Tag Archives: Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Flowers

26 May

May 26th, 2015 

I’m really excited to share these cupcakes because of how happy I am with them. I used fresh strawberries, which I picked up from the weekend farmer’s market, to flavor the cupcakes and buttercream. We usually get strawberries from our favorite stand, Rodriguez Farms, and I knew they would be a great addition to the cupcakes.

It was my first time in awhile to pipe flowers using buttercream, which I was a little nervous about. With the help of a few YouTube tutorials I went to work. After piping a few initial flowers, it became second nature. The overall process can be a bit time-consuming, but after assembling everything, it was very well worth it.

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Strawberry Cupcakes

16 oz sugar (I reduced to 14 oz)
½ C oil
2 eggs
1 C heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
7 ⅓ oz AP flour
7 ⅓ oz cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 C buttermilk
1 – 1 ½ C strawberries

Y = 34 cupcakes

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse strawberries. Strain strawberries over a clean bowl. Reserve the juice to flavor the buttercream. Set aside strawberry pulp.
  2. Combine oil and sugar together in a mixer bowl. Use the paddle attachment to mix to combine.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Alternate adding the dries and buttermilk, mixing in between. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary.
  7. Add strawberry pulp to the batter and mix to combine.
  8. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
  9. Divide batter evenly into cupcake pan, filling a little over halfway.
  10. Bake at 350F for 15-7 minutes.

Strawberry Buttercream
3/4 C egg whites
9 oz sugar
1 lb softened butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ C strawberry juice

Directions

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
  5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
  6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape down sides if necessary.
  7. Add strawberry juice to taste. (The juice will add a hint of color. I reserved about half of the buttercream before adding the juice as I wanted to use white as the base for the cupcakes.)

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To Assemble

  1. Divide buttercream and add food coloring if you are planning on having different color flowers.
  2. Pipe buttercream roses. I found this YouTube video and this quite helpful.
  3. Place flowers in the refrigerator and allow them to harden, about 30 minutes.
  4. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the frosted cupcakes.
  5. Carefully place flowers on top of cupcakes.
  6. Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 Oct

October 2nd, 2014

Who doesn’t love a good red velvet cake? Recently I made some for my co-worker, Monika’s birthday, in which she also shares with her daughter. Since these are nut free, Monika requested some red velvet cupcakes to surprise her daughter since she has a severe nut allergy. Maddie, including the rest of Monika’s family, thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes.

2014-09-14 04.04.232014-09-14 03.59.42And for Monika, I surprised her with a red velvet cake at work!

2014-09-08 19.36.51You can’t have red velvet without cream cheese frosting. Several people told me that they loved the cream cheese frosting. Since the recipe calls for powdered sugar, I reduced it a bit in order to not make the frosting overly sweet.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 ½ C Flour
1 ½ C Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
1 ½ C Canola Oil
1 C Buttermilk
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Red Food Coloring

Yield = 2 dozen cupcakes

Directions:

  1. In a mixer bowl combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Using a paddle attachment, mix to combine.
  2. Add the red food coloring until desired shade of red is reached.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. Add the dries to the wet mixture in three additions, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Divide batter evenly into lined cupcake pan, filling about halfway up.
  6. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 6-7 minutes. Cupcakes should be done when it springs back from touch. Or insert a toothpick in the center of a cupcake and if it comes out clean, then cupcakes are done.
  7. Allow cupcakes to completely cool before piping frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 lb Cream Cheese, softened
10.6 oz Butter, softened
1 ½ lb Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Yield= enough to pipe 1 dozen cupcakes and frost 1- 6inch cake; alternatively it is enough to pipe 2 dozen cupcakes.

Directions:

  1. Paddle the cream cheese in a mixer bowl to soften.
  2. Add softened butter in chunks. Mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add sifted powdered sugar in multiple additions, mixing and scraping in between.
  4. Add vanilla extract.

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Hazelnut Macarons

26 Jul

July 26th, 2014

These macarons were made specifically for my husband’s co-worker’s surprise bridal party. He originally wanted to order some desserts, but I volunteered to bake some treats for the special occasion. The team surprised the bride with macarons, cupcakes, and champagne and decorated her cube with confetti and paper streamers. She was definitely taken by surprise and did not expect it at all.

2014-07-11 12.42.31                 Chocolate Cupcakes and Hazelnut Macarons for the bride-to-be2014-07-11 12.42.49My plan was to make hazelnut macarons by substituting some of the almond flour with hazelnut flour. I have done this in the past before, but with a different ratio of the flours. This time, I replaced most of the almond flour with the hazelnut flour and the outcome of these little rounds of joys was a tasty surprise. Upon first bite, these macarons reminded me very much of the chocolate candies we ate as kids- Ferrero Rocher. The crisp, nutty shell along with the chocolate buttercream filling was very similar to the tastes of the chocolate candy. Ferrero Rochers consists of a hazelnut in the center, filled with hazelnut cream, enclosed within a wafer shell, and a chocolate outer coating.

