Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sam's 4th Birthday Cupcakes

I baked these cupcakes for my son's 4th birthday last month. I've mentioned before that I have 2 sons, but they aren't with me. I don't talk about them on here a whole lot because this blog is a cheerful place and I use it to share photos and recipes, not to talk about my personal life. Just thinking about my boys makes my heart sing and I am so proud to be their mother, but the fact that they died is sad and I understand why others wouldn't want to read about them all the time. I love Sam and Jack with all my heart but I don't want to be a downer so when I want to talk about them and their memory I talk about them on my other blog. Still, today I needed to talk about my first born, Sam, so I hope you'll stick around for a bit. I don't write about them so you'll feel sorry for me, I write about them because they are my children.

On August 15th, my Sam would have been 4 years old. It seems like just yesterday he was born and other times it seems that this has been my reality for an eternity. Both Sam and Jack were born still in the second trimester 6 months apart. I have a weak cervix and it gave out under the weight of the babies, which caused them to be born early. They were fully formed babies, just too little to live outside the womb. I never got to bring them home, sing them lullabies or nurse their wounds, but I can parent them the only way I know how. One of my jobs as their mother is to make their birthdays special.

This year for Sam's birthday, the in-laws came over, we went to dinner and we had a balloon release. I also made these hummingbird cupcakes with mascarpone frosting. I wanted something that a 4 year old would actually eat and enjoy so I went for a moist fruit filled cupcake and a light and fluffy, but not too sweet frosting. I've made Hummingbird Cake before, but I didn't want too much cake leftover so I halved the recipe and baked them into cupcakes. I have to thank Maranda for reminding me how good this cake is. It's not too dense, but it is a substantial cake. It's sweet from the crushed pineapple and mashed bananas so I opted for a fluffy mascarpone mousse-like frosting rather than cream cheese icing. The combination really was nice and I can only hope that Sam would have liked them as much as we did.

Hummingbird Cupcakes adapted from Paula Deen

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 very ripe large banana, mashed
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 15 cupcake indentions with liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, oil, pecans, bananas, pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs. Stir well with a spoon until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter evenly amongst 15 lined cupcake indentions, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 22-26 minutes or until the tops spring back and are golden. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove and place on a wire rack til completely cool.

Makes about 15 cupcakes.

Mascarpone Frosting from JustJENN Recipes

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a medium bowl combine mascarpone cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir together until smooth, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form – don’t overdo it, the last thing you want is for it to curdle.

Fold the whipped cream, into the mascarpone mixture until combined.

Pipe or spoon a generous amount onto cooled cupcake.

Makes enough to generously frost about 18-20 cupcakes.

NOTE: I used pecan halves and candied pineapple for garnish.

Happy birthday my sweet boy!

58 comments:

megan said...

What a sweet tribute to your son. I'm so sorry for your loss but what a wonderful way to celebrate his life.

Treehouse Chef said...

You are a remarkable woman! I love the way you and your family celebrate Sam's B-day together.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Sweetie, you go ahead and share your memories of your boys. I know how much they mean to you. I can tell how much love was put into baking these cupcakes. My heart celebrates and hugs you, at the same time.
xoxo,
Debby
PS: One of these days I'm going to make this darn cake. Really!

Esther said...

Hi Monica, it's great that you still celebrate your son's birthday. I know it's hard for you because moms always love their children and if something bad happens to their children they will be heartbroken. So it's ok to express your feelings on this blog. I'll keep on supporting you and your blog. I hope you feel better soon, don't be too down. God Bless you!

Jeanette said...

What a touching and inspiring tribute to Sam.

Julie said...

I think any 4 year old would be delighted to have these cupcakes, and very lucky to have you as a mother.

tamilyn said...

What a beautiful way to honor your sons. I love the balloon release with the personal messages. I know they floated all the way to heaven for them to see.

Much love to you my friend,
Tami

Selba said...

Delicious cupcakes. I believe Sam is smiling from heaven :)

June Freaking Cleaver said...

What a fitting tribute...balloons and cupcakes.

I love hummingbird cake (I made one, and cupcakes, for our wedding).

