Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pink For The Cause

It's October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So I dedicate these pink cupcakes to my wonderfully courageous grandmother, who is a breast cancer survivor. woot! She has endured quite the battle since her diagnosis in the fall of 2007. She had her first surgery, a lumpectomy, in February of 2008 and had to have a mastectomy in April of the same year. Her recovery was slow because she's a diabetic and she had some other complications but she is ALIVE and well- thank God!

The thing that I find interesting or miraculous about my grandma's detection is that she had never, in her 66 years, had a mammogram. My aunt (her sister-in-law) convinced her to go get one and that's where they discovered her lump. Her life was forever changed after that. I think part of never getting an exam was that it never crossed her mind to do it. It wasn't something that she thought would ever happen to her. But it did happen to her, and it can happen to YOU or me. Please don't think that you can't be affected. Don't think that you're too young, or too old, or that no one else in your family has/had it so you're exempt. No one is exempt from cancer. Get a breast exam.

Okay, I'm stepping off my soap box. I just think it's important and more and more people are being diagnosed with breast cancer than ever before. I want you to save your own life, so please do a monthly self exam and get yearly checkups.

On to the fabulously pink cupcakes. It's my go to recipe, only this time instead of adding frozen strawberries, I added freshly diced and made them into cupcakes. I topped them with my all-time favorite vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and sprinkled them with pink non-pareils. Strawberries n' cream anyone? Make some for the women and men (they can get breast cancer too!) in your life and remind them of the importance of a self breast exam. Remind them to think pink!

Strawberry Cupcakes adapted from Monica and Joy

Printer Friendly Version
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 small box strawberry Jello
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced
  • 2 Tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tin with 24 paper liners or grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.

In a small bowl or a measuring cup, dissolve Jello in hot water. Set aside and let cool while mixing the rest of the ingredients.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, baking powder, oil, eggs. Thoroughly mix in the gelatin mixture.

Coat chopped strawberries in flour and fold into cake batter.

Spoon into prepared pans and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes for cupcakes and 30-35 minutes for 2 9-inch pans. Bake til toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in pans before inverting onto a cooling rack or cake platter. Cover in frosting of your choice.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined. Then add the vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, and powdered sugar and beat at low speed, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.

Makes enough to generously frost about 30 cupcakes.

NOTE: If you're going to pipe with it, you need all 5 cups of powdered sugar so it's stiff enough to work with.

We think PINK!


Coley Loree said...

Love the cupcakes! I am making PINK ones for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. I will try to post a picture! I was curious to know, what tip you use to pipe out your frosting. They look great!

Shar said...

Thanks for the photo with recipe! (Hope it wasn't too difficult to add.) :)

♥peachkins♥ said...

live the cupcakes and the last photo wherein all of you are in pink!

The Blue-Eyed Bakers said...

Gorgeous pink cupcakes (love the strawberry idea) for a fabulous cause!

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

I love the pink. My MIL is a breast cancer survivor and I feel strongly about it too!

Cassie said...

The picture of your family is so adorable!

The cupcakes look great, and I appreciate this post so much. Breast cancer has affected our family too.

Sue said...

You just stay on that soap box! I've been getting mammograms since my late 20's, when I found a lump and had to have it removed. It was fine, but I've had one yearly since.

These cupcakes are so pretty...I'm saving this recipe.

Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

LOVE the family pic! What a gorgeous family!

And the cupcakes looks delicious. Cream Cheese Frosting is one of my favorites, but I've never been able to pipe with it. I'm going to have to try your recipe. :)

oneordinaryday said...

You get back on that soap box and keep shouting. With all the insurance issues now, it's more important than ever that we keep pushing for our right to have mammograms. They save lives, and your brave grandma is a wonderful example of that.

Avril said...

Adorably beautiful and yummy! - and for such a good good cause...Bravo Monica!!!

LOVE the "pink" family pic too! ;-)

Furry Bottoms said...

Not only are your recipes so yummy looking, you are a wonderful photographer. I wish I knew how to take such good clear detailed pictures like what I see on this webpage.

Unknown said...

those cupcakes are beautiful- i want to learn to pipe the frosting like that so it comes out so perfectly!

Amber said...

Sweet family picture! Those cupcakes are darling and look scrumptious!

Hennifer said...

Those are gorgeous!!!! and that frosting is to die for.

But what I love most is your grandmother's survival and your family photo!!!

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

This is just like my go to recipe for Strawberry Cake too, Love it! Next time I will be making with this Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting. I love your family picture, very cute :) And great post about your Gma and importance of taking it into your own hands, so glad she made it through! Let's take care of ourselves...we are worth it!

Unknown said...

Congrats to your grandma for making it through that. That must have been scary.

These cupcakes look delicious and absolutely beautiful. Well done!

Julie said...

Love the family photo! So glad your grandmother is doing well...she's an inspiration. All I can say about the cupcakes is *drool*

Abby said...

Very cute! I was just thinking today that I need to bake something pink this month! I have a go-to strawberry cake recipe, too. Soooo good.

karen said...

I am sending this recipe to a friend who has a son with cancer. She is always asking us for dessert recipes so she can bake them desserts for the nurses when they go for kemo. These cupcakes look delicious and will definitly lift the hospital spirit.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Great post Monica .... and for so many reasons. Obviously your cupcakes are outstanding and strawberry is always a hit in this house! Your decorating is so pretty too! Thank you for sharing the recipe, but also for being one of the only foodie bloggers out there posting about Breast Cancer awareness month!!!!! Great news about your grandmother's courage and strength to overcome! Roz

Mandy said...

