Well, color me impressed. One month ago I issued a challenge here on Willow Bird Baking. Because I know how inspiring it can be to create your own dish, I asked you to come up with a fun cupcake combination all your own.
Some of these fantastic bakers were mamas baking with their kids (Sarah let her son, Jonathan, help out) while some of them were kids themselves (Erica's in 7th grade this year). Some of them went the decadent route -- chocolate, peanut butter, and beer, oh dear! -- while some of them stayed bright and fruity -- summery strawberries, blackberries, and citrus. Across the board, though, the one thing you all have in common is kitchen creativity. You came up with plans for a fantastic dessert for your family and friends, and you made it happen! Now it's time to show off your handiwork!
Faygie the Fantastic
Faygie Made: Chocolate Cupcakes with Guinness-Chocolate Pudding and Caramel Buttercream
Comments:"I had a lot of fun doing this challenge! It took a while to find a combination that was not only unique, but also complemented each other well. The chocolate cupcake recipe is fantastic. The pudding was also very good, [...] and I really thought that the caramel buttercream complemented the chocolate and Guinness really well. Because it is a Swiss meringue buttercream, it’s not too sweet (even with the large amount I piped on). I brought these to a friend’s birthday party and they were a huge hit!" (see more on her blog!)
Just look at those mountains of delicious frosting! These sound so rich and decadent.
LeAndra the Lovely
LeAndra Made: Banana and Choco-Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter(cream) Filling and Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
Comments:"Thank you for hosting this cupcake challenge. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's creations. I baked banana cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream filling and marshmallow buttercream icing. The baking itself went well, but I was concerned the banana cake and the peanut butter filling were too similar in coloring. So, I mixed some cocoa powder into the remaining batter for chocolate-banana cupcakes." (see more of her fun cupcakes on her blog!)
Peanut butter, banana, and marshmallow sound like a match made in fluffernutter heaven. Yum!
Erica the Energetic
Erica Made: Yellow Cupcakes with Lemon Filling and Orange Icing
Comments:Erica is my youngest challenge entrant this time around -- she just started 7th grade (in my class)! Aren't these citrusy cupcakes adorable? Way to go, Erica!
Erica came straight out of my cupcake camp this summer and completed the cupcake challenge! So impressive!
Corisa the Creative
Corisa Made: Tandy Kake Cupcakes
Comments: "I made a 'Tandy Kake' cupcake, because Tandy Kake is one of my most loved desserts. I enjoy the combination of peanut butter and chocolate a whole lot! I started with a butter cake and filled it with Ina Garten's peanut butter frosting. Then I topped it off with a simple chocolate frosting! Thanks so much for this opportunity. I'm so excited to see all the fabulous cupcakes!"
It doesn't get better than peanut butter and chocolate. I want about 5 of these!
Sophia the Sophisticated
Sophia Made: Butterbeer Cupcakes
Comments: Sophia took two of my cooking classes last year -- we had so much fun! She says, "I made the Butterbeer cupcakes. They were awesome! I used some techniques that I learned in your class when I made them, so that was great! They tasted a lot like cream soda and butterscotch (surprise!) I had so much fun! I don't think I would have been able to make them as well if it hadn't been for your cooking class...so thanks again." Aww, what a sweet thing to say. Those kids were naturals in the kitchen, though!
I love butterscotch, and these cute cupcakes make me want to drive my broom straight to Harry Potter world in Florida, licking my fingers all the way.
Diana the Daring
Diana Made: Chocolate-Covered Banana Cupcakes
Comments: "I'm sending you my creation, a Chocolate-Covered Banana Cupcake. I was inspired by our trip to King's Island (an amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio) this summer. This was a fun challenge. Thanks for putting it together."
These are so gorgeous, and I love that they're a play off such a classic dessert.
Annie the Artistic
Annie Made: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Monograms
Comments: "I love reading your blog for inspiration! Here's a link to my red velvet cupcake with monograms recipe. It was quite a disaster the first two times -- the recipe I had didn't specify to add the vinegar and baking soda together before putting them in the mixture and, as I'm sure you know, red velvet cupcakes are a little tricky! Anyways, it was an overall success and the knitting ladies loved it." Way to try, try, try again, Annie! (see more on her blog)
The monograms make these red velvet cupcakes unique and special.
Sarah the Sensational
Sarah Made: Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Puree Filling and Strawberry Buttercream
Comments: "I modified this Paula Deen recipe because my husband is crazy and doesn't like peaches. I made a strawberry version."
I love all things strawberry, and these cupcakes look like heaven. Look at the cute frosting squiggles!
Susan the Sweet
Susan Made: Blackberry Merlot Cupcakes
Comments: "This is my Blackberry Merlot Cupcake!
It's a dark chocolate cupcake with blackberry preserve filling and a country buttercream made with a fresh blackberry & Merlot reduction. I came up with it when my niece was trying to decide which vice -- chocolate, cake, or wine -- to partake in. I decided to come up with a way for her to have all three at once!" (see more on her website)
These sound so decadent and delicious -- what a way to "have your cake and eat it too!"
Erin the Elegant
Erin Made: Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes
Comments: "I couldn't help but join in the fun and bake a cupcake! I'm an avid reader of your site and am always inspired to bake after looking at the delicious food you've made. Thanks for the opportunity to create something new! I baked a yummy Boston Creme Pie Cupcake with vanilla cake, vanilla cream filling, and dark chocolate ganache topping. To really make the cupcake shine, I added macaroon coconut as a garnish on top of the ganache." (see more on her blog)
These came out so cute, and I love the addition of coconut! This is the perfect way to eat Boston creme pie -- in adorable single portions. "
Cathy and Kevin the Courageous
Erin Made: Bananas Foster Cupcakes
Comments: "We made Bananas Foster cupcakes! We used a banana cake recipe, caramel filling, and a cinnamon-madagascar bourbon vanilla bean cream cheese frosting (long enough for you?) topped with vanilla wafer crumbs and butterscotch caramel sauce. These babies were to die for!! (Not for the faint of heart-if you don't like rich banana-y goodness these are not for you!) Thanks for a great challenge to make us come up with these goodies; we will be making these again." (see more on their blog)
All I can say is oh my goodness, yum. I need to try these!
As always, I've been totally inspired by you -- thank you for plunging in and taking the cupcake challenge! If you didn't get to join in this time around, don't worry -- there are always more WBB challenges coming up to build your kitchen confidence.