Cupcakes for Teacher Appreciation (05/06/11)

Hi, my name is Sandy and I’m an over-achiever.

And a perfectionist.

I need help.

I’ll explain:

This week was teacher appreciation week at my son’s school.   Instead of making a picture,  or painting a flower pot, or making one of these really fantastic hand-sanitizer bottles that I saw on The Idea Room, I suggested cupcakes.  And because I am an over-achiever, I couldn’t just make vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting like my son suggested (which we did make by the way).  No, I also HAD to make chocolate cupcakes with cookies and cream frosting.  And because I am a perfectionist I will not be showing you the photos of the cupcakes my kids and I made yesterday.  I frosted new cupcakes today and took pictures of those instead.

And, in case you were thinking about becoming an over-achieving perfectionist yourself,  let me tell you what it gets you – a sore back and swollen knees from being on your feet for about 10 1/2 hours (oh yeah – I took the kids to the park before starting by double batch of cupcakes), a kitchen temperature of about 85 degrees from making back to back batches of cupcakes, a failed attempt at the first batch of buttercream (which was going to be strawberry, but became a soupy mess from juicy strawberries) and 2 more batches of frosting that wouldn’t keep their shape because the kitchen was 85 degrees.  And then a couple more hours doing all again the next day so you can take a better photograph.  But I’m not complaining.  Okay I’m totally complaining, but don’t get me wrong – I have no-one to blame but myself.  I should have just made the vanilla cupcakes.  Oh well, lesson learned.  Who am I kidding?  I’m pretty sure there will be an over-achieving perfectionist moment in my very near future.

At least I have eager little helpers, and by helpers I mean eager little taste-testers:


Here are the Vanilla/Vanilla Cupcakes:

The one’s we made for Connor’s teachers looked like the white roses, but then he got to sprinkle them with purple sanding sugar.

I used the Martha Stewart Yellow Buttermilk Cupcake Recipe and added the seeds from a vanilla bean, because I like the specks and the smell!

I also added the seeds from a vanilla bean to the frosting.

Confetti Cakes Cupcake Frosting Recipe (my favorite):


  • Unsalted butter – 1 cup (2 sticks; 8 ounces)
  • Confectioners’ sugar – 8 cups (28 ounces)
  • Milk – 1/2 cup (4 ounces)
  • Pure vanilla extract – 2 tablespoons


  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, breathe the butter on medium with speed until smooth.
  2. Turn the mixer to low speed and add 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl thoroughly.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the milk and the vanilla.
  4. Add to the butter-sugar mixture. Set the mixer to medium speed speed and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Gradually add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, adding as much as you need to achieve a smooth and stiff consistency.
  6. Use immediately, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or refrigerate for up to 10 days.

Excerpted from The Confetti Cakes Cookbook: Spectacular Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City’s Famed Bakery

And the Chocolate/Cookies & Cream Cupcakes:

I used the Martha Stewart Devils Food Cupcake Recipe

I used the same frosting recipe as above but added about 12 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies.  The ones we made yesterday the cookie pieces were too big to be piped on, they kept getting stuck.  I had to use a decorator knife to frost them. Today I shoved the cookies in a ziplock bag and beat the crap out of them with my rolling pin.  It worked.  And piping the frosting makes them much prettier.

Thanks for listening.

I wonder if they have Over-Achievers Anonymous?






  1. I’ll be VP of your overachievers anonymous club. I have been known to separate jimmies BY HAND because I wasn’t happy with the color combination and didn’t have time to special order what I needed. =)

    Your cupcakes are beautiful!

  2. If they do, I’m signing up too!! Gorgeous kiddos and gorgeous cupcakes. Love it all Sandy!! xo

  3. I’m sure beating the crap out of those cookies felt really good! :)

  4. Love this! I can completely understand redoing them. They look beautiful and delicious, and your kids are adorable!

  5. Amy Rajack says:

    Well of course they’re gorgeous, and if you’ve ever wondered if I am an overachiever – its a relevant term! I made rice krispie treats for Avery’s birthday to take to school, and made them purple since that’s her favorite color – thought I was awesome for making them purple (or trying to – they were purple, but not the best shade) – and did I redo b/c I wasn’t happy w/the color? I did not!! My kids cannot spend too much time around you or they may disown me and say how lame I am, but for now, they’re like – wow – purple rice krispie treats! Can I have one??

  6. ha! I totally had that experience two days ago! My sister asked me to make some treats for her recital. Of course one batch wouldn’t be enough, so I made a double batch of cupcakes and a double batch of Oreo truffles. I finished up yesterday and the kitchen is still a mess . . . oops. Also, I read something the other day about using jam to flavor strawberry cream frosting and I have been craving strawberry buttercream ever since. Your final products turned out lovely!

  7. I just want to say thanks – you guys are so wonderful and supportive!

  8. Su Tutcher says:

    You do comedy pretty well too – this post really made me laugh. Glad it all came good in the end though. But I want to know: what happens to all those extra cakes? Hmmm?

  9. Wow…can I come over and play? With all those ‘extra’ batches, the kids never have to worry about satisfying their sweet tooth!
    PS. You make the BEST EVER chocolate caramels!! Thank you!!!!! XOXOX MOM XOXOX

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