It’s Lucy Jane’s Birthday!

It’s THEE Lucy Jane’s Birthday today! She is turning 3. She is happy and social and oh so girly! When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday, without hesitation she answered, “strawberry cupcakes.” So Lucy and I spent the afternoon making her birthday strawberry cupcakes. (She loves to bake like her momma.)

Here is what we came up with:

I used my Vanilla Cupcake recipe and topped it off with a strawberry frosting and fresh strawberries on top. We just finished devouring them and they are so delish! The strawberry frosting tastes just like strawberries ‘n’ cream ice cream. This is a definite must for a good old fashioned summertime treat! (which starts here in AZ in about 2 months!)

Strawberry Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter, slightly softened
  • 6-8 fresh, large strawberries (puree’d)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • fresh strawberries (for garnish)

Cream butter in mixer for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and milk. Mix until combined. Then add strawberry puree and add the remaining powdered sugar. Mix well.

Baby Shower Edition Part III…The Treat

I wanted the treat for the baby shower to be sweet and simple. Nothing too overwhelming because it was at 10 in the morning, but something cute and dainty. So it was an easy choice to go with a mini vanilla cupcake. I used buttercream frosting and died it pink. And honestly, these cupcakes are delicious enough to stand on their own without the frosting! But I am a frosting lover, so I piled it on!

Basic Vanilla Cupcake

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup cour cream
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (about 4 minutes) Add the eggs 2 at a time and mix until combined. Then add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and add buttermilk/milk. Beat on meduim low for one minute. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Add flour mixture to batter and mix until combined.

Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For mini cupcakes, bake for 10-12 minutes.

Butter Cream Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powderes sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter in mixer for 4 minutes. Then add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, a splash of milk and the vanilla. Mix on medium until the sugar is combined. Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, adding milk to get the consistency you want. (for thicker frosting you will not use the whole 1/2 cup of milk. For thinner frosting you will use the entire 1/2 cup) For these cupcakes I added about 8 drops of pink food coloring.

Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes

Here is another secret Shannon recipe! The first time I had these cupcakes Shannon made them for my son’s birthday. Amazing! This is the last chocolate cupcake recipe you will ever need. They are moist and full of flavor! I made these for a little get together last night and decided I was going to stray from the chocolate frosting that these little gems are usually topped with. I also made them mini, because wouldn’t it be honest to say that to eat a whole cupcake is a big commitment? Basically, it’s a large piece of a cake. That’s a lot of calories! And I don’t know about you, but sometimes that first bite makes you look like a stinkin’ pig. You have to get the frosting and the cake together in that bite and sometimes it takes a big old, wide open mouth bite! It’s not very attractive, to say the least. With the mini’s you can take a bite or two and still look dainty and sweet. And you know for a surety you will finish it! The pictures are of my mini’s from the party and the 2 different kinds of frostings I made. So, consider yourself lucky. I will give you all 3 frosting recipes!! (My favorite still happens to be the chocolate frosting, but sometimes we have to be able to think outside the box, right?) So the top picture is a simple vanilla buttercream frosting and the second picture is a peanut butter frosting. Yum!!

Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (16 ounce) package light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt semi-sweet chips in a microwave safe bowl at high for 30 seconds intervals until melted. (about 1 1/2 minutes total time) Make sure to stir after every 30 second interval. Set aside.

Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed in a mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, beating until just blended.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with cour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Beat on low speed until just blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup of hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Add vanilla.

Place 36 cupcake liners in muffin tins, spoon batter evenly into cups, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (If you are making mini cupcakes, this recipe will yield about 95 mini cupcakes. Bake for 8-10 minutes) Remove cupcakes from tins and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter (room temp)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat the butter for 4 minutes in a mixer. (set your timer!! 4 minutes happens to be a long time) Add 4 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the milk. Beat until all sugar is incorporated and smooth. (I will beat my frosting at medium high for a few minutes) Then add the sugar one cup at a time, using milk to thin, until the desired consistency is reached.

Classic Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk

Melt in a small saucepan the butter and chocolate. Pour melted mixture in mixer and add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and half of the milk. Beat until all sugar is incorporated. Then add sugar and milk until frosting is desired consistency.

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Beat the peanut butter and butter together until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cream and whip at medium high until combined. (I like my frosting light and fluffy, so I tend to mix my frostings A LOT!!)

Easy Sea Salt Caramels

The sweet tooth is still going strong everyone! ‘Tis the season! I absolutely love caramel. This recipe is so easy because it is done in the microwave! Yes, the microwave. So just in case you need a last minute neighbor gift, or a sweet treat for your kids teacher, these sea salt carmels will surely delight!

Easy Sea Salt Carmels

  • 6 Tablespoons of butter cut into 6 pieces
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • coarse sea salt

Place a sheet of aluminum foil in a 9×13 pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray, making sure to coat sides as well.

