Some of my favorite things.

I know you probably came here for something to put you into a deep sugar coma.

Candy, stuffed in a cookie, deep fried and dipped in chocolate. Or something along those lines, right?

Well, I don’t have a recipe for you today.

I DO, however, have something ridiculously sweet to share with you!!

As I was perusing Etsy (as I do all too often!) I chanced upon an adorable shirt shop: Dressing On The Side.

I stayed and ogled her shirts for an embarrassing amount of time, looking at each shirt and proclaiming “Ooooh I want that one too!!” after each viewed shirt. And if I had an endless supply of moneys, I guarantee you I would own each shirt. Even a dude shirt or two. Let’s be honest here people, dude shirts are just more comfy simply because they’re dude shirts.

But let’s get down to brass tacks…

I want this. Now.

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Holla!!

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Let’s make whoopie. pies.

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Dude shirt + bear + tower of cupcakes = win!

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See what I mean? Too cool for school. Ahem, I’m a Large. In case you were wondering ;P

I don’t want to take up any more of your time. Head on over to Dots shop and peek at her tees.

And because she is super awesome, she has offered a 20% discount to all Whimsical Cupcake readers. THAT MEANS YOU!!

Add your shirts to you cart, click on “apply shop coupon code” and type in whimsicalcupcake to get your 20% discount. Ta-da!! Enjoy your awesome shirts!!

<3 J.

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

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I hate doing the same things over and over again.

Repeating myself because you didn’t listen to me the first time I said that awesome thing I said. Getting up after just having sat down because I forgot my water on the counter. Painting my nails AGAIN because I always seem to paint them when I am the most antsy I could ever possibly be. Laundry. Hearing the same commercial on three different radio stations, play some tunes man!

But, there are exceptions.

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Playing my song obsession of the moment twice in a row. Or three times, who’s counting? Finding an adorable outfit and wearing it twice in the same week. Rewinding a part in a movie that made you laugh so hard you almost peed just so you can almost pee again! Playing that level of Angry Birds until you get all three stars.

And most importantly, making a recipe that you just LOVE over and over again. And in my kitchen, that’s a pretty big deal. Recipes rarely get a repeat performance. So many recipes, so little time.

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But once in a while I make something delicious that I can’t stop thinking about. Like these bars.

Soft and chewy oatmeal bars with a great hit of banana flavor, speckled with chocolate chips, baked and served warm. Don’t let the oatmeal fool you, these are breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, if you ask me! Customize them to your liking: add peanut butter cups/chips, toss in some nuts, top with ice cream, whatever you like!

Make these and eat them. Then make them again. Then eat them again. Again. What a lovely vicious cycle.

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Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Yield about 12-16 servings

Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana (mine was 115 g)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ glass baking dish with foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork and then add the oil and brown sugar. With a whisk, mix well until there are no sugar lumps left.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oats until combined. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Pat batter down evenly into the prepared pan with the rubber spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden and the center looks set. Let cool before cutting into squares. Or throw caution to the wind and eat them warm straight from the pan. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Eat, Live Run

Skillet Brownies

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It’s gloomy here today. I’m talking pitch black at 9am kind of gloomy, rain all day kind of gloomy, flash flooding kind of gloomy, tornado watch kind of gloomy. And I’m ok with that.

You see, I’m one of those people that live in Happy Shiny Fun Land and things are always rainbows and butterflies and nothing goes seriously wrong. Chances are we are not going to get washed away in a flood. We’re probably not going to get swept up by a tornado and crash land in Oz either. Although I wouldn’t mind.

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But it’s that kind of day today. Upon waking, I exclaimed that I’m never getting out of bed (aloud, to myself because I’m weird and it made me feel more validated) but then my bladder quickly reminded me why that was not to be. Sadness.

So, I begrudgingly slumped out of bed and began my day. But I quickly realized that all was not lost. Oh, no. I had a tiny skillet and I knew just how to use it. And then there were brownies. Which I teased you with on Instagram.

These are as close to perfection as you can get: fudgy, chocolatey, quick and since they are baked in a cast iron skillet, everyone gets a SLICE of brownie (which includes the gooey center and the crusty edge all in one piece. WIN!!) No trying to shove foil in all the right places in your square pan and accidentally poking your finger through the foil and cutting yourself (true story, folks!). Just you and your pan, the way it was meant to be.

So if your day is washed away like mine, or if you actually live in Happy Shiny Fun Land, make these. Make them now.

