Tag Archives: Cupcake

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Kahlua Buttercream Frosting

1 Jul

Or “chocolate drunkcakes.” Whichever name you prefer.

I made these for a coworker’s going away party. She loves Guiness, so I found this great recipe for cupcakes. They called for Irish Cream (like Bailey’s), but since she loves Kahlua and I already had a little on hand, I went with that instead. My sister came over to help, and we got started.

One perfect little drunkcake.

Cupcakes

I preheated the oven to 350 F while Steph got to work on the chocolate/beer mixture. In a medium saucepan, she added 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter and 1 cup Guinness beer. After she brought it to a simmer over medium heat, she whisked in 3/4 cup Ghiradelli sweet ground chocolate.

While she did that, I whisked together the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour1 cup sugar1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

A little note of explanation here: The original recipe called for double the sugar but to use unsweetened cocoa powder. Since I only had sweetened cocoa on hand, I used that and halved the sugar. Between that and the yeasty beer, the cupcakes came out very bread-like. (When the BF walked in the house, he shouted, “Whoa, it smells good in here! Where’s the bread?”) Most people thought that with the super-sweet frosting, the less-sweet cupcake paired perfectly. But having a ridiculous sweet tooth myself, I thought they could have been sweeter.

Okay, back to it. In a large bowl, Steph beat together 2 eggs and 2/3 cup sour cream. Then we added the chocolate mixture and beat to combine. And then the flour mixture, beating just until combined. We lined the cupcake pan with paper liners, filled them about 3/4 way full, and then baked about 18 minutes, until they passed the toothpick test.

Frosting

While they baked, we got to work on this amazing Kahlua buttercream frosting.

While Steph beat 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter in a mixing bowl, I sifted about 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar. She added in about half the sugar and mixed that up, then we added 3 tablespoons Kahlua and mixed that in. We added the rest of the sugar, except a last little bit. Keep tasting your frosting and stop adding sugar when you think it’s good. You want to make sure you can actually taste the Kahlua.

While we waited for the cupcakes to cool, I made myself a white russian with the rest of the Kahlua. This is a key part of the recipe.

Once the cupcakes were cool and the frosting was ready, I loaded up my pastry bag and piped a healthy amount on top of each cupcake. Super delicioso!

DRUNKCAKES

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Banana Fluffernutter Cupcakes

4 Mar

My mom is nuts for marshmallow fluff. Whenever I think of it, I picture her eating it straight off a spoon with a giant grin on her face. My mom is an excellent role model. She also demonstrated burping the alphabet and how she could squirt water through the gap between her two front teeth, both at the dinner table. The latter didn’t go well when my sister, who was about five years old at the time, attempted to do the same. She didn’t realize it wouldn’t quite work the same if you’re missing your four front teeth. That mess put an end to our water squirting at the dinner table, even if my dad was away on business.

Surprisingly, I never got on that much with marshmallow fluff. Maybe because I would always prefer to have chocolate. But this frosting changed my mind. I’ve never had a fluffernutter sandwich, but my mom always spoke of them fondly. To make a classic fluffernutter sandwich, you spread peanut butter and marshmallow fluff between two slices of soft white bread. I was thinking about this when dreaming up a new cupcake idea, and I decided that adding banana to the mix would be pretty awesome. Plus, I had some brown bananas I really needed to use. Thus, the concept for banana fluffernutter cupcakes was born: banana cupcake with peanut butter filling and marshmallow frosting. Unfortunately, these cupcakes disappeared before I could take one to my mom, but I might have to make another batch for her.

Cupcakes & Flowers

I started with a basic banana muffin. I thought something more muffin-like rather than cake-like would balance out the crazy sugar dose in the frosting.

I used applesauce instead of butter to be slightly healthier, and honestly, if you subtract the frosting, the banana/peanut butter portion of this recipe makes for an excellent and fairly healthy breakfast muffin. But if you wanted to go all out, by all means, use butter instead of applesauce.

A note about the applesauce: The first day, the paper completely stuck to the cupcake when I tried to peel it off. I recommend using butter or at least half butter and half applesauce. But if you do want to go applesauce all the way, not to worry. I took these to work on the third day after making them, and not only were they still moist, but also the paper peeled right off, no problems.

