Filed Under (Cakes, Recipes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 21-07-2011

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My husband mentioned that he’d seen a Paula Deen recipe for pink lemonade cake.  I thought that sounded really nice and would be a great Summertime dessert.  After looking at Paula’s recipe online and the comments by users who had found it “too dense” “too this” or “too that” I decided to run with her basic flavour idea but to tweak it and hopefully turn out something really nice.

This is what I did.  It’s really easy and very tasty.

Pink Lemonade Cupcake Batter by Cake Artisan

Pink Lemonade Cupcake Batter

I took a box of white cake mix and prepared it as directed on the box except that I don’t like to use oil in my cakes so I replaced the 1/3 cup of oil with an equivalent 1/3 cup of natural, unsweetened apple sauce.  To the mix I then added three heaped tablespoons of the Country Time Pink Lemonade drink mix and also added a dash of Madagascar Vanilla and about a tablespoon of lemon zest.  I decided I wanted my cake to be more pink than the pale colour it was currently so I added a dash of pink food colouring until it was pink enough for me.

Ingredients so far:

1 box of Moist White Cake Mix

3 egg whites (no yolks)

1/3 cup natural, unsweetened apple sauce

1 & 1/4 cup of water

3 heaped tablespoons of Country Time Pink Lemonade drink mix powder (not diluted)

1 tsp of Madagascar Vanilla or Vanilla Essence

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest

Country Time - Pink Lemonade

Country Time - Pink Lemonade

Pink food colouring


(Baking purists are probably rolling their eyes at my suggestion of using a box mix and then the addition of pink food colouring.  It worked for what we were doing here so I’m ok with it.  If you aren’t, there are plenty of from scratch white cake recipes out there to delight your pure little baker’s hearts.)

Even though I have a passion for baking we try not to keep too many goodies in the house because we both could stand to lose some weight.  So we send our goodies off to work with my husband and I’ve heard his coworkers think this is ok.  Since they are headed for the office I decided to make cupcakes as they are far more manageable than needing to find a knife and plates for carving up a larger single cake.

Next I created a tasty complementary frosting.  I pretty much always go for my basic cream cheese frosting and just change it up a little to suit what it is that I’m making.


Crusting cream cheese buttercream

5 heaped tablespoons of Country Time  Pink Lemonade Drink Powder

Pink Lemonade Cupcake by Cake Artisan adapted from Paula Deen's Pink Lemonade Cake

Pink Lemonade Cupcake

After the cupcakes came out of the oven and cooled I frosted them with a generous swirl of buttercream and some sugar sprinkles just to make them shiny.  So that’s it folks.. really a quick and easy recipe and perfect for summer mealtimes or snacks.  Enjoy!  And remember if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me.  I try to answer all emails even if they may take a couple of days to get you your response.

~ Colleen



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Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 18-12-2009

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Print recipe hereAfter many emails and requests on how to do this I am going to do a quick post.  I have used coloured sugars on many cookies and cupcakes and it’s really simple to make your own.  I’ve even made it with a pearlized sheen.  It all depends on the food colouring you choose.  The main thing to keep in mind is that you must use a POWDERED form of food colouring.  Any liquids or gels will just melt the sugar and you’ll have a colourful but sticky mess.

I try to buy a coarsely ground sugar for my decorating sugars just so it gives a little more impact, or you can always use regular white sugar if that’s all you can buy or have on hand.

Colorful Decorating Sugars

To be on the safe side you should probably start off with just a little of the food coloring and see what shade you get after you shake it (with the lid on tightly of course!).  You can then adjust it and make it darker by adding a little more coloring until you get the desired shade you are after.

Store your sugars in a dry space so they don’t clump up from moisture.

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Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 18-08-2009

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We so loved yesterday’s batch of Upside-down Caramel Apple Cupcakes that I decided to make some more but this time right way up. I had a dozen plain spice cupcakes left over to use. Click here for a printable version

This time around I peeled and chopped 2 large Pink Lady apples which are excellent for cooking with. They held their shape wonderfully and didn’t break down when stirred into the caramel even once they were tender.

