Happy Birthday to Me!

In a little over an hour, I will be 32 years old. I LOVE my birthday. That sounds childish and that sounds selfish and I don't care. I love it. It's a fun day where everyone tells you how much they love you. What could be better than that? So, tonight, on the eve of my birthday, I was really really in the mood to make pretty little cupcakes to take into work tomorrow. Just like you did when you were in first grade and it was your birthday and your mom made cupcakes for you to take to school. No reason not to do it just because I'm in my thirties, right? Right!

I really love red velvet cake for a couple reasons. The biggest reason is the color. It's so eye catching. What girl doesn't love a bright red cupcake? Even if you don't eat it, you still love it, right? The second reason is the taste. A hint of cocoa, a little sweet, and a touch of tang. Top that off with some cream cheese frosting and bright pink and chocolate sprinkles and you have full fledged grade A birthday cupcakes my friend! Oh, and these are mini-cupcakes made with my new mini muffin pan and they're just the right portion of something pretty and sweet.

I used a Paula Deen recipe and they turned out great. They're moist, sweet but not too sweet, and they have great color. That's what I wanted and that's what the recipe gave me. I changed nothing about this recipe. Hell, the woman knows her cupcakes.

I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl...

and the wet ingredients in the other.

Beat the wet ingredients together, then add the dry ingredients gradually and beat until the batter is smooth.

Look at that color.

Lightly spray a non-stick mini muffin or muffin pan with cooking spray, then fill each hole 2/3 full. Yeah, most people use cupcake wrappers... when they remember to buy them at the store! No problem, they popped right out of the pan.

Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes (20-22 minutes if you're making full sized cupcakes).

Pop them out of the pan to cool

Make your cream cheese frosting and whip it until it's nice and fluffy. Mmmmmmm cream cheese frosting... OH! Sorry, moving on...

Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, they're ready to frost. This was the most fun part for me, actually. I used to be a cake decorator when I was 18 years old and loved every minute of it. Once that job ended, I never really did it again and I'm not even sure why. Now, this is pretty far from cake decorating, but I did get to use my star tip to frost these cupcakes and it brought back a lot of happy memories for me.

I have one of those mechanical spritz cookie presses that can also be used to frost cakes and such, but I prefer a bag. I'll still use the cookie press to make cookies, but not to decorate with frosting. It just doesn't have the same feel. So, since I don't have a frosting bag, I grabbed a big Ziploc freezer bag, cut off one of the corners, pushed my star tip through it and filled it with my frosting. It worked perfectly.

I finished the frosted mini cakes with some sprinkles to make them extra festive. They're cute, huh?

Thank you to my good friend Martha for giving me my first birthday gift this year. I can't wait to taste them both!

Thank you also to my parents. I received both your cards today and love them both. Thank you so much for the gifts inside!

Well, that's it for me today. I have to go get my beauty sleep for my big day tomorrow.


  1. Mel (Pursuit of Your Boyfriend, Mel) :-)12/7/07, 3:43 PM

    Happy Birthday, Tara!

  2. 32...
    i was 32 once
    at least i'm not old enough to be your mother...

    those cupcakes look wonderful. i'm a red velvet cake fan myself.

    happy birthday honey. you seem like quite a lovely gal.

    best to you - hope you had a blast...

  3. Thanks, Claudia! I DID have fun. Mark took me out for dinner at Michael Symon's "Lola". Yeah, that's right. (Insert closed eyes and mmmmmm sound here) It was amazing.

  4. Red Velvet is my fave, too. I've never tried to bake them at home, but perhaps I will now. They look like they turned out great!!


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