Happy Easter!

Man oh man, do my teeth and stomach currently dislike me. They’re so over sugar-laden snacks that just NEED to be sampled. (Market research, right?) Even with the reprieve of my recently-shared Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes, they’re feeling quite disapproving.

Luckily, after this weekend, the Hallmark holidays take a breather for a minute. So I, and the rest of the five-year-old population of Portland, just HAD to indulge in all of the sweets I possibly could for Easter.

Pre-Easter, I was lucky enough to visit Tra’Renee Chambers and the team at Afternoon Live. So I brainstormed. I phoned a friend. I played the 50-50 game. And I asked the audience. The audience (thanks, Lori and Debbie!) was immensely helpful. With their recommendations, Easter Surprise Cupcakes were formulated. Inspired by the (sometimes polarizing) Peep, this dessert is so light and airy, you might feel like you’re floating away. Full video and recipe shared here.

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday, and that you’re looking forward to an amazing week ahead.

Xo,
Jenna

Cinnamon Cupcakes for a PDX Snow “storm”

You may notice some aptly used quotes in the title of this post. These are in place because, if you’re not a Portland native or current citizen, the snow that we’ve seen the past couple of weeks may be laughable. It sure is to my relatives that live in the Midwest. The only retort I can possibly share, is that their fair cities are far better equipped for snow and ice, than Portland will ever be. Because of this, Portland has shut down four out of the past fourteen days. Because of this, regular commutes home took folks more than five hours. Because of this, I got creative with my cupcakes this week.

My street shut down, rightfully so, as several cars crashed trying to navigate out. The pavements remained unplowed and unsalted, so even the four block commute to the local grocery store was not traversable. I understand how dramatic this all sounds, believe me. So I cleaned the kitchen, (and the bathroom and the bedroom and the living room), and realized I had all of the ingredients necessary for Cinnamon Cupcakes! Now, I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I had little else to captivate my attention, but I’m going to go ahead and put these in my top five. They are SO that word that rhymes with noist and starts with an m (won’t say it, won’t type it), they are fluffy, and they are festive. I will answer no questions about how many I ate.

Recipe (makes 12)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup baking flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  •  1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 16 oz confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mix
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 and dig out your most holiday-centric liners. Mix cupcake ingredients, sans cinnamon. Fill liners and divide cinnamon into equal dustings for each cupcake. Bake for 16 minutes. These will rise and dome, beautifully.

While cupcakes cool, combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. I’ve been having adventures in frosting lately. These finally met my mark for look and texture, although they did a number on my forearm muscles. Frost cupcakes and decorate however you please. Enjoy!

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Hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday week!

Xo,
Jenna

bubbles+sprinkles Visits Afternoon Live

Weeee! What a fun week. On Thursday, I was lucky enough to share the fun of bubbles+sprinkles with the team of Afternoon Live on KATU, Channel 2.

I don’t think anyone could ever accuse me of stage fright — there was a pretty extended period of childhood where I really thought I was going to be the next Nicole Kidman — but that didn’t stop a couple of butterflies the night prior. What if the frosting wasn’t thick enough? What if my piping bag exploded while on the air? (Yes, this was live folks) What if I’ve been living in a more self-centered bubble than I anticipated and only I like my cupcakes? 

Luckily, these fears were totally assuaged by the calming presence of the host and crew. I had SUCH a blast sharing my recipe for Peppermint Fudge, and hope to return again soon.

You can check out the recipe, as well as the full video- HERE!

Hope everyone has a splendiferous week and that Portland DOES see snow!

Xo,
Jenna

Junior Mint-Inspired Cupcakes for Thanksgiving

Happy belated Thanksgiving! So very much to be thankful for — each and every day, but especially this past weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better kick off to the holiday season. I hope that everyone enjoyed time with family and loved ones, and that the next few weeks are full of joy.

Tryptophan is real, y’all– there’s a reason that many companies honor the Friday after Thanksgiving as a day off. But the celebrations began far before Friday, with a festive Friendsgiving. It was here that I was able to debut this week’s Junior Mint-inspired cupcakes. They were inspired by a (probably terrifying) interaction with a nine-year-old boy at the local Freddy’s. I was going back and forth between Junior Mints and Wintergreen Mints as my cupcake inspiration. I (overly) enthusiastically asked for an unassuming passerby’s feedback. Junior Mints were the winner, and off he ran. Sorry/thanks bud.

Recipe (makes 12):

Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 box Junior Mints

 Frosting:

  • 16 oz confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • Junior Mints for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin with especially festive liners. Combine cupcake ingredients (sans Junior Mints) and beat until smooth. Fill cupcake liners. Place 1-2 Junior Mints in each liner. Bake for 16 minutes. While cooling, combine frosting ingredients. Pipe frosting on cupcakes and garnish with 1-2 Junior Mints. Note- I like all chocolate cupcakes on the fudge-y side. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can bake up to 20 minutes for a more cake-like texture.

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May your leftovers be plentiful, and your pants’ waistbands be elastic!

Hope everyone has a great week. OH! And everyone should tune into Afternoon Live on KATU on December 1 at 3pm. Just saying… 😉

Xo,
Jenna

Caramel Apple and a Holiday Bubbly

Ethically, the day after Thanksgiving is the first appropriate in my mind for all things holiday. But as the Turkey Day celebrations multiply and scoot earlier and earlier this calendar year, it has only heightened my love for the holidays.

Kicking off the celebrations this week is a Thanksgiving Potluck at work. As the keeper of the contributions list, I know that there will be pumpkin and walnuts and all things classic and traditional. Instead of going outside-of-the-box, I wanted to jump on this train and bring ‘dem apples.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes… count as a serving of fruit 🙂 They are yummy and decadent and creamy and a bit spicy and pretty dang messy. Grab the napkins.

Recipe (makes 12):

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (cupcakes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (cupcakes)
  • 16 oz confectioners sugar (frosting)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (frosting)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (frosting)
  • caramel dipping sauce (you can make your own, but the store-bought-stuff holds a special place in my heart)
  • 2 apples, cut and quartered
  • cinnamon/brown sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Combine cupcake ingredients and beat until smooth. Fill liners and bake for 15 minutes. Combine frosting ingredients and mix until you feel like your arms are going to fall off. We’re talking frothy, fluffy goodness here. Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost using your favorite piping bag. Or two, if your over-enthusiasm rips the first bag. Dip the quartered apples in the caramel dipping sauce, place firmly on top of the frosting and dust. Share with others in the holiday spirit.

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to celebrate successes, both mine and others. There have been a few of those recently so I feel validated in my Champagne choice for the week. That’s right, we went with the real stuff.

Hi, Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV. Le noms. 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier. Long and luxurious texture that really stays with you. The notes were surprisingly fresh- lime, white cherry and nectarine, in addition to the usual suspects of spices and chestnuts. The acidity holds through, but the finish is creamy and sweet. As with the best nights, I have no pics of the bottle, so you’ll just have to take my word for it 🙂

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna