Posts Tagged 'cupcake'

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

There’s no crazy like 8th-grade-with-7-days-of-school-left crazy.  These kids are wired.  I wish I could share their enthusiasm, but it’s hard to get excited about summer when it never gets above 65 degrees, and summer means thick fog all day and every day.  I’m soooo over it.

Fortunately, I have friends in sunnier places, and those friends like to throw dessert potlucks.

Or technically, dessert plus taco dip potlucks.  Things like that totally save my sanity.

I agonized over what to make for this little get-together and finally settled on these cupcakes.  They are nice and buttery and make the perfect base for a swirl of cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:80]

(cupcakes from Joy the Baker/, frosting adapted from Cafe Mom)

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day


I guess no news is good news when it comes to hip x-rays. Technically, the no news was that the x-ray looked normal, which means the bone and the hardware are fine. I spent a very painful half hour with my foam roller this evening and everything’s feeling a lot better.

So much better, in fact, that I’m going to attempt a VERY short, very easy run before work tomorrow (on the treadmill, so I can stop immediately if anything hurts). Fingers are crossed that it goes okay and I can still run that half marathon next weekend. Yep, not holding my breath.

Ellie has been showing off her new trick of sitting up, which she can do successfully most of the time (the rest of the time she folds in half with her face on her feet, which weirdly doesn’t seem to bother her. Strange kid.) Sophie helps her out.

But what’s better than playing with Sophie? Playing with Dad! The hour between 6:30 and 7:30, when he’s home and she’s still awake, is definitely her favorite hour of the day.

I was a little sad when I realized St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t falling on a school day, but that was not about to stop me from baking for my co-workers. These are just simple chocolate cupcakes frosted with a basic mint buttercream. I colored half of it green and left the other half white, and put them together in the piping bag to get a swirl.

By the way, if you still need St. Patrick’s Day recipes, I have some for you here!
[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:61]
(adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Chocolate-Almond-Coconut Cupcakes


Oh look, more running and more cupcakes!

I kicked off Big Sur Marathon training with a 15.27 mile run on Sunday. I spent a lot of the run in Golden Gate Park, thinking with every step how grateful I am to have this amazing place to run just a few miles from my house.

I kept it nice and easy, finishing in 2:18 (9:03 min/mile).

I know Easter’s not for awhile, but it’s not too early to start thinking about dessert! Oh! Nuts offered to send me some Jordan almonds to use in a baked good or craft, and I immediately envisioned cupcakes with Jordan almonds for decoration.

These have chocolate, almond meal, and coconut inside, with fluffy white frosting, toasted coconut, and Jordan almonds on top. Hard to go wrong with that combination!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:50]

(from Epicurious)

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Courtney is a Facebook and blogging friend that I’ve never met in real life, but I’m SO excited to be a part of a virtual baby shower in honor of the little girl she’s expecting next month! (Thanks for hosting, Josie!)

It took me forever to decide what to make for this. At first I was thinking something savory, and then I decided I wanted to make cupcakes (sort of fitting since Courtney worked at a cupcake bakery!) Pink lemonade cupcakes seemed like a pretty good baby shower dessert, and Mike and I both loved these.

The recipe I found online called for cake mix and pudding mix, which definitely was not going to happen, so I turned to Joy of Cooking and cut their white cake recipe in half, with a little lemon extract instead of vanilla. Then I just mixed some pink lemonade concentrate into the frosting.

Courtney, I’m so excited for you and your husband to welcome your sweet baby girl, and she’s one lucky kid to get you as parents!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:48]

(adapted from Joy of Cooking and inspired by The White Library)

Eggnog Cupcakes

This weekend wasn’t just about running, even though that consumed a lot of it. We also went to the oh-so-festive tree lot at the Target parking lot to get our Christmas tree!

There was a lengthy discussion about whether a Noble or a Douglas was better (my family always gets Nobles, but Mike’s always gets Douglas Firs). After walking back and forth between the two, we finally settled on this pretty Douglas.

