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Raspberry beer muffins with raspberry beer frosting

16 Aug

If you remember, back in the day I made beer cupcakes. They were savory, with green onions and cheddar cheese and enough weight to count as a meal.

They were delicious -but sometimes, your friends bring you fruit beer, and then what’s a gal to do?

Make cupcakes. Obviously.

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Raspberry beer cupcakes with white chocolate chunks and raspberry beer frosting

For the cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup white chocolate chunks

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

6 oz raspberry beer (I used Shocktop)

For the frosting

6 oz raspberry beer

3 tablespoons butter

Powdered sugar (approx 1.5 cups)

1) Preheat the oven to 350, and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2) Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl

3) Add white chocolate chunks.

4) Melt butter, and add to the mixture.

5) Add beer, and stir until just barely mixed. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full, and bake for 18-22 minutes (or until knife inserted comes out clean).

6) In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, raspberry beer, and powdered sugar until the frosting is the consistency you want. As you can tell from the picture, I ran out of powdered sugar, so…prepare better than I did.

It’s an Old Fashioned – in a cupcake!

15 Aug

For those of you who know me in real life, you know that nothing comes close to my love for a good Old Fashioned. My favorite bar in DC, the Passenger, does a magnificent job – so much so that when I returned to DC, getting my favorite cocktail was stop #1.

That said, Old Fashioneds don’t seem to lend themselves well to my baking adventures – they’re not sweet, they’re very boozy, and who ever thought of putting bitters in a cupcake?

Well, that has all changed. This Old Fashioned cupcake will change the way you think about an Old Fashioned – and about cupcakes in general, plus it may get you buzzed.

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Old Fashioned Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

2 sticks butter (salted)

1/2 cup half and half (you can also use whole milk, or heavy cream, but the fat content is important here)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp bourbon

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

For the glaze

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

3-5 dashes of bitters (you can use angostura or orange bitters)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners (this will make between 18 and 24 cupcakes)

2) Mix flour and baking powder together, set aside.

3) Using a stand mixer, whip the butter and sugar together until smooth and lightly yellow.

4) In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with bourbon and vanilla. Add to the butter/sugar mixture.

5) Alternate adding the dry ingredients and half and half to the mixing bowl, and mix until smooth (being careful not to overmix).

6) Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full, then bake for 18-22 minutes (or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean).

7) While the cupcakes cool, make the glaze by combining all ingredients in a bowl and stirring until completely combined.

8) Drizzle glaze over cupcakes (you’ll want to be pretty heavy handed on this – the cupcakes will absorb the glaze and become magical).

9) Here’s the important part – eat while warm. Just trust me on this. If you don’t, you’ll want to add more glaze at the time you’re eating them…but it won’t be the same as fresh out of the oven.

Champagne frosting (now with double the bubbles!)

22 May

I love a good Italian buttercream frosting, but that is the high maintenance version of sugary delight. It takes specific ratios, and doesn’t leave much room for creativity.

A good frosting based on butter and powdered sugar on the other hand…that you can whip together with little regard for measurements…and a lot more booze. Obviously, my kinda frosting. Like the previous recipe, you can use this on champagne cupcakes, or just eat it with a spoon. (I won’t tell anyone)

ImageChampagne frosting

Note: all measurements are approximate. keep adding until it’s the consistency you want – you really cannot mess up this frosting.

3-4 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks butter (softened)

1/2 cup champagne

1) Whip the butter with 2 cups of powdered sugar in a stand mixer, then add the champagne and an additional cup of powdered sugar.

2) If this is the consistency you want – bingo. If not, add more powdered sugar until it is the right consistency. If it ends up too dry – add a bit more champagne.

3) Enjoy.

Champagne cupcakes

21 May

Now that you’ve made champagne frosting (wait, you haven’t? Go back and make champagne frosting. Right now. This is not a drill), you’re probably going to want something to put it on.

And what better than champagne cupcakes?

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Champagne cupcakes (adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

2 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
11 tablespoons butter (salted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup champagne
6 egg whites
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2) In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
3) Using stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Combine flour and baking powder, then add while mixing on medium speed. Slowly pour in champagne and mix until just combined.
4) Gently fold in the egg whites. You’ll want to use your hands – and this will get messy, but don’t overmix.
5) Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full.
6) Cook for 22-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
7) Let cool before frosting. I recommend champagne frosting, of course!

Mini vanilla bean cupcakes with buttercream frosting

22 Apr

This one’s for my mom.

Not because she loves cupcakes, or because she taught me to bake (though both of those are true), but because she sends me sprinkles all the time.

I’m not even kidding. Valentine’s Day? Four containers of pink sprinkles. Christmas? Mini Christmas tree sprinkles. Fourth of July? You guessed it, red, white, and blue sprinkles.

As you might imagine, I’ve amassed quite a sprinkle collection, so every now and then, I make cupcakes just to make some progress on reducing my sprinkle stash. This is one of the more delicious forays into sprinkle-using I’ve found — and they’re awfully cute!

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Vanilla bean cupcakes (adapted from DamnDelicious)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • Seeds from one vanilla bean (instructions here)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Mini cupcake wrappers

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two mini muffin pans with mini cupcake wrappers. If you can’t find any, you can also spray with PAM, but it definitely works better with wrappers.

2) In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder).

3) In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt, milk, and egg whites.

4) In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Gradually stir in the vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla. Once it is well mixed, alternate adding the dry mixture and the wet mixture until fully combined. Do not over mix.

5) Pour batter into mini muffin pan, filling each 3/4 of the way full. Cook for 9-14 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

6) To make frosting, mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer and whip until fluffy. Wait until cupcakes cool completely to frost. Dip in whatever sprinkles you have handy!

