Chocolate Orange Zest Cupcakes… Yum!

Yesterday, March 8, was my birthday.  Traditionally my mom makes my favorite cake for me- angel food cake.  This year was the exception, so I decided to make my own birthday cupcakes!

I love baking, so I looked through one of my Betty Crocker cookbooks and found a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with chocolate orange icing.  I was so excited to bake completely homemade cupcakes…. with a little pizzaz.

Although I ran into some difficulties with the cupcake batter (I forgot to add the orange zest so I had to start all over again), the cupcakes were delicious!  I truly think that these are the best cupcakes that I have ever made.

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe:

Chocolate Orange Zest Cupcakes

Chocolate Orange Zest Cupcakes

 

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup hot water

2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

3/4 cup margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place paper baking cups in 24 regular size muffin cups.

2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.  In another bowl, mix hot water and cocoa until dissolved- set both bowls aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat margarine with electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add sugar- 1/2 cup at a time (beat well after each addition).  Beat 2 minutes longer.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each.  Beat in vanilla and orange zest.  On a low speed, mix in cocoa mixture and flour mixture- alternate each.  Beat until well blended.

4.  Fill 24 cupcake cups 2/3 full.

5.  Bake for 20- 25 mins or until cupcakes are spongey.  Remove and cool.

Frosting Recipe:

Chocolate Orange Zest Cupcakes

Chocolate Orange Zest Cupcakes

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine, softened

3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

3 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons orange juice (pulp free)

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1. In a large bowl, mix butter and melted chocolate until well blended.

2. Stir in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Beat in vanilla and orange juice until smooth.

3. Beat in orange zest until well blended.

4. Use spatula to put icing into a sealable sandwich bag, seal, and cut off corner.

5. Frost cupcakes using bag to create swirl and place small pieces of orange peel on top as garnish.

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New Etsy Listings! Check ‘Em Out!

I recently posted some new listings on my Etsy shop and wanted to take a chance to promote them.  I know that I listed a sneak peek in a previous post, but I wanted to show them off a little bit more!!

Hand Drawn and Hand Stamped Stationary and Cards:

I have been drawing and creating cards for friends and family for a very long time now.  Dan asked me why I wasn’t selling them.  Well… I didn’t really know how to answer that, so here are some card creations!  I hand stamped some of them and drew the others.  I am currently working on a custom stationary card set for a friend (Hand drawn Lotus flowers).  These are great for gifts, you can use them for weddings, use them for thank you cards, birthdays, you name it!  I love custom orders, too!!

Wedding:

I wrote about my thumbprint tree book that I drew in a previous post on my blog.  I had really wanted to do this for our wedding for some time now, and after I made ours I realized that people were selling them on Etsy.  I decided that I would put mine up just to see if I could get any sales.  I love drawing trees!  I love weddings!…. What could be better?  I am hoping that someone would be interested in purchasing one of my hand drawn trees because I think that it would be wonderful to be a part of someone’s special day.

I also have been making little rose earrings for brides and their bridal party.  The pair of earrings that I have listed are white roses with blue ribbon.  I can also make roses with ribbon to match the wedding colors.  Smaller earrings can also be made for your flower girls.  These are great gifts for your bridesmaids and flower girls, or if you need a little gift for your bride… this is perfect!

I have listed these plumeria clips (and I have earrings listed) under wedding.  I thought that these would be wonderful to add to the theme of a tropical wedding, or they would be great for a tropical destination wedding.  I use Sculpey polymer clay and chalk dust.  I paint the uncooked Sculpey with the chalk dust to add the color.  I can make them to fit our wedding colors!  Wonderful for birdal wear and bridesmaids alike!

Dog Days:

Some of my more unique pieces that I am currently selling are my dog leash bracelets.  I have two styles listed on the shop page, but I am also accepting custom orders.  People can send me their dog’s leash (as long as it is 1 inch wide) and I can make a bracelet for them.  This is great if you have a dog like mine who chews through every leash that you buy for them, or if your beloved pet has passed on and you would like something to remember them by.  I am very excited about my recycled dog leash bracelets and I hope that other people will be, too!

Octopus Arms:

The last things that I wanted to show off is my Octopus arm necklace.  I wanted to promote these because they took me a very long time to make, and I think that they are really quirky and unique.  Again, these are made from Sculpey Polymer clay.  This clay has a little bit of a sparkle to it.  The suckers on the arm is really what took the longest to do.  Each sucker was created by rolling tiny spheres and using a paper clip to attach them to the arms.  It might sound easy, yes, but it is extremely tedious!  Again, great for a gift for a friend… or even for yourself!!

Check out all of my other listings on my Etsy Shop Page:  Oak Leaf Crafts!

Sushi is Served!

Coconut and Fruit Roll-Up sushi

I made this for my sister’s birthday. It is pretty simple-

– Bake the cupcakes like usual.

– Once the cupcakes are out of the oven and cooled, cut off the edges to make small squares.

– Frost the cupcakes with a light frosting (I used cream cheese frosting) and roll them in sweetened coconut.

– Use Swedish Fish or fruit (I used kiwi fruit) and set them on top.

– Cut green Fruit Roll-Ups into thin strips and wrap them around the cupcakes.

The ginger is made out of red and yellow Fruit Roll-Ups layered on top of each other. You cut both into strips and layer them. Crumple them into a small pile like ginger. I also added chop sticks and packets of soy sauce for effect.

About Me.

Oh hi.

My name is Allison.

I am an art teacher based in Maryland.

I enjoy art, ceramics, sketchbooking, dancing when no one is around, singing in the car, decorating.. and redecorating, cooking, people-watching, and random music.

I am engaged to the love of my life... I can't wait to be married to him.

I like learning about new things.

I find people to be interesting.

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