Wildflower Cupcakes

I love, love, love making cupcakes.  It’s honestly one of my favorite hobbies of all time.  They’re not too time consuming and the decorations and flavors are endless! I was asked by my aunt to make some wildflower cupcakes for her niece’s bridal shower.  And I couldn’t be more in the mood with all the 70-80 degree sunny weather we’ve been having around here!  I was given this picture from pinterest as inspiration:


I mean, how cool are those two-toned roses???  I was excited, yet nervous because I had never attempted to make a two-toned rose before.  But it ended up being so easy!  Check out this awesome tutorial on how to make a two-toned rose!

I used a light yellow buttercream with a pink buttercream as well as one with white and light blue…


For the white roses, I used a 1M nozzle.  And for the two-toned roses, I used a 2D nozzle.  I didn’t really see much of a difference between the two.  The 2D is maybe a little bit more “flowy”? Both of those nozzles are my go-to for cupcakes.


For the white “hydrangea” cupcakes, I used the 1M tip as well.


For the purple flowers, I used a 4B open star tip.


Here is the set of cupcake tips that I have, and I LOVE them.  It’s fun to experiment and try new styles and designs! Have you tried decorating cupcakes?  It’s really not as hard as you think!  Check out this awesome tutorial below for different ideas on how to make your cupcakes beautiful and professional…



Spicy Caramel Apple Pie

Delicous caramel apple pie with all the Fall spices you love

I’ve recently been dabbling in pie making.  Because I’ve always envied after people who can make delicious AND beautiful pies.  And living in the South, I feel like it’s somewhat of a right of passage to make a good pie.  I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge pie fan.  I love me some pies with a graham cracker crust and a custard like filling, but pies with fruit and stuff in them?  Not so much.  But if I had to choose a favorite it would definitely be apple pie.  But not just any apple pie.  I like my apple pies with spice and thick sauce… the kind you can’t really slice up without making a gooey mess because let’s be honest… those taste divine.  This apple pie just happens to have a thick spicy, caramel like sauce that is just to die for!

You might want to reach for your pie pan because well… we are making a pie, right?  But trust me and reach for your handy dandy tart pan.  Think a tart pan is superfluous?  Think again.  I use mine ALL. THE. TIME.   If you don’t have a tart pan and want one, try looking at your local Goodwill or thrift store.  That’s where I found mine for a mere $2!  So grab your tart pan and about 5 apples.


And how cool and amazing is my new cobalt cake stand made by my talented pottery making friend from Bunny Hill Studio?  Oh, my goodness, you need to must check out her etsy site.  You will want all the things.  They make fantastic Christmas presents too!


And why a tart pan, you ask?  Good question!  I love using a tart pan because I love how crispy it makes the pie crust on the edges.  Crispy pie crust = good pie crust.  But you won’t ruin the pie if you use a regular old pie pan.  I’ve made it both ways, and loved it both ways.

And if you’re feeling lazy or getting the onset of “Thanksgiving overwhelmingness” (like me), you can use a little store bought help.  No shame.  But if you want a good pie crust recipe, there’s a great one here.


And it took me all of 2 minutes to unroll and press into the pan.  Woo hoo! And place it in the refrigerator until you make the filling.


Next, you’ll want to peel 5 apples.  Everyone has their favorite apple.  I’ve even used red delicious to make a pie *gasp*.  Here I’m using Fuji, but use whatever breed of apple that makes your heart sing.  Pink ladies, anyone?


Then slice them up.  I like this handy dandy contraption.


I still find the slices too thick so I slice them once more with a knife.


Once the apple are all sliced up, add about 1/8 cup of sugar and mix to coat.  Then let sit for about 10-15 minutes.  This helps pull some moisture out of the apples so they don’t take a dive when baking.


Now, it’s time for my favorite part: the sauce.  Add 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter to a saucepan.


Then, half white sugar and half brown sugar.


Now for some spice.  I like Fall spices.  A. Lot.





Dash of Cloves.


Melt over medium low heat until all melted together and a dark caramel color.


Time to assemble!


Apples get dumped into the pie crust, along with the “apple juice” at the bottom of the bowl.


Then the caramel sauce goes on top.



Place the top crust over top and press down the sides.  Pull off the excess crust.


And make a pretty design on top.


Top the crust with an egg wash, then place on the very bottom oven rack with a drip pan under it.

And… tada!



And if it’s spilling into a heap on your plate, you’ve done it right.  And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream.


