First Day of Spring

Happy First Day of Spring Girlfriends!!!

“Daffodowndillies are coming to town in a yellow petticoat and a green gown.”   Here’s some MUSICA to take you halfway to heaven . . .

“Daffodowndillies” is the charming name they had for daffodils during Elizabethan times. It’s very early, but here on Martha’s Vineyard, the daffodowndillies are in full bloom!  The cheery little sunshine flowers are everywhere, peeking out from under picket fences, scattered in clumps over hilly meadows fronting the sea, lined up in front of old rock walls; some look like they’ve just up and run away from home, they’re out on roadsides all by themselves with no house in sight.  With the weather we’re having, I forsee lots of Easter egg hunts this year, lots of spring celebrations. We had an Easter egg hunt here at the house one year when all my friend’s children were little.  It was so exciting, decorating all the eggs, and hiding them!!!  Oh I loved it, the kids were so cute in their little Easter clothes, tearing around the backyard!  My favorite part was decorating the children’s serving table.  I set it up on an old white, wrought-iron tea cart, tied the handle with pastel-colored balloons, made Rainbow Jell-O in a clear glass dish (so you could see the layers  of Jell-O), made a macaroni and cheese casserole, and cut up some carrot sticks; but the coup de grace were the cupcakes on a cakestand in all different pastel springtime colors.

Who doesn’t love the little cake things with the pink sugar icing?  So fun to decorate with gumdrops and sprinkles; much more fun than eggs!  Because of the connection between being “grown up” and childhood, cupcakes have, in the last few years, risen to the top of the food chain.  Even the word is charming, CUPCAKES.  Cuppycakes.  Who doesn’t want one. They are no longer the simple little frosted treat our mothers made as a matter of course . . .

. . . now entire stores have been built around them, where cupcakes are the only thing sold.  I have to say, not all cupcakes are created equally!  They have gotten as big as regular cakes for one thing.  There was this one little store, that shall remain nameless; all they sold was cupcakes.  So of course when we saw that word on the door, we had to go in.  In front of us, almost like a 31 flavors ice cream store, in every color of the rainbow, was an array of cupcakes laid out in a glass case, twinkling like jewelry, lit up with cake sparkles, shimmer dust, edible glitter, sugar pearls, chocolate jimmies, colored dots, bright candies cut out into hearts, stars, flowers, kitties, any imaginable thing. We figured, since all this store sold was cupcakes, that they had to be delicious.  But, as my mom would say, “That’s what you get for doing your own thinking.”  Because, although they looked pretty, the cake under all that decorated foldoral was dry and dusty, and the frosting, that looked beautiful and swirly,  was actually like eating a helmet.  It was hard; there were perfect teeth marks in it when we took a bite, like as if you had taken a bite of a stick of butter.

Cute is just not good enough in the realm of food!  Although it’s a nice start.  Why can’t we have both?  A charming little cake, moist and tender, with a light frosting that balances perfectly with the cake; cupcakes that aren’t too big, not too small; delicious enough for a tea party, wonderful in a lunch bag, perfect for an egg hunt breakfast.  Oh yes…that’s the way it should be.  And there is never a better time of year for cupcake adoration than right now. 

So, let’s go the carrot patch girlfriends and gather the ingredients we need to make little cakes that any bunny would love . . . Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

Chock full of nuts and fruit, they don’t fall apart when you break into them; the frosting is homemade cream cheese; these cupcakes are good enough to give to your children, almost classified as a vegetable if you expand your mind a little bit and are a creative thinker. The frosting can be colored any way you like.  Here we go, here’s how to make them . . . First off, in case you’d like to see the finished product . . . this is our goal . . .

I’m partial to pink and pastel frosting colors, but you can color the frosting and coconut bright green if you like, and make a springtime lawn on your cupcakes.

This recipe makes about 2 ½ dozen cupcakes; put liners in the cupcake tins and preheat the oven to 350°.  Here we go . . .

Set out cream cheese and butter to soften (for the frosting).

Put a can of crushed pineapple into a sieve to drain.

Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl . . .  I’ll give you the measurements at the end so you can print them out if you like.

Whisk in the brown and granulated sugars.

And then the canola oil.

Add flour, soda and baking powder; whisk until well mixed.

Grate the carrots and add them along with

all the rest of the goodies: cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut, golden raisins, chopped walnuts and the drained pineapple.  Stir the batter well.  See what I mean?  Pure health food!

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3’s full; put the trays into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the middle of one comes out clean.

Cool slightly (now is the time to quickly down three of them).  Frost . . . with

Cream Cheese Frosting

So easy, just mix softened cream cheese and butter together with a box of powdered sugar and 3 tsp. of vanilla until smooth.  That’s it!  Now the fun starts:

Divide the frosting into four bowls; keep one white and add a drop of food coloring to each of the other bowls; think spring . . . grass green, daffodil yellow, and cherry blossom pink. 

Frost them . . .

Right now, with nothing else done to them, these are perfect cupcakes, creamy, delicious, crunchy, with nuts and fruit.  BUT. . .

They are so fun to decorate! 

Kellee has been busy putting together kits of cute cupcake toppers for spring in our web store, including my dancing chickens  . . . which you actually make yourself . . .

They are so easy!  Scroll down a bit for the cupcake recipe all written out for you to print.  Hope you LOVE them!  A little (more) season brightener!

Happy Springtime Girlfriends!  Enjoy your

C A R R O T  C U P C A K E S

  • 4 eggs, well-beaten
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ c. canola oil
  • 2 c. unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 c. finely grated carrots
  • 1 c. sweetened coconut
  • 1-8oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 1 c. golden raisins
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Put cupcake liners in two cupcake pans.  See frosting recipe below and set out butter and cream cheese to soften.  Put the pineapple into a sieve to drain.  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Whisk in oil and mix well.  Put in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients and pour batter into cupcake liners.  Bake for 20 min. until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center of cupcake.  Cool slightly and frost with

C R E A M   C H E E S E   F R O S T I N G

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 8-oz. package cream cheese. softened
  • 1-1 lb. box of powdered sugar, sifted into bowl
  • 3 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  If desired, divide frosting into several bowls.  Add one drop of food coloring to each bowl until the color is correct. Enjoy girls!

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390 Responses to First Day of Spring

  1. Ann says:

    Happy Spring to Susan and all the Girlfriends! It’s overcast and rainy here in Maryland, but I have no reason to complain about the weather we have been having all winter. Your cupcakes look delicious. I would rather eat a delicious, moist cupcake that looks rather homely than a beautifully decorated one that tastes like dirt. I am always amazed to see a bunch of daffodils spring up in the middle of nowhere. A true harbinger of spring.

  2. Francine says:

    Good morning Susan! Oh I’m in Heaven! My two favorites – carrot cupcakes and daffodils! And your pictures are beyond words! So delicious! With this warm weather we’ve been having, my outside daffodils have been blooming like crazy! And I’ve got daffodils from the store in vases on my kitchen table and on the cocktail table in the livingroom. I have been enjoying them so much! Have a great day. I’m on my way to the store and I need to get the ingredients for carrot cupcakes! Yum! Thank you! Have a great day.

