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