A New Beginning, A Whole Lot of Cakes

Hello out there!

As I write this, I’m astonished how much has changed since the last post on Little Bit Sweet’s blog! 2 years ago!!

Here’s the quick synopsis: Little Bit Sweet has changed from a blog to a business, cake orders have picked up a LOT, there’s no longer a focus on recipe-creation, the writer (that’s me!) married a wonderful man, and…frankly….I’ve grown up a lot.

IMG_4727

Our wedding cake! Made by a wonderful friend and fellow baker. (I got to make the bottom tier – it was fake!)

I must thank my amazing husband for becoming the “business manager” of Little Bit Sweet. That’s in quotations because we often joke about him having that title. But truthfully, he’s every bit the business manager and keeps me on task with cake order forms, scanning receipts, tracking expenses, and all of the other boring super important business tasks.

Little Bit Sweet has now gotten to a point I never dreamed it would be….which brings me to this post. What started out as a simple baking blog transitioned to a full-fledged baking business, and it’s time for the blog to transition as well. Instead of feeling the pressure to post new recipes and witty banter, I (Lauren…aka “Little Bit”) will be using this platform to provide updates on Little Bit Sweet’s latest creations, musings, a recipe here-and-there, and life discussions.

Over the past couple of years, while the business has grown, the owner has grown as well. I’ve become less afraid to define myself as a person outside of the business. The person behind the Macbook keyboard. The Christian that is learning many lessons through God’s divine intervention in my business and life in general. No, I won’t be writing in an “in your face Evangelical” way, but in a “this is the real me and real-life musings” type of way. I’ll share positivity and light, rejoicing in the blessings and potential hardships that the business (and owners) face. I’ll also share some of my all-too-often baking blunders. (There’s been a few of those shared here before….) I will also throw in some nutrition talk now and then! I AM still a registered dietitian after all. (For those that are new, yes I’m an RDN. No, I don’t think that you should 100% avoid sweets. Yes, you should have them in moderation.)

Overall, I invite you into my new world. One that is filled with faith, love, joy, laughter, and LOTS of baking!

I’m glad you’re here!

A few of the latest…

It seems like time has been FLYING by lately, and it’s in part due to an influx in business. Which I’m very thankful for!!

 

So, what’s been happening at the LBS HQ?  A whole lotta Frozen cakes, some cupcake action, and a few more hilarious antics….as per usual. I laughed to myself this week as I was pulling ingredients for a cake. I’m beginning to buy in bulk (like, more apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract than I’d ever thought I’d go through) and am still running out of ingredients quickly!! I’ve gone through 15 lbs of flour this month.  Fifteen POUNDS of flour, people.  15…. never thought I’d see the day!

 

So where did all of that flour, sugar, etc go?  Into these fab cakes! If you’re ever wanting to see a more updated gallery of pictures, please be sure to like and follow Little Bit Sweet on facebook! I update that more than the blog.  Or at least try.  Let’s be real, I’m a little delinquent in providing updates. Must improve…

 

For now, I leave you with some of the latest cake images. Enjoy!  And be sure to contact for your next dessert order.🙂 Pretty please…with sugar on top, naturally.

Frozen Ruffle Cake

FrozenRuffleCakeDetail

 

 

FiretruckBirthdayCake

Apple Upside Down Cupcakes

Pineapple Upside Down CupcakesIn honor of Thanksgiving this week, I figured I’d post something seasonal. There are SO many great items in season right now! I thought I’d try a fall take on a summer classic: pineapple upside down cupcakes.

 

And as many of my experiments go, this one called for slight changes to a known recipe, patience,…and prayer.  See, my “experiments” don’t always turn out so hot. <Case in point>

 

This one was going toward an order that was due as well….so, you know, no pressure or anything.

But it turned out really well! No oven fires, not gloopy and underbaked, nothing!

I’ll be making this one again for sure.

 

Apple Upside Down Cupcakes

Makes 27 cupcakes

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 red apple (I used Gala)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1  3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray cupcake tins with nonstick spray.
  2. Peel, core, and finely chop each apple. Then, mix pieces of chopped apple together to get a red/green blend.

    Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

    Before the layering fun began…

  3. Spoon 1 scant teaspoon melted butter into the bottom of each cupcake cup.
  4. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. (Or use 1/2 tsp if you’re a cinnamon lover)
  5. Spoon 1 teaspoon brown sugar  mixture into each cupcake cup. Stir around with butter in the cup to blend a bit.
  6. Place ~1.5 Tablespoons chopped apple into each baking cup. Basically, enough to cover the bottom of the cupcake cup.Pineapple Upside Down CupcakesPineapple Upside Down Cupcake
  7. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, mix oil, water, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine.
  9. Add flour mix to liquid ingredients, whisking until combined.
  10. Pour cake batter into the cupcake cups, filling almost to the top.  Do not overfill!
  11. Bake at 375 F for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick stuck into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  12. Let cupcakes cool at least 5 minutes. Carefully run a knife around each cupcake to loosen a bit. Lay out a piece of wax paper on the counter and carefully flip cupcake pan onto wax paper to release the cupcakes.  Tap on the bottom of the pan to help the process.

