Blown Minds…

Dang… I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since I promised a recap post of Iron Cupcake Pro/AM. I guess that’s what happens when you are insanely busy at work, and then throw a killer cold on that. I seriously have not done anything but go to work and come home to sleep all week.

I will put it this way, that weekend of my life still seems like it was completely surreal. It was something that Erin and I had been planning for a couple months, changed our minds at the last minute and somehow, it all worked out.


The theme was Perfect Pairs, which was fitting for Erin and I. The very first thing that J said when he had heard the theme was that Erin and I had to do it together, because he believes that we are the perfect pair for this. A few others said the same thing, and I’m starting to believe it. Erin and I play off of each other’s strengths, she is amazing at display and my forte is the flavor pairings, both things that they judge at ICM. She started with the display idea for this time around, Alice in Wonderland, and I ran with the theme and decided to put tea in each of the cupcakes to echo the tea party theme.

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The white ones, were a white velvet with a rose tea, homemade strawberry-orange-coriander preserves and a strawberry cardamom buttercream. The red ones were red velvet filled with a hazelnut and black tea caramel mascarpone, and vanilla buttercream and a sea slat chocolate caramel tea cookie. Whew, it was a mouthful. We appropriately named them after our favorite pair from the movie, Tweedledee and Tweedledum!


We had the opportunity to meet Duff the evening before, as well as catch up with Michelle and Vinny Garcia from Bleeding Heart. That was awesome and took the edge off for Sunday. Both of them stopped by during the day to chat, although I will say when Duff came by for a few minutes, it was overwhelming the amount of people who were trying to come to our little table. I have to say, over the course of the day, we did not get a break at all.

015 Michelle has the killer purple hair, and her husband Vinny is in the grey shirt next to her!

020 018 029 The red head is the ever fabulous Dear Ruthie, who was the emcee for the event.

I guess it worked out in our advantage, because we ended up winning Duff’s pick, which was pretty awesome. I guess we impressed him with display, and maybe a little with the cupcake too (if you didn’t know, Duff is not a fan of the cupcake). Michelle actually came up to me afterwards and told me that they had picked our cupcake as their favorite too, independently of Duff, which again is one hell of a compliment.


But that wasn’t all, Erin and I ended up also winning Best Pro cupcake as well. Seriously, we went into this wanting to have fun and doing crazy stuff that WE wanted to do, we definitely did not expect to win anything. We know that we can go completely crazy that it turns people off, so we were happy that people loved what we brought! 


It was an amazing and completely off the charts weekend, seriously. One that makes me seriously indebted to Erin for. If it wasn’t for us getting together almost a year ago to talk cake, I wouldn’t of had this opportunity. This girl is amazing at cake, and is one hell of a great friend! I can only see things going further from here for us! I also want to thank Robert from Industri Cafe, who allowed us to represent them. I know that the cakes have made an appearance on the menu there, and I am sure that they will make another appearance sometime soon!

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This Happened…

018 Yes, that is Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes. I’m still amazed by the epic events of this past weekend.

Full Recap to come.

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Little Bit of An Explanation…

As to why the extended absence… among other things.

and maybe a trip south of the border…

Mexico 2011 021 - Copy - Copy030


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BSI Bacon

Okay, after not submitting recipes for BSI in a really long time… I think it’s time to throw my hat in the ring again. I mean, bacon is one of my true loves, who else do you know has a bacon dealer?! :laugh:

So for your perusal, I present two different recipes (I have quite a few but I won’t bombard you all, although sea salt caramel bacon brownies are pretty dang good!)

This first one showed up here last December in honor of my friend Chris, (who is my bacon dealer!)

Bacon Peanut Brittle

1 c white sugar

1/2 c light corn syrup

1/4 c water

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp baking soda (make sure you have this and the butter measured out ahead of time!)

3/4 c peanuts (I roughly chopped them)

1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a 3qt heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches 200 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add the peanuts and bacon, and cook mixture until it reaches 300 degrees. Add the butter and baking soda (be careful because the soda makes it bubble up). Spread out thin on a well greased, aluminum foil wrapped baking sheet. When cool, about 15 minutes, break apart and package.

