Chocolate Ombre Cake on bethcakes.com!

New post on bethcakes.com! I made this cake a few weeks ago for my grandfather's birthday. He requests chocolate cake every year, and I tried to come up with something I hadn't done already. You can only make so many chocolate cakes before you run out of ideas, am I right? But my mom suggested different shades of chocolate frosting, and I thought, OMG, ombre! I'm obsessed with ombre, but the tall, 4+ layer ombre cakes I've seen on other blogs and Pinterest have always seemed like a lot of work to me. I mean, they're gorgeous, but I can see myself messing up something like that. This cake was super easy, though. No food coloring involved or anything messy. Just cocoa powder. Check out the whole post for the recipes and instructions!


mini chocolate cream pies


New post on bethcakes.com! I originally wrote it for the MyRecipes.com blog, but decided to write some more about it and my new internship on my own blog. So check out both of those posts! If you want the recipes, the link to it is in the MyRecipes.com post.

These pies are so incredibly easy, no bake, and perfect for snacks at parties. The phyllo shells come prepackaged 15 to a pack, so in no time, you could have 30 cute, tiny pies! The filling is chocolate pudding, so you can mix it up and use whichever pudding mix you want. So easy!

Also, if you want to get my new posts from bethcakes.com sent to your email, you can sign up for email updates. You can enter your email address in a little light blue box on the right sidebar!


chocolate peanut butter dirt pudding on bethcakes.com

There's a new post on my new blog! A while back, I made this Dirt recipe, which is really just crushed Oreos and a fluffy cream cheese pudding. In this new post, I've revamped it with chocolate and peanut butter. I thought I knew all of the different versions of Oreos that are out there, but I didn't realize until I made this new version that there are Peanut Butter Creme Filled Oreos! What!? I actually thought, They should make Oreos with peanut butter in the middle. And then I went to the store and there they were. Don't you wish everything worked that way? This recipe is perfect for the summer because it doesn't require you to turn on your oven and heat up your house. It's super easy and everyone will love it! Click on over to bethcakes.com for the recipe!


Firecracker Cupcakes on bethcakes.com

Today I posted my very first post on my new website, bethcakes.com! The website isn't 100% ready yet, but I really wanted to share this 4th of July recipe before the 4th of July actually gets here!

I made some red, white, and blue cupcakes for the 4th of July, and they're covered with patriotic sprinkles and Poprocks! Each bite of these cupcakes is filled with sizzly goodness. For the recipe and instructions, check out the whole post on my new blog!


The Collegiate Baker's Top 5 Recipes (free ebook)

I don't want this post to be all mushy and sad, but this is my last new post on this blog. I have learned so, so many things about baking, cooking, writing, blogging, and photography, and I just want to thank you all for reading along!

I'm excited about all the plans I have for my new blog, and I can't wait to share them all with you! I'm hoping to write about more than just baking. Maybe some cooking, some DIY stuff, and maybe some of my food/recipe poems (maybe. I'm weird about sharing my writing). And more ebooks. :)

As the last offical post on The Collegiate Baker, I thought I'd share my top 5 most popular recipes in a cute, little pdf format.

to download: 
So here's how this works. If you click the "Add to Cart" button below, it will take you to a website called E-Junkie. It's going to look like you need to pay for my ebook, but notice the price is set to $0. It may ask for your email address so it can send you a receipt. You won't get any other emails from them, though.
Add to Cart

 I really hope you enjoy this ebook, and thank you to everyone who has read, used, and shared these 5 recipes. You guys are why they're my most popular posts. I hope you enjoy them, as well as all the other recipes here on The Collegiate Baker. There are some good ones, some okay ones, and some super experimental ones. ;D But I have loved sharing them all, and I hope you'll move over to bethcakes.com with me. It's just time for a better website that will let me do more things. More sections to the site, more options, more creativity. Watch out - it's going to be awesome. ;)

And, like I've said before, just to make sure that everyone who reads this blog knows I'm moving, I'll be posting little updates here. When I post a new blog on bethcakes.com, I'll post a picture and a little excerpt on The Collegiate Baker with a link back to BethCakes. That way, everyone can stay caught up! 
I know I've said this one billion times, but thank you, thank you, thank you to all my readers! Y'all are the best, and I hope you continue to read my blogs on bethcakes.com!
PS. bethcakes.com is not 100% ready. I decided to set up a self-hosted website and I'm still working some things out. But when it's ready, you'll know. Trust me. :)


Dark Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes, Falling Skies Cupcakes

The season premiere of one of my favorite tv shows is tomorrow night, and I'm probably a little too excited about it because I made cupcakes.

