Monday, September 3, 2012

Fondant Wedding Cake

Congratulations Angela & Josh!

3 tier chocolate sour cream cake, filled with dulce de leche buttercream, frosted with vanilla buttercream, and topped with white fondant.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

X-Rated Bachelorette Cake & Cupcakes

This naughty cake & cupcakes were made for a bachelorette party.

Vanilla cake, filled with vanilla pudding, iced in flesh toned vanilla buttercream icing, with toasted coconut accents :)

Marble cupcakes, vanilla buttercream, chocolate candy decoration.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baby Annoucement Cupcakes

I used these fun, blue filled cupcakes to announce the sex of our baby to my coworkers!

Vanilla cupcakes, filled with a blue cotton candy buttercream, topped with white chocolate cheesecake frosting.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Toasty Cocoa Cupcakes

Perfect for winter or summer, these cupcakes are a play on hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Dark Chocolate cupcakes, filled with a rich chocolate ganache, and topped with a marshmallow frosting.  Hitting the tops with the kitchen torch browns the marshmallow beautifully & adds a nice toasty flavor.  Super cute in mini size!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Donut Topped Cupcakes

For a recent order, I was asked to make a cake (forgot to take a picture!) and cupcakes for a Dunkin Donuts manager of the year.  What better way to tie in the Dunkin Donuts than donut topped cupcakes, glazed with the DD pink & orange.

Vanilla bean cupcakes, frosted with vanilla bean buttercream & topped with homemade vanilla bean donuts, with a simple glaze.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Banana Split Cupcakes

I found these cupcakes over at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen & knew I had to make them.  I had a bit of trouble with the consistency of the frosting, but the flavor was absolutely delicious!

A banana cupcake with a marshmallow center, strawberry buttercream, chocolate sauce & a cherry on top.  The only thing missing is the pineapple!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Graduation Cake

It's graduation season again!  I was asked to make a cake for a graduate of my former high school, so it was extra special :)

This cake was a vanilla bean cake, filled with homemade strawberry filling, iced & decorated with vanilla buttercream.  I used alternating colors for the bottom shell border and top reverse shell border.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mr. Banana Cupcakes

These special cupcakes were for a special friend :)  They are banana cupcakes with a brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream, dressed up with a mustache!

Recipe from The Novice Chef

Friday, March 23, 2012

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake cupcakes have two seasons - spring & fall!  They are especially delicious with some spiced cream cheese frosting.  Using the same spices used in the cake, cinnamon & nutmeg, it adds another layer of flavor to the already delicious cream cheese frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
for ~24 cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
12 oz cream cheese
6 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cream the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix on low.  Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix until combined.  Pipe onto your cupcakes!  Extra frosting can be frozen for 2-3 months.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Savory Buffalo Wing Cupcakes

Quite possibly the craziest cupcake I've made: Buffalo Wing Cupcakes.  These were made partially as a dare, and partially because after I saw the recipe, I knew I needed to make them!  I made about a dozen and was worried that they wouldn't get eaten, but there was only 1 left at the end of the night.

I kind of "winged" the recipe, but I didn't take great notes, so no recipe to share.  The cupcakes were cornbread cupcakes, with bleu cheese crumbles mixed in.  The frosting was actually mashed potatoes with bleu cheese crumbles and ranch dressing, and of course, a buffalo chicken wing on top.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Green Velvet Cupcakes

A fun play on the traditional red velvet cupcakes, these just use green food coloring instead of red for a festive holiday treat.

Red/Green Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 heaping tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup oil
2 eggs
2 Tbsp food coloring
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda in salt in a bowl and set aside.  In a stand mixer, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, food coloring, vinegar & vanilla on low speed until combined.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients with the mixer on low, mixing until thoroughly combined.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

The cupcakes pictured were topped with cream cheese frosting, but I also used a 7 minute frosting for some as well!

Cupcake recipe adapted from Paula Deen

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shamrock Shake Cupcakes

Is it mint or just vanilla with green?  I'm not sure what it used to be, but there is definitely mint extract in the new shamrock shakes.  What better way to celebrate a seasonal treat than to turn it into a cupcake?  These cupcakes start out with a white cake base, with a bit of mint extract and green food coloring, and get topped off with a white chocolate buttercream.  They smell and taste just like the shake.  Another great St. Patrick's Day treat!

