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Big Black Dog: Bluebird Cupcakes!

April 11, 2010

Bluebird Cupcakes!


We moved to our present property in 2000 and although our new home was only a twenty minute drive from our previous property, the geography is totally different. We now lived adjacent to about 500 acres of county forest preserve and natural springs bubbled up out of the ground in the most curious places! Being an avid birdwatcher I was excited to see what unique birds were on our new property. Well, I was not disappointed in the least. Within the first month, Indigo Buntings, Bluebirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Barn Shallows and Purple Martins were regular visitors to our property. I was thrilled!

The next Spring, I installed five Bluebird houses and waited for the little darlings to arrive. I know spring is on the way when the Bluebirds start flitting around our pastures and claiming their home for the new babies to arrive. The first spring I had two boxes of baby Bluebirds and each had a second nesting so we had eleven new babies! Since 2001 we've had at least ten new baby Bluebirds yearly. This year to celebrate the arrival of my treasured Bluebirds I made some cupcakes!


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Carrot Cupcakes

1 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
5/8 c. light oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
3/8 c. nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1 c diced apple

Makes about 15 regular sized cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt and baking powder in medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat sugar and oil until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time and beat until well blended.

Gradually add flour mixture to sugar/oil, stirring continually just until blended.

With a spatula fold in grated carrots, nuts and diced apple.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3s full.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool.


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Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted from Sprinkle's Cupcakes

8 ounces cold cream cheese
1 stick butter, firm but not cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine butter, salt, and cream cheese in mixer and beat on medium speed 2-3 minutes. Add sugar until just incorporated. Don’t over mix. It should be thick but not fluffy. Add vanilla.



Baby Bluebirds and Nest:

1 c. coconut, toasted
Baby birds eyes: melted chocolate, black/brown nonpareils, black sesame seeds. See **NOTE
Baby birds beaks: yellow frosting, confection cut to form triangle. See **NOTE


To Assemble:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pan once. Set aside to cool.

Lightly frost cupcakes; Sprinkle with toasted coconut to form each nest.

Tint 2 tablespoons reserved frosting pale yellow; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #349 leaf tip; set aside. Tint remaining frosting light blue; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #11 Ateco plain round tip, and pipe three bluebird heads, 3/4 inch in diameter, onto each cupcake. Using leaf tip, pipe yellow beaks. With a toothpick, add melted-chocolate eyes.

**NOTE: I used yellow dot confections for the beaks and just cut them into triangles. For the baby birds eyes I used black sesame seeds.


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46 Comments:

Blogger Brenda said...

Too stinking cute! On top of it I love carrot cake/cupcakes and cream cheese frosting. We have a little paperback book that has the birds of Michigan listed. It is very broken in since moving here in the middle of the woods.

April 11, 2010 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

These are soooo adorable. You did a beautiful job!

April 11, 2010 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Allie and Pattie said...

How cute!! I'd love to see the bluebird houses!
xoxo Pattie

April 11, 2010 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

What a way to celebrate! I feel like spring has sprung just from looking at these. The little birds are so cute!

April 11, 2010 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger angelina said...

adorable michelle i just love em. my boys loved feeding the bluebirds with nana last year when we were home....

April 11, 2010 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Nancy's Notes said...

Yumm! Great and delicious way celebrate the arrival of your treasured Bluebirds! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

April 11, 2010 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I love to birdwatch. We seldom get bluebirds here, just bluejays. I love your cupcakes. So colorful and cute. I think I would like to live on your property.

April 11, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

These are so cute Michelle!

April 11, 2010 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger D said...

Well, those are just adorable. Thanks for sharing.

D

April 11, 2010 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Julie Harward said...

YUM! I love the little blue birds on the cup cakes too. We have the blue birds here..I love them so much..they follow me along as I go for a walk sometimes. Come say hi :D

April 11, 2010 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger OLGUIS said...

they look so cute.

Regards

olga.

April 11, 2010 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger mrs. c said...

Yummy, yum, my favorite!! Those are adorable and you photos are fantastic...as usual! Have a great week!

April 11, 2010 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger YankeeQuilter said...

These sound great! I have one bluebird box but I think I got it up too late. I do however have a bluebird that is a regular visitor to the birdfeeder so maybe he will make note of house for next year?!

April 11, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Those are really cute! Carrot cake is one of my favorites.

April 11, 2010 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

You have a gentle soul and a large heart. That you can make great cupcakes is a blessing for all of us. These really look beautiful. I hope you had a wonderful day.

April 11, 2010 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Cute idea! How fun is that! Carrot cake is on the top of my list..so as a cupcake, yum!!

