Category Archives: Cupcakes

I’m Back! Coconut Milk Cupcakes

Hey guys! So it’s been exactly a month and one day since my last post! Which means, it’s been way too long! My trip abroad was absolutely amazing! I’ll share some delightful dessert photos from it at the end of the post. I came back from my trip tired and happy. But, a few days into my groggy stupor of jet-lag, I started jonesing for some baked goodness. I found some coconut milk in our fridge and thought, it must be a sign!

Now, I must admit, due to my jet-lagged stupor, I did cut some corners with the recipe which made not so pretty consequences with the frosting. As you can see form the photo, the frosting was a little drippy, haha! They still tasted yummy, especially the cupcakes themselves, but, I’d advise you not cut corners and follow the recipe to the “T”. So what I didn’t do was reduce the coconut milk. It takes a good a few hours and I just didn’t want to wait. Lesson learned! Haha! But, you’re supposed to reduce the coconut milk for the cupcakes, as well and they turned out just delectable. So you can take that for what it is :)

So first, reduce your coconut milk! [Directions at the bottom]

Now once your coconut milk is reduced and chilled AND then brought back to rom temp [hah!]. Preheat your oven to 350! Beat the butter till smooth then add the sugar and beat unti light and fluffy.

Then mix 2 eggs one at a time. Once that us incorporated mix in seeds from vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract. Mix in the last egg!

Mix all the remaining dry ingredients together. Then alternating, beat in half the dry ingredients and half the coconut milk till it’s all gone. Pour into your prepared cupcake pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when touched. The batter makes a lovely light cake.

My cupcakes look deflated because I didn’t test them before I took them out. The recipe says 20 minutes, but mine definitely needed an added 5-7 minutes to poof up. My second batch looked much cuter. :)

Make your frosting with your reduced coconut milk. If you dont reduce it, like me, the frosting is too liquidy and will look curdled and be a little drippy. Haha, all the things you don’t want in frosting! It still tastes yummy, but half the fun in cupcakes is the aesthetics. Anyway here’s my less than pleasing to the eye frosting:

I placed it in a piping bag and piped on the frosting.

I then decided to dabble on some sprinkles to try and avert the eye from the oddly oozing frosting haha!

All in all they were quite tasty! They just looked a tad…off. Heh, lesson learned: never cut corners in the science of baking [unless it's proven successful!]. I’d recommend to just reduce your coconut milk before using and you’ll have tasty AND cute cupcakes.

Coconut Milk Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 13-to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk [this is for both the cupcakes and the frostin]
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup reduced coconut milk, room temperature

DIRECTIONS 

For reduced coconut milk:
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan, so be careful!). Reduce heat to mediumlow; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). For those of you who are lazy, like me, DO THIS AHEAD OF TIME: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Bring out of fridge when you’re ready to use and make sure it’s at room temp.

For cupcakes:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.

Coconut Milk Frosting

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
  • Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (for garnish) or…sprinkles :)

DIRECTIONS

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, seeds from vanilla bean, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to mediumhigh and beat until light and fluffy.

Pipe on cooled cupcakes with whichever tip you want and garnish accordingly. :)

Alright, so I promised to show some delectable Turkish and Italian dessert photos from my recent trip. Here you are!

Let’s start with Turkey:

We walked through the streets of Istanbul and saw shops and restaurants with gorgeous vitrines full of yummy delights! Here there are different puddings.

Then we saw this delicious looking profiterole concoction.

This was a delicious honey cake I did try later and it was amazing!

On the right is a type of solidified rice pudding that was my mom’s favorite by far. I wasn’t too fond of the graininess in the texture, but it was fun to try!

We, obviously, came across a myriad of baklava:

We also came across and ate a ton of Turkish Delights!

We never got the chance to try these, but they looked very interesting. Tehy were balls of halva rolled into different kinds of nuts.

Then on the last night in Turkey, I got this amazing honey drenched cake with clotted cream dolloped in top. I still have longing dreams about this amazing dessert.

My mom chose a different version of her favorite broiled rice pudding with a scoop of Turkish vanilla ice cream.

