Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes

Enjoy these Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes for your Halloween party, or your Christmas party, or your Nightmare Before Christmas party. This rich dark black chocolate cake is topped with a chemical-free tasting black as night chocolate buttercream.

Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

Halloween to Christmas

It is December, Y’all! This year is almost over and I can’t even get over the last month. November? No, I mean the one before that! I will record October 2017 as the month that officially changed everything.

A Month In Review

October Week One

Captain Cupcakeasaurus and I started working on a stepparent adoption for Little Cakeasaurus Rex over a year ago. The adoption was finally completed in September and the new birth certificate was delivered. I am so filled with love that our little cakeasaurus family is complete and all sharing the same last name.

The first weekend of October we celebrated with friends and family and of course cupcakes. There were games that included trivia, baby food guessing, and a beer chugging through baby bottle competition.  It was fun for all but that was just the start of this hectic month.

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

October Week Two

The very next weekend we were celebrating a very special birthday for a very special woman. My mother-in-law, that we affectionately call Grams Cracker celebrated her 70th birthday!

The party was hosted out in the country and the theme was Wild Woman that fits her cowgirl personality that enjoys roping, riding, shooting, and hunting. This time we celebrated with friends, family, freshly smoked wild hog (shot by Gram’s Cracker herself) and some more cupcakes.

October Week Three

Somewhere between week two and week four, everything started changing.

I registered MsCupcakeasaurus LLC as a Florida business and began working on the transition from full-time blogger to a full-time baker.

MsCupcakeasaurus is now a cottage bakery and I am able to sell cupcakes directly to local customers.

I know! I can hardly believe it myself! I’m a business owner, Y’all! How exciting is that?! You kept telling me that you just wanted the cupcakes and I listened. I’m doing everything I can to get you the cupcakes you want and love. I know you are still waiting for me to be able to ship these beauties out of state. I am working in that direction but right now the cottage bakery regulations allow me to start small and build from there.

In Other News

If starting a business wasn’t enough, I also started a new weight loss plan and we adopted a new fur baby to the family. He is a beautiful brindle hound mix that we call Turret. The pup has been a great addition to our family and quite the motivation to get out walking more.

Brindle hound puppy red collar

Oh, you noticed how I skipped right over that weight loss plan? Yeah, well, I am determined to get my life in the direction I want it to be in. The starting of the business really made me reevaluate my life goals. If I can accomplish one, then why not all of them? What goals have you been putting off that you want to tackle? They don’t have to be New Year’s resolutions if you can start on them right now.

Let me know in the comments below. No, really, I want to know. What are you working on or struggling with or just really want to get ahold of?

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

October Week Four

The last week of October was swallowed up with Halloween. Typically one of my favorite holidays, the decorations are usually set up all month long. I enjoy decorating the house and spending a full month developing a super awesome costume for myself and really the whole family.

This year, the skeletons didn’t get put in the yard until the week of Halloween. I didn’t decide on a costume until the Tuesday before the party. I jetted to the craft store and spent two days on a crafting binge to throw this idea together at the last minute.

We threw a costume party the weekend before the holiday and celebrated all dressed up with our favorite people, punch, and … you guessed it MORE cupcakes!

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes

My first order for cupcakes was a custom order to celebrate the Halloween holiday. The client requested “Black As My Soul” cupcakes. Do you have any idea how dark that is? I went for the blackest of black dark chocolate cupcakes with a pure black chocolate buttercream. The client was pleased and shared their “soul” cupcakes with their coworkers.

The cake base is similar to the Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes but I subtracted the Kahlua and added a little black dye just to ensure maximum darkness. You can’t really have “Black As My Soul” cupcakes if they turn out chocolate brown.

My Not-So-Chemical Romance

Have you ever had a cake from a grocery store or even homemade that used far too much coloring in the icing? It usually happens with the colors red and black. Inevitably someone is trying to turn a white icing into a deep dark color and they just keep adding food coloring over and over until the desired color is reached. The color might be nice but the flavor is disgusting. So much dye makes the icing taste like chemicals and it can totally ruin an otherwise delicious cake. If you’ve tasted it, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Something that many home bakers don’t know is food dye, especially red and black, needs to rest for awhile to deepen the color. If you are mixing up a black buttercream and it is looking more gray than black, before adding any more dye, cover your bowl and put it in the refrigerator a while.

Now, the first time I did this two things happened. One, the icing in the frig was STILL gray! Two, I learned that sometimes it takes resting a few rounds before becoming the right color.

After two rounds of adding dye and refrigerating, I was still worried when the icing was gray toned instead of a beautiful rich black color. But, never fear, the icing started thawing as I was working with it. As it warmed, it became the truest blackest icing I have ever seen. The best part? It tasted like delicious chocolate icing and not some chemistry experiment went wrong.

Nightmare Before Christmas

Is it weird to talk about Halloween in December? A little. But, a very favorite Christmas movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas and I believe it straddles the two holidays quite nicely. I am sure these cupcakes would be Jack approved. So, if you want to try these awesome cupcakes in the off-season, you have all of my permission.

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

What was that again?

Let me recap a bit. In one month, we completed a stepparent adoption, celebrated a birthday, started a business, started a diet, adopted a puppy and hosted a Halloween party. I know you probably get all that done before breakfast, but I was a little overwhelmed, to say the least. There are so many things to be excited for and I can not wait to share all of them with you!

I hope you love these cupcakes as much as my client did. Make sure to share your creations in the Cupcakeasaurus Cupcake Community on Facebook.

Today we are making life taste sweeter by bringing a little darkness to December.

Black As My Soul Halloween Cupcakes
Print Recipe
This rich dark black chocolate cake is topped with a chemical-free tasting black as night chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Black As My Soul Halloween Cupcakes
Print Recipe
This rich dark black chocolate cake is topped with a chemical-free tasting black as night chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Ingredients
Black Chocolate Cupcakes
Black Chocolate Buttercream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Black Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brew coffee and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachement, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed.
  3. Add vegetable oil to sugar mixture and mix in thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of flour, cocoa, baking soda, bakind powder, and salt.
  5. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the Greek yogurt, add about a third at a time to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly on medium speed after each addition.
  6. Add coffee and black dye to batter and mix until well blended and color is mixed throughout.
  7. Using a spatula, fold in vanilla extract.
  8. Fill cupcake tins two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.
Black Chocolate Buttercream
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, cream butter on high speed for about four minutes.
  2. Add sifted powdered sugar to the butter one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  3. Add cocoa powder and salt to butter mixture and beat on medium speed.
  4. Add in one ounce of black dye and mix thoroughly until the dye is mixed evenly throughout the icing.
  5. Refrigerate icing for about two hours to let the dye deepen in color.
  6. Remove from refrigerator and beat on medium speed until icing warms to room temperature. Add additional ounce of black dye. Mix the dye thoroughly throughout the icing.
  7. If icing still appears gray, place in refrigerator to sit another one to two hours. The color deepens as it sits.
  8. Remove from refrigerator and allow icing to warm to room temperature to ensure desired color is achieved. Ice completely cooled cupcakes.
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Five Ways to Say Thank You

Saying Thank You can be hard. It doesn’t have to be. Here are five easy ways to say Thank You.

