Cupcake Wars

I know it’s been a while, but here is the post I’ve been meaning to write finally. Nope, it’s not a recipe. Even better, a stunning and exquisite presentation of some pretty talented cupcake bakers around my area! We held the competition at a carnival & it’s funny because this marvelous idea popped up randomly during one of our planning meetings for the carnival. I, myself, was very surprised at the extent to which people decorated their cupcakes. Not only that… But the stands as well!!

When the judging time came near to discern the cupcake winner, it was pretty intense. Groups of people stood near the door in huddles waiting for the results. Friends, family, even the bakers themselves as well… No news came for a while. While it was quite noisy outside, me and the other judges were quite busy at a serious task. Tasting all the cupcakes that is. I didn’t think it would be difficult with only 8 competitors, but it was more time-consuming considering we had to discuss each cupcake, pros and cons. We already knew who each cupcake belonged to, so we asked the bakers to come in, one at a time, and describe their cupcake to us and answer any questions we had. It was quite the experience. Y’all should have seen the judges table where we split the cupcakes. Haha what a mess. Anyways, onto the cupcakes themselves :)IMG_7454One of the display tables with a variety of four cupcakes, all displayed differently. These varied from lemon cupcakes to cotton candy even! I absolutely love the creativity that each competitor demonstrated.IMG_7456The second table with the remaining cupcakes. Not all can be seen, but detailed pictures are coming after! Four different cupcake entries were here as well.IMG_7458Rose patterned Red Velvet Cheesecake cupcakes (YES there was indeed cheesecake inside- toooo yummy) & Chocolate Espresso cupcakes. Gotta say, these two cupcakes are my favorite combos ever :)IMG_7437These were 4 different cupcake flavors submitted by the same baker. They range from Red Velvet Cream Cheese, Reeses, Cinnamon, and even Strawberry topped with Cotton Candy.IMG_7452Beautiful Lemon & Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon filling as well!! Lovin’ these healthy choices. Definitely make you less self conscious as you eat one after another of these cupcakes hahaIMG_7438Yet another creative entry which were topped off the mocha flavored icing along with those addicting chocolate sticks! My favorite flavor-espresso!!

IMG_7451Creativity hands down for this one! This competitor went all out and even designed a humongous styrofoam cupcake along with a colorful Candy Land-like stand with a glittery water interior to compliment the many toned Cotton Candy Cupcakes topped with fondant. Yes, they were just as beautiful inside as well.IMG_7440Dense & moist Lemon Cupcakes with a curd filling. The top was done creatively with chocolate molded swirls, assorted berries, and coarse sugar as well!IMG_7445Lemon Meringue Cupcakes blowtorched to give them the toasty look. A very light and healthy choice as well, although I prefer the other type of icing to this light meringue one.IMG_7443At LAST… The Winner of it all went to these Moist and delicate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes stuffed with Choc Chip Cookie Dough inside as well! The cookies on top were homemade too! This entry was submitted alongside to the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes on top ^^^. The other two places went to the extravagant stand of Cotton Candy Cupcakes as well as the Lemon Curd Cupcakes topped with the chocolate molds and berries.

Hope you enjoyed this medley of fanciful desserts. Do you have a cupcake that you would enter into a competition? Which of these ones was your favorite?

Houston Premier Bakeries

Yup. I’ve finally decided to put a list together of my top 4 favorite bakeries in Houston! Of course I’m sure there are manyyyy more than what I’ve listed & I’m always on the lookout for new finds so I’ll find them slowly but surely :)

Something my friends & I loveeee doing is finding new places to eat out at whether it is a restaurant or a bakery. A successful find = a new go-to place to hang out with friends or to grab a quick dessert. Most of the places that I have found have been through word of mouth. Seriously, after hearing about a bakery for so long, there’s no doubt that you’ll be curious as to why it’s so prominent. And of course, there are those that we discover simply by driving by. You’re driving past the normal everyday stores you see, but wait… Something catches your attention! That new bakery on the street or whatever it may be haha. Well enough already, you get the idea. Let’s just get on with these deelish bakeries. By the way, they are in no particular order!

