Archive for the ‘Cakes and Cupcakes’ category

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

October 9, 2011

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes (noun): [dahrk chaw-kuh-lit koh-kuh-nuht kuhp-keyks] A rich dark chocolate chunk cupcake topped with sweet coconut buttercream frosting.

INGREDIENTS:

CUPCAKES:

  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

FROSTING:

  • 1-1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

INSTRUCTIONS:

CUPCAKES:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.
  • Measure out the milk, but do not add it yet.
  • Alternate adding the dry flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition and ending with the dry mixture.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

  • Measure out 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, which are slightly bigger than regular chocolate chips.

  • Add the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.

  • Line a cupcake pan and pour the mixture in, 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake about 20 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  • Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack for further cooling.

FROSTING:

  • Beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Alternate adding the sugar and milk, mixing well after each addition. Start with 2 cups of sugar and only add the remaining cup if needed at then end.
  • Add in the vanilla and mix until combined.

  • Measure out the flaked coconut and mix until combined.
  • If the consistency is too loose, add in the extra confectioners sugar.

  • Frost the cupcakes! Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool and then spread the frosting on with a knife. The addition of the flaked coconut to the frosting makes the texture difficult to work with. Piping the icing on is near impossible, so it’s much easier to spread it on.

  • Top with some shaved chocolate if desired and serve!

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

August 21, 2011

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes (noun): [hwahyt chaw-kuh-lit raz-ber-ee kuhp-keyks] A moist vanilla cake filled with pieces of fresh raspberry and topped with a rich, smooth white chocolate buttercream frosting.

So yet again these cupcakes are not entirely from scratch… but seriously, they are amazing regardless. This may be my favorite frosting of all time. I remember seeing a ton of recipes a while back for white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, which I also want to make. However, after successfully experimenting with fruit and cupcakes for my Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, I decided to give this a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box white cake mix (I use Betty Crocker)
  • Oil*
  • Water*
  • 3 eggs*
  • 1 cup chopped raspberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate, melted
  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • A pinch of salt

* Measurements may vary depending on the type of boxed mix you use.

If you’re piping the frosting on, you may need to double up on the recipe.

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine the eggs, water, oil, and cake mix until smooth.
  • Set aside and begin slicing the raspberries. I cut each one in four, which seemed to be a nice size. Continuing cutting until you have 1 cup full.

  • Add the raspberries to the cake batter, mixing gently to combine.

  • Line a muffin pan and spoon in the batter.
  • Bake the cupcakes 20-30 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

  • While the cupcakes are cooling, start on the frosting. Begin by melting the white chocolate, either using the double-boiler method or the microwave. (If using the microwave, only cook for small intervals and mix often since white chocolate can burn easily.)

  • Once the chocolate is melted, add it to a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter, heavy cream, and pinch of salt and beat until smooth.
  • Add in the confectioners sugar in intervals, beating well after each addition until the frosting reaches a good consistency.

  • Wait until the cupcakes have cooled completely, then ice them!

  • Cut some leftover raspberries in half and add on top for garnish.

  • I also added some chopped white chocolate on top.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

August 10, 2011

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes (noun): [straw-ber-ee cheez-keyk kuhp-keyks] A vanilla cake scattered with fresh cut strawberries atop a thin graham cracker crumb base, filled with a strawberry cheesecake center and topped with a rich and sweet cream cheese frosting.

These are one of my momma’s favorites. 🙂

There are times when I get tired just thinking about making cupcakes from scratch. This was one of those times. There’s no shame in using a boxed cake mix, especially since there are countless ways to put your own spin on it. These cupcakes have a lot going on as it is without adding in the time or stress of mixing up a good batch of cake from scratch. The fresh strawberries, vanilla cake, and cream cheese icing make these great for a summer occasion.

INGREDIENTS:

CUPCAKES:

  • 1 box golden vanilla cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 3 eggs*
  • Oil*
  • Water*
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
*(Or whatever is called for on the boxed mix you use)

FILLING:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam

FROSTING:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • heavy cream can be added if the frosting is too stiff

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Make the cake mix according to the directions on the box.