When I was home from college for Christmas break, there was a week when all my family did was watch Falling Skies. My uncle let my mom borrow his season 1 dvds, and my mom had already recorded season 2 on our dvr. So she was trying to get me to watch it with her, but I'm usually not into things about aliens and apocalypses and all that sci-fi mumbo-jumbo. And two episodes into season 1, we were all completely hooked. Seriously, my family sat down and watched at least two episodes every night until we were out of episodes.

I wasn't sure how to make themed cupcakes for this show because let's face it - aliens are gross. Plus I wasn't even sure how to approach forming a six-legged creature with a funny shaped head that was the right size to fit on top of a cupcake. I started out by just trying to make them look messy. Because I'm pretty sure most alien invasions aren't very tidy. (I'm new to this whole alien thing.) You know, there are always a lot of explosions and debris involved. So after I frosted my cupcakes, I drizzled them with a dark chocolate glaze, and sprinkled them with mini chocolate chips, crushed up chocolate graham crackers (I was going for a "dusty" look), and shiny, silver sprinkles. So we've got dark chocolate cupcakes + dark chocolate mocha frosting + dark chocolate glaze + mini chocolate chips + chocolate graham cracker crumbs + and sprinkles. There's nothing healthy about these cupcakes, y'all. Because (and again, I'm new to this whole alien thing) most alien invasion aren't good for you.

Then I decided to make some little speech bubbles with quotes. I did end up making a few that had aliens on them. The thought of someone eating a cupcake with an earbug or a harness on it freaks me out a little bit, though. I'm pleased with how they turned out from a decorative standpoint, but I'm going to be honest. I didn't plan on those being eaten. The decorations, not the cupcakes. ;)

dark chocolate mocha cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:
makes 12-14 cupcakes

1 cup + two tbsp flour
1/4 cup + two tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
2. Brew a strong pot of coffee, at least enough to measure out 3/4 cup. 1/2 cup is for the cupcakes, and the other 1/4 is for the frosting. (To get a strong pot of coffee, I used 3 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee and a little over 1 cup of water.)
3. In one bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, dark cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
4. In a second, medium-sized bowl, combine sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla. Mix well.
5. Add milk, coffee, and the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. Mix on low at first, and once the ingredients are mostly combined, mix on medium speed until completely combined and there are no lumps.
6. Pour batter into the cupcake liners, about 2/3 full.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcakes comes out clean.
8. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for five minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Mocha Frosting:
1 cup butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup dutch processed dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. In a medium sized bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed until light and smooth. 
2. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, coffee. Mix on low speed until combined.
3. Next, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low speed and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix for another two minutes.
4. If the frosting is too thick, add coffee one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Do the same if the frosting is too thin, except with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Dark Chocolate Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp dutch processed dark cocoa powder
3 tbsp milk

1. Combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk in a bowl whisk until completely incorporated and smooth. 
2. If the glaze is too thick, add milk one tablespoon at a time until the desire consistency is reached. Do the same if the glaze is too thin, except with powdered sugar. 
3. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze over frosted cupcakes.

*The speech bubbles were made with fondant and edible ink markers.

follow me on Instagram! @collegiatebaker
I have tried my very best not to find out any information about this new season except for what I've seen on the commercials. I really don't like spoilers or finding things out before they happen. I did accidentally-on-purpose read an article when I was looking up pictures of the aliens from this show so I could draw them, and then I wished I hadn't read it. So, I'm looking forward to all the surprises this season. My current thoughts about it are: 

I wonder what ear-bug-Hal will be like? But I don't really care as long as him and Maggie stay together. And Tom and Anne. And Ben could use a girlfriend. Everything bad happens to that kid. And Matt looks like five years older. Unfortunately, Karen is still obnoxious. I feel bad for her sometimes. I'm digging the rebel skitters' new look. It's cool that these new aliens are helping the humans, but they've got to want something in return. What's their motivation? I'm sure there's a history there. Just some thoughts!