Call this my post-Thanksgiving reflection on being thankful. Typically, I make a list all November long of all the little blessings in my life. This time, I think there are lots of people that could use a reminder of what gratefulness looks like in their relationships.

We have a village that helps make us who we are and taking a little extra time to show our appreciation can help improve our relationships and ourselves. Saying Thank You never hurt anyone.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

My grandma is a classic woman. Raised during the Depression, she has very specific ideas about the way the world should be and what behaviors are deemed polite. A respectable woman would never have brightly colored hair or tattoos. I’m sorry Grandma, I guess I ‘m just not that kind of respectable.

However, some of those ingrained polite philosophies are not lost on me. She sends me Thank You notes for everything. I received a personalized Thank You note for her April birthday gift. I received another thanking me for her Mother’s Day flowers. She sent me Thank You notes for gifts I didn’t give a second thought about after I sent them to her. I love her and care for her and certainly do not require a Thank You note. Every time I receive one though, I think about her upbringing and how meaningful it is that she sends that extra Thank You.

These days, Thank You notes are really only routinely sent out for big events or big gifts.  Weddings get the most attention when it comes to Thank You notes. But then, weddings are a big event and usually include big gifts.

When my son, (LCRex), turned eight a few months ago, I helped him write his own Thank You notes to show appreciation for his party guests and the gifts he received. It didn’t take long to do but I think it was an important lesson to share with him about gratitude.

Thank You notes, especially for little things, can show your appreciation for the person more than just what the person can do for you.

 

How can you show appreciation?

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

1. Say Thank You

I know this is so silly. You would be surprised how often it gets overlooked and forgotten. Don’t forget those manners Grandma taught us. Say Thank You and mean it.

Sometimes saying “Thank You” isn’t always sufficient appreciation to show the gratitude we have for those that treat us well. This is especially true for those that routinely come to our aid.

2. Make it Easy for Them

Wondering what I mean? I mean, if someone is doing you a favor or performing a job for you without pay, the least you could do is make it easier for them.

In my kitchen, for example, Captain Cupcakeasaurus takes on doing all the dishes for me. To show my appreciation for this unloved chore, I try to make sure to keep the number of dishes low, and I take extra care to soak anything that may be stuck to the pan. This is just an example of common consideration.

When you have a last-minute sitter caring for your children, you can make the job easier in a few ways. You can write out important information about sleep and eating routines, medications and allergies, and any other emergency contact information.

You can also pack a bag for your child if they are being dropped off somewhere else. Anything you would pack in a bag for a road trip would probably be helpful to a sitter. Include a change of clothes, extra diapers or undies, a couple toys, etc. Providing everything they need to care for your child will show that you appreciate their time in caring for them.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

When someone offers to help clean your house, you can make their job easier by making your bed and putting dirty clothes in the hamper. When someone offers to watch your pet in their home during your vacation, take the extra time to ensure your pet is flea free and healthy before you go. Again, these are just examples of common considerations.

These are ways that, if done right, can easily show your appreciation. If done wrong, or worse yet not done at all, these are all ways to quickly make a friend feel undervalued. Not only will they be less likely to help you out in the future, they will also no longer want to remain friends. No one likes feeling unappreciated or undervalued.

3. Give Them Breaks

This becomes super important for those relationships that develop sometimes where we find ourselves in a tight spot and rely on the help of others on a consistent basis.

Help is only considered help if you are the one doing most of the work. Click To Tweet

Try to remember help is only considered help if you are the one doing most of the work.

When someone is routinely helping you, there are several ways to show your appreciation. The number one way to say Thank You in a situation like this is to acknowledge their needs. Everyone has a breaking point and something as simple as a break can help show your appreciation.

Extended use of a friend’s services can wear on them. Little things, that under different circumstances would blow over, can start to fester and build into resentment. It is important, for the sake of the friendship, that you acknowledge their needs and provide relief sometimes. Just offering a break lets them know that you care about them and consider their needs.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

4. Trade

This is one of the easiest ways to thank the people that take care of you.  Some may even call it Tit for Tat. When someone does a service for you, offer to do a service for them in return. Everyone has skills of some sort and even if you feel like you don’t, I’m sure you know someone who does.

I bake. That is my service. I bake cupcakes for all sorts of return services. You picked up my kid from school when I was running late? Here, have some cupcakes! You helped paint the front porch? Here, have some brownies!

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

A special home cooked dinner can be a great way to show similar appreciation for those you love. They feel appreciated and you get to enjoy a family dinner with them.

5. Gifts and Tips

You tip your waiter and your hairdresser. You tip service people you pay, why wouldn’t you tip someone that you don’t? It can’t hurt to give a little gift or tip to say Thank You to those friends in our life providing unpaid services.

Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able. Click To Tweet

Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able.

We are most familiar with the Beer and Pizza tip we give to those that have been roped into helping us move. Really any service deserves the same consideration.

When you have an early meeting and a coworker is covering it for you, bring them coffee! When your friend has spent the afternoon helping you build Ikea furniture, buy them lunch! A gift card for lunch works just as well. It shows you care and appreciate their help.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

Saying Thank You doesn’t have to be hard. Many times showing appreciation just takes being considerate. Our friends are willing to take the extra time to help us out, the least we can do is take the extra five minutes to thank them.

I guarantee showing appreciation for the people that help us will improve all of our relationships. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. What better way to make life taste sweeter than by thanking those glorious sweet morsels that help get us here?

How do you show appreciation for the ones you love? Are there any other simple ways we can show consideration? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and My First Cake

Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing and a look back at my very first cake.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Cupcakes to Cake

You guys know I am all about the cupcakes. Every week you guys watch me pull flavors together into bite-sized mouthfuls of joy and call them cupcakes. And being MsCupcakeasaurus, why wouldn’t I be?

Something you may not know is that I have been caking for almost eight years. By caking, I don’t just mean whipping a mix together and slathering icing over it.

The Art of Caking

Caking involves idea preparation by gathering source materials and analyzing size and shape to determine the best fit for the cake being prepared. It means drawing up plans and sketches and paying attention to all the little details. It means sculpting the cake like a statue emerging from marble. Caking is art after all.

 

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

Over the years, I have not always taken pictures or written step by step tutorials or documented every step of the journey along the way. I make cakes because I enjoy caking. I enjoy bringing the food to art and the art to food.

Flavor combinations are my chemistry experiments and dimensional cakes are my masterpieces. I love playing with new techniques, new materials or ingredients. One of the reasons I enjoy caking so much is that it feels like an art form that I can continuously learn from. That, and they taste good.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

 Today, I will be sharing with you my very first ever caking endeavor.

You may have noticed that I have been caking for as long as I have been a mom. The very first cake I really put my heart and soul into was for Little Cakeasaurus Rex’s first birthday. When he isn’t busy being a dinosaur, he is busy being a monkey. We lovingly nicknamed him Monkey since he was a baby.

As any over zealous mom would be, I created a theme of monkeys and immediately started developing ideas for his main cake and his smash cake. He had blow-up monkeys to toss around, monkey plates and napkins and of course a monkey cake. He had a cake for his guests and he had a personal smash cake.

