baby and was pregnant twice! On to 2012!

Schloss Guteneck 2012-15

2012 was a big year for me personally.  I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy Matthew in March.  My dad came to visit for 5 weeks in June and we traveled to Switzerland, Southern Germany and Italy.  And then in November, I said goodbye to my daughter Cora who passed away before she was born due to Trisomy 18.  We traveled all over Europe and through the ups and downs… it’s really been a great year!

In the kitchen, I experimented a lot with cakes this year!  I’ve always been a self-proclaimed “I don’t make cakes” Baker… but this year, all that changed thanks to Amanda at i am baker for inspiring me with all her super simple and easy to follow tutorials! I’m no expert yet, but I’m getting better! I also baked a LOT of cookies… not intentionally, but I found myself baking more cookies, bars and cakes than cupcakes this year.  It was a lot of fun branching out to other desserts!

Now… the recipes!  Here are two roundups of the BEST of the BEST in 2012!


Most Popular Recipes of 2012:  – these posts could have been written at any time, but in 2012, they were the most popular!

Most popular of 2012_edited-4

  1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (this recipe is the most viewed on my blog EVER!)
  2. Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes
  3. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
  4. Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
  5. Girl Scout Thin Mint Cupcakes
  6. Samoa Cupcakes
  7. Black Velvet Pumpkin Cupcakes Tutorial
  8. Mocha Mocha Cupcakes
  9. 4 Holiday Cupcakes Tutorial
  10. Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars
  11. Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
  12. Oreo Cupcakes

My Favorite Recipes of 2012: – These are my personal favorites from the year!  Not all cupcakes – but all delicious and memorable!

Favorite Recipes of 2012_edited-1

  1. Chocolate Raspberry Pink Ombre Petal Cake
  2. Frosted Peppermint Dark Chocolate Donuts
  3. Two Halloween Cakes
  4. Strawberry Lemonade Scones
  5. Easy Homemade Refried Beans
  6. Oktoberfest Beer Batter Onion Rings
  7. Blue Ombre Cake Tutorial
  8. Rainbow Pom Pom Cake
  9. Rose Vertical Layer Cake
  10. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes
  11. Lemoncino Raspberry Cupcakes
  12. Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Top 25 Cupcakes of 2011

2011… oh what a year you’ve been!

We started together in Washington and ended together in Germany!

Here are a few stats from 2011…

  • Blog posts: 170
  • New Recipes: 129
  • Cupcake Recipes: 61
  • Cookie Recipes: 23

DANG! That’s a LOT of different cupcake flavors!  Without further ado,  here are the…

TOP 25 Cupcakes of 2011!

25. Coconut – Dressed up for the holidays

24. Blood Orange Candy Corn

23. Mozart White Chocolate

Mozart White Chocolate Cupcakes

22. Cinnamon Eggnog & Bourbon

21. S’mores

20. Caramel Macchiato

19.  Chocolate & Banana with Peanut Butter Buttercream

18. Drenched in Kahlua

17. Shirley Temple

16. Tree Hugger Apple

Tree Hugger Apple

15. Apple Cinnamon

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

14. Samoa

13. Red Velvet

12. Caramel Creme Latte

11. Oreo

10. White Velvet Raspberry

White Velvet Raspberry

9. Nutella Bliss

Nutella Bliss Cupcakes

8. Candy Cane

Candy Cane Cupcakes

7. Caramel Apple

6. Irish Car Bomb

5. White Velvet Vanilla Bean – for a Green Bay Packers party!

4. Cherry Limeade

3. Strawberry Lemonade

2. Black Velvet with pumpkin tutorial

1. Peanut Butter Ball

NOTE: Results of this list were gathered using Google Analytics.  The lists consists of the most visited cupcake posts in 2011.

In case you’re interested… here are a few posts from 2010!


Women Who Inspire Me!

I have met some amazing people this year in the cupcake community here in the Pacific Northwest and wanted to give a personal shoutout to a few of them that have really made an impact on my life. [Read more…]

Top 10 Cupcake Recipes of 2010

2010 was an amazing year for cupcakes.  I made so many cupcakes, it was hard to keep count!! This was my second year of blogging and my second year of trying new things, new recipes and coming up with new flavor combinations. [Read more…]