  3. {oc cottage} says:

    and a happy, happy spring to
    you too, cupcake…i mean susan! ;}

    m ^..^

  4. Martha Ellen says:

    Happy, happy springtime Susan and girlfriends! Can’t wait to make “practically health food cupcakes”. They look adorable! I’m sure they will be yummy!
    Spring arrived early in Va also—daffodowndillies are just about over and dogwoods are about to bloom in all their glory–I’m having so much fun working in the garden –it’s hard to do the indoor duties. Enjoy your day Susan and thank you for all the happiness you spread! xoxo ♥

  5. jeannine leonard says:

    love the daffodils, they are the flower of spring, When my emily was born, our pastor brought a vase of daffodils when he visited us, so I always get them for her birthday. The cupcakes look really yummy.

  6. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Happy Springtime to you darling Sue & all your GFs! My daffodowndillies are done, darn! They were so cheerful! Just can’t beat yellow on a cloudy day! Love the blog & the cupcakes 101! I’m allergic to pineapple so I think I’ll use oranges (match the carrots hahaha), because these cupcakes are so healthy, I need some!!! After all, I am trying to eat more fruit & veggies!!!! xoxoxo

  7. Heidi says:

    Oh Happy Day! Spring, Willard and a new blog posting. Thank you, Susan!

    Can’t wait to make the cupcakes with my mom for a fun, new Easter dessert.

  8. Wendy Louise says:

    Happy , Happy Spring , to all ! I”ve got the happy spring fever real bad! I have so many projects going at once, Spring cleaning, Yard clean-up , Garden makings, Painting. I feel like those chickens on the cupcakes ! I now want to make those cupcakes ! I know I’ll slow down a little, reading your Happy blogs helps, but I will make those cupcakes for our family Easter dinner. Thanks for the dessert menu ! You are a complete doll ! My daffodillies are 2 inches up, so hopefully they will bloom for the Easter Bunny. Have a great day everyone each day is a gift! OOOXXX

  9. Trish K says:

    Aaaahhhh! Birds singing, bees buzzing, butterflies fluttering…its in the air! Oh to be at home with an apron on cupcake baking..I can imagine anyway. This blog is my happy place!

  10. Donna Hamilton, Arkansas says:

    Happy Spring Susan and to all. The Daffodils are long gone here in Arkansas. They were blooming at their peak in late February because it has been so warm here. Now the Irises are blooming like crazy and all of the spring flowering shrubs are wearing their blossoms proudly. My hay meadow has yellow wild flowers in it this year and when I got home yesterday I found a family taking pictures of their children among all of the flowers. The kids looked so “springy” in their Easter outfits. What a pleasure to watch a Mom and Grandma taking pictures of those adorable children. I am so glad you posted your Carrot Cupcake recipe since I have been wanting to make a Carrot Cake for a while, but so enjoy a cupcake since it is automatic portion control (just have to stop at one). If only I were at home so I could go make them……..only another 8 hours until my office duties end and I can enjoy making those cupcakes. (Since I am single, I make the cupcakes, leave them unfrosted and freeze them. That way I have carrot cupcakes in the freezer whenever I need/want them; but, I must restock continually because word gets around that I keep a supply).

  11. Lori says:

    It is spring here in Indiana! This is the sixth day in a row we have had record breaking temperatures. Today we are expecting 84. I may have to turn on the air conditioner in order to bake … but your cupcakes sound worth it. Thanks for giving us the recipe Susan! (I was starting to wonder if you had forgotten about sharing it. I should know better.) Hope all the girlfriends are having a blooming good day!

  12. Carla says:

    Thank you for sharing the recipe, I can’t wait to try this one…you haven’t failed me yet. I was just wondering where you get a lot of your recipes because I find your recipes to be very unique (i.e. Basil Limeade). Do you get them from friends, cookbooks or do you make them up yourself? I always need to follow a recipe myself, I’m not very good at just throwing ingredients together and having it turn out. Wherever you get them, thank you so much for sharing, I’ve yet to have a recipe from you not turn out!

    • sbranch says:

      I make them up, just try things as I go along, putting two and two together, until they make four, which they don’t always do! So happy they work for you!!

  13. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thankyou for the pretty pictures and the receipe. Still can’t figure out how you take pictures and bake at the same time, My camera would be in the batter bowl with the batter.
    Painted a couple of watering cans yesterday. Got out my antique pitcher and its waiting for some of those daffys that you have.
    Started reading The Rib and Adam. Looks like a good read. Friends of Gladys Taber is where I saw it, so ordered it used.
    Happy Spring to you too!!
    Nancy Jo

  14. Tracy says:

    Alright, who’s with me?

    A Susan Branch SPRING!! book is a fabulous idea! Susan, won’t you create such a wonder for all your girlfriends?

    Tracy in Springfield, Illinois – where Spring came EARLY and we only had 5″ of snow all Winter – a rarity for sure.

    • Joy Pence says:

      I am with Tracy. Read the Girlfriend book over the weekend, just got the Summer book from Amazon, I don’t want to read it yet~~though I did peak inside for a preview :-), so a spring time book would be amazing!!! Please oh Please Susan??

  15. Norma Herrin says:

    Yumeee, I feel like I have been in your cozy kitchen this morning. I can smell those cupcakes. Happy Spring from Wylie Texas.

  16. Chris Wells says:

    The first day of Spring, a new blog and I got my Willard! It ‘s a great day. In the Willard you called spring peepers, “pinkletinks” I never heard that before. I no longer live where we have spring peepers, but it was one of my favorite things about spring! I have my dancing chickens ready to go. My grandson is coming to visit next week from Ohio. He is almost 4. Won’t he get a kick out of them?! And I can tell his mother the cupcakes are health food! Enjoy spring girlfriends!

    • sbranch says:

      How perfect! He will love them!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I haven’t received the Willard yet but have to laugh at the new name for Peepers. I don’t know what you said about them, Susan, but am guessing it is something about the beautiful sound of the spring peppers from the ditches in the spring–right?. There is a pond very close to our house and every year for 3-4 weeks there apparently is a “Peeper’s Convention” held there. It starts out with one or two singing across the pond, and then every night more voices join in. At the beginning, it is sort of beautiful… We picture them coming from miles away, marching 24 hours a day to come to the convention, and every night there are more voices added. About halfway through the 3-4 weeks, they start to sing 24 hours a day–non-stop! And more come and more come, and many more voices join in, until that last week the high-pitched “Zzzzzz” (make this with your tongue behind your front teeth and kind of curled against the roof of your mouth–think HIGH-PITCHED!) noise starts to resonate and sound sort of like an old fan with a high-pitched squeak squealing! Every year by the end of the 3-4 weeks I am hardly sleeping and I am telling my husband that NEXT year we are going on vacation for this week and leaving the “lovely sound of the spring peepers” behind! I actually feel that I am holding my breath until it stops… LOL!!! (for the uninformed, we think it is their mating call and figure there is an orgy at the end…) So, with this strange early spring we are experiencing this year, I’m just waiting for the call of the spring peepers to begin… LOL! 🙂

  17. Gert says:

    Oh Susan I want to come to your house!! Maybe I could tiptoe through the daffodils on the way to your back door! smile… And then I could come in and have a cupcake (or two…or three…hee..hee!) and maybe you’d send a couple home for my Tom!

