Tag-Archive for ◊ cupcake ◊

13 Jul 2011 Butterbeer Cupcakes

Harry Potter.  My 20 year old twins have tickets to the midnight show.  Of course they do.  They were in second grade when I read the first book to them. We stood in line at midnight for the fifth book to be released. After Book Two we had to buy multiple copies of each because no one (myself and their older sister included) could possibly wait for someone else to finish the book before they could start it. They’ve both read all seven books at least three times.  Yes, that’s right.  They’ve both read ALL seven books at least three times.  We have some books on ten disk CD sets.  They listen to them when driving home from college. They saw all seven movies on the day they were released. We own all the DVDs. Tomorrow’s movie premier:  Book Seven, part Two is the end.  The end of everything.  The last Harry Potter movie signals the end of their childhood just as much as their high school graduation, their high school prom, and their first nights in their college dorms rooms did.

My daughter is running a Harry Potter marathon tonight.  She’s  set up the Three Broomsticks Tavern.  Tonight’s specials: Butterbeer cupcakes and Cockroach Clusters (chocolate covered pretzel clusters sprinkled with powdered sugar) and Butterbeer Floats (cream soda with butter pecan ice cream).

These cupcakes are delicious; a from scratch cupcake, a filling, a frosting, and a drizzle!  To die for.  Oops. A double entendre.

I found the recipe at AmyBites, as have a good many other people!  Thanks, Amy!  I left out the artificial butter flavoring, and I should probably say to reduce the ganache by half.  Abby had a lot left over…, but I think it will be a good drizzle for that leftover butter pecan ice cream 🙂

Butterbeer Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda

For the ganache (for the filling and the drizzle):

1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream
.

For the buttercream frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
Splash of milk or cream (as needed)

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugars and beat until well-combined, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then beat in vanilla. Add one third of flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture and stir to incorporate.  Add half of the buttermilk and half of the cream soda and mix to combine. Add half of remaining flour mixture, mix well.  Add remaining buttermilk and cream soda, mix well.  Stir in remaining flour mixture.

Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.

For butterscotch filling: In a double boiler (heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove), combine butterscotch chips and heavy cream and stir until completely combined and smooth. Cool to room temperature. Fill a squeeze bottle with ganache and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow.

For buttercream frosting: Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in cooled ganache, vanilla, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Add milk or cream by the Tablespoon as needed. Frost cupcakes and top with a drizzle of butterscotch ganache.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  These are very, very good cupcakes, even if you are not into Harry Potter or Butterbeer 🙂  If you are into Harry Potter, you have to make them.  To mark and to celebrate the end of and era.  A very, very good era.

23 Feb 2011 Champagne Cupcakes

My daughter recently catered a birthday dinner for a very bubbly, champagne loving girl.  She knew Champagne Cupcakes had to be on the menu!  The good news is that these are great cupcakes not only for a birthday dinner, but for an Oscar party, too! Aren’t we all going to an Oscar party on Sunday?? They’re also good for many other champagne worthy events:  Birthday Party, Engagement Party, Shower, Wedding, New Year’s Eve, Promotion, Retirement, Bon Voyage, Welcome Home, Mortgage Burning, Mortgage Acquisition,  Crowning of Miss America… 🙂

This recipe makes a very light and not-so-sweet cupcake.  The champagne flavor really comes through if you brush champagne on the cakes before adding the frosting. This was my daughter Hannah’s idea, it’s not in the original recipe.  She also added more champagne to the frosting (tut-tut-tut, says Mom…)!  The original recipe called for coloring, but not being a food coloring fan, Hannah omitted it.  “In retrospect”, she said, “it would have been nice to have a slightly pink colored frosting.  After all, I did use pink champagne!”

Champagne Cupcakes

For Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup pink champagne, plus extra (approx ½ cup) for brushing onto baked cupcakes (I used Chandon Rose)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 4-5 drops red food coloring (optional)

For Frosting

  • 1 1lb box powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • ¼ cup pink champagne
  • 3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • candy pearls (I found these in the cake decorating section of the grocery store)

To Make Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat eggs whites with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Set aside. (If you have only one bowl for your electric mixer, you will have to remove the egg whites to another bowl).
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer,  cream the 2/3 cup butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Slowly mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until combined.  Add in ½ of the champagne, beat until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing until fully incorporated, then add the remaining ½ cup of champagne, beating until combined. Beat in the remaining flour mixture and the food coloring, mixing until combined.
  6. Gently fold in 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the cake batter and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in remaining egg white mixture until combined.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin tins, filling each cupcake liner 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on wire rack.
  9. Once cupcakes have cooled, poke 8-10 holes in each cupcake using a toothpick. Using a pastry brush, coat each cupcake with champagne.

