Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Homemade Pizza & Cupcakes


Hey lovelies! What’s better than spending your weekend in the kitchen cooking up some delish recipes? And what says weekend better than pizza?! This Saturday my mom & I felt like spending the day with our aprons on cooking & baking up some yummyness (is yummyness a word? …it should be :)). We made what I think is a great weekend meal combo, homemade pizza & chocolate cupcakes! Yes, it may be a little indulgent, but the weekends are for going a little crazy, right? ;)



(Recipe found @

I tend to be picky about my pizza but this was a great recipe for dough and it made the pizza so good! We had never made homemade pizza crust before but it was really simple and fun to make. You just have to wait patiently for the dough to rise and do it’s thing. We piled on tons of sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and generous sprinklings of basil, oregano, & red pepper (can never have too much red pepper). We made it in a cast iron skillet since we don’t have a pizza pan and turned out great that way! It made for a delightful Saturday night meal!




4 cups bread or all purpose flour (white)
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 packet active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil (any good brand), but extra virgin is best
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar, or 1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup milk or 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven 450°F.


Using a large ceramic mixing bowl, or any suitable food safe bowl, add the flour, make a "well" in middle, and put in 1 teaspoon salt, stir to combine well. Set aside.

Prepare the starter: In a liquid measuring cup pour in 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon sugar or honey, and one package of active dry yeast. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes. Allow to foam up (or proof).

Next, mix the starter (yeast water) and the milk in the bowl containing the flour with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir together using a wooden spoon or clean hands.

Note: You will need additional flour to knead on the surface that you're working on. Knead for about 8 minutes or until you get a smooth elastic rubbery dough ball.

Set aside in bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil to keep the dough from drying out. Let dough sit covered lightly with plastic wrap or use a plate or damp clean towel to cover it.

Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes to an hour. Flatten dough and press out into a circle to fit the pan it will be baked in. Spread it out evenly, don't be afraid to lift underneath to stretch the dough. Sprinkle baking pan with yellow cornmeal or Farina. If you don't have these on hand you can use flour or simply grease the pan with olive oil using a paper towel.

Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce, spreading out using the back of a spoon, then add shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese, and jack or Parmesan cheese.

Layer on some cooked meats, and add pizza style vegetables, such as mushrooms, sliced peppers, and chopped onions.

Bake for about 12-14 mins, but watch it!

When the bottom looks slightly browned and the pizza looks bubbly, remove from oven.

Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake -
(Recipe found @

And then … after pizza…

We made these beauties for dessert!


I was in a cupcake mood (when am I not), and I felt like being creative & coming up with a new and delish cupcake combo… but alas, supplies in my kitchen were limited so I stuck with what I know, and made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. But they were still stellar if I do say so myself!

This recipe by Hershey is my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It’s the best made from scratch cake recipe I’ve come across. It’s always so moist and chocolaty. My family & I have been using this recipe & the One Bowl Buttercream Frosting (recipe below) since I was a kid. But this time I did make a few tweaks.

I happened to have a bar of Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate lying around the kitchen so I melted half the bar & added it to the batter, along with a few tablespoons of coffee granules. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it made extra rich and chocolaty. And then when I made the frosting, I mixed in some mascarpone cheese. I’ve done this a couple times before, and let me tell you, it's now my favorite way to make frosting! It comes out so creamy and velvety!

After the cupcakes came out of the oven I added in a couple candy kisses in the center of each one.. now I know that’s a lot of chocolate in one cupcake but if you’re feeling a little crazy give it a shot! Hey, it’s the weekend after all. ;) Pipe on the lovely frosting, top with pretty sprinkles, and devour!  


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired. 8 to 10 servings.

One-Bowl Buttercream Frosting -
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa or Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Hope you all had a fun & relaxing weekend! :)


  1. This food looks simply awesome. I've never seen a pizza prepared in a cast iron skillet before. What a great idea!

    1. Thanks! It was an idea born out of necessity really since I don't own a pizza pan, but I was very happy with the results! Hope you'll try it sometime. Thanks for the comment, Faith! :)