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Cupcakes And Calendars

Cover of our calendar

Cover of our calendar

January is turning out to be a really busy month, work is busy and thats a good thing.This is also my anniversary month, 5th year blogging, honestly it kind of blows my mind.  I have been really busy also with the work I am doing with a group on Instagram @Grumble Inc, we are a rapidly growing group of pet parents that do fun events on Instagram and raise money for animal rescue groups. The need is great and never seems to end. We work with other rescue and charitable groups holding online auctions to not just benefit rescue but to help out individuals who may not have the funds to pay for emergency or much needed veterinary care which includes surgery and other urgent issues. We recently put together an 18 month calendar with photo’s of our Instagram friends and all the proceeds go to @pugqueen who does amazing work rescuing pugs. Percy is featured on October 2017. The calendars are $15 plus shipping and we have sold about 150 so far.

Percy upper right corner

Percy upper right corner

On the rescue front you remember the little puggle I spoke about, Luna. Well she is doing great and is in a foster home where she is getting much needed medical care and evaluation for her seizure disorder. The great news is that she has only had one seizure since she has been in foster care and is thriving and happy. We have someone waiting for her who is giving her a forever home as soon as she is ready for adoption.

Luna

Luna

I am president of our block association and every year I plan a holiday party, this year has been a disaster. We planned on having it in December at a members home but a few days before the event we had to cancel because she was sick. I rescheduled to January 7th, after the holidays but thats ok, we had to cancel because of bad weather. NYC got blasted with a major snow storm and frigid temperatures. Most of the day yesterday was blizzard like conditions with the wind blowing and snow coming down fast and furious. Now I am thinking we will have a welcome Spring party, plans are in the works. The weather forecast did not call for the heavy snow or blizzard like conditions so I made cupcakes to take with me to the party. My go to chocolate cake recipe from Hershey’s it never fails and always produces a moist, chocolately and delicious cupcake. My favorite way to serve them is with a cream cheese buttercream frosting. Simple and delicious.

cupcakes

cupcakes

The recipe for the cupcakes is so easy to make, the recipe also makes an excellent layer cake. I love that there is no creaming of butter and sugar, you put all the ingredients in one bowl and mix it all together. I have posted this recipe several times here but it’s so good I feel good about posting again. There is no butter in this cake only vegetable oil. You don’t have to use hershey’s cocoa but it’s best to use cocoa powder that is not Dutch Process for this cake, use natural cocoa powder. If you don’t understand the difference read this article on Epicurious about the different types.

Hershey’s Best Chocolate Cake

makes 24 cupcakes, 2 9 inch layers or 3 8 inch layers

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup whole milk at room temperature

2 large eggs at room temperature lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degree’s. Line muffin pan with liners or butter and flour cake pans.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In 4 cup measuring cup add the wet ingredients and whisk together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with electric mixer for 2 minutes. In the meantime put water on to boil and add the 1 cup boiling water to the batter and mix with electric mixer for 1 minute or until combined.

The batter will be thin, thats ok it’s supposed to be that way. Pour into prepared pans and for cupcakes bake 20-25 minutes. Layer cakes 30-40 minutes depending on size of the pan. Cake is done when tester inserted in middle comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz softened (room temperature) unsalted butter

8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature

4-6 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

approximately 1/4 cup milk or half and half

Cream the butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time mixing between each addition. Add the vanill and milk. When adding the milk do it slowely, and stop when it’s spreading consistency you may not need 1/4 cup or you might need a little more. You judge how much you add so that you reach the desired consistency.

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65 Comments Post a comment
  1. You’re an artist Suzanne, you work is always faultless and looks so delicious. With my blood sugar running high I’d probably be banned from even looking at them.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

    January 8, 2017
    • Thank you David, I know looking at all that sugar laden cake can cause the blood sugar to rise. Take care to keep that blood sugar in check my friend and thank you so much. Mega hugs!!

      January 10, 2017
  2. Too cute, too beautiful, and delicious !
    Bon, heureux anniversaire Suzanne and loved pets ! Bises et aussi : bonne année … france 🙂

    January 8, 2017
    • Merci France, many thanks. Difficile de croire qu’il a été de cinq ans!! Hugs and best wishes!!