  • Dice the strawberries until you have 1 cup.

^ Photo cred for that beauty goes to Bruno.

  • Gently fold the strawberries into the cake batter.

  • Now start on the cheesecake filling! Beat together the cream cheese, egg white, sugar, and vanilla.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam and beat together.

  • Line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake papers.
  • Crush the graham crackers either with a food processor or by putting them in a Ziplock bag and beating them senseless.

  • Put a layer of graham crackers at the bottom of each cupcake paper, making it thin but covering the bottom.

  • Fill the the cups a little more than halfway with the cake batter. I found that the cheesecake sinks a bit to the bottom so it’s better to add it closer to the top.

  • Add in a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Top off with the remaining cake mix.

  • Place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top looks very lightly browned. (The inserted knife method may not work because of the cream cheese)

  • Make the icing!
  • Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the confectioners sugar, one cup at a time.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  • If the frosting is too stiff, add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and beat together.
  • If it is too runny, ad some more confectioners sugar.

  • Once the cupcakes are cool, ice them!
  • Slice up some extra strawberries and add them on top for an added touch.
  • I also sprinkled some extra graham cracker crumbs on top.

  • Keep these in the fridge until ready to serve!

  • Eat em, serve em, love em.

  • Finally, find a cute little black kitten to help you clean up all the graham cracker crumbs you spilled.

Black and White Cupcakes

July 31, 2011

Black and White Cupcakes (noun): [blak and hwahyt kuhp-keyks] A moist, golden vanilla cake filled with a rich chocolate ganache and topped with sweet vanilla buttercream frosting.

Simple, yet elegant. Other than the fancy shmancy cupcake wrappers, there’s nothing crazy going on here. Just straight up vanilla and chocolate. Two things that don’t need complicating.

 

INGREDIENTS:

CUPCAKES:

  •  3 cups flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING/TOPPING:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

FROSTING:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
  • Add in the sugar and continue beating with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.


  • Slowly add in a third of the flour mixture, followed by a third of the milk. Continue alternating between the flour mixture and the milk, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and combined.
  • Add in the vanilla and mix once more to combine.

  • Line a cupcake pan with wrappers and carefully spoon in the batter, filling about 3/4 of the way.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely before filling or frosting.

  • While the cupcakes cool, make the ganache.
  • Chop the chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl.
  • In a skillet, bring the cream to a simmer.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate and add the butter.
  • Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth.
  • Refrigerate until the mixture has thickened a bit. You want it to be pourable, but not too runny.

  • Poke a hole in each cupcake. (I used the round bottom side of a piping tip, but anything will do).
  • Fill a pastry bag with the ganache and fill the cupcakes using a filling tip. Or you can use a Ziplock bag with the corner cut off, although it’s a tad more messy.

  • Now make the frosting!
  • Beat the butter until creamy and smooth (this is much easier if the butter is room temperature or softened a bit).
  • Slowly add in the confectioners sugar, one cup at a time.
  • Mix in the vanilla and heavy cream.
  • Adjust the consistency. If the frosting seems too stiff, add more cream. If it seems too runny, add more confectioners sugar.
  • Frost the cupcakes!
  • Refrigerate after frosting to let the icing stiffen up a bit.

  • Once the frosting is a litter stiffer, use the extra ganache for dipping!
  • This is easiest if the ganache is a little runny, heat it up and let cool if necessary.
  • Dip the cupcake face down into the ganache and twist slightly.
  • Place on a rack or baking sheet when finished and refrigerate to let the topping set.

  • One the ganache is set, serve and eat the cupcakes!

I also left some undipped, just for variety.

YUM 😀

In other news…

I GOT SOME PIPING TIPS!

Not as many as the above picture, but still. It’s pretty exciting.

They make my cupcakes super perdy and my life much easier. No more messy Ziplock bags for filling:

^womp.

