May Bake Day: Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Ever since I discovered Jessica (of What Jessica Baked Next) and her wonderful (and amazingly-photographed) concoctions, I made a promise to myself that I’ll try some of her recipes. I follow her blog and Instagram account, and almost every day, my feeds (especially IG) are filled with mouth-watering treats of all sorts— from focaccia breads to cheesecakes, to ice cream recipes and even rice meals! This girl sure knows how to bake… and cook. 😉


Which brings us to the topic at hand (lol). Yesterday (which I fondly call #bakedaysunday), I finally got the chance to try one of her cupcake recipes: Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. What made me try it? Well, first of all, they consist of bananas, chocolates and cream cheese— which happens to be some of my favorite things to eat. Second, the ingredients are really easy to find! I always come across recipes with unfamiliar ingredients, which sadly decrease my interest in making them. Third (and lastly), it’s been a while since I made cupcakes. 🙂  Honestly, I missed it so much.


Okay, I won’t bore you with the details. Obviously, this is entirely based on Jess’ recipe, but I had to modify it a bit because of ingredient unavailability and my curiosity to try stuff. Haha.


Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe courtesy of What Jessica Baked Next)


Banana Cupcakes:

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

– 1 cup granulated sugar

– 2 eggs (room temperature)

– 1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk (I used Yakult as my buttermilk; about 1 1/2 bottles of it)

– 2 ripe bananas (mashed)

– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

– a pinch of salt

– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

– a little more than 1/4 cups (60g) unsalted butter (softened)

– 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 3/4 cups (14 oz) cream cheese (softened)


– banana slices

– chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. Cream the softened butter, sugar, and vanilla in medium speed until pale in color and fluffy. Then, add the eggs one by one.

3. Add the buttermilk and mashed banana into the butter mixture and mix until combined.

4. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the mixture and mix for 1-2 minutes (medium speed).

5. Fill the cupcake liners with 2/3 of the batter, then bake for 18-22 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick/cake tester comes out clean). In my case, it took me more than 30 minutes. Haha.

6. Once baked, let them cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

7. Now for the frosting: cream the butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Then add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and mix starting on low speed. Cream for about 5 minutes or until it’s pale in color— and don’t worry if it gets too crumbly; it will soften once the cream cheese is added.

8. Which brings us to the cream cheese. Lol. Add it to the mixture, set the mixer on high speed, and cream for about 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is creamy yet thick enough to pipe.

9. Finished? Then pipe away, my friend! Top with chocolate chips, banana slices, or anything you can think of— as long as it still goes with the recipe. Haha.


The result? Two words: soooo good!


The cream cheese frosting was on fleek (so smooth and it didn’t take me a long time to make it!) and the cupcakes were so moist and fruity. Overall, I love it!


Oh, and I tweaked some of the cakes a bit— I took out a separate bowl of batter from the main one and added 1/4 cups of chocolate chips into it. So some of the cupcakes have chocolate chips not just on them, but in them. At first, I was afraid it would ruin the output, but thank goodness it didn’t! The result? Chewy cupcakes with bits of chocolate that you can actually bite!


I just love it. 🙂 Thank you so much, Jess, for this wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to try your other goodies soon! ❤


Happy blogging (and baking!)



(PS: All photos are mine; please do not use without my consent. Thank you!)

Cuptails: Cupcakes for “Adults”


Cuptails, located at 3rd Level, Dela Rosa Carpark 1, Dela Rosa St., Legaspi Village, Makati. Contact: 8233335 or 09178173362


Cupcakes with booze? Why not?


Recently, I discovered an awesome cupcake spot near my workplace: Cuptails. Thanks to Munchpunch, I got the chance to try out not one, not two, but FOUR of their flavors! (Thank you Munchpunch!)


Cuptails are, simply, cupcakes + cocktails. These alcohol-infused cupcakes are so new to me that I got excited when I saw their buy 1 get 1 promo on Munchpunch. I just had to experience the magic myself— immediately!


First, quick info: Cuptails and Dreams is originally a homebased business, but eventually, owner Reena Francisco and her husband had the chance to turn it into a little shop in Dela Rosa. They serve not only cuptails, but also non-alcoholic cupcakes and meals as well.


My food buddy and I ordered the Choco Martini (P95), Piña Colada (P90), Blue Hawaiian (P90), and Margarita (P90). In fairness, they actually taste like real cocktails, but of course they’re not in liquid form, so there are some differences. My personal favorites are Choco Martini and Margarita— if you’re not yet ready for a full cocktail experience, then these cuptails are good substitutes! Hahaha.