    • sbranch says:

      If only! I believe in a future with computers that send cupcakes!

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Ha..ha..I can not wait….I will be the first to buy one…lol

        BTW ..I loved the music.we will be having a ukalali (sp) player entertaining us as I crown this years Queen of Everything and the new Princess of Quite A Lot! hee.hee what fun that will be!

        • sbranch says:

          Love ukelele — so 1920’s flapper! — also accordians (especially when they’re playing French Music).

          • Linda Pintarell says:

            All you ukelele lovers out there – please listen to JAKE SHIMABUKURO – He makes the ukelele sing – you will LOVE him. Check out utube or Amazon – my new favorite musician!

          • sbranch says:

            What an amazing talent! Thanks Linda!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        How about “beaming” each of us a cupcake to have with our cup of tea this afternoon? (as in, “Scotty, beam us up” from Star Wars”,,,) 🙂

      • Sarah says:

        Maybe that’s not far off. Have you seen that there are some cupcake companies that are trying out vending machines where you can just walk up and put your money in, and out pops a cupcake? Now THAT is progress! 🙂

        I agree with you about how cupcakes should taste. I just don’t get why people stand in line for hours to pay $5 for a cupcake that feels and tastes like a hockey puck. I like mine light and airy. Like little confectionery pillows. 🙂

  18. Sharon Byars says:

    Thanks so much for this idea. Now I know what to serve my book club next week. Carrot cupcakes! Needed some inspiration this morning and your decorated frosting photos are delightful. Will put them in the “Spring” mood.

  19. Charmayne says:

    The daffodowndillies aren’t blooming in WY yet but they can be bought in the grocery stores. That’s second best.

    I bought the Chicken Dance cupcake toppers kit. What a delight. Just to make the little chickie toppers stretch….I’m gonna back them with polka dot paper that matches the cupcake papers.

    Sorry, but they’re just too cute to use up all at once.

    Another thing, I love your packaging.

  20. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    Looking forward to another unseasonably warm day here in Wisconsin & even warmer tomorrow~ ! Spring Has Sprung!
    I will be making cupcakes again today~ made them for St.Patrick’s Day too ~but everyday is a Good day for cuppycakes! I thought we were the only ones who said that!
    Happy First Day of Spring Girlfriends!

  21. Cathy McC. says:

    Oh what a perfect day to receive this wonderful post! I am not a baker, but am preparing to make 60 cupcakes for the birthday party/open house for the first birthday of our first grandchild. You put so much fun into your baking that I am now looking forward to my task. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Enjoy this wonderful spring weather — and yes, the daffodils are smiling at us in northern Indiana, too. Ain’t life grand?

    • sbranch says:

      Enjoy your cupcake making . . . lots of people will be happy because of it!

      • Cathy McC. says:

        Thank you so much for your encouragement, and you were SO RIGHT — they were a crowd pleaser. The best was in the making, however. A girlfriend and I spent the early afternoon making the cupcakes. I couldn’t find all my cooling racks so we improvised by laying out all my knives and balancing the cupcakes on them, then putting more on my grease deflector which we rested on an egg carton! I’d never made buttercream frosting before, so 3 of my girlfriends came over (yes, Lucy and Ethel together with over 70 cupcakes) and we had the greatest assembly line applying frosting, pink sugar, pastel sprinkles, and the most fabulous edible glitter sugar to top them all off! Fortunately, they were not moving on a conveyor belt! I no longer have the “fear of frosting”! And we’re already looking forward to the next celebration so we can do it all again. Next time, I hope my daughters will be in town to be a part of it all 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          How fun! I love your resourcefulness! Using the knives was a brilliant idea! So glad it all came out well!

  22. Mary S. says:

    What a sweet surprise on this first day of Spring ! Happy spring-time to everyone and thank you for your letter to all of us today!! I get this feeling that alot of cup-cakes will be baking…yum…

  23. Priscilla says:

    Great post. But how much is a pound of powdered sugar. All my old frosting recipes in my recipe box list a box of powdered sugar as an ingredient. Problem is the stores in this town do not sell one pound boxes. I have been using 3 3/4c as that is what I think it is. Does your box list the cup equivalent?

  24. Linda Pintarell says:

    Cupcakes are definitely the “in” thing! I made them over last weekend for my St. Paddy’s Day dinner – pistascio (sp?), of course, with green frosting. Big Hit! Used the cute little red Ikea cupcake pan you so nicely told us about. Wild winds and storms here in Southern CA over weekend; today clear skies but chilly, chilly, chilly. The pellet stove got lots of use and just got turned on again. However, Happy Spring everyone…know it will warm up soon. Not complaining, mind ya, I know how fortunate we are. Such a perky, colorful blog gives a grand start to the day!

  25. Kimi says:

    Happy Happy Spring Susan!!!

    What a wonderful day too. I love the cupcakes every time I look at your food no matter what it is, it always looks sooooo homemade! you don’t try to make it look hard at all. You make it so that we can relate! thank you for being so down home I think that’s one of the reason I love ya I can sit back and just be with you here in a simple & happy way…..XOXO

  26. Donna Ray says:

    Daffodowndillies haven’t arrived here on the south shore of Lake Ontario yet. The cold lake keeps us about 20 degrees chillier than a few miles down the road, but the frost belt phenomenon gives us the reverse in the Fall……..a longer warm season (just a little morning science). But the lake is a National Geographic Special out there full of all sorts of water fowl. We saw over 100 swans last week!
    I’m definately going to make your carrot cupcakes tomorrow…. our reward for spring cleaning inside and out these next few days. That’s what you call a twofer, when you can eat vegetables for dessert……like chocolate zucchini cake!…’s a wonderful thing! Happy Spring Susan and Girlfriends!

  27. christie ray says:

    Good morning, dear Sue! My little yorkie girl Scout found a big square of sunshine on the floor in the dining room….walked right to it and stood there…basking in the warmth…with her tongue stuck out. I think she was sending a message to ole man winter;)
    The front yard is covered with little wild violets, and we discovered we have snowdrops along the walkway to the back yard. We weren’t sure what would come up since we moved into the house last summer. So I’ll have to plant some daffodowndilly bulbs this fall…they’re my favorite:)
    Happy happy spring!!

  28. Marilyn (in Ohio) says:

    The “daffodowndillies” are in full bloom here, as are some flowering trees – very unusual to be sure, but glorious!
    I’ve just decided to make cupcakes for Easter, thanks to your inspiration (maybe not the carrot ones, though – they probably wouldn’t work here!). Any ideas for another “springy” tasting cupcake?

    • sbranch says:

      Where are you? Poppyseed or lemon, orange or confetti cakes? So many fun things in the spring!

      • Marilyn (in Ohio) says:

        I’m in northeast Ohio, but I meant that the carrot cupcakes wouldn’t go over very well here, not a favorite.
        Your suggestions sound good, I appreciate your response.
        On another subject – Pinterest. I’ve just been reading some of the other comments & I’m so sorry! I’ve been posting your things just because I LOVE them – I had no idea that it could be bad for you! When I’m finished here, I’m going to delete my Susan Branch board from Pinterest.

