Mother honors daughter's memory with cupcakes

Sweet Charley B's Cupcakery shares secrets in time for the holidays


We call them cupcakes, in Britain they call them fairy cakes and in Australia they call them patty cakes. The name's not always the same and neither is the motivation that's behind baking them. Just in time for the holidays, one mother shares her purpose for baking, and is even sharing her secrets to making the tasty treats.

From baking to decorating to eating and more, Amanda Beers is a cupcake expert with some secrets galore!

Amanda opened up Sweet Charley B's Cupcakery with a few recipes and a lot of heart.

The store is dedicated to her little girl, Charley, a Christmas baby who died of a strep infection when she was just 6 years old.

"She got sick on Saturday, and it was all over on Monday," said Amanda.

Sweet Charley B's is a way to keep her memory alive. Now, she's ready to share what makes her cupcakes so special.

"The secret to my chocolate cupcake is coffee. There's coffee in our batter," Amanda said. "It makes it nice and soft. Chocolate peppermint is our biggest, best, most favorite."

The key to a good cupcake is great frosting! Only use real butter…no substitutes.

Mix in an eighth of a cup of heavy cream, a teaspoon of peppermint extract and four cups of powdered sugar.

The secret behind the candy cane frosting: stripe the inside of the icing bag with red food coloring. When you put the frosting in, a candy cane pattern comes out.

The secret to eating one: turn it into a cupcake sandwich.

As for the one secret Amanda is not willing to give up: calorie count!

"I think that that's information better left unsaid," Amanda admitted.

Another baking secret: cocoa belongs in a cup, not a cupcake. Only use blocks of bittersweet chocolate, not cocoa powder in your recipes. Sweet Charley B's Cupcakery is in Olympia, Washington. A portion of all the proceeds go to Charley's fund to benefit local schools there.

Recipes below or click here for printable version:


Cook Time: 1 hr. 15 minutes



  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 35 caramels
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 24 wooden craft sticks


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
  • Place cake mix into a bowl; pour in water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Beat 30 seconds with an electric mixer on low speed. Increase speed to medium, beat for 2 minutes. Stir in chopped apple. Fill cupcake cups about 2/3 full.
  • Bake in oven until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  • Melt caramels with evaporated milk in a saucepan over low heat, about 4 minutes. Spread over cupcakes, sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

    Cook Time: 1 hr. 15 minutes ·



    • Cooking spray
    • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
    • 1 1/4 cups champagne or other sparkling white wine at room temperature
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 24 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  • Mix cake mix and 1 1/4 cup Champagne; stir in vegetable oil and eggs. Beat batter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them 3/4 full.
  • Bake cupcakes about 20 minutes.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool.
  • Mix butter, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup Champagne, and vanilla extract. Stir in remaining confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread on cooled cupcakes.