In microwave safe bowl (at least 2 quart), add butter, white and brown sugar, syrup, sweetened condensed milk, & vanilla. Stir together and place in microwave, uncovered. Cook in microwave on full power for 8 and a half minutes, stopping and stirring thoroughly twice during the cooking time (about every 2-3 minutes).  Remove from microwave and stir until well mixed. Pour hot caramel into a prepared 9×13 pan. Place in fridge until firm enough to remove & cut (about 60 minutes). Pull up on sides of aluminum foil and remove the whole slab of caramel at one time. Place caramel slab on cutting board covered with parchment or waxed paper and cut into pieces of desired size. Then sprinkle a dash of sea salt on each individual caramel. On my next batch I am going to drizzle dark chocolate over the caramels!  ( At this point I wrapped each individual carmel in parchment paper to give to friends and loved ones!)

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Secret Hot Fudge Sauce

I’m about to let you in on a little secret.  The recipe to my hot fudge sauce.  Around these parts it’s known as Shannon’s Secret Hot Fudge Sauce.  I give jars of this yummy sauce out as Christmas gifts to our friends and neighbors each year.  It’s become known as my “secret hot fudge sauce”, not because the recipe is so earth shattering (although, it really is), but because I don’t give out the recipe on a matter of principle… I want people to look forward to getting this from me each year!

But alas, the blogging world is much bigger than my little world, and I want all of you to have the same opportunity to enjoy this delicious hot fudge sauce.  You’ll have to work a little harder to taste it than my lucky friends who just get a jar delivered to their door, but it is worth the effort my friends!  And who knows?  Maybe you’ll like it so much that you’ll pass jars of it along to your friends and neighbors.  (The recipe is easily doubled, tripled, etc.  Each recipe makes a little over 3 pint jars worth of sauce)  ENJOY!

Secret Hot Fudge Sauce


  • 12 ounces semi sweet premium chocolate chips (I use Guittard)
  • 2 cubes butter, chopped into 1 tablespoon chunks
  • 2 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

In a medium sized saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips together.  When melted, add heavy cream and powdered sugar.  Stir and bring to a slow boil.  Only turn the heat up to medium high, as anything higher will scorch the chocolate.  Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Allow to boil for 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla.  Stir thoroughly.

Pour into an airtight container.  I use canning jars.

Refrigerate after opening.

Linking up at: Stuff and Nonsense, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Everyday Tastes, I Heart Naptime, Serenity You, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Six Sister’s Stuff, A Well Seasoned Life

Brownie Cake

We really enjoyed Cookie Week here at Lucy Jane’s and we hoped you liked it, too. With all the holiday baking going on, my sweet tooth is in full effect! How about you? So imagine my delight when my mom brought over this Brownie Cake for dessert when we all got together for a family dinner. She has been making this for years, and it is one of my all time favorites. It is moist and chocolatey and definitely a crowd pleaser. You will be loved and adored if you bring this to your next family dinner, I promise!

Brownie Cake

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan. Add water and boil for 2 minutes. In a mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Combine sifted ingredients with chocolate mixture, eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat with a mixer for several minutes until creamy. (batter will be thin) Pour into a 9×13 greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool and frost!


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 package (16 ounce) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan. Add milk and boil until it thickens and begins to separate. Add this powdered sugar, and mix with electric mixer until very creamy. Stir in vanilla.

Linking up at: Skip to My Lou, Sew Chatty, Crazy for Crust, Mandy’s Recipe Box, This Chick Cooks, Sew Much Ado, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Gooseberry Patch, Blue Cricket Design, Someday Crafts, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, All the Small Stuff, Stuff and Nonsense

Day 1 of LJB Cookie Week… Double Chocolate Peppermint Surprise Cookies

We are excited to kick off our Holiday Cookie Week with this fabulous, scrumptious cookie.  We’ve never met a person who didn’t go wild over these tasty little gems!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Surprise Cookies

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 24 mini peppermint patties , unwrapped and chilled
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, from a bar, not chips
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint candy canes

Using an electric mixer, mix the flour cocoa powder, both sugars, salt and baking soda on low speed.  Add the butter and egg and mix to combine.  Turn out the dough onto plastic wrap, wrap tight and put in the refrigerator to chill about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Working with 1 Tablespoon of dough at a time, evenly encase each peppermint patty with dough.  Place on jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

As cookies are baking, melt white chocolate in the microwave in a small bowl for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval, until melted.  Using a spoon drizzle the white chocolate over each cookie and immediately top with crushed candy cane.  *** Tip… place a piece of parchment paper under the wire cooling rack when drizzling the chocolate for easy clean up!