        • Marilyn (in Ohio) says:

          As per the above, I have deleted my S.B board from Pinterest – so sorry if it has caused any harm!
          I have a request – I LOVE the quotations with your artwork & I know they are in all of your books & calendars – BUT – would it be feasible to have a book (or maybe a calendar) of just those? Or is there one & I missed it?! That would be just like me!:)
          Just a thought!

          • sbranch says:

            That’s a great idea. I should do a quote book! And thank you for understanding about Pinterest.

        • sbranch says:

          Thanks Marilyn, it’s not just me. Through the “Terms of Use” that everyone has to sign before they can pin, Pinterest made its members responsible and liable for copyright infringement; people who use Pinterest are innocent; who reads Terms of Use? No one!

  29. natasha says:

    happy spring miss susan!
    thanks for all the beauty and for the yummies! gonna make these for my staff!
    have a beautiful day.
    natasha in s.b.

  30. Rae Ann says:

    I heard the first birds chirping yesterday…haven’t seen a robin yet…it has been 40* warmer in western Minnesota than in years past…the weatherman said this morning it has been over 100 years since March has been this warm and it may be another 100 years before it is this warm in March again…haven’t seen any flowers blooming in the yards here yet…got all things bunny out yesterday so your carrot cupcake recipe is perfecto…waiting for Willard…

  31. Marilyn says:

    Happy Spring everyone!

    Those carrot cupcakes look wonderful, Susan, and I just love those polka dot cupcake liners. 🙂 Oh, there is something so special about pastel colors in the Spring.

    Daffodils are long gone here and even the flowering trees have given way to green leaves. I miss the flowering of Redbuds, pear and plum trees. It has been so warm (plus we have had some Spring rains here in drought stricken TX) that it seems Spring is already giving way to an early Summer. Currently my irises and roses are putting on a show – 2 of my very favorite flowers!

    Also, I loved your tour yesterday. There is something so special, so home-y, so solid about a New England town. You showcased it, beautifully!! Thank you so much for taking us along.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  32. Holly says:

    Daffodils! So lovely. My husband just walked by as I was reading, and said, “I like carrot cake.” Was that a hint?
    On a different note, I’ve been looking everywhere for a copy of your “Autumn” book, and finally found one! It came in the mail yesterday, and I stayed up late reading. I just love it. Now, to find one for my sister! When the internet became popular, she gave all her cookbooks away, thinking she didn’t need them anymore. Now, she is hunting for new copies. I know you can find everything on the internet, but I love my cookbooks!

  33. Betsy says:

    Susan, you should be a nurse!!! You always save me at the last minute. I was working on our Easter dinner menu last night. We have about 15 to feed and I ask everyone to be in charge of one item. I wanted a spring dessert…..not a huge cake. So now, your cupcakes it is! I am excited about making them! And I can’t wait to decorate! Happy, Happy, Spring!

  34. Mary in Phoenix says:

    When people imagine Arizona they might think of tumbleweeds and dry wash beds. Well, we might not have daffodils and lilacs but we do have wildflowers! Depending on the amount of rain we have in the winter, March and April can bring a carpet of the most beautiful wildflowers to our state. A drive from Phoenix to the Verde Valley where your dad lives can be a sight to behold … wildflowers ALL along the way, tucked among the towering saguaro cactus. Last weekend brought LOTS of snow to AZ and very chilly weather for us Phoenicians. Dropped my kids off at school and at least half the boys were still wearing shorts even though it was 40 degrees out. Warm weather is imbedded in their brains! Happy First Day of Spring! Thanks for the great cupcake recipe!

    Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s party!” ~Robin Williams

  35. BJ says:

    Can’t wait to try the yummy sounding (and looking) cupcakes. Our granddaughter, 2 years old, will be here for Easter this year and these will be PERFECT for the occasion.
    Daffodils are just starting to bloom here. I hope to work in the yard today and start uncovering new growth that has been protected with leaves over the winter.

  36. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Happy Spring Susan and girlfriends!
    The sun is shining and – finally – no wind today! The very last of our daffodils are blooming in a small pot. The garden just has freesias in bloom! The creeping phlox on the slope is starting to bloom and smells wonderful. Will appear as a hot pink carpet during the day!
    I wanted to say a special Thank You to the current and former San Pedro residents who have shared memories and comments in recent weeks! Susan’s idea to have us share where we live has proven to be another wonderful one! My daughter has always said that of all the places we’ve lived – San Pedro is the best!
    Cheers and hugs to all this spring day!

  37. Jan says:

    Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Michigan also – beautiful!! The carrot cupcakes look and sound wonderful!!! Wonder how they would be made in my large muffin tin without frosting ? I was thinking of perhaps a breakfast muffin. The frosted ones will be perfect for Easter though! Love the springy pastel colors of the frosting, and of course the added sprinkles, confetti, etc. My MOM used to tint coconut green ,put on top of cupcakes, and then set two or three jellybeans in the center to look like a nest. We loved them! Thanks for the recipe!!! Happy Spring!!

  38. Helen says:

    Susan ….. when can I come over to sample one of those “yummy looking” carrot cupcakes ??? 🙂 Happy Spring to you too ! Take care, Helen

  39. Lin says:

    Happy Spring, Susan!! These cuppies sound delish! Love anything with coconut and pineapple! I have a question for you……I’m a cardmaker, and would like to grab that cute chickie with a hat to print out and base a card around. Is that a no-no? At the very least, I’ll be pinning her to my pinterest board – I have one with just your art!

    We’re in FL until the beginning of April, and I’m afraid I’m going to miss the daffodils this year. :((((( Sending hugs!

    • sbranch says:

      I really don’t allow the use of my art since it’s copyrighted — if I did it for you, I would have to for everyone, and then it would no longer be mine. So sorry. The laws say that you either protect it or lose it. I do have concerns about Pinterest too … not because of Pinterest itself, because for the most part at least the art is linked back to me, but it can be taken off Pinterest without the link, and that’s what my worry is. Lots of artists are worried about Pinterest. There’s no protection — sometimes a person could lose 20 years of work.

      • Lin says:

        I completely understand, and if you’d like I’ll delete that board on Pinterest, too. Thanks for the quick answer, Susan!

        • sbranch says:

          If you wouldn’t mind? I hate to ask because there is already so much of it there . . . it doesn’t seem fair. But there’s just no way to “control” it — not that many hours in the day. I just sort of see it as a new world that’s still shaking out … we’ll just have to see what will come of it!

  40. Nancy M. says:

    Yum!!! Happy Spring!

  41. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    What a luscious name! Daffodowndillies. We get a history lesson and a cooking lesson in one blog. What a treat.
    The daffies are just coming up in our backyard but are definately up in the neighborhood.
    Thank you for the recipe… is a good one. Happy Spring everyone.
    xoxo Pam

  42. Angie Sybrant says:

    Happy 1st day of Spring to you too Susan! As a gardener, today is the best day of the year! The weather is a little iffy today in California, so maybe I’ll just stay inside and make cupcakes instead! Thanks for the inspiration, and have a great day! 🙂

  43. Hippy Hoppy Happy Spring A Ding Ding! See what you have done to me today . . all this talk of daffydowndillies (which is what I grew up calling them) and foldoral even . . such wonderful words . . You have fair put me in the mood for Spring . . even if the weather outside my cottage hasn’t done so today . .