Vanilla cupcakes with Meyer lemon curd and blackberry buttercream frosting

10 Apr

Sometimes when I go to Whole Foods, I end up buying random ingredients that I haven’t ever used on the theory that it will force me to be creative. That’s how I ended up with a bag of Meyer lemons and a container of blackberries this week.

With the help of some friends on twitter, I decided that both would pair perfectly in a summery cupcake — and with DC’s high of 90 degrees today, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Warning: this recipe uses a LOT of eggs and a LOT of butter. Make sure you have plenty before you start, because the usual dozen eggs and 2lbs of butter you keep on hand just won’t cut it.

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Vanilla cupcakes with Meyer lemon curd and blackberry Italian buttercream frosting

For the cupcakes:

2 3/4 cups cake flour

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

12 tablespoons butter (salted)

4 large egg whites, plus one whole egg

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk (1%, 2%, and whole all work fine)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

For the Meyer lemon curd:

6 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

4 Meyer lemons (though I’d have an extra just in case)

1/2 cup butter, salted, cut into 1 inch pieces

For the frosting:

2 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

12 egg whites

8-12 oz blackberries

1 1/2 lbs salted butter

1 tsp vanilla

First, make the cupcakes.

1) Preheat the oven to 350, and prepare two cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

2) Combine the cake flour, sugar, and baking powder in a stand mixer. Then, add butter and mix until fully incorporated.

3) Add the egg whites, one at a time, and scrape down the bowl after each addition. Then, add the whole egg, and beat well.

4) In a separate, small bowl, add the greek yogurt, milk, vanilla, and almond extracts. Add this mixture to the batter, and mix until fluffy.

5) Pour batter into the cupcake pans, and bake 18-20 minutes. They’ll be done when a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

6) Put cupcakes on a wire rack to cool while you make the frosting and lemon curd.

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Next, make the lemon curd.

1) Mix egg yolks and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir in lemon juice, and heat over medium heat for 15 minutes, making sure curd does not boil.

2) Stir in butter until melted.

3) Strain the curd using a fine mess strainer, then add lemon zest. Set aside to cool.

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Then, make the frosting.

1) Put the egg whites in a stand mixer, and whip until stiff.

2) In a medium sauce pan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Do not stir. Boil for seven minutes over medium heat.

3) Pour the sugar mixture slowly into the egg whites, and beat until the bowl is cool to the touch (approximately 15 minutes).

4) Cut butter into small pieces, and add them slowly to the sugar/egg white mixture.

5) Once the butter is all mixed in, add vanilla and blackberries. I used 6 oz, which wasn’t quite enough – taste and add berries until you like the flavor.

6) Beat frosting until light and fluffy.

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Lastly, assemble the cupcakes.

1) With a cupcake corer or knife, core the cupcakes (and save the pieces!)

2) Spoon a small amount of lemon curd into the center of each cupcake.

3) Put the small piece of cupcake back on top of the lemon curd, and cover with frosting.

4) If you have remaining blackberries, top each cupcake with a blackberry.

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If you have leftover lemon curd, it will be fine in the fridge for a week or so (if it lasts that long!) If you have leftover frosting, I’d recommend freezing it. When you’re ready to use, thaw and whip in a stand mixer until it’s at the desired consistency.

Double chocolate muffins with salted whiskey caramel frosting

8 Apr

Now, I suppose that technically, if you’re frosting them, these are cupcakes. That said, muffins you can eat for breakfast, and cupcakes you can’t, so I’m hereby declaring them muffins for all morning eating purposes.

There’s really not much more to say, now is there.

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Double chocolate muffins with salted whiskey caramel frosting

For the muffins:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 dutch process cocoa powder (you can also use unsweetened cocoa powder, but splurge for the dutch process if you can)

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup salted butter, very very soft

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup coffee

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

For the frosting:

5 tablespoons butter (salted)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup whiskey (I used Knob Creek, but Jack Daniels and Makers also work well)

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ cups white sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

1 tsp sea salt

2-4 tablespoons milk

2 lbs powdered sugar

First, make the cupcakes.

1) Preheat the oven to 350, and prepare the muffin tins (I used cupcake baking cups, but you can also just grease).

2) Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and cocoa in a large bowl — I recommend using a stand mixer.

3) Add butter, and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Then, add vegetable oil, and mix at low speed until the batter is a sand-like texture.

4) In a separate bowl, combine coffee, milk, heavy cream, and vanilla. Slowly add to the flour mixture.

5) Add eggs while mixing on low speed, and mix until fully combined. Don’t forget to scrape down the edges of the bowl.

6) Add mini chocolate chips, and mix for another minute or so, then pour into cupcake pan. Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

1) Heat the heavy cream, butter, whiskey, and vanilla over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove immediately from heat, and set aside.

2) In a large saucepan, mix the sugar, water, and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat, but DO NOT STIR. Bring to a boil, and continue to cook until it is golden brown.

3) Once the sugar mixture is golden brown, stir in the heavy cream/butter mix. Careful: it will bubble up violently. Stir occasionally over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 235 degrees. This usually takes 5-10 minutes, but will depend on temperature/humidity/etc. Once it reaches that temperature, remove from heat and let sit for five minutes.

4) In a stand mixer, mix the slightly cooled salted caramel sauce with 1.5 lbs of powdered sugar (no need to be exact) and one teaspoon sea salt. Add powdered sugar or milk until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Wait for cupcakes to cool before frosting them. Once frosted, sprinkle a bit of additional sea salt on each cupcake.

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