Now, on to Italy!

While in Rome, I had my first Italian Cannoli! Delish!

 

 

Of course, we had our fair share of gelato!


Had one of the tastiest Tiramisu’s in my life ata little restaurant in front of the Trevi Fountain called, Il Chianti.

We washed it down with some espresso.

And then, our veri friendly waiter brought us some after dessert delights of chocolate dipped almond slivers.

On a different evening, after stuffing myself with too much pasta, I needed a light dessert and was surprised with a very fresh and sweet bowl of fragola [strawberries] topped with a mascarpone cream. Mmmmmm

Then, while in Florence, near the Duomo, I saw these cute little guys called: Baba. Baba in Farsi means Dad and my dad didn’t come with us on the trip and I missed him a lot so I thought it was a sign that I should buy one. It was delicious. It was a little sponge cake soaked in honey and alcohol. Yum!

Another Florentine treat I had was Cantucci di Prato. It’s delicious anise flavored biscotti that you dip in sweet wine. Here were some Cantucci in a vitrine. I, unfortunately, didn’t take a photo of the one I ate.

A different night in Florence, my Aunt and I had panna cotta. Mine was topped with chocolate and hers with fruit.

My mom, on the other hand, had an interesting take on tiramisu. It was Tiramisu with fruit in it and the lady fingers were soaked in Grand Marnier instead of Espresso.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. And now, I’m back to continue my love of baking and sharing it with you guys!

 

Hope you Enjoyed!

-Me

 

Blue Velvet Butterfly Cupcakes

So, for Robin’s Birthday I made a slew of yummy desserts and stuff. We’ll begin with blue velvet cupcakes topped with blue butterflies.

They turned out really cute and I love velvet cupcakes! So I found these adorable cupcake liners!

They were really cute and appropriate for my butterfly cupcakes!

Preheat your oven to 350! Mix all the dry ingredients together!

Mix the oil and sugar. Then mix in the eggs. Alternate the dry mixture into the egg mixture with buttermilk. Mix the baking soda with the vinegar and mix that into the batter.

Tint with blue dye till you have the desired color.

Pour into prepared tins and bake for 20 minutes.

Pipe on cream cheese frosting. In the photos I piped them on in a swirl, but don’t do this. I had to flatten them out before I put the butterflies on.

Place body of the butterfly on.

Then place white chocolate chips on side for supports.

Lean wings on the chocolate chips.

Place the antennae.

I’ll post a finished dessert table photo in a later post :)

BLUE VELVET CUPCAKES

CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon blue gel-paste food color
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers. 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

  •  8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth. 
BUTTERFLIES

INGREDIENTS

  • blue candy melts
  • chocolate candy melts
  • parchment paper
  • piping bags
  • small round piping tips
  • white non-pareils
DIRECTIONS
Check out the directions with photos in this post :)

I hope you guys enjoyed!

Happy Baking!


-Me 

 

 

 

Surprise Birthday Cupcakes for Sheva’s Mom

My beautiful roommate, Sheva, threw a surprise birthday for her Mom! It was really cute and I made birthday cupcakes! Sheva wanted something light, tasty and chic. This is what I came up with:

It’s a white cake cupcake, dipped in ganache, decorated with white non pareils and homemade white chocolate leaves.

So, make your white cake cupcakes.

Make ganache.

While you wait for your ganache to thicken, make your white chocolate leaves. Go outside and pick a few leaves you think are pretty. Melt white chocolate. dip the bottom side of the leaf in the chocolate.

Place the leaf in the freezer for a minute or two. Then peel the leaf off.

Then you end up with this!

Dip the cupcakes in ganache and then dip half in white non pareils.

I made round chocolate dots with chocolate candy melts, but you can use large chocolate chips if you’d like. Place one in the center of the cupcake.

Then place a mini chocolate chip off to it’s side.

Place a leaf on the mini chocolate and dig the end of it under the chocolate round in the middle.

Place another mini chocolate chip to the side.

Place another leaf on the cupcake.

Place one more!

Voila!