The Smash Cake

Every little kid needs a smash cake for their first birthday. It is the tradition! I love smash cakes for the little ones. That first birthday is all about seeing their little eyes bulge out of their heads with sugar. There is nothing like taking that first fistful of delicious cake.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

For the smash cake, I decided to go with a German chocolate cake and have the coconut frosting serve as the textured monkey fur. Admittedly, my skills at the time were limited and the monkey face looked more like a bear but Little Cakeasaurus Rex loved it. He had no problem figuring out what to do with his smash cake. Hands in the cake and then straight to the mouth.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Little Chunky Monkey

I love watching little ones feed themselves at this age because they still fist their food and are practically licking their palms. Too cute!

I’ll remember next time that monkey ears should be more on the side of the face rather than on the top. Also, don’t mind the little yellow hair tuft I tried to create. Monkeys can be blonde too, right?

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

 

The Guest Cake

The cake for the guests was a large vanilla sheet cake with a large mound of banana cake on top. I was so inexperienced and had no clue what I was doing. I went totally overboard on measuring out how much cake I would need for a one-year-old’s birthday party. In true First Time Mom fashion, I made enough to feed everyone at the party, the park and halfway down the street.

To give you an idea, I had no clue how to even carry this large of a cake to a park two blocks from the house. I purchased a huge white plastic cutting board and that became my caking station. I still use this cutting board as my preferred surface for rolling fondant or cutting out biscuits.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

In all honesty, I baked two 9×12 inch cakes for the base. I slid them together and covered them with icing. If you are counting, that is a total of four standard cakes for one party. This was the first time I would bake that much cake for one party but it definitely wasn’t  the last.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

If you are wondering, it is no secret how I made the dome-shaped cake. I didn’t have a pan that shape that is for sure. I actually used a stainless steel mixing bowl and baked it right in the oven.

Obviously, be careful when using alternative baking pans but, the bowl worked out great and I still use it for other caking endeavors. I will remind you to take a good look at the shape of the bowl though. If you are wanting a hill shape like I was, you will want a shallower bowl to create a soft mound. However, I have also used a much deeper mixing bowl to create the Drunken Carolina Cake so that I had enough space for good sized cake layers.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Monkey Time

The idea I was wanting to create was a mischievous monkey sitting atop a huge pile of bananas. The pile of bananas had to be made of banana cake of course. The banana cake wasn’t going to be enough though.

Nothing quite looks like a pile of bananas than a pile of bananas. After icing, I also completely covered the mound in Banana Rama candy pieces I purchased from a local candy shop.

Heap of Bananas birthday cakeOriginally, all the bananas were going to be yellow bananas but this is a very mischievous monkey and he needed some colored bananas too. The monkey was a purple monkey bath toy so it was super safe for the kiddo to enjoy long after his party was over.  A funky colored monkey totally deserves a pile of funky colored bananas.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

To add a bit more decoration without going overboard any further, I added Piroulines around the outside edge of the sheet cake which provided great bamboo. A few green leaves and blades of grass with green icing and I had my masterpiece.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Can you tell I was proud of myself? I made a little card label with a silly monkey sticker for good measure. I am so proud that this was my first caking adventure. It brings back wonderful memories of my little one’s first birthday and it was the start of a wonderful adventure I still pursue today.

Still A Monkey

The kiddo still embraces his monkey side by collecting cute monkeys we find on our adventures. Currently, we have one from Cape Canaveral and Tampa Zoo.  Just a few weeks ago, I offered my little monkey a special treat.

I treated LCR to Chunky Monkey Cupcakes!

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

These moist banana cupcakes remind me very much of that original banana cake but in smaller cupcake form.  Top that off with a peanut butter cream cheese icing and you will be making all the monkeys smile.

Even walking down memory lane, I couldn’t leave you hanging without a scrumptious cupcake recipe to keep you satisfied.

You have now seen where the caking magic started. Tell me about your baking start. Do you remember your first real baking endeavor as an adult? I clarified that sentence because I was baking and cooking tons growing up. This one just sticks out in my mind as the first cake I researched and planned and put my heart and love into making.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Do you have that one dish or cake that sparked your love for it? I’d love to hear all about it or better yet, see it.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Banana Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Banana Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat bananas, eggs and sugar on medium high speed until forming a thick mash.
  3. Add vegetable oil to the banana mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  6. Using a spatula, fold in vanilla extract. Spoon batter into cupcake tim filling cups 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Toothpick will come out clean when cupcakes are done. Cool on a cooling rack before icing.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat softened cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add in half a cup of peanut butter and mix on medium speed until well bleneded.
  3. Add powdered sugar to cream cheese mixture a cup at a time mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  4. Add milk and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  5. *Taste it. Your icing can be more sweet or nutty depending on how much sugar or peanutbutter you add. I prefer a light and sweet flavor so I stuck with 2 cups powdered sugar and a 1/2 cup of peanutbutter. If you want a thicker peanut butter flavor, just add more peanut butter.*
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Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

A step by step guide to creating a frightfully ghoulish Halloween cupcake bouquet centerpiece on the cheap.

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

Hey, guys!

It is now my favorite time of year!

Fall? Pumpkin spice? Baking season? Well, yes to that last one but it is always baking season around here. If you haven’t grabbed your copy of my free baking conversion cheatsheet, now is the time to do it. Pretty soon all of those baking feels are going to hit you just before the holidays. Make sure you have the right measurements and can easily convert those favorite recipes.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

It is Halloween season!

Yes, that means I am begging my LulaRoe Lady for leggings covered in bats, cats, skellies, and skulls. I am also hunting down all the best Halloween themed decor around town.

I always try to snag awesome Halloween finds on clearance after the holiday is over but I am telling you, those are some slim pickings.

This year I have decided to dress up my table decor with a Halloween Cupcake Bouquet!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

In all honesty, I have been seeing these cupcake bouquets everywhere but had not had an appropriate occasion to create one until now. I think it will be a unique way to display the holiday treats and add to the overall creepy ambiance.

If you have seen the cupcake bouquets around town or across the internet, then you may know that small bouquets usually run upwards of fifty-five dollars or more. Crazy, right?

It isn’t crazy. When you purchase from a professional baker, you are purchasing their time and expertise. So often, art and especially food art is undervalued. Many potential customers will complain about pricing and suggest that they can get a cheaper product from a chain store.

Though I understand the plight of the baker I also understand what it is like to be on a budget. One of my greatest thrills is making twenty dollars look like sixty.

How do I do this?

One way to stretch my dollar is that I do a lot of DIY. Of course, there are some limitations to my abilities but I LOVE learning new skills along the way.

The second way I make that twenty dollars look like sixty is by shopping at the Dollar Tree. I can find a variety of products at a low price and love that I am not spending more than a buck.

Almost all of the materials used in this tutorial were purchased at the Dollar Tree.

Materials Needed:

A Halloween Bucket: There are several styles. Choose the one that best fits your party theme.

Three dry floral styrofoam blocks

A large knife

Two bags of colored crinkle cut paper shreds: I used one bag of black and one bag of purple. You can pick whichever colors best match your decor.

