Thursday, December 15, 2011

Andes Mint Cupcakes

HAPPY NATIONAL CUPCAKE DAY! Being a cupcake blogger I couldn't resist posting something for today...even if it means staying up way too late on a school night baking(: These cupcakes are seriously so good, just skip the trip to Georgetown Cupcake and make these instead! Mint and chocolate has always been a favorite combination of mine, so when my mom found this recipe for me I dropped all the very important things I was doing(taking a nap) and immediately began baking. The cupcakes are light and airy which is perfect for filling with thick ganache. The cream cheese mint frosting really complements the rich chocolatiness of the rest of the cupcake and holds its shape perfectly when piped (something I always struggle with cream cheese frosting). I love the Andes mint on top because it really ties everything together, not to mention looks super cute! These are sure to be a hit at any holiday party, Enjoy!

 I put them on a cupcake stand to serve.

The Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Mint Ganache:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Mint Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 pkg. (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2-lbs. powdered sugar (7-8 cups)
 heavy cream (until desired consistency)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
Green food coloring

30 Andes mints for garnish


For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 30 muffin cups with paper baking liners. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; using a handheld electric mixer or an electric stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. *The batter will be very thin.*

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack, after removing them from the muffin tin.

For mint ganache:
While the cupcakes are baking, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 45 sec. Stir. Repeat the process until the mixture is smooth.( I only had to do this once) Stir in the peppermint extract and powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and pour it into a squeeze bottle or pastry bag.( squeeze bottle is definitely better if available)

For mint frosting:
 For the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the heavy cream and peppermint and vanilla extracts. Mix well. Add green food coloring until the color you like is achieved.
When the cupcakes are cool, insert the tip of the squeeze bottle into the center of the cupcake and press gently to fill the middle of the cupcake with the mint ganache.
I did it a few times for good measure.  :)

Frost the cooled, filled cupcakes with the frosting (I used a large star tip and a pastry bag) or simply spread the frosting in a large dollop with a butter knife or flat spatula. Garnish with an unwrapped Andes mint and a drizzle of leftover ganache (make sure the ganache is completely cool or it will melt the frosting when you drizzle it on top of the cupcake). Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, November 11, 2011

Key Lime Cupcakes with key lime buttercream

I love anything and everything lime. The only problem is that every time I make something lime  I get  a wimpy lime taste that in no way satisfies my craving.  Then I made these. These cupcakes are amazingly soft textured with a bold citrusy lime flavor. If you want to impress your friends with a delicious and beautiful cupcake these are perfect! (nobody needs to know how easy they are)

  Cupcakes adapted from Heather Palmer

The Ingredients:


1 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons lime juice
3-1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime zest

Key Lime Buttercream:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons Key lime zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Key lime juice ( or until desired consistency)


For Cupcakes:
Soften the butter and cream cheese to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat for 5 minutes** while scraping the sides. Add eggs, then vanilla and lime juice. Add dry ingredients, beat, then fold in the lime zest.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners and bake in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.

**5 minutes seems like a long time, but without this step the cupcakes will not have their great fluffy texture (I speak from experience)**
For Frosting:
Beat butter on high speed until pale and creamy. Add zest and vanilla. Add powdered sugar then mix in key lime juice.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

This sweet, refreshing treat is perfect for a hot summer's day! Using the dried strawberries gives it great flavor and vibrant pink color. This frosting is simple, beautiful, and has a great consistency for piping. This frosting can be eaten on most cupcake flavors(or with a spoon),  but is especially good on chocolate cupcakes.
 Adapted from Veg SF

 The Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 Tablespoon whipping cream
1 bag (1.2 oz.)(2 cups) freeze-dried strawberries
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 

For crushed strawberries:
I used Trader Joe's freeze dried strawberries:

Pour the entire bag (2 cups) into blender, and pulse until powdered.

For Frosting:
Beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.Slowly add whipping cream in a small stream into the bowl while beating. Continue to beat on medium until fully combined and fluffy.Add crushed strawberries and powdered sugar.  Mix until combined. Add vanilla. Beat on medium speed until very fluffy(about 5 minutes) Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding more powdered sugar or a bit of milk (1/2 teaspoon at a time).


Monday, May 23, 2011

Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

My mom can sometimes be kind of obsessive when it comes to food, so when she started randomly hinting at how much she hoped I would make this for a Mother's Day treat for her, I knew better than to deny her.  :) I was glad I did...this frosting is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. It has great peanut flavor, without being overwhelming, and is paired perfectly with the garbanzo bean chocolate cupcakes. This frosting holds it's shape and pipes beautifully, it's great for any peanut lover!

The ingredients:

1 jar (7-oz.) marshmallow cream
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 Tbs. milk (I used heavy cream instead)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Directions: In a medium bowl beat marshmallow cream, creamy peanut butter, and butter until smooth.  Increase speed to medium and beat in milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until desired consistency and sweetness level is reached.   Pipe or spread over cooled cake or cupcakes.  Enjoy! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

If you like mint chocolate ice cream, you will LOVE this frosting. It is creamy, cool, and absolutely perfect to round out a rich chocolate cupcake, like the garbanzo bean cupcakes. I was in a rush to make these for a bake sale, but the frosting also holds beautifully when piped. Speaking of the bake sale, these cupcakes were very eye catching and were among the first items to sell out. I drizzled melted mini chocolate chips over the top using a spoon, but I thought it would also be pretty to sprinkle a few unmelted ones on top. This frosting is fun and different, and I strongly recommend it for any occasion.