    Sounds like a Campaign . . Bring Back The Tasty Cupcake . . to me! This is my second campaign of the day . . the first being Bring Back The Teapot! hmmmm, now, there’s a thought, cupcakes . . teapots . . sounds like Time For Tea!

    Wonderful words to roll off the tongue . . Cupcakes of substance and taste . . and a pot of tea . . sounds like a Girlfriends kind of day to me . .

  44. Sandy Richmond says:

    It’s the first day of Spring, and my 35th wedding anniversary today! Thanks for the delicious recipe. My daffodils look like they are almost ready to open. Can’t wait!

  45. Annie from Sydney Australia says:

    “That’s what you get for doing your own thinking!” That’s gold Susan absolute gold! Don’t mothers say the most fanciful things? When ever I’d fall over or hurt myself, Mum (Mom) would say “if you’d do that to yourself, what would you do to me?” Another thing an elderly neighbour would always say to me was: “can’t means won’t!” Lucky you, spring has sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where those birdies is? It’s cooling down here in Oz and moving into autumn…not a daffodil to be seen!

    • sbranch says:

      Making me laugh . . . yes mother’s have a way with words. Love “Can’t means won’t” — my mom also said that if I kept “that face on, it will freeze that way.”

      • Annie from Sydney Australia says:

        I’m having a good laugh about the ‘freezing face’….it’s not true….because I tried it just to see if it would freeze! lol

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          My mom said it would freeze that way if you did it when the church bells rang. She also said ” can’t means you don’t want to”.

          • sbranch says:

            How about, “I don’t care what everyone else is doing, if everyone jumped off a cliff would you do it too?”

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        We were told that about the face freezing, too. and also this one: If we pouted, we were told a big bird would come and sit on our lower lip! 🙂

        • JudyCinNC says:

          Another always from Mom – “pretty is as pretty does, young lady”.

          • Sandy Richmond says:

            If my brothers or I fell over or hurt ourselves, my mom would say “I think you’re going to live”

        • natasha says:

          my granpa always said ” if you keep your lip stuck out a bird will come along and poop on it” rolf

          • Annie from Sydney Australia says:

            I love all these. Girlfriends, you make me laugh…..out loud! I have a mental picture of a bird sitting on a pouting lip and have tears of laughter in my eyes! Thanks! ♥

          • Jack says:

            And for the fallen little one there is always the sympathetic comment “come here and I’ ll pick you up ”
            : -)

    • Annie from Sydney Australia says:

      Oh Jack (are you Susan’s dad?) If so, the sense of humour (humor) runs in the family and I love that comment! We could go on forever with this….it’s such fun! I promise this is the last one from me: when I’d fall over my mum (mom) would say “Oh no! You’ve put a crack in your bottom!” A little rude but oh so funny to a child!

  46. Gail Buss says:

    Susan, Loved the Willard and the blog……….cupcakes look so yummy. Yes, Spring has sprung! Think I will have to try your recipe for the carrot cupcakes. I know you love your kitties and I just read a small quick read by Debbie Macomber called “Family Affair” which I picked up at the library. I think you will enjoy the story as well as the kitties in this book! Enjoy! Gail (and Joe) Buss, Bev. Hills, Fl

  47. pat addison says:

    good morning susan, everyone Happy First Day of Spring!!! time to think about spring cleaning, and spring planting. love the daffodils, mine are up but haven’t bloomed yet but down by the pond at the end of the road they are in full bloom, go figure. i might just sneak down there and pick some for my spring table. have to hurry and finish this as i have to get back out and feed the chickens, ducks and turkeys, got all their water tubs and containers cleaned out and refilled and cleaned out the duck pool and refilled that, also fed the squirrels and got some hay out for the deer, gathered some eggs and swept out the henhouse and barn, and swept off the porches. then came in to grab some coffee and a bite to eat and its off and running again. its wet here today, i also have to clean up the yard debris left by the winds, looks like rain here all week. oh well gives the flowers and plants a good drink, cleans the bushes, shrubs and trees of all that road dust and gives the lawns a good soaking. hopefully my daffodils will bloom soon, my crocuses are just blooming and i even spotted some violets ( love violets) so i know spring has arrived here. have a wonderful day today everyone. Happy Spring. hugs…. 🙂

  48. Mrs. Wendy S. says:

    Yummo! These will be on the Easter brunch menu- thanks Sue!!!

  49. Jacquelyn Wirthlin .... Las Vegas, Nevada says:

    What could be better than daffodils and cupcakes! Two of my favorite things in the whole world. Going to a dinner party Wednesday evening and bringing the dessert. Guess whose carrot cupcakes will be my contirbution … LOL …. along with a big bunch of daffs for the hostess! Thanks Sue, you bailed me out.

    It is still a bit chilly here in the desert after all the wind and rain over the weekend but will be warming up again tomorrow. Had the air conditioning on last week. That is Spring for you. Loved the Willard! Each one surpasses the last. Thank you twice … once for todays post and again for Willard. Happy Spring to you and the Girlfriends.

  50. Kate says:

    Those untasty cupcakes sound like those perfectly wonderful looking cookies you see in grocery store cases, all decorated so prettily, but when you bite into them they are hard as rocks and have absolutely no taste. How can they do that to a cookie or a cupcake? Both are so easy to make. I will try your delicious sounding recipe and take some to my Sunday school class for Easter. The daffodowndillies are blooming early here in Indiana also.

  51. Linda in Texas says:

    I just finished re-reading “The Secret Garden” and “daffodowndillies” is what Dickon called them, too. Ours are mostly gone in North Texas, but the iris are blooming and wisteria is going wild. Oh, the fragrance! We had big rain last night and now that it’s stopped the birds are singing their hearts out and everything looks so green and fresh. Love spring.

    I really like your idea of dessert being pure health food. Thank you for the recipe.

  52. eugenia says:

    Sweet Sue,
    My oldest turns 25 this June. His favorite is carrot cake these little jewels will be perfect. Thank you for always inspiring. Little e

  53. zinnia patch says:

    Happy First Day of Spring, Susan! I just brought in my second bouquet of daffodills, since the weather here in central, Ohio has been so beautiful. ( we won’t count the thunderstorms, tee hee ) but so enjoyed visiting with you and wanted to thank you for the recipes. can’t wait to try the smoothie!!!! sounds like the pick- me- up i could use… It seems the more i have to do, the more i dream about doing it….tee hee!!!!! And happy Spring to all the girlfriends!!!!!

  54. Cuppycakes! They really are so muc fun and so IN now. A girlfriend of mine just opened a new cupcake shop called Sugar Buzz. You should see the frosting on these babies that she makes – it is so creamy and piled so high!

    Still love those dancing chickens!!

    Happy spring, Susan!!!!

  55. MaryAnn says:

    Happy 1st day of Spring to you, Susan! All the little signs are starting to appear. The daffodils make me smile. And the little violets in the yard are beginning to bloom. I brought a tiny bouquet of them in yesterday and they smell heavenly! Enjoy this wonderful day.

  56. Terri says:

    Thank you for the recipes. I love carrot cake, but I’ve never had it with pineapple and coconut! Yummmmm!