To Make Frosting

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and champagne.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and food coloring, mixing well until the frosting is smooth. (If too stiff add more champagne, if too runny add more powdered sugar.)
  3. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off), and decorate cupcakes.
  4. Top with candy pearls.

Makes: 24 cupcakes.  Keeps well for a day or two.

Thank you for stopping by my kitchen today!  And thank you to my daughter, Hannah, for testing this recipe and sharing the cupcakes with me.  Guess what I am taking to my Oscar Night Party?  Yep!  If you’d like to take these to a special event, but don’t have time to make them, contact  Hannah, she is a fledgling caterer, you know!

29 Jan 2011 Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been in a funk all week.  I made two more cakes from that book I was all aglow about last weekend.  I’m no longer glowing.

First off, I wanted to make the Red Velvet cake; the picture looked so great, and it was front and center on the cover, so I had high hopes.  The recipe was a bit odd though.  Red Velvet cake is supposed to have three things: 1) a very, very light chocolate taste 2) a very bright red color and 3) a pronounced tang from the addition of buttermilk and vinegar.  This cake was good on point one.  The recipe called for ¼ cup of cocoa powder, which is good.  I have seen some recipes for as little as 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder.  I wanted some chocolate taste in the cake!  The recipe also hit a high note on the red color.  The color in the picture looked good, and recipe only called for one tablespoon of red food coloring.  I have seen some recipes call for as much as three tablespoonsful!  My first hint of trouble was with point three, no buttermilk and no vinegar!  The recipe called for sour cream, but I was still going to go with it, thinking the sour cream would have enough tang.

Once I started making the cake, the trouble began.  First, the directions called for “a food processor”.  Um no.  The directions then said, ” Cream the butter in a mixer on medium speed”.  Not a food processor, a mixer.  Bad mistake. THEN, the directions called for two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, but the pictures of the cake-both on the cover, and next to the recipe-were of a three layer cake.  Uh-oh.  Having only two matching 8-inch cake pans, and two matching 9-inch cake pans, not three matching of either size, I decided to bake the cake in the  9-inch layer pans thinking the recipe probably meant to three 8-inch pans or two 9-inch pans.  I thought wrong.  I had too much batter for two 9-inch pans.  The pans were this close to overflowing.  The cakes baked up huge, and domed.  I am pretty sure the cake needed to be baked in three 9-inch pans.  Not sure how many 8-inch pans.  How could there be two such glaring mistakes on one recipe, especially in a book based on recipes that had been tested and that explicitly stated (and the specific reason I bought this book) that recipes with problems had been “rebaked” until they were right?

BUT, after baking, the cake looked good, but a bit crisp on the outside (probably due to over-baking because each pan held too much batter) and seriously domed.  Never mind, I thought.  I can fix it.  I trimmed off the over-browned sides of the cakes, and cut off the domed tops.  The cakes stacked nicely together.  Firm enough for a stable two layer cake, I thought.  I wasn’t overwhelmed when I tasted the discarded domed top, but I thought that was because the cake was still a bit warm from the oven, and didn’t have frosting on yet.

I mixed up the frosting for the cake.  It went on lovely and I spread it on thickly, but I definitely had enough left over for a third layer! Nevertheless, I though the cake was beautiful.  Look at the picture! I was all excited to kick off my Valentine’s Day marathon chocolate posts with this cake…, until I tasted it.  The frosting was to die for, but the cake was No Big Whoop, in fact, it was a Bad Whoop.   The light chocolate taste was good, and there was a bit of a tang, but it wasn’t a good tang.  The cake just wasn’t good. The color was red, but with a bad tasting cake, it made things worse.  I tested the cake on twelve of my favorite testers, my Dining For Women group. Most said the cake was OK, but nobody wanted me to make it again.  Everyone would prefer a chocolate cake, or a yellow cake, or a lemon cake or a carrot cake or a coconut cake.  No one wanted any more Red Velvet cake. The next morning I tasted the cake again, and I knew it was all over.  It just was not a good tasting cake.  Remember the red velvet armadillo groom’s cake in “Steel  Magnolias”?  Did you want a piece? This cake tasted as bad as that cake looked!  It was a tragedy.

