Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Cupcakes

Cinnamon Cupcakes:

1 box of yellow cake mix
add 1 rounded tablespoon of ground cinnamon
Follow cupcake baking directions on your box (I made 2 dozen small cupcakes)

Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting:
(Note: I’ve made this into a half batch of the original recipe found here, and I still had way too much.)

2 and 1/4 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (was half and half)

Frosting Directions:

1. Beat together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until fluffy and pale in colour.
2. Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until it is fully incorporated.
3. Scrape down the bowl and add the cream. Beat to incorporate again.
4. Add another 1 cup of the powdered sugar and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until fully incorporated. 5. Check the consistency of the buttercream. If it needs to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more cream. In either case, add only a small amount (tspn – TBL), beating after each addition, until it reaches the consistency you like.


These cupcakes are very good, but the frosting is very very sweet. My search for the perfect buttercream frosting will continue. Or I may do my own experiments with more butter and less sugar.

Yummy Dirt

On Wednesday I made shortbread cookies. Basic recipe is from the Rose’s Christmas Cookies book.

Then Thursday I had the urge to try and make a gluten free version for a friend that was coming to visit. I did a little reading on substitutes and decided to replace the AP flour in the recipe with rice and oat flours. I made my own. To my surprise, when I measured a half cup of rice, and then ground it up in my spice grinder, the resulting flour was about the same volume. I thought it would settle, but it appears to have been fluffy enough to compensate for that. The same thing happened with the oats.

My Recipe:

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

– Put these into the food processor and run on 1 for about a minute to make the sugar extra fine.

1 1/4 cup butter

– Cut into cubes and add to food processor. Run on 1 just until combined.

1 1/4 cup white rice flour
1 1/4 cup oat flour

– I ground these myself from whole and it was a little crunchy. Not as flour fine as I would like. I’ll have to look into a better mill for grinding, or just buy the flour in the store next time.
– Add these to the food processor and pulse until combined. You shouldn’t see any more dry flour. Don’t over process any of these steps. It will be crumbly beads of dough, not a solid mass.
– Scrape the dough into a mixing bowl and hand knead the dough into a solid ball. If it feels too sticky, you might want to refrigerate this for 30 minutes or so.

Bake on 275 for about 50 minutes.

Remember that every oven is a little different, and also that you don’t want shortbread to get golden, so you are pulling it out before it develops any browning at all. This might take some experimenting to figure out when it’s completely baked, but not yet golden.

Quality of Resulting Cookies

As I mentioned above, the rice and oat flours weren’t fine enough, so they’re a little crunchier than I’d like. That crunchiness might just be the rice flour not being fine enough. It might work if it were all oat flour.

They’re still tasty and quite edible, and after a conversation with another friend about it, they were dubbed “Yummy Dirt”.

In the photo above you see the regular shortbread cookies at the top, and the Yummy Dirt below. I don’t really think anyone would mistake them for shortbread at this point. I’ll have to try and improve that, or simply give them a new name.

Oats may not be entirely gluten free, according to Caroline (the gal with the gluten-free diet), because they are often processed through the same equiptment as wheat. She had a mild reaction to the cookies. UGH!

Orange-Mango Sorbet

We have an ice cream maker, which makes this pretty simple. Put all ingerdients in and run it until it’s done. I’m sure freshly juiced tangerines would be even better, but our version made with half a can of orange-mango juice from concentrate was quite delicious!

3 cups fresh juice from tangerines or manderine oranges (or: half a can of frozen juice concentrate made into 3 cups of juice)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup (optional)
(Original recipe found here)

1. Put half a can of juice concentrate into 4-cup size pyrex measuring cup. 2. Add water to the 3 cup line and mix. 3. add other ingredients and mix. 4. Pour into ice cream maker and run until done. 25-30 mins. 5. Done. Enjoy.

Chocolate Malt Cake

Snow Licking the bowl Candle shot by Mike

1 box Deveil’s Food cake mix
1/2 cup malted milk powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
8 oz cream cheese (1 box), softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup malted milk powder

Additional decorating item: 2 boxes of Whoppers (Malted Milk Balls)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)
2. grease and flour 3 – 8″ round cake pans
3. combine dry ingredients: cake mix and malted milk powder, in a small bowl and set aside
4. combine wet ingredients: eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla extract; beat until smooth
5. add dry ingredients to the wet, beat until well mixed
6. pour batter into the 3 cake pans you prepared earlier. Try and get the amounts as close to the same as you can without making a big fuss about it.
7. bake on 350 for about 30 minutes, rotate and turn the pans about half way through this time. Cake is down when a toothpick, knife, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Remove from oven and place, still in the pans, on cooling racks for 15+ minutes to cool down
9. gently remove the cakes from the pans and place, on wax paper, on the cooling racks until completely cooled. I left these overnight, since I did the baking really late at night.


10. Combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla; and beat for 4 minutes (KitchenAid standing mixer makes this all really easy), and then scrape down the bowl sides as needed
11. add powdered sugar and malted milk powder (I add these about 1/2 cup at a time), mix until smooth
12. frost between layers and around cake as normal. Decorate with malted milk balls (Whoppers)


This just might be the most delicious cake I’ve ever made. I love malt, so does Mike, and I take the few minutes of complete silence of 10 people eating it at the party as a really good indication that they all really liked it too.

The frosting was stiff enough, but I might add a little more butter to it next time. I don’t want to add anymore sugar as it was perfect for sweetness. I don’t want to have it get sickly sweet.

Original recipe was for cupcakes, and found here. My changes are small, but important for me to track for future baking. I left the cocoa out of the frosting, and made a whole cake, so I’ve noted bake time for that of course.

Ugly Pie

aka Peppermint Cheesecake


Boy this one came out ugly. I think it could have used more peppermint, but others claimed it was delicious as is. *shrug*