A compilation of Wicked Good Kitchen favorites chosen by our loyal readers to include the most viewed, the most pinned at Pinterest and the most popular of all time. Also included in this post are some interesting statistics looking back over our first years in blogging. Amazingly, our traffic is up again!
As we ring in the New Year, I would like to take the time to thank all of you who read my little “boutique food blog” full of wicked goodness. Even during my absence of nearly 6 months this past year due to a confusing illness (that I have conquered by finding a natural way to kick it to the curb!), you have followed me at Bloglovin’, Twitter and Pinterest. Honest and truly, I do not think I could ever thank you enough. I am beyond immensely grateful.
Thank you for stopping by and for letting me know when you make my recipes with great success or when you write with questions for me to answer. I enjoy connecting with each and every one of you.
In fact, below is an email that I received recently about our recipes for Best Ever American Buttercream (pictured below as the No. 2 top recipe of 2015) and White Velvet Layer Cake with Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Buttercream (pictured above, a top recipe from 2014 with over 500K repins):
I want thank you for two special recipes: The Best Ever American Buttercream and the White Velvet Layer Cake with strawberry/raspberry buttercream.
I took the White velvet cake with all the pink rosettes to work a few weeks ago, and everyone loved it. Today, I took vanilla cupcakes with raspberry/strawberry buttercream filling and lemon flavored American Buttercream frosting (the one where you add boiling water to the sugar, but with a light lemon flavor). The feedback was wonderful! I overheard people telling other people to be sure to get a cupcake as they were the best they’d ever had! Thank you, it was the frosting that made the difference. I love your recipes.
There are so many more emails I could share, but I selected this one from Diana because she was commenting on two (2) recipes and included the feedback she received from others.
To Diana: My pleasure! You are so very welcome. Thank you for taking the time to email and for sharing your experiences with my cake and buttercream recipes. I am thrilled that everyone enjoyed the cake and cupcakes!
Welcomed Comments from You, My Dear Readers
In addition to your emails, thank you for sharing your comments with me and fellow readers. I enjoy reading each one and do my very best to reply as soon as I can. When I returned to blogging last October, I had plenty of catching up to do in this area. I still have over 400 comments that need answering. (Yikes!) If I have not answered your question yet, hang in there…I promise to get to you as soon as I can.
It’s funny. During the months of October, November and December, I get inundated and sort of feel like the 1-800-BUTTERBALL Turkey Help Hotline when answering your questions about brining, stuffing and roasting turkey. However, I would not have it any other way. You are my treasured readers and I truly care that you feel confident in the kitchen and be successful when following my recipes—especially when roasting your family’s holiday turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Thank you specifically for continuing to reach out to share your experiences with my original recipes for Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey and Apple Cider and Citrus Turkey Brine with Herbs & Spices. Although my turkey recipe was posted late last year and only just started to take off this past holiday season, my special turkey brine recipe continues to be an all time reader favorite since 2012. Check it out below and you will see that it is currently in the No. 4 spot of our most viewed recipes of all time.
In fact, as I stated last year, y’all got me into super hot water with my web hosting company, HostGator. I received several “nasty grams” around the time of Thanksgiving 2014. The language was very strong and they threatened suspension if I did not stop “abusing CPU resources” due to the high traffic on the blog. (Hahaha! You all had me feeling like such a rebel.)
No worries now. As of the end of May 2015, Wicked Good Kitchen now has a dedicated server with plenty of space to grow. In fact, the server will accommodate up to four (4) sites and we have some wicked ideas in store for that space. So stay tuned!
Below are some of your wonderful comments. As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for dropping by and supporting Wicked Good Kitchen. Seriously, I have the very best readers there are!
Comments About Our Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey Recipe
Dina writes, “Stacy, your blog is a 5-star blog in my book. I love your linear progression approach to writing your recipes and your simple but ‘haute’ presentation of your plates. Your meticulous description of ingredients and details brims with personality. You understand the yin and yang of food, my friend, and this brandy and tangerine-glazed roasted turkey proves my point. It looks ridiculously good and is a visual experience in itself. I can’t wait to serve it Thanksgiving Day!”
