Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Time!

"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animal. Some seem to smile."

Henry Ward Beecher

The first frost in the valley is expected within the next two or three nights. I always mourn the loss of vibrant flowers in my garden. Winter can seem to be so long. I decided to take advantage of the flowers while I had them, and since we had a birthday in the family this week, I used them to decorate cupcakes. The yellow miniature roses were accented with mint leaves and fresh lavender and were the decoration on the gluten free, chocolate cupcakes. The red and white baby roses were accented with fresh lavender and were what distinguished the wheat flour cupcakes from the others. They were served at a birthday dinner for Brent with family and friends.

Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour*
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar (Florida Crystals)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in liquid ingredients. Using a hand mixer, blend until batter is smooth and creamy. Work quickly, as the lemon juice activates the baking soda and starts the leavening action. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Measure into cupcake papers in muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 - 25 minutes.

*May substitute wheat flour if desired. For a gluten-free flour blend, consider Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Blend or a mixture of equal proportions of cornstarch, garbanzo/fava bean flour, and potato starch. Add 1 tsp. xanthan gum for every cup of flour.

Happy Birthday, Brent!


  1. Beautiful cupcakes!! You are so artistic and have such talent for making the simplest things look so attractive!!

  2. I didn't realize those were cupcakes at first. They're so beautiful with the flowers. I thought they were little pots. Thanks for the information on stevia. I've never looked for it at the store, so I don't know if it's available around here or not. But, I'll look now!

    Happy Birthday Brent!


  3. Those are beautiful, almost too pretty to eat!

  4. Everything about this is beautiful!
    Blessings to you-Claudia O.

  5. What a creative,decorative cook you are...It is simply lovely...
    Happy Birthday to Brent.

  6. How beautiful...what a clever idea to keep summer around just a few moments longer. I am like you and mourn for all my beauties once the first frost appears. Thankfully, it is a few weeks away...I hope...b/c my summer flowers are looking awesome about now...b/c of the cooler evenings...I am enjoying them immensely...

    Loved your really make things so lovely...and it appears to come so naturally to you...Thanks for sharing...


  7. I found my way here through another blog. My, there are so many wonderful blogs! I'm really enjoying your posts.

    Yes, it is sad to see such pretty colorful flowers go, but fortunately they will be back next year :)

    These are lovely cupcakes and they look delicious. Thank you for the recipe...I like the gluten-free flour!

  8. Your cupcakes look magazine perfect. Martha Stewart has nothing on you. Your cake recipe looks really good too, and I chuckled as I saw the cousin to my cake mix post today.
    Next time I need a gluten free chocolate cake, I'll click on this post.

  9. Hope Brent had a wonderful birthday! Those cupcakes look so yummy!

    have a great day.
    Sandy :)

  10. Beautiful! Almost too pretty to eat!! :)

  11. Oh so very beautiful!

  12. La Tea Dah,

    My mommy's computer is not working so she said to come here and tell you it is okay for you to blog about our picture.

    We are glad you like the tea!

    Thank you for telling us about your sister. We like to tell stories also. Maybe we can share our stories sometime.


  13. You even had perfect lighting for taking your photos. Thank you for sharing.



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