I did get three requests for the Cream Cheese Frosting though. The frosting I will make again.  So the frosting recipe I will share.  I hope you have a good cake recipe to use it on!

Cream Cheese Frosting

From “All Cakes Considered” by Melissa Gray

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar (about 7 ½ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the butter and cream cheese together at medium speed.  Gradually add in the powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).  Add in the vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Makes enough frosting to decorate a three layer cake.

I served the Red Velvet cake, with another one made from the same book .  More problems with the recipe but well worth a rebake.  Version Two of the Drunken Monkey cake is sitting on my counter right now.  A definite improvement over Version One in looks. Taste testing tomorrow.  I sure hope it is good enough to post. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

30 Oct 2010 Doggie Cupcakes

No recipe with this post, I just wanted to brag on my daughter Abby.  Look at the cute “Pupcakes” she made for her nephew’s second birthday party!  Isn’t she talented?  She got her inspiration from Martha Stewart’s book, “Cupcakes”.  BTW, these cupcakes were not cheap.  By the time she bought the ingredients to make the cupcakes and to decorate the cupcakes, she had spent $50.  (I know because she charged it on my credit card.)  $50 divided by 24 cupcakes is just over $2 a cupcake!  (But there are enough leftover ingredients to make another batch or two.) They also took a lot of time, it took her and a friend about 4 hours, just to decorate the pupcakes.

20 Oct 2010 Cupcake Tin Turkey Pies

I’ve posted this recipe before, on my Polly, Julie, and Julia Facebook page.  I think this is one of my Top Ten Posted Recipes 🙂

When asked what his favorite kind of pie is, my son always answers, “meat” and then gets those raised eyebrow are-you-kidding-me looks from Americans not familiar with Great British cooking. Meat pies are one of the delicious cornerstones of British cookery. That being said, this is a very American recipe from Epicurious.com (but it stays true to the spirit of a great British meat pie). This meat pie uses boxed pastry crusts (although you could make your own), ground turkey, grated apple, grated onion, and sage. The pies can be eaten hot, warm or cold. Whole trays of unbaked pies can be frozen to be baked later. Baked pies can be frozen to be reheated in the oven, oven or microwave . Cupcake Tin Turkey Pies can be a quick snack, breakfast, lunch or dinner, they are good for game day parties, buffets, and picnics, and they are tasty all the time. My grandson giggled his way through his first Cupcake Tin Turkey Pie and that meant he liked it a lot!

I have two dozen Cupcake Tin Turkey Pies in the freezer. At my house, one never can tell when a gaggle or bevy of college students will stop by.

Try these! They are so much better in taste, nutrition, lack of preservatives, and cost-per-serving than Hot Pockets and other similar packaged food products. Don’t eat those nasty things! Try these instead! They’ll become a staple at your house, too.  BTW…, how much would two dozen Hot Pockets cost?  Waaaay more than two dozen Cupcake Tin Turkey Pies, that I am sure of.

I have made a lamb version of these pies, but I didn’t likethem nearly as much.  If you want to try Cupcake Tin Lamb Pies, change the herbs and spices to 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, 1 teaspoon allspice and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Cupcake Tin Turkey Pies

¾ pound ground turkey
1 medium (or ½ large) onion, peeled and grated
¼ cup applesauce or ½ grated, peeled apple
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or ½ tsp dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried…or omit)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
2 boxes pre-rolled, refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)or a double batch of your own pie crust

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients but the dough and 1 tablespoon of the eggs; refrigerate mixture while you prepare the pastry. Unroll the dough and cut out twelve 4-inch circles with a biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass. Line the bottoms and sides of the tins with the 4-inch rounds. Remove the bowl of filling from the refrigerator and divide evenly among the pastry filled muffin cups. Press the 2-inch rounds on top, pinching the edges together to seal. Poke a hole in the center of each pie. Brush tops with the reserved egg. Bake until the tops are browned and puffed slightly, 30 to 35 minutes. Loosen pies with thin metal spatula, place into a paper or foil cupcake/muffin liner. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Eat with hands. Serve warm…although my kids eat them hot, cold, warm and at room temperature. Can be frozen before baking-when ready to bake just follow directions above but bake for 40-45 minutes. Makes 18 cupcake sized turkey pies. Can make mini-muffin size for an appetizer buffet (but the mini pies have too much crust, and not enough filing,  for my taste.)