IMG_20140731_183107(L-R: Choco Martini – chocolate, cherry, vodka, crème de cacao),; Blue Hawaiian – pineapple, lime, orange, rum, blue curacao; Margarita – lime, tequila, triple sec; and Piña Colada – pineapple, lemon, coconut rum)

Overall, I liked all of them, though they are sweeter than I expected. For me, the cakes are too soft too, causing them to fall apart easily with just one pinch. But as far as the taste and look are concerned, they’re great! Eye-candies and absolutely delicious!


I will definitely go back here. I have yet to try some of the flavors, especially the Screaming O (chocolate, coffee liquor, vodka, Irish cream). I’ll blog about it again, don’t worry. Lol.


For more information, check out their menu on Munchpunch aaaand their Facebook page. Cheers! *raises glass… err, I mean cuptails*

IMG_20140731_183313(Disclaimer: I did NOT eat all of them… at least not entirely. Hahaha.)

Happy blogging (and eating)!

Sweet Escape: Baking Paradise in Makati

Having a hard time looking for a good baking store in the ever-progressive city of Makati? If yes, then fret no more! It’s time to go to every baker’s “sweetest escape” in town!


Recently, I discovered Sweet Escape, a small, one-stop baking and confectionery store in Makati, while browsing for good baking stores on the Internet. As you all know, I’m a budding baker and I need these kind of places for my experiments (lol). When I found out that they’re only a few blocks away from my place, I literally jumped with joy. Finally, a super near baking store for me! 🙂


Sweet Escape isn’t very spacious, but it’s packed with all the things you need for baking. When I went here for the first time, I was like, “Oh… my… OMG OMG OMG!” I was beyond happy. Seeing all those cool baking stuff made me very excited to buy my cupcake essentials. I’ve already visited the place three times, but it still feels like magic. 🙂

IMG_20140607_180530(Refrigerated goods like butter and fillings)

IMG_20140607_180604(Pastry bags, sugar crystals, etc.)

IMG_20140607_180745(Ready-made labels)

IMG_20140607_180808(Flavors and pure vanilla extracts)

IMG_20140607_180857IMG_20140607_175502IMG_20140607_175509(Chocolate creams, food color, etc.)

IMG_20140607_180923(Flours, sugars, etc.)

IMG_20140607_181133(Food dyes!)

IMG_20140607_181148(Piping tips and toppers)

IMG_20140607_175452(Baking chocolates, etc.)

IMG_20140607_180304 IMG_20140607_180340 IMG_20140607_180518(Decors!)

IMG_20140607_180415(Cupcake liners! OMG OMG OMG)

I really love this place. It’s convenient, very accessible, and they have all the things I need to whip up my “delicious” cupcakes. Lol. Definitely found my “baking bliss” here. 🙂


If you’re also residing in Makati and don’t want to go farther anymore, then visit Sweet Escape! For more information, visit their website here and Facebook page here 🙂

Sweet Escape
250 Pablo Ocampo Avenue (V. Cruz Ext. / Kamagong Area) Makati City
Contact: (02) 546-6892 / (02) 624-3579 / 09063982182

10366316_10152123583211914_4604207896865954799_n(Shopping basket selfie. Lol. From my Instagram account: @sjalexandreac)

Happy blogging (and baking!)

V is for Vanilla Cupcakes


For my letter V entry for this year’s A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ve decided to share one of my many attempts to perfect the art (and science!) of cupcake-baking. Yes, V stands for vanilla cupcakes!


Vanilla-flavored cupcakes are considered as staples in any bakeshop. Aside from chocolate and red velvet, vanilla cupcakes are the ones we usually see in various pastry cases. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re moist with just the right amount of sweetness… my mouth’s watering right now. Lol just kidding!


Of course, I was so excited to make my own batch of fragrant vanilla cupcakes. Fortunately, I found a perfect recipe in Easycooking‘s website— simple yet delicious! I love this recipe because it doesn’t involve “rare” ingredients and it’s so easy to follow. Now I’m going to share it to you as well. (But don’t forget to visit Easycooking’s site! Divya has a lot of good recipes posted there. :))

Vanilla Cupcakes
Yield: 18 cupcakes



2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (I always use unsalted)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk (I always use fresh milk)
2 eggs
2 tsp instant coffee powder


1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt thrice, then set aside.
3. Combine butter and sugar; cream well.
4. Add eggs one by one; beat well.
5. Alternatively add the flour mixture and milk thrice; mix very well.IMG_20140201_194305IMG_20140201_1943336. Lastly (for the mix, that is), add vanilla extract. Reminder: taste your batter before putting it in the oven!


7. Line your muffin pan with liners and, with an ice cream scoop, fill them with 2/3 batter each.


8. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

After patiently watching your cupcakes rise up in the oven (hihihi), you can now let them cool and top them with your choice of frosting!


I used my leftover coffee buttercream from last time’s recipe (though I didn’t include it in the post hehehe) and, in fairness, they blended nicely. The frosting itself needs a lot of work, but taste-wise, they’re delicious together! Oh by the way, I got the coffe buttercream’s recipe here. 🙂

Vanilla and coffee… never had them this good! Hahaha.