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

June 22, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake (noun): [chaw-kuh-lit moos cheez-keyk] A creamy cheesecake atop a cookie crust with a thick layer of fluffy chocolate mousse and a rich chocolate ganache topping.

Cheesecake number 2 was a success! I still can’t believe I was nervous about this whole cheesecake thing, it’s super easy and so good! This one was my own creation so I’m surprised it worked out so well. It’s also the first time I have attempted to make chocolate mousse, and it was long overdue considering the name of this site. I chose a really simple chocolate mousse recipe because I didn’t want to have too many things competing with the cheesecake itself. The top ganache is the same one that I use for a lot of my recipes. In fact, I used some left over from my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes for this. I’ve also used this ganache as the filling for my Guinness-Gasms.

For this cheesecake, I decided to use an 11” springform pan instead of the normal 9”, only because I didn’t want it to be too tall once I added the mousse and the ganache. But the recipe itself will fit into a standard 9” pan as well, it’ll just be a bit taller. This is one of those recipe that’s better made in steps. If you do it all at once it may seem a bit overwhelming. When I made this, I made the cheesecake itself the night before so that it had overnight to chill properly. Then in the morning I made the chocolate mousse and the ganache and then gave everything another hour or so to chill together in the fridge before serving.

Seriously, make this. If you don’t bake, find someone to make it for you.

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:

  • 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

CHEESECAKE:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese (3 8 ounce packages)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

MOUSSE:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

GANACHE TOPPING:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Start with the crust by crushing the chocolate graham crackers into fine crumbs.

  • Melt the 7 tablespoons of butter and combine with the graham cracker crumbs.
  • Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of a springform pan.
  • Place the springform pan on a baking sheet, so that nothing spills out into the oven while baking.

  • Now move on to the cheesecake layer by combining the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Beat until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • After all four eggs, add the vanilla and the heavy cream, and beat to combine.
  • Once the mixture is smooth and combined, pour it into the springform pan over top of the crust.

  • Put the springform pan (still atop the baking sheet) in the oven until the sides are set but the middle is still wobbly. For me this is usually about 40-50 minutes.
  • Once done, let the cheesecake cool for about an hour.
  • After it’s set, put the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 3 hours (I usually leave mine overnight).

  • While the cheesecake is cooling, get started on the chocolate mousse layer by melting the bittersweet chocolate using the double boiling method (you can try the microwave if you’re confident you won’t overcook and burn it).

  • While your chocolate is melting, use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream in a bowl. You want the cream to be fluffy and form stiff peaks. This will take a few minutes of mixing.
  • Once that’s done, pour in your melted chocolate and carefully fold it into the whipped cream mixture with a rubber spatula. Be sure to not over mix it, or it will ruin the fluffy texture you’ve just created!

  • Spread the mousse onto the cheesecake (make sure the cheesecake is at least at room temperature and not hot!).
  • Stick the cheesecake back in the fridge for the remaining cooling time. If you left the cheesecake overnight and are adding the mousse, it only needs about an hour of chilling time.

  • Now for the ganache topping. Chop up your bittersweet chocolate and put it in a bowl.
  • In a skillet, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and begin mixing.
  • Add in the butter and stir everything until it is melted and smooth.

  • Pour the ganache onto the cheesecake, covering the chocolate mousse layer.
  • Put everything back in the fridge and let cool for an additional half hour until the ganache is set.

  • After waiting until everything has chilled and set, you can slice and serve the cake, finally!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

June 2, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (noun): [chaw-kuh-lit pee-nuht buht-er kuhp-keyks] A moist chocolate cake with sweet peanut butter buttercream frosting dipped in a smooth and creamy chocolate ganache and topped with chopped peanuts.