I have this really pretty cupcake tier that my beautiful roommate bought me. It was perfect for the party.

Everyone really liked them and they tasted light and yummy!

WHITE CAKE CUPCAKE

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 7 large egg whites

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake or muffin tins with papers; set aside. Into a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk and vanilla in a glass measuring cup.
  • Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until pale and creamy. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add sugar in a steady stream; continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low.
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk mixture and starting and ending with the flour. Do not overbeat.
  • In a clean bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the whites into flour mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg whites in two batches, being careful not to deflate the whites.
  • Pour batter into prepared tins, filling cups to about 1/2 inch from the tops. Bake until a cake tester inserted near the centers comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed lightly in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely before icing or storing.

GANACHE

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 + 1/8 cups heavy cream
  • 6 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

Bring the cream just to a boil, stirring occasionally, in a small saucepan over medium heat; remove from heat. Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and pour the cream on top; let stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir until the ganache is smooth and glossy. Refrigerate the ganache, stirring occasionally, until slightly cooled and thickened, about 10 minutes (do not let it harden).

Happy Birthday Farzin Joon! I had such a great time at your party! Here are some fun photos from the evening.

Here we have Sheva’s mom when we first surprised her!

Here’s me and my roommate. She’s so pretty.

Me and my pretty mom!

The family and my cupcakes on the side!!!

One last shot of my cupcakes before they got eaten!

Me and my mom being cool. :)

Hope you guys enjoyed!

Happy Baking!

-Me

Mocha Butterfly Cupcakes

My mom bought me the companion book to What’s New, Cupcake?, called Hello, Cupcake!. It had this gorgeous idea with monarch butterflies. Here’s the result!

Alright, so I have a lot to update on. So, I’m going to try and make the intros as quick as possible. I apologize for any loss of wit :p Preheat your oven to 350! Make your batter and pour into your prepared pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or till a toothpick comes out clean.

You can top the cupcakes with whatever type of frosting you’d like. If you’re going for butterflies though, I’d recommend a thicker, sturdier frosting, so I chose my go to, Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

Reserve 1/2 c and tint brown with cocoa powder. I tinted the rest yellow and then spread flat on my cupcakes.

Now on to the butterflies. Don’t be intimidated. They’re actually pretty easy, just kinda tedious. I wanted to use orange candy melts because I was making Monarch butterflies, but Michaels was out of orange!!! Travesty!!!! So, I bought beige :( it was alright. But, you should really try with all colors. I made them again with light blue and they turned out soooo cute!

Grab some parchment paper, dark chocolate candy melts and your colored candy melts. Melt the candies and place in piping bags with small round tips. Draw matching butterfly wings.

Fill it in with whatever other color melt you want.

Now melt in microwave for 5-6 seconds.

Take a knife and drag the dark chocolate into the colored candy melt.

Sprinkle on white non-pareils onto the wings.

Now on another parchment pipe antennae. I also piped little chocolate pebbles because the m&m’s I bought for supports [I'll explain later] melted in the Los Angeles heat! The next time I made these, I just piped bodies out of chocolate, as well. This first time I piped cocoa powder tinted frosting, but I liked the look of the chocolate bodies better.

Now for assembly. Place two supports [you can choose chocolate chips, brown m&m's, or make your own] spaced out on the cupcake.

Place a wing leaning on each support.

Either place a prepared chocolate body or pipe the reserved chocolate frosting.

Then place the antennae.

Truthfully, I didn’t like the way the chocolate frosting looked, so I tried to add texture with chocolate jimmies.

I made cupcakes with two little butterflies as well.

They were really easy and very pretty! Plus, the mocha cupcakes were absolutely delicious! I recommend them!

MOCHA CUPAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush mini muffin tins with softened butter; dust with cocoa. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • With mixer on medium-high, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale. Add brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping bowl. Mix in sour cream. On low, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, and beginning and ending with flour, until just combined.
  • Divide batter among tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake until firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer tins to racks to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from tins; let cool completely.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  3. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERFLIES

INGREDIENTS

  • parchment paper
  • chocolate candy melts
  • colored candy melts
  • piping bag
  • small round tip
  • white non-pareils

DIRECTIONS

Follow Directions above from photos :)


I hope you guys enjoy! They turn out very beautiful!

