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

Showered with Love

A few thoughts this week:  1) God is great and provides! and 2) Every cake brings its own mini-disaster.

 

For the first point:  As stated a few times previously, I’m planning a wedding. Not sure if you all know this or not, but weddings are expensive.  Thankfully, I’ve been praying for more business for Little Bit Sweet to help compensate for the extra expense of paying for wedding stuff. I know, I know, there are far bigger things to pray for.  But business has picked up tremendously and I’m very thankful for that. So many more cake posts to come!

 

Now, about those disasters….

There is never a dull moment in the cake world. (Fellow bakers, am I right??) I’ve posted on baking blunders before.

Can we take a minute and remember the avocado banana bread fiasco?…. ok moving on.

But I’ll soon be posting a few other funny stories.  They’re funny now that I look back on them.  At the time, not so much.

For this cake, the disaster came in the fact that the balloon (rice krispie treat and fondant) was too heavy for the “string” holding it up. After a lot of trial and error, I found the solution in a bundle of twisted twisty ties. Whew! Crisis averted.

 

Anywho, more posts to come with a variety of cakes: birthday cakes, baby shower cake, etc…

Also come on back for more baking blunders. Fun!

For now, I present to you an elephant baby shower cake!  1-2-3…awwwwww!

Elephant Baby Shower2Elephant Baby Shower

Note: balloon in air, not in cake. Yay for twist ties! 😉

Pumpkin Spice Muffins, Revisited

Little Bit Sweet now has 100 followers!!!!! Yay!

Thank you to every single reader!  I hope that you are enjoying the posts.

To those that haven’t followed…whatcha waiting for?!  Super cool site, recipes, nutrition tips from time to time, and more. I’m really trying to expand my audience. Can you tell?

*cough* May also wish to like Little Bit Sweet on facebook! *cough*

Ok enough of the shameless plugs…

Today, I’m revisiting a recipe that was posted last fall.  This time, it’s revamped and even better! There’s a little less sugar (couldn’t tell a difference), a little vanilla extract to still add sweetness, and 1/2 of the flour is now whole wheat.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Slightly modified from this recipe on Instructables.com

Makes 12 muffins

  • 5oz canned pure pumpkin
  • 4 Tbsp liquid egg whites (like the kind from Egg Beaters)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • Cream cheese swirl:  1/4 cup Neufchatel cheese + 1 tsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with liners.

Whisk together pumpkin, egg whites, canola oil, water, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

Add flour mixture into wet ingredients in 2 additions. Mixing just until combined.

Fill muffin liners 3/4 full.

Slightly warm neufchatel cheese in the microwave, until it’s a little runny. Stir in sugar.

Add a small amount of mixture to top of each filled muffin tin.

Using a toothpick, slightly swirl cheese mixture into muffin batter.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

You can make them mini muffins, too!

These are really good with coffee or tea.  Just fyi 🙂

Shortcut Mini Fruit Pies

Sometimes, you have to exploit technicalities.  For instance, technically I haven’t had Starbucks all week…because I’ve only had it the past three days. 😉  And technically things are “home baked” even if you take shortcuts.

Like these mini pies.  I have no shame in the fact that I used store-bought pie crust and canned pie filling.  (Ok, a tiny bit of shame about the canned pie filling because it’s a gloopy mess and I should have made something better-for-you out of fresh fruit)

But overall, not much shame. They were, in fact, baked in my home.  Therefore, they are “home baked.”

I’ve said this type of thing in a previous post as well.  I’m all for shortcuts when I’m short on time…or feeling a bit lazy. Life is busy!

So if you’re like me and want something quick and easy that is still a show stopper, these mini pies are for you.  Super simple and they don’t take very long to throw together.  Here’s how to create them:

Mini Individual Pies

You’ll need:

  • 2 Ready-to-bake pie crusts
  • 1 can ready-made pie filling (I used blueberry) OR make your own filling
  • 1 egg white
  • ~1/4 cup granulated sugar

Thaw pie crusts at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, or until you can roll them out without them breaking. Roll pie crust onto a floured cutting board.

Using a glass, cut out little circles.  Try to cut them out as close together as possible, to get as many mini pies as you can.

Repeat with the second pie crust.

Smush together (how’s that for technical language) remaining pie crust scraps, roll it out on a floured surface, and cut as many extra circles as possible.  There will still be a tiny bit of pie crust left over, but oh well. I was able to cut a total of 38 circles.

Transfer half of your mini crusts to baking sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch between each crust.

Carefully spoon ~1-2 tsp pie filling into the center of each crust.  You want to have about 1/2 inch around the outer edge to seal the top and bottom crusts, so try not to over fill your pies.

Mix a little water with the egg white to make an egg wash, and brush the edges of each pie crust with the egg mixture.

Top each pie with another mini pie crust.  Use a fork to press the edges together, and to make a pretty little edge.  Brush the tops of the pies with a little more egg wash. Sprinkle each with a little sprinkling of sugar.

Using a sharp paring knife, cut 4 small vent holes in the top of each pie. This is a VERY important step…unless you like for your pies to explode in the oven.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the pies begin to brown.

 

Serve these little guys all by themselves or along with a little vanilla frozen yogurt.  Yum!

Feel free to get creative with flavor combinations!  Others to try:  pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, cherry, strawberry, peach, the list goes on and on….