I'll have to give your frosting a try...sounds great!

Oh, I made the Fluffer-Nutter Bars...ho hum. I'm writing about it (and you) for Wednesday's post.

Katie said...

I think its wonderful that you look back and celebrate their birth with your family all around you. Lovely idea to release the baloons.

jelena said...

Life deals us a full hand with the bad and the good. It is what we choose to do with that hand that changes our life. You are a remarkable strong woman and I admire what you have done so deeply. It takes a lot of courage to face up to sad memories and celebrate them! I am sure they are looking down on you and smiling!Thank you for sharing with us!

cybil said...

I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. I pray for you today.
Warm regards from Geneva/Switzerland,
Sibylle

Katie&Wags said...

I am sending you the warmest thoughts all the way from Australia where reading of your loss saddened me greatly.

Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} said...

Monica,
I know it's hard to share such intimate details about your life. What you and your husband have gone through make you who you are today. Strong. It's hard not to think about the what ifs and what could've been. I believe that you will see them again someday and that your joy will be great.
Christy

From the Kitchen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
From the Kitchen said...

Monica:

I'm glad that you are sharing Sam's birthday with me. How delicious those cupcakes look. What fun the balloons with their sweet messages are. And what a special mother you are to not just keep the boys in your heart but celebrate their precious lives with joy and openness.

Best,
Bonnie

cookies and cups said...

oh monica ~ what a gorgeous way to pay tribute to your sweet boys. And you KNOW there are cupcakes in heaven!!

♥peachkins♥ said...

Those are amazing cupcake....




The Peach Kitchen
peach and things
blowing peachkisses

Smitten Sugar said...

The cupcakes turned out beautiful! What an amazing way to pay tribute to Sam!!

Kristen said...

what a lovely tribute

Peggy Clyde. said...

I never knew that you lost two children. I am very sorry to hear that. Keep remembering them in special ways. Thanks for all your great recipes.

Avril Miller said...

Sending you warm hugs Monica :-) You are truly an amazing and beautiful mommy in every way possible! I love this special cake recipe that you made into cupcakes. I made it last year for my beloved mom's BDay - it was a huge hit!

Thank you for sharing your special day with all of us! And Happy Happy Birthday Sam! xoxoxo

Keeley said...

Thank you for sharing Sam's birthday with us. I don't view it as depressing, I see this as real. I think that it's commendable taht you are able to celebrate his life. You are his mother.

I've never had a hummingbird cake. I've bookmarked several recipes for one, so maybe I'll give it a try!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

You are amazing. We went through years of infertility (it took me 9 years to get pregnant) and I always felt lucky that I never actually got pregnant and lost a baby. Still, it was a heartbreaking time and all these years later I remember how hard it was to be around children, to watch everyone else have baby after baby.

I love that you keep the memory of your children alive the way you do. You are definately a wonderful mother.

Cassie said...

You're an amazing mother, Monica. Your boys are so lucky to have you. I love that you do this tribute every year, turning something that must have been so heartbreaking into a celebration. You're so strong!

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

He would have loved them! You made me happy and feel so blessed that you decided to share this with us. Thank you.

www.sweetcreationsbystephanie.com said...

Sam,
Happy 4th Birthday!!


Monica,
What a lovely tribute to your son. My niece was also stillborn in my sisters 6th month of pregnancy on 5/18/09. My heart is with you and your family

Stephanie

Tia said...

wow, those are some nice, sophisticated flavors in these cupcakes! I would like one for MY birthday :)

oneordinaryday said...

Sending hugs.

Maria said...

Beautiful tribute and cupcakes for your son. Hugs my friend!

The Coupon Goddess said...

I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. My daughter Nina died during my 9th month of her pregnancy. It's a wound that never totally heals. Sending you much love and prayers for peace.

Kate H. said...

What a precious tribute to your baby! I pray that you find comfort, only the Lord can bring!

Melanie said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate your son's birthday. I personally love hearing about your children and the love you have in your heart for them. :)

Maranda said...

Happy birthday Sam!!!!! I'm so proud to have had a little place in your day. You make your mom and dad so proud!

