Vacation State of Mind Leads to Boozy Cupcakes

When I went to Belize I immediately fell in love with everything there.  Fresh fish all the time.  The clearest, most refreshing water ever.  Scorching hot sand underneath my feet — yes.  It feels amazing.  Between snorkeling, hiking through ruins, and other Caribbean adventures, I had never been so relaxed.  Seriously.  Ask anyone who knows me what can make me relax.  Answer: trick question.  That’s impossible.

The secret ingredient of a Belizean getaway?  It’s gotta be the rum punch.  And THAT hammock  on the beach.  I’m not much of a mixed drink kind of girl, except for the weekly Gin & Tonic, but when in Belize, its gotta be rum punch.  So many days spent at the tiki bar sipping rum punch and feeling the stress leave my body.

Obviously the greatest combination of a stress-free treat is a rum punch cupcake.  It brings me back to my week in Belize and reminds me that summer isn’t quite over.  I decided to use a box mix, since I was in a time crunch to make these cupcakes for a party I was going to.  I’m not usually a big proponent of making anything from a box.  Alright, so it pretty much goes against all my baking instincts.  But there is totally no shame in doing so.  Especially if Belizean dark rum is mixed in.  I think I can get over it.  And you should too.  Pineapple-rum buttercream topped off with lime zest — my favorite kind of zest — really sends me back to that coastal paradise.  Which probably isn’t such a good thing because now I want to hop a plane to Belize immediately.  At least these cupcakes will serve as a quick fix for when I need a little vacation.  Which is all the time.  Thank god for that rum.

Rum Punch Cupcakes Recipe

yield: 16-20 cupcakes

1 box vanilla box cake
¼ – ½ cup dark rum

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
3-5 tablespoons pineapple juice
2-3 tablespoons rum


  • prepare cupcakes as directed according to box, substituting rum for ½ water
  • prepare frosting by mixing all ingredients in handheld/standing mixer until texture is fluffy and somewhat thick
  • place in fridge for 20 minutes, while cupcakes cool
  • from using pastry bag (optional)
  • grate zest from 2-3 limes on top
  • NOTE: you can add as much sugar, butter, liquid to make frosting according to taste.  I like a thicker frosting, so I typically use less liquid (but not less rum).

Only So Many Hours

Why did no one tell me that entering the “real world” would provide me with less freedom than when I was in school?  I worked like a dog for the 2.5 years I was in grad school (or a beaver, because I feel like they work harder than most dogs I know).  I worked 60-70 hours a week, worked out hung out with my amazing Masters Swim Team, and caused havoc in New York City.  Oh.  I also went to class.  And studied.  And wrote papers.  Yep.  It’s true.  And shockingly, I did well.  Like, really well.  NBD, obviously.

{my life for 2 years}

For some reason working 8 hours a day makes me more exhausted than anytime spent in morning practice or paying way too much to get a piece of paper that says I’m a smartie pants.  Oh man.  I miss school.  Like, a ton.  More than California sunshine.  Whoa.  WHOA.  That is big.  I love school and support being in school forever.  I’m really looking forward to the day that I can adopt a new school with a new mascot and begin the learning process again.

My job is great, because I have the luxury of creating my own work-life balance.  It’s just that my version of that includes working out multiple times a day, sifting through food blogs, and getting 5 hours of sleep a night.  I currently have Dexter to thank for that.  I guess I don’t know how to not be busy.  And I like that.  I mean, maybe I need to just sleep more, and not work out everyday.  Right.  Totally doable.  Um, definitely not so much.  Not even a little bit.  I love DC because it is so accessable and with my work-life balance I can get away and experience everything I want, and still have time to bake yummy things and hide away at home in my new apartment.  There are only so many hours in a day.  And they currently get me through about 1/6 of what I need to.

School is coming back.  it has too.  I have too much to learn and more cities to experience.  Not sure when, but I am so excited when it does.  Until then I do a pretty good job of keep myself busy.


  {last summer baseball}