Sunday, June 14, 2015

Welcome Kim Davis!

I am so thrilled to have Kim Davis as our guest today. She contacted me about making a cupcake based on a cocktail recipe in THE DIVA TAKES THE CAKE. I had no idea how talented she was and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the pictures. Kim's blog is . I know I'll be a regular there!

Wedded Blitz Martinis and Cupcakes

As soon as I read THE DIVA TAKES THE CAKE by Krista Davis, I knew I had to try The Wedded Blitz Martini. This cocktail is a blend of mango nectar, cranberry juice, peach schnapps and vodka…yummy! Plus I loved Krista’s tongue-in-cheek humor in naming the drink - perfect for those of us who have walked down the “aisle” more than once, as Sophie Winston’s sister does in the Domestic Diva series. 

After tasting Krista’s delicious concoction a time…or two…I was inspired to create a cupcake based on those ingredients. Current wedding trends have the bridal couple showcasing a signature cocktail at their wedding reception and often have cookies, cupcakes or candy dessert tables aside from the traditional wedding cake. I think it would be fun to have Krista’s Wedded Blitz cocktail served alongside complimentary flavored cupcakes. These two recipes would also fit right in at a bachelorette party or a bridal shower…or anytime friends want to get together!

My cupcake recipe may look daunting but the various layers add extra flavor and it's not as labor intensive as you might think. I tinkered with the recipe three times based on my taste testers' input. In the first version I used the liquid ratios from the Wedded Blitz Martini and they said it was good, just not a lot of flavor aside from sweet. I cut back on the vodka (because its mild flavor was washed out by the flour and sugar) but increased the peach schnapps for the second version. I also simmered and reduced the fruit juices to intensify their flavor. It got better reviews. The third version I adjusted flour and sugar ratios for better texture and I finally received the two thumbs up I was looking for. 

Please read through the entire cupcake recipe and instructions before beginning to bake. The fruit juice reduction needs to be completed before starting the cupcakes. 

Wedded Blitz Martinis
For One Serving
1 jigger vodka
3/4 jigger peach schnapps
1 jigger cranberry juice
1/2 jigger mango nectar
For a Party Pitcher – 10 servings
2 cups vodka
1-1/3 cup peach schnapps
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup mango nectar
Stir ingredients together and serve, or add to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, vigorously shake then strain liquid into a martini glass. Garnish the martini glass rim with colored sugar if desired.

Wedded Blitz Cupcakes

1-1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (6.5 ounces) cake flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup Peach Schnapps
3 tablespoons mango and cranberry juice reduction (recipe below)
Mango & Cranberry Juice Reduction
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup mango nectar
1/2 cup (2.3 ounces) confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon vodka
2 tablespoons mango and cranberry reduction
4 cups (18 ounces) confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter or vegan margarine, room temperature
1 tablespoon vodka
1 tablespoon Peach Schnapps
2 tablespoons mango and cranberry reduction (plus additional if needed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin tins with cupcake wrappers and lightly spritz with cooking spray. I found my tulip cupcake liners were difficult to separate, so do this before you begin mixing the batter. Once the liquid is introduced to the flour you want to start baking the cupcakes as soon as possible.
Mango & Cranberry Reduction
Place mango and cranberry juices into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until liquid has reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. You will use this mixture 3 different times.
Reduction Tips
  • You can make this a few days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • If you reduce liquid to less than 1/2 cup simply add equal amounts of mango and cranberry juice to make up the difference as long as you don’t need to add more than 2 additional tablespoons.
Place sugar and dried cranberries into the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 20 times. You want bigger pieces of cranberries along with smaller pieces.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk the peach schnapps and mango & cranberry juice reduction together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric hand-held mixer on medium-high speed about 30 seconds.
Add the oil and beat on medium speed for one minute.
Slowly add the sugar and cranberry mixture and beat until incorporated.
Add about half the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
Add half the peach schnapps mixture and mix on low until smooth.
Repeat with the remaining flour and liquid until all is incorporated and batter is smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. This batter is thin and I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup for filling the liners.
Bake 13 - 15 minutes, rotating pans half way through baking. Cupcakes will be done when a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into middle. These develop a brown toasty color.
Remove from oven and let rest in cupcake tin for 5 minutes.
While the cupcakes rest, mix the glaze ingredients together.
Remove from tin and place on wire cooling rack.
Immediately poke holes over the tops of the cupcakes using the tines of a fork.
Brush with the glaze, allowing to soak in before applying more. Use all the glaze.
Whisk the confectioner's sugar, vodka and juice reduction together until completely smooth.

