Jennifer & Michael’s Wedding

Last fall I met Jennifer and Michael for a tasting. I loved talking with them about their vision for their wedding cake. They wanted some kind geode style rock topper, moss and most definitely rocks and a waterfall. As we talked we realized we’d be speaking mostly through the language of pictures. Luckily our modern world makes it very easy to combine ideas!

The couple chose some awesome flavors; chocolate and caramel as well as almond with blackberry filling and vanilla bean frosting. They also added some brownie cupcakes and fantastic brown butter Rice Krispie treats to round out their dessert options. I modified the recipe a little bit, adding Butterscotch Schnapps. I think they may be my new favorite thing!

They sent me pictures that they liked and shared the aspects that appealed to them from each design. I created a Pinterest Board to store their ideas. They had several cakes they wanted to merge so I worked with them to understand what pieces they wanted from each design.

  • They like the rock and waterfall design from the cake that with the trees. They don’t want any trees though and would like smaller rocks.
  • They like the idea of having the bottom tier be all moss.
  • The middle tier should be all rocks.
  • They want the top tier to be plain blue like sky with a few clouds made from frosting.

One of my favorite things about their cake was their flavor selection! The salted caramel recipe that I used for their chocolate cake with salted caramel filling was a lot of fun to make. It starts with simply sugar being stirred over heat until it caramelizes. It is so much fun to watch! I feel like I’m back in high school Chemistry again. Definitely check out the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. This recipe worked as a great filling for the cake. Almond cake is one of my favorite flavors to bake. For their filling, I used a mix of blackberry jam and fresh crushed blackberries. We chose to integrate a few blackberries into the edges of the cake for decoration. The entire cake was frosted with vanilla bean buttercream. I love scraping vanilla beans. The smell is amazing and the pods of the beans were added to always brewing batch of homemade vanilla.

Cake cutting. Photo by Allison Usavage photography
Photo by Allison Usavage photography

Congratulations to Jennifer and Michael! Thank you for trusting me with your cake vision for your special day. See all the photos from their wedding.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

Sour cream makes baked goods so tender! The texture is similar to my favorite childhood cake; Texas sheet cake. These cupcakes bake beautifully and stay very moist. To intensify the flavor, make sure you use all coffee instead of the blend of coffee and water.

I love this recipe with a peanut butter mousse frosting as in the picture below, but they work well with most any frosting. Another great pairing is mint chocolate cookie frosting.

Sour cream chocolate cupcakes

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: makes about 24-30 cupcakes depending on how domed you like them. Total:

This super moist cupcake is perfectly paired with a rich peanut butter frosting. They are delicious even without frosting.

You'll Need...

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup coffee (or use water or a mix of coffee and water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for convection)[HEAT]
  2. Blend all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl. Make sure no cocoa lumps remain. [BLEND]
  3. Combine oil, eggs, vanilla and sour cream. [COMBINE]
  4. Bring coffee or water to boiling in the microwave.
  5. Add the oil, egg, vanilla and sour cream mixture to the dry ingredients. Blend on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides. [BLEND]
  6. Gradually add the coffee and beat on medium for 2 minutes. [BEAT]
  7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter. [BAKE]

Additional Notes

This recipe works great for mini cupcakes as well. If you make minis, drop the baking time to 12-14 minutes and halve the recipe unless you need a lot of them!

Gluten-free Sugar Cookies

I based this sugar cookie recipe off my regular gluten filled version. In fact the only difference is the flour blend instead of all purpose. I do find that it is important to chill these before rolling out. Not a long time is required, but enough to make the dough a little less soft. You will want to have ample flour available for rolling.

To make the gluten free flour blend combine the following ingredients. Mix well with a whisk and also shake well in the container.

  • 5 cups finely ground brown rice flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 2 cups potato starch
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 4 teaspoons xanthan gum

Gluten free sugar cookies

From at

These taste just as good (maybe even better) than their gluten filled cousins. They work well with all types of frostings.

You'll Need...

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond)
  • 3 cups gluten free flour blend

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (325 for convection). [HEAT]
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. This should take 2-3 minutes. [BEAT]
  3. While the butter and sugar are creaming, combine the baking power, salt, and gluten free flour blend. [COMBINE]
  4. Add the egg and flavorings and beat until combined. [BLEND]
  5. Add the flour blend one cup at a time to the creamed mixture. Blend until just combined. The mixture will be thick. [BLEND]
  6. Divide the doug into two balls. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Lightly flour your work surface. Roll out the first ball to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut your cookies. [ROLL]
  8. Place on an ungreased or silpat lined or parchment lined baking tray and bake for about 8-10 minutes. [BAKE]

Additional Notes

You may use a purchased gluten free flour blend. Just make sure it has xanthan gum in it. If it does not, add 1 tsp of xanthan gum to the flour mix.

If you are new to sugar cookie rolling, just remember patience is the most important part. To help this, I recommend dividing it into 4 pieces so you are working with smaller portions of dough to start.

If the dough is too soft for you to work with, allow it to rest and chill in the fridge for a little bit of time.

If you desire for the cookies to not spread at all, omit baking powder (cookie will be denser).