You Like Buttercream


A few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend that I had been enlisted to make a cake and cupcakes for a birthday party, which resulted in a longer discussion about my my penchant for baking. He asked if I ever made whipped cream frosting, and I told him that I have, but that I generally prefer to use an Italian meringue buttercream. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

“I don’t like buttercream.”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do. You’ve just only had American buttercream. And American buttercream doesn’t count.”

So the following week I brought him a chocolate cupcake with Italian meringue buttercream, along with a small tub of extra frosting just in case. Then I watched as he not only ate the cupcake, but continued to scoop extra frosting out of the tub with each bite. He was amazed. Not only does he not hate buttercream, but this buttercream warranted joyous exclamations and enthusiastic comparisons to more…carnal pleasures.

Years ago, before I knew about the various types of buttercream frosting, I still got complements on cupcakes with homemade American buttercream. Because anything is better than frosting from the grocery store shelf, or the grocery store bakery. But after making my first batch of meringue buttercream, I can never go back.

the sweet spoonYou Like Buttercream

Dark Chocolate and Red Wine Cupcakes


This is my new favorite chocolate cake. It has a pleasantly dense texture that just melts in your mouth, with a rich chocolate flavor and wine that you can taste. Combined with the smooth sweetness of Italian meringue buttercream, plus a drizzle of red wine chocolate syrup, it’s divine. I wasn’t in the mood for a cupcake when I put these together, but after the first bite I couldn’t stop.

Deb Pearlman from Smitten Kitchen is probably my favorite food blogger of all time. You can never go wrong with one of her recipes. So when I was looking for a wine and chocolate cake recipe, and found that she had one, I knew it was a winner. It’s also in her cookbook, which we should all buy right now. And you should read the story on her blog that accompanies the recipe, because it’s rather great.

the sweet spoonDark Chocolate and Red Wine Cupcakes

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes


I have a confession to make. I am a wasteful cutter and peeler. I have no patience for carefully peeling away just enough skin on potatoes and carrots. And I don’t properly remove the hulls from strawberries. I just chop the tops off, wasting what I’m sure is perfectly good fruit. I’m going to order a strawberry huller right now … Read More

the sweet spoonStrawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Red, White and Blue Leftover Cake


It seems like every time I bake, I end up with random bits and pieces left over – a few ugly cupcakes or a tub of frosting that’s not enough for another project, but seems like a waste to throw away. While I usually default to the obvious solution – eating ugly cupcakes with leftover frosting – some things end up hanging out in my freezer, just waiting for the right moment.

A few weeks ago I made this epic graduation cake with multiple flavors and layers, and I was left with a single, thin, 9-inch square layer of white cake in my freezer. I was determined to use it, so for the Fourth of July I decided to make a half cake. Kind of a loaf-cake sized layer cake.

the sweet spoonRed, White and Blue Leftover Cake