We needed a Christmas-y treat to go with our new seasonal decor, and even though I don’t really like drinking eggnog, I love it in cupcakes!

The recipe I found was really good, but once it was mixed up, it definitely looked like it could use some more liquid, so I added an extra half cup of egg nog, and it worked beautifully. And like pretty much everything I make, the extras went to work with Mike, in our new cupcake carrier (something I should have purchased LONG ago!)

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:21]
(adapted from Naturally Ella)

Buttermilk Genoise Cupcakes with Chocolate Raspberry Ganache


This probably means my weekends are lame, but one of the highlights of this past one was finding big containers of fresh raspberries at the store (another was finishing a hat I was knitting for the baby… yes I’m 86 years old). As soon as I got them home I had a really hard time narrowing down what I wanted to do with them, but I knew it had to involve chocolate. Now that the school year is pretty much over, I’m finding I have WAY more time to bake and go to the gym – two things that balance each other out pretty nicely!

I was initially drawn to chocolate cupcakes with some kind of raspberry filling, and chocolate ganache on top, but when I found the recipe for chocolate raspberry ganache in The Secrets of Baking, I knew there was nothing else that would be more appealing. I wanted it to really stand out, so instead of making a chocolate cupcake, I made a buttermilk genoise from the same book.

The cupcakes initially looked like a complete failure when I pulled them from the oven. They pulled away from the sides of the pan and there were huge indentations in the tops. I found online that a bunch of other people had this problem, but realized it was actually kind of perfect because it made an ideal place to pipe the ganache.

I may try experimenting with other genoise recipes in the future, but I actually loved the way these turned out, and the flavor and texture were perfect (which to me is more important than how they look anyway). The only change I made to the ganache recipe was using chocolate chips because I had them on hand, and adding heavy cream while whipping to lighten the texture. The only thing I might change is to make 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 recipes next time, because I only had enough for a small rosette on each cupcake.

And if you happen to have any leftover raspberries or want to do something a little healthier, this mornings smoothie included a bunch of raspberries, a frozen banana, almond milk, chocolate protein powder, and chia seeds, and it was almost as good as a cupcake!
Recipe
(adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard)

makes 24 cupcakes

cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
6 ounces butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together three times.

Set a saucepan of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer (turn down the heat if it starts to boil). Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and set it over the simmering water, whisking with a wire whisk constantly until a thermometer reads 110 F.

Using the whisk attachment of the stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high for about 6 minutes, or until pale and fluffy and a ribbon forms when drizzled from a spatula. Beat for an additional 2 minutes on medium, then turn to low and mix in the melted butter.

Fold in 1/3 of the dry ingredients using a wire whisk. Add 1/3 of the buttermilk and fold gently. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Gently stir in the vanilla.

Divide evenly among the cupcake tins, filling each nearly to the top. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden on top. The cupcake should not stay indented when you press gently on it with your finger.

Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (the tops may cave in, but that’s a great place to pipe ganache!)

When completely cool, top with the whipped ganache.

ganache
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz butter, melted
1 cup fresh raspberries, pureed and strained (about 1/3 cup puree), at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream

24 raspberries

Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the butter until smooth. Stir in the raspberry puree and mix until smooth. Transfer to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium high until the mixture is room temperature. Pour in the heavy cream and continue whipping until stiff enough to pipe.

Pipe a rosette onto each cupcake then top with a raspberry. Store in the refrigerator.

Glazed Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Candied Lemon Peel

My little sister came to visit for this fabulous 3-day weekend, and even though I was sick part of the time, we made the most it with a LOT of good food, a great run, and a batch of cupcakes.

I got these last weekend but the week went by so fast I didn’t get a chance to use them.

When Emily got here I knew baking would have to be on the agenda because she likes to bake even more than I do. Before I get to the cupcakes, though…some food.

