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Archive for the ‘Cupcakes’ Category

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! 

I don’t think it would be a holiday at my house unless there were some sort of cupcake to celebrate with. Not only is it Valentine’s Day here at our house, but it is also our youngest daughter’s 1/2 birthday (I don’t normally celebrate 1/2 birthday’s but her’s falls on a fun holiday and she is 18 months old today, which is one of the most special of the 1/2 birthday’s)! 

I have had my heart set on red velvet cupcakes for quite awhile, but I wanted to wait and try them for Valentine’s Day. The color of the cake in this recipe is fantastic! Red is my favorite color and I just love how bright these cupcakes turned out. Not only do they look beautiful, but they taste amazing. The cake is moist and has a wonderful flavor that is complemented perfectly by the cream cheese frosting. This is the perfect cupcake to celebrate any holiday, but especially this Hallmark card one. It is not to late to make these for your special someone. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes 

Red Velvet Cupcakes
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Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/3 cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of buttermilk*
1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

*You can make your own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for about 10 minutes.

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.

Add a fourth of the dry ingredients and mix, then add a third of the wet. Continue adding in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.

Scoop into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking.

Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Frosting Directions:
Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Adapted From: Cupcakes: Simply Recipes; Frosting: Annies Eats

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 Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Here I go with another cupcake recipe, that makes three in a row, not that anyone is counting. 🙂 What can I say, I love cupcakes! That and I just threw my daughter a birthday party and I am still sharing all my fun recipes from that wonderful day.

Last year I decided to finally try the popular peppermint mocha from Starbucks and oh…my…goodness…was I sorry that I hadn’t tried it before! All year long I have been waiting for it to be back in season and I am so happy that the time is here! I have enjoyed quite a few of them already this season! 🙂 So when I was researching ideas for the party and I came across this recipe, it was like a dream come true. It was the perfect flavor cupcake to go a long with the winter wonderland theme of the party, plus the added bonus was that I got to fulfill my everlasting need for peppermint mocha.

These cupcakes were very delicious. The cake was very moist and chocolatey. The frosting was very light and fluffy and tasty, however when I make this recipe again, I would maybe try a buttercream frosting flavored with peppermint. The frosting was good, it was just time consuming to make and I think that buttercream has a better flavor with much less work. I colored the frosting pink because it was a birthday party, however the original recipe is to do the frosting in a red and white swirl which looks really cute and is festive for the holidays. These would be the perfect treat for any holiday gathering this season.  

Pepermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
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Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 tsp. espresso powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
6 large egg whites
1¾ plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. peppermint extract
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir together.  Combine the milk, coffee and peppermint extract in a liquid measuring cup.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the eggs one at a time.   Alternately mix in the dry and liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more.  Stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix just until incorporated.
If you would like a red and white swirled frosting effect, remove about half of the frosting to a bowl.  With the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl, add red gel coloring and mix until you have achieved the desired shade.  Fit a pastry bag with a large tip.  Fill one side of the pastry bag with the white frosting, and then fill in the other side with the red frosting (this does not need to be exact – just enough so that both colors are included.)  Pipe a test streak until you see both colors coming out of the tip.  Frost cupcakes as desired, refilling the pastry bag in the same manner as needed.

Adapted From: Annie’s Eats

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 Snow Globe Cupcakes

Here are the specific photos and instructions to make the beautiful snow globe cupcakes that I made for my daughter’s 4th birthday party. I found these cute little cupcakes in the fun cupcake book, Hello, Cupcake! These cupcakes were so much fun to research and create, and the kids had a fabulous time eating them! I had so much fun putting these together and Katelyn was so excited when she saw them all completed. You will be a hit at any holiday party with these super cute cupcakes!
Snow Globe Cupcakes