The cupcakes look delicious Monica. I love the pecan and candied pineapple topping. And the mascarpone frosting sounds so good! You are an amazing lady!

Anonymous said...

Rest assured, your precious babies are safe with Jesus and they are waiting for their Mommy and Daddy to join them.Are you ready?

Heather said...

Happy Birthday Sam!

Thank you Monica for having the strength and courage to share such a personal experience with us.

Ingrid said...

You're an amazing mom, Monica! Never forget and never be afraid to talk about Sam and Jack.

Love you!
~ingrid

Lukesmommy said...

Happy Birthday Sam :)

Healthy and Homemade said...

A wonderful way to celebrate <3 It always makes me sad to read about your boys, but happy for the love you feel for them! The cupcakes look wonderful.

Denise said...

That is a wonderful post and I'm so glad you celebrate their birthdays. Just melts my heart.

Denise

Allie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this tribute to your son for all the world to see. Readers don't just want "happy", we want "real". Thank you for being real and vulnerable and relatable. I am truly touched by your post.

joycee said...

Such a blessing that Sam and Jack were a part of your life, if even for a brief moment in time. They will forever be in your hearts and celebrating their birthdays is so important. The angels surely bake them cakes! Sending love to you on this most special day...

Brooke said...

Happy Birthday to your little man.

I love that you share your boys birthday cakes with us. They may not be here to taste them but I'm sure they are feeling your love.

Mary said...

Monica, what a terrible loss. Your tribute and remembrance of Sam is very moving. I'll be back to visit again. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

The Captain's Daughter said...

Hugs from me to you. Today and always!

Julie M said...

Monica, I found your blog today through Maranda. What a beautiful way to celebrate your son. I am so sorry for your loss but love that you are able to celebrate them in such a beautiful way.

SouffleBombay said...

Beautiful cupcakes and a loving celebration {hugs}!Thanks for sharing Monica <3

Natalie said...

i love that you celebrate for your boys. i'm so sorry for your loss but they are blessed to have a mom that remembers them like this!

Memória said...

Happy birthday, Sam!! You have such an amazing mom. *HUGS*

P.S. I'll be sending you an email soon.

Andrew's Mom said...

XOXO

Kerstin said...

Such a beautiful post and cupcakes to celebrate your little one - hugs Monica.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! My story is very similar, and in fact, my son Gideon would've been 4 on July 25th. We lost our 2nd the same way (his name was Samuel, too!). I also have an incompetent cervix and had to have a cerclage placed with my 3rd pregnancy.
I think it's wonderful that you had a celebration for their birthdays! I wish I had done the same. It helps to remember them. :) <3

bella (roz) said...

Oh Monica, this is the most beautiful and precious post that I have EVER read. I love how you continue to celebrate the lives of your boys . . . and I believe that they see your baloons and taste your cupcakes in heaven. My thoughts are with you dear! And I support you for whatever you wish to chat about on your very own blog, especially your beloved children! Blessings, Roz

Lukesmommy said...

Yummy yummy cupcakes and super easy. Your review was spot on! Do you have any other suggestions for a sub with the marscapone cheese. It was hard to find and expensive....What do you think cream cheese would work as well?

Hummingbirds are my "thing" for my son, it was cool to make these thinking of him and Sam :)

Monica H said...

Lukesmommy- I'm so glad you made and liked these. I'm also glad that they reminded you on your son. Thanks for thinking of Sam too.

Yes, cream cheese could work just fine in place of the mascarpone.

~Monica

Kristin said...

Hi Monica,
I hope you are doing well. I'm lifting you and your family up in my prayers. I think your boys are incredibly proud of you too!
Blessings!
Kristin

J Nixon said...

The more I read, the more I feel I get to know you, the more I like you. It feels like you're an old friend. Thank you for sharing.

Nate the Great said...

Hi Monica,

I, too am the mother of a four yr old and I know both of your boys are loving you from heaven and thanking God that they were able to have you as a mommy! May God continue to help ease your pain and multiply the joy you feel remembering them. Thanks so much for sharing yourself and your recipes!

Lisa

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