Cupcake filled with Marble Gooey Butter Cake

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Sometimes it is difficult to please the chocolate fanatics and the non.  Marble is a nice compromise.  Here’s the compromise … a basic yellow cupcake, with a piece of chocolate marble gooey butter cake inside, and topped with a marble frosting top (vanilla, chocolate, and a vanilla-chocolate mix).

The night before I made these cupcakes I baked a pan of chocolate marble gooey butter cake .  I do this because it is easier to cut these into clean squares if they sit overnight.  This recipe makes plenty so don’t worry if you can’t control yourself and need to indulge in a little taste.  These taste amazing so enjoy!  Just don’t get too carried away and eat more than half of the batch.  Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Marble Gooey Butter Cake



1 package yellow cake mix

8 Tbls melted butter

1 egg


8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

8 Tbls melted butter

3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat over 350, set aside 13 x9 pan
  2. For crust, mix ingredients until batter forms a ball.  Press evenly into ungreased pan
  3. For filling, (don’t need to clean mixing bowl or beater) whip the cream cheese. Add eggs, vanilla, and melted butter and beat for 1 minute.  Add powdered sugar slowly and beat until mixed completely
  4. Remove 1 c of filling and put in a separate bowl
  5. Pour remaining filling over crust in pan, spread evenly to all edges of pan
  6. Melt chocolate chips then mix with the 1 c of filling that was in a separate bowl
  7. Drop dollops of chocolate batter over the vanilla filling in the pan.  Gently swirl the chocolate and vanilla fillings
  8. Bake for 45-47 minutes – until slightly browned and center jiggles a little.
  9. Cool at least 30 minutes before attempting to cut (even for a taste test)

Day 2 (hopefully you didn’t eat all of the gooey butter cake)

I cut the gooey butter cake into 24 1in x 1in squares.  Don’t cut them larger or the squares won’t fit in the cupcake.

Cupcake time.

Prepare yellow cake batter.  Any yellow cake cupcake will do.  Cake mixes work quite well.  I place a small scoop of batter in each of 24 cupcake papers.  Then place one gooey butter cake square on top of batter.  Cover the squares completely with more batter.  I baked the cupcakes for only 18 minutes.  Remove from pans and allow to cool completely.


I made a batch Wilton Buttercream vanilla frosting and a batch of chocolate.  I took a 1/3 of each and mixed them together.  For these cupcakes I used a new Wilton ColorSwirl Coupler


If you don’t have a coupling device, you can just as easily squeeze in equal amounts of vanilla, chocolate, and marble frosting into one piping bag.  In fact, I think this might be easier.  I found it very cumbersome to use the coupling device.  I found my hands weren’t large enough to manipulate the frosting easily.

Decorate the cupcakes with any tip that you prefer.

Enjoy the cupcakes.

Be kind – don’t forget to share some, too.


Chocolate and Vanilla Gooey Butter Cake

 gooey butter cake

Lemon Bar Cupcake with White Truffle Frosting

Lemon Bar Cupcake

Snickerdoodle Cupcake – comfort food for all the senses

snickerdoodle cupcake


Lemon Gooey Butter Cookie on a Vanilla Cupcake stuffed with Blueberry Frosting

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It’s been a while since I have baked any desserts.  I have been on a protein enhanced, sugar-free muffin (aka Buffins) kick lately.  I have been feeding these to my athletic kids in lieu of store bought protein bars.

The muffins may be healthy to eat, but easing stress is healthy, too.  For me, baking is a stress relief.  I was in need of a little baking stress relief this week.  I’m gluten free, so I rarely make anything that I can actually eat.  I don’t have to face the temptation of eating too much of what I bake.  I also gift most of the baked goods that I make so that there aren’t too many sweets in the house for my kids.

Once I decided to bake a real dessert, I was determined to find something worthy of a Guilty Pleasure title.  Now that spring has sprung, I wanted to find a delicious fruity find.  Lemon and Blueberry go together extraordinarily well.  That’s where my inspiration began.  I found this lemon gooey butter cookie recipe and I was well on my way to creating a new dessert.