Caramel Sauce

    10 oz unsalted butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup dark brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
    1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    pinch salt

Melt the butter over medium heat in a pan. Add the sugars and spices. I cooked this reducing the heat a little until it bubbled and didn’t look so watery on top. To test my caramel I place a teaspoon full of the sauce on a glass plate and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to see how it’s setting up. You don’t want a hard toffee like caramel in your cupcakes. When you get a nice soft but not runny consistency add the chopped apples and continue to cook until the apples are tender… I wasn’t adding them to the oven this time since I was using cupcakes I had made previously, so I needed to cook them a little longer.

Cut a small cap from the top of the cupcakes by diagonally inserting a sharp knife into the cupcakes  from the edge towards the center about one inch.  Cut around until a small cap pops out.  You can see the shape of the well in the image below.  I trim off the point on these caps so they sit flat when I put them back on top of the caramel apple filling.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Add a heaped teaspoon of the caramel apple filling to the cupcakes.  Replace the trimmed caps and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  I think these looks so festive and use colored cupcake papers to suit the season.  Great for those Fall parties, Thanksgiving and other Holiday festivities.

As always, if you have any questions be sure and drop me a line.  I love hearing from you all and will do my best to answer in a clear manner…  Often I think my instructions are clear but then again… 😉

Cheers for now,


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Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 16-08-2009

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You might think I’m a little premature in baking an item so suited to Fall weather, but there is something wonderful about the fragrance of cooked apple and cinnamon that I just couldn’t resist. Click here for a printable version

When the air conditioner is on and it’s overcast it’s easy to overlook the fact that the temperature outside is actually in the upper 90s.

I saw a photo of an upside-down caramel apple cupcake on Flickr made by 4GoodnessCake and thought they looked easy enough to make, which they were.  For some reason I decided to chop up my apples when the ones I saw online had used a ring of apple.  The ring would have been far easier to get out of the pan I’m sure and probably would have made a more traditional flat bottom shape.  I had to scoop out some of the apple chunks and reposition them on the cupcakes.  But as they cooled they set up well and stayed where they were put.

I used a recipe for Applesauce-Spice Cake from my Betty Crocker Best of Baking book.  The spicy cake with added applesauce was great coupled with the cooked apple I placed into the pan before the cake mix.
Step 1 – Cook the Apples

This recipe test yielded enough batter for two dozen cupcakes but I only had enough cooked apples for one dozen so the remainder are just plain old spice cakes.

  • Peel and chop into small chunks two apples of your choice.  I used Granny Smith because they hold together well when cooked and that is what hubby bought back with him from the store so little choice really!
  • In a skillet I melted 1 cup of unsalted butter, to which I added 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and just a pinch of salt to bring out the flavours.
  • Add the chopped apples (or rings if you prefer) and cook just until they begin to get tender.
  • Scoop about 1  tablespoon of this mixture into the bottom of a greased cupcake pan.

Step 2 – The Cake Batter
Seriously people, if you want to use a box spice cake mix – DO IT! I’m all about convenience and sometimes we just don’t have the time to do it from scratch. Yeah, yeah, I know purist bakers are rolling their eyes… 🙂

    2  1/2 cups of all purpose flour
    2 cups of sugar
    1/2 cup of butter
    1  1/2 cups of apple sauce (I prefer the unsweetened natural)
    1/2 cup of water
    1  1/2 tsp of baking soda
    1  1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    1/2 tsp ground allspice
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F (180C) degrees.  Beat all the ingredients together in your mixer on low speed, scrape the bottom to ensure no dry ingredients are sitting down there for about 30 seconds.  Then beat on medium high for around 3 mins until batter looks relatively smooth.

You can now add this batter on top of your cooked apples in the cupcake pans, filling each hole to about 2/3 full.  I use a quarter cup measure to try and get some uniformity in my cupcake size.

