Monday, October 6, 2008

Ashley's Monthly Bake Sale - September

Just a little late on this one! I'm so slow with the blog posts these days...shame shame! Soooo September's Cupcake of the Month was a good ol' southern specialty...hummingbird cake. Mmmmm! I found a recipe from Martha Stewart that I thought I'd try. Now I didn't get to try these cupcakes, so I don't actually know how they turned out, but everyone at work loved them. My boss even said she might like them better than the strawberry lime cupcakes which is a big deal! I'll have to try this recipe again someday so I can actually get a taste! The recipe can be found here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Operation Baking GALS - Round 2

For Round 2 of Operation Baking GALS, I was on Team Maybe For Real hosted by Anna at Maybe Just A Little Bite. This time I wanted to try to make something that I love & reminds me of home. My favorite cookie in the whole world are snickerdoodles, so I thought maybe our soldiers would love them too. I found a recipe that sounded pretty good, so I set out baking. These cookies were so easy, & they filled the house with the delicious smell of cinnamon & nutmeg. I had to make sure I taste-tested these little morsels before I sent them off, for quality control of course! good!


1 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix throughly in a bowl the butter, sugar & eggs. Blend in flour, cream of tarter, baking soda & salt. Chill. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Roll in sugar mixture (listed below), & place on an ungreased baking sheet two inches apart. Slightly flatten balls with a glass & bake 6 to 8 minutes or until set. Remove from baking sheet immediately.

Sugar Mixture: 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ashley's Monthly Bake Sale - August

WOW...I haven't posted an update in over a month!! Shame on me! Over the next fews days I'll be catching up on everything that's been going on lately.

First out of the box is my August Monthly Bake Sale. I decide to go a different route this time & picked brownies instead of the usual cupcakes. I am addicted to Food Network, & one of my favorite shows is Barefoot Contessa. Ina is genious! So for August's bake sale I choose Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownies. Their name suits them well...these suckers were loaded with butter & chocolate! They were delicious!! I was sort of in a time crunch to get these finished, so in my haste I completely forgot to take a picture of the brownies. I only managed to get a picture of the packages containing the finished product. These were definitely a hit at the office!

My selection for September are hummingbird cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. A southern classic that I can't wait to try!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

YouBar? No...that's MyBar! Get your own!

Is it really possible for a nutrition bar to be good for you & taste good too? Why yes, my friends, it is! The folks at YouBar are starting a nutrition bar choose everything that you want in a bar, & they'll make it exactly to your specifications. Kick ass right?! Right! I was lucky enough to receive 4 samples in the mail a couple of days ago, & I've successfully managed to consume every single one in a 2 day period. ('s all in the name of research. That's my story, & I'm sticking to it!) Each bar was a different flavor Honey Cashew, Great Date With Chocolate, Your Name Here, & even a bar! My absolute favorite was the Blake Makes was full of cinnamon, raisins, & apples. As soon as I finished it I wished that I had an entire box full of just that kind. They were GOOD! The others were good as well...Great Date With Chocolate reminded me of a very moist brownie. I definitely didn't feel guilty eatting these tasty treats; they were a great change from all the "bad for me" sweets I've been consuming lately. (Although if you waived a cupcake in my face right now, I certainly wouldn't turn it down!)

Please forgive the crappy photography. I forgot to take pictures until after I had already eaten 2 of the bars, & the only camera I had was the one on my iPhone. One of these days I'm going to figure out that I should at least keep my little digital camera in my purse at all times!

Thanks a million to BlakeMakes & YouBar for this awesome giveaway!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Operation Baking GALS - Shortbread Cookies

For the inaugural Operation Baking GALS event, I knew I needed to bake something that was durable enough to hold up to shipping overseas. After digging through all my recipes, I found exactly what I was looking for...Shortbread Cookies. This recipe is so easy to put together, & the cookies are delicious. I hope Susan's cousin enjoys eating them as much as I enjoyed baking them.