Sushi places aren’t exactly hard to find in San Francisco, but we decided to try one in the Richmond district that got good reviews on Yelp (Minami Restaurant, 1900 Clement Street, San Francisco). It turned out to be perfect because they had an 18-piece vegetarian sushi plate (shown in the picture above). It was SO GOOD! I haven’t had sushi for so long because usually the vegetarian options are kind of boring, but this plate came with portabello mushroom, burdock, cucumber, egg, sweet potato, cucumber, and inari sushi.

They had a couple different sakes to choose from. Plus the seaweed salad was perfect!

The restaurant is TINY but the two women who were serving were incredibly friendly and sweet, and I loved the decorations.

After dragging ourselves home in a food coma, we went to sleep pretty early so we could run first thing in the morning. It was BEAUTIFUL.

We ended up running 8.5 miles…to the beach and back.

After our run, we went to one of my favorite places…Sunrise Deli (2115 Irving Street, San Francisco)

They have won a bunch of awards for having the best falafel in town, and they deserve them all! It’s so flavorful and light and crisp. I usually get the falafel plate because it comes with sides that I like, but today we all got the Super Falafel sandwich.

It’s lavash bread wrapped around falafel, vegetables, and tahini sauce, but the best part by far is that it has French fries inside!
We also split an order of dolmas, which were wonderful.

I love that they also have a small section of Middle Eastern groceries.

After that amazing lunch, it was baking time. It took us awhile to find a basic cupcake recipe…most of them included raspberry or ricotta or white chocolate, but I was looking for something that would let the meyer lemon flavor shine, and these definitely do that.

They have a tender, soft texture and the bright, fresh flavor of Meyer lemons. The glaze definitely brings out the citrus flavor, and the candied lemon on top is a fun addition but definitely isn’t crucial.

For me, the lemon peel was a giant pain because in my first attempt, all the water boiled away and I almost ruined the pan, and for the second attempt, I think I may have let them boil too long in the sugar water because they all clumped together when I got them out and I had to quickly use a fork to separate them so they wouldn’t harden into a giant lemony-sugary mass. So if you’re going to do the candied peels, make sure you keep a close eye on them!

Recipe:
(adapted from Alpineberry and All Recipes)

makes 24 mini cupcakes + 6 regular cupcakes, or about 15 regular cupcakes

cupcakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 ounces butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 meyer lemon (about 1/2 Tablespoon)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp meyer lemon juice

glaze
2 tbsp meyer lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

candied peel
zest of 1 meyer lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler in strips
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line your pans with paper liners.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork. Set aside.

Beat the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about a minute and scraping down the bowl after each. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.

Stir together the buttermilk and lemon juice.

Add a third of the flour mixture to the batter and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the bowl and add half the buttermilk. Mix until combined, and repeat with flour mixture, then buttermilk, then flour mixture.

Divide evenly among pans, and bake for about 8-10 minutes (mini cupcakes) or 18-20 minutes (regular cupcakes) or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, whisk the lemon juice and 3/4 cup powdered sugar together until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar little by little until it reaches the desired thickness. Wait until cupcakes are completely cool to glaze (and if you’re using candied peel, you’ll want to have it ready)

The candied peel can be made a few hours in advance. Cut the strips of peel with a paring knife so they’re about 1/4″ by 2″

Put 1 cup of water in a small sacuepan and bring to a boil. Add the peel strips and boil 5 minutes, covered, then remove with a slotted spoon.

Add the sugar to the water and return to a boil. Stir in the peel and boil for about 10-15 minutes. Carefully use a small mesh strainer or a slotted spoon to remove the peels and place them on a plate so they’re not touching each other. Let dry.

Spread or pour the glaze on the cupcakes, then top each with a small piece of candied peel.

Maple Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream


I recently discovered there is an AMAZING cake decorating supply store about a mile from my house. I’m going to need to find some serious self-control so that I don’t end up spending every paycheck there, but I stopped in this weekend and was amazed by the variety of icing colors, cake pans, cookie cutters, chocolate, flavorings, and candy molds. The best part is, the prices are pretty reasonable and the lady working there was extremely helpful. Obviously as soon as I got home I just had to bake.

