Even though the wedding is two years away, I can’t help myself.  I’m all over Style Me Pretty and Oncewed looking for ideas and hoping to find a way to put together a wedding that speaks to who Mike and I are—without having to financially handicap ourselves.  DIY projects? Yes please.  I wish I could bake up all the cookies and cupcakes needed for such a fête, but I’m sure  I’ll end up being the most stressed out and mean spirited woman on the planet should I be responsible for such a feat.

Vanilla Cupake

Anyhow, as I scour these sights, I’ve noticed that my local bakery—Sweet & Saucy—is quite the hotspot.  Melody’s work is not just scrumptious—it’s breathtaking.  I love that she’s able to create elaborate and unique cakes and I love it 10 times more that she’s also able to make impressive understated cakes.  I love, I love, I love!

So I know exactly where she’s located and I also know that by the time I get off work she’s always closed.  So while her bakery is only 6 minutes away from where I live, I’ve been there only twice in the last 3 years.  I love her shop nonetheless.   Her shop is incredibly chic and all to fun.

Her most popular cupcake?  The Candy Bar cupcake.  Yes, my friend.  Think of your typical candy bar—caramel, peanuts/peanut butter, and chocolate.  Yeah, it’s decadent and yeah, it’s not on my “Get crazy skinny, but keep my boobs wedding diet,” but neither has anything I’ve been eating the last two months.  Yeah, I’m kinda screwed…but I’ll make it work.  I will. :/

Moving on, I’ve only had this cupcake once.  Why? Outside of her hours, it’s simply always sold out by the time I get there.   Boo! But, I do remember how fantastic they were and how great it was to have something so different.

So, after coming across her famous cupcakes at yet another featured wedding, I decided—why the heck not?  I’ll make those suckers.  And I did.  And you know what?  They were pretty darn tootin’ good.  If you have time and you’re looking to impress, I would definitely give these a shot.

How do you accomplish such a feat?  Make a batch of your favorite vanilla cupcakes, some chocolate ganache, peanut butter cream cheese frosting, and some salted caramel syrup.  Yeah, that’s badass alright.  It’s also time consuming. Be forewarned.

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect vanilla cupcake by the way, so pass some recipes my way if you have something awesome.

Candy Bar Cupcake

Part 1: Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (original calls for just 1 tsp.)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 14 to 18 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Part 2: Whipped Chocolate Ganache

  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 5 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. To make the ganache, break chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat the heavy cream on medium high until it comes up to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let sit for about 2 minutes to warm up the chocolate. Now stir mixture until completely melted and glossy. Allow ganach to cool completely.
  3. To achieve a lighter texture for whipped ganache, whip mixture on medium low with a hand mixture.  If you like the ganache a bit denser, just let it cool and spoon.


Part 3: Peanut Butter Frosting

Adapted from Annie’s Eats
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2-2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup cool whip
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy.

Part 4: Salted Caramel Sauce

Adapted from Chow
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Stir together sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Let boil until amber in color, about 3 minutes.
  2. Immediately add butter and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, add cream and salt, and mix well. Serve immediately or let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.
  3. Will keep for 7 days in fridge.

AND–FINALLY…to the last part…yeah, did I mention this is a bit time consuming?

Part 5: Assembly

  1. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, use the cone method to remove cupcake tops.
  2. Pipe or spoon chocolate ganache into the cavity of the cupcake.  Replace cupcake top.  It won’t look perfect, but you’ll be covering the cupcake with frosting anyhow.  You can elect to not replace cupcake top as well, if you want the whole cupcake to be less “cake-ish.”
  3. Pipe frosting onto cupcake.
  4. Top off with some caramel.  Would also taste delicious if have some fleur de sel to sprinkle on top.