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Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

7 Jul

Oh. Heck. Yes.

Chocolate? Check. Peanut butter? Check. Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups hidden in the middle of the cupcake? Check! These babies are decadent! My taste buds are dancing…

The chocolate cake is moist and not too crumbly. Oh and it’s packed with chocolatey goodness. Wanna know the secret? The chocolate chips and cocoa powder were melted in hot coffee, and instead of all purpose flour, the recipe called for bread flour (high in protein – to give this cupcake structure) and vegetable oil (for moistness).

I swear… if I didn’t care so much about my waistline, I would’ve drank the melted chocolate-coffee mixture. It smelled so damn good.

By the way, these cupcakes are best served with a glass of milk.

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

2 Jul

Hello,

These are the strawberry cupcakes I made today. The cupcake part is super moist with chunks of strawberries in them, and the frosting is light and creamy. They are oh so tasty! I really can not stop eating them :(  Please help…

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Hummingbird Swirl Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

25 Apr

Hummingbird Swirl cupcakes – a yellow cupcake batter with bananas, pecans, crushed pineapple, and a hint of cinnamon, topped with cream cheese frosting.

I made these cupcakes two days ago and never got the chance to make the frosting til today, which by the way, making the cupcakes in two parts totally beats making everything on the same day. And even though I refrigerated the cupcakes, it still retained the moistness. Just make sure to take it out of the fridge 1/2 to 1 hour before serving.

I also toasted some shredded coconut and topped it on the cupcake with some Cadbury Mini Eggs to make Easter-themed cupcakes.

Hummingbird Swirl Cupcake Recipe

adapted from the Cupcake Deck

Ingredients

1 and 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola or corn oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup mashed banana (1 banana)

1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple in its own juice, drained

1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans, finely chopped

Directions

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium spped, beat the egg, egg yolk, and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. Mix in the flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter is smooth.

3. Add the cinnamon, mashed banana, pineapple, and pecans and blend into the batter. Fill each paper liner with about 1/3 cup of batter, to about 1/4 inch below the top of the liner.

4. Bake just until the top feels firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the cupcakes from the pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about 1 minute, then beat on medium spped for 1 minute to lighten the frosting further.

2. Spoon the frosting into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Beginning at the edge of each cupcake, pipe swirls of frosting to cover the top of each.

Toasted Coconut

Take 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded coconut and pan fry over medium heat for a few minutes until it turns crispy and golden brown.  Set aside and cool.

Then, sprinkle toasted coconut on the frosted cupcakes and place mini eggs on top.

Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes Topped with Mixed Fruit

16 Apr

I’ve been so tired lately….busy with school, work, studying, and chauffeuring my little brother around for his little league games. If I could self-diagnose myself, I’d say I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Well honestly, I think all grad students suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  The constant bombardment of deadlines, clinical, group work (eck!), and the feeling of being behind on studying can really wear someone down. Okay, enough complaining! I love nursing and I love being in school…I just wish there were more hours in a day. That’s all.

Now after all that’s been said, instead of studying my afternoon away today, I decided to bake!  One of coworkers is following a vegan diet, so what better thing to make than another vegan cupcake?

Hence, vegan vanilla and agave nectar cupcakes topped with mixed fruit!

Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes Recipe

adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Ingredients

2/3 cup soy milk

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup light agave nectar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 325F.

2. Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl; allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle. Beat in agave, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until smooth. Fill liners two thirds full. Bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean; don’t overbake or cupcakes will be dry!

3. These cupcakes need to cool at least an hour before topping or filling, and also to develop the flavor and texture properly.

Icing recipe

Ingredients

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons of soymilk

seedless, smooth spreadable fruit

fresh fruit.

Directions

1. Mix confectioners’ sugar with soy milk with a fork.  Add more soy milk until the desired consistency is achieved. (I only needed 2 tbsp of soy milk)

To assemble:

First, cut your fruit.

Now to fill a cupcake, use a paring knife to cut out the center of the cupcake. Like this:

Then spread the fruit preserve and fill with the icing. Like this:

Now, top with fruit and drizzle more icing on it.


Nurses Who Bake

24 Mar

Spring break means having time to…

sleep in

do yoga

run with my dog

watch TV

organize the spices cabinet

finally do the laundry

and

bake!

Today, I got together with Anna, Lisa, and Luky (a few of my favorite nurses) to bake and eat!

Luky, Anna, and Lisa

Perhaps we went a little too crazy with baking cause we ended up making pigs in a blanket, maple bacon cupcakes, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and vanilla bean baby donuts. Needless to say, we ate A LOT. It would be crazy to share all the recipes in one blog post, so I’m just going to share two – maple bacon cupcakes and vanilla bean baby donuts.