Plastic wrap

Colored tissue paper

Scotch tape

One glow in the dark skull head

Toothpicks

Halloween Cupcake Liners

Undecorated cupcakes refrigerated

Halloween Roses

Decorator’s Icing or your icing of choice

Food Dye to color the icing: I used red but again use what best fits your color scheme and decor.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

How to Put It All Together

The cupcake bouquet is created to make cupcakes look like flowers coming out of a vase. Flowers have the benefit of stems to keep them standing upright. Cupcakes do not.

To keep our cupcakes vertical, we will need to attach them to the styrofoam.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Step One:

Sizing the Styrofoam

Your bucket size and shape will determine how much of the styrofoam blocks you will need. The mouth of my bucket was quite wide so I need three styrofoam blocks to fill the space.

Place the styrofoam blocks side by side on a flat surface. Flip your bucket over so that the mouth is facing down and place on top of the styrofoam blocks. At this point, you can either draw or etch around the shape of the bucket to create an outline of where we will be cutting.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Move the bucket out of the way. Using a few toothpicks, connect the styrofoam blocks together. With a large knife, cut around the outline previously drawn. The styrofoam should be circular to match the mouth of the bucket. Troubleshoot to make sure styrofoam snuggly fits into the top of the bucket.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

No one wants to have styrofoam on their cupcakes. Ew! Use the plastic wrap to completely wrap around the styrofoam. After wrapping the styrofoam in plastic wrap, I also wrapped it in colored tissue paper. This gives my bouquet a base color so the ugly green styrofoam is not showing. I used the Scotch tape to adhere the colored tissue paper to the bottom side of the styrofoam.

Step Two:

The Filling of the Bucket

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

If step one was troublesome, this is by far the easiest step of them all. Open the bags of crinkle cut paper and dump them into the bucket. Since I was using two colors I swirled them around a bit to mix the colors.

Place the covered styrofoam in the top of the bucket and push down until snug. You only want about an inch or so sticking out of the top of the bucket.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I created a decorative center for my bouquet by placing a skull head in the center and securing it in the styrofoam. Make sure to keep the skull a bit taller so it does not get in the way of the cupcakes.

Step Three:

Placing of the Cupcakes

The cupcakes work best when they have been refrigerated so they hold better on the toothpicks. We will start by placing the outer rim of cupcakes first and working our way to the center.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet TutorialHalloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Place two toothpicks into the bottom of the cupcake about halfway. Using the toothpicks like prongs, stab them in at an angle into the styrofoam. If the toothpicks push through to the top of your cupcake, just push them back in with a gloved finger.

You do not want your cupcake to be perfectly perpendicular to the table because then your icing will want to slide right off. No one wants that! 

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Leave about an inch or so of space between each cupcake as you place them around the outside.

As filler and to add to our bouquet, I cut off a few sprigs from the Halloween roses and tucked them between each cupcake. The idea is to cover up the colored tissue paper base and to make the bouquet look full and beautiful. I tucked leaves and petals around the cupcakes to make sure they would not get in the way of icing.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Once the outer row is complete, then you place the inner row. I try to alternate my cupcakes so they look more like a natural bouquet. The inner row is placed similarly to the outer row. Fill in the spaces with sprigs of Halloween roses or leaves.

This is the time to get creative. You can stick leaves and sprigs throughout the bouquet. I love that the Dollar Tree Halloween Roses have little spiders attached. What a cute way to amp up the creepiness of this cute bouquet!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Step Four:

Icing the Cupcakes

This is the fun part! Now it is time to make those naked little cupcakes turn into beautiful flowers fit for your ghoulish bouquet.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

To keep things easy, I decided to just do simple rosette flowers and only two colors. Depending on your bouquet and color choices, you can do as many color and flower combinations as you can dream up. I went with a simple white rose and a deep red rose color.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I find that using either a Wilton 1M Open Star Piping Tip or a Wilton 2D Decorating Tip creates the best rosettes.

Carefully swirl your icing onto each cupcake keeping the leaves out of your way. Alternate colors so the bouquet looks even and full.

Step 5:

Finishing Touches

To finish off this creep-tastic and yet beautiful Halloween Cupcake Bouquet, I had to add a few drops of blood!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I create edible blood with chocolate syrup and raspberry preserves to drip over the white roses. You can read more about this technique and other Halloween ideas in my Halloween Spooktacular Disaster.

Now, you have a display that will both wow and delight all of your guests.

The best part about this edible arrangement? You didn’t have to spend lots of money to achieve such tasty results. Just remember to shop the Dollar Tree Online to get all your party decor and more.

Let Me Know

As we prepare for Halloween, I want to know how you decorate. Will you be making one of these Halloween Cupcake Bouquets? Will you be throwing a party or taking the kiddos trick-or-treating? Let me know in the comments below!

Today, we are making life taste sweeter with the Dollar Tree.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Outward Baking

There is one thing about baking that I just can’t dispute. Baking tastes best when you are feeding another person. There is some magic that mixes into the batter when you are focused on pleasing that special someone.

After mastering the tastebuds of my own home, I spent this Summer reaching out to others to try and please their taste buds as well. Whether I was grabbing inspiration from their direct quotes (Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcake with Kiwi Sparkler Icing), their passionate causes (Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes), or their loving mom (Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcakes and Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes), I enjoyed every minute of the journey creating their custom cupcake creations.

If you are interested in having a custom cupcake recipe created for you or someone you love, send me an email and we can work out the details. I would love to hear from you!

Baking Season

As Autumn fast approaches, baking season is fully underway. To stay ahead of the game, you will want to grab my Free Baking Conversion Cheatsheet to hang in your cabinet or up on the frig. Convert measurements and adjust your favorite recipes in minutes so you aren’t getting schmutz on your phone or tablet mid-recipe. An extra bonus is that you will also have exclusive access to my Sweet Resource Library that is constantly growing.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

To finish the Summer strong, I wanted to feature another custom cupcake recipe. Just like Beauty Bae’s Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes, this one was for another young woman from the United Kingdom.

If I keep making these international connections, I am definitely going to be needing a food scale so I can provide the recipes in grams and milliliters instead of cups and teaspoons. Utilizing the Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet as well as the Basic Ingredient Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet (both located in the Sweet Resource Library), all of my recipes can be converted, however, results may vary slightly.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

As Seen On Jean

This week I was baking for Jean of As Seen On Jean. She is a teacher who decided to write a blog and I am so glad she did. Her posts provide tips, reviews and real-life advice about all sorts of products and services.  I am especially in love with her Monthly Favorites section where Jean tells you her favorite products of the month and usually includes ways to win some of those items too. How cool is that?

I have a special soft spot for teachers since my mother is a lifelong teacher herself. I was excited to get to work on Jean’s cupcake so she can enjoy it as her students begin to return to school.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Recipe Development

Her requirements seemed simple. She wanted a gluten-free chocolate cupcake.

Guess who had to make it complicated? If your first and only guess is me then you’d be correct!

Though I enjoy exploring recipes outside of my comfort zone like the Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes, they do take a bit more research and development. I had never made an intentionally gluten-free recipe before, let alone created a recipe for one.

What’s  Gluten?

There are many reasons that people choose to remove gluten from their diet. For more information regarding gluten and the health effects of consuming gluten, I found this article very informative. 

