review: sprinkles dark chocolate cupcake mix

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Sprinkles Cupcakes is proclaimed to have been the “World’s First Cupcake Bakery” and kicked off a cupcake craze after opening in Beverly Hills in 2005.  We were lucky enough to have a branch open in Scottsdale, Arizona and their cupcakes have been my favorite ever since.  My soon to be sis-in-law was recently in NYC and surprised me with a package of Sprinkles Dark Chocolate Cupcake Mix.  I was so excited…and very curious to see if the mix would be as good as those made in the store.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the mix is actually not all inclusive and that quite a few additional ingredients are required in order to prepare them. For the cupcake base, you need eggs, butter and milk, and as you will see below, the frosting needs to be made entirely from scratch (recipe below).  I was so happy with how the cupcakes turned out.  They were so moist and delicious…just as good as (if not better than) those made in the store.  My frosting skills still need some work but once you add the trademark “dots” it really doesn’t matter if they aren’t perfect 🙂  I was a very happy girl to have my beloved Sprinkles in Vienna, if only for a night.  The downside?  I’ve been craving them ever since.

  • 1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, firm but not cold
  • 2 1/2 cups (250g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 oz (85g) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt

To make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until incorporated.  Add the vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Do not overmix or the frosting will incorporate too much air; it should be creamy and dense, like ice cream.  Add milk, 1 tsp at a time, if the frosting does not have a spreadable consistency (note: I did not have to do this).

Note:  You can generously frost 12+ cupcakes with this recipe.  My fiancé and I both agreed that this is the best chocolate frosting we’ve had in a long time and that this will become my “go to” recipe from now on.

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missoni nails tutorial.

How much do you love Missoni?  I can’t begin to tell you how sad I am that I was not in the country when the Missoni for Target collection was released.  Just look at some of the fabulous items I missed.  *sigh*

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I may not have gotten my hands on any of the lovely goods from Target but I was delighted to see that the ladies over at The Beauty Department recently featured a Mani Monday tutorial on creating the Missoni look on your nails.  I’m not talented enough to do this myself but would love to request this design at my next mani appointment.

For detailed instruction, head on over to The Beauty Department to read the full post.

get the look: western ballerina

It was love at first sight when I came across the above image on Pinterest.  “If only I could get away with this on a regular day” was the caption…well, I’m here to show you that you CAN re-create this look and get away with it.  I’m not saying you should show up to the office in this outfit but it would be really fun for an evening out.  I’d totally wear it 🙂  Would you?

1.  Denim Jacket//2.  Ruched Belt//3.  Ruffle Dress//4.  Leather Boots

To Toss or Not to Toss? | Engaged & Inspired

What do you think about the bouquet toss?  Check out my post at Engaged & Inspired and let me know!  images via 1, 2, 3

well hello there winter.

I left the house this morning and there was not a flake of snow to be seen…but after just a few minutes in to my drive to work (which is up a mountain) I was surrounded by these pretty white trees.  It’s a winter wonderland up here yet you would have no idea if you live just a few minutes down the hill.  It’s been a really strange winter so far…relatively mild but with sudden bursts of snow that seem to disappear just as quickly as they came.

spring trend: two tone wedges + 20% off discount

I am just loving all of the new two tone wedges and heels that are popping up lately.  As I was browsing heels.com for the perfect pair of wedding shoes, I couldn’t help but admire the colorful beauties above.  It was difficult but I resisted the urge to order (for now!).  However, I did take advantage of the 20% discount the website is offering for using their beta site and ordered a few options for the big day.  The discount applies to the entire order but hurry, the offer ends on January 31st!

Incorporating Culture: Austrian Style | Engaged & Inspired

Check out Engaged & Inspired to read my post about our plans to incorporate our Austrian heritage in to the wedding…without looking like The Sound of Music! 🙂

glorious treats: sweet heart cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is just four weeks away, so what better time to share this super cute idea from Glorious Treats?  It was love at first sight when I first spotted these creative cupcakes.


The base of these ‘cakes is a simple chocolate cupcake recipe.  Glory, the creator of these beautiful treats, used a Maraschino Cherry frosting, but you could also use any of your favorite light colored frostings and add a drop or two of food coloring to tint it pink.  Head on over to her post for the full recipe and assembly instructions.  I plan on making a version of these soon and will share my results.  Hopefully they turn out just as lovely 🙂

gossip girl goes gaga for vera.

Remember this post about my lovely sister trying on the Vera Wang bridesmaid dress that I fell in love with after seeing it in a magazine?  That is…until I saw the very strange details on the back and what it looks like on a real body… Well, I was totally amused the other day when I saw this still from an upcoming episode of Gossip Girl.

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Since this image was released a couple of days ago, sales of the dress skyrocketed.  In fact, David’s Bridal Online is sold out of all colors except midnight blue (and only sizes 10 and up are available).  Sad news for all of you hoping to recreate Ms. B’s wedding but honestly, I think it’s a blessing in disguise 😉  No one wants a weird butt…not even if it’s Vera!

{His Ring} He Doesn’t Want to Wear One | Engaged & Inspired

Hello readers, I need your help this week.  My hubby-to-be does not want to wear a wedding ring! Please check out my post on Engaged & Inspired and give me some advice.

images via our amazing photographer, Trevor Dayley.  Check him out!