Today's guest blogger is Natalie from Bake & Destroy, and guess what? It's also her birthday! If you just can't get enough (we can't either!), also visit her on Flickr and buy her stuff (also awesome holiday gifts) on Etsy. Please make sure to give her a warm welcome and Happy Birthday wishes and do check out her awesome cupcake holiday gift guide!
For most of the past 29 years, I've been overly excited about my birthday, but my birth date itself had little significance. Sure, 12/12 is easy to remember- but other than the fact that it's also Frank Sinatra's birthday it never stood out to me as anything particularly special. Until today, that is.
You see, after two years in the baking/blogging business, I'm guest blogging on the grand daddy of cupcake blogs - Cupcakes Take the Cake - on what? On my birthday, dude! And suddenly it occurs to me- 12/12 is like, the luckiest baking number ever! Twelve? How is this the first time it's occurring to me that my birthday represents a perfect dozen? It's like Martha herself was smiling down upon me that frosty winter day - she turned to my mother and said, "Lo, a baker is born this day." Or something like that.
So how better to celebrate not just my 29th birthday but also my amazing discovery - that this is more than just blogging, this is destiny - than to name a dozen cupcakes I would like for my birthday (please.)
These requests are in no particular order, so feel free to get them all for me. Thank you.
1. Giant Cupcake Cake by Debbie Does Cake
To quote my good friend CM Punk, "It's ain't a party without cake." And dang, what a cake this is from Debbie Goard of Debbie Does Cakes! I first fell for Debbie's sassy mouth and amazing cakes when I saw her in a Food Network Cake Challenge and her Flickr stream is my favorite thing to do instead of work at work.
2. Basically Anything by Every Day is a Holiday
Whereas part of me is all death metal and horror movies, there is a part of me that longs to wear pink party dresses and live among the fairy folk. This part of me is to blame for my obsession with Jenny's sweet, vintage-bakery-inspired artwork. Her sparkly mixer ornament in on my tree right now, and I keep my precious sprinkles in a jar adorned with her girly paintings.
3. Ice Cream Cupcakes by Hello Naomi
Dear Australia, why are you so full of amazing cupcake makers? Is it the kangaroos? Is it Crocodile Dundee? I don't get it, but whatever it is, keep it up. These were the first cupcakes by Naomi I ever "favorited" on Flickr and they're still my favorite. More, please!
4. Johnny Cupcakes, Yo.
I actually received my first-ever Johnny Cupcakes shirt for my birthday this year thanks to my wonderful friend Jennifer. But I have lusted them for years now, and as long as dear old Johnny keeps making gold grills with cupcakes and Fred Perry knock-offs I will continue lusting.
This is actually a formal request for Cakespy to move in with me. Yes, her artwork is hilarious, her buttons and magnets adorable - but what I would really, really like for my birthday is for Cakespy to come to Chicago and let me carry her around in my pocket like a little sugar glider. (I met her over cupcakes a few months ago, which is how I know she could actually fit into my pocket.)
6. Food Friends by Caged Tomato
I never thought I would see the day I had real, actual artwork to replace my Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Samhain posters in the living room, but like most other good things in my life, I have cupcakes to thank for it. Between Cakespy's original pieces and these fabulous prints by Carrie at Caged Tomato, my son might not end up needing therapy from my home decor after all! (I love food with arms and legs. Etsy sellers take note.)
7.Donut Cupcake by The Bleeding Heart Bakery
This is one of Michelle Garcia's monthly charity cupcakes - a few dollars from the sale of each went to a charity benefitting Chicago police. I had the pleasure of eating this cupcake (and contributing to the charity in support of the sweetest cop mustaches in the country) and it was stupidly delicious. I loved it so much that my husband had to ask me to quit describing it to him. "But the chocolate cream was so fluffy! The glaze so sweet! The jelly inside... I don't even like jelly and it was the best jelly ever!" So please, Michelle, please make these again and make sure you call me when you do.
8. Happy Cupcakes by Be Cheery
Are you hugging your screen right now? It's OK if you are, because I am too. This cupcake wants to be your friend. She wants to sleep over and stay up late talking about kissing boys and whose brother smells like cabbage. I wouldn't eat you, friendly cupcake, you're too cute. But should you accidently fall into my mouth you're on your own. Thanks Jenny!
8. Vegan Deliciousness from The Urban Housewife
OK, so it didn't go so well when Melisser and I tried to bake vegan cinnamon rolls together (swearing alert) but her vegan cupcakes, cakes, cookies and pies are on-par, nay, superior to any dairy-dessert, any day of the week. If you're in the San Francisco area you can veganize your sweet tooth via Sugar Beat Sweets.
9. Metal Cupcakes
My husband can't believe I don't like KISS. I mean, I guess you would assume I like them because of all the makeup and pyrotechnics, but the bottom line is ballads make me go crazy and smash things and that's kind of their bag. Ballads, and at best, hard rock - but not metal. Regardless, Nadbakes managed to make them metal when she made this tribute in cake. This is the only time I would ever let Gene Simmons near my mouth, for the record.
10. Cupcake Pendant by Pnut Jewelry
If I did own a $230 cupcake necklace from Pnut, I might spend a few minutes thinking about how many actual cupcakes 200 bucks could buy. But the sparkle-sparkle and the New York hardcore street cred would make it all better. I'm still waiting for the cupcake, switchblade and brass knuckles charm set. Oh, and I'm also waiting for a rich uncle or secret admirer to buy it for me.
11. Carebears? Yes, Carebears.
You may be surprised to hear that I was a Carebears fanatic when I was a little kid. Actually, it was all Carebears and Rainbow Bright until I first heard Kill 'Em All by Metallica and then it was basically all downhill after that. Previous to my wrestling boots-and-headbanging-phase I used to make my dad read me Carebear books every night before I went to bed. They were really, really long and he'd usually abridge them to something like, "Uh, then the pink bear said some stuff and everyone was happy. The end!" So these cupcakes from Bakerella bring me back to the good 'ol days even though I'm almost 30 now. Yikes.
12. The Return of Cupcake Blog
No pressure, Chockylit, but I miss you terribly and I want you back. I know you're really busy with the little one and what I can only imagine to be a really busy life, but here's the thing - there's a Cupcake Blog-shaped hole in the Internet and only you can fill it. I know I don't speak for only myself when I say you inspired a whole generation of baking bloggers. Well, you consider it - you know, for me. Until then I'm thankful to you for leaving your killer recipes posted for the rest of us to marvel at.
So there you have it, my dirty dozen! Any of these cupcakes would make this 12/12 a day to remember, but if you're at a loss, I also accept cash.