And share with someone you love, it’ll make your heart feel all warm and mushy.

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Skillet Brownies
Yields one 10″ skillet of brownies (8-10 servings)

NOTE: I halved the recipe and baked in a 6-inch skillet for 28 minutes and it was divine. Top with some ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry. And sprinkles, if you’re fancy.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the sugar and eggs together until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

In an oven-proof skillet (I used cast iron, you can use coated enamel, stainless steel, whatever you have that’s oven-proof) over medium heat, add the butter and cream until it begins to lightly simmer and the butter completely melts. Reduce heat to low and stir in the chocolate for one minute. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture looks satiny and smooth. Let sit another 5 minutes to cool.

Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into sugar mixture, whisking the entire time until completely blended. Gently fold in the flour with a rubber spatula and stop mixing once the flour just disappears.

Pour batter back into skillet, and using a rubber spatula scrape down sides if needed and smooth the top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Slice and serve warm from the skillet. Or go family style and hand everyone a spoon and dig in. Enjoy!

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Recipe from Pass the Sushi

Funfetti Cupcakes for Two

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My sister gave up chocolate for lent. I’ll give you a moment to digest that information and react accordingly.

Who gives up chocolate for lent?! Crazy people. Unless you gave up chocolate for lent, I like you.

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If I’m being honest, I already find it tough not to bake with chocolate. I find ways to sneak it into almost everything. Maybe it’s excessive?

All that aside, I did have to put my thinking cap on. Good thing Caroline came to the rescue with these. I saw them today and made them today. And I’m glad I did.

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This recipe only make two cupcakes with just enough frosting. They are soft and fluffy, aromatic and full of sprinkley goodness! These are perfect when there are only two people around to eat them.

Or when your sister is a piggy (;P) and eats them both in less than 5 minutes flat without offering you a single bite. I’m not bitter or anything.

Both, almost all gone!

Funfetti Cupcakes for Two
Yields 2 cupcakes + frosting

FOR THE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sprinkles (I used non-pareils)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with two liners (in the middle for even baking).

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg white, vanilla extract, and sugar until thoroughly combined.
Add in the flour and baking powder and whisk gently until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add in the sprinkles and using a rubber spatula, gently fold them in. Don’t over stir!! If you stir too much the dye from the sprinkles will bleed and you’ll have tie dye cupcakes instead of funfetti.

Pour batter into your prepared cupcake pan. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

FOR THE FROSTING

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a medium bowl and an electric mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract until a frosting forms. If you like a thinner frosting, add a bit more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Frost your cooled cupcakes, toss on some more sprinkles (because they make everything better, duh) and enjoy!

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Cupcakes adapted from Chocolate & Carrots; frosting adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Oatmeal Cream Pies

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Today is a special day.

It’s Mr. Picky-pants’ birthday today!!

It’s also Pi Day (03/14 = 3.14). How lucky he is to be born on Pi Day?! (I was born on Pecan Day and even though I have a very soft spot in my heart for pecans, I firmly believe that I was meant to be born on Brownie Day or I-ate-way-too-many-cookies day, just sayin’). He gets to enjoy all the wonderful pies that people around him make. Oh, wait… he doesn’t like pie. Not one single flavor. Commence eye roll. He’s Mr. Picky-pants for a reason, after-all.

Pie hating aside, I love him and I hope to make his birthday as special as I can. I’m taking him out for some of his fave food with good friends and sending him to work with his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

If you’re nice, I’ll share that recipe soon.

Until then, have some oatmeal cream pies.

Originally I wanted to make a mini fruit pie or at least a chocolate pie but motivation and ingredients were low. So Tracey helped remind me that there were loopholes. I quickly exploited that loophole and made these “pies.”

So, grab a cookie-pie and celebrate! Happy Pi Day!

Happy birthday hubby, I love you sooo much!!

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Oatmeal Cream Pies
Yields about 12 cookie sandwiches (24 cookies)

Ingredients:

For the cookies
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick cook oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 /2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the marshmallow filling
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 7-ounce container marshmallow creme
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and mix together until thoroughly mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Scrape down the bowl with the butter/sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on low setting until just combined (the flour just disappears).

Use a cookie scoop (mine holds 2 Tablespoons) to measure out dough balls on your prepared cookie sheets. Leave at least 1 inch between cookies (I fit 12 on each cookie sheet and it worked great!)

Bake for 8-11 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the filling:
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and marshmallow creme. Slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and fluffy.

