Annette Starbuck, the multi-Award Winning Founder of Goodie Girls and Winner of Food Network’s ‘Cupcake Wars’, has a joyous passion for creating a variety of baked delights. Even though Annette never actually enrolled into any institutional Culinary Programs or attended Culinary School, she’s achieved acclaimed success through her seasoned personal experience and pure creative determination. She was gracious enough to share her story AND two of her mouthwatering cupcake recipes with us.
MLRT: How did The Goodie Girls get started? –
Annette: The Goodie Girls started as a hobby. I first just baked for fun for friends and family – birthday parties, etc. Then from that my step mom told me about an event called Cupcake Camp IE that was being held in 2010 and it allowed home based bakers and professional bakers to bring cupcakes, display and hand out to the public with all the money from ticket sales going to charity. I though this was such a great opportunity to become involved and give back it wasn’t a question to me to do it. I actually entered on the professional level because I wanted to do the 300 cupcakes versus only having to donate 60. From there I went on to do charity event after charity event and eventually at one of the charity events, Cupcake Wars casted me on the spot. Before Cupcake Wars, I never really had a “business”. After winning Cupcake Wars I decided to open shop and Goodie Girls was officially born!
MLRT: Who inspires you & why?
Annette: The most influential person in my life is my husband. I know this may sound cliche, but he is the true other half to everything I do. Everything I am not good at he is. He has taught me so much including discipline, accountability, and most importantly he carries the cupcakes to the events for me! Haha. He has also allowed me the ability to pursue my dreams with Goodie Girls putting his music career on the back burner. I am definitely a lucky girl!
MLRT: What is YOUR favorite cupcake and why?
Annette: This is a hard one for me as my “favorite” changes so often with seasons. Currently it would have to be Strawberry Lemonade or Blueberry Pancake. But every season is different! During Halloween it’s the Caramel Apple. During Christmas I love the Pumpkin Pancake Cupcake. I also gobble up the Salted Chocolate Caramel when it’s in! Oh and did I say Lemon Coconut yet? Or how about Banana Fudge Peanut Butter Malted Pretzel? Can you tell I am addicted to cupcakes?
MLRT: You won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! What’s the best thing you learned from that experience?
Annette: To always be yourself and bake what YOU love. When you bake what suits you and you follow your palette and stay true to your heart, it really shows in the final product. Also, continue to be a role model. After the show I received countless emails from younger girls as young as 7 years old telling me how they look up to me and they want to be just like me when they grow up. I think THIS alone was the best prize for winning the show.
MLRT: What tips do you have for budding chefs/bakers who are new to social media?
Annette: It is an every day job and it is VERY crucial to the presence of your company. Stay personal with it. I refuse to let anyone control my social media platforms as I love to see people’s comments and reply to them personally. It means the world to me of all the fans I have out there and it’s the least I could do!
MLRT: We’re all about exploring new places, people & foods. What’s on YOUR bucket list?
Annette: I know it’s pretty random but I have actually never been out of the country so I really would love to travel to Austria. I would also love to do one of those 1-2 week cooking excursions in Venice or Italy where you can stay in a little village and learn from their top chefs in the area…from going to their local farmers markets, planning the menu, to preparing the meal. I started with culinary and food before cupcakes and it’s such a passion of mine to play with flavors and fresh ingredients.
Peaches ‘N Cream Cupcakes
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peach extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup peach puree
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peaches, pureed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 liners in a cupcake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until it looks creamy. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and peach extract until the mixture is smooth. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and peach puree and stir again until almost combined. Add the rest of the flour and stir until all the ingredients are mixed in.
Fill the cupcake liners with batter using a large ice cream scoop. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
For the filling: Place small saucepan on the stovetop and put on medium heat. Put the peaches and sugar in and bring to slight boil. In a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water until no lumps. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and keep on medium-low heat for about 1 minute. Cool completely before use. Yield: about 1 1/2 cups.
For the frosting: Put the mascarpone, cream and confectioners’ sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Yield: about 2 cups.
Fill the cupcakes with the peach filling and then frost with the mascarpone frosting.
Mint Julep Cupcakes
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon mint extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup bourbon (or whiskey)
- 1/4 cup clear Crème de Menthe
Bourbon and Mint Frosting Ingredients:
- 1 Cup Butter – Room Temperature
- 1/3 cup Bourbon (or whiskey)
- ¼ cup Green Crème de Menthe
- Dash of Salt
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- A little extra Bourbon for Soaking
- Fresh Mint for Garnish (or a chocolate mint)
Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees (F). Place 36 liners in a cupcake pans. Whisk salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour. Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy (make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl). Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour (1 cup). Mix as little as possible until the batter comes together. Fill paper lined cupcake pan with large ice cream scoop. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Place on wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
When cooled and before frosting, brush extra bourbon over the tops of all cupcakes to give a little added kick of bourbon.
Bourbon and Mint Frosting:
With paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add salt and 2 cups powdered sugar. Slowly beat in until smooth, add Bourbon and Crème de Menthe and mix on low speed. Add remaining sugar until smooth. Adjust sugar for consistency variances depending on desired outcome of frosting. Frost. Garnish with fresh mint leaf or chocolate mint mold. I also like to add a little green disco dust to make it glitter!