The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Claudia's Cookbook - Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I loved going to school as a kid knowing it was Valentine’s Day. We would tape our brown paper bags to our desks, walk around the room and hand out little Valentine’s cards to everyone in the class. It was such a fun ‘holiday’ growing up. Not to mention, the abundance of cinnamon hearts and heart shaped foil wrapped chocolates!

As an adult, Valentine’s Day has become just another day for the most part. This year, I was asked to incorporate “love” into a blog post and express what it means to me. After some careful thought and consideration, I figured the best way to speak to this is to create a top 10 list of the things I love in my life. Here is what I came up with (in no particular order):

  1. My beautiful friends and family. That is clearly a given if you read my blog on a regular basis.
  2. My 3 crazy cats that I share my home with. They drive me insane, but they’re amazing.
  3. Sleep. If you know me well, you know I will sleep until Noon every day if given the chance.
  4. Travelling anywhere and everywhere. I am truly obsessed.
  5. Baking on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It is more relaxing than yoga to me.
  6. The smell of hockey rinks. Playing hockey is the most natural feeling I have ever experienced, even after a 15 year hiatus. Amateur hockey rinks have this distinctive smell of frozen ice and hockey equipment. It’s not a particularly amazing smell, but it reminds me of my childhood and I just cannot get enough of it.
  7. Marathons of Dateline on TV. I clearly was a detective in a previous life.
  8. The first 3 Star Wars movies. I’ve seen them all literally over 100 times and I still watch them to this day.
  9. Sharks. Yes, you read that right. I’m fascinated with them and watched Shark Week on Discovery Channel before it become ‘cool’. My dream is to cage dive with Great Whites. I will do this – mark my words.
  10. Chocolate. I’m addicted. I can’t get enough.

Because Valentine’s Day is so synonomous with chocolate, I decided to feature The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe on the blog. It is seriously delicious. It is rich with chocolate flavour and very moist. You also cannot go wrong with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting! It has the perfect amount of sweetness yet doesn’t have that artificial strawberry flavour that most icings have.

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Our Favourite Pumpkin Desserts

  • Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes
    Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes
  • Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake
    Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake
  • Pumpkin Creme Pies
    Pumpkin Creme Pies
  • Pumpkin Pie
    Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
    Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Scones
    Pumpkin Scones
  • Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
    Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

One of the only reasons I get excited for autumn is the abundance of pumpkin everywhere. Pumpkin desserts and pumpkin lattes… I honestly cannot get enough! I also live in Canada so I have to try to focus of something positive when the temperatures start to dip and winter is upon us, right? While I am currently perfecting my next pumpkin recipe for the blog (should be posted within the next few days!) I wanted to take the opportunity to  compile our favourite pumpkin recipes!

Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes

Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes – These are probably one of the richest cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. And they are absolutely, positively delicious! If you want a substitute for pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake this Thanksgiving, these babies are by far your best bet.

Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake

Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake - It’s simple, rich and full of caramel and pumpkin flavor. Perfect for the season and ooey, gooey good!

Pumpkin Creme Pies

Pumpkin Creme Pies - These sandwich cookies are super simple to make and absolutely delicious. The perfect mix of warm spices and sweet cream cheese. They also freeze extremely well, which is good if you can’t manage to finish all 24 cookies this recipe makes! But I’m sure you can give it a good try :)

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie – A classic. No introduction required. This pie is scrumptious, whether you prefer it with whipped cream or ice cream on top.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream - This ice cream is creamy, rich and decadent! It literally tastes like pumpkin pie. Absolutely delicious and perfect for holding onto the last bits of summer but embracing autumn flavours.

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones – Move over Starbucks! These scones are dense and almost exactly like the pumpkin scones you will find at your neighbourhood coffeehouse. The icing is also very flavourful and decadent. I dare you to not lick the spoon!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with Vanilla Icing - These beauties are like soft cookie pillows of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg with a sweet pumpkin-vanilla finish. Absolutely perfect for any autumn day.

Happy September everybody!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes

Claudia's Cookbook - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes 17

June is my favourite month. Summer is in full swing, dinner and drinks on the patio, and my birthday. Yes, my birthday. It’s truly my favourite holiday. I even take the day off work and treat myself to a sleep in, guilty pleasure TV and perhaps even a spa treatment if I’m able to get in. In my friend group there are three of us who have June birthdays, and we had the opportunity to get together last night to celebrate. I figured it isn’t a true birthday celebration without cake, so I decided to poll my friends to see which flavour cupcake they wanted me to make. Well, with a tie between chocolate and red velvet, I decided to mix it up and make these delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes! I chose right – they were a total hit! There were even a couple loud statements claiming they were “the best cupcakes I have ever had!” You can’t get much better than that. These cupcakes are rich, decadent and moist. A total treat for birthday’s, holidays or any day of the week!

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Our Most Popular Recipes of 2012

  • IMG_6209
  • egg nog, cupcakes, buttercream,
  • Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake 15
  • IMG_3263
  • Cream Cheese Butter Cookies 4
  • Pyrizhky 31
  • IMG_6107
  • Danish Apple Bake 21
  • IMG_4593
  • IMG_2563
  • Fiery Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup 17
  • Pumpkin snickerdoodles19

2012 was a fantastic year. I can’t believe it’s almost over! I wanted to take an opportunity to thank you all again for visiting our blog – whether it was for the first time or your tenth time.

