Rose-Tinted Living: Cutest Cupcakes

Rose-Tinted Living: Cutest Cupcakes

I have a weakness for cupcakes that has occasionally preceded me. (It can be a bit strange to introduce oneself and hear in response, “Oooooooh, you’re that cupcake girl!” That has happened on more than one occasion.) Although I like to stop at bakeries or cupcake shops, I also enjoy baking at home. My kitchen windowsill stores my cookbooks, half of them cupcake- or tea-related! I own one cookie sheet, but four differently-sized muffin tins; my preferences are pretty clear.

If I host a gathering at my home, I usually bake cupcakes. The last time I hosted we had an assortment of lemon-lavender cupcakes with lemon glaze and honey-chai cupcakes with cream cheese frosting~ Lately I’ve been thinking of Earl Grey cupcakes with violet frosting or fresh strawberry cupcakes layered with whipped cream. Of course, I’ll probably test out my newest acquisition with some funfetti cupcakes (the white kind with multi-coloured sprinkles), as I’ve received several boxes of mix from my mother.

When I spotted the pink box, showing a white teacup filled with a cupcake and topped with pink frosting, that was it. I could not resist.

I spotted these adorable cupcake molds while shopping for thank you notes. I’d spotted these on Fred Flare, but wasn’t swayed enough to buy them online. The TEACUPCAKES are made by Fred & Friends, a company that regularly produces really adorable home goods. They make many, many things I’d love to have in my kitchen!

Although these cupcake molds were easy to resist in pictures online, it was not quite the same when I saw them in the store–especially because there was a display of the cups out of the box, so I could see just how large they were and how completely adorable they are. I wound up coming home with thank you notes, these cupcake molds, and some tea–the “teacupcakes” made the subsequent spotting of dessert-inspired teas impossible to resist.

The TeaCupCake
The creased “folds” of the cup and the swirl at the base of the handle are adorable touches!

The molds are essentially reusable cupcake liners. They appear to be about the size of a standard cupcake, and there are four per box: four baking cups and four display saucers. The plastic saucers cannot go in the oven–they’re for serving only. The silicone teacups are pretty stable, despite being made of a bendy and floppy material, although some of mine seem more oval at the top due to how they were packed in the box. Sitting out has given them time to restore themselves to a more rounded shape.

I’m not usually fond of silicone cupcake molds, but these are so cute I’m more than willing to give them a chance. I’m thinking about making cupcakes soon, although since I’m go out of town before the end of the week it’s probably not best to make too many.

The contents of the box displayed with the box. I love how pink that box is!

The only thing I could ask for is to have more of the molds. Four isn’t really enough–a standard batch of cupcakes typically makes twelve or more. If I wanted to use them for a meetup, it would be unfair to only let four people get the cute cupcakes! However, at the price (roughly $20), it’s not really feasible to buy lots and lots of sets of these at once. Maybe I can try collecting them over time? (I hope they stay in production for a little while…) I’d love to serve these adorable teacupcakes at a tea party!

Honestly, they’re so cute even empty…but they’d be even better with tasty cupcakes~

TeaCupCakes Box
I appreciate the warning not to serve tea in the cupcake molds! It is a little bit tempting…

And, I thought I’d include a cupcake recipe (for the aforementioned honey-chai cupcakes) to round this out:


Chai (tea bags, loose leaf, or concentrate)
2/3 cup water
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make very strong tea with the chai and the water–either steeping tea/tea bags or mixing the concentrate until you have just 2/3 cup of the liquid. Let it cool to room temperature. (Don’t add sugar and milk! You want it to be just tea. If your concentrate already has sugar and milk you might want to use a different chai.)

Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Combine the honey, melted butter, buttermilk, and egg. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine–then add the tea and mix until well-blended.

Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.

12 oz cream cheese
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs honey
Honeycomb (optional)

Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and honey until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.

