Vanilla Swirl Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was watching Martha Stewart a few weeks back and she demonstrated a way to create a swirl effect for frosting so I gave it a try.  I was happy with the results but then covered up most of the effect with red sprinkles.  I’ll need to rethink that next time.  But if you look closely you can make it out.  The cake batter also has a swirl effect.

Vanilla Swirl Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting - Single wit pic branding

Here is how it is done:

Cupcake batter – Take a small amount of batter and mix a food coloring or color gel in. Then swirl into plain batter. Place batter in muffin liners.

Frosting – Take food coloring (or color gel) and paint a few stripes down the inside of a prepped piping bag.  Then carefully spoon frosting in middle of bag.  Squeeze some of the frosting out until you see the swirl effect.  I completely forgot to take pictures of this.  Drats! But I learned the technique from Martha Stewart’s Swirl Technique Video

I also want to highlight my treasure find this fall.  I have been looking for a pedestal stand where ribbon can be woven in and out and then I buzzed into the new Marshalls near our house and there it was for $11.97 — what a find.  

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Below is the recipe for the Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
This is lighter in texture than a standard buttercream frosting and may need to stabilize in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.
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  1. 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  2. 6 oz butter, softened
  3. 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  4. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  5. Milk if needed - I used unsweetened almond milk
  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until velvety smooth.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Add sugar in a little at a time until you have the consistency desired.
  1. As mentioned this is a lighter texture frosting so once it is spread or piped - place in refrigerator or freezer to stabilize the butter/cream cheese in recipe.
  2. Decorate as desired.
Deliciously Inspired

Vanilla Swirl Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - pic branding


Pomegranate (The Jewel of Autumn) – How to Clean

Last weekend I went to our local Farmer’s Market and the first thing I spotted were beautiful pomegranates for $1 each.  I purchased two of them and dreamed of a salad to feature them in (post coming next week).  This fruit is also known as the seeded apple or Chinese apple. It is a good source of Vitamins C, K and fiber and looks like rubies.

Pomegranate - Finished

Below are the steps to get to the gorgeous fruit.

Pomegranate - Whole

Fill a large bowl with cool water and place in your sink. Place a plastic bag nearby for the skin and membrane. Cut the top and bottom off of the pomegranate and score the side. Place the pomegranate in the bowl of water and gently pull the pomegranate into pieces.

Pomegranate - Separating

Gently separate the fruit away from the skin and membrane. Leave seeds in the water and place the membrane and skin in the plastic bag.

Pomegranate - Combo

Soon all the fruit will be in the water bowl.   Remove as much of the little membrane pieces from the water as possible.  I always have a few left.  Pour through a small colander and enjoy in oatmeal, salads, yogurt, dessert or just by the handful.

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Thursday Favorite Things

Sweet and Savoury Sunday


Peeling an Orange (Nature’s Candy)

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make life brighter – having the right tool in the kitchen, finding the right word to speak to help someone understand what you are feeling,  just taking the time to realize that you are standing in a place of beauty and nothing is expected of you in that moment except to BE or learning an easy way to peel an orange. 

First  – you’ll needed an orange.

Orange - Whole2

 Second – cut off the ends of the orange.

Orange-Cut Ends

 Third – Make 5 or 6 gentle cuts through the orange with a sharp knife.

Orange-Score and Peel

 Fourth – Peel sections and Enjoy Your Orange.

Orange-Ready to Eat

A few facts about an average orange – 60 calories, 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 120% Vitamin C.

Maybe this picture will help you take a moment and picture yourself in a place of beauty, a place that invites you to just Be and remember that life has simple moments.

2013 Vac - Point Reyes Trail - Forest