Today, I wanted to recap our top 12 recipes for 2012. I always find it fascinating to see which recipes resonate the most with our readers. In our 3 years of blogging, our most popular recipes always tend to be the Ukrainian dishes. Our all-time most popular recipe is Cabbage Rolls, which was one of my very first posts on the blog. Without further adieu – here is your top 12 of 2012!

Fiery Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup 17

#12 – Fiery Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup - Without a doubt, this is my favourite soup of all-time. It’s creamy, rich and packed with a lot of delicious flavour.

Pumpkin snickerdoodles19

#11 – Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with Vanilla Icing – These were a pretty big hit with my friends. These cookies are soft, warm and sweet. Besides, who doesn’t like hints of cinnamon, ginger and pumpkin…especially in the autumn season.

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#10 – Salted Caramel Chocolates - This creation was the end result of me getting really into using chocolate molds. Not to mention, I love salted caramel. These treats are really easy to make and super delicious. There is nothing better than homemade chocolates in my humble opinion.

IMG_4593

#9 – Wookiee Cookies - My love of Star Wars resulted in my love for these cookies. The recipe is from the Star Wars cookbook that I received for a birthday present. These cookies start out as your basic chocolate chip cookies until you add cinnamon to them. They are delicious, and my fiancé’s favourite cookies!

Danish Apple Bake 21

#8 – Danish Apple Bake – This apple dish is buttery, flaky and full of flavour. I still love my former coworker for this recipe!

IMG_6107

#7 – Rolo Brownie Trifles - This individual trifle recipe is decadent and rich – a perfect guilty pleasure treat. You simply can’t go wrong with Rolo candies, brownie, gooey salted caramel, and chocolate whipped cream!

Pyrizhky 31

#6 – Pyrizkhy (Ukrainian Cabbage Buns) – As I mentioned earlier, Ukrainian recipes tend to be the most popular on my site. I posted this recipe a week ago and it made the Top 12 of 2012! These turned out to be a big hit for our Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner this year.

Cream Cheese Butter Cookies 4

#5 – Chocolate Dipped Cream Cheese Butter Cookies - These cookies are a nice twist on the traditional holiday butter/sugar cookie. The cream cheese makes the cookie a little denser and the chocolate adds a nice sweetness. These were another big hit this year at Christmas time.

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#4 – Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies – These cookies are an all-time favourite amongst my friends. Since you can now purchase Mini Eggs year round, I try to only make these beauties around Easter, to not overdo it of course. I often get requests from my friends to make them during the non-Easter season and I cannot help but oblige. These are truly delicious!

Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake 15

#3 – Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake – An adaption to our very popular Skor Cake, this Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake is rich and full of caramel and pumpkin flavor. Perfect for the autumn season…or any season!

egg nog, cupcakes, buttercream,

#2 – Egg Nog Cupcakes – Perfect for the holiday season, these cupcakes are sweet, dense and moist. I am not a huge egg nog fan, but these cupcakes have the perfect amount of egg nog flavour.

IMG_6209#1 – Imperial (or Empire) Cookies - I was so happy to see that this recipe was #1 in 2012. I love these cookies. They remind me of my days as a Starbucks Barista. They are soft, delicate and delicious. I choose to make them with Claudia’s Raspberry Jam recipe, but you can always use your own favourite.

So there you have it – our 12 most popular recipes of 2012! What were your favourite recipes in 2012 – from either our blog or another? Please comment and let me know!

Egg Nog Cupcakes…and a surprise engagement.

egg nog, cupcakes, buttercream,

Two weeks ago I ventured to New York City with my best friend Denise for a quick 4-day vacation. NYC is by far my favourite city in the entire world. The hustle and bustle, lights, and delicious restaurants and bakeries on every corner is what I love most about the city. But after this latest trip, I have a whole new reason. On my last night in NYC, Denise and I ventured to Rockefeller Centre to see the infamous Christmas tree all lit up. Well, to make a long story short, it wasn’t lit up (apparently they turn it off at 10:30pm to conserve energy). I’m not going to lie – I was very disappointed. Mainly because I had been there for 3 nights already and this was my last opportunity to see the tree lit up before we departed the next day. While I was pouting and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to make the most of the evening and take some photos of my surroundings.

30 Rockefeller Centre © 2012 Claudia's Cookbook. All Rights Reserved.

As I was taking the photo above of 30 Rock, I heard a very familiar (and male) voice. I turn around to see my boyfriend, whom I thought was back at home in Winnipeg, standing there in the middle of Rockefeller Centre with a bakery box in hand. After the initial shock of seeing him wore off, he tells me to open the box.Proposal cupcakes

A proposal to rival all proposals. I was speechless but had enough strength to say “Yes”. And how could I not – besides it being the most amazing proposal ever, those red velvet cupcakes were the most delicious I have ever tasted – thanks to Tribeca Treats!

In honour of the holiday season, and the most important day of my life thus far, I wanted to bake and share a recipe that I love this time of year. These Egg Nog Cupcakes are dense, moist and sweet. Also, how can you possibly say no to egg nog buttercream icing?! Even if you aren’t a true egg nog fan, you will enjoy these.

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