Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sparky Dog Cupcakes plus book #giveaway for AS GOUDA AS DEAD from @AveryAames

I'm gearing up for the release of the next Cheese Shop Mystery #6: As Gouda As Dead. From now and long into February, every Wednesday, if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win a Cheese Shop Mystery plus some fun swag. See below!

Many of you know that I have a Goldendoodle named Sparky. He is 28 pounds and a bundle of good energy. He is the ultimate party animal! He makes everyone who comes into the house a dog lover. He can’t wait to play, romp, zoom!

Over the holidays, I decided to honor him by making a cupcake that looks like him. Okay, really?

The real reason I made these little treats is because my daughter-in-law sent me a YouTube link of a woman making doggie cupcakes. So cute!!!!  Here's the LINK

For those who don't have time to watch the video, I'm trying to show as many steps as I can. By the way, the woman used whipped cream for the frosting, but I didn’t think that would hold up, so I created this version using my favorite cream cheese frosting. Why not? I’m constantly thinking about cheese since I write the Cheese Shop Mysteries! The cupcakes, the few that didn’t get gobbled up immediately, lasted for a couple of days in the refrigerator! Perfect for a snack when reading a good book. 

Ahem, is anyone planning on picking up a copy of AS GOUDA AS DEAD?

Note: This cupcake was one of my first attempts at using a pastry tube. Because Sparky can look messy, don’t worry about the end result being perfect. I sure didn’t.

Also note: You can cheat and make cupcakes using your favorite regular or gluten-free boxed cake mix. If you want to make them from scratch, here is a delicious gluten-free recipe. The mayonnaise makes a HUGE difference!

Sparky Dog cupcakes
with cream cheese frosting

(makes 24 cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups sweet white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2/3 cup Best Foods mayonnaise (it’s gluten-free!)
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanillin

For decoration:
Cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)
Melting chocolate cut into tiny bits for eyes, larger for the nose (you could use pre-formed chocolate chips)
Red MandM’s for the tongue


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the milk and vanillin and mix well.

Add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed for about 2 minutes.

Using soup ladle, pour batter into prepared cupcakes liners.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-17 minutes. Know your oven!  Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Put on wire rack to cool so they don’t get “moist” on the bottom.

Let cool completely then frost, as follows:

Fix a pastry tube with a leaf tip. Fill the pastry tube with frosting. Squeeze out little “leaves” of frosting in a circle around the cupcake, leaving the center free. Then in longer swirls, fill in the center. Drip some frosting off the lower portion for the “beard.” Mound some frosting at the top for the ears.

Set two bits of chocolate near the top for the eyes; set one bit of chocolate in the center for the nose. Slip a red MandM between the beard portion for the tongue.

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


4 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
8 tablespoons butter – room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar (more if necessary)

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, whip cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add a half cup of powdered sugar at a time, until blended. You want the frosting to be fairly stiff, so make sure you add enough powdered sugar.  May be saved in the refrigerator in airtight container.

And now for that giveaway...tell me what your favorite "kid" treat is and leave your email so I can reach you if you win. If you don't feel like leaving an entire email, you can go cryptic and I'll try to figure it out. I am a mystery writer, after all. I will not use your email for any other purpose other than to contact the winner. I'll pick a name tomorrow morning. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me.

Good luck!

Savor the mystery!


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NEXT BOOK OUT: AS GOUDA AS DEAD, coming February, 2015
pre-order here

STIRRING THE PLOT is available for order: order here.

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  1. My favorite five year old prefers chocolate chip cookies.

    1. Aw, sweet! Got an email address to case?

      Daryl / Avery

  2. I loved chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting (or white frosting). Yummy!!!

  3. My favorite "kid" treat is an ice cream bar.

    1. I adore ice cream bars on a stick! Dark chocolate over vanilla i.c. yum!

      Daryl / Avery