While they baked, I set out to make the marshmallow frosting. This stuff is SO GOOD. It’s just sugar with sugar, really.

After letting the cupcakes cool completely, I used my cupcake corer to remove the centers from each cupcake. This little guy is only 5 bucks and is seriously handy. You can get through a whole tray of cupcakes super fast. I definitely recommend it. But if you don’t have one, you can use a paring knife.

Not a happy day to be a cupcake.

Hardcored. Ha.

Instead of making a sugary peanut butter filling, I decided to fill them with plain peanut butter right out of the jar. I thought making a sweet filling might be too sweet when paired with the frosting. And most brands of peanut butter (like my favorite, crunchy Peter Pan) include a significant amount of sugar already. I used a little spoon to smush the peanut butter down in there.

Then I topped them with the marshmallow frosting, and there you go.

One Cupcake...

Super delicious. The blend of banana, peanut butter, and marshmallow is to die for. The flavors mingle so well together.

Two Cupcakes! Two! Ha Ah Ah. (Sorry. I just watched a video of The Count from Sesame Street. Don't ask.)

 

Banana Fluffernutter Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup (1 individual serving) applesauce (OR 1/3 cup butter)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add sugar, egg, and applesauce. Mix on low until just combined. Mix in flour mixture on low until just combined.

Pour the batter into the cupcake pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes. They should spring back slightly when tapped.

Let cool completely. Core each cupcake and fill with peanut butter. Top with marshmallow frosting.

Marshmallow Frosting

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tub (about 8 oz) marshmallow cream

Sift sugar and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in 1/2 the sugar until combined. Add vanilla and the rest of the sugar and beat until combined.

Stir in marshmallow cream.

 

Aerial View

Blueberry Cupcakes

19 Aug

I made these scrumptious blueberry cupcakes ages ago and forgot to post them, so hopefully I’ll remember everything. I have the recipe written down, so maybe that will jog my memory. These came about as the perfect solution to knocking out two birds with one stone: I wanted one more recipe for in-season blueberries (they were in season at the time, anyway) and I needed a treat for my dad for Father’s Day (I said it was ages ago).

Usually blueberries are found in more pastry-like desserts — pies, crumbles, cobblers, etc. I was intrigued by blueberries in cupcakes and thought it would be great to try out.

I started with 2 pints of blueberries. I’ll go ahead and say it now — I personally thought the blueberry-to-sugar ratio was excellent, but I would guess that a lot of blueberry fans would want way more blueberry flavor than this, maybe even double the amount. Your call. Anyway, for the batter…

I preheated the oven to 350 F and lined my cupcake tin. I thought a monochromatic look would be nice, so I used blue paper liners. In a food processor, I pureed a pint plus a little more of the blueberries, and set it aside.

I sing that to the tune of Raspberry Beret.

I sifted 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a small bowl and set it aside.

Dry Ingredients

In another small bowl, I whisked together 2 T milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and the prepared blueberry puree.

Batter IngredientsNow that I had my dry and wet mixes ready, I pulled out a large mixing bowl. I mixed 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) softened butter on low, and added 1/2 cup sugar. I beat it for a few minutes, until it was light and fluffy. Then I added one eggand mixed on low until just combined.Batter UpI added half the flour mixture, mixed briefly, added the milk mixture, mixed briefly, and then scraped down the bowl and added the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Then I poured the batter into the prepared cupcake tins.

Cupcake Batter

I baked them for about 20-22 minutes, until they passed the toothpick test. I let them cool a bit in the pan, and then transferred them out to cool completely.

I went ahead and got to work on the frosting because pureeing and straining the rest of the blueberries took some time. This time, I pureed the rest of the blueberries in the food processor, and then I pushed them through a fine mesh strainer. This took quite some time, but it took even longer to clean the damn thing afterward. I just used the back of a spoon to push the blueberry puree through. The result was a purple goo that was much smoother than the chunky mess that came out of the food processor. This worked out great because the cupcakes had a great speckled look to them, where you could see tiny blueberry chunks baked in, but the frosting had the ideal smooth frosting texture in a pretty light blue color.

Ignore the red polka dots and you can see a little blueberry goop down there.

In a large bowl, I beat 1/4 cup softened butter, 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla with my hand mixer on medium-low.