Do you have any predictions? Leave me a comment!

EDIT: Usually I don't tweet at celebrities, but I tweeted the link to this post to a few of the actors from this show, and three of them retweeted it! (Maxim Knight - who plays Matt, Seychelle Gabriel - who plays Lourdes, and Mpho Koaho - who plays Anthony) Exciting!


the future of The Collegiate Baker

I'm sorry I haven't posted a blog in what seems like a million years. It's only been a month, but it feels like a million years, right?

Graduation (I'm still a college student until my diploma comes in the mail, right?) + partially moving out of my apartment + vacation in New York + job hunting have been taking up most of my time recently.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you've probably seen most of these pictures, but I thought I'd share a few of them on the blog anyway!

My aunt and uncle live in New Jersey, so we stayed with them and it was cool to see their whole routine. We rode on trains, the subway, and the five of us even stuffed ourselves into a cab a couple times. We saw Cinderella on Broadway, took a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty, went to Times Square, Rockefeller Center (you know, all that fun touristy stuff), and some of my aunt's and uncle's favorite restaurants. And we went to tons of bakeries. I'm not gonna lie; I don't think I could handle working in a bakery in NYC.

My aunt and uncle are really into estate sales and cleaning up unique and vintage things they find. Recently, I saw some typewriters on my aunt's Etsy shop. When we arrived at my aunt and uncle's house, they had one sitting on their dining room table with a big yellow bow on it for me. AHH! ♥ They mailed it back to me and it arrived today. :)

I could go on and on about New York, but the real purpose of this blog post is to let you know what's happening with the Collegiate Baker. If you've followed this blog at all recently, you know that I'm starting a new one since I'm not really "collegiate" anymore.

I mainly wanted to let you all know that I have two more posts scheduled for the Collegiate Baker. One will be the last new original recipe here on the blog, and the other is another free ebook! After that, all my new posts will be on bethcakes.com. So you can head over there and sign up for email updates and all that now if you want! ;)

I've loved writing, experimenting with recipes, and learning about food, photography, and blogging these past couple of years, and I'm so thankful for those of you who come back week after week and leave the sweetest comments! I definitely would not have been able to keep all of this up without y'all. :) And I would love, love, love for all of you to join me on bethcakes.com. For each new blog I post there, I will post a picture and a link to that post here. I just want to make sure anyone who may happen to stumble across this blog in the future knows that I've moved!

Thank you all for being the most amazing readers!



Strawberry Rose Cake

Last year I made my dad a birthday cake, a Mother's Day cake for a get-together with my mom's side of the family, and another cake just for my mom...all in one week. This year, for the sake of the shorts I finally made myself get down from the top of my closet, I could not make three cakes in one week. So I just made two. :)

One of the very first baking blogs I started following after I got in into blogging was I am Baker. She makes the most beautifully decorated cakes with surprises inside! And y'all know how I feel about surprises inside my baked goods. She also makes these gorgeous Rose Cakes. I've always loved how they look and have wanted to make one myself! And I recently saw this cake on Pinterest, and it was made to look like a cute bundle of flowers. So I sort of combined the two and made a bundle-of-roses cake. 

(In case you didn't make the connection, the green stripes on the sides of the cake are supposed to be stems. Afterward, I realized there are probably much better ways of piping the frosting to make it look like actual flower stems. I just feel the need to point this out because when my mom first saw the cake, she was all, "Oh, it's gorgeous!" And I was like, "The green parts are supposed to be stems." And then she said, "OH, I get it now!" But everyone reassured me that they do indeed look like stems.)

My mom's side of the family went out for lunch on Saturday for Mother's Day and we had this cake afterward. As you can see in the picture below, the top layer of the cake slid during the car ride to my grandparent's house. Luckily my mom had already seen it and I'd already gotten some pictures of it. Of course, my family still oohed and awed over it. When we cut into the cake it just got worse, though. It was actually pretty funny. We ended up sticking toothpicks in it to keep it from completely falling apart while cutting slices. By the time it was all gone, there was frosting everywhere. But that's not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion.