First, let’s talk the cookie on the top.  Why?  The dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Keep this in mind if you plan on making these cupcakes.

Lemon Gooey Butter Cake

found this receip at

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Makes about 2½ dozen cookies


2¼ cups (270 grams) organic all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur Flour®

2 teaspoons (about 8 grams) baking powder

1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, softened

½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (12 grams) freshly grated lemon zest, from 2 large lemons

1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon (a few drops) lemon oil, such as Boyajian® -Omit for gluten-free variation.

1/8 teaspoon natural yellow gel based food coloring, such as CHEFMASTER®

1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt, or ¾ teaspoon regular table salt

1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk (mine weighed 71 grams w/o shells)

1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling & dusting cookies


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder until well blended. Set aside.
Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well blended, creamy and smooth. Beat in sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, lemon oil, food coloring and salt; mix until well combined, light and fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. Add egg and egg yolk and beat in well until creamy and light, about 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed.
On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just fully incorporated. Dough will be very sticky. Cover work bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
Measure enough dough to roll into generous 1-inch balls, using a 1 1/3-inch spring-loaded cookie scoop (or by measuring a generous tablespoon of dough with a measuring spoon) making sure each scoopful is in equal amounts. This is important for evenly baked cookies.
Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball and then roll in confectioners’ sugar to lightly coat. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
Bake in preheated oven until cookies have spread into round cookie shapes and are puffed and crackly, about 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will still be soft in the centers. If they start to brown around the edges, they have baked too long. The underside of the cookies should be only very lightly browned.
Transfer to wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet. Once completely cooled, carefully remove cookies from baking sheet using a thin metal cookie spatula and transfer to an airtight container. Repeat with remaining dough on prepared cookie sheets.


Only use completely cooled cookie sheets lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper before baking each batch.Avoid crowding the cookies on baking sheets by spacing apart at least by 2 inches.

Blueberry Frosting

I used a cream cheese based frosting because I thought it would hold up better against the acid in the blueberries.  Also, the cheese flavor would go nicely with the lemon in the cookie.


8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)

1 stick butter

4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup pureed blueberries (cleaned fresh or defrosted)


Whip the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar. Add vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Add pureed blueberry.  Beat until fully incorporated.


Any vanilla cupcake recipe will do, even a mix.  It is not a predominant flavor in this combined dessert.  Make sure that cupcakes are cool before assembly.


Core out the cupcakes (I have a device that makes this super easy)

419oAo0ot3L._SX425_Buytra Cupcake Plunger Cutter Pastry Corer Decorating Divider Cake Filler

$4.16 on Amazon.


Pipe frosting into the hole and keep filling until there is a good size dollup on top (to hold the cookie)

Place a cookie on an angle.

Store in the refrigerator and add a sprinkle of powered sugar on top before serving.

See Related Recipes

Gooey Butter Cake

gooey butter cake

Blueberry Lemon Pie Bars

Blueberry Lemon Pie Bars

Baking with Liz Ellyn - Lemon Blueberry Cupcake


International Buttercream Bake-off


Which is better:

Swiss Meringue Buttercream or

French Buttercream?  

While looking for some recipes for my daughter’s holiday party in her French class, I kept coming across French buttercream.  It piqued my interest.  It made me wonder how is this different than the typical buttercream that I generally use?  Further hunting on Pinterest lead me to find Swiss Buttercream and Italian Buttercream recipes.

Thus, I decided I needed to do a little bake-off.

The Italian type is most closely related to the Swiss type and my time is limited, therefore I limited my bake-off to just Swiss and French Buttercream.

There are a few major differences between standard buttercream and the French and Swiss variety.

  1. American buttercream includes lots of powdered sugar and a small amount of shortening.
  2. French and Swiss contain a LOT more butter in the recipes and also contain egg
  3. French uses egg yolks
  4. Swiss uses egg whites
  5. French and Swiss include a heating process to kill the bacteria in the egg

In order to compare the buttercream recipes, I choose the purest flavor, Vanilla.  Considering the international flair to this little comparison, I thought I should splurge on some higher grade vanilla flavoring.  Luckily, I found vanilla beans on sale at Costco (the store typically sells them during the holiday season).