April 11, 2010 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger theUngourmet said...

I love bluebirds. Your cupcakes are just darling! The forest preserve sounds incredibly beautiful. What a fantastic place to live!

April 12, 2010 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

OMG OMG!!! Way too cute! I couldn't help but chuckle!! When I saw the title, I was wondering how on earth you were gonna make bluebird cupcakes?!?! You're brilliant, Michelle. :)

April 12, 2010 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Fotobloggen 2010 said...

Lovely and great to looka t almost to nice to eat, but then again you eat with your eyes also ;-)
Nice with a recipe, think Ill try that!

Christina, Sweden

April 12, 2010 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger My Carolina Kitchen said...

What lovely cupcakes and how fabulous you have bluebird families. We think spotting a bluebird is quite a treat. I can't imagine being lucky enough to have families of them on your property. Wow.
Sam

April 12, 2010 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger jaz@octoberfarm said...

these are sooooo cute!!!

April 12, 2010 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Christy said...

Absolutely Adorable.

April 12, 2010 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger kat said...

So cute & springy. I think those would be perfect for a baby shower.

April 12, 2010 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Oh, how cute (was my reaction).
I love to watch the Bluebirds too. We have had them at our place too. I need more boxes.
Isn't Springtime so wonderful.

April 12, 2010 at 9:10 AM  
Anonymous tasteofbeirut said...

These are so cheerful and fun! Never mind that they are also so healthy with all these carrots and apple!

April 12, 2010 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

The birdies are super cute!

April 12, 2010 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger TeaLady said...

Those are adorable. They look fantastic.

I know what you mean about all the birds. We live on acreage and we have so many. Have a nest in the christmas wreath with 5 babies. Sparrows. love watching them grow.

April 12, 2010 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Cute!!

April 12, 2010 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Cutest little bird cupcakes ever!!

April 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Angie's Recipes said...

Ain't they just cute! Love the frosting too.

April 12, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Cookin' Canuck said...

So sweet! I grew up in a bird-watching family and have passed the ornithology bug onto my husband. People think we're nuts when we get excited about seeing a new bird.

April 12, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Cristie said...

Darling blue birds! What an advantage to having property, many birds to watch an enjoy. We have a small city lot with lots of birds and sometimes I find myself wishing them away . . . that is so mean. Today I will look at my birds with more joy.

April 12, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Maggy said...

So cute! And very clever.

April 12, 2010 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger The Diva on a Diet said...

These cupcakes are absolutely adorable and I love that they're made with carrot cake batter. What a great idea to use the black sesame seeds for the eyes too!

April 12, 2010 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

That's one of the cutest things I've ever seen! Sounds yummy too.

April 12, 2010 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger teresa said...

SO cute! how fun, your property sounds lovely!

April 12, 2010 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Those are so cute! Hope you'll share photos of the baby birds too!

April 12, 2010 at 4:23 PM  
OpenID biz319 said...

I love cream cheese frosting - probably my favorite! So cute!

April 12, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Barbara @moderncomfortfood said...

How wonderful these are. It never occurred to me to combine my two favorite hobbies -- birding and cooking -- the way you have done so creatively here. Many thanks for this happy, smile inducing recipe. Stumbled.

April 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Fuji Mama said...

Oh my goodness! How cute are those cupcakes!!! I LOVE the idea of piping little baby bluebirds on top. Perfect spring decor!!

April 12, 2010 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Michelle, your Bluebird cupcakes just scored a perfect ten on the 'cuteness' test!!! :-D

April 12, 2010 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Stephany said...

These are so freakin' cute. I hope to one day attain such amazing baking skills.

April 12, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Fresh Local and Best said...

I think it is simply wonderful that you build bird houses for the neighborhood birds! These cupcakes are very cute!

April 12, 2010 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

The cupcakes are adorable! Very clever decorating.

I love to watch the birds that come to my yard since moving to the Pacific Northwest. We just have a small subdivision lot but I've seen hawks and an owl perched out back and a beautiful pheasant that stayed in a yard for a week or so one winter. We also have Bluebirds, bluejays, goldfinches and many other colorful varieties. There is always something going on outside my kitchen window.

I haven't had much luck with birdhouses though. Your babies sound wonderful!

April 13, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Kayte said...

So cute! These are really fun and pretty and springy and the case they sit on sounds perfectly delicious to me! No bluebirds for me yet...I think I was too late getting them out, I will keep watching.

April 15, 2010 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

That is just too cute! We dont have much variety near my house....but the few that we have I enjoy. I use to breed and sell birds....and I loved seeing the babies.
Your cupcakes are adorable!

April 20, 2010 at 12:07 AM  

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