These are especially great for pot lucks.  As a matter of fact, the pies in the pictures were sent to my church get together and were perfect!  Everyone could just grab them without a big mess.

 

 

 

Gluten-free, Vegan, and soooo Delicious!!

I know what some of you may be thinking.  “Gluten free?  AND vegan?? ….does it taste good?”

But keep an open mind because I promise that these are good!  And you don’t have to make them gluten free OR vegan, but this is to give an option to those that may have to have a GF option. Those that follow a GF diet can attest to the fact that it can be very difficult to find tasty baked goods that are still GF.  But I promise it’s possible.

The original recipe for these cookies can be found on AllRecipes.com.  Click here to see it.

I then modified the recipe with egg replacer and GF flour to make it a GF & Vegan recipe.  These cookies were tested by my coworkers and got great reviews! Both from omnivores, vegans, gluten free-ers, and gluten eaters. Besides, they’re fudgy chocolate cookies…talk about a crowd pleaser!

GF Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Adapted from recipe on AllRecipes.com

Makes ~3 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp Ener G Egg Replacer
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill GF all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (be sure it is gluten free! No wheat starch in the ingredient list)

In a medium bowl, beat together cocoa powder, sugar, and oil.

In a small ramekin, whisk together egg replacer and water.  Add to sugar mixture and mix until combined.  Add vanilla and beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add to wet mixture, mixing just until combined.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop about 1 tsp dough and roll into a ball. Roll each ball in confectioners’ sugar and place on baking sheet.  Flatten each ball a little bit.  The cookies don’t spread, but do rise.  So flatten them to about the size you’d like to see in your cookie.

Bake 10-12min, immediately moving them to a cooling rack after removing from the oven.

Estimated nutrition information (per cookie):  86 Calories, 1.7g Fat, 0.6g Saturated fat, 71.8mg Sodium, 38mg Potassium, 20g Carbohydrates, 1.5g Fiber, 13.2g Sugar, 1.1g Protein

These cookies are small but very delicious.  Keep them soft by placing a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Strange, but it works!

Want s’more cupcakes? …thought so.

It’s 71 degrees outside!! Fall!!!!!  Well, Texas fall.  I’m loving this weather, and it puts me in the mood for all things fall.  Pumpkin carving, getting ready for the holidays, and bonfires.

And what’s better than s’mores when you have a fire in front of you?  Nothing….the answer is nothing. 🙂

 

Since I was taking goodies to work, and building a bonfire in the middle of the office is frowned upon, I had to find a way to make s’more sans fire. Cupcakes were the perfect option.

This isn’t really a “recipe” because you can change it up to fit your preferred tastes.  I made chocolate cupcakes as the base of this dessert, but you could choose vanilla or some type of graham cupcake if you’d like.  I was already making chocolate cupcakes for the PB frosting in the last post, so just made a few more chocolate for the s’mores.

These were definitely a hit!  Next time I make them, I’ll be trying them with a graham cupcake instead.  I think it would make it even better.  (If you happen to have a graham cupcake recipe, please share!)

S’mores Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 24 prepared cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate, swirled, or graham…you choose)
  • 1/2 container marshmallow fluff
  • ~6oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 1/2 of an 11.5oz bag)
  • 2tsp vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup crushed honey graham crackers

Fill cupcakes with marshmallow fluff. Click here to see how to do that.
*Note:  if you don’t want to use the packaged stuff, you can make your own marshmallow fluff with this recipe.  But it doesn’t hold it’s shape as well and seeps into the cupcake*

Melt chocolate chips with shortening in a microwave safe bowl, melting on high at 30 second intervals just until melted.  If the chocolate seems too thick for putting on cupcakes, add another tsp shortening.

Dip cupcakes in melted chocolate or spread a little on each cupcake’s top.

Top with crushed graham crackers.

Enjoy!!

 

Peanut Butter Frosting

Sometimes, baking experiments don’t work out like you’d planned.  Case in point, everything on this previous post.

Also take, for instance, my latest experiment of peanut butter cupcakes.

It was a wonderful idea at the time.  I was going to make PB&J cupcakes.  Because, well, PB&J rocks and putting it into a cupcake form would only make it more awesome.  But this little idea didn’t really pan out.

I am still working on the cupcake portion of this experiment.  I tried to alter my white cake recipe and make it peanut butter-y.  The result was a cupcake that wasn’t really sweet and tasted a lot like uncooked flour. Kind of a peanut butter-y, dry cornbread.

…..ummm….yuck.

 

Good news, though!  The peanut butter frosting was a hit!  …and the peanut butter cupcakes were a great lesson for what NOT to do.

So the finished product became chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.  Which has been done and isn’t as impressive as PB&J cupcakes.  *sigh* Back to the drawing board…

Peanut Butter Buttercream

Makes enough to frost an 8″ cake

  • 3/4 cup whipped peanut butter (can use creamy PB if you can’t find whipped)
  • 1 1/4 cup butter or shortening
  • 6–7 cups confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp skim milk

Cream peanut butter and butter together until well combined.  Slowly begin adding confectioner’s sugar, scraping sides of the bowl often.  Continue doing this until all of the sugar is incorporated.  Add vanilla and milk, beat well.

If the frosting gets too thick before all of the sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla and milk a little earlier in the process, then finish off with the sugar. I honestly use a different amount of sugar every time I make frosting, and I never measure it.  So the 6-7 cups is an estimate 🙂