The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 9, 2014


A sugary showdown to end domestic violence

By Lisa Shrewsberry
Lifestyles Editor

BECKLEY — Steady your spatulas and hold on to your pastry bags! Set to battle it out in perfectly piped buttercream, five local bakers have joined Women’s Resource Center for “Something Sweet ‘2’ — Cupcake Wars.” Saturday, Feb. 15, noon at Marquee Cinemas, Instant Karma Cupcakes, Cakes by Brittany, Jo Jo’s Cupcakes, Missy’s Cake Shop and The Bake Shoppe will offer 200 prepared tastings each of their cupcake creations, vying for titles of People’s Choice, Judge’s Choice: Best Taste and Best Display. Following the competition, event participants will be treated once again — to a private showing of the movie “Winter’s Tale” on its debut weekend.

A feast for the sweet-toothed (icing, icing baby) as well as the eyes (Colin Farrell AND Russell Crowe?), Cupcake Wars is an all-in-fun fundraiser with a very serious purpose — to raise money against domestic violence in southern West Virginia. Says Public Relations and Fundraising Development Coordinator Dee Sizemore, WRC served over 3,200 victims of domestic violence last fiscal year. Services included providing shelter, court advocacy, support groups and agency referrals. “We help make the necessary referrals and follow-ups for securing housing, employment, education and child care. It’s helping victims live freely and not return to a life of violence. They face many roadblocks when they leave their abusers that keep them going back,” said Sizemore. WRC also provides community presentations for school-age children and to church and civic organizations to prevent violence before it happens.

Tickets for Cupcake Wars must be purchased in advance and seating is limited. The cost is $20 each, which includes tasting opportunities, a People’s Choice voting coin, a copy of “The Family Table Volume 2: Just Desserts” cookbook and a reserved seat for “Winter’s Tale.” Tickets are available online at

In the spirit of good sportsmanship, each of the five competing bakers shared a recipe with The Register-Herald, along with a bit about what makes their business a “sweet” success.

— E-mail

WRC’s Something Sweet 2 — Cupcake Wars

When: Feb. 15, beginning at noon

Where: Marquee Cinemas’ Galleria 14, Beckley

Tickets: $20, available at

The Contestants

The Bake Shoppe’s Molten Chocolate Cupcake


    2 cups all-purpose flour

    2 cups sugar

  1/2 cup cocoa

          (dark will do as well)

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 cup oil

    1 cup coffee

    1 cup milk

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla


    1 cup cream

  1/2 cup chocolate chips

   2 Tablespoons butter

Add all ingredients and microwave in 30-second increments until smooth, then put in fridge until completely cool.

Add all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix. Add the wet and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Scoop the ganache with a small scoop into little balls (dust with cocoa powder, if desired).  Fill 2 cupcake pans with liners and fill the liners 1/3 full. Put a ganache ball in the center of each cupcake then top it with more batter. Do not fill to very top, it will bake over.

Put in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 13 minutes.  Serve warm with ice-cream or glaze or cool and pipe with chocolate buttercream.


Instant Karma’s Boston Cream Pie Cupcake


     1 stick butter

     1 cup sugar

     1 egg plus two egg yolks

     2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2  cups flour

1 1/2  teaspoons baking


   1/4 teaspoon salt

     1 cup whole milk

    1/4 cup sour cream

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Add vanilla. Add sour cream and mix well. Add dry ingredients followed by milk. Mix until fluffy and pour into cupcake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


    1/3 cup sugar

     3 Tablespoons corn


 1 1/3 cup milk

     3 Tablespoons butter

     3 egg yolks

     1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar, milk, butter, and corn starch in saucepan. Cook over medium heating stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Beat egg yolks. Add half of milk mixture to egg yolks then return to pan and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Chocolate ganache:

     8 ounces quality dark


     2 tablespoons corn syrup

     1 teaspoon vanilla

     1 cup heavy cream


Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl except heavy cream.

Heat heavy cream until just boiling. Pour over other ingredients. Stir until thickened and shiny.

Hollow cooled cupcakes with cupcake corer. Fill with custard. Dip in shiny ganache and eat.


Jo Jo’s Red Velvet Cupcakes


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon salt

    2 (1-ounce) bottles red food


     3 Tablespoon unsweetened

          cocoa powder

    1 cup buttermilk

    1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups sugar

  1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon white vinegar

    1 teaspoon baking soda


    1 package cream cheese,


    1 stick butter, softened

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    3 cups powered sugar

          (we add to taste and texture)

    1 Tablespoon milk (we add or      

           delete based on texture)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper baking cups.

2. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Gradually stir food coloring into cocoa in small bowl until blended and smooth. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in separate, small bowl.

3. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed about 4 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture; beat until well blended (uniform color). Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture; beat just until blended.

4. Combine vinegar and baking soda in small bowl; gently fold into batter with spatula or spoon (do not use mixer). Spoon butter into prepared muffin cups, filling to 2/3 full.

5. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

6. Mix icing ingredients with mixer until well blended and fluffy, then generously spread frosting over cupcakes.


Brittany’s Cherry Blossom Cupcakes


2 1/2 cups all- purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  1/4 teaspoon salt

    8 Tablespoons unsalted butter,

           at room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar

    2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

       Seeds from 1 vanilla bean

1 1/4 cups whole milk,

           at room temperature

  1/2 cup fresh cherries, chopped (or frozen and defrosted if fresh cherries are not available)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with standard cups.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy with a mixer and add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds to the milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/3 of the milk, and mix thoroughly. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last 1/3 of dry ingredients followed by the last 1/3 of milk. Mix slowly until just incorporated. Using spatula, gently fold in cherries.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan using a standard-size ice-cream scoop. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting:

  16 Tablespoons unsalted butter,

           at room temperature

    4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    1 teaspoon whole milk

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

   1/8 teaspoon salt

   1/4 cup fresh cherry juice

           (juice squeezed from cherries;

           if you use frozen cherries, there

           should be enough juice once the

           cherries have thawed.)

 Combine the ingredients in a mixer and whip together at high speed until light and airy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Load the frosting into a large piping bag with a large tip and frost each cupcake.

“You can top each cupcake decorated with fondant or anything you choose. I chose to make them look like roses."


Missy’s Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake



2 1/2 cups gluten free flour mixture

          (see instructions for ingredients)

     1 teaspoon baking soda

  1/2  teaspoon salt

    6 ounces German baking chocolate

1 1/2 sticks softened butter

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

    3 eggs (room temperature)

    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

11/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make sure all of the ingredients you use are Gluten-free, ingredients vary between different companies.

Spray two 8-inch baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine 1/2 cup each of the following in a small bowl:

         white rice flour

         sorghum flour

         tapioca flour

         almond flour


Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt to flour mixture, set aside.

Microwave 6 ounces German baking chocolate and 1 1/2 sticks of butter until melted.

Pour melted chocolate and butter mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and beat until well blended.

Add 3 room temperature eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat until well blended.

Add half of flour mixture and half of the milk and beat until well blended.

Add rest of flour mixture and remaining milk and beat until well blended.

Pour mixture evenly into pans until 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool on baking rack for 5 minutes and then release from pan.

Let cool completely or overnight before frosting or decorating.

Easy Coconut Pecan Icing:

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 cup evaporated milk

  1/2 stick of softened butter

    3 eggs (room temperature)

  1/3 cup flaked coconut

    1 cup chopped pecans

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In saucepan over medium heat combine first four ingredients, stirring until mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and cool about one hour before frosting cake.