I’ve just come back home after two and half weeks in the US. It’s always sad leaving my family after a great vacation but on the other hand it’s good to be back in our house. Plus, I get to use all the baking supplies I brought back with me! I paid $100 to check in an extra suitcase and pretty much filled it with 50 pounds of Oreos.
I spent one week in Orlando and one week in Tennessee. This time while in Tennessee we managed to do some different activities. My favorite was driving through Cades Cove, a national park in the Smoky Mountains. We saw plenty of wildlife but I was so excited when we saw a real live wild black bear! He’s the tiny black speck in the top picture.
Two of my BFF’s, Vanessa and Maureen, live in Orlando and we went to Babycakes in Downtown Disney. I’ve tried baking from one of their cookbooks before and I found it nearly impossible to get it right. We were unanimous in that we did not like the frosting on the cupcakes at all. It tasted like cold, unflavored slime and after 10 minutes in the Florida heat the coconut oil started to separate from the rest of the ingredients. We enjoyed the baked donuts. Maureen thought the coconut raspberry tasted like Fruity Pebbles and I liked the crunchy cookie pieces on top of the chocolate donut. The cake part of the cupcakes tasted pretty good considering they are gluten, egg and I think also sugar free.
Most of the other things I ate while in the US are nothing special for those that live there but it’s mostly stuff we don’t have in the UK. I couldn’t resist an Iced Pumpkin Latte from Starbucks on a hot day in Florida. I also sampled one of their cake pops. It was far too sweet for me. The new sweet potato fries at Outback Steakhouse are to die for! They drizzle them with honey. Cuban restaurant, The Columbia, was delicious. I spotted a Moon Pie General store while we were driving through Pigeon Forge and my mom crossed three lanes of traffic to pull in. They had Moon Pies that had been made in the factory the day before.
We visited Le Macaron in Winter Park (just outside Orlando). They also had beautiful looking chocolates. The peanut butter banana was such a great flavor combination. I also bought a Key Lime for my dad to try (he said it was good). I couldn’t resist pumpkin pie pancakes from IHOP. I once tried to explain what International House of Pancakes was to someone at work. Not easy!
I pretty much ate anything pumpkin flavored I could get my hands on while at home. My mom bought me pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin tea, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin iced coffee, pumpkin ice cream and the pumpkin pie blizzard I had at Dairy Queen tasted just like I dreamed it would.
You can’t go to Disney and not feel like a kid. I couldn’t resist the cupcake with Oreos that looked like Micky Mouse ears. I ate an amazing French Dip and chocolate cupcake from Sweet Celebrations. My cousins made the Smoky cupcakes. A trip to Tenessee and to see mom and dad is never complete without a trip to the Apple Barn or $5 BBQ night at Buddy’s!
The funny lopsided cake is actually the top tier of our wedding cake. My mom froze it for us and waited for us to come back and visit to have it. two years later it still tasted pretty good!
KupKatie’s KupKakes is the only authorized bakery in America that can bake with Moon Pies. I’m pretty lucky the bakery is in the same town that my parents live in! We sampled 4 cupcakes and they were all delightful. My mom’s favorite was the Orange Chai tea. I loved the White Cupcake filled with coffee pastry cream. The Chocolate Marshmallow Moon Pie Cupcake had a nice texture. The frosting on the Peanut Butter cupcake tasted like raw peanut butter but still had the texture and consistency of buttercream.