More from Dina (after roasting the turkey), “Hi Stacy, just stopping by to rant a bit about our experience with this glorious recipe! First off, this turkey was anything but conventional. I must tell you that the simple pieces of turkey on our white glossy plates smoothed with the lustrous gravy, redolent of rosemary and cider, and skirted by our favored stuffing rendered a picture perfect Thanksgiving plate. The turkey and gravy was outrageous and ridiculously good! — Charles kept remarking, ‘Even the skin tastes so good!’ … I shall treasure and use this recipe for our future gatherings.”
Jennette writes, “Thank you for posting the recipe. I received the advanced copy last year and we all loved it. I am making it again this year!”
Liz writes, “We made our turkey using your recipe to its specifications, and it was dynamite! Never before have we had family members BEGGING to take leftover turkey. Admittedly, we were a bit selfish and kept a portion aside just for ourselves, and it’s a good thing we did. Thank you for sharing the recipe for your delectable turkey. It was the highlight of the meal, and it’s sure to become a family tradition that we look forward to again and again. Many blessings to you and yours!”
Roxanne writes, “It was amazing! My parents say it was the best turkey of their lives. I used 2/3 of the recipe for a 12 pound turkey, and it worked perfectly. This turkey is a lot of work, but well worth it.”
Tasha writes, “This was only the second time I’ve EVER made a turkey and I have my whole family wanting this recipe!!! The brine, the butter compound, and glaze had my whole family smacking their fingers and wanting more. Thank you so much for sharing this secret. … Thanks so much.”
Comments About Our Ever-Popular Apple Cider and Citrus Turkey Brine with Herbs & Spices Recipe
Mickie writes, “Thank you for your recommendations Stacy. Getting ready to take my bird out of the brine and prepare it for cooking tomorrow. The aroma of the brine is intoxicating and I have no words to describe the wonderful scent. Can’t wait to taste the turkey tomorrow. Thank you for the recipe! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!”
Mary writes, “I have been using this recipe for 2 years now and just want to say Thank you for such a wonderful brining recipe, my turkey comes out so flavorful & moist as does my gravy… Best recipe ever, Happy Thanksgiving to All & Happy Brining”
Michele writes, “Hi Stacy, I just found your post while perusing for what my husband and I are going to whip up for Thanksgiving. I did my first brine last year, and this year I’m desiring to take my brine up a notch. This recipe looks amazing! I have most of these spices, but just the thought of shopping for these ingredients already puts me in the Thanksgiving spirit. I will let you know how it goes–I’m thrilled to see the outcome. Love from New Jersey, Michele”
Comments on How Life-Changing Our Buttercream Recipes Are
Diana writes about our Best Ever American Buttercream, “Hi Stacy, Just made your wonderful recipe!! Seriously THE BEST EVER it turned out AMAZING…”
Jennifer writes about our Best Ever Baileys® Irish Cream Buttercream, “I recently had an order for Chocolate Guinness cupcakes, and I thought I would try your recipe….HOLY WOWZERS AWESOME!!!! It paired beautifully! What a terrific idea to heat the liquid to dissolve the sugar! It was such a success, I thought I would try the recipe using Baileys Salted Caramel for the Skor Toffee cupcakes I made. Well, that was beyond the HOLY WOWZERS AWESOME!! Added some caramel drizzle and it sent everyone into an orgasmic coma! LOL! THANK YOU! This will forever be my new way of making buttercream icing!!”
Meeta writes about our Best Ever American Buttercream, “Hello, I live in the UK and have just made your buttercream…I have waited my whole life for this recipe !!!!!! You are a goddess as far as I am concerned and you have just just changed my life!!!!!!!! This butter cream is divine and I just cannot get over how light, fluffy and smooth it is. Thank you for sharing. Big hugs”
Marion writes about our Pink Champagne Buttercream, “Hi Stacy, I have made this buttercream 3 times now for a pink champagne cake and has always been a treat. I love that it has a tantalising tang and not too sweet. … Thank you again for a great buttercream.”