Adding Blueberry Puree

I added the blueberry puree a little at a time until I achieved the desired flavor and consistency — for me, that was all of it. Once the frosting was smooth and blue, it was ready! I spread it on top of the cupcakes and topped each one with a single fresh blueberry. Perfect!

Blueberry Cupcakes

Blueberry Cupcake, in all its monochromatic glory.

Mostly Organic Spinach Cupcakes

6 Apr

When I first started trying to figure out how to make leafy greens into a dessert, I thought of spinach. If you can make a carrot cake that doesn’t take like vegetables, why not a spinach cake? Thank goodness for the internet, because the only sweet spinach cake I could find was on this great blog about Turkish food. So I found Binnur’s original Spinach Cake (Ispanakli kek) recipe, adjusted it a little, and got to work.

I started with the spinach, which I bought organic since spinach is one of the Dirty Dozen vegetables. I bought 2 5-oz packages organic spinach, snapped the roots off, and pureed it all in the food processor. Side note: this was the first time I ever used a food processor, and it was amazing. I can’t wait to find other things to process.

BeforeAfter
I set the spinach aside so I could start the batter. First I preheated the oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl, I blended 3 organic eggs and 2 cups sugar with a hand mixer on low for about a minute. Then I added 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon organic vanilla, and all the spinach and blended until it all incorporated.

IngredientsThen I slowly added 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 tsp baking powder. I blended that for about two minutes longer.

Batter

Cupcake Batter
Then I scooped the batter into paper-lined muffin cups. I popped them into the oven and baked for about 18 minutes, until it passed the toothpick test.

Muffin or Cupcake? Muffcake!

Spinach Cakes

I tasted one and it was actually pretty good! It smelled like spinach but tasted like cake. Though I will say, I kept some plain ones in a sealed plastic container for a couple days, and when I took the lid off, that was some strong spinach smell. I decided it could use some frosting, so I whipped up some vanilla buttercream.

I dropped 1 stick softened organic butter (1/2 cup) into a mixing bowl and blended it with a hand mixer for just 30 seconds or so till it was smooth. Then I added 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar and blended on low until incorporated. Then I added 1 tablespoon organic vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons organic heavy cream. I blended on medium for about 2 minutes. Once it was the perfect texture, I frosted the cupcakes.

Spinach Cupcake!The vanilla buttercream balanced the spinach cake perfectly and made for a pretty light but sweet cake. And unusual too!

How Sue Sees It:
– You could probably serve these without the frosting and call them muffins, but they’re still pretty sweet. And they’re better with the frosting anyway.
– This is a great option for people who need to hide vegetables in food in order to get kids or spouses to eat them, a la Jessica Seinfeld.
– This would also be great to serve for a St. Patrick’s Day party!
– I took them to a party and was very hesitant and almost apologetic about serving spinach cupcakes. I explained what they were, and then went back outside to move my car to a more legal parking spot. By the time I got back 10 minutes later, there were only 3 left! I guess they were good.

Like hotcakes!

Rudolph Cupcakes

29 Dec

Breakaway cupcakes are all the rage these days, so here’s some Christmas-y ones for you. My cousin and one of my sisters made these, so I don’t have a recipe, but you don’t really need one.

They used yellow cake mix for all the cupcakes, baking them in red and green paper liners. For the face, they spread on canned chocolate icing. And for the antlers, they piped on canned vanilla icing in wide zig-zag lines. They added graham cracker crumbs on top of the antlers.

Rudolph Cupcakes

For the facial features: the eyes are two Double-Stuf Oreos painted with chocolate and white icing. The nose is another Double-Stuf Oreo painted with red icing. The mouth is black gel icing.

And that’s it! Super cute, and very festive!

Rudolph Cupcakes!

Merry Christmas!

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

26 Dec

I recently made cupcakes for our Navidad Nacho Noche — our annual Christmas celebration over a nacho dinner with Betsy and a couple other friends. Betsy’s bf requested non-chocolate cupcakes, and in the spirit of Christmas, I decided a spice cake would be great, topped with – what else? – cream cheese icing.

For the cupcakes, I used the hand mixer to cream together 10 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of packed brown sugar. I added 3 eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.

