Last year, I couldn’t think of what to bake for Jeff for Valentine’s Day when I ran across an adorable heart-shaped Whoopie pie/muffin top pan in Michael’s and inspiration struck. He loves red velvet cupcakes so I decided to make him a sort of whoopie-pie-cupcake-sandwich hybrid. The result was gorgeous, super tasty and a less messy version of a cupcake to boot! I used the Magnolia Bakery recipe exactly, so no need to reprint, but be sure to check the cakes often because they don’t take long when they are in a shallow pan.
It’s pretty rare that I get to bake elaborate and ridiculously fun things in the kitchen, so when Christmas comes, I like to go big…really big. I had some leftover trees and a skiing Santa from the year’s snow-globe wreaths, so for our annual Christmas party, I made a ginormous ski slope cake bordered with a gingerbread cityscape and little candy house cupcakes! I spread the baking out over a week to make it less stressful and it came out just how I had envisioned it…equal parts kitschy, homey and magical. Continue reading