Chocolate Cupcakes + Orange Cream Cheese Icing


Hi everyone! Happy Monday! Last week I posted a few snapshots of a recent baby shower I helped host. This week I wanted to give you the details on the chocolate cupcakes with orange cream cheese icing that I made. I made the daisy cupcake toppers out of water, powdered sugar and meringue powder. I piped out the shape of the flower on a Wilton flower nail and then let them harden for a few days. Go here for a good tutorial explaining the process if you are interested.

The chocolate cupcakes are a mix. I often make cupcakes from scratch, but I use a mix when baking simple flavors such as chocolate, white or yellow cakes. I have found that the boxed mixes are just as good and a lot more convenient in these cases.

I do, however, ALWAYS make my frostings from scratch. Interested in this recipe? Get it below!

Orange Cream Cheese Icing (Adapted from the Cake Mix Doctor)


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 oz bar of neufchatel cheese
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • orange zest from 1 orange
  • orange juice from 1 orange


  1. cream together first two ingredients
  2. beat powdered sugar in one cup at a time
  3. add orange zest and juice
  4. beat with electric mixer until smooth


Frilling Eats: Orange Marmalade Cake


Friends, full disclosure here.  This is in no way healthy.  This is in every way decadent, stick-to-your-hips, raise-your-blood-sugar, delicious.  To make matters worse, it’s easy. Apologies in advance.

One day, shortly after T was born, I happened to be lounging, nursing her and watching PBS, which is pretty much the only TV we have, being as we went cable-free over 2 years ago (and never looked back).  Well, P. Allen Smith’s show came on.  And he was making this Orange Marmalade Cake, which instantly grabbed my attention.  How could it not?  It looked so delicious and simple and fresh and lovely and scrumptious.  And it has lived in my mind ever since.  Finally, an excuse came along to make it: to celebrate the visit of a dear cousin.

Yellow cake, plus layers of mascarpone cheese, cointreau-tinged marmalade, slivered almonds, and fresh clementines.  Well, I will refrain from tempting you more.  But if the opportunity arises, and you feel like a splurge of gooey sweetness is in order, look no further.

PS: I made this with a gluten-free cake mix and it was fairly magical.


March 8, 2013 11:08 AM | Comments | Categories: Food, Recipes | No Tags

Frilling blogs: Skinnytaste


This week, I needed some quick, easy, healthy and new recipes, so I headed over to Skinnytaste, which has been my go-to food blog since last summer when a good friend let me in on the secret! I love it because all the recipes I have tried so far have been tasty, the blog is easy to navigate and all of the nutritional information and weight watchers points are provided for every recipe. To top it all off, she also has plenty of options for people with dietary allergies or preferences, such as myself!

Here’s what I’m making this week. All photos are via the Skinnytaste blog:

Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime

I made this one already, and it was so easy and full of flavor. I used the leftovers to make delicious chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day! Yum!

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

I also made these already. Roasted veggies of any kind are my favorite so I knew these would be a win from the get-go!

Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Parmesan Sauce

I haven’t tried this one yet, but the recipe looks so easy. Plus, I love anything with sautéed leeks. I have my brown rice spaghetti noodles ready to make this meal gluten free.

Dairy-Free Lemon Pudding

The main ingredient of this recipe is cauliflower! We eat cauliflower a lot of different ways around here (as a substitute for pasta, potatoes, etc.). Plus, I love any kind of citrus treat. I’ll let you know how this turns out!

What are your favorite food blogs? Have you tried anything from Skinnytaste before? Do you have any recommendations for us?

March 7, 2013 8:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Food, Recipes | Tags: , , , ,

Melinda’s German Chocolate Icing


Mmm.. Yum. My husband’s birthday was last week (remember our post on iFly?) Every year he asks for either carrot cake or German chocolate cake, and since we had carrot cake last year, I decided to whip up a batch of gluten-free cupcakes and use his mom’s delicious icing recipe to make them extra special!

I’ve used this recipe before (on a Father-of-the-bride’s cake order for Cake Jubilee). That was when I first learned that German chocolate cakes are the hardest to ice EVER. Seriously. I remember freaking out on the first one thinking I was doomed. But somehow it always comes together.

I frilled up the cupcakes using coconut shavings and chocolate chips, and I also added pecans to the little 6 inch cake. But the icing on these treats is the star of the show. It is absolutely delicious; so much so, that I had to share the recipe! (Also, thanks to Aunt Cindy for my newest cupcake stand!)

Melinda’s German Chocolate Icing: 


  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup or so of chopped pecans
  • 1 cup or so of dried coconut
  • 3 beaten egg yolks
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Cook all ingredients in a saucepan over the stove at high heat, stirring often until thick.
  • Spread on cake or cupcakes.
  • Enjoy with milk!

(I tend to cook it over the stove for about 15 minutes and then refrigerate it until it has reached the desired consistency.)