Bake for around 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched with a fingertip.   They will look brown due to the spice cake mix but don’t let them get too dark.   When cooked, cool in the pan for approximately ten to fifteen minutes.  I used a large spoon to remove mine from the pan, scooping up the apple and sauce that stayed in the pan.

Have your cupcake papers sitting on the cooling rack and place each cupcake apple side up in the papers.  I drizzled on any syrup and apple left in the bottom of the pan.  Let cool.  You can decorate any way you wish.  These were good the next day cold out of the refrigerator or heated in the microwave with a scoop of vanilla icecream and some caramel sauce.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment here or email me.

Happy happy baking!

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Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 17-07-2009

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My favourite drink is an Arnold Palmer – half iced tea, half lemonade. Paula Deen’s recipe for a cupcake by the same name didn’t receive very good reviews so I set out to make my own.  And yes, it uses a box cake mix… I know, culinary purists are mortified, but hey, cake mixes are perfected and a great time saver, so I say go ahead, there are no rules in your own kitchen!

Oh and don’t forget to pop on over to Kitchen Rap to see the Summer 2009 Cupcake Crawl! Vote for these cupcakes or my “You’ll go bananas” entry…

Yield: Approx 18 cupcakes
Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 17-20 mins

1 Betty Crocker or similar super moist lemon box cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups milk
3 Large Eggs
4 White Tea Bags or loose leaf equivalent.

Lemon & White Tea Cupcakes

Lemon & White Tea Cupcakes


Preheat oven to 350F. Either spray a cupcake pan or line with cupcake papers.

Heat milk to around 130F and steep tea bags or leaf for five minutes. Strain milk through fine sieve or strainer to remove any tea leaves. Allow milk to cool before adding to mixture so as not to cook the eggs.

In a mixing bowl, add cake mix, tea infused milk, oil and eggs. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Scrape side and bottom of bowl to ensure no dry mix left.

Fill cupcake pan to three quarters full and bake for around 17-20 mins. Cupcakes should be golden and spring back on top when depressed slightly.

Cool completely before frosting with your favourite lemon buttercream. Finish off by zesting some fresh lemon rind across the top.

These are more lemon flavoured with just a hint of the tea. I will be trying out different tea types in future batches. Enjoy!

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Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 05-07-2009

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Why is it that when you take your eyes off the fruit bowl for one day the bananas end up black and overripe?  I hate to see fruit go bad and luckily when it’s bananas you can still use them for yummy banana bread or in this case banana cupcakes!

Be sure to visit Kitchen Rap & Gourmet Girl’s 2009 Summer Cupcake Crawl to vote on the luscious cupcake entries.. of course a vote for me would be great too!

Banana Cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes


4oz (125g) butter
6oz (175g) sugar
2 eggs
2 large mashed ripe bananas (or 3 med sized)
1 tsp Baking soda
2 Tbsp boiling milk
1 tsp baking power
8oz (225g) flour


  1. Cream butter & sugar for around 2 minutes preferably in your stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Or you can do it by hand if you’re up to it!
  2. Add eggs one at a time.
  3. Add mashed bananas.
  4. Add baking soda that has been dissolved in hot milk.
  5. Lastly mix in sifted flour & baking powder.

Spoon into cupcake papers and bake at 350 deg F for around 20 mins.  They should begin to get golden on top but don’t over bake.



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk, (or you can use heavy cream for thicker glaze)
  • extract/flavoring – I used Banana and it was great!
  1. Melt 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of butter in a saucepan or microwave.
  2. Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar into a medium size bowl.
  3. Add the melted butter to the powdered sugar.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of milk.
  5. If desired, add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla for flavor.
  6. Beat until smooth and creamy, adding a little more milk if necessary.
  7. Drizzle over a cooled cake.


  1. For a richer and creamier glaze, use heavy cream in place of the milk.
  2. Substitute citrus juice for the milk and add a little grated zest for a citrus glaze.

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