Note: I started this post a little over a month ago. I’m finishing it now.

Taking a break from caking, I’m getting back to cupcakes…

Saturday was a boat load of fun as Miss Becky came over to bake with me! She was graciously bringing some of her favorite cupcakes to a birthday celebration that night, and we tried a new recipe for fun.

She picked an Amaretto (almond) cupcake from this gem of a magazine, Cupcakes, which she also gave me a copy of.

The birthday cupcakes were to be a vanilla cinnamon cake with chocolate frosting and some sprinkles (her personal favorite recipe). I don’t have either recipe available to post (I know, then what’s the point?) but I figured I’d start sharing anyways and upload recipes later. At least get the creative juices going and hopefully inspire you to either bake or go on the hunt for new cupcakes!

These are the vanilla cinnamon cakes, fresh out of the oven.

A simple chocolate frosting, consisting of some good Penzey’s cocoa powder, butter, powdered sugar, and a little milk:

Topped off! I appreciated the home-made-ness of this cupcake. There were no frills- just plopped that frosting right on top of the cupcake, no piping necessary.

Add some sprinkles and … I think this is laffy taffy. (Yeah, it was for color)… Birthday cupcakes!!!

Next up: Amaretto cupcakes with a mixed batter. The base of the batters was basically the same- we made the vanilla side spiked with some Disarrono Amaretto, then split the batter and added cocoa powder to half of it. This gave us the black and white look:

It baked up quite nicely with an excellent spongy texture.

You know the frozen yogurt machines that have three handles, with two flavors on the outside and the middle one producing a swirled version of the two? That’s what we tried to do with the frosting! It’s the same process as with the batter: create a regular amaretto base, divide it in half, and add cocoa powder to half to get the chocolatey look. To achieve the swirl, you just fill a piping bag with the two frostings, one on each side.

Yum… this had some great flavor and texture going on.

Simply (Sin)namon

Oh man, I am so sad. I just wrote an entire post and for some reason, it didn’t save. 😦

Well, this one won’t be as good as the other, but it’s better than my lack of posts. I’m averaging 1/month at this rate!

Very well, let’s get on with it (said in my very best British nanny accent, in my head, of course). I’ve been looking for a good cinnamon roll recipe for a while, but I find making anything with yeast really intimidating. My friend Bri gave me this recipe from another one of her friends blogs, Cristine Cooks, and I procured a bread maker from friends at church, Carson and Gordon (like my shout-outs?) to put together a batch of these “Clones of Cinnabons.”

Here’s the recipe, also found at

Clone of a Cinnabon


  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast


  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened


  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

*Note* Even though the original recipe called for a bread machine, I actually didn’t “technically” end up needing one. I put all the ingredients into the bread machine without thinking about its maximum capacity, and when I opened it up 45 min. later expecting a nice round ball of dough, I instead found (to my utter dismay) a hybrid mixture of dough and un-mixed flour/yeast. I didn’t want to waste it, so I popped that puppy into my kitchenaid with the dough hook, and voila! Still worked great! A+ on being a foolproof recipe, or at least forgiving*

  • Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
  • Enough words!
    The ingredients:
    Uncooked cinnamon rolls, ready for the oven:
    Piping hot and just out of the oven:
    Smothered in the cream-cheese dericiousness:
    I’ll never buy another Cinnabon again!