Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 13, April 28th, 2014 ~ Spicy Cayenne Chocolate Cupcakes

This week's cupcake is a spicy cayenne chocolate cupcake! I pretty much put pepper, cayenne, crushed red pepper, or sriracha on everything; so why not make a spicy cupcake! I had been thinking about it for a while and then last week someone else requested it. I didn't really feel like buying a bunch of ingredients at the store this week and it turned out I had everything I needed for this cupcake so I knew this was the week! This could also be called a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcake...perfect for Cinco de mayo! Although I prefer to celebrate with Margaritas! I wasn't really sure what to expect with these; I definitely had to taste along the way because I was kind of winging it when it came to adding the spice. I wanted it to be pretty strong so I added extra; it is certainly noticeable but its not overpowering. I went with a devil's food cupcake because I wanted a moist almost fudgy cake and just added cinnamon and cayenne. I then filled it with homemade hot fudge using a Lindt chili chocolate bar and extra cayenne because filling cupcakes with things is kinda my thing and it would just make it even moister! I then topped it with a cinnamon cayenne buttercream! I was a big fan of this cupcake! The cayenne amounts a standard amount I ended up adding a few extra shakes on top of that. Just taste along the way and add more if you want, it won't have any impact on the baking process.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes! 
For Cupcakes:
  • 1/4 cup butter( room temperature)
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1-oz dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup water( boiling)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180 C and lightly grease  muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla extract, followed by the addition of the rest of the flour mix. Stir well between each addition and mix until no streaks of flour remain.
  4. Stir the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate into the boiling water (easiest in a large measuring cup). Pour chocolate water into the rest of the batter and stir until uniform.
  5. Add the cayenne and cinnamon; taste and add more if desired.
  6. Evenly distribute batter into prepared baking cups. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. ( mine needed an extra 5 minutes--but I usually overfill the tin)
For the Cayenne Hot Fudge:

The original recipe made 2 cups which was way too much so unless you want extra for ice cream or something the recipe below is just for a cup which is plenty for 12 cupcakes.

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp Lindt chili chocolate bar-chopped
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Add all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan, except for the vanilla, and cook over medium heat. Whisk occasionally until mixture comes to a low boil and then whisk continuously until the mixture thickens and looks like fudge. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Add to cooled and cored cupcakes and then store any leftovers in a mason jar if desired. 

Tip: I used a squeeze bottle to fill the cupcakes; it was much easier and less messy than any other way I could think of. 

For the Buttercream:

At this point this is my standard buttercream recipe. It comes out perfectly fluffy every time! I just sub the extracts and flavors for whatever I want.

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Cream the butter until it is really light and fluffy. About 5 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, mixing after each addition--frosting will be pretty thick by the end.
  3. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper
  4. Add 1/4 cup of cream and beat the frosting for a few more minutes.
  5. Taste and add more spice if desired.

Lastly I topped the cupcakes with some of this: 

It is really good! If I didn't have it though I would have just sprinkled some cayenne on top. This was easier and prettier though! Now that I am sitting here writing this I find myself thinking how good it would have been if I topped the cupcakes with a sweet and spicy candied bacon! Ugh! where was this idea yesterday!!!!! 

Oh Well! Happy Baking!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week 12, April 20th, 2014 ~ Cadbury Egg Cupcakes

So 2 things about me; I love a good theme and I love cadbury eggs! So being that it is Easter I needed to do an Easter themed cupcake and what better than to base it off of my favorite Easter candy! Everyone else seems all about peep themed things, the craft stores were going nuts with peeps baking stuff, but I need to be different, obviously. Had I not been adamant on using this pretty flower cupcake wrappers I would have decorated the cupcake in a way that better reflected the flavor of the cupcake. I did get to try the rose swirl though and I will just say some came out better than others but it was a good first attempt! This cupcake was rather labor intensive and used A LOT of sugar! AND I may have accidentally added too much butter--but I don't think anyone noticed...Paula Deen would have approved! But anyways I made dark chocolate cupcake recipe that I have used before. Then I filled the cupcake with a homemade cadbury egg filling, which is just a soft fondant, then I topped the cupcake with a cadbury filling vanilla buttercream situation!

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes!

For the dark chocolate cupcake:

  • 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder; Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake molds or muffin tins with paper liners.
  2.  In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, and white sugar. Whisk in the milk, coffee, and melted butter. Whisk in the dry ingredients. 
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake molds, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.
To see the original cupcake I used this recipe for click here:

For the Cadbury Filling:

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • yellow food coloring (optional)         

  1. Cream together the corn syrup, butter and vanilla until smooth
  2. Sift in the confectioner's powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated.

Now if you want to go for authenticity and take a step further you can set aside about 1/4 of the fondant mixture and color it yellow for the egg yolk. If you don't want to do that don't worry I won't judge you...

