November 23: Eva's Party & Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes

We had Eva's 1st Birthday Party today, and she liked the cupcakes!! Homemade cupcakes for the win! :) She was SO CUTE "opening" her presents! She was very opinionated, which kind of surprised me, and got excited about each and every one, wanting them opened immediately so she could play with them. She kept saying, "Mom!! Mom!!" I think she says that when she wants something, too, because she sure wanted those presents. Mom is a pretty universal word, after all. I have to say, I think she had a great time!!

I had some helpers with the cupcakes.

The birthday girl. I had a hard time getting a good picture of her because she wouldn't stay still!

Who turned 1? Who?

Little cousin friends.

Lunch! Pizza, peas, and carrots.

Sadie liked the presents, too! 

Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you!!

Score!!! :)

 The aftermath.

Playing with her new toys.

The party was just a small family one, and I definitely didn't go all out this time. I had grand plans of "healthy" cupcakes with beet-dyed pink frosting and cute decor, but sometimes Pinterest is overrated and it's okay to just have simple birthday party. Can I just put that out there for ya'll? As much as I love all that stuff, I just wasn't feeling it this time. And she's 1. She don't care.

But the cupcakes, although not whole wheat, were homemade, very good, and even kind of cute. Here's the recipe in case you wanted to try them out for yourselves! The batter is silky, smooth, chocolatey heaven, and it produces a rich, delectable cupcake. I'll call them Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes because they have cinnamon and coffee in them. When my husband and I honeymooned in Mexico {almost 10 years ago?!?!}, the coffee they served at the resort always had cinnamon in it, and that's apparently a Mexican thing. So there you go. I frosted them with a homemade cream cheese frosting, but feel free to use what you like! Enjoy!

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes
{yields 24 cupcakes}

1/2 cup {1 stick} butter, softened*
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup whole milk*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin pans with liners. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed. Once eggs are fully incorporated, stir in the vanilla. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk/coffee mixture, beating well after each addition. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until cooked through. *To make a dairy-free version of this recipe, substitute coconut oil for the butter and almond milk for the whole milk.

Simple Cream Cheese Frosting

2 sticks {1 cup} butter, softened
1 package cream cheese {8 oz}, softened
5 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar a cup or two at a time until fully incorporated. Continue to beat a few minutes longer until very white, light, and fluffy. Yields enough frosting to generously frost 24 cupcakes. Then lick the beater, bowl, and spatula clean because it is Just. So. Good. I'm sure it has nothing to do with all that butter and sugar. Nothing at all. 

You're welcome.