Thursday, October 29, 2015

Birthday Boy Celebration

I think it's time to buy wrinkle cream.  As of today, I have a 3 year old.  Unbelievable.  This year we celebrated extremely low key.  We had a family trip to Flagstaff last weekend to play in the leaves and yesterdat (the big day) we spent the morning with Oma eating donuts, enjoying the pumpkin patch and eating lunch at one of our birthday favorites.  As much as I enjoy planning and hosting, I really do enjoy low key celebrations. 

But no birthday, big or small, low or high key is complete without dessert.  We had a get together with friends from church tonight, so we all gathered at the end of the night to sing Happy Birthday and eat cupcakes.  The house was filled with adults laughing, children running around like crazy yelling "I need a weapon!" and "It hurts at trillion!" when they got hurt from said weapon.  Though I think my favorite part of the evening was when my own child whizzed by me in which my mom nose was stimulated by the scent of tooth paste.  I jumped up from my chair and ran to the bathroom to find a used tooth brush and what seemed like a half a tube of tooth paste squirted in the sink. We of course left our tooth brushes at home, leaving the only possibility of ownership to be our gracious hosts. Oh the joys of motherhood.  So thankful to be surrounded by a community to help encourage us, hug us and tell us, "it's okay, I'll just throw the toothbrush in the dishwasher to disinfect it".  Thanks C. 

What I love about birthdays of young ones is that you get to decide everything :)  The activities and food always default to some of my favorites like my chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting.  Of course I say it's my favorite but the yums interspersed with moments of wows and silence lead me to believe that these quickly become others favorite too.  It's a recipe I have shared before and because they are so incredibly amazing, I'm sharing them AGAIN!

This Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake recipe will forever and always be my go to. 

Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee  <----- adaption
Does it need the coffee?  No.  Should you add the coffee instead of boiling water?  Yes.  


1.  Stir dry ingredients together.
2.  Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and mix until combine.
3.  Pour in coffee and mix together, scraping down the side of the bowl.  (batter is thin)
4.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter in cupcake pans.
5.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. 
Yes!  It's that easy!  And the frosting is just as easy though it can be time consuming.

Salted Caramel Frosting


1 lb. of butter
1 1/2 cup caramel*
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt 
*To make the caramel, peel off the wrapper of 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk.  DO NOT OPEN.  Put in a large pot and cover with water.  Boil for 3 hours, adding water as it evaporates.  After 3 hours, remove the cans and let cool completely. 
You can make homemade caramel which is less time consuming but a little tricky. (I've made this before.  It's knock your socks off amazing)

I'm sure you can use store bought caramel or melt down caramels, but why?


1.  Whip butter for 30 seconds on high.
2.  Add caramel and vanilla and whip for another 30 seconds.
3.  Slowly add powdered sugar and salt.  Continue whipping for another minute or so.
Frosting should be light and fluffy and should hold it's shape when you lift the beater out of the bowl.  If it needs to be stiffened, add more powdered sugar.
Pipe or spread frosting onto cupcakes. To pipe, I used a Wilton 1 M tip and a piping bag.  I started on the outside of the cupcake and lightly squeezed the bag as I moved around the cupcake in a circular motion, about 1 inch from the cupcake.  This is actually really easy to do!