I choose a buttermilk devils food chocolate cupcake because I thought that it would showcase the buttercream well.  Note: I used no-fade cupcake papers that have an aluminum lining.  The baking time had to be reduced drastically to accommodate this type of wrapper.

What were the results of the bake-off?  The jury was split.  I found both the Swiss and French to be way too rich, creamy, and buttery.  Perhaps it is an acquired taste, but I’ll stick to my standard buttercream.

Standard (American) Buttercream Recipe

Ingredients: 1/2 c shortening, 1/2 c butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 4 c powdered sugar 3/8 c milk

Directions: Cream shortening and butter.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk.  Add vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream – recipe from Cake Boss

French Buttercream – recipe from Cake Boss



Lemon Bar Cupcake with White Truffle Frosting

Lemon Bar Cupcake

There’s bite-size lemon bar surprise inside each cupcake.  The lemon pairs flawlessly with white chocolate.

Shhh!  This is a relatively easy cupcake to make, but it will have guests thinking that you labored endlessly to make gourmet cupcakes.

First, start with the lemon bars.  Yes, I could have made these from scratch but a mix will do nicely because it isn’t the sole flavor in the cupcake.  Make these lemon bars the night ahead so that they cut cleanly.  I used an 8×8 pan and cut into 36 small squares.  This was the perfect size to place in a regular sized cupcake.

Second, any white cupcake will do the job.  While I used a recipe that used a white cake base, I added vanilla pudding which turns the mix more yellow than white.  The recipe is rich and moist and tastes great, but hides the lemon bar inside.  (which is why I didn’t photograph a split-in-half cupcake)  It may look better if you use a true white cupcake.  Place about a Tablespoon of batter in each paper cupcake holder, making sure the entire bottom is covered.  Press a lemon bar square into the batter.  Cover the lemon bar with more batter.  Reduce the normal bake time for the cupcakes.  I baked mine for 17 min. at 350.

I used a white chocolate cream cheese frosting.  This is a substantial flavor in the cupcake.  Quality counts.  I used Lindt White Chocolate Truffles instead of standard white chocolate.  Remember, don’t use chips instead of chopping up white chocolate bars.  It very much affects the consistency.

Directions: Cream together: 1 lb cream cheese (room temperature) and 1 stick of butter (room temperature).  Add 12 oz melted white chocolate and 2 tsp vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Slowly add and mix in 5 cups of powered sugar.   Allow to cool and firm up in the refrigerator until stiff enough to frost the cupcakes.  (not too long or the frosting will become hard)

Store completed cupcakes in the refrigerator.


Snickerdoodle Cupcake – comfort food for all the senses

snickerdoodle cupcake

For me, cinnamon is synonymous with comfort food.  The aroma in the kitchen while I bake something with cinnamon makes me happy.  The day I made these, it was a cold rainy morning, which called for something comforting.  Also, I hadn’t baked in about two weeks – I was practically going through withdrawal.

This is a well-rounded cupcake.  The buttery texture of a snickerdoodle melts in the mouth.  The yellow cupcake balances the sweetness of the cinnamon and sugar of the cookie.  The creamy feel of the cinnamon buttercream is a perfect compliment.

Here’s a snickerdoodle cupcake.  I can’t deny that it is a little cumbersome to make because essentially you’re making two desserts and combining them.


First, I baked a batch of snickerdoodles (any recipe will do).  I baked the cookies until they were done but still on the moist side – only 10 minutes.  Then, I cut 12 cookies into quarters.

Second, I prepared cupcake batter (I used a regular yellow cake mix).  I place a scoop of batter in each of 24 cupcake papers.  Then I place 2 quarters of the snickerdoodle cookies in the cake batter.  I covered the cookies completely with more batter.  I baked the cupcakes for only 18 minutes.

