Happiness Is…Recipe: Key Lime Cupcakes


Happiness is Friday.  Always.

Happiness is Teacher Appreciation Week.  I love it.






Happiness is nighttime jumping and swinging.



Happiness is this sweet face.


Happiness is celebrating a special nurse…and sister, aunt, and friend.


Happiness is Mother’s Day.  I love being spoiled any day of the week, but that just goes up about a zillion notches when I am spoiled on Mother’s Day.  Being a mom has fulfilled my greatest heart’s desire, so setting aside a whole day to celebrate mothers always makes me so happy.


Happiness is cupcakes.  I have been baking a lot of them lately, and I adore all of the different ones.  When I received an order for some key lime cupcakes, I realized that I had never made that flavor.  As luck would have it, sweet Brenda posted a link to her Baby Lime Cupcakes this week on a blog post about party planning.  Since I have tried several of her recipes, I knew, without a doubt, that these cupcakes would be perfect.  I tested them out for the last day of Teacher Appreciation, and, I was right.  They made me very, very happy, indeed. For the recipe, jump on over to A Farmgirl’s Dabbles.  Just visiting Brenda’s blog will make you very happy. Truly.

Happiness Is….Recipe: Tres Leches Cupcakes


Happiness is Friday!  I was so ready to start the weekend that I picked up the boys from school at lunch to start our weekend a bit early.


Happiness is Cinco de Mayo.  We cannot wait to celebrate tomorrow!


Happiness is movie night…especially when we have an added guest in the form of my youngest niece.


Happiness is making this cookie cake for my oldest niece to take to her end-of-the-season volleyball party tonight.


Happiness is getting this text photo from my sister.


Happiness is the sweet feedback that I received from Ethan’s Progress Report yesterday.  Thank you so much for your kind words.  I appreciate it.


Happiness is Tres Leches Cupcakes.  I made these last year on a whim, and I received such an amazing response that I knew I had to make them again this year.  I took three dozen to school to hand-out to sweet teachers and staff.  We love Cinco de Mayo so much that I wanted to spread that joy to others.  From the smiles that I received at school today, I am pretty sure that these cupcakes are pure happiness.

Tres Leches Cupcakes

Tres Leches Cupcakes


! Cupcakes

1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated white sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups water

2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

4 large egg whites


1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream


1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla


    Making the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Place foil cupcake liners in cupcake pans. This recipe will make 34-36 cupcakes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes, or until well blended.
  5. Using ice cream scoop, fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake 17-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Move to a wire rack to allow to cool completely.
  8. Adding the Filling
  9. Mix together the three milks - sweetened condensed, evaporated, and whipping cream.
  10. Using a wooden skewer, poke several holes into each cupcake.
  11. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk, pouring onto the top of the cupcakes.
  12. Repeat with all of the cupcakes.
  13. Once the liquid has absorbed, add another 1-2 tablespoons.
  14. Finishing Touches
  15. Add the whipping cream to a mixing bowl, and start to mix on low speed.
  16. Add the sugar and vanilla, while continuing to mix.
  17. Increase the speed to medium, and whip until thickened.
  18. Add the whipped cream to a decorating bag, and, using your favorite tip, pipe the whipped cream onto the top of the cupcakes.
  19. Top with a strawberry or cherry, optional.

 The white cupcake is RecipeGirl’s  White Wedding Cupcakes.

Have a happy weekend!!

 I linked up at the following:
Tidy Mom for I’m Lovin’ It
Alli ‘n Sons for Sweet Tooth Friday
Six Sisters’ Stuff for Strut Your Stuff Saturday

Celebrating the STARR with Panda Cupcakes


My oldest little is in 3rd grade.  In Texas, the state assessment (STARR) begins in 3rd grade.  It was uncharted territory for a couple of reasons.  First of all, they had never taken standardized tests before.  And, secondly, the test is brand new this year.

However, we have one of the best teachers in the world, and she was such a calming, wonderful influence for all of them.  Gabriel was actually excited to go take the math part of the test on Tuesday.  He was ready for it.

When I saw the amazing Bakerella’s Panda Cupcakes on Monday, I knew that it was total destiny.  Gabriel’s class mascot is the Panda.  While I am not nearly as talented as Bakerella, she included such a detailed tutorial that I was hopeful that I might be able to pull it off.


So, Wednesday morning, the day of their second and final test, I went to work making cupcakes.  I used my favorite, best chocolate cupcake recipe for the cute mini cupcakes.  When I went to the store to buy some last minute things, I found these candy eyeballs.  I was excited because I knew that it would reduce the decorating time by a little, and, in typical Natalie fashion, I needed those few extra minutes since I was cutting it so close.

Oh, and at this point I should add….do not try to take pictures of cupcakes with chocolate chips outside in Texas in April when it is 92 degrees.  Even five minutes of pictures will make those chocolate chips melt, and then you will really be cutting it close when you have to go in the house and make 11 more panda bear cupcakes.  So, needless to say, the pictures are far from great…but I sure did learn a valuable lesson.


While I do not think that they are nearly as beautiful as Bakerella’s turned out, they were definitely a hit with an amazing 3rd grade class who happily celebrated a huge milestone in their lives.  They have one state assessment year under the belts, and now they can face the next 8 with total confidence.

One more thing to note…even 3rd graders know what Pinterest is. When one student told Gabriel that I should put these cupcakes on Pinterest, it totally made my day.

I linked up at the following:

Domesblissity for Thriving on Thursdays

Fireflies and Jellybeans for Show Off Your Stuff

A Glimpse Inside for Catch a Glimpse

Something Swanky for Sweet Treats Thursday

The 36th Avenue for Show Me Extraordinary