     3. Next you will want to core your cupcakes and fill them with about a 1-1 1/2 tsp of the white filling and then a small bit of the yellow. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the cadbury filling to add to the cupcakes

For the Buttercream:
  •  3 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
  •  1/4 cup cadbury filling
  •  5 cups confectioners’ sugar (depends on how much cadbury filling you add
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Cream the butter until it is really light and fluffy. About 5 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally, add the cadbury filling and cream for another minute or so.
  2. Gradually add the sugar. 1/2 cup or so at a time , mixing after each addition--frosting will be pretty thick by the end.
  3. Add the vanilla.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of cream and beat the frosting for a few minutes. 
I then added Wilton Rose food coloring thinking it would come out a darker pink color...this was what  I ended up with:

Basically a bright hot pink...not what I was going for. I was able to dull it down with a bit of Wilton Burgundy, which created more of a dusty rose pink color. 

Overall I was pleased it was very sweet but the filling tasted like a cadbury egg like I hoped it would!
Also if you are interested in learning how to do the flower design on top click here! I used the Wilton 1M tip!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 11, April 14, 2014 ~ Coconut Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes

"I can't believe I forgot my cupcakes" --me when I got to work at 6 o'clock this morning! ugh whatevs they will hopefully be just as good tomorrow! This cupcake is an ode to my favorite discontinued cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory. It was the Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake and it was amazing. Last time I went I was very sad it was gone. It had a chocolate macaroon crust, with coconut cream and coconut cheesecake filling. There is also a facebook page dedicated to bringing it back...though with only 27 fans I don't think there is much hope...

source: The Cheesecake Factory

So this cupcake has a chocolate macaroon crust, a brownie cake, a coconut cheesecake swirl and a chocolate coconut buttercream. The only thing I would do differently is have more cheesecake and a stronger coconut flavor. It is a very rich decadent cupcake. I took my time eating it. I don't think people will inhale this one quite like the other ones. This is the best smelling cupcake though! On with the show!

This makes 12 cupcakes!

Chocolate Macaroon Crust:

  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • non stick spray
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and line 12 cupcake liners
  2. combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mash together with your hands until everything is good and mixed
  3. distribute amongst the cupcake liners and pack with the bottom of a glass sprayed with non-stick spray or with clean fingers!
  4. put in the oven for about 10 minutes
Cheesecake Brownie Base

for the cheesecake:

  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 8oz package of softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
for the brownie:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (could also try coconut!)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • pinch of cayenne pepper 
  • 3 tbsp Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder 
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugars and oil until well blended,  then add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition, then add the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, cayenne and cocoa.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture a little at a time, mixing well each time, then stir in the chocolate.
  5. Fill each cupcake tin 1/2 way (I actually was able to make about 16 cupcake with this since the macaroon crust took up some space)
  6. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the sugar and vanilla until smooth, then add the egg and mix well - then mix in the flour.
  7. Top each cupcake with the cheesecake and spread it out.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes using a toothpick to check that the brownies are done. 

  • For the Chocolate Coconut Buttercream:

1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature 
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder*
  • 3  Tbsp heavy cream or half-&-half
  • 2 tsp coconut extract

  1. In a the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment whip butter on medium-high speed until butter turns almost white and is fluffy about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. 
  2. Add the cocoa powder then add in powdered sugar gradually. Mix until well combined.
  3.  3 Tbsp heavy cream and coconut and mix on low speed until fully incorporatedscraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add more cream if frosting is too thick.
  4. Increase mixer to medium-high speed and whip mixture until pale and very fluffy about 4 - 5 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl.
My best advice for making a perfect buttercream is to set it and forget it! If you are using a Kitchenaid just turn it on and walkaway for a few minutes. Whenever I hover it doesn't come out right...

btdubs how CUTE is this cake stand! I got it at Target and it is perfect! AND its plastic so hopefully I can't break it!!  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 10, April 7th, 2014 ~ Boston Cream Cupcakes

I don't really have a whole lot to say about these cupcakes. They are a pretty standard Boston Cream flavor. Vanilla cupcakes with homemade pastry cream and a chocolate ganache. These were a sister request that I finally gave into...not that I don't also love Boston Cream; I was just saving them for a lazy week and I was feeling pretty lazy this weekend! These were a success as I finally found the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe! The cream filling turned out to be more work that I was planning. I actually had to make it twice because the first time it basically gelatinized...not cute! The second time came out better I think...well at least it didn't solidify! If you wanted to make your life easier you can just use vanilla pudding or a custard. This decoration made up for the time consuming filling though so it was ok in the end! 

This recipe made 15 cupcakes! 

If making your own pastry cream you should make it first as it needs a couple hours in the fridge to cool and set.

For the Pastry Cream Filling:

  • 2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

  1. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks and egg. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch then stir into the egg mixture until smooth. When the milk comes to a boil drizzle into the egg mixture in a steady stream while whisking continuously so the eggs don't cook. Return the mixture to the saucepan, slowly bringing the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don't curdle.
  3. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla, mixing until the butter is completely blended in. Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before using.
For the Vanilla Cupcake:
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour or Canadian bleached all-purpose flour - I used regular all-purpose and they came out fine
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (vegetable or extra light olive oil also work)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups cake flour (or Canadian flour), 1¼ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).
  3. Add ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed (30 seconds).
  4. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed (1 minute)
  5. Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
  6. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill to about ½ full.
  7. Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove.
  8. Once cool fill with the pastry cream.

This recipe came from

For the ganache:
  • 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  1. Put in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 minute increments until smooth and glossy.
  2. carefully dip the cupcakes into the ganache and coat evenly.
  3. top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry!