I have THREE video tutorials all about cupcake decorating today!!
Spring means Mother’s Day, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, and brunches. When working on my April editorial calendar, I wanted to publish a dessert fit for all of these April and May occasions. Additionally, one of my goals this month is practicing a new cupcake decorating technique. The pieces all fell into place and before I knew it, a cupcake bouquet had bloomed. 🙂
Today I’m teaching you how to arrange a beautiful cupcake bouquet complete with buttercream stems and a charming buttercream bow. A little nervous about all this piping? I have you covered. Crafting these buttercream flowers is a lot simpler than it looks. It just takes a little practice, some visual guidance, and a sturdy frosting.
Completely new to piping tips? Here is my basic guide to piping tips with a video.
If there’s 2 cookies in front of me, one with chocolate chips and the other filled with butterscotch chips, I’ll reach for butterscotch 101% of the time. There’s absolutely no contest. Butterscotch chips or butterscotch morsels, whatever you want to call them, are an oatmeal cookie’s best friend. Dare I say these two are even better friends than oatmeal cookies and raisins? And YOU KNOW how I feel about oatmeal raisin cookies!!!!
Oatmeal butterscotch cookies, or oatmeal scotchies as they’re commonly called, are the best cookies on the planet. And here’s why:
How are your homemade croissants coming along this month?
In case you’re just joining us, croissants are the April Baking Challenge recipe. I published a complete guide to tackling croissants and challenged you to bake them this month. I challenge readers to a new recipe every month on or around the 1st, all filed under the category Sally’s Baking Challenge!
I suppose it was only a matter of time until my kitchen gadgets began dancing off the counter because my singing voice is just that atrocious.
But before we get to that story, welcome back to another recipe testing post! A little behind-the-scenes look into my recipe adventures before the recipes make their way onto my blog. Curious about previous testing posts?
My entire baking life has been consumed by croissants lately, so that’s where all the focus is today.
After all the cakes and croissants lately, let’s take a break from butter. This will be a short break because next week = chocolate croissants!!!
I threw together this quick bread for my family who visited us a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful weekend and we had a lot planned during their visit, so I knew I wouldn’t have much time in the kitchen. Having this bread and lemon poppy seed muffins (I left out the blackberries) pre-made for breakfasts and snack time was so convenient!
This humble little Greek yogurt apple blueberry bread were gobbled up before the sugary lemon muffins. And I love that because it’s made with zero refined sugar, relies mostly on Greek yogurt for moisture, and is packed with fruit.
I get so excited when delicious recipes are also healthy(ish) recipes. 🙂
German chocolate cake, traditionally made with sweet baking chocolate, is known to be unapologetically decadent and indulgent. It’s pretty sweet by itself, but when paired with coconut pecan filling AND chocolate frosting, it makes my teeth hurt. And that says a lot considering I have a mouthful of sweet teeth!!
My variation is a little upgrade. It’s also unapologetically decadent and indulgent, but it starts with my favorite super-moist deeper and darker chocolate cake. We’ll use a coconut pecan filling enhanced with toasted pecans and top her off with chocolate buttercream, coconut, and more toasted pecans.
So don’t worry, there’s still an opportunity for our teeth to ache. 😉
This has been a highly requested cake recipe, so I’m thrilled to finally share it. And just in case you missed March’s Baking Challenge, I decorated my German chocolate cake naked style. I love seeing that coconut pecan filling peeking out!
Long time no talk! I haven’t shared any updates in awhile, so let’s sit down together and catch up.
First, I made my favorite vanilla cupcakes the other week. Didn’t feel like whipping out my piping tips or anything, so I simply frosted them with my small icing spatula. I love this look. Just plop a bunch of frosting in the center, spread it to the sides, then make a little well of sorts in the center for some sprinkles. I tinted the frosting with AmeriColor gel deep pink and sky blue.
And did I tell you I reshot my red velvet cake? I can’t remember. I made it back in February and decorated it naked cake style. I used Wilton 12 small round piping tip to pipe dollops of frosting around the top edges. So pretty!
Welcome to the April Baking Challenge!
The April Baking Challenge is an advanced one. I’m challenging you to bake croissants. If you’re about to run away screaming, I understand. I’m not sugarcoating it: croissants aren’t easy. Croissants require time, patience, and a lot of rolling. However, just because the challenge recipe is advanced doesn’t mean that YOU have to be an advanced baker to try it. I wouldn’t challenge you to a recipe you can’t handle. Because you absolutely can. ♥
Let me hold your hand through the whole process. I’m sharing step-by-step photography, a full video tutorial, plenty of tricks based on what I’ve learned, and the croissant recipe. I started working on croissants earlier this year. I studied a couple recipes, tested them, tweaked what I found necessary, and played with this dough for weeks. The croissants are golden brown, extra flaky, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and unbelievable warm from the oven. One bite of this delicate French pastry will immediately transport you to a quaint French bakery. I’m confident in this homemade croissants recipe and I’m confident in YOU baking them.
The good news! You need zero fancy equipment and zero special ingredients. If you’re looking for a weekend project, know how to read directions, and crave a fresh homemade...
When I asked readers in the Facebook group what they’d like to see for the April Baking Challenge, there was an overwhelming response that lined up with an item on my baking bucket list. Croissants. Teach us how to make croissants.
I ran away and covered my eyes, but deep down I knew the truth: it’s time to cross croissants off my baking bucket list. JUST DO IT. I had little experience with croissant dough, but I gave it my all. And I’m really happy I did!
Strawberries ‘n’ cream french toast casserole is another spring brunch recipe to consider! (25+ Easter recipe ideas are right this way.) We’re combining fresh strawberries with cream cheese, chunks of decadent challah bread, cinnamon, brown sugar, and heaps of strawberry compote. This layered breakfast is creamy, soft, warm, crisp, comforting, and ready for any and all of your spring brunches. 🙂
What I love most about french toast casseroles, and why I bake them so often, is the low maintenance factor. You’re not standing over the stove and cooking french toast for the whole family. You’re layering bread and egg in a pan and baking it. And, most notably, you’re doing most of the prep (which is minimal to begin with!) the night before. You can wake up groggy eyed and still half asleep to put breakfast in the oven. Or you can spend time with guests and family, Easter egg baskets, snuggled on the couch with your coffee, whatever! instead of working in the...
Easter weekend! Never mind that we were blanketed with 10 inches of snow last week. March, you’ve been weird.
This weekend we’re taking Noelle to the zoo for some Easter games and fun. And last weekend we went on an Easter egg hunt with some friends and their kids. Noelle can’t hunt for eggs yet, but we had fun watching the bigger kids! Experiencing all these firsts, including her first holidays, has been incredibly special. I’m so blessed to be her mama!! (I need to write a Coffee Break post soon to update you on life!)
In case you need inspiration for your Easter menu, I have plenty you can sift through today. Let’s begin with dessert. Naturally.
I had plenty of pistachios leftover from my pistachio cake adventuring, I love the combination of dark chocolate and pistachios, and I needed cookies to bring to our neighbor’s backyard party. The pieces fell into place naturally and the result was one of the best cookies I’ve ever made.
What makes them so great? Sit back, let’s have a chat.
These salted pistachio chocolate chunk slice & bake cookies are adapted from my favorite slice & bake cookie base, a cookie I’ve treasured for years. Toasted hazelnut slice & bake cookies started it all (pictured below), then I moved to funfetti slice & bake cookies and dark chocolate orange slice & bake cookies. I even published a chocolate version, a maple walnut version, and a vanilla spice version in Sally’s Cookie Addiction. Yes, I’m in love with the slice & bake cookie.
Want to read more about this unique cookie dough? Here’s where...
Time to give your mats a spring cleaning!
The most used tool in my kitchen is a silicone baking mat. I own 6 of them and use them every single day whether I’m baking cookies, scones, chicken, bagels, potatoes, granola, vegetables, fish, caramel corn, candied nuts, or using as a nonstick surface for dipped truffles, toffee, and bark. I also use them for rolling out sugar cookie dough and baking homemade soft pretzels. These mats are extremely versatile, limit waste, and roll up for easy storing. You know I’m a huge fan!
But one of the most common questions I see is “how do I clean them?”
As you can guess, I have plenty of experience cleaning silicone baking mats. If you own a mat, you know they can get pretty dirty and oily. Oil and flavor residue remain on the surface of these slick mats and it can be incredibly frustrating and off-putting, especially if you like keeping your kitchenware spick-and-span. I discovered 4 tricks and each one works every single time. I’ll list them in no particular order, though...
Another fresh and exciting recipe for you this year! 2018: the year we step out of our baking comfort zone.
What is pavlova? Pavlova is a dessert popular in New Zealand and Australia. It’s not as common here in the states, but I hope to help change that! A texture freak’s dream come true, pavlova is made from egg whites that are slowly baked in a relatively cool oven. The egg whites take on a chewy-crisp texture on top, a soft marshmallow texture inside, and a crunchy crisp texture around the edges. That’s three completely different textures in one single bite. The crunchy edges are just like meringue cookies.
Pavlova loves to be dressed up with assorted toppings, mainly fresh whipped cream and piles of fresh fruit. Naturally gluten free, pavlova is light, sweet, and screams warm weather favorite. Happy spring, my friends, we’re making PAVLOVA!!
Baking a batch of whole wheat rolls that’s both SOFT and FLAVORFUL feels like winning the lottery. Or, at the very least, winning dinner time.
What normally results in hockey pucks can finally grace our dinner tables proudly. These honey whole wheat dinner rolls easily compete with (and beat) the tastiest white flour rolls because they’re nutty, a little sweet, and have a little more oomph in the texture department. And unlike “whole wheat rolls” with refined flour hiding in them, this recipe is 100% whole wheat.
Let’s get right into it because we have a lot of carbs to cover today!!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrating with Guinness brownies? 🙂
Today let’s take another behind-the-scenes look at my latest kitchen adventures. As it turns out, I haven’t been in the kitchen much since my last recipe testing post. Computer work and photo editing were both piling up and Kevin was out of town for awhile, leaving me in charge of miss Noelle, the pups, and the house. We also began dabbling in recipe videos again and had family visit a few weekends in a row. It’s been a lot of fun, but I’ve been barely scraping by with day-to-day work!
We settled back into our routine a few days ago and I revisited a couple recipes that I began testing in February. I’ve been very frustrated coming up with a whole wheat dinner roll recipe. Maybe my expectations are a little too high, but I want whole wheat rolls that:
My latest decorated sugar cookie adventure: Easter eggs! I’m thrilled with how these pastel beauties turned out. I wasn’t going to share them on my blog since it’s not really a new recipe, but they’re just too cute to ignore.
Oh! And there’s bunny ears too. Do these even look like bunny ears?! Still deciding.
My heart expanded last September and with my beautiful miracle came a deep realization. I’m now a role model for my daughter.
Whoa. That’s big.
Instead of constantly putting pressure on myself with unrealistic expectations, I’m closing the door on comparison and saying YES to more of what I love. It’s fabulously empowering to start taking control of your life.
One of my loves? Decorating cakes and cupcakes for fun. You know that I’ve never felt confident in my decorating skills. This is because I always compared my creations to the beautiful cakes and cupcakes in my Pinterest and Instagram feeds. Whenever I began decorating, I felt discouraged. And it wasn’t fun.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt.
I asked you about St. Patrick’s Day desserts last month. I received a few requests for green desserts that aren’t necessarily mint chocolate. That one’s coming on Monday. (Any guesses??) But the outpouring of “anything with Guinness” convinced me to pick up a 6 pack and begin recipe testing. My kitchen smelled like a brewery at 9am on a Tuesday morning, but the result was well worth my boozy wake up call.
Before you run away at the thought of beer brownies, let me explain. These Guinness brownies do NOT taste like beer. Guinness stout, with its roast coffee and caramelized flavors, is often paired with chocolate in baking. They’re a natural duo because Guinness not only intensifies chocolate, but adds a malty background.
I write this as snow falls outside and winds whip around my house at 50 mph. I love how you’re the season of cozy, but winter… I am so over you.
Despite the current weather conditions, the calendar says spring and Easter are on the horizon. And as someone who lives and breathes her daily planner, that means it’s time to prepare for the change of seasons. Close up that fireplace, place some tulips in a vase, open those windows… whoa that wind! Let’s keep them closed!
Let’s welcome a fresh new season with a fresh new pie– the pie I’ve been taunting you with for weeks!! It’s finally here, my friends. The beautiful, the timeless, the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie. ♥
My lemon meringue pie recipe has a billowy and toasty meringue topping, a balanced sweet/tart lemon filling, and an extra thick and flaky pie crust. I worked on this recipe for a long time, making at least a dozen meringue...