Shamrock Shake Cupcakes
4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
¼ cup green creme de menthe**
½ cup shortening
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty to twenty-two 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine the buttermilk and the creme de menthe. Set aside.

2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to shortening mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until mixture is combined.

3.Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.

4.Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

5.Divide White Chocolate Frosting between two bowls. Tint one portion with green food coloring. Spoon each frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe white and green frostings onto tops of cupcakes to resemble four-leaf clovers. Makes 20 to 22 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes.

*Tip: If you prefer not to use creme de menthe, substitute a mixture of 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon mint extract, and several drops green food coloring.

White Chocolate Frosting
Yield: 3-1/2 cups

1 cup butter, softened
6 ounces white baking chocolate with cocoa butter, chopped
1/3cup whipping cream
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
Place white baking chocolate in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan heat whipping cream just until simmering. Pour over white baking chocolate; let stand, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth; let stand for 15 minutes. Gradually beat butter into melted white chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on medium to high speed, beating until combined. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting reaches piping or spreading consistency. Makes 3-1/2 cups.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Angel Food Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

These are heaven in a cupcake liner.  Homemade angel food cake is so much better than store-bought - it's light & airy & fresh.  Swiss Meringue Buttercream is easily my favorite frosting, and light enough to not overpower the angel food cupcakes.  Adding pureed strawberries only made it 10 times better!

Angel Food Cupcakes from How Sweet Eats

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Samoas Cupcakes

I worry about anyone that says their favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie isn't Samoas (or Caramel Delite).  Chocolate, shortbread, caramel & coconut.  Perfect.  The only thing that could be better is turning them into a cupcake :)

These are delicious cupcakes!  The coconut extract in the cupcake is a perfect touch, and the caramel frosting is to die for.  Hurry up and make these, today!

Samoas Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
For the Caramel Frosting:

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and coconut extract until fluffy and light, at least 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the milk beating just until combined.
  4. Fill the cupcake papers 1/2 full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Tilt each cupcake in the muffin pan so it sits at an angle. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan at this angle for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To toast the coconut, spread the coconut onto a rimmed sheet pan. Toast in a 350°F oven, stirring frequently, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes.
  6. To make the frosting,  melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the caramel frosting mixture is lukewarm, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Adjust consistency with a little more milk or powdered sugar, if necessary.
  8. Heat chocolate chips in microwave for about 30 seconds or until drizzling consistency.
  9. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe a spiral of frosting, beginning at the outer edge and working inward. Drizzle the frosted cupcakes with melted chocolate and garnish with toasted coconut.
Recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Whew, that's one heck of a name for this cake!  I've been wanting to try my hand at allergen free baking for awhile, but never had the right opportunity.  I was asked to make a cake that was gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.  Thankfully, I did not need to omit eggs or peanuts, so chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting it was!  I used a coconut butter as a substitute for the butter, and the hint of coconut added to the deliciousness of the cake.

This cake isn't as pretty as my usual cakes, but the flavor more than made up for it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Disney Cars themed cupcakes

I made these fun cupcakes for a Disney Cars themed baby shower.  The hostess didn't want to overdo the theme, so she chose fun, bright, colorful liners and threw in a few of the licensed Cars liners.  A cute racing flag topper for each cupcake tied it all together!  Red Velvet cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream are in the red liners, and Vanilla Bean cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream are in the yellow liners:

photo credit to Derek McNelly

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Cupcakes

These pretty cupcakes served very special purpose - the bride gave these to her bridesmaids-to-be.

Jumbo Chocolate Cupcakes with a chocolate ganache filling and salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream.  The topper is made of fondant and was sprayed with edible luster paint.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

After much searching, I have finally found my favorite vanilla cupcake.  This cupcake is light and fluffy, and thanks to the vanilla bean seeds in the cupcake, it still packs a strong vanilla punch.  The cupcake below was topped with my favorite, Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream, the perfect frosting for a light cupcake!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups cake flour (I always make my own by scooping 2 Tbsp of flour out and adding 2 Tbsp cornstarch)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
4 large egg whites
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 vanilla bean seeds
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.  Mix milk, egg whites, and both vanilla extract and seeds together in a small bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, about 3 minutes.  Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures to the butter/sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  You should use 3 additions of flour and 2 additions of milk.  Once the mixture is combined, turn the mixer up to medium and beat for 2 minutes.  Portion into cupcake liners, about 1/4 cup each, and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350.

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Paczki for Mardi Gras!