Spicy Caramel Apple Pie


2 pie crusts

5 apples, cored and peeled and sliced

1/8 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

dash of cloves

egg wash for top (1 egg beaten with water)


Peel, core, and slice 5 apples.  Mix in bowl with 1/8 cup sugar.  Let sit for about 10-15 minutes.  Press pie crust into tart pan and place in refrigerator.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter, sugars, and spices together until thick and caramel in color.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pour apples in crust in tart pan.  Pour caramel sauce over top and spread to get even.  Place second pie crust over top and press to seal.  Remove excess crust.  Make a design in the top crust or vent.  Brush egg wash over top of crust.  Place tart pan on a lipped baking sheet and place on the very bottom rack of the oven.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 20-30 minutes.  Let cool for at least one hour before serving.

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your families!


Simple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Coffee Frosting

Simple Cinnamon Rolls with maple coffee frosting- Southern Mothers

If I had to pick one dessert…or ehem… breakfast that tops any other, it would definitely have to be cinnamon rolls.  Fresh, doughy, yeast bread encasing a succulent cinnamon sugary center, topped with delectable icing.  What more could anyone want?  If you have to breath a sigh of determination every time you make cinnamon rolls, then this recipe is for you.  And I just happened to stumble upon Everyday Cinnamon Rolls over at Our Best Bites. It’s simple, yet this is BY FAR my favorite recipe ever for cinnamon rolls, and believe me, I’ve tried them all.  So roll up your sleeves, throw on your apron and let’s make cinnamon rolls together!

I follow the recipe to a tee for the dough part, but when it comes to the filling and the icing, I stray.  I tend to do that.  So, go to Our Best Bites and make the dough, but when you’re done, come back over here, and I’ll show you how to make the filling and the frosting.

Instead of brown sugar, I like to combine brown sugar and white sugar and add a bit more cinnamon.




Roll it up and cut ’em up, about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick.  Plop them in a greased 9×13 pan.  And use butter! Pam will make them have crunchy bottoms…no good.


The best fool proof way to make the rolls rise is stick them in an unheated oven with the light on with a dish of boiling water underneath of them.  A little trick from Marietta native, Alton Brown… who I’ve seen at Kroger! Yes, I was starstruck.  And he’s awesome.


And don’t look too closely at my oven… ahem… apple pie spillage.

After about 30-40 minutes, the rolls should be nice and risen.  Immediately bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Now, that the rolls are done, let’s make the frosting!


Whip up cream cheese, melted butter, powdered sugar, syrup, and coffee until smooth and caramel in color.


I like to spread the frosting on the rolls when they have cooled a bit… ‘cuz I like a big, fat layer of frosting.




Simple Cinnamon Rolls w/ Maple Coffee Frosting


Everyday Cinnamon Rolls

Prep and bake also according to instructions.


1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. cinnamon


1/4 cup butter, melted

3 oz. cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup of strong coffee

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Whip ingredients altogether until it becomes a thick, but spreadable icing, caramel in color.  Spread on top of cooled rolls.

Don’t be overwhelmed by cinnamon roll making anymore!




Maple Walnut Apple Crisp

Title picture Web Optimized

It just wouldn’t feel like Fall – or Thanksgiving – without something with baked apples, now would it? Sometimes though, the thought of taking the time to make a pie from scratch is a little daunting because, you know, time. This afternoon, I didn’t have a lot of time and I didn’t want a lot to clean up so I turned to one of my favorites, apple crisp. This particular apple crisp (Maple Walnut Apple Crisp, respectively), is sweetened only with maple syrup, another one of my favorite flavors that just sings “autumn.” One of the things I love about this recipe is that it’s not overly sweet. If you like things on the extreme sweet side, you can add some brown sugar – but this way it really allows the flavor of the apples, maple syrup and walnuts shine!

Gather your ingredients – apples, butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, walnuts, flour, salt and oats.


Start with five apples. I had Gala apples today, but my favorite baking apple is the classic Granny Smith, of course.


Peel and slice thinly, then take 1/4 cup of maple syrup and three tablespoons of butter and nuke it in the microwave til the butter is melted.


Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.


Toss over the apples to coat.


Pour into a baking dish, pie pan, tart dish (that’s what these are called, right?) or whatever you’d like. No need to grease since you have butter on the apples.


Now the crumble topping! Mix 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup oats, heaping 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.


Melt 1/2 cup of butter into another 1/3 cup of maple syrup and mix. Oh yum.


Crumble / spread over your apples and pop it in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.