One of the best things about this cake is that you can go all-store-bought or all-homemade. I chose to use a Strawberry box mix. Or you can make your favorite strawberry cake recipe from scratch. Or any recipe you want, really. I used store-bought strawberry frosting to put between the layers of cake and for the crumb coat. Sometimes I just really hate messing with food coloring, so I bought the lighter shade of green from the store as well. But I did get out my food coloring for the pink and darker green, which are both homemade buttercream frosting.

strawberry rose cake
1 strawberry cake mix (prepared & baked according to directions on the box)
1 can of Betty Crocker's whipped Strawberry Mist Frosting

1. Once cakes are completely cool, frost one layer with the Strawberry Mist Frosting.
2. Place the second layer on the first and cover the whole cake in a thin layer of frosting.
3. Next, place the cake in the freezer for about an hour, or until you can touch the frosting without smudging it.
4. While the cake is in the freezer, you can prepare the frosting.

buttercream frosting
1 cup butter (two sticks), room temperature and cut into tablespoons
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Food coloring

1. In a medium sized bowl + hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. (About two minutes.)
2. Add vanilla and one tablespoon of milk. Mix well.
3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low speed until mostly combined. Then mix on medium-high speed until completely incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Divide frosting into two bowls, about 1/3 in one for the dark green frosting and 2/3 in the other for the pink frosting. Stir in food coloring a little bit at a time until the desired shades are reached.
5. Take the cake out of the freezer and decorate!

You can pipe or spread the frosting onto the cake however you want. I used a small offset spatula to spread the green frosting onto the sides of the cake and I used a 1M Wilton decorating tip to pipe the roses onto the top. I am Baker also has a really great tutorial on how to pipe roses. You can watch it here!

*this blog will be moving to bethcakes.com at the end of May!*


Dark Magic Cake

This past Wednesday was my dad's birthday, so that meant I had to make a serious cake. All he said was that he wanted a "crazy chocolate cake", so I made a crazy chocolate cake.

I adapted this "crazy chocolate cake" from my Black Magic Cake. I used a mix of cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder, which is where I got the name from. This cake is indeed super chocolaty. It's three layers with lots of frosting and homemade chocolate whipped cream, which I could have eaten by the spoonful. (I may have eaten some of it by the spoonful. :P )

My original plan was to have the layers of cake with this chocolate filling I saw in a Southern Living magazine forever ago. I made this filling twice and it didn't turn out either time. First I made it with regular cocoa powder, but it was a really light brown color and I wanted it to be darker like the picture. So I made it again with dark cocoa powder (since it actually calls for dutch process cocoa powder), and it was a little darker but not much. But both times the filling turned out more like pudding and ended up running down the sides of the cake. It looked pretty cool, but it wasn't what I had envisioned.

from my Instagram: @collegiatebaker

So I laid the layers out and wiped all the filling off. It probably would have been fine with the pudding filling, but I decided to just use frosting. 

Also I had this vision of the sides of the cake being covered in chocolate flakes. Kind of like this cake, but completely covered in them. So I melted some chocolate chips down, poured it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and put it in the freezer. Then I attempted to make the "flakes", but they were too thick and immediately began melting when I touched them. Sooo, I just chopped them up and put them on top of the cake. This cake didn't turn out how I originally pictured it, but it turned out pretty great anyway!

dark magic cake

chocolate whipped cream:
For the homemade chocolate whipped cream, I used this recipe. It calls for bittersweet chocolate, but I used milk chocolate and it was wonderful. It also calls for the whipped cream to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, so make sure you read the directions carefully. I made the whipped cream the day before I made the cake and frosting and let it sit in the fridge over night.

dark magic cake:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup chocolate milk