Maple Bacon Cupcakes Recipe

adapted from Vanilla Garlic

Makes 6 / 350F oven

Ingredients
4 1/2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon of bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid) I’d like to think that because we’re nurses we decided to not use this ingredient, but really, it was because we completely forgot about it in the fridge
1 egg
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 cup of self rising flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
tiny tiny pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of minced bacon, cooked and drained

Directions
1) Cook some bacon in a fry pan (about 6 thick strips). Reserve the drippings and place in the fridge to solidify. Mince 1/4 a cup of the bacon. The chef should eat whatever is left to assure that the bacon is tasty.

2) Beat the butter and solidified bacon fat ’till light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and beat well until combined.

3) Add the egg and beat until incorporated.

4) Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.

5) Add some of the flour and mix, then some of the milk, then continue to alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the bacon. Taste and add more maple syrup, flour, or milk if needed for desired taste. Keep in mind the maple frosting is very sweet, and to add in very small increments for alterations as maple syrup in large amounts can break a cake batter.

6) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes for even baking.

Maple Syrup Frosting

Ingredients
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 cup of powdered sugar
turbinado sugar (optional, but recommended)
coarse grain sea salt (optional, but recommended)

Directions
Combine the syrup and butter until combined. Add the sugar, a bit at a time, and whip at high speeds until combined. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Sprinkle on sea salt and turbinado sugar for decoration and a lot of added flavor.

Ta-da! Maple Bacon Cupcakes!!!

Vanilla Bean Baby Donuts Recipe

adapted from sprinkle bakes

Makes 5-6 dozen baby donuts

Doughnut batter:

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Seeds from one vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds and butter and beat until just combined. Spray doughnut cavities with cooking spray or brush with butter.  Fill each donut cup approximately 1/2 full.

Bake 5-8 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 4–5 minutes before removing. Finish doughnuts with vanilla glaze. Doughnuts are best served fresh.

Vanilla glaze:

1 cup confectioner’ s sugar
1 tbsp. milk 2 tbsp milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
4 drops of liquid blue food coloring
White nonpareils

In small bowl, stir together sugar, milk and vanilla extract until sugar is completely dissolved. Add food coloring and stir until color is uniform.  Use immediately to glaze doughnuts.  Sprinkle on nonpareils.

Vanilla Bean Baby Donuts

Note: The vanilla bean glaze was really thick with just 1 tbsp of milk. It was just too difficult to dip and get the glaze on the donut smoothly, so I increased the milk to 2 tbsp.

Anna, Lisa, and Luky – Thank you for a wonderful afternoon!

 

Cupcake – Apron Exchange

7 Mar

I love cupcakes. There, I said it. I’m not afraid to tell the world. Cupcakes are absolutely wonderful – you never have to worry about utensils or about sharing your cupcake. They’re beautifully decorated and come in many different flavors. They’re also fun to make, which was why I was super excited when my friend, Lisa, and I decided to do a cupcake-apron exchange. The deal was that I make a batch of red velvet cupcakes in exchange for an apron made by Lisa – who, by the way, is very talented with sewing and all things crafty.

The very talented Lisa (in her own hand-made apron) with red and green velvet cupcakes

I ended up making two batches of cupcakes – red velvet and blue velvet (which turned out to be green velvet…haha). Why blue velvet? Well, a close friend of mine is pregnant and expecting a baby boy. As a member of her baby shower planning committee, I was going to make some blue velvet cupcakes for the baby shower taking place in May. I figured I better get started with getting the color down now. I actually successfully made blue velvet cupcakes before. It was for Super Bowl XLIV – Colts v. Saints; ugh, perhaps it was a bad omen to have made those blue velvet cupcakes? For the baby shower, I was hoping to get a slightly lighter shade of blue, so I tried adding in a teensy more of the violet food coloring and less of the royal blue. *sigh, it was definitely a mistake! I will continue to play with the color of the cupcakes, and will share once I get the perfect shade of blue down.

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

(A special thanks to my friend, Jess O., for introducing me to such a wonderful cupcake recipe book. Oh, and just to clarify, I don’t use the recipes from this book because I’m vegan. I use them cause the cupcakes are absolutely delicious.)

Ingredients

1 cup soy milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder, dutch-processed or regular

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tbsp red food coloring

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon chocolate extract

Note: Can exclude chocolate extract and increase to 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoons of almond extract.

Directions

1. Preheat oven 350F and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix.

4. Add the oil, food coloring, chocolate extract, and almond extract to the curdled soy milk. Whis well to comvine. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until large lumps disappear.

5. Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds of the way full as these cupcakes will rise fairly high. Place in hot oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes until done, but be sure not to overbake. Let cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, softened

1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Cream together margarine and cream cheese until just combined. Use a handheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioners sugar in 1/2 cup batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in the vanilla. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

Me and my new apron (sorry! I know it's hard to make out the details of the apron)


Lisa's half-eaten red velvet and my new apron

Thanks again, Lisa! I absolutely LOVE the apron!

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