Enjoy when warm with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle of maple syrup. And some of that extra juicy syrup at the bottom. Yes, please.

finished crisp

Apple Walnut Apple Crisp Southern Mothers

I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow.


Maple Walnut Apple Crisp 

5 apples, peeled and sliced

3 TBS butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the Topping:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup (heaping) chopped walnuts

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup melted butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Peel and slice apples and toss in melted butter, syrup and cinnamon. Pour into baking dish. Mix all dry topping ingredients. Melt butter into syrup in microwave and mix with the dry ingredients til wet and crumbly.  Spread/crumble topping over apples. Bake for approximately 35 minutes until apples are tender and topping is nice and crisp. Serve warm, with whipped cream and additional syrup.



Cream Cheese Berry Coffee Cake

Easy, beautiful Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Something about rainy days always puts me in a baking frenzy.  And if it’s a rainy Monday, you can bet your bottom dollar, I’m in an apron, in my kitchen, whipping up something to put in the oven.


I was sitting in my rain boots, sipping on coffee, when I suddenly needed to make this cream cheese berry coffee cake.


Oh, how I begged my mom to make this over and over.  And when she pulled it out of the oven, it always looked like she slaved over it.  The presentation is gorgeous, but the effort is minimal.  That’s my kind of thing.  Can I get an Amen??? It’s light and biscuity, and it just sings like heaven when it melts in your mouth with the jam filling and the vanilla icing.

And when something so heavenly has basic pantry ingredients, I say yeah! baby!


2 cups of Bisquick go into a large mixing bowl.  I usually make my own Bisquick.  Then cut in the cream cheese and butter.


With this thingamajig.  A pastry cutter?  Whatever they are, they are brilliant, and I love mine.


It should look something like this…


Now, add the milk and mix until it becomes a crumbly dough ball.



Next, you’ll need a large cookie sheet and a rolling pin.


*Interesting story about this rolling pin:  it belonged to my Great Great Grandmother and has been passed down 4 generations!  And one day, I hope to pass it on to my daughter.  They don’t make rolling pins like they used to;  this thing can do it all!

Anyways… back to coffee cake.

Gather it into a ball and shape it into a log on the cookie sheet.


Dust your rolling pin with flour, and roll the dough into a rectangle.



Here comes the fun part.  Take a sharp knife and cut slanted strips on the two sides about 1 inch apart, leaving a long strip in the middle of the dough.


It will look something like this.


Next, take your jam of choice.  The original recipe calls for strawberry jam, but when you have the best homemade blackberry jam made by a friend, you always use that, of course 😉


Spread the jam evenly along the middle of the dough.


Then starting at the top, fold the strips over one another, moving from left to right.


Then, you’ll have a lovely (looked like you slaved over it) braided coffee cake! But, easy peasy, right?!


Put into a 375 degree oven and wait it out for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, it’s time to make the icing.

Put 1 cup of powdered sugar into a bowl along with a little milk and vanilla and mix until drizzle consistency.


When the coffee cake is done, it should look like a perfectly baked golden biscuit.


Once the icing is mixed and the cake has cooled for about 20 minutes, it’s time to drizzle it over.



And then, of course, we all know the next step… cut into it and try not to eat the whole thing.


Cream Cheese Berry Coffee Cake



2 cups of Bisquick

1/4 cup of cold butter

3 oz. of cold cream cheese

1/4 cup of cold milk

1/2 cup of berry preserves


1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 Tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. of vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Put 2 cups of Bisquick in a large mixing bowl.  Cut in the cream cheese and the butter until crumbly.  Stir in the milk.  Knead until dough forms a crumbly ball.  Place on large cookie sheet and roll into a rectangular shape about 1/4 in thick.  Using a sharp knife, make slanted cuts in 1 inch intervals down the sides of the dough, leaving a long strip in the middle.  Spread preserves down the middle of the dough.  Take the 1 inch strips and fold over the filling.  Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.  Meanwhile, stir powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small mixing bowl.  When cake has cooled about 20 minutes, drizzle icing over the top.  Cut and serve!


There’s Always Room for S’more Love- A Baby Shower

Since when did ladies get to have all the fun at baby showers?  Per request of the soon-to-be-parents, we planned a low key backyard couples shower to welcome the new little one.  And I have to say, it was one of the most enjoyable showers I’ve ever been to… and probably the prettiest.  The deck streamed with globe lights and candles, the fire flickering, tables layered with a delectable s’mores bar and Fall treats, and chairs filled with the best of friends.

And who doesn’t love a good s’mores bar…

s'mores bar

And how cool is my friend’s deck… and greenhouse…??? So. Cool.