Paczki (pronounced punch-key) are a brioche dough donut with fruit or custard filling, popular around metro Detroit on Fat Tuesday.  With the large Polish population, I'm sure the donuts here are among the best!

I've made donuts with success before, so decided to try my hand at Paczki.  I made some with a raspberry filling and some with a vanilla pudding/custard filling.

I was so excited that these look just like the ones from the bakery!

Happy Mardi Gras!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kit Kat Cake

This cake was one of the first things I pinned on Pinterest.  I loved the look of it, but hadn't found an occasion to make it yet.  When I got a request to make this cake, but with the Valentine themed M&Ms instead, I was thrilled.

The inside was filled with red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

A brownie that really tastes like a Red Velvet Cupcake, complete with the Cream Cheese Frosting!  No really, these brownies are the real thing!

The bottom layer is a red velvet tasting brownie, with a creamy cheesecake layer, swirled with more of the red velvet brownie mixture.  Bake these in a jelly roll pan and you can cut out cute shapes like I did!

Recipe from The Novice Chef

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cherry Fudge

These cherry fudge hearts are the perfect toppers to turn a Red Velvet cupcake into a pretty Valentines Day treat!
Just melt 12 oz of white chocolate, then mix in a can of cherry frosting and stir until smooth.  Spread in a prepared pan, and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  I used a small heart cookie cutter to make the perfect size toppers for a cupcake!
Recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cherry Vanilla Tuxedo Cake

Here is another variation on the Tuxedo Cake that I first made for New Years.  This cherry vanilla version would be a perfect Valentine's Day dessert!

Isn't it pretty?  And it couldn't be easier!  Just start with your favorite cake mix (one that makes two nice tall 8" cake layers), add a jar of chopped maraschino cherries to the batter, reserving the juice.  Bake as directed, and let cool.

Cherry Vanilla Buttercream:
2 sticks butter
5 Tbsp maraschino juice
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter and the juice together until the butter turns pink (fun!), add the vanilla, and then slowly add the powdered sugar.  Frost the cooled cakes.

4 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat cream over medium high heat, just until it reaches a boil.  Pour over chocolate (in a separate bowl), and let stand 60 seconds.  Add corn syrup and vanilla, and stir until all the chocolate is melted.  Let cool in refrigerator for about 5 minutes, then pour over cake, guiding it over the sides.  Let cake set 1 hour before serving.

Recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes

Moist, coke & chocolate flavored cupcakes are filled with cherries, brushed with a coke glaze, and iced with whipped cream frosting. Don't forget the cherry on top!

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sushi Roll Cupcakes

These sushi cupcakes are some of the cutest cupcakes I've made! Even better, they were a surprise for my sister, who shares my love of sushi & baking. A special shout out to my baby sissy, Abby, for an awesome 4 years of college hockey :)

I used a basic vanilla cupcake, with a light coating of vanilla buttercream. White jimmies act as the rice, a dark icing with a slightly green tint outlines the rice, giving it the look of a sliced roll, and I used various candies to act as the meat & veggies inside the roll.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Filling

These cupcakes are for serious chocolate lovers! A moist, rich dark chocolate cupcake is filled with salted caramel and topped with a whipped chocolate buttercream.

Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
will frost 12 cupcakes
1 stick butter, softened
3 oz chocolate chips, melted & cooled (I used a mix of semi sweet & dark chocolate)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter for 5 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Make sure to scrape down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add the vanilla, and once combined, add the melted chocolate. Mix on medium for another 2 minutes, scraping the sides down once, until light and fluffy. This is a great piping buttercream!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache filling

If there is one way to take a cupcake from good to wow, it would be with a filling. I've made these Peppermint Mocha cupcakes before and they are delicious on their own. A rich, chocolate cake infused with coffee flavor, topped with a sweet light peppermint buttercream; delicious! This time, at the request of a customer, I added a filling: a semisweet & dark chocolate ganache. It reminded me of the Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, which were also filled with ganache.

Peppermint Buttercream
enough to frost 24 cupcakes
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream

Whip the butter in a stand mixer with the wire whisk attachment for 5 minutes, until butter is pale and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, then add the peppermint and the cream. You can add more cream to get to piping consistency. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Coffee & Donut Cupcakes

These coffee & donut cupcakes were for a Police Officer's retirement party. Obviously, they were for an officer with a sense of humor :)

I wanted to play off the cops & donuts stereotype, so I knew I wanted to incorporate the donut into the cupcake, as well as coffee flavor. Thinking that a coffee flavored cupcake may be too overpowering for the entire crowd, I chose to make a maple-vanilla cupcake. To top the cupcake, I made a coffee & cream buttercream by using a coffee/espresso flavoring and half & half. Finally, the cupcakes were topped with a baked chocolate donut, with a vanilla glaze & chocolate jimmies.