Ingredients

In another bowl, I whisked to combine the dry ingredients: 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Batter

While mixing with the hand mixer, I alternated adding the dry ingredients and 3/4 cup of sour cream. I filled a dozen paper-lined cupcake pan cups. I added some chopped walnuts to the leftover batter and filled another cupcake pan – about 5 more cupcakes. (Some people in my group don’t like nuts, ahem ahem, Betsy.) If you want nuts in all your cupcakes, I’d suggest 1/4 cup of finely chopped nuts of your choice.

Cupcake BatterBaking Cupcakes in the Oven

I baked the cupcakes at 350 F for about 15 minutes — the toothpick I inserted came out clean.

Testing the Cupcakes

Cooling CupcakesI cooled them overnight and frosted them with cream cheese icing the next day.

Spice Cupcakes

How Sue Sees It:
– My friends said they really liked these, but I don’t know if they were just being nice. I actually didn’t like them very much. They were not very sweet, and I have something of a sweet tooth. The cream cheese icing was MUCH sweeter than the cupcake, so that made them worthwhile for me. If you like your desserts a little less sweet, you’ll probably like these. Though once I decided I could call them muffins and have them for breakfast, I liked them better.
– The cupcakes with nuts in them looked better than the ones without. They rose a little higher, while the nut-less cupcakes were flat and smooth on top. Weird.

Guest Post: Mini Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

3 Nov

Today’s post comes from my BFF Lauren, a.k.a. Betsy Bundt. She’s a whiz in the kitchen, and she loves a challenge. so she’s going to show you how she made these amazing mini mocha cupcakes. 

While Susie continued to work on the Halloween Cake Pops, my half of the mess was Mini Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze. It came from a Martha Stewart recipe I found online. The main cake recipe included a recipe for a coffee syrup, chocolate mousse, and chocolate glaze. Honestly, I didn’t use half the recipes, but instead took inspiration from them. I used a moist devil’s food cake mix because, let’s be honest, they are just as good as baking from scratch. I am of the opinion if you’re going to make something from scratch, like the mousse and glaze for this recipe, then you can cheat in other areas and it’s still practically homemade.

So I started with the cake mix, added the required eggs and liquids, poured into mini cupcake pans (yes, with an ice cream scoop), and popped them in the oven. While they were baking, I worked on the glaze, which was just a thin ganache (and by thin, I mean a thinner consistency than I would use for truffles) and the mousse. 

I was lazy and didn’t want to make the coffee syrup, plus in my experience, it can make the cake soggy, especially if you want them to last for a couple days. So you ask, “But Betsy, the syrup is where the coffee flavor comes from. Did you just make everything chocolate flavored?” No, I adjusted where the flavors came from slightly. I nixed the syrup and instead made the mousse mocha flavored. I added a packet of Starbucks Via instant coffee in extra bold Italian Roast. I added the powder to the cream before I whipped it, allowing it to dissolve as I was whipping. As the recipe continues, I added the melted chocolate and Voila: mocha mousse. It has a pretty strong coffee flavor, but the sweetness of the chocolate makes it really smooth. I popped that in the fridge to firm up a little and moved on to the glaze.

I followed the recipe which was for 92 mini cupcakes and I had about 48 or so because I was thinking, “Hey, you can never have too much ganache.” After the ganache was smooth, I set that aside to let it cool (I let it get close to room temperature).

Meanwhile the cupcakes were done baking and removed from the pans to cool.

After the cupcakes were cool, I cut the tops off to fill with mousse and dip in the glaze. I put the mousse in a pastry bag to easily fill each center. I filled with one hand and dipped the top with the other and assembled.

And the final product. Delicious and rich. I didn’t have any problem feeding them to people. Susie took some to a family function and I took some to work where they disappeared pretty quickly. I even got a compliment that I could take on a local bakery any day with this cupcake. Not too shabby.

Betsy Breaks It Down:

  • This was pretty time consuming, so make sure you have plenty of time when you begin this endeavor.
  • WAY WAY WAY TOO MUCH GANACHE. Even if I did have 92 cupcakes, it STILL would have been too much. Halve or quarter the recipe.
  • If you don’t like a strong coffee flavor, I would recommend a weaker instant coffee. The Italian Roast is really strong.
  • It’s ok to cheat on recipes and adjust for you. I used to have a compulsive need to follow the recipes, but I have loosened up my cooking style and try to experiment more.

Happy Baking!
BB