Like these cupcakes…. this book has a surprise inside!
Open when… Letters to Lift Your Spirits by Karen Salmansohn
This book reminds me of pop-up books as a child. The book is filled with envelopes that you open and reveal the message. One page will state “open when you are feeling stressed” and you open it up to find your message. Another page is “open when you want to get centered.” Some of the responses are short and some a little longer. It is funny and short and I think some people would find it helpful to have on their desk. It would be a fun coffee table book as well.
A few negatives about the book is that it is really short. I expected lengthier responses or more pages.
It isn’t made to a true self-help book as more of a quick pick-me-up. I would give it 4/5 stars.
I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review.
We saw a tie-dye cake made on the Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network a few weeks ago and the kids wanted to give it a try. I’m not a huge fan of overly buttery buttercream slathered on cake, so I made a 7 minute frosting instead and forgot how delicious it was! Marshmallowy and light and sweet! It is perfect to go with the perfect springtime cupcake!
This cupcake recipe is perfect for spring! It is simple to make and light. The crumb is fine and the cupcakes bake up beautifully. My 10 year old made the recipe himself. The flavors are bright and happy citrus flavors.
- 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
- 1 and ⅔ cup (7 oz.) AP flour
- 1 and ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 6 Tb. butter, room temperature
- ⅔ cup milk, room temperature
- ¼ tsp. Fiori di Sicilia extract, ½ tsp. lemon extract, or ½ tsp. orange extract*
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- food coloring liquid or gels (at least 3 colors)
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ tsp. Fiori di Sicilia, orange or lemon extract or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the cupcake pan with 12 liners.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the dry stuff: sugar, flour baking powder, and salt.
- Beat in the butter by adding it slowly and mix until it forms crumbs.
- Add the wet ingredients: milk and extract. Mix 30 seconds on low. Mix 30 seconds on medium.
- Add eggs 1 at a time. Mix on medium speed until the batter is smooth.
- Divide batter into three bowls and mix in food coloring.
- Divide batter evenly among the cupcakes. Swirl gently with a toothpick. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting them.
- For the Frosting:
- In your mixing bowl again, beat the egg whites until you have foam.
- In a saucepan on the stove, mix the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook this on medium-high heat until the mixture is boiling. Continue to stir until the sugar is completely dissolved - this may take a few minutes.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the burner off. Turn the mixer on and get the eggs fluffy and foaming once again. While the mixer runs on medium-low, slowly pour the sugar water down the side of the mixer in one steady stream. Beat about 1 minutes and add vanilla. Beat another 4-5 minutes or the frosting forms stiff peaks.
Reta Riley says
These are very pretty, but how does the color get in them?
Whisk Together says
Oops! That has been corrected in the recipe.
Hi Mary Ellen! What a fun Spring cupcake! I want to try the 7 minute frosting as I agree, buttercream is not the best. I think I can figure it out, but how did you make the different colored layers. Also, there was an asterisk after the orange extract…what was that for? And because I am tired and don’t want to look it up, what is the first extract? I am unfamiliar with it. Thanks!
Whisk Together says
Oh dear! Bad things happen when I write these blog posts at 3am! LOL
So the Fiori di Sicilia is from King Arthur Flour. Personally, I love it and it lasts a very long time in the fridge, so I find it worth the price. But if you don’t want to use it – it is just a flavoring. You can use a mixture of orange zest and vanilla extract to flavor or lemon if you like. It is up to you!
Here is the link for the Fiori. It is amazing and the 5 star ratings are all over the place over it.
To make the different colored layers, take the batter and divide it among 3 bowls. Dye each bowl a different color with food coloring or gel. Then I put one small scoop of each in every cupcake liner. Swirl gently with a toothpick and voila!