Although I was tempted to make pumpkin cupcakes, the jar of Grade B maple syrup in the fridge was calling to me, and I ended up finding this recipe for maple cupcakes. The flavor is amazing, although the texture is a little denser than I’d like. Still, it didn’t stop Mike and me from eating way too many of them, and I’m going to post the recipe just because the flavor is so amazing.

For frosting, I decided to experiment with swiss meringue buttercream. It always makes me a little nervous because it takes awhile to take on the right consistency, but after it’s ready it is seriously amazing stuff! Because of my addiction to maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal packets as a kid, I used brown sugar for the buttercream and it worked perfectly. These will make anyone with a sweet tooth extremely happy!

Recipe:

cupcakes
(adapted from Baking Bites)

makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside

Beat the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs (one at a time), scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Stir the buttermilk and maple syrup together and add to the butter mixture alternating with the flour. Mix on low and be careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins. Bake for about 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

frosting
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into small cubes
pinch salt

Stir the egg whites and brown sugar together in a heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Stir constantly with a wire whisk until the temperature reaches 160 F. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high until soft, shiny peaks form.
Switch to the paddle attachment, and mix in the salt and butter (one cube at a time) on medium-low. The frosting will look lumpy or curdled at first, but after about 8-10 minutes should be smooth. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

You know those articles about people who find their dream job and get to spend every day doing what they love? I thought it was all just a bunch of crap, until I got this job. Yes, teaching middle school definitely has its moments, but I honestly feel like there is nothing in the world I would rather do. Even as much as I love baking, (and considered trying to make it a career at one point), I think being in the classroom is the perfect place for me.

But obviously I’m still going to bake (for fun), and I’m going to take a lot of what I bake to school, because my co-workers are truly amazing people who are making my first year as a teacher so much less stressful than it could be. Okay, I think that’s about enough sappiness for one blog post. Onto the cupcakes.

Gingerbread, cream cheese frosting and lemon are almost magical when combined into one cupcake. As someone who loves anything and everything ginger (and believes most things are better with cream cheese frosting), these were an ideal treat. And I know my co-workers agreed because they vanished pretty quickly!

Recipe
(adapted from Epicurious)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water

frosting
6 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners.
Sift the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon together into a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, then add the egg and molasses and beat on medium until smooth.
Combine the boiling water and baking soda in a small bowl, mixing so the baking soda dissolves. Add to the molasses mixture, and stir well. Then add the flour, and mix on low until all traces of flour disappear.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely (the tops may sink slightly).

To make the frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar. Add additional powdered sugar if it seems too runny, then spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Two of my favorite things about visiting my parents are my mom’s fully stocked pantry for baking and my dad’s willingness to run with me (pretty much any distance and at any time of day!)

My parents had a stack of Listener magazines sitting on their coffee table, and one of them had a feature on cupcakes. I keep saying that I’ve moved on from cupcakes, but obviously that’s not true. The recipe for Hummingbird cupcakes looked especially promising, and I’ve never tasted or made them before (so obviously I have no idea if these are authentic hummingbird cupcakes or not, but I do know they’re really good!)

The pantry had everything I needed, but I totally messed up the metric conversions on my first attempt. After returning from the Far North this afternoon I made sure I had the conversions right and then made them again, with the right amount of flour this time. These could just as easily pass for muffins if you leave the frosting off, but of course in my personal opinion, there’s never any reason to forgo frosting.

Recipe:
(adapted from New Zealand Listener Magazine)

cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
1/3 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple

frosting
1/2 cup softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp marmalade
1 tsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350 and line 14 cupcake tins with paper liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together and set aside.

Beat the oil, sugar, and eggs together, then stir in the flour mixture. Gently stir in the carrots, bananas, orange zest, and pineapple. Divide evenly among cupcake tins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and sugar together, then beat in the marmalade and milk (a few drops at a time, if you need it). Spread evenly on the cupcakes.



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