Ashley writes about our Best Ever American Buttercream, “Thank you, I LOVED this recipe! The frosting was so light and fluffy and not too sweet!”
Doug writes about our Peppermint Cream Cheese Buttercream, “Hey Stacy, We just made this buttercream last night. It is awesome – perfect for the season of course. We’ll probably be making it all year round :)”
Comments About Our Cocktail Recipes
Philip writes about our Colonel’s Kahlúa & Cream Cocktail (with Bourbon), an original recipe created for Christmas, that he made this past holiday season, “I made these drinks for a after holiday party which everyone loved drinking. I must say though, these drinks made my wife’s pants fall off. So be cautious.”
Passade (Restaurant in Mechelen, Belgium) writes about our Bloody Zombie Rum Cocktail, an original recipe created for Halloween, “Awesome! Must make for Halloween. Thanks a lot for sharing.”
Julia writes about our Nutty Irish Martini, an original recipe created for St. Patrick’s Day, “Stacy, this is a beautiful martini – WOW! Reminds me of your other great martinis. In fact, I did think of your pumpkin pie martini right away! You would for sure be a fun person to hang out with, making all these sophisticated martinis. I enjoy them very much too!”
Thank you, my sweet friends. I am convinced that I have the best readers ever! Once again, I enjoy connecting with each and every one of you. 🙂
Stats: Let’s take a look…
Keywords & Key Phrases
Here are the Top 25 Keywords you all were searching in 2015: Cream, cheese, frosting, paleo, recipe, chocolate, free, gluten, cookies, cake, chip, best, butter, buttercream, cherry, to, cheesecake, with, carrot, how, cobbler, pie, icing, for, cinnamon.
Meanwhile, you are also searching for these Top 10 Key Phrases:
Paleo chocolate chip cookies, Wicked Good Kitchen, best cream cheese frosting, cream cheese buttercream, carrot cake cheesecake, cream cheese buttercream frosting, how to blanch hazelnuts, white chocolate cream cheese frosting, peanut butter cream cheese frosting, paleo peanut butter cookies.
Kind of interesting, no?
Our Growth in Traffic
Take a look at Wicked Good Kitchen’s growth by comparing our traffic stats below from our first year, 2013, via HostGator.com…
…and our traffic stats below from our second year, 2014, via HostGator.com…
…and our traffic stats below from our third year, 2015, also via HostGator.com.
Wow! The traffic for Wicked Good Kitchen had essentially tripled from the first to the second year and then went up over 60% last year! This is truly amazing when you consider that I did not blog for nearly 8 months of the second year due to illness and was out 6 months last year for the same reason. (Darn those terrible infections and new food allergies following super-strong antibiotics. The infections are history, thanks to Neem and oregano oil, and the allergies are under control.) Incredible! It just goes to show that Wicked Good Kitchen has the best readers there are. You have pinned our recipes at Pinterest, made them and even shared photos and have commented. Once again, thank you so much!
Where Our Traffic Is Coming From
Here is a quick glance as to where our traffic is coming from comparing our first year (top), second year (middle) and third year (bottom):
In our first year, a high percentage of our traffic came from Pinterest per Alexa.com. We noted that it seemed both natural and yet slightly troubling. With Google being in second place, this proved that we had to improve our SEO. By 2014, Google was at the top and Pinterest followed. This showed a definite improvement with Google and Pinterest being near equal.
As for 2015, our traffic from Pinterest greatly increased and Google remained about the same. This does not surprise us in the least as Pinterest continues to be a force to be reckoned with as the social media platform as well as the world’s best visual search engine.
This is the last time that I will share all of these traffic details. For our first 3 years, it was fun to share and compare. However, in the future, I will just gloss briefly over the numbers and concentrate more on the recipes being featured in the roundup.
Without further delay, below are our lists of the Top 13 Recipes of 2015, traditionally “A Baker’s Dozen,” for Wicked Good Kitchen starting with Most Pinned from the top!
