There has been a lack of baking in my life in the last couple of weeks. After that manic-bad-baking-episode that I had over Christmas (Read about it HERE), I had to find a way to get my swing back. And tonight – I not only got my swing back, but blew it out of the Park! There may or may not have been some Rocky-esque dancing around, air-punching, fist pumping and all of some happy dancing around my apartment.

Now, for the cupcakes themselves Ben didn’t really want a Primrose bakery cupcake like I normally would have made. Instead, I plucked a recipe from Tasty Kitchen and ManicMother. She had a very highly rated Mint Chocolate Cupcake posted, but I was drawn to the cupcakes themselves. Boy howdy, these are some amazing, fantastic cupcakes.

I maintain that there is a reason that boxed cake mixes are popular for the rushed everyday baker – they’re quick, easy, cheap and tasty. But this is made from scratch and it tastes like the boxed mix – only BETTER – exponentially better. They had the wonderful squishy, moist, and tender texture of a box mix, but none of the guilt of taking the easy route by using a stuff out of the box.

To save you some time here is the list of ingredients and the pictures for them. Please try these cupcakes, you won’t regret it. (Sorry about the poor pictures and lighting, I didn’t take the time to edit these too much, I wanted to get this post up ASAP)

The boiling water addition kind of threw me off a bit, and I almost considered omitting it. In the end I figured if this is the way the recipe goes, I might as well do it right. And I’m glad I did.

This was the first time I got to break out my 24 count cupcake from my brother and his girlfriend. She’s in culinary school, so we have bonded over cooking/baking and horses.

And what’s a little cupcake baking without a little Cupcake wine?

Seeing as I was baking alone while Ben was in class tonight, I had to preserve the rest of the wine. Don’t wanna let it oxidize. This Houdini was a gift from my step-mom a couple of Christmas’s ago and it has been an amazing tool to have around the kitchen for the person or persons who can’t down a bottle at a sitting.

For 12 bucks, this is a great gift for the wino in your life. My mom and Kandace each got one from me this year. (PS – you can find them at Target)

But back to the cupcakes!!

It’s easy enough, heat your oven to 350, mix the dry ingredients and then mix in the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into lined cupcake tins and bake for 12 -16 minutes. Easy peasy.

(See Haley, I’m still using ’em and it’s not even Christmas!)

(Take a picture of your cute labra-dork sleeping…Hi Huck! Mama loves you!)

The end result is this!! Moist, perfectly domed baby cakes. Life is good.

For the Bailey’s Frosting start with…
~1/2 cup shortening
~ 1/2 unsalted butter
~ 3 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
~ Pinch of Salt
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ 1 1/2 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
~ 1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream.
Beat the butter and shortening together until they are smooth. Sift powdered sugar and slowly incorporate into the butter mixture. When throughly mixed, add in salt vanilla, irish cream and whipping cream. Beat until all mixed in, and then in a final step whip until light and fluffy.
Dollop into piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. For a finishing touch, dash some cocoa powder on top of the finished cupcakes.

Now go bake these for the someone special in your life. And don’t forget to hoover one yourself!!