Happy Baking!

-Me

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

Another tasty delight I made for Persian New Year’s is Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes. Delicious!

Let’s preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together your dry ingredients:

Squeeze 1/4 c of orange juice:

Now mix all the liquid ingredients together:

Now fit a flat ended paddle on to your standing mixer and cream the butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and zest until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time and then alternate dry ingredients and cream mixture.

I got these really cute and colorful cupcake liners to add some color to the cupcakes.

Fill your cupcake liners 1/2 full:

Bake for 20-25 minutes:

Now make a marshmallow cream filling. Grab a jar of marshmallow fluff:

Beat it with the butter:

Place into a piping bag:

Now score a cone out of the cupcakes:

Slice off the tip from the cone so you can top the marshmallow filling:

Now let’s make some orange buttercream. Cream butter, sugar, extracts and juice:

Now mix in some orange food gel:

Now pipe on the frosting:

Now, I had some extra royal icing flowers to use as decorations and plopped them on:

The cupcakes were really pretty and really really reminded me of an orange creamsicle. The only tweak I’d make is to the orange buttercream. The original recipe had too much powdered sugar. I think it was a tad too sweet. But, I’ve changed the amounts in the recipes below!

Here’s a cool photo of the cupcake split in half :)

ORANGE CREAMSICLE CUPCAKE

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp orange zest + 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (1 orange)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, scraped
2 large eggs

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl (I used Pyrex measuring cup instead b/c it’s easier to pour), combine the heavy cream, vanilla extract and orange juice. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and zest until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with heavy cream mixture in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

MARSHMALLOW CREAM

INGREDIENTS

7oz jar of marshmallow FLUFF
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk the marshmallow cream and butter until smooth. Cover with plastic and chill until firm about 15-30 minutes.

ORANGE BUTTERCREAM

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/8 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)

DIRECTIONS

In the stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy. Add half of the powdered sugar, both extracts and the orange juice. Stir to combine. Gradually add the remaining sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

Alright, hope you enjoy!

Happy Baking!

-Me

Marbled Cupcakes with Marbled Frosting

So this is the last cupcake that I made for my SAT class. I asked the winning team to pick any flavor they wanted and they went with marbled cupcakes with marbled frosting.  Here’s what I came up with:

They were really fun and easy to make. Preheat oven to 350. I, then, made Martha Stewart’s Chocolate cupcake batter:

I also made her vanilla cupcake batter:

Then I interchanged layers of the batters in my prepared cupcake tins.

Then I took a toothpick and swirled it around the cups to marble the batters together.

Bake for 20 minutes:

Now let’s make our handy dandy Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Whip the egg whites and sugar:

Now switch to the paddle attachment:

Now make chocolate frosting.

Now put the vanilla buttercream on one side of your piping bag and the chocolate frosting on the other. Pipe!

All in all, they tasted delicious and looked pretty cool. Hope you enjoy!

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Mix in eggs, water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes.

    VANILLA CUPCAKES

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until well blended. Mix in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk in two batches, beating until combined after each.
  • SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

    DIRECTIONS

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • DIRECTIONS

  • Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  • Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  • With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

  • CHOCOLATE FROSTING

    DIRECTIONS

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • DIRECTIONS

  • Sift together sugar, cocoa, and salt.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually add sugar-cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Pour in chocolate in a slow, steady stream. Add sour cream; beat until combined.

  • ASSEMBLY

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Interchange layers of batter in prepared muffin tins
    3. Marble the batter with a toothpick
    4. Bake for 20 minutes
    5. Split frostings in a piping bag
    6. Pipe on top of cupcakes
    7. enjoy!

    Happy Baking!

    -Me


    Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Roses

    I’ve always wanted to try my hand out at buttercream roses, but I’ve been to too scared. So I went online and checked out a couple of tutorial sites and decided to give it a try!