And garnish with honeycomb, if desired~

Sweet Treats: Swirlz Cupcakes

Sweet Treats: Swirlz Cupcakes

Cupcakes have become very “hip” in the past year or so. I’ve seen numerous cupcake bakeries open (and close…) in Chicago. I am very fond of cupcakes myself, since they are small cakes and I am not exactly able to eat an entire big cake. I’ve tried to taste the goods at as many of the cupcakeries in the area as possible, although a few have always evaded me. (I’m not willing to travel for a few hours to eat a cupcake unless I know it’s going to be completely awesome; maybe I’d feel differently about this if I had a car instead of relying on public transportation, but maybe not.)
One of the places I hadn’t been able to visit was Swirlz. Although it isn’t terribly far from where I live, it was always juuuuuust a little bit further than I wanted to travel on that day. (It doesn’t help that there are closer cupcake shops that I am fond of!) However, over the weekend I went out to lunch with my person. When we decided where we wanted to go, I realized we were close to Swirlz, so we decided to stop by for a cupcake after lunch. (Unfortunately, I got us both rather lost on the way there…and it was only about a block away~ Whoops~)

Boston Creme Pie Cupcake from Swirlz

He chose their flavor of the day–Boston Creme Pie. My person adores Boston creme pie when it’s in pie-form, so he was especially excited. He had every right to be–his cupcake was delicious! The flavors of the cake were both well-blended and well-separated. (You can see here that the base was vanilla and the top was chocolate.) The cupcake had the requisite custard filling, which was smooth and tasty, and the frosting was dipped in chocolate~ We were both very impressed.

Red-Velvet Cupcake from Swirlz

I ordered a gluten-free red velvet cupcake. No particular reason in terms of the gluten-free–I was mostly curious. In retrospect, I suspect that I should have ordered the original red velvet cupcake. The cupcake itself, though moist and dense, was rather flavorless. The cream cheese frosting was quite good, but it would have been better were it offsetting a more flavored cake.

Overall, I would definitely patronize Swirlz again, although it isn’t likely to be my go-to for cupcakes. The price is $3.50 per cupcake, which is on the higher end, but the flavors weren’t as intricate as I prefer. I don’t like to purchase a cupcake if I could make it at home with ease, but beyond the flavor of the day the other options were vanilla, chocolate, and variants of the two. For that price, I’d rather head to more and eat something ridiculous. :3

Daily Life: On a Date!

Daily Life: On a Date!

My person and I have been together for nearly five years (it will be exactly five years as of tomorrow), but I still get all giddy and excited about doing something romantic together–especially going out on a date!

Going out on a date is one of my favourite things that we can do together. It can make any day extra-special. Although we spend quite a bit of time together, not just anything is a date. Oh, no–a date has to be planned. A date cannot be running the errands or cleaning the house; a date has to be something at least a little bit out of the ordinary.

That’s not to say that it has to be expensive. The very best dates are the ones we do our best to enjoy with as little spending as possible. We can go for a walk along the lakefront, and then make dinner at home and spend some time cuddling together with the guinea pigs. We could borrow a movie that we’ve both wanted to see, play board games or card games, or try to one-up each other with funny video clips.

Today we were lucky enough to go to the movie theatre! My mother had won a movie theatre gift certificate at work, and she was kind enough to give it to me. When my person mentioned that he wanted to see Up!, we decided to get up early and see a matinee showing to get the most out of our gift card. Our bus got us to the theatre with plenty of time to spare. We were the only ones in the room–it felt really neat to have the whole place to ourselves while the movie played! It really came in handy, because I cried the entire time.

The movie was amazingly well-animated and the storyline was very well-developed, but I was really emotionally moved by everything about the story. After the first fifteen minutes or so I started sobbing, and cried almost nonstop throughout the rest of the film. It was incredibly embarassing–even when the credits were rolling I couldn’t stop crying! I was so glad that no-one else could see me. Going out for lunch hadn’t really been part of our original plan, but it was improvised as a bit of a cheer-me-up. We don’t usually eat at restaurants, so it was really a treat.

After a delicious meal at the Oak Tree (where I learned that their “toasted epicurean cheese” menu was some kind of slang for wonderfully creative grilled-cheese sandwiches), we stopped by more for dessert. Cupcakes are one of my favourite-est desserts in the whole world (although I have the stereotypical sweet-lolita love of all desserts), and more was closest to us. Today’s flavors all looked quite tasty. My person chose blueberry right away, but I had a really hard time picking from strawberry-rhubarb meringue, s’more, and key lime pie. Eventually I picked key lime pie, after much deliberation.

We brought our treats home and made some of my person’s favourite tea. (He really likes the Samurai Chai Mate from Teavana. However, since we don’t have any in-cup tea-strainers at the moment we don’t make it very often, since we have to make a whole pot of it at a time.) Then we relaxed in the kitchen, chuckled at the antics of the guinea pigs, and ate our delicious cupcakes. It was blissfully wonderful~

I don’t ever want to stop treasuring our time together, no matter what we’re doing. Days like these make me so happy that we’re together. My heart is so full of love and sparkles! ♥