Linking up at: Stuff and Nonsense, Simply Sweet Home, This Chick Cooks, Ginger Snap Crafts, Skip to My Lou, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Mandy’s Recipe Box, Chef In Training, Blue Cricket Design, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Mom’s Crazy Cooking, The Gooseberry Patch

Red Velvet Cupcakes

This has to be one of my all time favorite cupcakes. And I will say Sprinkles makes a mean Red Velvet Cupcake. I mean it is their signature cupcake, right? So it had better be good! I dare say this recipe rivals Sprinkles! That is a bold and brave statement I realize, but these are moist, tasty and the frosting is perfect! The only drawback for me about making these cupcakes is that there are some tedious steps and it takes a little  longer to make than your average cupcake. And the food coloring can get so expensive! Shannon let me in on a little secret though: If you have a Smart & Final nearby, they sell Food Coloring in huge bottles for about half the cost of the grocery store! Awesome!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 6 Tablespoons red food coloring
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl sift the flour and set aside. (TIP: Do you know the “modern” way to sift? Simply use a wire whisk and whisk the flour until lumps are out. It works great and you don’t need a sifter!) In a mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and mix well.

In a large measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overmix.

In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure the ingredients are all blended and batter is smooth.

Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Fill the liners 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove from cupcake tray and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, slightly softened, cut into small pieces
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

In a mixer combine cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until smooth and creamy.  (TIP: In order for the icing to set, use only slightly softened cream cheese. It will keep the icing firm. After frosting, if you are not going to eat the cupckaes right away, put them in the fridge for up to 3 hours to allow frosting to set completely)

Linking up at: Coastal Charm, Skip to My Lou, Crazy for Crust, Tip Junkie, Chef in Training, Joy of Desserts, Somewhat Simple, Everyday Tastes, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, The How To Mommy, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Blue Cricket Design, Ginger Snap Crafts, Mandy’s Recipe Box

Never Fail Pie Crust

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Thanksgiving is all about the food, right?  And the capper to the meal is always the pie!  I learned to bake amazing pies when I was 12 years old.  My Gram took it upon herself to teach me to make the perfect crust and all the different kinds of fillings.  I spent the next 2 years experimenting with every kind of pie imaginable.  I’ve made them all, and I’ve made every kind of crust.  Butter crust, shortenening crust, chocolate crust, shortbread crust… everything.  This recipe is the all time best, and fool proof classic pie crust recipe.  Use this for your Thanksgiving pie… it will not disappoint!

Never Fail Pie Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup cold milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Combine dry ingredients together.  Cut in shortening and cut to pea size chunks.  Mix yolk, milk and lemon juice together.  Add to dry ingredients and gently mix together.

Makes 2, 9 inch crusts or 1 top and 1 bottom.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.

Linking up at: Feeding Four, Somewhat Simple, Joy of Desserts, Someday Crafts, The Shabby Creek Cottage, The How to Mommy, Stuff and Nonsense, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Sweet Home, Jane Deere, Serenity You, Six Sisters Stuff, I Heart Naptime, The Tablescaper, A Well-Seasoned Life, Everyday Mom’s Meals

Oh Boy! Oatmeal Cake

This Oatmeal Cake recipe comes from my fabulous mother-in-law. How many of you can say that about your MIL? Fabulous! Seriously, she has a heart of gold, loves her kids and grandkids more than anything in the world, AND she is a wonderful cook and baker. She also sews, crafts, gardens, and has done lots of DIY projects around her home. (she should start a blog, huh?) I know she will be sharing lots of her recipes here at LJB. What I love about Mom and her cooking is that she is not afraid to try new things. The Raspberry Coffee Cake posted in August was thanks to my mother-in-law trying a new recipe. (go try it if you haven’t yet, it is so good!) So without further adieu, here is one of my mom’s classics……

                                                                                                                                                                         PENNY, mother-in-law

I think fall is finally here inArizona!  I love it when I can open the windows and enjoy the cool breeze and have the aroma of something yummy baking in the oven. 

This recipe and I have been together for a long time.  You might even consider it vintage.  I know it’s been around for years before I even starting making it.   This dessert makes for a great fall favorite. 

I love the slight smell of cinnamon as it is baking.  The secret to this cake is you put the icing on as soon as you take it out of the oven.  It gives the cake a sweet, gooey goodness that makes you want for more.   I was thinking this recipe probably got its name because when you bite into it you think O-Boy this is delish!

Add a little vanilla bean ice cream on the side and you have a great dessert.


Oh Boy! Oatmeal Cake

  • 1 cup quick oats                            
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water                  
  • 1 stick butter                                  
  • 1 ½ cups flour                                
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon                           
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Soak oatmeal in boiling water for 20 minutes.  While the oatmeal is soaking cream the butter, sugar and eggs.  In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon).   Combine the oatmeal, flour mixture and creamed ingredients and mix well by hand, not mixer. Pour batter in a 9×13 pan and bake for 35 minutes.


  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup canned (evaporated) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup coconut

*Start making this icing about 10 minutes before the cake is done.

Put butter, brown sugar and canned milk in pan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove and add vanilla, nuts and coconut.  Put icing on hot cake.

Linking up at: Joy of Desserts, Alli N Son