Shortbread Cookies

1/2 cup butter, cold
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk, ice cold
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor. Process until a ball forms. Take out & form together. Wrap in plastic wrap & chill at least 1 hour. Before rolling out, let set at room temperature until soft enough to roll. Roll to 1/4" thick and cut into shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes.

Yields approx. 2 dozen (depending on size of cookies)

Operation Baking GALS

I wanted to spread the word about a genius idea that I read about today. Susan at She's Becoming DoughMessTic & My Kitchen, My World put a call out to a few of her food blogging friends asking for help sending homemade goodies to her cousin in Iraq. Well her idea has exploded (now appropriately titled "Operation Baking GALS"), & she's offering to anyone who like to help a chance to send their homemade goodies as well. I fell in love with the idea as soon as I read about it, & e-mailed Susan immediately. I'll be baking my sweet treats tonight so I can send them off tomorrow. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that something I made will bring a smile to a soldier's face. I'll post a couple of pictures tomorrow of what I'm baking, but until's a surprise!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I Actually Won Something!!

Okay...let me start this post by saying that I never win anything. I have the worst luck ever! Well that changed when I discovered a fantastic blog called Food Interviews. Stef (who has another fabulous blog that I LOVE called Cupcake Projects) interviews everyone from chocolate makers to food bloggers. I haven't read an interview yet where I haven't learned something new & interesting. You should definitely check it out! Anyway, back to my original thought, I won 3 bars of Amano chocolate from a recent interview she did with Amano's founder/owner Art Pollard. I am completely obsessed with all things chocolate, so I was as happy as if I had won Miss America! (Seriously folks, that's no exaggeration.) My chocolate arrived last week, & I excitedly tore into the box...which was quite a task because the folks at Amano do a wonderful of making sure your chocolate arrives to you in pristine condition.

This is what I discovered when I first opened the box...a foil-lined styrofoam box with, not 1, but 2 ice packs (in plastic bags to protect the chocolate from any condensation) & packing peanuts.

My delightful chocolate treasure!

Amano chocolate is handmade & comes in 3 variaties...Ocumare, Madagascar, & Cuyagua. All I have to say is that all 3 types are completely different & completely AMAZING! I loved them all & couldn't pick a favorite if you made me. I highly recommend checking out Amano's website. You can read about their processes & where their cacao comes from, & you can order some of this delectable sweetness for yourself!
A million thanks to Stef & definitely made this chocolate lover's day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crazy Week Wrap-Up

As part of my whirlwind cake/cupcake making last week, I not only had my cupcake of the month to make, but I also had a cake order & a cupcake order. I also made 2 dozen cupcakes using the leftover strawberry frosting I had made for these. We had a lunch at work for one of our coworkers, so cupcakes were my contribution. As for my orders...I had to make a strawberry lime cake for a coworker's birthday & strawberry lime mini cupcakes for another coworker. (As you can probably tell my coworkers keep me busy, & strawberry lime is now my signature recipe.) I tried to make a 9x13 cake using the strawberry lime recipe that I've used several other times, but I soon realized that it would have to be multiplied by about 3 to get enough batter for the cake. So I cheated...I took a box of strawberry cake mix & substituted half the water for lime juice. For the frosting on the cake, I used the regular lime frosting that my original recipe calls for. The cake wasn't as good as it would have been had it been homemade, but it actually turned out really good. One of the girls said that it tasted like Fruit Loops, & it kind of had that tart, sweet, fruity flavor going on.

The mini cupcakes were for a wedding rehearsal dinner, & they were just strawberry cake mix with the same lime frosting as what I used on the cake. They were the last thing I did that week, so I was completely exhausted by the time I was done!

Crazy week's over...I survived & made some tasty treats in the process.