Snow Globe Cupcakes

Snow Globe Cupcakes

Snowglobe Cupcakes

Snow Globe Cupcakes
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6 jumbo cupcakes (your choice of flavor – I used blueberry cupcakes) baked in silver foil liners
16 ounces of vanilla frosting (I used a homemade vanilla butter cream)
Green food coloring
2 tablespoons chocolate frosting (I used the vanilla butter cream and added cocoa powder to make it brown)
2 tablespoons snowflake sprinkles (I found them at Country Kitchen Sweet Art)
1 tablespoon blue nonpareils (I found them at Country Kitchen Sweet Art)
12 chocolate covered graham cracker or cookie (I used a dark chocolate covered cookie sold at Target)

For the House Snow Globes (Makes 2 Snow Globes)
1 whole graham cracker
1 red sour straw candy (Sour Punch Straws)
2 Starburst fruit chews (colors of your choice, these are for the doors and windows. I used red for the door and yellow for windows.)
1 Tootsie Roll candy

For the Snowman Snow Globes (Makes 2 Snow Globes)
2 large white spice drops
1 orange spice drop
2 pieces of black licorice candy
Black licorice laces or 2 additional pieces of black licorice

* The original recipe in the book makes 2 Christmas tree snow globes as follows, we however made number “4’s” for my daughters 4th birthday on the remaining two, so we do not have photos of the tree cupcakes

For the Tree Snow Globes (Makes 2 Snow Globes)
1 Tootsie Roll candy
2 small yellow star candies

Directions:
Tint ½ cup of the vanilla frosting green with green food coloring and spoon it into a Ziploc bag. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting into a small Ziploc bag. Spoon the chocolate frosting into a Ziploc bag. Press out the excess air in the bags of frosting and seal.

Spread the remaining vanilla frosting on the top of the cupcakes and smooth. Sprinkle the top of the cupcakes with some of the snowflake sprinkles and the blue nonpareils.

For the House Snow Globes
Using a serrated knife, cut out 2 house shapes out of the graham cracker. Press the house crackers into the frosting on 2 of the cupcakes, with the peak toward the center and the flat side at the edge of the cupcake. Cut the red sour straw into 4 segments 2 ½ inch lengths for the roof and place 2 pieces along the roofline of each graham cracker house, allowing the straws to overhang slightly on each side. Roll out the Starburst fruit chews on a sheet of wax paper to ⅛ inch thick. Cut the fruit chews into four ¼ inch squares for the windows and ½ by ⅓ inch rectangles for the doors. Cut 2 small chimneys from the Tootsie Roll candy and add one to each roof. Snip a ⅛ inch corner from the bags with the vanilla, green and chocolate frosting. Pipe 3 small dots on each house and attach the windows and doors. Using the green frosting, pipe bushes at the edge of the house. Using a squeeze and pull technique, pipe vanilla frosting icicles along the bottom of the roof. Add a dot of chocolate frosting for the doorknob. Add several dots of vanilla frosting to the house and press a few snowflake sprinkles into the frosting.

For the Snowman Snow Globes
Cut each white spice drop in half crosswise. Roll out the bottom half to make a disk that is slightly larger in diameter than the top half. For the body of each snowman, press the flattened disk at the bottom edge of the cupcake, cut side down. Place the top half of the spice drop, cut side down, above the disk to make the head. Cut the orange spice drop into 2 small triangle noses and attach 1 to each head with a small dot of vanilla frosting.

Trim each licorice candy into a ½ square to make the hat. Cut two ¾ inch pieces of licorice lace (or the other 2 licorice candies) for the hat brims and press 1 into the fro above the head on each cupcake. Add a square of licorice to make the hat. Pipe a green frosting scarf across the neck, where the head touches the body. Using the chocolate frosting, pipe eyes, a mouth and 3 buttons down the middle of the snowman. Add a few dots of the vanilla frosting to the house and press a few snowflake sprinkles into the frosting.