I found that the frosting whipped up more creamy and fluffy in my standing mixer than using an electric hand-held mixer, but either will work fine.
Mix together the vodka, peach schnapps and the juice reduction and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer cream butter until smooth, about 1 minute on medium.
Reduce speed to low and slowly add about 1/3 of the confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth.
Add about 1/3 of the liquid and beat until incorporated.
Repeat alternating with the sugar and liquid until all has been added.
Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
If the frosting seems too thick add additional juice reduction, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, beating well after each addition until desired consistency is reached.
Place frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe swirls onto the cupcakes.
Garnish the cupcakes with edible pearl candies if desired.

I have shared the following Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen authors’ recipes on my blog:

Kim Davis

I launched my blog in February 2015, so I’m very new at this. However, I had given my ideas a lot of thought (about 2 years’ worth!) so I had a good inkling of the direction I wanted to go by the time I was free to commit to this project. So many of my friends told me I should blog, which planted the seeds. Initially I had thought my site would be more about cookie and cake decorating since I love doing that for my two granddaughters. My decorating is a self-taught hobby (not a job), but in addition to that hobby I love to read and bake all kinds of treats so it seemed I should incorporate all of what I love to do.

I’ve collected numerous culinary cozy mystery recipes over the years and still have favorites that I make often. It seemed a perfect fit to share the books I love to read with my audience AND share the recipes I try out from the culinary mysteries I read. It has been a pleasure connecting with so many authors that I admire and I appreciate the opportunity to share their wonderful recipes!

Today Krista is giving away a copy of THE DIVA STEALS A CHOCOLATE 

KISS to one lucky person who leaves a comment! Remember to

leave your email address so she can contact you! Good luck!


  1. What amazing recipes and gorgeous pictures! I just finished dinner and now I am hungry. And I will be checking Kim's blog out as well. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. What a fantastic cupcake! Thank you for sharing your recipe.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  3. I love cupcakes and these sound wonderful! Thank you for sharing your recipes. Thanks for the chance to win. I love this series and can't wait to check The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The cupcakes are beautiful. The recipes sounds as delicious as they look. I can't wait to try them.

  6. Hi Kim! so great to see you here! Your baked treats put our versions to shame, they are stunning! Thank you for visiting today and sharing your talents! xo

    1. I am so thrilled to be here - thank you for hosting me! I love to decorate just about as much as I love to bake...and it's much easier when I have wonderful recipes, such as your cake, to work with!

  7. I'm thinking that one bowl chocolate cake is definitely something to try. Thank you for your fun post.

  8. They all look so good, I want to try them all!

  9. Thanks for the amazing recipes and thanks for the terrific giveaway!

  10. Love all the amazing recipes. Can't wait to try the cupcakes!

  11. Recipes sound so good! Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  12. Lovely recipes for a lovely book series, lilflynracer @

  13. Lovely recipes for a lovely book series, lilflynracer @

  14. The cupcake presentation is gorgeous and the cupcake itself sounds absolutely scrumptious! Thanks for turning an awesome cocktail into a delicious treat!

  15. A huge thank you to the lovely ladies who host Mystery Lovers' Kitchen for inviting me to share some of my creations! I love all of their books and enjoy trying the amazing recipes they include in each one! Krista's Wedded Blitz Martini has such yummy flavors it was a natural jump to including those flavors in a cupcake. Thank you for the inspiration, Krista!!!

    1. We are thrilled to have you here, Kim! I agree with Lucy/Roberta, you make our recipes look so beautiful!

  16. The cupcakes are gorgeous---and I bet they taste good, too.

  17. The recipes look great! I love the pictures. Thank you for the giveaway.

  18. The cupcakes are beautiful. Think I'll try my hand to see if I can make mine look half as good. Looking forward to reading the book too. Thanks.

  19. Looks like great recipes.


  20. These are yummy looking and absolutely beautiful in presentation. Thanks for the contest too.

  21. I'm going to be a frequent visitor to her site as well. I think I will start with the no-knead toasting bread recipe. I always love new recipes. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  22. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes and a bit about yourself. I will be trying this cupcake recipe. Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. Welcome, Kim! Those cupcakes tempt even me -- and I'm not a cake eater! Your site is a delight -- and I was thrilled when you featured my Salty Oat Cookies, even creating variations on them. I'm sure I speak for the rest of the Kitchen Crew in saying we love when readers take our recipes and make them their own.