The recipe looks great! I am a new commentor, commentee, idk what would you call it? lol Been following your blog for abt a month just wanted to say, Thanks for sharing your story and giving your grandmother a voice on your blog where more can hear her story of survival. It's an amazing thing. We are fresh off having my father in law's chemo. He's in remission from stage 4 colon cancer. So I can relate just a little bit.
Just a reminder to anyone if you feel something wrong don't wait go to the docs and make sure so you don't end up with something you will have to fight for your life against. Thanks again.:)

Also where did you find the wrappers? (hopefully online lol) I am in a teeny town SE of Dallas too far from civilization and have nothing here other than walmart lol.

Mimi said...

It is inspring to hear stories of breast cancer surviors. Wishing your grandmother continued success on her journey.
Your cupcakes are a perfect way to celebrate our progress in the battle aganist breast cancer.

Monica H said...

Coley Loree- I'm so glad you're supporting breast cancer with PINK cupcakes! I can't wait to see them. I think I used a #21 star tip for these cupcakes.

Shar- it wasn't too difficult at all :-)

Peachkins- Thank you!

Blue-eyed Bakers- Perfectly pink!

Christy- I'm so glad you feel as strongly as I do. COngrats to your MIL for fighting back!

Cassie- Thanks! Yes, unfortunately cancer does not discriminate- it's everywhere!

~Monica H

Monica H said...

Sue- Early detection is the key. I'm glad you're still around my friend!

Leslie- Thanks so much! Yes, do try this frosting. I make it all the time- it's SO good!

One Ordinary Day- I'm staying on it!

Avril- Thank you and thank you :-)

Aunt of 14- Thanks! Practice makes perfect...or nearly perfect. ha!

Kylie- It really is simple, once you have all the proper tools. THanks for the compliment.

~Monica H

Monica H said...

Chocolate Covered- Thank you!

Hennifer- You're too kind. Yes, it is to die for!

Natasha- WE ARE WORTH IT! I'm so glad she made it too. I don't know what I'd do without her.

Maranda- It was scary and we were all in deinial that it was happening. I'm glad he's still here.

Julie- She is such an inspiration to me. Thanks for the comment.

Abby- there can never be too many pink desserts around :-)

Karen- I hope your friends son makes it through. THese would be perfect for the nurses.

Roz- THANK YOU! and you're welcome!

Mandy- Welcome to my blog. THank you for stopping by! Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I will be think ing of you and your FIL and hoping for the best.

I got the cupcake wrappers from HEB. THey're made my Reynold's. cute, huh?

Mim- Thank you for your support. We both appreciat eit so much!

~Monica H

Anonymous said...

ur husband is such a sport to have worn pink to support the cause, and i cant tell you enough how prettiful are ur cuppies. I am glad that ur grandmother is doing well as well!

From the Kitchen said...

Monica: I'm glad that your grandmother is doing well. And, that's a great photo of you and your husband and the furry ones. The cupcakes look yummy. The photography makes me green (or pink) with envy but I'm practicing and improving little by little. I'm so inspired by all the wonderful photography of my blog "friends".


Donna-FFW said...

I love your photo.. you guys look GREAT!!

The cupcakes look so so so pretty, Monica! Your talent never ceases to amaze. I MUST try your go to recipe.. MUST!

Kristen said...

great message and recipe!

Monica H said...

Crustabakes- He wears that shirt all the time! There was no twisting of arms, I promise. He's a manly man :-)

Bonnie- Thanks hon!

Donna- Thank you. Yes, give it a try. It's yummy and it smells so good too.

Kristen- Thanks!

Nonna said...

These look scrumptious !

And I totally agree with regular exams to catch diseases in their early stages. I saw our neighbor go through breast cancer,chemo & radiation and reconstruction...not for the faint of heart to survive and live on but she had a family history, got he check ups and caught it early and she is over 6 years past her illness, happy and living life well !

Ingrid_3Bs said...


While I don't know anyone that has battled breast cancer. (Glad to hear that your grandma kicked cancer in the butt!) Cancer has been rampant in my family the past couple of years.

Btw, that cream cheese frosting is d'BOMB!

tamilyn said...

I whole-heartedly agree. My grandma got it when she was 75 years old and survived for 16 years (that sounds bad-she died of other reasons-not from the cancer) and my sister-in-law has been cancer free for three years, and another good friend has been cancer free for 10 years. And after having an abnormal scan this year, all I can say is go have the mammogram. It is 10 seconds of squish that doesn't hurt as bad as you think and it can save your life. Save the Ta-Ta's!!

Debbie said...

Beautiful cupcakes Monica! I met a woman just last week whose husband died one year ago of breast cancer. He was stage 4 when they discovered it. So it can happen to men too...

Lemondrops Simple Stuff said...

Sadly,not many are unaffected by the horrible disease cancer. Just keep praying for a cure. I am so glad your grandmother is a survivor. And thank you for sharing the cupcake recipe, another one I must try!

kelly said...

i got a mamogram this month and posted about it! prevention is the best care!!
too cute cupcakes!!

Souffle Bombay said...

My daughter squeeled when I showed her these cupcakes! And you know what I am completely behind in the whole mamogram thing....I am calling tomorrow, thanks!

Janet said...

Thank God for your grandmother's survial!! My aunt wasn't as fortunate, and you're SO right about getting our mammies grammed! I never miss the opportunity when the exam is offered at work each year!

Your cupcakes are beautiful, but the best part of this post, besides the news of your grandmother's victory over BC is this photo of your family!

Nia said...

Just made these today...They turned out AMAZING!!

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