Ginger and Lemon Cupcakes

 These birthday cupcakes were created by an 8-year-old head dessert chef, with me as sous chef. Get cupcake recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I celebrate Twice as Tasty’s birthday every June with special treats and reflections on the past 12 months. But October is a big personal birthday month in my family. My niece Hayley celebrated her 8th birthday last week, and she and her dad made vanilla cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles for the occasion. For my birthday this week, Hayley was head dessert chef and I was sous chef, creating a new cupcake recipe inspired by one in American Girl Cupcakes.

If you peruse the Twice as Tasty recipe index, it’s clear that I love ginger desserts. You’ll find recipes for gingerbread pancakes, quick bread, and cookies. I also bake triple-ginger cookies and cake and use ginger in many other sweet and savory recipes. So when Hayley stopped browsing recipes on a page for gingerbread cupcakes, we knew we’d found this year’s Auntie Julie birthday dessert.

Our recipe brings in more ginger and spices, swaps some of the butter out for homemade applesauce, and makes other improvements. Hayley then helped me write the instructions and provided tips and tricks. The results are delicious.
Learn to make Very Ginger Cupcakes and Lemon and Sugar Glaze

Baking with Zucchini

I’ve improved on one of Mom’s staples for feeding zucchini to kids: chocolate cake. Get zucchini recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I lost all sense of theme in this month’s blog posts, which ranged from grilling tofu, to induction cooking and canning, to pickling eggs. So I might as well round it out with another random topic: baking with zucchini.

People rarely plant zucchini seeds without later bemoaning the endless crop. It’s hard to plant just the two or three hills recommended for a family and even harder to thin each zucchini hill to a single plant. I watched my dad make this mistake every season and then watched my mom as she stared at a kitchen counter hidden under baseball bat-sized zukes, wondering what to do with them all. Yet year after year, I make the same planting mistake, and although I’m diligent about plucking zucchini when they’re about the thickness of an empty paper towel roll, some always get away.

So every year I eat, process, and give away lots of zucchini. But only recently have I returned to, and improved on, one of my mom’s staples for feeding zucchini to kids: Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
Learn to bake with zucchini and make Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Cupcakes and Buttercream

If your celebratory cupcakes turn out less than picture-perfect, no one will comment when they’re topped with silky buttercream. Get the recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Although I’ve been blogging all month in celebration of Twice as Tasty’s 5th birthday, I’ve saved the best for last: dessert. I decided this year to share my first cupcake recipe on the blog, with my favorite way to decorate any celebratory cake: buttercream.

I first made this cupcake recipe when my mom turned 75. We were gathering with CRASH, a group of long-time family friends that over the years had grown to three generations and more than 30 people. So for the birthday celebration, my sister and I decided to make 75 cupcakes.
Learn to make Buttery Jam-Filled Cupcakes and Basil Buttercream

More Cakes and Curd

Fruit curds dress up any celebration, for breakfast or dessert. Get the recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’ve always been a breakfast girl, regardless of the time of day. So when it’s time to celebrate an occasion like Twice as Tasty’s 5th birthday, there’s no reason to save the special treats for an evening dessert.

This post is prefaced “more” because I’ve already shared one of my favorite cakes and curd pairings: Gingerbread Pancakes with Berry Curd. I make this breakfast throughout the year, using fresh berries in summer and frozen ones in winter. But in spring and early summer, I switch up the flavors to use my most prolific early crop: rhubarb. The tangy flavor of rhubarb balances the richness of the egg yolks and butter in the curd. Its tang also pairs well with my favorite childhood pancakes, made light and bright by a scoop of yogurt.
Learn to make Rhubarb Curd and Yogurt Pancakes