Ashley's Monthly Bake Sale - July

Last week was utterly insane, so I'm just now getting around to posting about my July Cupcake of the Month. I choose Lime Pound Cake with Orange Cream Cheese frosting as posted by Laurie of quirky cupcake on Blake Bakes. I'm on a big citrus cupcake kick, so I knew I had to try these! I'm having major issues as of lately with all of my homemade cupcakes falling after they're taken out of the oven. (And they're full cooked, mind you.) All you cupcake pros out there...what am I doing wrong?! Anyway...they looked so sad all sunken in, but OH MY GOSH...these things were AMAZING! The cupcakes themselves were so tart & tangy & then the orange cream cheese frosting on top gave the perfect sweet balance. I will definitely try this recipe again, only next time I will actually make it a tube pan & see if that helps at all. I think the coworkers enjoyed them despite them not being very pretty, I think it was another taste success.

Here's a picture of the carnage that was created after I had to have a 1/2 cup of key lime juice. It's not a pretty sight. Poor little limes, they didn't know what they were getting into.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Could I please borrow another set of arms?

Oh my goodness gracious...this week has been crazy! I made cupcakes for a cookout at lunch today, tomorrow is July's Bake Sale, & I've got two orders for Friday (a cake & mini cupcakes). I think it's safe to say that Cakes By Ashley has officially taken off. Life is good though, so I definitely cannot complain. I promise to post lots of pictures & an update about the Bake Sale hopefully this weekend. I hope everyone's having a great week!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Birthdays & Babies

I've been a busy little cake maker this week. I made a cake for my dad's birthday, & I had a cupcake order for a baby shower. Dad got a strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream, & it was tasty...nice & moist. I read the other day about letting the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes after you pull it out of the oven & then wrapping it in plastic wrap & putting it in the fridge. Pure brilliance I tell worked perfectly!

The baby shower cupcakes were a dozen & a half each of strawberry cupcakes & white chocolate macadamia nut cupcakes. As you may remember, the white chocolate cupcakes were from my first Cupcake of the Month. I did a little variation on the icing to make it thicker (last time it was a runny mess) so they'd look a little nicer for the shower.

Now for the strawberry cupcakes, I wanted to figure out a way to doctor up a boxed cake mix. I found a recipe that seemed pretty good, so I decided to give it a try. Since I didn't get to try the cupcakes, I'm not sure how they came out but they looked very moist. The icing was strawberry cream cheese made with fresh strawberries, & I can attest to the fact that it was fabulous.

Strawberry Cake

1 box strawberry cake mix
1 (11.5 oz) can strawberry nectar
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix & bake according to directions on box.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup strawberries, mashed in food processor
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter & cream cheese. Mix in strawberries. Add powdered sugar to desired taste & consistency.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bear Beach Cupcakes!!

I recently saw Bakerella's post where she made Bikini Beach Bears cupcakes, & I knew I just had to try them. They're so freaking cute!!! I also saw a recipe on her blog that I wanted to try, so I just combined the two & made these little babies for the 4th of July.

We had two places to go on the 4th, so I made two sets. These were so much fun to make that I hated to eat them. But eat them we did, & they were tasty! I think I need to find an excuse to make more Beach Bears!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cupcakes...A Girl's Best Friend

It's true...necessity really is the mother of all invention. I had a cake order this week, but I had some extra batter left so I made a dozen cupcakes. Well I ended up not having enough frosting to ice the cupcakes, so what's a girl to do? She creates these...

I had half a bag of chocolate chips left over from the frosting, & we had some peanut butter in the pantry. I melted those babies up & drizzled them over the cupcakes. I haven't tried one, but they look yummy! I mean really...butter cake, chocolate & peanut bad can it be?! Sugar high anyone?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cupcake of the Month - July

July's cupcake of the month is Key Lime Pound Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting! Laurie from quirky cupcake posted the recipe on Blake Bakes a couple of weeks ago, & I've been dying to try it. Everyone at the office is just as excited as I am!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Black Fondant Roses