Happy blogging (and baking)!


S is for Sophie’s Mom


If you’re a frequent visitor (and reader lol) of my blog, you should know by now that I love cupcakes… and that I have a plan to try out every cupcake stores in the metro. So, as part of that plan (and for this day’s A-Z Blogging Challenge entry), I now present to you… Sophie’s Mom!


Surprisingly, this chic cupcake shop is soooo near my place. Haha.


One day, I decided to check this place out. According to my research (lol), their bestseller is red velvet cupcakes. Unfortunately, they were sold out the moment I got there. Fortunately, there were still three flavors available: dulce de leche, brazo de mercedes, and mango.


(From left to right: mango, dulce de leche, and brazo de mercedes)

In summation, all of the cupcakes taste really good. The dulce de leche’s a bit chunky and cold, but it was my favorite. 🙂  Finished all of them. Haha!


I was a bit disappointed because I wasn’t able to try their red velvet, but these three cupcakes made up for the other’s absence. Sophie’s Mom also has other offerings, such as truffles, cookies, mochi ice cream, tarts, brownies, eclairs, and more.



Aside from the food, I also love the place’s interior. Yes, it’s the usual design of every cupcake place I’ve been to, but still cute. 🙂


(Look at those knick-knacks… especially those cupcake liners priced around P60.00! Rad!)

I’ll definitely go back here… hopefully the red velvet cupcakes are already available by then!

Oh, btw, visit their Facebook page for more information!


Happy blogging (and eating)!


R is for Red Velvet Cupcakes


Red velvet is one of my super favorite cupcake flavors (chocolate being on top lol), so one day, I decided to make my own batch. Gear up, ’cause this A-Z Blogging Challenge entry is about red velvet cupcakes!

I followed Aikko Aragon’s (of Bake Happy) recipe because it’s easy and very Pinoy. Haha. Check it out here: click!


Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 36 cupcakes



3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Yakult
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 bottle red McCormick food color
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups butter
3 eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
454 g / 1 pound confectioners sugar (sifted)
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup all purpose cream


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix Yakult, apple cider vinegar, whole bottle of red food color, vinegar and vanilla extract. Set aside.

3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Dry whisk or sift (I like whisking dry ingredients so I used my trusty wire whisk). Set aside.

4. Cream together butter and sugar well.

5. Add eggs, one at a time.


6. Add the flour mixture and Yakult mixture in 3 lots. Mix well.


7. Pour in cupcake liners (2/3 full). Bake for 15 minutes.


For the frosting:

1. Cut butter into small chunks. Beat for 3 minutes, or until smooth.


2. Gradually add confectioners sugar. Mix well.


3. Add cream cheese (also cut in cubes). Mix well.


4. Add all-purpose cream. Again, mix well.


5. For the final touch, add vanilla extract.


Aaaaaand ta-daaah! My red velvet cupcakes!


My frosting’s a bit crunchy, but overall, it was good. 😉  My niece helped in the kitchen, and she’s also my first taste-tester. Thanks, Jaja!


(My niece, trying out “our” baked goodies lol)

Next time, I’ll try to add some red sugar crystals or choco powder on top. I’m still working on the whole baking thing. Hehe.


Happy blogging (and baking)!

Cupcakes by Sonja: Simply LOVE


Cupcakes by Sonja, located at 2/F Glorietta 2 Bridgeway, Ayala Center, Makati (with brances at Serendra Piazza, Rockwell, Shangri-La Plaza, Rustans Fresh Forbes Park, Greenhills Shopping Center, Robinsons Galleria, and TriNoma). Contact: 625 48 84

Date: February 1, 2014


Wow! I can’t believe I finally had the chance to start my so-called “Cupcake Journey!” 🙂 It’s been long overdue since I don’t have enough riches to pay for the sumptuous but pricey cupcakes that bakeshops offer. But thanks to my finance provider (my sister hehe), I was able to taste some of Cupcakes by Sonja’s mouth-watering cupcakes.


I’ve always wanted to try Cupcakes by Sonja ever since I saw their branch in BGC. Back then, I didn’t have any money to splurge, and it was kinda far from my place. Fortunately, they opened a new spot in Glorietta 2, which is definitely nearer. Yay!




I absolutely love the decor and feel of the place. It’s simple and cute; not heavily decorated because the branch sits right in the middle of Glorietta 2 walkway. I like its 360-degree style and, best of all, the bulbs surrounded with wire whisks! How creatively crazy is that?


Okay, now the food. Last Saturday, my sister and I decided to satisfy our sweet cravings and ordered two cupcakes: red velvet and peppermint patty.


In fairness, both cupcakes were of right sweetness and fluffiness. Good job!