  57. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Happy, Hippity Spring to you!!!! And, I love Daffodowndillies. I cut some from the garden over the weekend and have them poised in my kitchen window – they make me smile everytime and smell divine. Even my little Rottweiller boy stuck his nose in one when I was cutting them. Wish I could have snapped a photo, but he’s took quick for me. It was just a-dorable! Thanks for the fabulous post. I LOVE cupcakes and was way ahead of the curve both figuratively (i mean my curvy figure) and literally with cupcakes which are now everywhere it seems. I agree wholeheartedly, don’t just a cupcake by it’s “cover”! Some are just awful! Yours look delish! And, will break out the muffin pans…soon! Hugs and love and sunshiney yellow daffodowndilliness to you!xoxo, Jeanette

  58. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    Happy Spring to Susan and all the Girlfriends! I am sitting here in my home office working, with my windows open, a brisk breeze coming in and hearing the birds having loud conversations, dogs barking, babies are being walked, the sun is shining and it is MUCH warmer than it should be for this time of year here! Not really ready for “sweating” weather, but enjoy the spring so much and hope that we haven’t skipped it entirely!… My first “look” of spring are the forsythia bushes.and Bradford Pear trees. How I LOVE to see them flower out, telling me that spring is here.. I clipped some forsythia branches and brought them in for my mason jar vase for the dining table… I am definitely making carrot cupcakes along with some vanilla cupcakes with fudge icing for those that are veggie-averse!!LOL..Those will be my Easter decor/dessert.. PERFECT timing and thanks for helping me plan! Can’t wait to read the Willard when I get off work!! Back to the grind for now.. Have a wonderful day all!

  59. Patricia says:

    It is so gorgeous out in upstate NY!! I’ve spent the last 3 days working on…….creating a garden! My first time ever and I have spent hours hacking away at the earth with a pickaxe. There must be an easier way but it’s how my grandfather cleared the ground for his gardens so it’s how my mother told me to do it! And I’m doing it and thinking about how I’m burning so many calories surely I deserve 1 or 2 (or 3) of those yummy cupcakes! My garden is only tiny (it just feels larger when I’m working!) but it’s a start. Yay Spring!!! xx

    • sbranch says:

      Tiny is really best, you can get some really wonderful things in just a tiny space — and then it doesn’t turn into “work!”

  60. Kate B. says:

    Happy Spring, although we are running a few weeks behind here in the Pacific NW. Last two years ‘real spring’ didn’t come til almost June. I’m really missing that big, yellow orb! Also very tired of rain and gray. I remembered last fall that you had a link to amazon for a lightbox? to help with S.A.D., do you still have it? Thanks so much!

    • sbranch says:

      I learned something new — Vitamin D!!! I haven’t had to use the light box since last fall, I just take D! It works!

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      Hi, Kate~
      I, too, was feeling the effects of a long, cloudy winter and really feeling blah…I borrowed a light box from a friend for 2 weeks…it helped a little. I was already on a Vit D supplement but at my girlfriends’ urging (including my friend, Susan Branch), I went back to the doctor. Turns out, my D was very low and I am now on a prescription D for a few months. Apparently, this is a very common problem for those of us who live in cloudy areas…and I think the Pac NW qualifies!
      My energy has returned and I feel so much better….hope this helps, Kate.

  61. Pam T. says:

    Yes, Spring is springing isn’t it? After a few days of dreary skies and rain, it is now perfectly spring-like and appropriately it is “Spring Break” for us here. YAY! Carrot cake!…great minds think alike…I made one (wish I had thought to make it into cupcakes!!) for hubby’s St. Patty’s Day Birthday. So yummy!! Now to top it off, if I could just find some Daffodowndillies (LOVE that!), they do indeed sing “Spring, Spring, Spring” with their little trumpet heads. I am often delighted to find them at the check-out at Trader Joe’s. Always makes me so happy when I do. I think I’ll stop in there today! Have a lovely Spring day, Girlfriends….”Where ever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own Sunshine” (Anthony J. D’Angelo) 🙂

  62. Linda Pintarell says:

    P.S. Your new GIRL PARTY cake toppers are fantastic! I just looked in your shop and ordered some. “Like” – “Like” – “Like”!!! Had not seen them before; so darn cute!

  63. Sandy from New Vineyard says:

    HAPPY, HAPPY first day of Spring!! What beautiful cupcakes! They reminded me of the ones I had over this past weekend at a baby shower for my daughter. (My first grandchild is on the way next month:)! We had both yellow and chocolate cupcakes with big swirls of wonderful frosting in assorted pastel colors and BIG polka dot sprinkles on top. We called them baby-cakes. Very fun and very yummy! We decorated with daffodils and pussy-willows (or some people call them catkins). And speaking of cats, it’s my special kitty’s 13th birthday today as well as a beautiful, blue-sky, robin-singing, sunshiny, warm day. Many things worth celebrating!

  64. Jennie says:

    I agree- cupcakes should be cute AND delicious! Will be trying this recipe for sure- thank you, Susan!

  65. Cyndi Harp in NC says:

    I love cupcakes and I really love carrot cake! I like I can take one and not see the whole cake sitting there. It’s one portion. Also you can freeze them and have a treat but not have the whole batch at the ready. *L* Yummy! The little chick picks are just thing to bring a smile to your face. They are adorable!! When I met my husband he was pretty much a chocolate gut. But I made him a carrot cake and he was in love! Just goes to show! Have a great day girls!

  66. Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

    Ahhhh…..Spring and daffodowndillies! Yummmmm…….carrot cupcakes!!!!! <3

  67. Maryellen says:

    Hi Susan – I like the way you think. I do believe that, with both carrots and pineapple, these cupcakes are so nutricious that we should consider them the perfect breakfast food! Our daffodills are all smiling at us here in Northern Ohio – I am still in shock. We are usually counting inches of snow on the first day of Spring here. Today we should reach 80 degrees!

  68. Marie says:

    Happy Spring everyone! It was a beautiful sunny day here today. There are tadpoles swimming in our pond with the goldfish, and we planted out our sweetpeas and pansies. Cupcakes are a real favourite here too. Who wouldn’t like a whole little cake just for them! Love the musica!

  69. Wonderful and healthy recipe for cupcakes, Susan! They look so pretty decorated with your cute dancing chicken picks. I am definitely in a cupcake mood today! 🙂

    Happy Spring!



  70. Mrs. Joan Keller says:

    Happy Spring to you too! Here in Tenn. Spring flowers are about gone. Spring came early this year. We still have flowering trees of pink and purple.
    We all have enjoyed Spring flowers and do not like to see them gone. Roses will bloom next….they are looking healthy and made it through the Winter.

  71. Claudia says:

    I’ll have you know that I played “Daffy Down Dilly” in my Kindergarden Show. I had a green dress with a yellow petticoat. That particular performance was the start of my career in theater, which is still going on to this day, oh-so-many years later! Thanks for the memories!


  72. Doreen Strain (from Florida) says:

    Oh Susan, seeing the daffodils makes me want to Spring clean. Open the windows,let the cool fresh air in as I bake up a batch of those delish carrot “cuppycakes”! I’m in heaven….easter eggs, jelly beans, daffodils, bunnies, little baby chicks…oh yes….Spring has sprung! Oh…I forgot PUSSYWILLOWS! Don’t ya just love the feeling the whole idea of spring gives you girlfriends? I know I’m ready for the whole experience!
    FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  73. JudyCinNC says:

    We will be trying these very quickly – and the recipe does “read healthy” – thank you, thank you for sharing.