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

A few tips:

  • If you like your cake to be a bit more like spice cake, replace the “cake” part of this recipe with your favorite spice cake recipe.
  • I didn’t use very much brown sugar in the bottom of each muffin tin because I’m ever conscious of the amount of sugar I put in recipes. You may use more if you wish for a bit more “caramel” texture/taste.
  • My cupcakes were pretty reluctant to flop out of the pan. Holding the pan upside down about 4″ off the counter for a little bit helped them to flop down one by one. Even still, I had to scrape a bit of the goopy topping out of the pan and put it onto its respective cupcake.

I hope you love these! They got rave reviews, and I hope that they will become one of your fall faves!

Make them and have suggestions on improvements?  Comment and let me know!

Gettin’ Chilly in Here!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every time I post, I say “I can’t believe it’s been so long…”, “Finally back with a new post..”, yada yada, blah-blah-blah.

Here’s the truth: Life has been CRAZY!!

Wedding planning and cake decorating have taken all of my free time.

Side note:  Anyone out there planned a wedding before? Holy cow, there are so many things to consider! And everything has to be done a million years in advance. Even then, people say “oh wow! It’s coming up fast!”…to which my thought is “for reals? It feels like ages from now!”  But it’s been so incredibly fun to think about the upcoming day in March, and, best of all, marrying my best friend.

So I don’t have a recipe to share, but I do have a series of new cakes to share with you!

And, of course, the most recent cake orders have been of the Frozen movie variety. Because, well, it’s an awesome movie and one of the best that Disney has created in a long time.

This cake gave me the opportunity to do some carving, so I’m showing the step-by-step process. Carving, frosting, and then air brush/final look. Fun!

In the beginning, there was lots of cake:IMG_2839

Then, the knife came out, Pandora came on, and the carving began: (I’d like to thank Pitbull and Paramore for the carving dance party)IMG_2840

Frosting for a base coat:IMG_2841

Then went crazy with airbrush, decorations, and fondant pieces!FrozenCastleCake

FrozenCastleCakeDetail

I can’t reveal all of my secrets because this IS a business after all.

 

This was such a fun cake!!

Many more fun ones to come.

….and hopefully a shorter time frame between posts….🙂

 

Peak Performers

No new recipes this week, and no new cakes (took the week off!!). So, what to post….

 

One thing I’ve wanted to do for a WHILE is post about the blog’s “peak performers” as we call them at work. The posts that have been getting the most attention. And then share one recipe that is my current favorite.

It still baffles me that my posts have gotten SO MUCH attention!! Now, I’m not complaining at all.  Matter-of-fact, I’m humbled that a tiny blog from Texas can get so many views. Next stop, my own tv show on Food Network and a cookbook!!

Ha! Totally joking. That’s quite the long shot. But hey, it’s worked for some people before.  My eyes will forever be on the spotlight.  Suppose I’ll have to get better about coming up with new recipes and cakes …and taking time to post more often…before that will ever happen.

Alas, for now I’ll share some of the recipes that have been the talk of the town internet.

**Disclaimer: Pretty please with a cheery on top. Please share links to your favorite recipes from this site.  There have been a ton of fakers lately claiming these recipes are theirs.  Which isn’t cool, yo. Thanks!**

  1. Banana Pudding Cake
    Alright, so this is definitely the star of the site. I’ll be posting an updated post with pictures and step by step instructions. The thing that I like the most about this cake is that it’s a showstopper without spending a ton of time on decorating. Also love it since it was a cake created specifically for my grandpa and dad for their birthdays!IMG_0968
  2. Granny’s Peanut Butter Fudge
    One of my favorite recipes. Period. My grandma Trula (aka Granny) used to make this for the family all the time.  Every holiday, party, and sometimes on a random day whenever we wanted something sweet. She was an amazing woman and I miss her dearly. But am happy to have a replica of her recipe so we can still make her PB fudge on holidays. IMG_0529
  3. Granny’s Peach Cobbler
    Another Granny Trula classic!! This isn’t your typical cobbler.  This is more like a cake cobbler since the breading portion isn’t just a thin layer on top.  But I love it that way. I usually like the cobbler portion better than the fruit portion anyways. Yes, I’m the girl who takes a little more than her serving of “crust” and leaves behind a lot of fruit. No shame in my game!
  4. Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Yum!! Chewy cookies are better than crispy ones any day.  There’s also a lighter version!
  5. Banana Pudding
    A favorite from my mom’s side of our family.  We have this at every holiday. (Apparently we like desserts on holidays…) This isn’t your typical southern banana pudding. It’s better!! Why? because we use shortbread cookies instead of ‘nilla wafers most of the time, there’s cream cheese in it, and all of the banana flavor comes from the bananas in it. The pudding itself is vanilla flavored.  I do NOT like “banana pudding” that is banana flavored pudding with some sliced bananas thrown in.  That’s not banana pudding. Southerners do it right!