1-1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons peppermint extract
green food coloring
mini chocolate chips (for garnish)

Whip butter with electric mixer until pale and creamy.(about 2 minutes) Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add vanilla and peppermint extract.* Finally add green food coloring until desired color.

**Note: Start with less peppermint extract, then add more as needed

garbanzo bean chocolate cupcakes

I don't like chocolate cake. Let me rephrase that, I didn't like chocolate cake. Every time someone chose chocolate cake for their birthday I would literally groan. It's always dry, heavy, and lacks a real chocolate flavor. Then everything changed the day my mom asked me to make this recipe. It is amazing! It is moist, rich, and literally goes with any frosting you can think of. Don't be scared off by the beans, you can't even tell they are in the cake, and they make it super moist. Trust me, once you try this delicious cake, there will be no going back.

The ingredients:

1 pkg. (12-ounces)  semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
2 cans (15-oz. each) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
6 eggs
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

 In a small bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until smooth.  In a blender, blend the beans and eggs until creamy.

Add remaining ingredients, including the melted chocolate and blend well.  If your blender is not big enough, pour into a bowl to mix.  Put batter into a greased and floured 9x13-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick in center comes out with moist crumbs--DO NOT OVERBAKE.  For cupcakes, bake for 20-25 minutes.  When cool, frost with chocolate frosting. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These light airy cupcakes are perfect. The sour lemon curd is a perfect balance with the sweet frosting and fluffy cake. My only complaint is the process was long, so if you are looking for quick and easy these aren't great. But afterward taking a bite made all the work totally worth it! I strongly recommend this fun take on the classic lemon meringue pie!

                                        Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
The Ingredients:                    
yield: 24

3 cups all purpose flour
1tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup(2 sticks) butter, room temp.
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temp.
zest of 3 lemons
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

 Lemon Curd:
2 whole eggs plus 8 yolks ( save whites for frosting)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (approx. 6 lemons)
2 tablespoons butter, room temp. cut into small pieces

Seven Minute Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temp. (use whites left from curd)


For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tins with paper liners, and whisk together flour baking powder, and salt.  With an electric mixer cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.  Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, beating just until combined. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake in preheated oven, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown, 25 minutes. Cool completely before removing cupcakes from tin.

For Curd:
Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in heatproof bowl over simmering water. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add butter, whisking until smooth. Refrigerate until firm( 2 hours or up to 2 days) .
It does not appear to make very much, but it is plenty.

For Frosting: 
Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with water and corn syrup in a small saucepan, clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, continue to boil, WITHOUT STIRRING, until sugar reaches 230 degrees.Meanwhile beat the egg whites in STAND MIXER( I tried it with a hand mixer, DO NOT do this unless you want to lose feeling in your arm for the rest of the week) until soft peaks form, and add 2 tablespoons sugar. When syrup reaches 230 degrees immediately remove from heat. With mixer running pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow steady stream. Whisk until mixture is completely cool, test by touching bottom of bowl, and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.( It took me 15 minutes)

Spoon 1 Tablespoon lemon curd over cooled cupcake. Fill pastry bag with star tip with frosting. Pipe frosting over the curd on each cupcake. Hold small kitchen torch 3 inches away and wave back and forth until frosting is light brown. We don't own a kitchen torch, so I put mine in the oven on broil for about 45 seconds.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Recently I watched a cupcake show on food network, which sparked my interest in  cupcakes. I begged my mom to take me to a little shop near us, so I could taste a gourmet cupcake for myself. I took that first bite, and I knew that cake mixes and canned frosting would never enter my mouth again. I immediately went home and found these recipes and made them for my family. They are perfectly fluffy which compliments the creaminess of the frosting perfectly.

Cupcakes adapted from and the frosting was adapted from Pioneer Woman

The Ingredients:


1 can (13-14-ounces) coconut milk, reduced over medium-high heat to 1 cup and cooled to room temperature (see below for more details)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup cream of coconut (I found it in the alcoholic beverage aisle along with other drink garnishments.  It does not contain any alcohol, but is used to make pina coladas.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla (I added vanilla bean instead)
Coconut flakes, toasted (optional, for garnishment)

reduced coconut milk:
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan).

Reduce heat to medium/low; boil until reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. 

(NOTE:  don't try to cut corners by not waiting for the coconut milk to cool completely.  It will melt the butter, and your cupcakes will not be fluffy.)

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add vanilla extract and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended.

Divide batter among muffin cups.

Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.

In a large bowl beat butter until smooth.  Add all other ingredients (powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, cream of coconut, 1 tsp. vanilla extract) and mix until smooth. (Add more cream of coconut as needed for smoother frosting.) 
Ice cupcakes and top with some toasted coconut flakes for that final touch.