    One of my favorite A.A.Milne quotes …

    “One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
    This has been stenciled on my sewing room wall forever and just makes me smile.
    Judy C

  74. Happy Vernal Equinox, everyone! Those cupcakes look sooooooo good, and I know they are because I’ve made a very similar carrot cake – the kind with the works; pineapple, coconut, pecans, raisins….soooooooo good.

    I’d make these this very minute if I wasn’t dieting. Seriously, I’m eating carrot sticks and hummus as I read this.

    Agony, lol…

    ♥ Carolee

  75. Mary Ann - Central Highlands of Mexico says:

    Happy First Day of Spring Everyone! Thank you, Susan, for the beautiful daffdowndillies! Time to get out my sparkly white butterfly wings and flutter around. They also do double-duty as fairy wings. The cupcakes looks sooo delicious. I’m on a low-carb diet but I may have to break it for these yummy-looking beauties. Tra la!

  76. Georgie says:

    Daffodowndillies are blooming away here in NJ! In the span of just a few days, the surrounding landscapes have exploded with color, beautiful pastel purples and pinks along with bursts of yellow. It’s all just too beautiful for words. I feel like a little girl again. When I’m outside, my eyes don’t know where to look first! What was once a blank coloring book last week is now a vibrant picture worthy of display in the finest art gallery!

    Susan, the recipe sounds and looks scrumptious! We served carrot cake at our wedding with cream cheese icing. YUM! I may just have to make these for our Saturday gathering when we have family and friends over to celebrate our 16th anniversary. What a grand time that will be.

    Your pictures are eye candy for all of us. Your writing is good for the heart candy! Both have long lasting effect! When I click on my email notification, or visit your blog, I always feel like I’m opening a gift written just for me. Do you know just how special you make us feel? I do hope so!!! Thank-you dear long distance sister-girlfriend XOXO!

    Georgie from NJ

    P.S. And how I love those Polka Dots!!!

  77. I greatly enjoyed Willard today and have sent off for Elizabeth and Her German Garden from my State’s lending library. Here in Maryland our daffodils have exploded onto the scene as well, and the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom in Washington, DC. A wonderful time to visit the nation’s capital! And you’re welcomed to stay with us and my husband knows his way around town. With 3 bedrooms empty I have plenty of room. It would be a return of your “hospitality” for all the places you’ve taken me with your Blog!

  78. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Happy, Happy first day of spring!

    Thank you for the scrumptious recipe, Susan!
    I can’t wait to try them.

    Heading out to my deck now to soak up a little vitamin D. 🙂

  79. Michelle in So California says:

    Hi Susan,
    Happy Spring! Your cupcakes sound so yummy, but I was wondering if you can freeze them. Since its just me, they would go bad before they would get eaten.

    • sbranch says:

      I have never tried, but I’m listening to many other comments that say you can!

    • Hi Michelle, if they don’t freeze well you could go out into your neighborhood and share them…..we just moved into a new neighborhood last summer and I bought this 20# watermelon and we thought what in the world are we going to do with all of this!!! I scooped it out and put it in ziploc bags and off I went to share and it really made people happy and gave us a good start to belonging?? Just a friendly suggestion….

    • Charlene H. in No. Hills, CA (S.F.Valley) says:

      Hello Michelle! Great minds think alike! 🙂 I was just going to ask the same question! I would love to make this recipe for a family BBQ of 25 this Saturday. Making them tomorrow and freezing them would really help, time-wise. My husband thought a cupcake-decorating table would be fun for all the cousins (Kdgn. to High School). We could put the decorating table in the our spring flower-filled backyard.
      Thank you for the recipes, Susan! And the inspiration! 🙂 ♥♥♥

    • Donna Hamilton, Arkansas says:

      Like you, it is just me at home and I make the Carrot Cupcakes and freeze them (Unfrosted). When I get ready for a Cupcake, I take it from the freezer and let it rest at room temperature until completely thawed or if I am in a hurry, I will zap it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Happy baking! -Donna H.

  80. Ann Beirne says:

    Hi Susan,

    Your cupcakes look heavenly. I will have to try to make them since carrot cake was my mom’s favorite cake and I know she would love these cupcakes if she were still with us. (It will be 4 years next month that she passed)Last Sunday would have been her 80th birthday.

    I have waited in line for 20 minutes to get those cupcakes from the famous store in Beverly Hills and guess what? They were a disappoinment…looked much better than the taste. I told my son I would never stand in line for a cupcake again!

    I love reading your blog and I love spring! The daffodils are in bloom here in Maryland, too

    • Ann Beirne says:

      What does it mean when it says “your comment is awaiting moderation”?

      • sbranch says:

        It means it’s waiting for me to come click the button that says “approved.” This blog gets so much spam that in order to keep it from showing up in our comment section, I have to weed it out from all the good comments. I try to do it quickly, but I just walked over to the PO so a few comments have had to wait. Sorry!

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll love these. And Happy Birthday to your mom. We still celebrate on my Grandma’s, miss her too!

  81. Georgeann from Texas says:

    We are having a wonderful spring rain today…we really needed it! Our daffys
    are long gone but were not as pretty because of our drought. Your mention of
    your mom’s saying made me laugh out loud…so funny. BTW I have tried several
    times to call your Ca. # to ask about some of your items but all I get is the
    recording…will someone be there later? Thanks so much for so much enjoyment.

  82. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe–we absolutely LOVE carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Need to bring a dessert to our church’s Knit Purl Pray group (we make prayer shawls) meeting in a couple of weeks so will plan to bring these. Hmmm…I might need to make them to try out your recipe a lot sooner. Invited my cousin for dinner on Saturday so can send some home with him to share the calories! 🙂 Incidentally, I LOVE the kitty pillow new in your on-line store! My kind of kitty!!! 🙂

  83. Heidi Rose (Issaquah, WA) says:

    My Daffydowndillies have been getting rained on, snowed on and hailed on but they stay cheerful no matter what! (I can’t exactly say that about the residents of the great northwest though!) Your cupcakes are what we need around here, and pronto!! I have a habit of collecting cupcake papers…every time I go to Michael’s craft store I spot some I can’t live without! After reading your post, I think I understand now why cupcakes are so irresistible to me. Old-fashioned, colorful, charming and creative for starters. I’m going to go down this afternoon and start baking some beautiful springy cupcakes with your adorable dancing chickens on them! :o) Thanks for another cheery, delicious and inspiring post!! Happy Spring!!!

  84. Nellie says:

    Sweet cupcakes for the first day of spring, Susan! Today is also our new son-in-law’s birthday. The wedding was Saturday! Times have been very, very busy!:-)
    We have temperatures reminiscent of summer rather than those of an early spring. Many plants are blooming two to three weeks ahead of schedule. We just hope there will not be a damaging late spring frost!
    Have a happy first day of spring! xoxo

  85. Ruth Thomas says:

    80 degrees in East Central Indiana in the middle of March!! Wonderbar! The cupcakes look wonderful. You’ve inspired me to make these delightful little cakes to adorn my Easter Table. I have 3 grandsons who will just gobble them up and will put a big smile on their Grammie’s face. Thank you so much Susan for all of your wonderful inspiration and sharing your creativity with us. And we’ve got daffodils and tulips poking their heads out in these unusually warm weather.