1. Make a strong pot of coffee, at least 1 cup. 
2. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray three 8 inch cake pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk them together carefully.
4. In another medium sized bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Mix well. 
5. Measure out one cup of chocolate milk, and another cup of the coffee.
6. Add half the dry ingredients, half the chocolate milk, and half the coffee to the sugar/eggs mixture. Mix until incorporated.
7. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, chocolate milk, and coffee, and mix well.
8. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
9. Let the cakes cool for five minutes in the pan for five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

dark magic frosting
1 cup butter (two sticks), room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons chocolate milk
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or medium sized bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter until smooth and creamy. 
2. Add both cocoa powders, the vanilla, and one tablespoon of chocolate milk. Mix on low speed until mostly combined and then mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. 
3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low speed first, and then on medium-high speed until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. At this point, if the frosting is too thick, add chocolate milk one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Or if the frosting is too thin, add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. 
5. Spread or pipe onto cooled cakes. 

While I am very happy with how this cake turned out, I think I do need to warn you about just how chocolaty it is. I consider myself a chocoholic (admitting it is the first step, right?), and I think my dad considers himself a chocolate-lover too, but it's five days later and there is still some of this cake left. It's just really rich and basically over-flowing with chocolate, but if you're okay with that then it should be fine. :)

and the usual reminder:
*this blog will be moving to bethcakes.com at the end of May!*


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Surprise Cupcakes

My friends told me these were the greatest things I have ever made. True story. And just to prepare you before you really get into this post, there is a lot of cookie dough involved. 

When I worked at Gigi's Cupcakes, one of my favorite cupcakes was the chocolate chip cookie cupcake. It was a chocolate chip cookie flavored cupcake with cookie dough frosting, which was probably the best part. And if you've ever been to a Gigi's or seen some Gigi's cupcakes, you know there is a crap-ton of frosting on those things.

So, for some reason, I was thinking if I could remake that cupcake into a BethCake (or a BethCupcake, if you will) how would it be different? The two most obvious changes were, a) chocolate cake instead of cookie flavored, and b) cookie dough inside the cupcake. That last part had to happen. I mean, it's sort of my thing.

For the chocolate cake, you can use a box mix, or your favorite recipe from scratch. My favorite from-scratch recipe is this Black Magic Cake. I found the recipe in one of my grandmother's recipes books almost a year ago, and I have been using it ever since.

For the chocolate chip cookie dough, you can use store-bought dough, or make your own. My go to cookie dough recipe is the Nestle Tollhouse recipe.

chocolate chip cookie dough surprise cupcakes

cookie dough:
One batch of cookie dough
Or one roll of store-bought cookie dough

Roll chilled cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once you've made 24 balls of dough, transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator. If you have left over dough, you can bake some regular cookies, cut them in half, and add them to the tops of your finished cupcakes.

chocolate cake:
One batch of Black Magic Cake, or your favorite chocolate cake recipe
Or one box of chocolate cake mix

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two cupcake trays with paper liners.
2. Prepare cake mix according to directions for whichever recipe you're using.
3. Fill paper liners about 1/2 - 2/3 full of batter.
4. Bake for 5 minutes and then remove the pan from the oven.
5. Remove the tray of cookie dough from the refrigerator and place a ball of cookie dough in each cupcake.  It should immediately sink a little bit, and if you can, spread some of the surrounding cake batter over the top of the ball of cookie dough with a knife. If there isn't enough cake batter for this, don't worry. The cake batter will rise while baking and cover the dough a little bit.
6. Bake for 10-12 more minutes, or until you can lightly touch the tops of the cupcakes and the cake springs back slightly.
7. Let the cupcakes cool for five minutes in the pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

cookie dough frosting:
1 cup butter (two sticks), room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tsp milk
Mini chocolate chips (for decoration)

1. Cream butter in medium-sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and creamy.
2. Add vanilla and two tablespoons of milk. Mix well.
3. Add the flour and mix on low speed until mostly combined. Then bump up the speed to medium-high and mix well.
4. At this point, if the frosting is too thick, add two more tablespoons of milk.
5. Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until mostly combined. Then mix on medium-high speed until fully incorporated. Mix for one more minute.
6. If the frosting is too thin, add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. But if the frosting is too thick, add milk one table spoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
7. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

**This blog will move to bethcakes.com at the end of May!**


Peeps S'mores Bars

Today I'm going to take a break from my recent (and life long) obsession with Oreos and share one of my other obsessions with you. S'mores. 

