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melanie's mini cider cupcakes with cinnamon-spice buttercream.

meet brooklyn baker, former uo about a girl, and creator of the mini cider cupcake: melanie knigge.

(photo via tumbler)

not only is she adorable, but she can BAKE! now for her super secret (not really) cider cupcakes recipe:

2 C gluten-free flour (or all-purpose if you're free of "issues")
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
1 egg (or egg-replacer)
1/2 C apple butter *
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 C maple syrup (or honey if that's all you have)
1/3 C apple cider
1/3 C yogurt
*if you really can't find any proper apple butter, replace with more applesauce.

the recipe from to melanie, herself:

1. gently combine wet ingredients in a bowl. don't beat the hell out of it please.
you don't want to over-whip the egg.
2. stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl with a fork. sift into wet mix, then fold the ingredients together with a spatula until the batter is just moistened, but not lumpy. it should look like this:

3. grease up your mini cupcake tin and fill 3/4 full with batter. these are cupcakes my friends, not muffins, so keep the head to a minimum.
4. bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. if you're foregoing the minis, bake your regular-sized cupcakes for 12-15 minutes.
5. while cupcakes are baking into delectable little morsels in your oven, whip up some frosting.

cinnamon-spice buttercream:

1/2 C butter, room temp– no cheating and heating!
1/2 C vegetable shortening
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of cloves, ginger, cardamom, allspice or pumpkin pie spice, etc...get creative.
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C milk (vanilla almond milk is also delicious)

1. put butter and shortening in a bowl with powdered sugar and cinnamon+spices. using an electric mixer and your buffest arm, beat together on high for a hot minute. add vanilla and milk (a little at a time) and beat until your frosting is thick and delicious.
2. it should not be runny whatsoever. if your butter got too melty or you accidentally added too much milk, continue mixing on high as you add in powdered sugar till you reach the right consistency.
3. pipe out of a pastry bag or frost your completely cooled cupcakes the way my mom taught me: out of a ziploc bag with one corner cut off. frost generously, my friends...'tis the season.

(photos and recipe via urban outfitters.)

for your listening pleasure | sleigh bells

because i just can't get enough.



for your listening pleasure | sam cooke


cake mag.

cake, the self-proclaimed "indie, confused and sweet" magazine is chock-full of inspired, dreamy photos. i could scroll through this blog all day long!


kathy + brian | married!


when kathy first met brian she immediately thought, "who is he and why don't i know him yet?" for the next three years they did the long distance dance while brian was living on the marine corps base in north carolina. nearly four years later, they live in virginia with their beagle child, charlie. they still have to endure bouts of long distance while brian is deployed...but there's a silver lining. as kathy put it so sweetly the other day, "because of the long periods of time apart, we probably value the time we have together more than any other couple and every kiss is as good as the first one."

as someone who witnessed many of said kisses, i gotta tell you, she's not lying. they pack heat!
kathy + brian, jon and i LOOOVED spending your day with're amazing together and you were a delight to photograph. thanks again for frolicking in the woods with us.


wedding coordinator: leslie eyster
dj: ben spivey