(Red velvet cupcake)

The red velvet is my personal favorite. I like the fact that there’s a slight tanginess in the frosting and it compliments very well with the sweetness of the cake. For P85.00, this cupcake sure is worth it!


(Peppermint patty cupcake)

Meanwhile, the peppermint patty’s good too. I ordered it because I like all things mint (from my usual Starbucks drink to my favorite ice cream flavor), and I was excited to taste a peppermint-flavored cupcake. Unfortunately though, I didn’t taste enough mint. The frosting’s too sweet for me— in fact, I didn’t finish the whole thing. The cake’s good, though; feels smokey chocolate in the mouth, but not my kind of choco. Peppermint patty’s not entirely disappointing, but I guess next time I shouldn’t expect too much. 😉


Overall, it was a splendid experience. My sister and I sitting on a high stool (just because the place’s packed and there were no low seats available), munching on cupcakes while watching people pass by… Cupcakes by Sonja is definitely a must-visit. I wanna try more of their offerings soon!


(The finance officer… LOL)

Happy eating!
♥ Jane

Mis (adventures) of a cupcake rookie part 2: Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache

So the cupcake (mis) adventure continues…


Last Saturday, I spent my “first weekend after work for 2014” in the kitchen. After my first attempt to bake a decent batch of cupcakes last week, I’ve decided to try again… still with chocolates.

Actually, I was planning to bake red velvet cupcakes because it’s my other favorite flavor, but I changed my mind because I’m saving up a bit. This month, I’ll be going to Boracay (first time!) with my officemates, so I’ll be needing lots of pocket money. Because I’m experiencing shortage in terms of cash, I’ve decided to make cupcakes out of my existing ingredients from last time’s attempt. Luckily, I still have enough flour, chocolates, etc.

For my second time in “mastering the art of being a self-educated cupcake baker,” I used Aikko Aragon‘s chocolate cupcake recipe from Our Awesome Planet. I made some changes in the ingredients and topping, but aside from that, I just followed her instructions. 🙂

About the changes, well instead of using chocolate chips for the ganache, I just used my existing SureBuy Bittersweet Baking Chocolate to save money. For the heavy cream, I used Nestle All Purpose Cream.

Meanwhile, my chocolate batter turned out nice. After filling all the cupcake liners, I giddily put them in the oven and watched them puff up. So much kilig feels.


When I took them out, though, I was a bit disappointed. Yes, they were softer than the dark chocolate cupcakes (too soft, I think), but their tops looked kinda rough, cracked and crispy (but I guess that’s normal…?)


Moving on with my life (LOL), I let it pass and cooled them while I was preparing my ganache. After countless manual beatings with my wire whisk, the chocolate ganache still didn’t meet the right consistency for piping; it’s too thin to put into the piping bag. Since it was getting too late, I decided to refrigerate it (and the cupcakes) and see what will happen on the next day.

The following day… disaster welcomed me as I opened the ref and peeked at my ganache. It became too thick and crumbly! I panicked for a moment (yes, typical me), then I thought of a way to make things work. I heated the ganache for less than a minute, took out the cupcakes (which turned out moist and a bit sticky), dipped some onto the ganache, and refrigerated them again.


After almost an hour, they looked like this:


I may not have pulled off the swirled chocolate ganache I’ve been dreaming of, but I’m still glad at how things turned out. Glazed cupcakes, anyone? 🙂


In terms of taste, well… according to my “taste testers” at home, my chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache taste just right— not too sweet and not too bland. When I asked my sister, she just gave me a thumbs up. Works for me! Hahaha.


Of course this is not the end of my cupcake adventure. If I have the time and money, I’ll bake my third set of cupcakes. (And by that time, I hope I get the frosting right. Lol.)

And yes, I know I’m not good with plating and food photography. Oh well… :3

♥ Janey

Ready, set, CUPCAKES!

As part of my “slight obsession”  with cupcakes (lol), I’ve decided to go on an amazing journey… cupcake journey, that is.



This 2014, I’m planning to scout every cupcake shop in town and taste their best-sellers, as well as their other offerings (if I have the money hahaha). I’ve already been to Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, and the experience was super awesome! I’m going back there to try the other cupcakes they have. 😉

Also included in my list of “places to go, cupcakes to eat” are Cupcakes by Sonja, Mom and Tina’s Bakery and Cafe, GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes, Frostings Cupcakes, Vanilla Bakery and Cafe,  Sophie’s Mom, The Flour Girl, Twelve Cupcakes and Blenz Coffee, which is near our office.


(Wow these cupcakes feel nostalgic. Reminds me of my days as a barista. Hahaha. Photo:

Let the cupcake adventure begin! 🙂

P.S.: How about you? Do you know any cupcake shop that I can put on my itinerary? Don’t hesitate to inform me! 🙂  Thanks!