I made a Wilton Buttercream frosting and mixed in 1 tsp of cinnamon.  I decorated with a simple swirl.  I was sure to add enough to support a cookie topper.

You should have 24 leftover pieces of cookies to top off the cupcakes.

And, as added bonus you’ll have more whole Snickerdoodle cookies to enjoy.


Snickers Cupcakes

Snickers Cupcakes


Chocolate, caramel, nugget, and peanuts – oh how this combination satisfies!  Just like the Snickers’ commercials suggest, the Snickers make these a satisfying cupcake.

It’s a chocolate cupcake with a surprise Snickers bite inside.  It has a caramel frosting and is topped with more Snickers pieces and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips.

Most importantly, make sure you buy enough Snickers bites for inside the cupcakes and to cut into pieces to lay on top.  Also, buy some extra, because it’s nearly impossible not to snack on some while making and baking these cupcakes.


Chocolate Cupcake:

Any favorite Devils Food recipe will do (even a box cake mix).  After placing paper in muffin tins, fill the muffin cups with about 1 tablespoon of batter – enough to cover the bottom of the muffin paper.  Next, place a Snickers Bite on top of the batter in such a way that the candy is centered and is perfectly parallel to the bottom of the muffin tin.  Place another heaping tablespoon of batter on top of the candy.  Smooth out the batter on top of the candy.  The entire muffin cup, candy included, should be filled about to 2/3 to 3/4.  You probably with be able to make a few more cupcakes than you normally do with the same mix.  Reduce your baking time by 5 minutes and carefully watch.  A cupcake is done when you touch the top and the cupcake springs bake a little.

Caramel Frosting  (no need to double frosting recipe – I always plan for lots)

2 sticks butter

1/2 cup caramel sauce

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter, caramel sauce, and salt until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar slowly and beat until a fluffy frosting forms.  Pipe immediately.



Oreo Cupcakes

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While I’m not a huge fan of store-bought cookies, I can’t argue with the fact that Oreos are hugely popular.  More importantly, Oreos can be used to create other fantastic desserts.

These chocolate cupcakes have an Oreo stashed inside.  The last time I baked a cupcake with an Oreo inside, I used yellow cupcake batter.  it’s a bit more difficult to see the cookie when you bite or cut into these chocolate cupcakes.  However, if you’re a chocolate lover, does that really matter?  These cupcakes are best to be eaten one day after baking because the Oreo inside becomes very soft.  The buttercream on top is loaded with finely chopped Oreo cookies (not just the cookie part, but the delicious cream filling as well).  By including the cream filling, the frosting tastes even more decadent.  Finally, I couldn’t resist garnishing the cupcake with one half of an Oreo.


Chocolate Cupcake:

Any favorite Devils Food recipe will do (even a box cake mix).  After placing paper in muffin tins, fill the muffin cups with about 1 tablespoon of batter – enough to cover the bottom of the muffin paper.  Next, place a full Oreo on top of the batter in such a way that the cookie is centered and is perfectly parallel to the bottom of the muffin tin.  Place another heaping tablespoon of batter on top of the cookie.  Smooth out the batter on top of the cookie.  The entire muffin cup, cookie included, should be filled about to 2/3 to 3/4.  You probably with be able to make a few more cupcakes than you normally do with the same mix.  Reduce your baking time by 5 minutes and carefully watch.  A cupcake is done when you touch the top and the cupcake springs bake a little.

Oreo Buttercream Frosting:

I started with a basic Wilton vanilla cupcake recipe (1/2 c butter, 1/2 shortening, 1 tsp vanilla, 4 c powdered sugar, 1/4 cup of milk – I used more than the recommended amount because of adding the Oreos).  Cream butter and shortening; add vanilla, slowly add powdered sugar while alternating with milk; beat until fluffy.  Crush 12 Oreos in a food processor until there are no chunks (any chunks will block your piping tips and become a headache later).  Mix the chopped cookies with your frosting.  Pipe the cupcakes.  The more frosting the better.

