Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pumpkin-Vanilla Marble Cupcakes with Maple & Brown Sugar Frosting

My husband asked me if I could make some cupcakes for him to take to work before Thanksgiving, so I happily used that as an excuse to experiment with something a little different than usual. I wanted to make something with fall flavorings, but also something kind of unique. There are plenty of recipes out there for pumpkin and chocolate marble cake, but my husband isn't that fond of chocolate cake, so I decided to improvise to make a vanilla and pumpkin marble cake!

I ended up combining two separate recipes: one for sour cream vanilla and one for pumpkin with rum and maple. My criteria were similar baking times, similar cupcake yield, and the same baking temperature. There weren't a whole lot of options, but I managed to find two that would work.

These ended up being very moist and not too sweet. The swirl effect worked okay, but the difference in batter textures made it kind of difficult. The vanilla was quite thick, and the pumpkin a lot more runny. The end result was more of a layered look, but the combination of flavors was still successful. I had no idea what kind of frosting to go with, so I started with a cream cheese base and ended up adding about 1/3 cup brown sugar, a tablespoon of real maple syrup, and an additional half-teaspoon of maple flavoring. The frosting was a bit overwhelmingly sweet, so if I use it again, I'll definitely put less on each cupcake.

Supposedly they were a big hit at work, and then we took the extras to Thanksgiving dinner with his parents. I didn't get to try one until much later, but I was also satisfied with how they turned out. I would definitely like to try doing some more marbled cupcakes--I think strawberry and vanilla would be cute for Valentine's Day, or peppermint (with green food coloring) and red velvet for Christmas.

With more holidays coming up quickly, I foresee more cupcakes and cookies in the near future...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pacific Media Expo (+ Outfit Catch-Up)

Me and the lovely Tara and Judy on Sunday of PMX!
I haven't been back to Pacific Media Expo for two years, so this year was a fun return to the fashion-forward convention of Southern California. The big fashion Guest of Honor this year was BABY and A/P, so of course I had to attend. There was a boutique (got a new jumperskirt and socks!) and a fashion show, as well as all of the usual anime convention panels, dealer hall, artist alley, and photo opportunities.

Continue on for more PMX commentary and coordinate photos.