Hummingbird Cupcakes


Baking in college is surprisingly convenient.

If I’m at home and and I realize I’m out of butter, I have to either get up and go to the store myself (and I’m much too lazy for that) or call my mom to pick up some and wait until she has time.

Here, I can scoop up butterballs at our dining hall and store them in the kitchen until I need them.

Out of eggs? I just have to ask (although I still try to buy eggs when I can). 8 ounces of cream cheese is 8 little portion cups, and milk and yogurt is plentiful.

I only really need to buy cocoa, flour, baking soda/powder, chocolate chips, and vanilla to make mostly anything.


Obtaining ingredients is the easy part, actually cooking is harder.

For one, we have approximately one whisk and one mixing bowl in our entire kitchen. Also, I’ve seen approximately 2 measuring cups (and lately I’ve only found 1).

Also, it’s hard to find enough cake pans. But hey, when I can’t find large cupcake trays I can always make mini cupcakes, and those are arguably even better.


I made these cupcakes last saturday morning because I woke up and wanted to bake something. I really had no reason other than an impulsive need to make something – anything, and at breakfast there was canned pineapples so I settled on hummingbird cupcakes.

These are fun little cupcakes, made with applesauce, cinnamon, pineapples and bananas, and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (I still have some I have to use up in the fridge ahhh).

They’re really easy to make, though I do advise you don’t be like me and do it to avoid actual responsibilities like homework, because you’ll probably regret it (like I did) later. Still, it’s hard to feel much regret when you have plates of cupcakes in your room.


Oh, and another great part of college? Always someone willing to lend a hand and eat baked goods. It’s great because at home there are inevitably some leftovers that go in the trash, but here that’s not a problem.

Anyway, I should probably go and finish my essay at some point…

Hummingbird Cupcakes 

Recipe here.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon  salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup natural applesauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 cup pecans (I omited because nut allergies)
  • 2 large bananas, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toast pecans in oven for 5 minutes, then remove and chop into small pieces.

Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.

In another bowl, mix the eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until no streaks of flour remain (be careful not to overmix).

Add pineapple, chopped pecans, and banana pieces and gently stir.

Pour batter into paper-lined cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes for large cupcakes and around 10-15 minutes for mini cupcakes.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ c. (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • powdered sugar, to taste
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Whip cream cheese and butter together. Add sour cream and whip until fluffy.

Gradually beat in powdered sugar to taste, then add vanilla and cinnamon.


Quinoa Cupcakes (Gluten Free)


This morning Tumblr informed me that it was Chomps of Life’s 2nd birthday.


That means that I’ve been making posts, albeit infrequently, for 2 entire years.

For someone who is always switching hobbies, 2 years of blogging is quite a feat.


Lately I’ve kind of neglected Chomps of Life, but that was mostly because my laptop was broken and I only recently got a new one.

Anyway, that’s besides the point.

The point is that Chomps of Life has been around for two entire years, and  that calls for cupcakes!

These cupcakes are inspired by my favorite quinoa chocolate cake. They’re soft, dense, and fragrant, and have a faint quinoa taste because they lack chocolate to mask the natural quinoa flavor.

Don’t let that scare you, though! They’re still delicious and taste like vanilla cupcakes. I gave my friend one, warning her that they were gluten free and made with quinoa, and she thought they were yummy. They are, they really, really are!

Look at that beautiful texture (and coloring – they’re naturally very yellow!):


Since I’ve only made these cupcakes once, this isn’t a perfected recipe yet (I’ll post an updated one eventually!). However, they are still delicious and I recommend anybody looking for easy gluten free vanilla cupcakes without 159384 different flours try them.

Quinoa Cupcakes

  • ½  cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Rinse the quinoa.
  2. Bring the quinoa and water to a simmer in a medium pot. Cook 10 minutes then turn off the heat and cover. Let rest for another 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.
  3. Alternately, put the quinoa and water in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and cook for around 8-10 minutes in the microwave. Then let cool.
  4. When the quinoa has cooled some, combine with the butter, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. If the mixture starts to separate, continue blending until homogeneous.
  5. Divide the batter among 12 cupcake liners.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for around 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out without any wet batter.
  7. Cool then frost with any frosting desired.

Fleur de Sel Cupcakes


I first met my Tibetan godmother, Yeshi, when I was extremely young, probably still in nursery school.  At first she was solely my Nanny, but eventually, her family (she married and had three daughters) and mine were so close that when my parents decided to move to a new house, they specifically bought a lot with two main houses (connected) so that my Yeshi and her family could live with us.  Strange, I know. Whenever I try to explain how my godfamily and I are “related,” I always get a few blank stares.

Anyways, here’s to the 11th birthday of Yeshi’s eldest daughter, Lhaga.

She’s the most helpful, selfless, and considerate person I know, and she’s way too mature for her age (she’s more mature than me!).  She’s the one that’ll join me when I clean up my room, assist me when I bake, and help me without any complaints.  Happy birthday Lhaga, I hope your life as an 11 year old is amazing!

Fleur de Sel Cupcakes

*NOTE: All recipes are below.

  • 1 batch chocolate cupcakes
  • 1 batch Buttermilk Caramel Syrup (there will be leftover caramel, yum!)
  • 1 batch whipped chocolate ganache
  • Fleur de sel sea salt
  1. Cut out cylindrical pieces of cake from the center of the cupcakes, and fill with the buttermilk caramel syrup.
  2. Frost the cupcakes with the whipped chocolate ganache.
  3. Sprinkle with the fleur de sel sea salt, and enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  1. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso power in a large bowl.
  2. Add the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients, and whisk together for a minute, or until homogenous.
  3. Pour in the boiling water, and whisk until smooth.  Batter will be quite runny.
  4. Pour into ~30 cupcake wrappers, and bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted without any crumbs. Cool completely.

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

*NOTE: Does not taste like buttermilk at all.  It’s quite honestly the best caramel you will ever eat though. 🙂

Recipe originally found here.

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 tbs corn syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a large pot (And I cannot stress large enough.  Stick caramel sauce on a stove is not fun to clean up….not that I know ;P) combine all the ingredients but the vanilla.
  2. Boil on medium heat until deep golden brown colored.
  3. Take off heat, add vanilla, and then stir until combined.
  4. Cool completely.

Whipped Ganache Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (1 pint, I believe)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (1 bag of chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Heat the cream until just about boiling.  Pour over the chocolate chips and allow to sit for a couple minutes.
  2. Whisk the mixture until completely smooth.  Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Place in a fridge until cold (it’s essential that it’s not the teensiest bit warm).
  3. Beat with an electric mixer until the frosting holds its shape.  Enjoy! (I honestly like whipped chocolate ganache more than this nutella frosting, shocking, I know!)

Faux Hostess Cupcakes



At the beginning of the summer, I’ve joined a Tae Kwon Do program at the YMCA with some friends.  Why? Well, it looked like fun and during the summer, I hate being bored  (btw curing summer boredom is also a reason for the existence of this blog).  For a while at least five of my friends would do Tae Kwon Do together, but eventually that number dwindled to just two, my friend Sonia and I.

When Sonia went on vacation with her family, I was desperate to find another friend to go with me to Tae Kwon Do.  My friend Cecile (acciobojan on Tumblr) was the only person available to go with me, but convincing her to do Tae Kwon Do was no simple matter.  She had done Judo as a child, found it horrifying, and was reluctant to do any martial arts with me, even if only for an hour.  It turns out, cupcakes are good negotiators, especially when they’re filled with marshmallow cream and topped with ganache.  It’s a win-win situation for both of us!

Recipe for Faux Hostess Cupcakes here.