      January 10, 2017
  3. I’m so happy to hear that work is busy and good. Great news!! And I’m so glad to have your cream cheese frosting recipe in front of me again. That Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe is the best. I’ve never thought to add espresso powder- yum! xoox

    January 8, 2017
    • It really is the best recipe. I have tried other chocolate cake recipes and none compare really. Thank you so much and yes add a little espresso powder to your chocolate cake it’s wonderful!!

      January 10, 2017
  4. What a special to celebrate the long 5 years blogging! Suzanne, you did a great blog. Love to follow you all the time. It is sad to hear your party got cancel, not once but twice. But I think your beautiful cupcakes must cheers up everyone at last.

    January 8, 2017
    • Hi Mochi, thank you so much and I hope you are doing well. I am also so sad we had to cancel our party for the second time, it must not have been meant to be. Thank you so much and a very Happy New Year.

      January 10, 2017
  5. Happy 5th!!! Stay safe, warm and cozy. Caribbean Hugs to you!!! xx

    January 8, 2017
  6. Great looking cupcakes! Happy 5th anniversary! 🙂

    January 8, 2017
  7. I absolutely love all the work you do for the rescues in your area! And what the heck did you do with all those cupcakes if the party was canceled??? xoxoxo

    January 8, 2017
    • LOL, gave away most of them. If they had not been frosted I would have frozen them. I honestly thought the snow would stop and we could have the party. Oh well, best laid plans fall by the wayside and some friends got cupcakes. Thanks so much Kathryn.

      January 10, 2017
  8. Oh Suzanne, I hate snow… I’m so sorry. (Fortunately we didn’t get much snow this time, but there’s ice a plenty, and the temps aren’t getting above freezing to make it go away…)
    I wish I could help you “get rid of” those cupcakes though. 😀 Percy makes a handsome Mr. October! Stay warm. Mega hugs

    January 8, 2017
    • I love that photo of Percy, he does look quite fetching in his Halloween scarf with the mums and since October is my favorite month of the year I am doubly pleased he made it into the calendar that month. Thanks so much Teagan.

      January 10, 2017
  9. Happy Nee Year Suzanne. Love the calendar! Percy is a star. Thank you for these delicious cupcakes. I’ll have to make for Valentines Day

    January 8, 2017
    • Thanks so much Michelle, Percy is quite the star he is such a sweetheart. The cupcakes are so good and I make them for Valentines day as well.

      January 10, 2017
  10. Happy 5th Blogaversary! 🙂 That pug calendar is so cute and the cupcakes look yummy!

    January 8, 2017
  11. I wish I could attend your spring party! Please eat an extra cupcake (or two) for me. I love that Hershey’s recipe. It is so good!!

    January 8, 2017
    • It really is the best recipe. We are having our company holiday party on Thursday (post holiday really) and I am making a cake and bringing it. I just love making this recipe, wish you could be here for our spring party!!

      January 10, 2017
  12. Wow you have been busy Suzanne! Those cupcakes are adorable and so is Percy in his Halloween outfit.

    January 8, 2017
  13. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
    Percy is looks cute and the chocolate cake recipe is a standby for me but never thought to add espresso powder must try that with your frosting it looks absolutely yummy.

    January 8, 2017
    • Thank you so much Dyanna. Sorry for the delayed comment. I so appreciate your support. I love this cake recipe too!!

      January 10, 2017
  14. Happy New year, Suzanne! Percy looks so cute and these cupcakes look very tempting!

    January 9, 2017
    • Thank you Freda, the cupcakes are a little too tempting, have to get them out of my house or I’ll eat them, LOL, thank you so much.

      January 10, 2017
  15. Happy 5th Anniversary Suzanne! The cup cakes are so beautiful. Percy looks so cute and love that calendar.

    January 9, 2017
    • Thank you so much Sumith, I would love to see how you would decorate cupcakes, they would be a masterpiece.

      January 10, 2017
      • Thank you Suzanne. Will do a try😚 give me bit time please😍

        January 10, 2017
  16. Chocolate and cream cheese are always a good match. Cute calendar 🙂

    January 9, 2017
  17. Happy Blogiversary, Suzanne! These cupcakes are amazing! 🙂

    January 9, 2017
  18. Suzanne, you do so much and give back so much! Thank you for all your work with animals – that’s something that’s really dear to my heart, too. Also, happy blogging anniversary month!

    January 9, 2017
    • Thank you Jasmine. The need is great, it’s heartbreaking seeing so many animals that are mistreated, abused, neglected, homeless, almost more than my heart can bear. If everyone who cares helped just a little it would make a huge difference in the lives of these animals.