For the Tree Snow Globes
Cut the Tootsie Roll candy into two ½ by 1 inch pieces. Press 1 piece into the frosting at the bottom edge of each cupcake for the tree trunk. To make the tree, pipe a 1 ½ inch wide row of vertical lines of green frosting across the top of the tree trunk, squeezing and pulling each line into a long downward point. Pipe the next row above and overlapping the first. Continue piping in this way, each row smaller than the last, to make a tree shape. Sprinkle a few snowflake sprinkles and nonpareils on the tree. Top each tree with a yellow star candy.

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 Blueberry Cupcakes

When I asked  my daughter what kind of  cupcake she wanted for her birthday she immediately said “strawberry” then VERY quickly she changed her mind to blueberry and that is all she wanted after she came up with that idea! I was thinking blueberry? I had never heard of blueberry cupcakes, but I knew my foodie bloggers would not let me down, so thanks to Food Gawker, I found this fabulous recipe! I used these for the snow globe cupcakes that I made for my daughters party, but I managed to save a few extra for us to enjoy. 🙂 These cupcakes were absolutely delicious! The cake was perfectly sweet with a subtle blueberry flavor. The blueberry is pureed so the cupcakes are a very beautiful purplish blue color, which was fun for the kids.  This buttercream frosting is out of this world delicious! This will now be my go to buttercream for future cupcake recipes!

Blueberry Cupcake

Blueberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
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Blueberry Cupcakes
Makes about 18 cupcakes

2 cups + 2 tablespoons sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups of Sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of blueberry puree
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake pan with paper liners

Blueberry Puree:
Bring one pound of blueberries (fresh or frozen) to a boil in a sauce pan. I used organic frozen blueberries. Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 1/2 hour) and the mixture is thick, making sure to stir often. Cool the blueberries slightly and place in a food processor. Mix until smooth. For an
extra smooth puree pass mixture through a fine sieve before using, but I didn’t do this and it was fine. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Cupcake:
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating until incorporated after each one.
Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix milk with 1/2 cup of blueberry puree and vanilla. Add wet and dry ingredients alternately to butter/sugar mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients in three additions. Mix until just incorporated after each addition. Do not over beat batter. The batter will puff up when baking, but then settle again once it cools, so you want to make sure that you fill each liner at least 3/4 full of batter. If you want an extra punch of flavor you can mix in a little of the blueberry puree into each cupcake and swirl slightly with a wooden skewer or small spoon. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients:
20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream  

Directions:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.  Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.  Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.  Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.  

Adapted From: Cupcakes: Blondies Cakes & Things Frosting: Annie’s Eats

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

I have wanted to make these cupcakes since the first time I came across this recipe. The flavors are based on a popular bar drink known as the “Irish Car Bomb” in which a shot of whiskey and Bailey’s Irish cream is dropped into a half filled pint glass of Guinness and you have to down it before the whole thing foams out over the glass. That doesn’t sound like my kind of thing, but cupcakes I can do! These cupcakes originally caught my eye because Chris’ favorite beer to drink is Guinness. I absolutely love cupcakes and I really don’t need much of an excuse to make them, especially ones with chocolate! We had one of our closest friends over for dinner the other night so I decided I would try them out on her while she was here. We all loved them very much. The cake is super moist and has the perfect chocolate flavor. The Bailey’s chocolate ganache in the center is the absolute best part of the cupcake (I couldn’t stop eating it out of the bowl when I made it), it is a very delicious surprise when you bite into the center of the cupcake. The Baileys adds a lovely flavor to both the frosting and the ganache, it isn’t too overwhelming at all. These are definitely adults only cupcakes, but I highly recommend them for your next adult get together.

Guinness Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes
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Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup stout (Guinness)
16 tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey’s ganache filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish cream

For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-8 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend.  Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to ¾ full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate.  Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth.  If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds).  Add the butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined.

Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped.  (You can use the refrigerator to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.)  Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method (a small paring knife works best for this).  Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it into the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated.  Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth.  Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Adapted From: Annie’s Eats

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