February 26, 2013 12:30 PM | Comments | Categories: Cake Jubilee, Food, Recipes | Tags: , ,

A frilling tea party: the spread


A few weeks ago, Fran’s mom and I hosted a lovely tea party to celebrate the future arrival of my newest niece (come on Baby T.; we’re ready for ya!).

We served a variety of different teas, such as English breakfast tea, which was served in this beautiful silver tea service Fran and Lyle’s mom inherited from her mom years ago. We all sipped on tea, enjoyed cool weather and the company of fabulous women, and for a morning, allowed ourselves to feel a little more fancy than we usually are.

We decorated the table with fall decor: autumn-colored flowers and miniature pumpkins, and we served all kinds of little treats one might find at a tea.  It was the ONLY weekend so far this fall where it was cold enough to wear a jacket. It was the perfect day for a tea party.

We had cucumber cream cheese as well as olive and nut tea sandwiches. Yum, YUM:

We had blueberry and lemon poppy seed scones with strawberry jam, and we even scoured the city to find traditional clotted cream:

We served grapes and a variety of sliced apples and cheeses:

We had lemon bars, too (recipe here):

I baked tea cakes from scratch using Paula Deen’s highly rated recipe. I even tasted a bite of one even though they weren’t gluten free. They were very tasty indeed:

A lady from Fran’s church brought  this baby-carriage themed cake she whipped up! How sweet and thoughtful!

We had such a fun time planning a creative and beautiful celebration. Baby T. isn’t even here yet, but she sure is loved. Sometimes the small, but FRILLING extras in life can be the most gentlest reminders of love. I think we may start having tea parties more often. Stay tuned for more sneak peaks of the party planning!

October 23, 2012 2:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Food, Parties, Recipes | No Tags

Flourless Quinoa Pancakes


For a while I’ve been on the hunt for a great low-glycemic, flour-free pancake recipe.  I couldn’t find one.   I was inspired by this recipe, which I tried out and didn’t like.  The texture just wasn’t pancake-y enough and the flavor too eggy.  So I did the only sensible thing, and invented my own Flourless Quinoa Pancake recipe.

The Stuff:
2 c cooked quinoa
1/2 c almond or coconut milk
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 packets stevia powder
dash cinnamon
1 tsp (or more) vanilla extract

The Do:
Process the quinoa in a food processor for 1 – 2 minutes, until the shape of the kernels is no longer visible (sorry, I should have photographed this).  Add the eggs and milk, and process another few seconds.  Add remaining ingredients and process until the batter is well mixed.  Batter should look like this:

Scoop batter, 1/4 cup at a time, onto a hot skillet coated with coconut oil or butter.  We like to sprinkle pecans or walnuts on ours at this point.

Makes about a dozen small, yummy, protein-and-fiber-rich pancakes.  Use whatever toppings you love.  We like pure maple syrup if we’re splurging on sugar. I’ve also made my own sugar-free blueberry syrup using xylitol, with good results.

August 13, 2012 10:19 AM | Comments | Categories: Food, Recipes | Tags: , , , ,

Guest Post: Frilling Cocktails by Caitlin – Pimm’s Cups


Hey everyone! Today’s post is written by Caitlin, who absolutely FRILLS us when it comes to fun, fresh cocktail recipes. Be on the lookout for Caitlin in the coming months, as she continues to share some of her frilling cocktail recipes! 

With the London Olympics approaching and it being so incredibly hot here in Philadelphia, I wanted to share my favorite summertime drink using an English based liqueur: Pimm’s Cups!

A Pimm’s Cup is a great, refreshing, and delicious cocktail that is easy to make, low in alcohol content, and it’s one of those drinks that everyone and their grandmother has version of. Therefore, it’s hard to mess up and once you feel more comfortable with making it, you can start putting your own flare to it.

I called upon my friend, Sudeep Rangi, to put in his two cents. Sudeep recently moved to Philadelphia. Prior to that he has been behind the bar of some of San Francisco’s top cocktail and bar programs including: Smuggler’s CoveComstock SaloonThe Burritt Room, and Wo Hing General Store.

Me? I’m just a lover of summertime cocktails as well as hosting get togethers that include a signature drink. So, here’s how to make our version of a Pimm’s cup:


1 large lemon cut in half

4-5 fresh mint leaves plus a sprig for garnish

2-3 cucumber slices plus a slice for garnish


1 oz. sparkling water

2 oz. Ginger Beer

2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1

Squeeze half of the lemon into a glass. Toss in your mint and cucumber and lightly muddle to release the oils.

Line the glass with sliced lemon (if you want to get fancy) and fill the glass with ice. Add your sparkling water, Ginger Beer, and Pimm’s No.1. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of cucumber or lemon.

And there you have it! A summertime cocktail to wow your friends – a drink that you can make right in the glass. You don’t have to shake it, blend it, or do anything complicated. Once you feel more comfortable with making the drink, start throwing in whatever fruit you want: strawberry, watermelon, blueberries, etc. Just be sure to use fresh ingredients.