Add a generous dollop of filling to half of the cookies and top with another cookie, lightly pressing down. Enjoy!

Recipe from Baked Bree

Crazytown Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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Let me clarify a point: when I say ‘crazytown’ I mean ‘holy cow, there is so much good stuff in this bread and my impatience doesn’t allow me to list it all.’ I DO NOT mean Crazytown the band that sang that maddeningly catchy song ‘Butterfly’ way back in the day.

But I won’t lie, I liked them. I thought Shifty was cute (for like a week HA!) I know every word to the entire song.

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I used to have problems. Don’t verify that with my hubby, he’ll tell you I still have problems. He calls it issues, I call it awesome!!

There is a whole lot of awesome going on in this bread: peanut butter banana bread studded with mini peanut butter cups, snickers, chocolate chips AND caramel. I added some whole wheat pastry flour, you know… to make it “healthy.” I told you, crazytown!!

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And I just couldn’t help myself, I never can leave well enough alone, I drizzled the top with melted bittersweet chocolate. Crazytown.

Come my lady, come come my lady. You’re my butterfly, sugar baby. Oh gosh…

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Crazytown Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Yields one 8×4″ loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more AP flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can also use canola)
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 oz mini peanut butter cups (I used these)
8 mini snickers, chopped
2 oz milk chocolate chips
8 caramels, chopped

Note: I used an 8×4″ pan but you can use a standard 9×5″ you loaf will be slightly thinner and will bake faster, so keep an eye on it! Also, go nuts with the mix-ins: add toffee bits, different candy bars, nuts, toasted coconut, etc.

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Generously grease your loaf pan  with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined, set aside.

In a large bowl stir together your bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg, sugars and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously for about 30 seconds to ensure that everything is thoroughly combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy because of the bananas, that’s ok!

Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and, with a rubber spatula, fold everything together until just combined (the flour JUST disappears.)

Fold in your mini peanut butter cups, snickers and chocolate chips. Spread half of the batter into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the chopped caramels over the batter and give them a light press with your hand. Top with the rest of your batter and smooth the top with your spatula.

Bake for approx 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached (always check your baked goods early, every oven is different and there’s nothing worse than a rock-solid loaf).

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges of the pan with a plastic knife and remove from loaf pan, transferring bread to a cooling rack. Cool completely, or don’t, just don’t burn your tongue. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Cookies & Cups

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

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Hey there, stranger!

Well, technically I’m the stranger. It’s almost as if I dropped off the face of the blog-world. You probably thought I forgot about you, that I gave up on sugar and baking, and that I’ve turned the other cheek. I assure you, I haven’t.

Life happened and in the midst of everything, I needed a hiatus. That hiatus turned to laziness then a loss of motivation. I think I’m ready to give it another go, I hope you’ll still have me.

After all, I made you cupcakes.

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These bad boys are SO tasty. A fluffy vanilla infused cake base with a cherry base, frosted with cherry infused buttercream and topped with a cherry.

So what do you say? Friends again? Pretty please with a cherry on top?

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Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
1 and 1/2 cups (6 oz) plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup Cherry 7-Up, at room temperature*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
Red food coloring

*I used regular 7-Up with a splash of maraschino cherry juice. It worked well!!

Instructions:

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a cupcake pan with your desired paper liners, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), add the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. (My mixture looked satiny at this point.)

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and alternate adding the flour mixture and the Cherry 7-Up, beginning and ending with the flour, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mixing well. (My mixture actually looked a bit curdled but they baked up great!)

Place about 3/4 cup of the cupcake batter in a separate small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, maraschino cherry juice, and red food coloring (to your desired tint).

Evenly distribute the red cupcake batter among your prepared liners, about 1-2 teaspoons per liner, gently smoothing out the batter.

Once the red batter is in place, evenly distribute the remaining cupcake batter among the cupcake liners, making sure not to mix the two batters. Be sure to cover the red batter completely so it doesn’t bake up the sides and to the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (do not overbake). Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch salt
2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

For garnish:
12 maraschino cherries with stems

To make the Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the pinch of salt, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice into the bowl. On low speed, incorporate the ingredients until the powdered sugar is mixed in. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2-3 minutes. If you like your frosting thicker, add more powdered sugar (small amounts at a time) and if you like it thinner add a bit more cherry juice.

Pipe as desired onto your cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

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Recipe from The Curvy Carrot For a gluten-free version go to Simply Gluten-Free for the recipe.