IMG_5466

SAVANNAH BAKERY & CAFE

http://savannahcafeandbakery.com

This bakery is simply amazing. When you walk in, you really are overwhelmed with the amount of choices you can make. Shall it be that Raspberry White Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cookie, or even that Apple Praline Pie? I was actually really excited when this bakery opened, because I thought it would be one of those local bread bakeries. Turns out I was wrong lol, but nevertheless I was very happy with this find! Friendly staff, nice atmosphere, and large portions are more than enough to enjoy with friends :)

*Apple Praline Pie pictured above*

IMG_6130

 DOLCE DELIGHTS

http://www.mydolcedelights.com

Macarons (n):  delicate small cookie sandwich with mystery filling; constantly seen everywhere in a variety of colors/flavors; very addictive.

Any bakery serving these should be beyond amazing. Not only does Dolce Delights serve these, but they also have these miniature mousse cakes that are too adorable (not pictured). I actually discovered this place from my one of my friend’s Instagram pictures. After she told me the name of the place, I went literally the next day with my friends and got some macarons. The best one out of them was the salted caramel hands down! The banana cream one though was not as soft as the others, leading me to believe that few people have probably ordered that one haha. The mocha and red velvet were both equal in my opinion after the salted caramel one. Overall, if you are craving macarons or a cute little cake, this is definitely your place.

*Salted Caramel, Mocha, Banana Cream, & Red Velvet Macarons pictured above*

IMG_5666

NOTHING BUNDT CAKES

http://www.nothingbundtcakes.com

If you’ve been following my blog then you probably know too well my obsession with pumpkin desserts! Haha. I was so excited when I got this Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It may look small in this picture, but the cake was so dense that it actually feeds two people. Not to mention, it was super moist as well! I got an extra bonus when I got this bundt cake, because the place had just opened so they had mailed out “free bundt cake” flyers in the mail. The variety here was smaller making it easier to choose something. You know what you’re getting: a bundt cake basically. All you have to do is choose a flavor. Simplicity wins here. I can truthfully say that this was simply delicious ;)

IMG_4582

SPRINKLES CUPCAKES

http://www.sprinkles.com

Oh no…. On to the last bakery on my list! Don’t worry, I will most probably have a second post once I find more memorable bakeries. Anwaysss, Sprinkles Cupcakes is well known all over the US. I’m sure every area has a place that could be comparable to this one (Georgetown or Crave Cupcakes for example). These cupcakes are quite pricey and didn’t seem worth the hype that everyone always makes over them, although they are good. But.. If you go on twitter or their fb page, you’ll be sure to find these secret words that get you a free cupcake. And they post these words every day for the first 50/100 ppl to say it, so be sure you are one of those lucky few!

*Red Velvet & Mocha Cupcakes pictured above*

Any favorite bakeries that you have found worth sharing?

Pumpkin Spice Cake

OMG its almost October! First off, if you know anything about me, it’s that I’m really obsessed with pumpkin. Not so much the actual pumpkin, but more the pumpkin spice flavor. I’ve had many a highlight day when I randomly find a pumpkin flavored dessert in season. Recently Starbucks got the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spice Frapp back in! As well, Sprinkles Cupcakes also has Pumpkin Cupcakes every Tuesday and Thursday depending on locations. Einstein’s Bagels has Pumpkin Bagels and Muffins. The list could really go on and onnnnnnn….. ANYWAYS.. I know y’all really want the recipe for the deelish cake below which is of course pumpkin spice flavored! It’s one of my favorite recipes that I’ve made many times. The last time I made it was hilariousss because of course what did i forget?? Only the most important ingredient that makes it what it is- the pumpkin spices.. Lol.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups canned/homemade pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Beat eggs, sugar, and oil together. Add pumpkin and mix well.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and you are good to go!
  3. Pour the batter in a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.

When in Doubt, Make Cakeballs!

Cakeballs: simplicity and flavor all packed in one bite. I first encountered these in high school when someone brought them in a plastic container for a birthday. Asking for directions on how to make these, I basically heard: bake a cake, mash it, mix in icing, form balls, dip in chocolate. Pretty simply, right? Well not really haha. When you actually go through the steps, it’s much more time consuming than you would think. I think it’s all worth it in the end though, for sure. For detailed steps, check out my previous blog post on The Legendary Cake Ball.

So a couple weeks ago, one of my best friends was coming for the summer from school in Ireland. I wasn’t really sure at first what to make as a welcome-home present, so of course I had to make some cakeballs! You can never go wrong with them, everyone loves them. By the way, these were red velvet flavored with cream cheese icing- my absolute favorite flavor of cake ball :)