What’s your favorite summertime drink? Share in the comments or post on Instagram with #frillingcocktails


July 31, 2012 10:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Food, Frilling Cocktails, Recipes | Tags: , ,

Raw Cashew Blueberry”Cheesecake”


Mmmm… this cold, sweet, creamy pie is packed with fiber, protein, healthy fat, and antioxidants.   Grain-free, gluten-free, raw, vegan, low-sugar/low glycemic… whatever your dietary needs (unless you have a nut allergy), this pie is sure to suit.

I have made this about a gazillion times over the years, as it is one of my favorite healthy sweets.  But this time I substituted some xylitol for some of the agave to lower the glycemic load and overall sugar content.  I based my recipe on this one, but with adaptations.

The Stuff:
1/2 cup raw pecans, (almonds or walnuts could also work)
1/4 cup soft Medjool dates, soaked, pitted
1/4 cup dried figs, soaked (optional.  You can use all dates, 1/2 cup total.)
¼ tsp. sea salt

1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours (overnight is best)
juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted (just place the jar in warm water to melt)
1/3 cup sweetener (I used half agave nectar, half granulated xylitol.  You could use honey if you prefer.)
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen.  I get the big bags of organic frozen blueberries from Costco.  You can use any fruit you want, really.  I’ve used strawberries, raspberries, mango…)

The Do:
Place nuts, dates, figs, and sea salt in your high-powered blender or food processor and combine till the whole mixture is sticky.  Spread the mixture in the bottom of a pie pan.

Next, place all the ingredients for the filling in the blender or food processor and blend until everything is smooth, no lumps allowed.  The mixture should be thick, similar to the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

Pour the mixture into the pie pan on top of the crust mixture.

Chill the pie for several hours, until the whole thing has set and is the consistency of a cheesecake.

Enjoy a healthy high-protein, low-sugar dessert!


July 23, 2012 2:28 PM | Comments | Categories: Food, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

Creamy Protein Fudge Pops


I said I was going to make fudgesicles, and I did!  Only I didn’t use the recipe I mentioned.  I just made up my own.  They are yummo.  Gluten-free, low-glycemic, vegan, healthy-protein-and-fat-packed, delightful fudge pops.  These are hearty enough to be an actual healthy snack, not just a sweet treat.  The addition of avocado and coconut oil makes the pops as creamy-dreamy as store-bought fudge pops.

Here’s what you need:

2 scoops chocolate-flavored protein powder, your choice*
1 large avocado
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
optional: a little extra stevia to taste, depending on how sweet your protein powder is

*I used this Total Vegan, which I don’t love the flavor of and am trying to use up; but it’s gluten free, contains only 4 grams of sugar per serving, and is a complete vegetarian protein.  Fortunately, B isn’t all that particular about the flavor as long as it’s sweet and creamy.  I prefer Manitoba Harvest Chocolate Hemp Protein , but you can use whatever brand you like for your particular needs.

Put all the ingredients in your blender, and blend till smooth and creamy

Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds, or in our case, the Zoku. Freeze overnight, or wait the required 7-9 minutes for the Zoku Pops to freeze :)

Eat em up! (“Yummy Sicles”, as B says.)

July 9, 2012 2:49 PM | Comments | Categories: Food, Lifestyle, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

Homemade Sparkling Green Tea Spritzer


My mom and I just read Kat James’ book, The Truth About Beauty, which is chock full of sound nutritional advice, healthful product recommendations, true-beauty advice, and much more.  As a holistic nutritionist, I don’t feel like Kat told me anything I didn’t already know about how to eat well for health and beauty, but just reading the book got me inspired to shift back to eating in a better, less sugar and grain-heavy way.  I feel like ever since our move from San Francisco, I haven’t had my own kitchen and have compromised on a lot of my eating habits; namely, the sugar intake was getting out of hand.   I got out of some of my good routines, and needed a kick in the pants (in this case, Kat’s book) to get back to them.

So, all that to say, the sugar has to go, or at least be seriously reduced (sugar is no good for pregnant ladies anyway).  Kat has tons of great ideas for this, so I took some of her ideas and mixed them with my own ideas to formulate this delicious Sparkling Green Tea Spritzer.

Fran’s Sparkling Green Tea Spritzer:

First, brew up a cup (or a pot) of green tea.

Sweeten the tea with a healthy natural sugar-free sweetener (healthy = not splenda, not nutrasweet, not equal, not aspartame of any kind).  I chose vanilla-flavored liquid stevia, which comes in a variety of flavors you can find at your natural foods grocery.   You could use xylitol, or plain stevia, or leave unsweetened with a squeeze of lemon or a teaspoon of unsweetened cranberry juice like Knudsen’s Just Cranberry.

Fill a glass with ice and then fill that glass halfway with green tea (you should prolly wait for the tea to cool, but I never can; I just pour the hot tea right over the ice).  Fill the remainder with plain sparkling water.  This is where a Soda Stream comes in handy, if you happen to have one; otherwise canned or bottled carbonated water will do.

And there you have a healthy, antioxidant-rich, slightly-sweet, lightly-fizzy summer beverage.  Enjoy!



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fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.