See Related Posts:

Oreo in a Cupcake

oreo cupcake

Slutty Brownies, for a Chocolate Whore

Slutty Brownies


Carrot Cake (gluten free)

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OMG!  If I ever see a carrot cake with a boring plain cream cheese frosting I may cry.  After tasting this carrot cake with a maple pecan buttercream, I can NEVER go back to boring.  I owe all my inspiration for this combination of a nutty frosting combined with carrot cake to The Vegan Muffin Woman.  See her recipe  I would have tried her recipe, but I didn’t have the necessary ingredients on hand.  Instead, I used a Maple Pecan Buttercream Frosting recipe from The Food Charlatan.  (Recipe below)

The actual carrot cake was a spectacular surprise.  I had been craving carrot cake for 3 months now, but I kept getting side tracked in the kitchen.  Since I’m gluten free, it makes finding a good recipe difficult.  In the past, I’ve used rice flour to substitute in other recipes but the cake turned out way too dense.  By just tasting this cake you would never imagine that not only is it gluten free, but sugar free, as well.  It is based on a combination of almond and coconut flour.  The sweetness comes from crushed pineapple and honey.  It was light and fluffy … amazing for a gluten free cake.  I found the recipe on the site Gluten Free Mix (although a bake mix was not necessary for this recipe).

Even if you’re not gluten free, I really suggest trying this cake!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (canned is fine)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour, packed
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together oil, honey and eggs.
  3. Stir in carrots and pineapple.
  4. Whisk in dry ingredients, making sure you get out all the clumps.
  5. Stir in pecans.
  6. Pour batter into greased baking dish.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Cool completely before icing.
  9. Top with my creamy vanilla yogurt frosting or your favorite cream cheese frosting.

* Some notes on this recipe.  If you have an oven that tends to turn things dark quickly, lower temperature to 325.  This recipe is perfect for an 8×8 glass dish, pie plate or 12 cupcakes.  For a layered cake or 9×13, double the recipe 🙂

Maple Pecan Frosting
 Yield: Makes enough to frost 1 double layer cake, or 24 cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butte
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup (I used Grade A)
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste


  1. Chop up the pecans. You can chop them with a knife or in a food processor. See photos to see what level of choppiness we’re talking.
  2. Set a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pecans and stir occasionally until they start to smell delicious, or until they barely start to brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter to within an inch of its life. Just kidding, beat it for a couple minutes until it’s high and fluffy.
  4. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and maple syrup. Beat well.
  5. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, maple extract, and salt. Beat well.
  6. Add the chopped pecans when they are completely cooled and beat it. Try not to eat it all with a spoon.


I used regular syrup and substituted vanilla extract for the maple extract and it tasted amazing!

Tie-Dye Cupcakes

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What an easy way to show a little team spirit.  Obviously, I was going for a yellow and green theme here (the colors of my son’s tennis team).  For the 1st cupcake I tinted half the batter yellow and half green.  I swirled the two together to make a tie-dye cake.  It was very easy and definitely showed that the cupcakes were not store bought.  My kids are very spoiled and won’t touch a store bought dessert.  I’ve been wanting to try different techniques for tie-dying frosting.  This gave me the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl.  For the 1st cupcake, I painted the inside of the piping bag with yellow and green gel die and filled the bag with white frosting.  The piped colors were very vibrant – perhaps a little too much so and colored everyone’s tongues.  For the 2nd cupcake, I placed white, yellow, and green frosting in a single piping bag.  This only took a little extra time to fill the bag carefully.  I was pleased that the colors didn’t completely blend together.

In the future, I would use these techniques for holiday occasions as well.  Remember when mixing two colors of cake batter that is looks better if you use a bit more of the lighter colors than darker colors.

Tennis Ball Cupcakes

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Unlike real tennis balls that are empty, these cupcakes are filled with vanilla buttercream.  Besides using a golden yellow frosting on top, I dipped each cupcake in yellow sugar so that it would have a “fuzzy” appearance like a real tennis ball.  It was fun baking these for my son’s tennis team, but nothing is better than playing tennis with my kids.