    I think they turned out pretty good for my first try! So the video I used was this one. It’s the most simple tutorial and had the easiest roses to make. So, if you have never made frosting roses before, I’d go with that tutorial, there are more difficult and more beautiful roses in different tutorials which hopefully, I will get to soon! And, of course, I’ll share my progress of that with you! I’ll go over step by step how I made my first buttercream roses based off the video I just shared.

    So first, make any chocolate batter you want. I went with Martha Stewart’s.  When in doubt, ask Martha! Alright so here’s my batter:

    It’s a very light and creamy batter, yum! Pour batter into your prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

    Now, you’ll need a rose pin.

    This rose is pin is #7, they come in different sizes, but I think #7 works really well for medium size roses. Then you need long scissors, wax paper cut into squares that will inscribe the circle of the rose pin [I did not do this and later regretted it], and tinted, stiff buttercream in a piping bag that has a rose tip on it.

    Now, as I said, I didn’t use wax paper. The tutorial I used didn’t use the wax paper, but that’s because they piped the rose on directly to the cupcake. If you don’t use wax paper and use your rose pin, the rose will start to slip and slide on the pin after it gets heavier and you have to be really careful. So I would recommend blobbing on a little bit of buttercream onto the rose pin and then sticking on your wax paper square to the pin. This way the rose will be made on your wax paper square and it won’t slip as much. Now, have the wider end of the tip on the bottom and the narrower end pointing to the sky. Pipe on a stout cone of frosting.

    Then pipe on another cone on top of your stout cone.

    And another,

    And a final one:

    Now, in an arch motion, pipe on two petals, one on each side.

    Then in that same arch motion, pipe on 3-4 petals around the last two you made.

    Then, keep going, adding larger petals that overlap on the outside to make the rose grow in size.

    Tadaa! Now, here’s the tricky part. Grab your scissors and open the wide, place the rose in-between the open blades. Slowly close the blade underneath the rose until each blade is under the base of the rose, but the blades have not closed completely, lift off the rose and place the rose on your cupcake. Slide the blades out from under it. This is a slight of wrist that will come to you as you keep piping them.

    Voila!

    I gave some of these cupcakes to my SAT students, so I sprinkled some pink sanding sugar to add some whimsy!

    Here’s another finished rose:

    And here it is plopped on top of a cupcake and sanded in sugar :)

    It was a lot of fun learning how to make pretty roses. I’ll continue the process and hopefully go on to the more elaborate ones soon! Here are a few more photos of my finished cupcakes:

    MARTHA’S EASY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

    INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture alternating with sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Divide batter among cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM (here’s a tip, make sure to beat it extra so it stiffens more than usual)

    INGREDIENTS

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • DIRECTIONS

  • Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  • Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  • With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
  • To tint buttercream , reserve some for toning down the color, if necessary. Add gel-paste food color, a drop at a time (or use the toothpick or skewer to add food color a dab at a time) to the remaining buttercream. You can use a single shade of food color or experiment by mixing two or more. Blend after each addition with the mixer (use a paddle attachment) or a flexible spatula, until desired shade is achieved. Avoid adding too much food color too soon, as the hue will intensify with continued stirring; if necessary, you can tone down the shade by mixing in some reserved untinted buttercream.
  • HOPE YOU GUYS ENJOY!

    Happy Baking!

    -Me

    Rainbow Cupcakes

    So, I have this SAT class that I’m teaching. Cupcakes are a really good incentive for them to study their vocab. I always look for more reasons to bake :)

    These cupcakes looks so fun and are ridiculously easy to make…just a little tedious. But, in the end, they’re worth it!

    Preheat your oven to 350! Go ahead and make some white cake batter. I used Martha Stewart’s from her cupcake book.

    Now divide the batter evenly into 6 bowls. This part is tricky. I used a 1/4 c measuring tool and just kept putting a 1/4 c into each bowl till I was sure each one had an equal amount. If you don’t have equal amounts, you’ll run out of colors!

    Then, using food gels [if you have them] or food coloring, dye each a different color. I did red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Food gels are a lot easier because you use less to get a brighter color and they don’t ruin the consistency of your batter or frosting or whatever! I get mine from Michaels.

