July 17, 2010

I heart cupcakes

This week was a week of celebrations for Wally and I. First off, last Monday was our first anniversary. One year since we know each other....I can't believe it...It seemed yesterday that we met at Nomad Cafe in Berkeley for a beer. And at the same time so many things happened that it could seem 10 years ago. 

Also, Wednesday was my birthday! Omg! I turned 33! You know, I never had issues with age and, I have to admit, the 30s are fantastic. But somehow, the number 33 doesn't feel right and this year my birthday gave me a lot of thinking. However, Wally was amazing in cheering me up. Last Sunday he organized a fantastic surprise trip to Napa valley with the wine train and the visit to the Chandon winery, which makes an amazing champagne :)  

That alone would have been an amazing gift but Wally went further and he "virtually" gave me my birthday present too. I say "virtually" because the gift is not ready yet but he was able to show me the work in progress. He asked a friend of his, who is a super cool artist, to make me a blog header. I kept mentioning that I wanted to hire somebody to redesign my blog and I kept postponing, waiting for my first paycheck, or better some savings. Wally not only preceded me...he totally beat me...even if unfinished I could already see how the header is going to be SOOO me! If I had done this job myself, I don't think I could have obtain such a perfect result. I TOTALLY LOVE IT! Thank you amore! 

So the header is not ready yet but will be soon and I am looking forward to surprise you with it! In the meantime, I would like to share these super cute cupcakes that I made for this week of celebrations. The "design" is not at all mine. I saw it a looong time ago on justjennrecipes and I thought that it was simply ge.ni.us. Very simple to make and yet sooo cute! I changed the recipe a bit because I did not want lemon cupcakes and instead I had cravings for vanilla. You can use any cupcake and frosting flavor that you like. The important thing is that you don't need to be a super expert in cupcakes decorations to be able to surprise your beloved ones with these adorable cupcakes!  

Vanilla Cupcakes
yields 10 cupcakes
113 gr (1 stick or 8 tbsp) butter, softened
230 gr (8 oz or 1 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
230 gr (8 oz or 1 cup) all purpose flour
1.25 gr (1/4 tsp) baking soda
1.25 gr (1/4 tsp) salt
120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
2.5 gr (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract

food color (optional)

140 gr (5 oz) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
30 gr (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
5 gr (1 tsp) vanilla extract
340 gr (1 1/2 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 325F degrees, and prepare a cupcake pan with liners. 
In a big bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until you obtain a light cream. Add the eggs, one by one, making sure you incorporate well the first before adding the second one.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk and finally add the vanilla extract. (and the food coloring if you decide to make your cupcakes colored)
Fill the cupcake liners TO THE TOP of the cupcake liners. This is very important because it will insure you have enough top to cup off. 

Bake for 20 minutes, test with a toothpick, and cool on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling – make the frosting:

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter for about 3 minutes or  until smooth. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar and keep beating until you obtain a very soft cream. Cover and refrigerate the icing for a couple of hours to thicken before using.

When the cupcakes are cooled, take a serrated knife and gently cut off the fluffy tops, right at the paper. Using a small heart-shape cookie cutter, cut out the center of the tops.

Frost the flat top of the cupcake that you just cut and then place back the top. Super easy, right? Now you can surprise your beloved with these adorable cupcakes even if you are not an expert in cupcake decorations! 

Source: adapted from Just Jenn Recipes

With this recipe I participate to La Cuisine en Rose. Check it out!

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  1. che belli che sono... immagino la bontà....un bacio stefy

  2. Grazie Stefy! Ci si mette poco a farle...e anche a finirle :)

  3. These are beautiful. I have en bookmarked. Today is actually my 11th anniversary and I'm bummed that I saw these late

  4. I made them one day late too 'cause the day of our anniversary was a crazy day at work but they were still appreciated :) Next anniversary I might try to make a whole cake like this!

  5. Hey Sara! Such a cute blog you have here and such adorable cupcakes! I'm definitely loving the hearts. You have yourself a new follower :) I look forward to seeing more of your creations!


  6. Hi Tiffany. You have a super cute new blog yourself! Impressive pics too! Keep up with it...I'm looking forward your new recipe

  7. ho conosciuto il tuo blog da pochissimo... è delizioso! questi cupcake... che bontà!!! li rifarò prestissimo. un abbraccio ^ - ^

  8. Beautiful!!!! I love them and I'll try them very soon :-D ....surely for my boyfriend! ;-D

    Sara piacere di conoscerti! mi piace moltissimo il tuo blog e tantissimi auguri! Anche per me quest'anno saranno 33 :-D
    Un bacione

    P.S.: sono curiosissima di vedere il tuo nuovo header, penso sarà bellissimo! :-D

  9. what a great idea!! these are so cute...my girls would love these!

  10. Ciao Sara, grazie per essere passata dal mio blog! Questi cupcakes sono favolosi e il tuo blog è veramente bello!Verrò spesso a trovarti! A presto!

  11. @caramel a la fleur de sel: complimentissimi anche per il tuo blog. You guys should all check out the blogs of my Italian fellows...they all have amazing stuff (and make me very nostalgic sometimes)
    @Ago: I'm looking forward my new header too...it's super funny and it's soo me. It's incredible how this girl got the essence of my persona from just a few pics
    @Chef Dennis: pink+hearts+frosting: girls must love them :)
    @lo: beautiful blog too....I will say this again...people check out the amazing blogs of these Italians girls! You will drool forever!

  12. Questi cupcakes sono fantastici! Riesco a percepire il loro delizioso aroma anche solo guardando le foto...

  13. Ciao Anna, ho visto il tuo blog nuovo di zecca! Veeery cute! Hai una nuova follower :) aspetto con ansia nuove ricette!

  14. I'm a new follower. Love your blog with all the super photos.

  15. Thanks for stopping by Moogie. I'm already drooling looking at your blog!

  16. Congrats on your birthday and anniversary! I love your tip on decorating cupcakes, super clever :)
    *kisses* HH

  17. These cupcakes are so cute! I'll definitely want to give this design a try.

  18. What a fun idea. My crazy kid loves chocolate so I would fill the heart with chocolate frosting!!

  19. Chocolate frosting...my husband would love that too! And btw, the kids would have a lot of fun in decorating the cupcakes themselves...it's a very fun activity to do with children

  20. That's really clever and creative! : )

  21. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary, your birthday, for having such a great partner, and for these lovely cupcakes!! :)

  22. Happy Birthday and Anniversary! Your cupcakes are adorable, what a cute idea! And I look forward to checking out your new header :)

  23. Hi, Sara. Congratulations on your Top 9 on Foodbuzz - as well as your anniversary, birthday, and charming blog!

    I like recreating family recipes; I am doing this on my blog with my grandmother's recently discovered recipes. Thanks.

  24. Thank you all for checking out my blog! I am checking all yours too :)

  25. These are adorable! Brilliant in their simplicity. Just the kind of recipe I love. I didn't know this had gone on Top 9....my apologies and late congratulations :)

  26. they are just so beautiful!

    they look super delicious!

  27. Sweet and lovely! Love all the love that you share - thank you Sara :)

    (Love your new badge too!)
    xo Patty

  28. Sarah, these are adorable! My 16 year old sister (who is into baking, too) will love them!

  29. @Denise @Pamela @Patty @Patricia: I'm glad you ladies like them. I think it's really nice when love is so easy to give :)

  30. These look delicious and I am planning to make these for my boyfriend for the weekend after Valentine's Day (it's when he will be here visiting me). Thanks for the great tip!

  31. ma che bella idea!!! brava e complimenti!!!


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