If these become a frequent item in your home, you might want to dedicate one cupcake pan to them, because a few batches do mess up the pans. I have two older pans for meat pies, and three pans for cupcakes. The pans stack and store easily, and you can buy a cupcake pan on sale for $3.99 sometimes.  OK, so I might have a few too many cupcake pans…

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  See you again, soon! (Pssssst…! Vegan version to be posted shortly.  Yes, it’s true, veganized Cupcake Tin Turkey Pies!)

16 Oct 2010 Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

My new favorite pumpkin recipe, and my new favorite muffin recipe, just in time for your fall weekend baking:  Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin!  Am I your favorite food blogger, or what?!  This recipe is all over the food blogs right now, and I am a bit late-for-the-train in posting it (one of the casualties of the lost camera saga).

This muffin has been likened to the Starbucks Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins.  I think that’s a fair comparison, but I like this recipe better, for two reasons.  One,  I think the Starbucks muffin cook is heavy handed with the cloves, this recipe has no cloves, and that’s a very good thing.   Two, you can make two dozen of these muffins for the cost of buying just two muffins from Starbucks. Yes.  I said twenty-four muffins.

Unfortunately this recipe makes 24 muffins.  Not that I am opposed to 24 muffins, but I hardly ever need or want that many.  I try to have each muffin recipe make 12 muffins, which is usually more than enough for a home cook. I tried to cut this recipe in half and I tried to cut it down to two-thirds.  Neither attempt worked.  The muffins were dry.  The twenty-four muffin recipe is not dry, so you’ll just have to make them all.  Invite the neighborhood over!  Drop some off at a friend’s house! Have a bake sale!  Give some to the gardener or your child’s teacher! These muffins stay moist for several days.

Start this recipe the night before.  The cream cheese filling needs to sit in the freezer for at least a few hours, and overnight is fine, before baking.  That’s ANOTHER great thing about this recipe. FINALLY, a method that works for inserting a cream cheese layer into a baked goods.  Ohhh, it’s a good day to be stopping by my kitchen!

I have inserted three options for the topping of the muffins.  The fourth option is to not add a topping to the muffin.  These muffins really don’t need a sweet topping. The cream cheese layer, and the muffin itself, are sweet enough.  I found the struesel layer to be just a bit too much.  Imagine me saying that!  Me,  a Sweet Tooth Queen!  I like the idea of sprinkling a few pumpkin seeds on top (the green ones, pepitas), which is what Starbucks does, but I couldn’t find pumpkin seeds the last time I was at the store.  The muffin above has a slight sprinkling of raw sugar on top. I like the little crunch.

So, without any further ado…

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Optional Streusel Topping (see notes above):

½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup pecans, chopped finely
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Alternate toppings: a sprinkling of green pumpkin seeds (Pepitas) or raw sugar

Pumpkin Muffin Batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (or 1 ¼ cups fresh pumpkin puree, drained)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

The night before: Make the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, and blend to combine. Form the mixture into a log on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it, and freeze it overnight, or at least an hour or two.

Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Line two 12-cup standard muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the pumpkin, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the pumpkin mixture into the well. Mix with a fork just until moistened.

Remove the cream cheese from the freezer, and divide it into 24 slices. (I usually cut the log into 12 pieces then cut each of those pieces in half)

Evenly divide half of the batter among the muffin cups-about one tablespoon of batter in the bottom of each muffin cup. Place 1 slice of the cream cheese filling in the center of each cup.  Top the cream cheese with another tablespoon of batter.  Cover the cream cheese completely.

Sprinkle top of muffins with pumpkin seeds, raw sugar OR this Pecan Streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, pecans, butter and cinnamon. Sprinkle some of the pecan streusel on top of each muffin.

Place muffins in a preheated oven and bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.  Muffins should be served at room temperature.  Hot cream cheese is really not very appetizing.

Happy Fall!  Go on, bake a batch of these, enjoy them with your family, friends and neighbors.  Here’s a picture of my grandson enjoying his.  He loves his Grandma’s muffins <3