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

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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

Gingerbread

Get a healthy dose of ginger and find out why some baking old-time techniques still work. Get gingerbread recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I may not have red hair, but in the kitchen I’m definitely a ginger. You’ve probably spotted this from the regular appearance of ginger on the blog—ginger-flavored syrups and marmalades, ginger-spiked beverages, Pickled Ginger, Gingerbread Pancakes, and for the ultimate hit, Triple Gingersnaps and Triple Ginger Cake. So it seemed highly appropriate to add two more traditional ginger recipes to the lineup this month: gingerbread in cookie and loaf forms.

When I went digging for family variations of these recipes, I found some surprising ingredients and techniques. I decided to pick apart one of my grandmother’s well-used recipes, from her 1930 Fruit and Flower Mission Cookbook. What is the purpose of the vinegar? Why is the baking soda dissolved in water? Why do only some of the recipes in her book call for egg? I had to know more. Find out what I learned in the recipe and its tips and tricks.
Learn to make Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies and Gingerbread Loaf

Birthday Cake: Year 3

It’s Twice as Tasty’s birthday month, and that means cake. Get birthday cake recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
This month, we’re celebrating 3 years of Twice as Tasty! I’ve already shared some of the year’s best recipes and most popular workshops. And since my favorite “desserts” are usually served in a cocktail glass, I was quick to pass on my favorite recipe for homemade liqueur. This week’s post is for those of you who prefer to eat your dessert.

As I mentioned in last year’s birthday dessert post, I think a good celebratory cake must be moist, easy to decorate, and delicious. This ginger cake nails all three. The molasses not only adds the requisite gingerbread flavor but also keeps the crumb moist. The caramel glaze simply pours over the top: no fussy frosting time required. And the three versions of ginger—fresh, ground, and crystallized—replicate the flavors I fell in love with in Triple Gingersnaps.
Learn to make Triple Ginger Cake and Fresh Caramel Sauce