Gluten is a group of proteins that are found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. When baking cupcakes, the gluten component would be in the all-purpose flour that is traditionally used. The trick here is to find an alternative that performs like flour but does not have gluten.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

All in the Coconut

Gluten-free flour alternatives are fairly easy to obtain, which was a pleasant surprise. I chose to explore an Organic Coconut Flour because I have worked with coconut oil and coconut spread before and have enjoyed those results.

I will warn that these alternative flours sometimes require additional tweaks to your favorite recipes because they are not a one for one substitution for all-purpose flour. In the case of coconut flour, I reduced the amount of flour used overall and I needed to add additional liquid to make the consistency of the cupcake more desirable.

Maybe it is common sense but it definitely did not occur to me until after the taste test. Coconut flour will make the recipe taste like coconut. I know, novel concept, right?

Well, the original idea was to have a somewhat traditional chocolate cupcake (even if gluten-free) and then top it with an edible chocolate chip cookie dough. I mean, all cookie dough is edible but we feel better if it doesn’t have raw eggs included.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Almond Joy Love

After creating this delectable Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcake combo, I took one bite and my only thought was, “Wow this tastes like an Almond Joy!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a delicious chocolate coconut treat like an Almond Joy any day. This just wasn’t quite my intended outcome with the Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Had I realized sooner, I would have probably played up the Almond Joy aspect and decorated the tops with a chocolate covered almond or something similar.  It is certainly something to consider when you make this recipe at home.

Favorites

Captain Cupcakeasaurus is sometimes reluctant to try alternative diet recipes. Both he and Little Cakeasurus Rex LOVED these cupcakes. In so many ways, you can’t really go wrong with chocolate.

Due to the heavy coconut flavor, I would not recommend this recipe as an alternative to traditional chocolate cupcakes. However, they certainly hold their own as a tasty chocolate coconut treat.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I hope Jean enjoys the coconut flavor as much as my family did. You can check out her favorites for the month and enjoy one of the Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes for yourself.

Don’t forget to let Jean know how much you love her custom cupcake flavor at As Seen on Jean. As always, please share your results with me too. You can tag @mscupcakeasaurus on Instagram.

Today we made life taste sweeter gluten-free style.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Print Recipe
These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Print Recipe
These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar on medium-high speed.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, place about a half a cup of semi sweet chocolate morsels. Microwave on high heat for ten seconds. Stir. Microwave for an additional 5-10 seconds until chocolate is melted and smooth. A half cup of semi chocolate morsels will be more than one Tablespoon melted, the remainder will be used for the Cookie Dough topping.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture a little at a time and mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  5. Add coconut oil, brewed coffee, and melted semi sweet chocolate morsels. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  6. Fill lined cupcake tin 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on baking rack before adding topping.
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Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

These Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes are made of soft vanilla vegan white cake packed full of colorful sprinkles and topped with a vegan vanilla “buttercream” icing.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

In the News

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed this past week was a bit chaotic for me. Florida became the target of a nasty hurricane named Irma.

I was all set to share with you these cute little Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes when I had to start evacuation planning for me and my family. This was definitely not how I planned to spend my week.

At first, we weighed our options of evacuating to North Carolina or just waiting out the storm. Even though hurricanes give you time to prepare, they also have the ability to quickly change course.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

A Hard Decision

Each day that passed leading up to the hurricane left fewer and fewer resources behind. Stores were out of water, bread, batteries, plywood, almost everything. Gas stations were out of gas. Hotels were booked solid north of Tampa and on into Georgia and South Carolina.

Hurricane house

We made the hard decision to stay because I would rather be near home with the supplies I knew we already had than stranded with no gas and nowhere to go three hundred miles from home. This is not an easy choice to make for anyone. My only advice is that you do what you feel is right for you and your family to keep them safe.

My son and I, stayed with friends that live farther inland during the hurricane because our home is located in a flood zone and flooding looked to be likely. We evacuated but we did not evacuate far from home. I am so grateful to our friends for taking us in and making us feel so comfortable and welcome in their home. I will never be able to repay them for their kindness.

In the two years I have lived here, I had not yet had to deal with a hurricane scare. This was definitely a lesson to be learned and a memory I will never forget. However, I believe I passed a Floridian milestone and learned exactly how I react to stress.

Stress Baking

Is it any surprise that I stress bake? As Captain Cupcakeasaurus and I were making evacuation decisions, I got to work baking. I couldn’t control myself. My anxiety was through the roof and all I could think to do was to focus on the food.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

I baked a lasagna, two chicken broccoli casseroles, a flat of brownies, a chocolate poke sheet cake and thirty chicken burritos.

That was just the first day.

The next day I made homemade mustard basted chicken legs, sausage and date Brussel sprouts, cauliflower mash and two batches of chocolate cake box cookies.

I was frenzy baking y’all!

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

I was frenzy baking y'all! Click To Tweet

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

First Responders

Thankfully, all of the food was put to a good use and sent off to the Fire Station for those hard working firefighters. Captain Cupcakeasaurus went into work with the instructions that he would be working for a minimum of seventy-two hours. Not only were we weathering a hurricane, but we were weathering it apart.

Fire Station

Our community came together to look after each other. I have to praise all of our first responders, police and even the linemen (Is linepeople the gender neutral term for that?) that were working during and immediately after the storm to help those in need and get everyone back in their homes and their power back on.

I am very thankful that the storm died down significantly by the time it crossed our home so damage was minimal. We only had two trees down in the yard and no flooding. Things could have been SO MUCH worse.

Hurricane Trees

Back to the Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

Originally, I was creating this custom cupcake flavor for an artist friend who also happens to be Vegan. I wanted to create a colorful and fun cupcake reminiscent of her artwork and photography.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

Once the news of the upcoming storm hit, these cuties were specifically made to brighten my day. After seeing the colorful swirls of Hurricane Irma across the weather map, I felt like colorful sprinkles might be a fun way to bring back a little cheer.

Something about those rainbow colored sprinkles always puts a smile on my face.You can purchase your own bag of colorful Vegan Funfetti here.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

Confessions

In all honesty, this was not my first batch of Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes. But as you know, I refuse to share with you a recipe that is not rightly approved by my kitchen first.

The first time, I made these cupcakes, they were a disaster. I had filled my cupcake tins three-quarters full as I often do. The cupcakes rose so much they expanded over the top of my tins and created sugar cookie like discs over the top of my cupcakes!

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

I tweaked the recipe to better balance the wet and dry ingredients to hopefully reduce so much expansion and I made sure not to overfill my cupcake tins. There you go. My error is your reward. Just make sure to only put a Tablespoon of batter in each cupcake tin and you will have beautiful level cupcakes.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

 

I Want To Know

After this experience with Irma, I have a greater empathy for those who have been at the mercy of Mother Nature. Have you ever experienced a natural disaster in your area? How did it affect you or change your perspective? Do you have any tips or tricks to prepare for such a disaster?

I want to know about you. Comment down below or you are always welcome to send me a personal email if you’d prefer.

Sharing our experiences and coming together is how we make life taste sweeter.