    Now, grab a utensil that will be however much batter you want each layer to have. I used a large spoon. Put in your bottom layer which, for me, was violet.

    Here’s a quick note. When you drop it in, it’s not going to spread to the edges. If you want even layers, you should take your spoon and spread the batter out to the edges as I have done. I’ve also tried it the other way where I just drop the colors in and that gives the cupcakes a funky tie-dye effect. So choose whichever you’d like.

    Now for blue.

    So for my even layers I gently used my spoon and spread the blue out over the top of the violet towards the edges.

    Iit doesn’t have to be perfect, just enough so that most edges touch.

    Then green and yellow.

    Then orange and red. Now we’re ready to bake!

    Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It’s important to really watch them because you want to take them out right when it’s baked through, if they stay in further the cake starts to brown and that affects the colors.

    It’s really cute ‘cuz some of the colors will bubble up to the surface and peek through your top layer. Hi Green!

    Now let’s make our handy dandy Swiss Meringue Vanilla Buttercream.

    Now pipe it on!

    Now, before we finish them, I gotta check and make sure they taste good. :) This is my favorite part.

    Look at those pretty colors!

    Nom nom nom nom!

    Pretty! Okay now to top em off, grab some wax paper and melt some chocolate candy melts. I used dark chocolate so I could get that darker brownish black color into the cupcake. I wanted to put these pretty lace hearts I saw on a Valentine’s Display on Martha Stewart’s website. Pipe heart outlines onto the wax paper.

    Now squiggle inside of the heart outline you’ve created.

    Put them in the fridge for a few minutes to set and then place them onto the cupcakes!

    They were a big hit at class. I think it made the rest of my students go straight home and study vocab. :) A job well done!

    White Cake

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheet
  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for baking sheet
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 egg whites

  • DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. prepare cupcake pan; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
  • In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
  • Transfer batter to 6 bowls
  • Dye each bowl the color desired
  • Layer the cupcakes into the pan as desired.
  • Place in oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

    INGREDIENTS

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • DIRECTIONS

  • Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  • Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  • With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.
  • I hope you guys enjoyed!

    Happy Baking!

    Mel

    Gluten-free Zucchini Muffin

    So, I attempted again at a gluten-free muffin. Now, even though I still haven’t gotten the texture right, these babies were pretty yummy! Excuse the deflated look haha.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred your zucchini.

    Mix together flour, xanthan gum, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Then in a separate bowl, mix zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Incorporate everything together.

    Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan. Bake for 40 minutes.

    Though a little funny looking and okay, I’ll admit, chewy, they were still a hit at my apartment! :)

    Squish into delicious :)

    GLUTEN-FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFIN

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups agluten free flour [I used half rice and half potato]
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).
  • Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes
  • Happy Baking!

    -Me

    A little bit o’ everything muffin :) Carrots, Orange, Bananas and Walnuts!

    So we had some browning bananas

    and my mom wanted to throw them away. And I came to the rescue! I looked around in our kitchen to see what else I could throw in the yummy muffins I had in mind. I found: carrots and oranges.

    Now, let’s preheat our ovens to 375 F. Then, oil and flour your muffin pans. Now, peel your bananas!

    Mash!

    [for some reason my mashed bananas photo won't upload :( ]

    Now grab your carrots.

    Peel!

    Shred!

    Now grab your orange and grate the skin off of it.

    [Again...photo mishap.... :/]

    So let’s mix carrots, eggs, orange peel, brown sugar and oil.

    Sift the dry ingredients and slowly incorporate. Pour into muffin pan and place in oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    I must say, they were absolutely delectable and moist!

    Yum!

    Everything Muffins

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 3 extra-large eggs
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 tsp cardamom
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ginger
    • 3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
    • 2 c mashed bananas
    • 1 tbsp grated orange peel [fresh]

    DIRECTIONS

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time.  Add carrots, bananas, and prange peel. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.

    Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into prepared muffin pan until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

    Hope you enjoy!

    -Me