I had an order for cupcakes this past week for a garden tour that my co-worker was having. All she asked for were vanilla cupcakes with pink icing. I've been trying to find ways to learn how to work with fondant, so I decided to tackle fondant roses. As you can see from my previous post, they actually turned out better than I could have ever expected. They were so easy to do...a little time consuming but easy. I'm learning more & more about this whole cake/cupcake thing as I go along, & I'm really starting to enjoy every bit of it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ashley's Monthly Bake Sale - June

Well my first ever "Monthly Bake Sale" went over really well!! I picked a recipe from 500 Cupcakes...White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut. I had to do some doctoring with the recipe, but they came out buttery & delicious. The icing was amazing with the melted white chocolate in it. Everyone at work said they were great, so I think they were a success! I'm so thrilled that my idea worked, & I'm really looking forward to next month's selection. (I'll reveal what it is next week!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Trying New Things = Unexpectedly Good Results!

Just a little preview of what I've been working on this week...

Fondant Roses!!! I'm pretty proud of myself for these little beauties! I owe you guys a couple of posts, & I plan on getting those to you this weekend. I just couldn't wait to show these to you!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thank you, Cupcake Lady!!

My boss had a birthday on Saturday, & today at the office we had a little mini celebration. Since I'm the resident cake girl, I decided to make some cupcakes for the occasion. I've been trying to make everything from scratch here lately, so these would be no exception. Our cabinets at home are pretty bare, but I did have all of the ingredients to make simple vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing. Plain ol' vanilla just seemed boring, though, not fit for a birthday celebration. After digging through my cabinets, I found a bottle of cinnamon & an idea was born. I threw a tsp in the cupcake batter along with the other required ingredients, & another 2 tsp in the icing. Let me just tell you...after these things came out of the oven, they smelled so good that I wasn't sure they'd last long enough to get icing put on them let alone make it to the office this morning. Alas, I was a good girl & only ate one "naked" cuppie. Oh man! They tasted just like a snickerdoodle cookie, & I was thrilled! Snickerdoodles are one of my favorites! (Honestly, though, I haven't met a cookie yet that I don't like, so a cupcake that tastes like a cookie is okay in my book.) The icing was good too, but I'm not a big fan of buttercream in general. *Cue gasps of horror*

They look a little rough because I over-filled the cups & had to decorate them in a hurry, but they still tasted yummy!

Having survived through the night unscathed (i.e. uneaten), the cupcakes came with me to work today. They were a big hit! Everyone in my office liked them, & I took a few of the remaining ones to the office next door. I think they lasted all of 45 seconds over there! Even a couple of gentlemen from our corporate office got in on the cupcake action before they were all gone...I got a handshake & a jolly "Thank you, Cupcake Lady!!" as I left the office. All in all I'm throughly pleased that my lastest baking adventure was a success.

This is a busy week for me, my first Monthly Bake Sale is Thursday, & I've got a couple of other orders. I'll also try to post some stuff I did last week that I'm pretty proud of. Stay tuned to see how everything turns out!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Introducing - Cupcake of the Month!

In my constant effort to improve my skills as a baker, I have come up with an idea that I feel is absolutely genius. (It's my one good idea for the year, so I guess I better make it count!) Since I've started this little cake/cupcake venture, I've found so many recipes that I've been dying to try. Let's face it, though, I'm just a single gal trying to make ends meet, & I can't always afford to bake on a whim. Now that's where my genius idea comes in! I have decided to start a cupcake of the month club at work, more appropriately titled "Ashley's Monthly Bake Sale". The idea is that I will be picking a new recipe each month & allowing my co-workers to pre-order, so to speak, a few of the cupcakes. I will only bake a specified amount so that I'm not baking dozens upon dozens every month, & once they're gone...they're gone. In return for this yummy cupcake goodness, I'll only charging a little, & I do mean a little, bit of money for each cupcake. I'm not looking to make money off of this thing, just enough to cover the expenses of making them & that's it. This is really all about helping me try out new recipes without going broke doing it.

