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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sweet Saturday and a Touch of Nature!

Happy Saturday, my lovely friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend planned. :o) Two posts in two days has me happy-dancing in my chair!

I had planned to complete a card last night to post with today's treat... but when my mom sends me a text message saying she'll pick me up in 7 minutes for coffee, everything just drops. ;) It was such a beautiful time. She even blessed me with the new cookbook I've been wanting! I can hardly wait to dirty it up in the kitchen. :o)

In lieu of a card, I'm excited to share a few photographs. Far too much time had passed before I frolicked about outside to snap a few pictures of the nature I cherish so deeply. I recently took the time to immerse myself in my love of flowers and photography. It was amazing. It was cloudy and gray all the way until the last picture... I just had to laugh. I didn't let bad lighting prevent me from snapping away, though! I'm hoping to develop my technique over the summer. There is quite a long road to get to where I want to be, but the journey will be beautiful. :o)

A few favorites! And then I'll reward you with a sweet confection.
At last, the sunbeams appeared as sunset neared... just in time to gently dance along the top of the petals. :o)
You know what else I adore, along with nature? The unique flavor of Snickerdoodle cookies. Last year I made, loved, and posted Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake. But at long last, I made them in my beloved cupcake form. Knowing I could count on the reliable source who posted the recipe, I whipped them up a few days ago, assured of their success. I used a different frosting than she did, however... and the combination is fantastic. Today we celebrate Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!
I completely forgot to add the cinnamon-sugar dusting to the top, which would have mimicked the cookie topping and added a touch of sparkle. No one missed it, I must say! (Thankfully.) The cake is soft, moist, and bursting with the cinnamon-sugar taste of a Snickerdoodle. The original recipe paired it with Seven Minute Frosting, but I opted for a cinnamon-infused cream cheese frosting. My loved ones were delighted, as the raves over it were constant. (Even from my mom who claims she doesn't like cream cheese frosting. Cinnamon is magical and the little flecks are so pretty throughout the swirls.) My family loves these and they will surely be made again... with the sparkly topping. ;) Bake and enjoy them, my friends!

Thank you for visiting me! I wish you a day of blessings, hugs, and cupcakes. :o)

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 28 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cups whole milk

For the frosting:
10 ounces cream cheese, chilled
6½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3¼ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2-2½ teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons clear vanilla extract*

For the garnish:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide the batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes and frosting. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Reducing the speed to low, add in the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon just until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 2-3 minutes more. Blend in the vanilla. Frost cupcakes as desired. (I used my favorite large star tip.) 

Combine the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Using a small, fine sieve, dust the cupcakes with cinnamon-sugar.

*Note: The frosting recipe creator only uses clear/imitation vanilla extract for her cream cheese frostings, noting that it holds its shape better and yields a brighter white result. I did not have any on hand, so I used pure vanilla extract. I will test her theory one day, so I'm posting the recipe as written.

Source: Cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker; Frosting adapted from Annie's Eats


  1. Hi Karen -
    I'm back from my vacay and playing catch up.
    Love your new blog look very pretty....
    And wow they sure look yummy on those cupcakes.... you are one fantastic baker...

  2. Beautiful pictures Karen! Love all the flowers are just starting to come up. Can't wait for them to open:) I seriously think I just gained 5 pounds looking at this yummy desert! Oh boy, does this sound good. In fact, my daughter is here right now saying we should make them. But, we have to shoot for Mondy because we are going to Cirque Du Soleil this evening and my son's graduation from college tomorrow:) Busy weekend!
    Hope you have a great Saturday my friend!!!
    Sherrie K

  3. The flowers are gorgeous, Karen!! The two-tone tulips are so beautiful!! You did an amazing job photographing them...I especially love the third picture, where the three flowers are in focus and the background is fabulous!!

    Oh my gosh, those cupcakes look so delicious!! I would love to dive head first into a huge bowl of that cinnamon cream cheese frosting!! Yummy!! Another amazing recipe I have to try :)

    I'm glad you got to spend time with your Mom and how sweet of her to gift you with the cookbook!! I can't wait to see what you create with it!! I hope you are having a wonderful, relaxing weekend my sweet friend!!

    Huge hugs, Lisa
    A Mermaid's Crafts

  4. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! We get double the Karen fun this weekend!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! *hugglers you something silly* HAPPY SWEET SATURDAY EVERYONE!!!

    And you know what sis? This is an extra extra extra special Sweet Saturday! Know why? Cause it is very first Sweet Saturday post on your brand new blog design!!! SQUEEEEE!!! *tosses cupcake confetti everywhere to celebrate* YAYYYYYYYYY!!!

    And can there possibly be a more special way to celebrate than with a beyond heavenly treat AND my Sunshine's flawless photography?! SQUEEEEEEEE!!! I am sooooooooooo excited about this post, sis! Just look at how gorgeous your pictures are! You know how much seeing your photography makes my heart glow. This was the best Sweet Saturday surprise I could ever dream of. You can see the sparkling rainbow of love that your heart is just bursting with through these pics, sis. It takes only an extra special sparkling heart to take such incredible pictures and capture subtle details so beautifully. I LOVE THESE PICTURES SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! *huggles you and the precious flowers forever and always*

    And boy oh boy, sis. I think I need a new keyboard because I just drooled all over mine and shorted it out. HAHAHA!!! THOSE CUPCAKES ARE INCREDIBLE!!! *devours them all up* TEE HEE! I can't even imagine how devine they must be. I want to try one soooooo bad. Can we make another batch right now? I'll be over in a few, ok? TEE HEE!


    *sparklie happy happy Sweet Saturday huggles to everyone* YAY!!!!!
    ~~~Christina :)

  5. Wow Karen, I have been so busy this last week and so have you! Your blog is beautiful. I love it, and it so says Karen! Butterflies, pearls, soft colors, muted background, gold, and sparkles! Beautiful! Robin did a great job.

    The pictures are lovely too. You have many talents my dear sweet friend. Also another recipe I will try.

    I hope you are doing well, and I am so happy you had some special moments with your Mom. Make beautiful memories Karen. You deserve only the best my friend. God indeed loves you and so do I. Blessings, peace, and grace is my prayer for you today.

    Hugs, always, Pam

  6. Hmm...I wonder what today is?

    Could it be the one year blog anniversary of a very extra sparklie and ultra amazing certain someone? TEE HEE!


    *grabs you and hugglers you with all my heart*

    When I think about all the blessings that your gorgeous blog has brought to all of us, my heart just flies. I simply can't believe a year has gone by already. It seems like just the other day that you first told me about your plans for this most incredible place. I am the luckiest girl ever to have gotten to watch you sparkle and shine as you share in your most amazing God-given gifts. You are a sparkling rainbow in this world, Sunshine and I know I speak for everyone of your sweetest followers when I say that we are all so deeply blessed to have you in our lives. Be proud of all you have and continue to accomplish every single day, Sunshine. Your love is a blessing like no other.

    God bless my Sunshine and her most beautfiul blog on this extra special day and always!

    I LOVE YOU SIS!!!!!!!!!

    *forever super happy congratulations squishies*
    ~~~Christina :)


Thank you for leaving some love! Have a beautifully blessed day. :o)

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