Tag Archives: cupcakes

short and stout

Chocolate Stout Cake from Bon Appetit

2 cups Guinness
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 cups AP flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring 2 cups of Guinness and 4 sticks of butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. It will smell like heaven, but obviously tastes like crap since there is no sugar in it. I would know since I am a child and cannot possibly pass up licking a chocolatey spoon. Cool slightly and keep the spoon out of your mouth. You will thank me.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes for mini cupcakes (35 minutes if you’re making a full sized cake and somewhere in the middle for the normal sized cupcakes). Let cupcakes cool before frosting.

At this point, you could run to your liquor cabinet and grab that Jameson. All variations of Irish Car Bomb (I know it’s not PC, I apologize) cupcakes have an Irish whiskey ganache. Ganache is a mix of chocolate (my favorite is bittersweet or semisweet), butter, and cream. For this cupcake, you’d want to add enough Jameson to taste. Then scoop out a small portion of the top of your cake and throw in some of your spiked ganache. I didn’t do this step because I hate Jameson.

Now for the frosting! This is my standard cream cheese frosting with a few healthy splashes of Irish cream.  Take two sticks of butter, 8 oz of cream cheese, Bailey’s Irish cream, and powdered sugar. Cream the butter and the cream cheese together with a hand mixer. Add the Irish cream to taste. Begin adding the powdered sugar only a few tablespoons at a time and mix. I’ve noticed doing this makes the frosting much more smooth and less chalky. Keep adding sugar until you’ve reached your desired sweetness.

I’ve been a conventional baker for years now, so it’s really no surprise to me that tasty things are usually not good for you. It takes a lot to phase me in the kitchen, but I was horrified by the amount of butter in these. Staring at the 4 sticks of butter in the stout pool gave me the very same sinking feeling I got after making the Flour sticky buns. Regardless, it didn’t stop me from sneaking one (or two) after lunch. What? They were mini!

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knock knock – who’s there?

BANANA! So come inside and let me make something delectable out of you.  Ray and I were supposed to have a banana baked good throw down, but Ray decided to be lazy bones.  Yes, I am calling you out Ray.

I’m not a huge fan of eating bananas.  I’m pretty sure I’m mildly allergic to them — lips get numb when I eat them straight from the peel.  However, covering them in lipids, sugar, and flour seems to solve that problem.  I had cupcakes on the brain, so I figured why not fall back on a classic banana nut cupcake (e.g. a frosted muffin).

First thing’s first. You’ll need to have some tools:


Say hello to your new friends the apple and the brown paper bag!

The magical apple and the brown paper bag are legit going to be your best friends if you’re like me and have no patience. I don’t like waiting for my bananas to get mushy mushy ripe. And that’s where these guys come to play. Just throw your bunch of bananas (it would be wise to buy yellow ones vs. green ones to begin with, don’t be dumb) and just wait 24-48 hours vs. an entire week! Voila!!!!

Banana Cake
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen, the Queen of saturated fat

Ingredients
3 cups AP flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 bananas mashed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup of vegetable oil (yikes! I know that’s a lot of oil. I will discuss this immense amount of fat later)
3 beaten eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mash the living daylights out of your bananas (see the visual above). I let them just settle for a minute so they have time to get nice and juicy. You want juicy because the amount of dry ingredients seem pretty overwhelming compared to the wet.

In the mean time, combine the 3 beaten eggs, the vanilla extract, and the 23957892345324 lbs of vegetable oil. Ok ok, so this is something I feel like you can get around. For instance, you can pull the healthy brownie approach and substitute half of this oil for some apple sauce. I don’t believe in being particularly healthy when it comes to desserts. I went for the oil 100% without even flinching. Plus, I didn’t want my cupcakes tasting anything close to apples.

Stir in the oil, egg, vanilla mixture just enough to get all of your dry ingredients wet. At this point, you’ll want to pour your bananas and any extras you may want like chocolate chips or nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.). I used walnuts. Paula called for pecans, but it’s up to you and your taste buds.

Pour your batter into muffin cups, filling them about 3/4. I opted for mini cupcakes and got a full 75 mini cupcakes out of this recipe. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frost with a standard cream cheese frosting [2 8 oz. package of cream cheese creamed together with 2 stick of butter; add 1 lb. confectioners sugar (or less depending on how sweet you like your frosting), 1 tsp. vanilla extract]. In the past, I’ve added 1 tsp of cinnamon so that it would taste more like the cupcake. You could probably add some banana extract to the frosting as well, but I’m not a huge fan of extracts aside from the standard vanilla.

Serve and enjoy!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 packages (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz fresh strawberries
1/4 cup of sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine cream cheese, butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then beat in oil. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Try not to over mix.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

To make frosting—
In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries. Strain the strawberries through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Once all seeds are removed, add the strawberry juice and the sugar to a sauce pan. On medium heat, reduce until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon. Remove and let cool.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine all frosting ingredients.
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Ah, my fridge is back to normal… full of baked goods.

These cupcakes are delicious. I think I could have added an extra teaspoon of lemon juice to really tang these up, but they were light and creamy and refreshing. I’d say this was a good way to start back here again. Great to be back.

Early Valentine’s Cupcakes

When I was younger, my mom would always tell me not to wish my life away.  Now that I’m no longer a carefree five year old, I know what she means.  Nevertheless, I still find myself wishing for moments to come sooner rather than later.  Thanksgiving and Christmas during my work busy season is a prime example.

Tonight, in true Katie avoidance form, I made carrot cake cupcakes and decorated my quality control cupcake with Valentine’s Day sprinkles.  I think I’m fast forwarding time so my last CPA exam will finally get here and I can finally finally FINALLY pass.  Until then, homework and cupcakes.

I adapted this recipe using my go to carrot cake recipe and some additions from Emeril Lagasse’s Carrot Cake Recipe.

Cupcakes:

  • 3 sticks, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (painful when all you have is one of those stand up graters)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with a stand mixer on medium.  Add the sugar, and beat. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after the addition of each. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the carrots and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the raisins and the nuts.  Scoop the batter into the muffin tins about 1/2 – 3/4 full depending on your oven.  I went for 3/4 and got minimal spillage (i.e. that nasty baked on stuff that pours out of the side of the cupcake liner).  Bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest until cooled.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Add the vanilla and maple syrup.

When the cupcakes are cool, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a Wilton 1M tip or simply cutting a corner of a Ziploc bag off.  Eat and enjoy.  Repeat is optional.

Triple Citrus Cupcakes

Before I became a full time Cooking Agent at read . cook . digest, I was a humble cupcake maker.  I needed a methodical way to destress from work.  What better way to make an accountant/auditor happy than to give her some measuring cups and an oven timer?

I am constantly on the lookout for citrus desserts.  I’m talking intense citrus flavor that makes your salivary glands go haywire.  I’m not a prim and proper, subtle lemon curd cupcake kind of girl.  I want in your face War Head cupcake… and that’s what I found at I Heart Cuppycakes.

Don’t be fooled by their looks — the intense citrus will sucker punch you.

Easy Triple Citrus Cupcakes adapted by Clara of I Heart Cuppycakes

Cupcake Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS
To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine cream cheese, butter, sugar, orange vest and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then beat in oil. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Try not to overmix.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

To make frosting—
In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine all frosting ingredients, until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency.

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The frosting on these were so yummy and I put more than probably necessary, but who doesn’t love an extra squirt of frosting.  I ended up having to double my recipe and ran out to a 24 hour convenience store at 11:30 just to pick up more confectioner sugar.  I agree with Clara.  These most definitely get an A+!

On a side note, I hope everyone in the Northeast survives the inevitable blizzard!