 

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Soft vanilla vegan white cake packed full of colorful sprinkles and topped with a vegan vanilla "buttercream" icing.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Soft vanilla vegan white cake packed full of colorful sprinkles and topped with a vegan vanilla "buttercream" icing.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Vegan Vanilla "Buttercream" Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in a cupcake tin.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar to the cup of almond milk, stir and set to the side.
  3. In a large bowl, use electgric mixer on medium high speed to cream coconut spread and sugar.
  4. In a separate bowl combine and whisk dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add a third of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add half of the almond milk to the sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
  7. Alternate additions of almond milk and dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Finish with the last third of the flour mixture.
  8. Add vanilla and mix with a spatula.
  9. With spatula, fold in the rainbow sprinkles.
  10. Place a Tablespoon of batter in each lined cupcake tin. The batter rises significantly and any more than a Tablespoon will result in overflow during baking.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean when done.
Vegan Vanilla "Buttercream" Icing
  1. In a large bowl using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, beat coconut spread until smooth.
  2. Add in sifted powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  3. Add in vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use or if a firmer consitency is desired.
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Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Triple Chocolate cupcakes including a rich moist chocolate cake filled with a semisweet chocolate filling and topped with a fluffy salted chocolate buttercream.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Getting Started

When I was a single working mom, do you know what my favorite store was? I’ll give you a hint; it wasn’t Target.

My favorite store was Lowe’s. Yes, the home improvement store.

After working long hours and having minimal expendable income, I took great pride in improving my home one Do It Yourself project at a time.

I could always count on the friendly and knowledgeable faces at Lowe’s to clue me in on if a job was outside my capabilities or not.

In the short four years I lived in that North Carolina home, I managed to paint every room, change out all the door hardware, replace the innards of a running toilet, install closet shelving in all of the closets, and hang my own flat screen.

Those are just some of the many projects I took on during my stay.  I was visiting Lowe’s almost every week.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

I suppose I could say, “I have a husband for that now,” but then what kind of feminist would I be?

Captain Cupcakeasaurus knows my Lowe’s obsession and shares in it. I may not be at the home improvement store each week anymore, but someone from our family is there.

Doing the Maintenance

After sixteen years of living in his bachelor pad house, the home improvement bug has finally bitten him too. Ok, that bug very well may have been me!

What is the project this week? Well, in true cakeasaurus fashion, we don’t just do one project at a time. That might just be practical!

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

While I’ve been tackling the baking and sharing, Captain Cupcakeasaurus has been diligently working away at painting the trim of our living room.

We painted the walls in July before we had family visit and are just now getting around to the trim. Ugh!

Simultaneously, we are also scraping off really old paint from our beadboard kitchen. If you are thinking,”Wait! Don’t you bake in that kitchen?!” The answer is YES!

Obviously, we aren’t paint-scraping WHILE I am baking. But, it is a huge eyesore until we can get it all scraped and ready for a fresh new color.

If you happen to be scraping paint yourself this weekend, I can not say enough about this handy little tool. The Big Blade Scraper slides a thin blade under the edge of the paint and then peels it right on off. It is also way less noisy than power tool options.

Secret DIY guilty pleasure: I actually love scraping the paint. It is so satisfying to take that scraper and shave off a good long piece of paint. I liken the feeling to peeling an apple in one long continuous ribbon or something like that.

So, while Captain Cupcakeasaurus is doing the manual labor in the living room, I decided to create a treat to reward his efforts.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Do It Yourself

A fellow blogger, Ali Jaffri, is a contributor for DIYsomo.com. The site is a one stop shop for almost all of your Do It Yourself project tutorials. Whether you are scraping paint or working on a car, the site has helpful “how to” articles for all sorts of projects.

Speaking with Ali about his site, we inevitably started talking about his favorite cupcake flavors. This, honestly, is how all of my conversations turn. Is it any wonder that I write about cake for a living?

Well, his favorite is also the favorite of millions of people and I had to create a cupcake that would provide the perfect treat after a long week of labor. Monday is Labor Day after all!

Triple Chocolate

Maybe after trying Beauty Bae’s Blueberry Blue Velvet cupcakes, you realize I have a tendency to take a concept and totally overdo it. Today is no exception.

Chocolate is always a favorite around this house and when I heard Ali’s favorite is chocolate as well that gave me further license to chocolate this cupcake up.

Start With A Base

The only time that moist is a positive adjective is when you are talking about cake. This moist rich chocolate base is very similar to the one used in the Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes. I traded Kahlua for a salted caramel brewed coffee.

The cake is dark and dense enough to cut a hole in. You know what that means? That’s right! It is begging for a filling!

Chocolate Filling

The chocolate filling is very similar to a ganache but prepared slightly different. The coconut milk makes the chocolate a smooth shiny consistency; perfect for cupcake filling and drizzling.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

The best chocolate filling is made with the best chocolate. There really is no comparison. Ghirardelli chocolate morsels melt in your mouth and make the whole house smell like chocolate.

Take advantage of twenty percent off of your Ghiradelli chocolate purchase this Labor Day weekend. Labor Day Sale: 20% off Site-wide at Ghirardelli.com.

125x125 Logo

The recipe makes a bit more than you will probably need but you can always freeze it and use it again later for more cupcakes or to elevate your favorite hot chocolate.

After filling your cupcakes, save some of the filling for your buttercream; you’re going to need it.

Chocolate Buttercream

I am screaming! This is THE BEST chocolate buttercream I’ve ever made.

What the buttercream is not:

It is not overly chocolatey. We have enough chocolate going on. However, if you feel it just isn’t quite chocolate enough for your tastes, just add some more of the filling to the buttercream.

What the buttercream is:

It is so light, so decadent, just a little salty and makes you want more.

You know when you eat a chocolate on chocolate cake and about half way through the slice your belly starts to grumble and your teeth start to ache? That is precisely what this buttercream icing prevents. You get all the chocolate loving flavor but none of the regret.

Where Do They Go

I often get asked about where my cupcakes end up. Baking every week, there is no way my little family of three could possibly be putting away all those cupcakes. You’re right, we’re not!

I am typically sending them off to the fire station for Captain Cupcakeasaurus and his fellow firefighters to enjoy. Often friends and neighbors will get a few goodies too.

This week, this batch was so delicious they didn’t survive long enough to make their way to a different home. A few snuck off to a friend’s house but the majority were consumed right here in our paint scraped kitchen.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

DIY Rewards

Over the holiday weekend, make sure you take a moment to relax from all your home improvement projects and reward yourself with these Triple Chocolate Cupcakes.

If you aren’t sure what project you want to tackle next, or you aren’t sure how to get started check out DIYsomo for inspiration. Let Ali know what you think of the chocolate deliciousness he inspired.

Fill Me In

What DIY projects are you currently working on? Do you have projects you want to tackle but have been putting off? How do you plan to reward yourself for all your hard work?