…and my other was shared at my friend Sandy’s blog, as a request from Iron Cupcake Bacon from last February. I love these cupcakes with or without the bacon, and it is one of my most requested cakes.


Strawberry Bacon Balsamic Cupcakes

Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

1  lb frozen strawberries
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
In a sauce pan, combine the strawberries and sugar. Let macerate for a minimum of 20 minutes, I like to let mine sit for an hour while I have my coffee.
Add in the vinegar, and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes until the mixture thickens. Cool and blend until smooth.

For the cake:
I like to use Pioneer Woman’s recipe for yellow cake. You can just as easily use a white or yellow box mix or your favorite white cake recipe and just substitute the strawberry syrup for the water or milk. This recipe’s cooking time is for 12+ full size cupcakes, if you want mini’s, cut the cooking time in half.
(I pulled this recipe from Pioneer Woman’s site and changed the ingredients but the instructions are the same: Here is the link:

  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 whole Eggs Room Temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • ¾ cups (plus A Tad More) strawberry syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Mix to combine.

Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk in three batches, mixing for a few seconds after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix one final time.

Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter softened

1 tsp vanilla

2 c powdered sugar

Mix the cream cheese and butter together, add the vanilla and the sugar in 1/2 cup increments, after each addition is fully mixed.

You will also need 6 slices of applewood smoked bacon, cooked. The thick sliced is not the best for the cupcakes, although great for breakfast!

To assemble the cupcakes.

Use a pastry brush to paint the top of the cupcakes with the leftover strawberry syrup, this is the glue for the bacon. Take a half of a slice of applewood smoked bacon (Nueske’s is amazing!) and adhere it to syrup. Then frost with the cream cheese icing.

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Take a Look…

I know that you probably know about All Recipes, but did you know that there was is a video spin off site? is a source for all kinds of video demos, and also features a segment called “What’s Cooking?” which features different home cooks. Well this week, they took a little detour to Iron Cupcake Milwaukee and their Tailgate Challenge.

What\'s Cooking? Iron Cupcake

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is amazing…


Wanna know how I make mine? Check out a vintage Taste of Life post here:

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I wish that I could put into words adequately what I’ve felt towards this lately. I’ve been busy, and had feelings of ambivalence towards my blog, because I didn’t have a good direction. I’m working on it, especially since some of the food related things that I’ve been making lately aren’t recipes that are to be shared. Mostly, because I’ve been developing recipes without exact measurements. :oops: But I do have pictures of some of things that I have been working on.

Thanks to my lovely friends Peef and Lo at Burp! Where Food Happens and Lisa of Milwaukee Reads, afforded me an awesome opportunity for catering for their event in honor of Banned Books week. Combined with a friend of mine, we were successful with this event! It was a great time and a lot of fun! (these amazing pictures, along with a few others were taken by my friend Joe from Eating Milwaukee!)


Peef, Lo and myself. Obviously, Joe was being a little sneaky! DSC_1102

Gluten Free Strawberry-Orange Chocolate cupcakes! DSC_1126

Little good, and a little evil.  DSC_1130

Greek Salad Skewers. DSC_1134 These are known as the Special. They have Italian Beef and local made Italian Sausage.

Iron Cupcake featured Booze as their secret ingredient for the month of October. I baked alone this time, and totally missed my partner in Erin, but took the theme a little seriously. Although she was on the sidelines because of work committments, Erin did give me a hand, by designing my costume! We had a lot of fun with the costume, and I had a lot of fun with the cupcake. I knew I wanted to do something different, and picked a unique liquor in Great Lakes Distillery’s Absinthe, and used it to give caramel apple pie a twist. I didn’t win, which is totally okay but I loved doing something a little different!

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Again, these awesome pics are from Joe at Eating Milwaukee , as there has definitely been a lot of blogger meet ups lately. I’ve also had the awesome opportunity to meet many others from Milwaukee, including Rebecca at Cakewalk, Neil from Steam of Consciousness and many others I know I am forgetting! Who knows, there may be some fun stuff going with them in the future!

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