  86. Hi Susan,

    I am so glad you posted about cupcakes! I am especially glad that you, too, have experienced the disappointment of a dry cupcake. Almost every cupcake bakery I’ve been to has this problem! The choices are endless and exciting, the appearance is beautiful and the cupcake is… ugh. I’va always thought that it was just me… and my wife… and all of my children who thought this because these places get rave reviews and have large groups of fans. I guess some people just haven’t had a real, good, from scratch piece of cake or cupcake in a long time. Although I am the cake baker in the family, my 18 year old daughter is THEE cupcake maker. She makes the most delicious chocolate cupcakes ever. And she frosts them with a chocolate frosting made with flour, which ends up tasting just like chocolate waffle cookie dough (you haven’t lived until you’ve made chocolate waffle cookies… mostly just to eat the dough!). She’s about to go off to college, and we’ll miss those cupcakes like mad.

    Having said all this about cupcake bakeries, there is one that really blew my socks off. I can’t remember what it was called, and it’s been a couple of years since we were there, but it was in the Ghiradelli Square building in SF. The only one there and it was everything you’d want a “gourmet” cupcake to be. I’m tempted to hop in the car to go and get one (a good enough reason to drive for 8 hours?).

    Take care and enjoy the daffodowndillies!


    • sbranch says:

      Gotta admit, from San Francisco and everywhere North of that, is the best food I’ve ever had anywhere! Except of course at my girlfriend’s houses!

  87. So many poets inspired to write of Spring, and daffodils figure prominently!! I love love love that carrot cupcakes are now a part of a balanced healthy nutritional diet! I am another one allergic to pineapple, so what would happen if I leave that out? Perhaps some extra oil, or possibly applesauce? Hmmmm. Time was cupcakes were just for elementary school parties and PTA bake sales!! Glad they have assumed their proper place in civilized society!!! Happy First Day of Spring!!!

  88. Sarah Powell says:

    I love the daffodils! I remember them poking their sweet little heads up along all those wonderful old stone walls on the Vineyard. So early in spring it was that the trees were still barren and the earth brown. Just their sunny yellow happy faces reaching up towards glorious blue skies. We drove to a nursery, antiqued, lunched, and talked of writing books! Remember?
    Your creative cupcakes are making me hungry! I have the same white dotted paper cupcake “panties”, unfortunately mine will sporting “boxed” cake.
    Lazy Me, Bad Dog. xox Sarah

    • sbranch says:

      Good dog, good girl. No one as festive as you ever gets to be bad dog. And yes, I remember, but isn’t that what we always do? xoxo

  89. HAPPY SPRING To All You Chicks out there!!! There is just something about a Cupcake and Susan you are so right about the “pretty” ones that lull you into such an expectation of deliciousness and then with one bite…UGH…dry and tasteless that happened to me at a gathering and they were fancy and looked so inviting and I was so disappointed because normally I skip desserts and this time I thought I’m in….I had strawberry and I gave Jim a chocolate one….well I put mine in a box to bring home didn’t want to hurt any feelings. On the way home I asked Jim if his cupcake was as good as it looked and he said “No, it was dry”….I know they were purchased in a fancy smancy store and quite costly too. I have to say carrot cake plain might be healthy it has to be that icing that puts it in the unhealthy section but isn’t it so delicious. I think cupcakes have to be on the menu for Easter in all colors of Spring and we always put green “grass” coconut nest with jelly beans on our cakes!!! Enjoy Spring everyone it’s a great time to be well and alive and all the trees/flowers and beautiful colors just make you happy!

  90. Sweet Mormor says:

    Speaking of cake in the Springtime!!!!! – Your Easter Bunny Cake from Willard awhile back is now an Easter Tradition at our house for my 2 grandsons! The frosting is addicting with the pineapple and coconut and I just want to let everyone know how lip-smacking good it is! My youngest grandson was only 10 months old when he tackled his first piece and he “dug” right in grinning with frosting approval all over his face!

  91. Sue Miller says:

    Happy Spring! Today is thefourth day in a row that we have broken record temps here in the Buffalo NY area. Ihad my first daffoil pop open on St Patty’s Day…what a nice gift. Since then it has been joined by a dozen more. I was thinking about cupcakes last night…have a big family multiple birthday celebration coming up in a couple weeks. How great is your radar! Enjoy this beautifel season!

  92. Christine Anderson says:

    I have been buying bunches od daffodills the last two weeks! Love them, they are so cheery as is you blog! Thanks!!!

  93. Jack says:

    Moist is the word , the objective and the goal –with those ingredients how can those cupcakes be otherwise –I hereby declar them to be an integral part of my health food diet
    Have my grocery list in hand and it’s awayeeee to Safeway!

  94. Rosie Snow says:

    Beautiful post, Susan! My daffodils have already come and gone here in California, so thanks for sharing yours. Willard was great, too. Your enthusiasm, as always, is infectious!

  95. beebarbs says:

    Spring is here and the daffodils are out! Our little town had their Daffodil Festival last weekend. I can hardly wait to bake your Carrot Cake cuppy cakes — just went to the store and got the pineapple, so I’m all set. We do so need a “Spring” book, Susan!

  96. Rae Ann says:

    What a glorious day…just got my SECOND Susan Branch fix of the day…first your first day of spring blog…and now…WILLARD…and a wonderful Willard it was…thank you so much…I just love your wonderful words and art…a bit chilly in western Minnesota today, but we will take it…in the 50*’s and cloudy…I certainly hope it is sunny and spring~y where you are…

  97. marty says:

    Hello there Susan:

    Your beloved daffydils and jonquils are blooming all over Central Park In NYC.–quite a difference from a few weeks ago when you visited. One of my friends helps to “Garden” cities and has helped plant daffydils in the most forlorn battle-scarred parks in the city-you cannot imagine what a lift that brings to a whole community!

    I can’t wait for my Willard. Judging by the comments, I will nto be disappointed. You give so many treats to others, I am hoping that I am giving one to you and Joe-and so many other girlfriends.

    You love England so,I recently came across the song” I leave my heart in an English Garden” and immediately thought of you. I don’t know if you are familiar with it and went to search for it on You Tube. Please check out “Jimmie Rodgers English Country Garden and “An English Garden” on you tube. One is accompanied by a videeo, the other is a different song, but equally enchanting-with slides. Great way to celbrate the first day of spring and your passion for all things English- and some pretty inspiring images as well. Have a great night.

  98. mari says:

    Happy Spring – here at last! it’s been a wonderful day here in Virginia, and I’m wishing you, Susan and Joe, and all the girlfriends here a most wonderful season ahead!

  99. marty says:

    Sorry about all the spelling errors-clumsy thumbs!

  100. Fancynance says:

    What a totally cheerful Spring letter! We are having a beautiful spring here in Texas, but today we are having severe storms, so all the spring pictures were especially welcome. I especially enjoyed your stories about cursive writing and diaries. I’m one of your “oldest fans” and I still have the recipe pages that I saved from Country Living Magazine. I would like to share a personal story with you about how your artwork has touched my life. Is there an address where I can send you a letter?

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