Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercreamDespite the frigid middle of this week (go home, April; you’re drunk), I am still so excited that it is finally spring! To celebrate spring and hopefully encourage continued sunshine, I made these scrumptious birthday cupcakes. To me, moist chocolate cake is the absolute BEST kind of cake, and strawberry buttercream made with fresh strawberry puree just shouts spring!

To make these cupcakes I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, and adapted this recipe for strawberry buttercream to fit my batch of cupcakes. One of the reasons this cake recipe has earned the spot as my favorite for cupcakes is because it doesn’t call for coffee! The many, many chocolate recipes that call for coffee encourage non-coffee drinkers to still use them because you can’t taste the coffee flavor. Well, I have nothing against including coffee in my cake batter, but since I don’t drink coffee, I never have it at home! This lovely recipe doesn’t call for coffee, and yields delightful, moist, rich chocolate cupcakes. Continue reading

Lemon-Lime Basil Martini

Pouring the basil martini 3Bright sunshine, warm rains, blossoming dogwoods, and plump red-breasted robins… It seems spring is finally here to stay!

Ever since the first fingers of spring began to spread over the city, I have been aching to do all kinds of culinary things to welcome and celebrate spring. I made an elaborate lamb dinner last week, cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting over the weekend (post to come), and created this delicious martini!

I first experimented with basil simple syrup combined with ginger beer in mocktails that I made over the winter when I was pining for warmer weather. But now that spring is finally here, it’s time to break out the bar tools and use the syrup to create refreshing, light, fun martinis. And this one fits the bill! Continue reading