Cupcakes 103: 14 Ways to Decorate Cupcakes Like a Pro

It’s the final installment of my three-part series on cupcakes! Are you excited? I’m excited.

Cupcakes 103: 14 Ways to Decorate Cupcakes Like a ProPictured: Butterscotch Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

We baked great cupcakes in Cupcakes 101, learned frosting techniques in Cupcakes 102, and now we’re on to the main event – the decorations! Decorating cupcakes is SO SUPER FUN, and the decoration will determine the level of “oohs” and “aahs” you get when people first see your cupcakes. The cake itself will wow them as soon as they take a bite, but it’s whatever creation you’ve placed on top that will initially grab their attention.

I chose not to include any decorations involving fondant, gum paste, or modeling chocolate, because those techniques can be complicated and time-consuming. Also, most home cooks don’t have those techniques in their repertoires. My goal with this list was to offer quick, easy-to-make cupcake toppers that will wow a crowd without sucking up all of your free time.

Here are 14 of my favorite ways to top a cupcake with a “wow” factor! [Read more…]

Cupcakes 101: 10 Tips to Bake the Perfect Cupcake

Ok – I’ve been working on this cupcake series for a LONG. LONG. LONG. time. And I’ve been eating my weight in cupcakes in order to get all of the recipes tested and all of the photos taken. I know, I know, WHAT a sacrifice. It’s all for you guys. You’re totally welcome.

10 Tips to Bake the Perfect CupcakePictured: Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Maple Pumpkin Ale Frosting

Let me start by saying that I was really lucky. My grandma (a wedding cake baker) started teaching me to decorate cakes from the time I was a kiddo, and when I wasn’t learning from her I was in the kitchen with my mom (a caterer) so I was pretty much covered on the learn-to-cook front. I don’t remember ever seeing a can of cream-of-whatever in our house, and homemade pizzas and pastas were totally normal. So were homemade cupcakes (YUM).

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Tequila Battered Onion Rings with Honey Lime Yogurt Sauce

A few weeks ago, Kyle had a super brilliant idea. And it was this: TEQUILA WEEK. After the super success of Mac and Cheese Week, I’d been wanting to attack another recipe theme for a few months but went back and forth a billion times trying to decide on what the theme should be. Fortunately, Kyle is smart. And came up with this rock star plan. And selflessly offered to taste test all Tequila Week recipe contenders for me. What a guy.


Tequila Battered Onion Rings with Honey Lime Yogurt Sauce


But seriously. WELCOME TO TEQUILA WEEK, FRIENDS! [Read more…]

Deep Dish Skillet Pizza


There is SO MUCH to TELL you today! I can’t even decide where to start. Wait, no, yes I can. This pizza. It was awesome. And I cooked it in a SKILLET. Which was the best part. But the other best part was how delicious it was. It was my first real attempt at deep dish, which is a big deal when you’re living in Illinois and dating a boy from Chicagoland. Because I don’t know if you’ve all been to Chicago before, but they are SERIOUS about their pizza. So it was very important, when I made my own deep dish, that I did NOT screw it up. (Mission Accomplished). But more on the pizza later, because I have a super exciting announcement today! (Wahoo!)




Today marks the official launch of Life As a Strawberry’s BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW RESOURCES SECTION! I’ve been working on it for several months and am SO excited that it’s finally ready to share with you all! Starting a food blog was such a crazy and fun and challenging process, and I compiled a pretty impressive arsenal of books, web links, tutorials, and other resources during my research process. To help other bloggers develop their own skills, I’ve collected all of those great resources together, in one place, along with some thoughts and tips of my own that I hope will help new and veteran bloggers alike. [Read more…]

New England Clam Chowder


OKAY. Remember how last week I was desperate for clam chowder?




WELL. After a disappointingly short expedition to the grocery store (I was thinking clam-finding would be a bit more of an adventure, but apparently my meat/seafood counter is better stocked than I thought it was…WHATEVER) I emerged victorious! (…with clams!)

[Read more…]