So, unfortunately, I am not the genius behind this recipe. I just decided to finally do something with the three unopened boxes of Peeps that have been sitting in my pantry since Easter. This year, my mom was all, We're not doing a bunch of candy in the Easter basket thing since we're all trying to be healthier. She gave me the most candy I have ever received for Easter in my entire life.

Except I really am trying to eat healthier so a good part of the candy has been sitting in my pantry while I've been trying to come up with different ways to bake with it and give it to my friends to eat. There's still some left actually; some Cookies n' Cream Hershey's eggs, Cadbury eggs, and a giant chocolate bunny. I don't know what's wrong with me.

I originally saw this recipe on Pinterest. Of course. I believe it was originally created by Lovin' From the Oven, but I first saw it on Wit & Whistle. So, I used that recipe, except I used Peeps instead of marshmallow fluff. :)

Below I have listed some of my comments and notes because marshmallows in ovens can be tricky sometimes. I'm not going to tell you how many times I've burned (literally incinerated) marshmallows. I'm just going to tell you I'm speaking from experience. Also, marshmallows sometimes tend to disappear inside baked goods. Last year I attempted to bake a Peep inside a cupcake, and when it was finished baking, the Peep was just gone. No trace. No evidence. I've seen other things like that on Pinterest, like "magic" rolls with a "disappearing marshmallow," inside, and it baffles me. I know it has something to do with how marshmallows are made of mostly sugar and air, but it's frustratingly magical sometimes.

peeps s'mores bars

One batch of this graham cracker dough
4-5 Hershey's chocolate bars OR one 12 oz package milk chocolate chips 
3 boxes of Peeps, two rows in each box (I used the birds, but the bunnies would work better)

1. the dough, bottom layer
After mixing up the dough, I found it a little difficult to press the dough into the greased pan because it wouldn't stay. So instead, lightly coat your working surface with flour. Divide the dough in half and roll out one half with a rolling pin. Lift it carefully and lay it in the pan. Or lift it up in small portions and smooth them together in the pan.

2. the chocolate
I had some Hershey's chocolate bars left over from a camping trip the weekend before, but not enough to cover the layer of graham cracker cookie dough. So I covered the remaining part with milk chocolate chips and it worked just fine.

3. the peeps
The bunny Peeps will probably work the best because they will create a flat surface for the next layer of graham cracker dough. I already had a few boxes of the birds, so I attempted to flatten them. Then I arranged them bottom-side-up (again, so there would be a flat surface for the cookie dough). 

4. the dough, top layer
Roll out the rest of the dough. Pick up the whole layer of dough if you can and lay it on top of the peeps. If not, lift the dough in pieces. After you've laid them out and covered all of the peeps, you can attempt to smooth out the creases with your fingers. It's okay if you can't smooth it out; it's going straight in the oven anyway! Just make sure you cover up all of the peeps.

Bake for about 20 minutes on 350 and enjoy! 

**this blog will be moving to bethcakes.com at the end of May!**


Weekend Things 4/28

I wasn't going to post anything this weekend because I haven't really done much. And because I am unsuccessfully multitasking and studying for finals. But I was in the middle of procrastinating and I thought, Yeah, I could post a blog now. That is a good idea. So here we go.


Butterbeer and Golden Snitch Cupcakes

I know what you're thinking. And no, you didn't miss a new book release or movie premiere. Unfortunately, there's no more of that. But a couple years ago, my sophomore year actually, UA had it's first muggle quidditch tournament and they called it Quidditch on the Quad. 

It turned into this huge event. They had little shops and booths set up all around the quad where you could buy Butterbeer, make wands, buy tshirts, and those sorts of things. Families and people from all over Tuscaloosa came to sit on the quad and watch. Denny Chimes even played the Harry Potter theme. It was epic. So because this year is my senior year, I had, and I mean absolutely had, to play.