Top 13 Recipes of 2015: Most Pinned*
1. Pink Champagne Velvet Layer Cake (121K) ~ The compliments are still coming in on this light and ethereal cake!
2. Best Ever American Buttercream (111K) ~ A life-changing buttercream that stands up to the European buttercreams!
3. Chocolate Fudge Silk Buttercream (89.8K) ~ A deep, chocolatey American Buttercream like no other! Love. It.
4. Pink Lady Skinny Detox Power Juice (64K) ~ My favorite healthy juice recipe had this amount of repins? Who knew?!
5. Best Ever BAILEYS® Irish Cream Buttercream (60K) ~ Another life-changing buttercream…my favorite of all!
6. Chocolate Mousse Buttercream Frosting (53K) ~ My favorite light and mousse-like chocolate buttercream!
7. Pink Champagne Buttercream (52K) ~ Everyone loves this recipe and for good reason. My favorite fancy buttercream!
8. Snowball Christmas Cookies (28.1K) ~ One of my all-time favorite Christmas cookies. The recipe is from my Grandma Gigi!
9. Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Crumble Bars (26.8K) ~ Love this recipe and am thrilled it made the Top 10!
10. Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream (23.9K) ~ The prettiest, best tasting crusting buttercream!
11. Best Ever Pumpkin Spice French Toast (22.7K) ~ Lazy weekend breakfasts were made for this French Toast!
12. 3-Minute Coconut-Almond Porridge (21.8K) ~ Thrilled that my favorite paleo porridge made the Top 13. Sooo good!
13. Sugar Plum Shortbread Christmas Cookies (18.2K) ~ Love, love, love this Christmas cookie recipe. Scrumptious!
*Please note, in full transparency, that the social media plugin for Pinterest shown on each recipe page on the blog does not reflect the above numbers. When we switched over to our new dedicated server last May, the account was set up by my hosting company under the incorrect URL including www. in the address. This has since been corrected. Therefore, since Pinterest counts the repins from each URL separately, I had to use a Pinterest app to add the two (2) numbers together, with and without www. in the URL, by hand for each recipe.
Top 13 Recipes of 2015: Reader Favorites
- Pink Champagne Velvet Layer Cake
- Best Ever American Buttercream
- Pink Champagne Buttercream
- Best Ever BAILEYS® Irish Cream Buttercream
- Chocolate Fudge Silk Buttercream
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Hot Cocoa
- Bourbon-Cider Maple Syrup
- Pink Lady Skinny Detox Power Juice
- The Pink Lady Margarita
- 3-Minute Coconut-Almond Porridge
- Nutty Irish Martini Cocktail
- Best Ever Decorator’s Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Chocolate Mousse Buttercream Frosting
Top 13 Recipes of All Time: Most Viewed
- White Velvet Layer Cake with Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Buttercream
- Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Grandma’s Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread
- Apple Cider & Citrus Turkey Brine with Herbs & Spices
- Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler
- Best Ever Lemon Brownie Bars (Lemon Brownies)
- Strawberry (Cherry) Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Pink Lady Skinny Detox Power Juice
- Chocolate Nutella Cheesecake Cake
- Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Buttercream
- Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake
- Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Cherry Pie Crumble Bars
The Year of American Buttercream Reinvented
While the year 2014 was definitely the year of Cream Cheese Buttercream here at Wicked Good Kitchen as part of our ongoing Buttercream Series, last year was all about American Buttercream reinvented using the sugar slurry and emulsification technique and my favorite all-natural palm shortening along with butter. It was also another year of recipe components…all aimed at Wicked Good Kitchen’s upcoming Layer Cake Series. Seriously, I cannot wait to get a jumpstart on it this year for Valentine’s Day 2016. So many beautiful and fun cakes to come this winter, spring, summer and fall!
Since the Buttercream Series continues to be so popular, you can look forward to many more coming to the blog as well in 2016.
As always, I greatly appreciate your support of my little “boutique food blog” and cannot wait to surprise you with more unexpected original recipes. Just wait until you see the wicked goodness I have planned for you, my dear readers!
Meanwhile, best wishes to you, your family and friends for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Below is a Pinterest-friendly sized image for you to pin at Pinterest!