The best part about this was getting to decorate and plan out beautiful things with my best friends.  And it all started coming together so well.  The wildflowers were indeed locally sourced (as in legally or ehem… illegally… picked from a nearby highway).










table decor


But the real magic happened when the sun started going down, and the globe lights and candles came out to play…





s'mores bar


Then the guests arrived and the fun began.

Our Eagle Scout started the fire.  It wasn’t always burning since the world’s been turning.


The father-to-be enjoying the freshly lit fire.



The gentlemen.  Contemplating gentlemanly things.



The roasting starts, and s’moregasboard commences.





The lovely hostess.


The glowing mother-to-be.

So blessed to get to be able to celebrate these wonderful first time parents.


Rounding the night up with gifts, and I’d say it was a good time had by all.


Like our “s’moregasboard”?  Pin it!


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


I step outside Monday morning with my morning coffee.  I had actually gotten dressed that morning before the kids were awake: SUCCESS.  But when I stepped outside in my jean shorts and t-shirt, I ran right back inside to grab my jeans and hoodie because y’all….. get this…. it was 59 degrees.  In August.  In Georgia.  I mean, can it get more heaven than that?!  I may be a Georgia girl, but man do I love my cold weather! I spent a full winter in South Bend, Indiana where it literally snowed every day from November to April.  So I know a harsh winter when I see one.  And Georgia, you’ve got nothin’.  But I digress.  So here I am in jeans and a hoodie, sipping my hot lukewarm coffee, in August.  Dream weather.  Suddenly, I got this hankerin’ need to make something pumpkin.  Yep, I definitely be that white girl in boots sippin’ on a pumpkin spice latte.  No shame.   I loved pumpkin before it was trendy, ok?

Anyways, I happen to have in my possession the best pumpkin bread recipe known to man.  Passed down from generation to generation.  It was a MUST HAVE on our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table.  This was my aunt’s specialty.  Yes, I was lucky enough to grow up just miles from ALL my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  So our holiday gatherings were 30 plus people, and let me just say, the food was “slap yo mama” good.  No joke.  My dad was the ONLY Northerner who married into our Southern family.  Everyone else has been cooking biscuits and gravy from birth.  So I don’t kid when I talk about my family’s Southern cooking.  It’s really something.  Like no-one-ate-the-whole-day-leading-up-to-it- something.

I’ve had some REALLY good pumpkin bread (um, Starbucks anyone???) and some really bad pumpkin bread.  It has a tendency to really dry out if you’re not careful.  This recipe is super easy and super fool proof.  Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, combine together and voila! Pumpkin bread… or muffins… or cupcakes.  Did I say versatile too?


Pumpkin Bread


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups of sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

dash of ground cloves

1 tsp. salt


2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 can of pumpkin or 2 cups of cooked pumpkin

3 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add wet ingredients.  Stir just until combined.


Pour into 2- 9×5 greased loaf pans.  Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture on top– or pecans or pumpkin seeds (the possibilities are endless!).  Bake @ 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks.


Line 2-12 ct. muffin tins with paper liners.  Fill cups about 2/3 full.  Bang on counter a few times to level batter.  For muffins: top with cinnamon/sugar or nuts or seeds.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 17-19 minutes.  Until tops are springy.  Cool in pans for a few minutes, then move to cooling racks.  For cupcakes: Cool completely before frosting.

I almost forgot about the best part…. the frosting! I have a love affair with cinnamon.  My husband hates cinnamon.  Sad day.  I’ve tried just normal cream cheese frosting on pumpkin cupcakes, and it’s good.  Really good.  But this cinnamon cream cheese frosting… it’s to die for.  It just brings out the soft spiciness of the cakes, just giving an even stronger Fall flavor.  And that’s what we’re going for.  Yes.  In August.  Don’t judge.


See those cinnamon specks^  YESSSSS.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 lbs. powdered sugar

1/8 cup of milk

1 tsp. cinnamon

dash of ground cloves


Mix the cream cheese, shortening, and butter with a mixer until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar, little by little.  Add milk (if it’s too thick, add more; too thin, add more powdered sugar).  Add the cinnamon and cloves and beat until fluffy and smooth.  Top with chopped pecans.

You can either slather it on or pipe it on.  I personally love piping cupcakes more than almost anything in this world.  I used a 1M nozzle and did a rose design.  I hope to do a video tutorial on this sometime soon.

And there’s a little taste of Fall heaven in your mouth.  Enjoy!