So there you have it, the top recipes on the blog.  Aka~ the Popular Group as they would’ve been known in high school terminology.  And while I love these recipes (they are family favorites after all), I also love the misfits.  My favorite recipe right now?

Well I have two:

  1. Pumpkin spice muffins – of course! Fall is almost here!!
    I love pumpkin bread at Starbucks (well, really, I love everything from Starbucks…I’m a gold member there.) but holy calorie-laden sweet bread, people!! So I prefer this recipe.  A little more healthful, a lot more homemade, and it makes my house smell amazing.
    Nutrition info for these:  168 Calories, 7.5g fat (1.3g Sat fat), 24g carbs, 13g sugar, 1.3g fiber, and 3g protein
    Nutrition per slice of Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffin: 420 Calories, 13g fat (4.5g sat fat), 71g carbs, 47g sugar, 2g fiber, 6g proteinApple Butter Pancakes
  2. Apple butter pancakes – another fall fave
    Pancakes = delicious, apple butter = AWESOME. So put them together and you have greatness. Plain and simple.

Hope you enjoy some of the top performing posts!

Which one is your favorite??

Lego Mania

Cakes, cakes, and more cakes! Here are a couple of the latest cakes from Little Bit Sweet!

 

The two cakes in this post are both Lego cakes.

One, obviously, with little Lego folks.

Lego Cake

Funny story: When given the Lego pieces by my client, I had to make sure she wanted the little pink kitty on the cake as well. To me, it didn’t seem to “fit” with the other characters as they were from the movie. Come to find out, it’s Unikitty from the Lego Movie. Apparently I need to brush up on my Lego peeps.

The other with fondant Lego pieces. Lego Cake

More to come!

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This summer has definitely been a busy one! And I cannot believe it’s already coming to a close.

During the summer, I had to say goodbye to my fiance every week as he traveled to various churches to help with revivals.  Was it difficult to be without him for most of the summer?  Yes.  But I am so proud of the work he and his fellow Engage team members accomplished!  (Want to know more about the Engage program? Click here)

One of the very first weekends he was gone, Jeremy asked me to make a cinnamon roll cake that a church family had made for the team.  Naturally, I said “sure!”  Of course I would try out a new recipe! I’m always in search of the next best thing in the dessert world.

Well, what had happened was…… the summer got busy.  And I mean, I-have-something-every-weekend-and-have-zero-downtime busy.  Cake orders have been flying in! (Yay for that!!) And wedding planning, as it turns out, takes a lot of time and research.

So I was a little delinquent on the baking of the cinnamon roll cake.  May I add….technically, technically, I’d never specified a date to bake it. I’d just said I would.  So, technically, I wasn’t delinquent…just procrastinating.😉

 

Finally, much to Jeremy’s surprise, I made the cake! And it really was delicious.  Especially right after it came out of the oven, and when heated up in the microwave later. (I’m a “have your cake and eat it too” type of gal.)Cinnamon Roll Cake

Now it’s time to share the recipe with you!  I’ll share the original, then tell you how I made it a tiny bit more healthful.  (Shhh, I hadn’t told the recipient about that. It’s ok, was still delicious.)

 

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Makes ….not sure. Maybe 20 servings?

Cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 cups skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Topping:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 13X9 pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, begin making the CAKE. Mix together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder. Then add milk, eggs, and vanilla. Cinnamon Roll CakeStir just until combined. Then add melted butter and stir until well blended.CinnamonRollCake2
  3. Pour cake batter into greased pan.
  4. Mix together ingredients for the TOPPING.CinnamonRollCake3
  5. Drop topping by spoonfuls on top of cake batter. Using a knife, swirl topping into batter.
  6. Bake for 28-32 minutes at 350 F.Cinnamon Roll Cake
  7. After taking cake out of the oven, mix ingredients for GLAZE in a bowl. Drizzle glaze over warm cake. (I didn’t need all of the glaze.)Cinnamon Roll Cake

 

Now, this cake looked delicious and all but holy butter sticks, people!! It sometimes pains me to put in the amount of butter and sugar  in recipes.  So most of the time I don’t.  This is what has lead my mom (twice) to say “don’t try to make it healthy….I want the real thing”.  I don’t listen to that very well.  (See Lightened Up Texas Sheet Cake Recipe)

For this one:  I made a half batch since it was just a few people eating the cake. But here are the changes I made:

  • Used 3/4 cup sugar in cake batter
  • Use egg substitute instead of eggs
  • For the topping, I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. I also used a scant, unpacked cup of brown sugar. Oh! And I didn’t need all of the topping.
  • Didn’t use all of the glaze.

Did these few changes make it a healthful cake?  Not by a loooooong shot. But it made me feel better to at least improve a tiny bit.