Well after speaking with a few of my coworkers (who were extremely excited, I might add), I decided that June would be the 1st month for my bake sale. The selection this month is White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut, & they were all spoken for within a few hours of e-mailing everyone! I will definitely post pictures next week once I get the cuppies made! Hopefully this idea will go over as well as I'm hoping...keep your fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm just a rebel without a clue!

So I did something wild & crazy last week. (Now mind you...wild & crazy don't exactly fit into my personality profile.) I got a tattoo of a cupcake on my foot! Now tattoos are not a new experience for me...this one was #4. I had seen a few pictures on Flickr & decided that I too needed a cupcake tattoo. Little did I know that my foot was going to swell up like a balloon, but I love the's so cute!! The swelling has now gone down, & it's healing nicely. Many many MANY thanks to Jeanie at Altered Images in Oklahoma City!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Betty's got nothing on me!

Tonight was my first venture into the world of homemade cupcakes. I can make any boxed cake mix taste extra yummy, but I wanted to try my hand at something homemade for a change. My sister & I are having a jewelry party tomorrow night, so I thought I'd make some mini cupcakes for the occasion.

I found a recipe in Crazy About Cupcakes for strawberry-lime cupcakes & another for lime frosting. Add a little tequila, & you'd have yourself one tasty strawberry margarita, but that's another subject. The recipe was very easy to follow; it called for either fresh or frozen strawberries, & I chose the latter. When the minis came out of the oven they seemed a little dense so I was worried that I hadn't mixed the batter enough. After a taste test, though, they weren't as heavy as I thought they were. I wish I would have used fresh strawberries instead of the frozen ones; I think they would have helped keep the cake more light & airy. The lime frosting was absolutely delicious though! The perfect blend of sweet & tart. I didn't use all of the lime juice that the recipe called for, but it turned out really well. I'm glad I made the minis though, I think a little of the frosting goes a long way.

I made my guinea pigs (Mom & Dad) do a taste test, & they both agreed that they were pretty tasty. The true test will be our party guests tomorrow night. All in all, I'd say my first homemade cuppies were pretty successful. I'm definitely excited about trying more recipes!

Playing Catch-Up!'s been way too long since I've updated this thing! Spring is in the air, & I'm loving every minute of it. I've done quite a few things since I last posted, so I thought I'd just give you a few pictures. Enjoy!

These are a few of 6 dozen cupcakes I made for a girl's 18th birthday party. There were 2 dozen each of strawberry, chocolate, & vanilla cupcakes all with vanilla buttercream.

Our friend just had a baby boy, & she's always asking if we have any cake around the house. This little 6" white cake was a surprise present for her.

Last month I was hired to make a cake & mini cupcakes for a wedding shower, & this is what I came up with. Their wedding colors are black, red, & white. This was my very first time using fondant, & I absolutely love it for making decorations. I'm not quite sure I want to try covering any entire cake with it yet, but I can definitely get used to the little stuff.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mini Cupcakes Everywhere!

This past Friday I had the pleasure of being a part of an annual business women's luncheon here in town. I was asked to set up a booth for my cake business & pass out samples & info to the women that attended. Well let me just tell you...I make 8 dozen mini cupcakes plus a fake 10" cake for the event. Now you want to know how many cupcakes I gave away? Maybe a dozen. Seriously! On the plus side...I did hand out a bunch of my business cards & several of my price sheets. Now it's just a matter of sitting back & waiting for the phone to ring. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Here are 6 dozen of the mini cupcakes that I made...
And a close-up of the cupcakes...
This is actually a fake cake. (The "cake" part is foam, but the icing is real.)

Monday, March 24, 2008


I thought I should go ahead & post a few pictures of my favorite cakes & cupcakes!

I made this cake for a couple of women that I work with. I love love love the polka dots!

These cupcakes were for my cousin's little girl's 2nd birthday. What little girl (or big girl) doesn't love pink?!

My sister's birthday cake.

Cupcakes for boy & one girl.

Zoe's 1st birthday

Hello World!

So let's just call this my little blogging experiment. I figure that this is a great way to share my creations with the world! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!