3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cps sugar

1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)

3 tbs chile powder

1 tbs red chile flakes

1 1/3 cups canola oil

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups brewed extra-strong coffee

1 tbs pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare cupcake pans. 

Place flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl after sifting ( if needed). Mix on low to combine. Keeping the mixer on low , add oil, buttermilk, then eggs one at a time. Slowly add coffee and finally vanilla. Mix until batter is smooth. Bake until test pick comes out clean, 10-15 minutes. Cool for 20-30 minutes.




1/2 c. oil

3/4 c. stevia powder

1 c. applesauce

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon


Oil and flour muffin tins or use individual baking cups. Cream the oil and stevia together and mix in applesauce and baking soda. Add flour and cinnamon, blending thoroughly for about three minutes. Pour the batter and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes.


2 sticks (1/2 cup) of butter, room temperature

1/2 cup strawberry jam

3-4 cups powdered sugar, twice sifted

1 tbs. vanilla extract


Cream the butter in the mixer on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. On slow speed, gradually add about 2 cups of powdered sugar and turn back up to high for a few minutes to really incorporate the sugar. Turn to slow speed again and fold in the jam. Add more sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Once all the sugar is incorporated, turn to medium-high for a few minutes to mix well, adding vanilla extract.


  • Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Digital Media Entertainment Producer

Cupcakes are a beautifully versatile creation. I feel redundant saying that since it’s pretty evident that not only have I said it before –and I’ll probably say it again – but also that it is just common sense.

You make a big bowl of batter. Certainly there is much more to do with this than one single flavor!

My point is, most recipes start out with a basic cake batter then onward and upward, you go from there.

So, bookmark the recipe site, because I’ll most likely refer back to some recipes now and again.

See the recipes on my tumblr food blog

This week I made Lemon-Curd & Lavender Cupcakes. This is a little twist on lemon pound cake and an example of really baking outside of the box.

The cake:

This recipe starts out with a golden pound cake. To transform it into a luscious lemony delight, you’ll need to add lemon juice and 2 tbs. of lemon zest.

Here is where step up the fancy-schmancy. Now add 2 tbs. of lavender blossoms. Yes, I know you are thinking: “Why are we putting potpourri in a cupcake?”

Be assured that this is not a sachet. The delicate, and yes edible, flavor adds a twist that will be well received by your taste buds. This isn’t the grocery cupcake; this is made for soirees and tea parties. Still feel free to cram a few in your mouth if so inclined. I won’t judge you.

The filling:

The second secret for this divine dish is lemon curd. Yes, you cab make your own, but it is just as easy to buy some already. You can usually find it in the jam/jelly section of the grocery store.

Spoon it into an icing tube without a decorating tip. Press the tube about halfway into the cooled cupcake and squeeze out the lemon curd until it just barely begins to peak out of the top of the cupcake.

The frosting:

The frosting is a basic cream cheese icing with 2 tbs. of lemon juice and vanilla with the addition of candied lemon peel.

Finish off with a topping of candied peel and lavender, and you are ready. Ready for what? To share and eat.

This is a great addition to a baby shower or afternoon tea. A sweet, delicate cupcake ready to complete your dessert spread.

*PRO-tip: make sure to scrape the white pith off the lemon peel before adding to recipes. This will eliminate bitterness.

*How it use and where to find cooking-grade lavender*

See the recipes on my tumblr food blog

Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and appeared on “The Best Of…” in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.

Follow Twinkle on Foodspotting, Tumblr and Twitter.


Lemon Curd & Lavender Cupcakes pictured.


1 tsp. butter, for the pan, plus 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

2 tbs. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins.

Sift the flour, the baking powder and salt into a large bowl or onto parchment paper.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. If using a mizer, turn on low speed, beat in the flour alternating with 1 egg at a time. Fold in the zest and vanilla extract. Fill cupcake tins ¾ way up and bake until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes before icing.


Topping shown over Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing


1 stick butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

14 cup of black strap molasses

4 bananas peeled, halved, and cut lengthwise

1/4 cup dark rum


In a large skillet, melt butter. Using a wooden spoon, add brownsugar and stir together. Add the bananas and cook until caramelized on both sides, over medium-high heat. Move pan off heat, add the rum and return to the stove to cook down alcohol. Cool and serve.


1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tbs. milk


In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Add cinnamon to sugar. Sift sugar once. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.


1 cup butter

2 cups white sugar

1 cup mashed banana

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbs. cinnamon

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 3/4 cups milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x 13 inch pan.

Cream together butter and sugar, first. Then add the cup of mashed bananas. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Mix well. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into a cupcake.


The recipe via Jen Caputo’s blog.


  • 1 jar of Trader Joe’s Morello Cherries in light syrup (This one is 24 oz. You are looking for a more sour preserved cherry)
  • 1/2 Cup Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/2 Cup Brandy
  • 1/2 Cup evaporated (raw) cane sugar


  1. Strain the cherries, pouring all of the liquid into a small saucepan
  2. Put the strained cherries in an airtight jar.
  3. Bring to a boil and add the sugar.  Stir (so it doesn’t burn) until the sugar is dissolved and then simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.  Let cool
  4. Add the cherry syrup, luxardo, and brandy to the jar.  Top off with more luxardo as needed to fill the jar.
  5. Let sit overnight and store in the refrigerator.

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar - sifted

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

Tips for perfect whipped cream:

  • Use a glass or metal mixing bowl
  • Chill bowl and beaters in freezer about 10-20 minutes prior to beating
  • Steer clear of light creamer or ultra-pasteurized. You want preferably heavy cream. The consistency will be thicker and easier to get great results.