This was my second time to play quidditch, and I got to be team captain! We made these insane looking tshirts and painted our faces, and the people running it said we were the best looking team. If you've read the books, you know it can be pretty rough. Well, when you play it on the ground and run around with little brooms between your legs, it's also pretty rough. Each year I'm surprised by how serious some teams take it. Like the first team we played this year. They were pretty intense. But we caught the snitch and won! We lost our second game, but the team was more fair, which made it a million times more fun to play. 

Last year I made these butterbeer cupcakes. They were adapted from a box mix, and I was never 100% happy with them for some reason. So this time I made them from scratch, and added cream soda and butterscotch schnapps. Butterbeer isn't an alcoholic drink at Harry Potter World, and I don't think it's alcoholic in the books, but there is that one part in the movies when Hermione gets a little bit tipsy. So just because beer is in the name, I thought I'd add the schnapps.

butterbeer cupcakes 
2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butterscotch schnapps
1/2 cup cream soda (I used A&W)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Careful whisk them together.
3. In another medium-sized bowl, combine both sugars, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until just combined.
4. Add half the dry ingredients, half the butterscotch schnapps, and half the cream soda. Mix well.
5. Add the second half of the dry ingredients, butterscotch schnapps, and cream soda. Mix until incorporated.
6. Transfer cake batter to cupcake pans, filling each liner about 2/3 full.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and it comes out clean.
8. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

butterscotch schnapps frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp butterscotch schnapps
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Yellow sugar sprinkles (optional)

1. Cream butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the butterscotch schnapps and vanilla extract. Mix well.e
3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, starting on the lowest setting until the powdered sugar is mostly combined. Bump up the speed to medium-high. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix for two more minutes.
4. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Or if the frosting is too thick, add one tablespoon of schnapps at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
5. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round open tip. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
6. Sprinkle with yellow sugar sprinkles.

white chocolate wings
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1 squeeze bottle, or Ziploc bag
Clear sugar sprinkles, optional
Parchment paper or wax paper
Stencils of wings (here & here)

1. Measure one cup of white chocolate chips and melt them according to the directions on the back of the package. Make sure you use a microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate.
2. Let the chocolate cool for a minute. While it's cooling, lay the stencils on a flat surface and place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper over them. You should be able to clearly see the stencils underneath.
3. Transfer white chocolate to a squeeze bottle or a Ziploc bag and snip off a tiny piece of one of the corners.
4. Trace the wings and immediately sprinkle them with the clear sugar sprinkles. If you wait until you've traced all the wings, the chocolate will probably be too hard and the sprinkles won't stick.
5. Transfer the chocolate wings to the refrigerator or freezer for about 10 minutes. They should be solid enough to pick up.
6. Add the wings to the snitch cupcakes and enjoy!

thecollegiatebaker.com will soon be bethcakes.com!
(probably toward the end of May)
I'll keep you updated, but stay on the lookout!


Weekend Things 4/14

1. I'm not sure what you did tonight, but hopefully you didn't watch the MTV Movie Awards because it was terrible.


Extreme Cookies N' Cream Cake

I was going to apologize for baking something Oreo flavored again, but I've done that before and I continue to post about Oreos anyway. I've said, "I know I said I'd switch things up this time..." and "I know what you're thinking...this girl is cookies-n-cream-crazy..." And I was going to start this with, "Let me just go ahead and say sorry," but I'm not. I just love Oreos too much. Sorry I'm not sorry. ;)


Weekend Things, first edition

In order to kind of build a community and chat more with those of you who read this blog, I'm going to join in with what a lot of other bloggers have been doing. "Weekend Things" will be kind of like a weekend update type deal, which is basically just where I'll tell you about all the other things I like to do in addition to baking cakes. And hopefully, if you like these things too, this will sort of be like a discussion type thing! So here we go.

Chocolate Guitar Cake with Chocolate Kahlua Frosting

I'm going to go ahead and apologize--I didn't get very good pictures of this cake, but I still want to share it with you! I made it for my friend Kyle's birthday back in February. Yeah, it's been a little while.


Cadbury Egg Surprise Cupcakes

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a great Easter!

If you've followed this blog at all, you know how I feel about surprises inside of cupcakes. So, when Easter candy hit the shelves at grocery stores, I knew I had to make some of these bad boys.