      January 10, 2017
  19. Oh Suzanne, thank you for the further update on little Luna, shame, she has been in my thoughts so much. I am so happy to hear she will be going to a forever home soon, and it is lovely to know that she is being taken care of with regards to her seizures. If you get to see Luna again, please give her a big love and a hug from me ❤ Hugs and love to Percy too ❤

    Happy 5th year of blogging 🙂 As for your cupcakes, I need those in my belly now 🙂 🙂 🙂 I adore cupcakes ! x

    January 9, 2017
    • Luna is with a wonderful foster Mom right now and is thriving, I am so glad about that and doubly happy that there is someone waiting for her to be ready to be adopted. Knowing she will have a forever home filled with love is such a wonderful thing. Thank you so much Lynne.

      January 10, 2017
  20. HAPPY🎉MONDAY

    January 9, 2017
  21. Here’s to the next 5 years, Suzanne! Happy Blog Birthday. The calendar is so adorable. ❤ Best of luck. My doggie is a rescue. I so want one of those cupcakes! It's a shopping trip away. 🙂

    January 9, 2017
    • It’s so hard to believe Mary that it’s been 5 years. It’s wonderful that you also have a rescue dog. I see dogs in those shelters waiting for someone to rescue them and my heart breaks. I wish I had a farm I would scoop up as many as I could that are in danger of being PTS and give them a home. Thank you so much.

      January 10, 2017
      • She was my son’s dog, and he rescued her. He said he knew she was meant for him the moment he saw her. I’ve had her now for about six years. He fell in love and his now wife, has two cats. Kasha doesn’t like cats and the cats don’t like dogs. I love being her human. 🙂 What a great idea to be able to rescue them all.

        January 11, 2017
  22. Congratulations on your five year anniversary. I look forward to your sharing many more wonderful recipes with us in the future. Chocolate and cream cheese, it doesn’t get much better than that taste combination.

    January 9, 2017
    • Thank you so much Karen, totally agree, chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting is so yummy. I also love chocolate cheesecake!!

      January 10, 2017
  23. Happy blog birthday and many congrats on the dog calendar – does Percy feel like a star!? 😉 I want to know more about your animal group!

    January 9, 2017
    • Hi Pamela, thank you so much. Our group, grumble Inc is on Instagram and Facebook. We do lots of different things social media events, charity auctions, social media blasts when pets are lost or stolen. It’s a great group, I also work with Pug Squad SOS and with a local TNR group, we round up feral cats and get them neutered. My friend in the neighborhood has a cat sanctuary in her carriage house. I want to volunteer at city shelters but I think my heart would break with this cities terrible and heartless policy regarding euthanizing adoptable pets. Are you on instagram?

      January 10, 2017
  24. The cupcakes and cakes are beautiful, and yay for Percy being featured!! Happy New Year to you! 🙂

    January 9, 2017
  25. What a great project Suzanne! And so adorable too. Happy new year and great cake recipe, yum 🙂

    January 10, 2017
  26. Such amazing work you are doing here!

    January 10, 2017
  27. Your blog is amazing and what gorgeous cakes!

    January 10, 2017
  28. I am supposed to be cutting back on the sweets! This is not helping that!

    January 11, 2017
  29. Percy’s Boo jumper’s too cute!
    – Never knew what Dutch process actually was. I’ve just read that link (thanks for that). We only have natural over here, as far as I’m aware. Ever tasted natural cocoa?? And I use organic – regardless of the price.
    – Must pop over and get your fruit cake recipe. I’m hoping to make it for Burns Night on the 25th, as mini cakes wrapped in pastry.

    January 11, 2017
    • Oh, and keep warm. it’s supposed to snow over here tomorrow – brrr.

      January 11, 2017
  30. Hi Suzanne!! that’s great that you can use Instagram for such a good purpose! And fun to have your Percy b a calendar model!! And–love how you piped the the “snowballs” of frosting onto the cupcakes! They are the cutest! And– Congratulations on your 5th blogging anniversary!! You’re so good at sharing beautiful food as well as being your authentic self. Hope you found friends to eat all those cupcakes!! hugs hugs!

    January 12, 2017
  31. Oh C’mon poor thing ! Pugs are very nice and patient ! I can’t do that with my own kids 😉
    I wish you a bright 2017 ! (and love the naked cake and the puffy cupcakes ! Yummy !)

    January 13, 2017

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