Maple Vanilla Cupcakes
yield 24 cupcakes
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp maple extract

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk milk, and egg whites. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla & maple extracts, then add the flour & milk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour. Once everything has been added, beat the batter for 2 additional minutes. Scoop into lined cupcake pans and bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes.

Coffee & Cream Buttercream
2 sticks butter (I used 1 stick salted & 1 stick unsalted)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp coffee extract
2-4 Tbsp half & half or heavy cream

In a stand mixer, beat the butter for 3-5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar slowly, mixing until incorporated (it may be crumbly at this point). Add the coffee extract and half & half, continuing to beat, until you reach the desired consistency. Pipe on to cupcakes.

Mini Chocolate Donuts
yield 48 mini donuts
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg (don't skip this!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
4 tsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, nutmeg & salt. In a small bowl, whisk milk, sugar, egg, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and whisk until blended and smooth. To fill donut pans, put mixture in a ziploc bag and pipe into the cavities*, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before turning out from pan.

*Even though most pans are non-stick, I recommend spraying the pan. Wipe clean & spray each time to ensure the donuts do not stick.

Vanilla Glaze
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together & use immediately. You can pour over donuts or dip each individually.

Cupcakes adapted from My Baking Addiction
Donuts adapted from The Motherload

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Iced Lemon Loaf

This is a delicious knock-off of a certain coffee chain's lemon loaf. The lemon extract plus the lemon juice make the citrus really shine, and adding the lemon glaze gives one last punch of lemon flavor and ensures the loaf will stay moist!

The ingredient list for this quick bread can easily be found in your pantry, and it's the perfect time to use citrus in baked goods!

Iced Lemon Loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder & soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon juice & extract, and oil.  Pour wet ingredients into dry, and mix until smooth.  Pour into a greased 9x5 pan, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients and pour over loaf when cool.

Adapted from Recipe Circus

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes

These cupcakes are for serious apple lovers.  They're especially wonderful in the fall, but are just as delicious in the winter.  Each element of this cupcake is really special on it's own, so when they're all combined into one dessert, it's bound to me amazing!

The cupcake is made with a fresh apple cake batter with nice chunks of apple throughout.  The filling is a homemade mulled apple cider jam, with hints of cinnamon and citrus.  Sliky salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream tops the cupcake, adding a buttery, caramel flavor without too much sweet.  Finally, a drizzle of salted caramel tops off the whole creation.

Mulled Apple Cider Jam
1 1/4 firm apples (approx. 3), such as Granny Smith or Gala
1 cup water
2 2-inch strips of lemon peel
2 2-inch strips of orange peel
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
7 oz granulated sugar (approx. 1 cup)

Core & peel the apples and cut into 1/2 inch chunks.  You need about 1 lb chopped apples.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine apples, water, lemon peel, orange peel, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil, cover, and then simmer until apples are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add sugar and continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Mash the apples and cook until mixture is clear and very thick while stirring frequently, about 20-25 minutes.  The mixture should register 215 degrees on a thermometer.  Cool at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Recipe from Form V Artisan

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream & Bacon

Did you know Elvis' birthday was Sunday?  I'm sure you also knew that his favorite sandwich was a peanut butter & banana sandwich with bacon, right?  And you also know that I like to put bacon on cupcakes, right?

I had an opportunity to make these cupcakes for a group of Elvis fans that were celebrating his birthday.  The banana cake was super light, the peanut butter frosting was just sweet enough, and the crispy bacon added the perfect crunch.  I also added a drizzle of caramel, because, why not?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tuxedo Cake

I'd never heard of Tuxedo cake until last week.  I was looking for the perfect New Years Eve dessert to go along with the Champagne Cupcakes.  The cake is visually impressive with it's high stacked layers and chocolate covered strawberries as a garnish.  I made this in 10" pans to serve more people, but you can use 8" pans to get a higher cake.

The cake is a rich chocolate cake, filled and iced with whipped cream.  A dark & semi sweet chocolate ganache is poured over top, and the cake is garnished with chocolate covered strawberries.