I loved these candies and these were always a treat when we were younger. I rarely eat them now since I don’t eat much candy in general, but I will keep this recipe in rotation to get my hazelnut-chocolate combo fix. Next time though, I will have to incorporate hazelnut flavor into the filling.

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Tip: When I have extra macarons that I want to save, I put them (sandwiched with the filling) in an air-tight container and freeze them. They last for a few weeks and when ready to be served, take them out and allow them to come to room temperature. Otherwise, if you know they will be gone within a few days, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Hazelnut Macarons:
125g almond flour
65g hazelnut flour
375g powdered sugar
155g egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
45g sugar

Y= about 60 sandwiched macarons, about 1 inches in diameter

Directions:
1. In a food processor, pulse together flours, and powdered sugar for about 30 seconds. Divide in parts if food processor is not large enough to fit everything at once.
2. Sift the mixture into a clean bowl. Set aside.
3. Place egg whites in a mixer bowl. Whisk until slightly foamy on medium speed.
4. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and whisk to incorporate.
5. In a steady stream, add sugar. Once all the sugar is added, increase speed to high.
6. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Peaks should be shiny and smooth. (If using fresh egg whites vs. carton egg whites, the peaks should form fairly quickly).
7. Transfer the egg whites to a clean bowl.
8. Sift a third of the dries into the egg white mixture. Carefully using a spatula fold the dries into the egg whites. The dries do not have to be fully incorporated at this point.
9. Sift the next third of the dries into the mixture. Continue to fold.
10. Lastly, sift the remaining of the dries and fold.
11. Continue to fold until the dries are incorporated with the egg whites. Be careful not to over-fold, otherwise the batter will be too runny.
12. Line sheet pans with silpat (or parchment paper).
13. Using a piping bag fitted with an Ateco 304 tip, pipe 1 inch circles. Once the sheet pan is full, tap the bottom of the sheet pan to get rid of any air bubbles.
14. Once all the batter has been piped, allow macarons to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
15. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 6.5 to 7 minutes.
16. All to cool completely.
17. Once cooled, fill with chocolate buttercream.

Buttercream:
9 oz Sugar
3/4 C Egg whites
1 lb butter, softened and cut into pieces.
5 oz dark chocolate, melted, cooled

Directions:
1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
2. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water.
3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape sides down if necessary.
7. Slowly add the cooled chocolate to the buttercream. If you like a more chocolatey flavor, add more chocolate. If your chocolate is not cool enough it can melt the buttercream. I always melt my chocolate before I pipe the macarons. That way it will have sufficient time to cool.

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S’mores Birthday Cupcakes

3 Apr

April 3rd, 2014

I had my first ever Smores pretty late in the game. If I remember correctly, it was well after college. I mean, I’ve had marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers before, but all on separate occasions. Plus, I was never a camping person, which I assume is when most S’mores are eaten, near the bonfire.

When I finally had a S’mores, I was blown away. The gooey marshmallow mixed with the slightly melted chocolate, accompanied by the crunchy graham cracker was a definite explosion. I was definitely hooked. So for a friend’s birthday brunch, I decided to make a cupcake version of S’mores, with all 3 essential components. A graham cracker crust at the bottom, moist chocolate cake, topped with marshmallow meringue. The great thing about the meringue is it can be torched, creating the toasted marshmallow flavor.

Be warned though, if you make the meringue, it’s not as sturdy as buttercream. Keep frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight. If you must travel with the cupcakes, try to keep them in a cool area.

Graham Cracker Crust
1 sleeve of graham crackers
5 Tb melted butter
2 Tb sugar

Directions:
1. Place crackers and sugar in a food processor. Process until crumbly and no large pieces exist.
2. Add melted butter and mix until the mixture comes together.
3. Divide mixture among lined cupcake pan.
4. Using the bottom of a shot glass, or whatever object that is the same size of the cupcake pan, press the crumbs into the pan so that there are no loose pieces.
5. Place in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to set the crust.
6. Allow to cool.

Chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes
16.5 oz sugar
3 oz cocoa powder
18 oz boiling water
3/4 C vegetable Oil
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla powder
12 oz AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt

Yield= 32 cupcakes

Directions:
1. In a mixer bowl, mix sugar and cocoa powder together using the paddle attachment.
2. Add the hot water. Mix on low-speed until cooled. As this is cooling, gather the rest of the ingredients.
3. Add the oil, eggs, vanilla.
4. Sift dries and add to the wet mixture. Mix until incorporated.
5. Scoop batter into the cooled graham cracker crust.
6. Bake at 350 12-15 minutes, or until cupcakes bounce back from touch. Allow to cool completely.

Note: This recipe works well for cupcakes and cakes.

Marshmallow Meringue:
4 egg whites
1 C sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:
1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
2. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water.
3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer.
5.Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture has increased in volume and is stiff and shiny.
6. If using vanilla extract, add it last.

Assemble the Cupcakes:
1. Using a piping bag, attach round piping tip (I used Ateco 807).
2. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe meringue.
3. Using a handheld torch, carefully torch the tops of the meringue.
4. Piped cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

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