So I saw a picture of these cupcakes here and thought they looked awesome. I liked the idea of using ganache as a topping rather than a filling for once. I was totally ready to try the recipe until I realized they didn’t give the recipe out. Pretty lame. So, judging from the picture, the description, and my previous cupcake knowledge, I recreated the picture with my own recipe. I used a pretty basic chocolate cupcake recipe, the ganache recipe from my Guinness-Gasms, and just added peanut butter to my standard frosting recipe. These cupcakes reminded me of my recipe for PB&B. They’re delicious, especially if you love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS:

CUPCAKES:

  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

GANACHE:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

*Note: If you are using this ganache for a filling instead of a topping, you may need to double the recipe

INSTRUCTIONS:

CUPCAKES:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.
  • Measure out the milk, but do not add it yet.
  • Alternate adding the dry flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition and ending with the dry mixture.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  • Scoop the finished batter into your cupcake pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

FROSTING:

  • Start by beating together the butter and peanut butter in a bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract, beating to combine.
  • Gradually add in two cups of confectioners sugar, beating well.
  • Add the heavy cream and combine.
  • Gradually add more confectioners sugar to the mixture until it is the right consistency. It should form stiff peaks when mixed.
  • Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, ice the cupcakes!
  • Try not to eat them yet.

GANACHE:

  • Fill a medium sized bowl with the coarsely chopped chocolate.
  • In a skillet, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.
  • Once simmering, pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and mix to melt.
  • Add in the butter and continue to stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Dip the top of each cupcake into the ganache and place on a wire rack.
  • Once all of the cupcakes have been dipped, you can add the coarsely chopped peanuts on top.
  • EAT THEM.

Cookies n’ Cream Cupcakes

June 1, 2011

Cookies n’ Cream Cupcakes (noun): [kook-ees n kreem kuhp-keyks] A moist, delicious cupcake with an Oreo cookie base, topped with  rich cookies and cream frosting and Oreo cookie garnish.

I saw this recipe popping up everywhere and I knew I had to try it. Each one that I saw was slightly different though, and I didn’t love any one in particular. I ended up combining a few different elements from each and putting my own spin on it. The cool thing about this cupcake is that the base is an Oreo cookie. It adds a little crunch and looks pretty cool too. Any Oreo lover will be a huge fan of these.

I couldn’t decide which would be better with cookies and cream, chocolate or vanilla cake. After much deliberation and a few sleepless nights, my indecisiveness led me to try both, and they were equally delicious! I’m not going to lie, I needed to make these cupcakes in bulk so I cheated a bit and used instant cake mix! However, since the impressive part of these cupcakes is the icing and the cookie base, you can really use any of your favorite basic cake recipes for this. But here are some basic vanilla and chocolate cake recipes if you want to make the cake from scratch:

 

INGREDIENTS:

VANILLA CUPCAKES:

  • 1 package Oreo cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:

  • 1 package Oreo cookies
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • crushed Oreos

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Separate the Oreo cookies and place the side with cream face up in the bottom of the pan. This will be the crunchy base of the cupcake. The other halves can be placed in a bowl and set aside for the frosting.


VANILLA CUPCAKES:

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla and the milk and beat until combined.
  • Slowly beat in the flour mixture until combined.
  • Pour finished batter into the pan, over top of the Oreo cookie halves.

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:

  • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in vanilla extract and the previously melted chocolate until smooth.
  • Alternate adding the flour mixture and the sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the boiling water and beat to combine (the batter will seem very thin).
  • Pour finished batter into prepared pans, over top of the Oreo cookie halves.

  • Bake cupcakes until an inserted knife comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

FROSTING:

  • Begin by beating the butter together until smooth and fluffy.
  • Begin by adding 2 cups of the confectioners sugar, gradually, while mixing.
  • After 2 cups of confectioners sugar, add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and beat together.
  • Gradually add the rest of the confectioners sugar and cream and beat together.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Adjust the consistency if needed (if the frosting is too runny, add more confectioners sugar, if too stiff, add more cream) until just right.
  • Lastly, take the Oreo cookie halves set aside earlier and crush them either with a food processor or by hand in a Ziplock bag.
  • With a rubber spatula, fold in the crushed Oreos. This can be as much or as little of the Oreos as you like.

  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, ice them!
  • Any leftover Oreo cookie halves can be cut in two and used as a topper for your cupcakes.