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Triple Chocolate cupcakes including a rich moist chocolate cake filled with a semisweet chocolate filling and topped with a fluffy salted chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Triple Chocolate cupcakes including a rich moist chocolate cake filled with a semisweet chocolate filling and topped with a fluffy salted chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Filling
Salted Chocolate Buttercream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs on low speed.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to the egg and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, add about a third at a time to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  5. Add in the coffee and mix on low speed until well blended.
  6. Fold in vanilla extract with a spatula.
  7. Fill lined baking cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted may not come out completely clean. Crumbles are ok, wet cake batter is not.
  8. Refrigerate cupcakes for about 30 minutes or until they are cool to the touch.
  9. Using a cupcake corer or a small spoon, scoop out about a half inch hole int eh middle of the cupcakes.
Chocolate Filling
  1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth and shiny.
  2. Slowly add in coconut milk, stiring constantly until well blended.
  3. Set chocolate off heat to cool. Do not refrigerate.
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Beauty Bae Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

A custom recipe creation for Beauty Bae’s Miamii Monsour. A mixture of sweet and tart swirled into this Blue Velvet cupcake chocked full of blueberries and topped with a blue raspberry cream cheese frosting.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Beauty Bae

Miamii is the spunky Broadcast Journalism major and blogger of Beauty Bae. She shares everything she thinks about the latest beauty, fashion and entertainment trends with all the humor and sass you could ask for.
I love her lack of brain-to-mouth filter when it comes to what she loves and what she hates. She is like that best friend that will absolutely not let you leave the house looking like a hot mess. Miamii’s humor and spunk radiate from every post and tweet.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Blue, Blue, Blue

For such a fun and spunky personality, I had to create a flavor combo just as electrifying.
One of the first things Miamii shared with me was that she LOVES the color blue. I always love a good place to start but I may have gone overboard!

First and foremost the cake had to be blue. What better cake than a Blue Velvet cake? If red velvet is everyone’s standard favorite, then Blue Velvet is Beyonce. Everyone loves it and they are always impressed.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Blueberry Blast

At some point, I asked myself, “How can I make these cupcakes more blue?” My answer: Blueberries! But, of course!
In all honesty, we are a bit limited in our natural blue fruit options. You have a blueberry and a- nope, just a blueberry.

Tossing a few blueberries into each cupcake adds just the right amount of sweet surprise and makes these divinely blue cupcakes all the more blue.

The icing was just….well, when you think of what blue might smell like, what do you think of?

Taste of Color

For me, colors definitely have smells and tastes. Isn’t Skittles always telling us to taste the rainbow? Though I love purple, the color purple smells like Dimetapp to me.  Green usually smells like spinach or sometimes even like dirt. I understand dirt isn’t green but plants are and they grow from the earth. When it comes to tastes, Mellow Yellow and Mountain Dew both have a distinctly yellow taste to me. Seriously, close your eyes and take a sip. Can’t you taste the yellow?

So, what does blue smell or taste like to you?

Blue, for me, smells like blue raspberry flavoring. You know like you get as a slushie flavor at the 7/11? Or maybe that Blue Razz Berry Charms Blow Pop that leaves your tongue stained? Yeah, that one! I really wanted to make an icing flavored like a dang Blow Pop.
So I put on my blue suede shoes (I don’t really have those) and got to work.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

UK Conversion

Reading Beauty Bae, I realized that she is based in the United Kingdom. This means that an ideal recipe for her would be converted to grams and milliliters. Unfortunately, at this time, I do not have an easy way to post a recipe that has both the measurements available. However, I did create a handy basic ingredient conversion cheat sheet so hopefully converting this recipe to grams and milliliters is not too difficult.

The Basic Ingredient Conversion Cheat Sheet is one of several free resources I provide in my Sweet Resource Library.  You can gain full access here.

Basic Ingredient Conversion Cheat Sheet

The Cake

Oh, this blue velvet cake seems familiar? Well, it should! The eggless version we just made a few weeks ago for the Wonder Woman Eggfree Red Velvet Cupcakes. A few changes though, obviously. This blue velvet cake has eggs and blue food coloring instead of red. However, they share the same great taste.

The addition of blueberries does not change the consistency of the cake but they do add a nice fruity perk and may bulk up your batter to make a few more cupcakes than usual.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

That Frosting Though

The frosting is sweet and sour and oh so blue! Seriously though, not only does it taste AMAZING but the scent permeates and makes you start craving those slushies and Blow Pops. I might have to start slathering this stuff on everything!

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

To Top It Off

You may have noticed those blueberries on top don’t exactly look natural. I spruced those babies up to be as glam as Beauty Bae. A spritz of Wilton Silver Color Mist and they are shimmering and glowing. Little Cakeasaurus Rex (the kiddo) got to eat my leftover berries. He loved that they were shiny and said he felt like he was eating fancy food.

Who doesn’t love a glimmering blueberry?

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

How Do You Do Blue?

Are you absolutely in love with these Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes? Is there any way you could make them MORE blue? Let me know your ideas in the comments.

If you love them, let Miamii know you love her cupcakes too at Beauty Bae. I know she would love to hear from you!

Stay true, stay blue and make life taste sweeter!

 

 

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A custom recipe creation for Beauty Bae's Miamii Monsour. A mixture of sweet and tart swirled into this Blue Velvet cupcake chocked full of blueberries and topped with a blue raspberry cream cheese frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A custom recipe creation for Beauty Bae's Miamii Monsour. A mixture of sweet and tart swirled into this Blue Velvet cupcake chocked full of blueberries and topped with a blue raspberry cream cheese frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Blue Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit Line a cupcake tin with 24 liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter, eggs, and sugar together.
  3. In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix food coloring, salt and cocoa into a paste. Wet food coloring will want to bead up. Press spoon firmly against bottom of the bowl to press coloring into cocoa. Keep blending until a paste-like consistancy is formed. This may mean adding a bit more coloring as needed.
  4. Add colored cocoa to the sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together flour and baking soda.
  6. Add flour mixture a little at a time to the sugar mixture, alternating with the addition of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  7. Fold in vinegar and vanilla extract using a spatula. Do not over mix.
  8. Fold in blueberries gently.
  9. Fill each cupcake tin 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack before icing.
Blue Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attchment, beat softened cream cheese unti smooth.
  2. Add dry Jell-o mix directly to the cream cheese. Beat on medium- high to high speed until well blended.
  3. Add the milk to the cream cheese mixture a little at a time. Mix on medium-high speed. Frosting will become more wet.
  4. Add sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat on medium-high speed until frosting becomes thick and fluffy.
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Total Solar Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Celebrating the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, I have created for you a Total Solar Eclipse lemon cupcake with a blackberry cream cheese filling and blackberry buttercream frosting.

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

 

Happy Thursday Loves!

I know I usually don’t post my cupcake recipes until Friday but I wanted you to have enough time this weekend to get these whipped up before the big event Monday.

Total Solar Eclipse

If you are in the US, a very special event is happening this Monday and is the inspiration for this cupcake.

This Monday, August 21, the United States will be experiencing a total solar eclipse spanning from coast to coast. The last time the United States experienced a solar eclipse crossing the Atlantic to the Pacific like this was June 8, 1918.

Band of Totality

The band of totality (the region where the total eclipse will be most visible) will be a seventy-mile wide band that stretches from South Carolina to Oregon. The states the band will cross through are as follows: South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon (1).

Of course, the band of totality will be sweeping right through North Carolina (my old home state) while I’m sitting down here in Florida viewing only a partial eclipse.

Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

NASA

My family thoroughly enjoys space wonders just like this. I mean, my husband and I did get married in a planetarium after all.

Just a few weeks ago we visited the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral and were able to have first-hand experience with NASA and their explorations.  That is a post for a different day though.

However, if you are interested in learning more about the solar eclipse, NASA is an awesome resource and you can learn all about what to expect during the eclipse. They also advise how to view the eclipse safely.

*WARNING: For your safety, please know that looking directly at the sun is extremely dangerous. Even sunglasses and tanning goggles are not adequate protection for viewing the eclipse. Please make sure to only use approved viewing glasses or make your own NASA approved viewing box here.*

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Inspiration

Whether you are planning a fun eclipse party or you just want to have a fun treat for the family, I created an eclipse inspired cupcake just for you. These tasty treats can be enjoyed for outside viewing or inside viewing online.

Blame it on living in Florida but while the rest of the US is gearing up for pumpkin spice season, I am still in the dead heat of ninety-five-degree summer. I am still in the mood for those light and refreshing summer fruit flavors. What about you? Are you still enjoying the warm rays of summer or are you ready to get your pumpkin season on?

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Lemons and Blackberries

Thinking about fresh fruits and sunshine, I immediately decided to make the base of the cupcake a tart yellow lemon cake.

The lemon zest and additional lemon juice really bump up the tart citrus flavor of these cupcakes.

All in the Filling

To soothe out the tartness and also add more to our eclipse theme I thought it would be neat to fill the center with a blackberry cream cheese filling.

The idea here was to make the base of the cupcake be like the sun. I knew I would be demonstrating the eclipse with the icing but I wanted another way to turn these lemon cupcakes into distinctly Total Solar Eclipse cupcakes.

After filling the cupcake tin half full of lemon cake batter, use a piping bag to squirt just a little nickel sized dot of blackberry filling in the middle. With any luck, it will create a circular or even a crescent shape inside the cupcake. When it is cut open, you will get a nice viewable cupcake eclipse.

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Over the Moon

Now, for the Total Solar Eclipse cupcakes, I wanted to alter the color of the icing so as to make it more resemble the moon passing in front of our lemon cupcake sun. But, unaltered, our icing would be a gorgeous pink color and would be very desirable when making these cupcakes for any other occasion.

This moon like effect is also why I chose to use a  Wilton 402-2001 No. 2A Round Decorating Tip, Multicolor to create a round puffed look rather than my usual swirl. I used the same tip for a similar effect on my Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes.

If you find the plain moon icing a bit boring or unattractive, you can always dress it up with a little lemon zest sprinkled over or even a blackberry perched on top.

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Why is this not a thing?

As excited as I am for this unique phenomenon, I am surprised I have not seen many advertisers jump at the opportunity to bank on this event.  I did see some very humorous and clever advertising by Chiquita though and their “banana sun”.

My friend Brooks, over at OurParentPlace, and I were just discussing this the other day. Why hasn’t Eclipse gum jumped on this opportunity? I mean, it is in their name!

Brooks is an awesome momma that writes about the unique intersectionality of mental health and parenting. She has first-hand experience with both and helps support other moms dealing with similar issues.  She also resides right in the middle of the band of totality! (I’m so jealous!)

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Let me hear from you in the comments. Are you in the band of totality? Will you be hosting your own eclipse soiree? What do you think of these Total Solar Eclipse cupcakes and what other thematic goodies could you put with them? Let me know down below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Cofield, Calla and Tariq Malik. “Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)”. https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html.Space.com, 15 08 2017.
Full Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Celebrating the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, I have created for you a Full Eclipse tart lemon cupcake with a soothing blackberry cream cheese filling and sweet blackberry buttercream frosting.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Full Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Celebrating the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, I have created for you a Full Eclipse tart lemon cupcake with a soothing blackberry cream cheese filling and sweet blackberry buttercream frosting.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Lemon Cupcake
Blackberry Cream Cheese Filling
Blackberry Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Lemon Cupcake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, and sugar together.
  2. Add eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time mixing on medium speed until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour baking soda and salt.
  4. Add a third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Then add half of the Greek yogurt. Alternate between the flour mixture and Greek yogurt until all ingredients are used. Mix thoroughly on medium speed.
  5. With a spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure batter is well mixed. Fold in lemon zest and lemon juice.
  6. Fill lined cupcake tin half full. Squeeze dolup of blackberry filling into the center of each cupcake. Spoon lemon batter over the blackberry filling.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on baking rack.
Blackberry Filling
  1. In a blender, blend together the creamcheese, egg and sugar.
  2. Add a cup of blackberries and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add food coloring a drop at a time to reach desired color.
  4. Spoon filling into piping bag to easily fill centers of cupcakes.
Blackberry Butter Cream
  1. In a large mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening on medium speed for about two minutes.
  2. Add lemon juice and blackberry puree to butter mixture. Beat on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mixing thoroughly between additions.
  4. Fold in lemon extract.
  5. Wait for cupcakes to cool before frosting.
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Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

A rich egg free red velvet cupcake with a sweet cream cheese butter cream and Wonder Woman gum paste topper.

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Wonder Woman

When I hear “Wonder Woman” I can not help but think of my mother. I specifically think of her pre-marital years when she would win costume contests dressed as the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman with her long raven locks and star spangled bathing suit. I envision a young woman full of determination and willing to take on any challenge in order to achieve her clearly defined goals. Wonder Woman represents strength and power, justice and beauty.

Perhaps, that is my definition of every Wonder Woman: A woman full of determination and willing to take on any challenge in order to achieve her clearly defined goals. With the latest release of the Wonder Woman movie, how could young girls not look to Diana (Wonder Woman’s alter ego) as a role model?

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

This week’s cupcake was specially created just for one of these young girls.

When I first began communicating with Ashley Spang from GrowingSpangs, I had not yet fully connected all of the dots. One look at her About the Author page and I knew we were two peas from a similar pod. She has a beautiful daughter, Olivia, who will be turning two in September. We wanted to make a cupcake that incorporated her interests and available for Mom to make in time for the big day. The Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcake is Olivia’s cupcake. It is developed for her and the Wonder Woman I know she will become.

As for connecting the dots, my mother, the Wonder Woman mentioned above, and another close relative (who coincidentally is also named Olivia and a Wonder Woman in her own right) are both celebrating their birthdays this month. This Wonder Woman Red Velvet cupcake can celebrate all of the strong and powerful women we have working every day to achieve their goals.

On With the Cake

One of the specifications for Olivia’s cupcake was that it must be egg free. For this recipe, I easily substituted a half cup of applesauce in place of what would normally be two eggs. This leaves the batter looking a little wet but after baking, the cake is just as moist and delicious as always.

I particularly love this recipe because it is so easy to remember. The steps are simple: cream, paste, add and fold.

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes Infographic

Cream

In your favorite electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and applesauce. The applesauce makes this step a little less creamy but the process is the same.

Paste

In a separate bowl, we are going to create a paste of the food coloring, salt, and cocoa. This sounds easy enough but I’m telling you now food coloring and cocoa do not like to turn to paste easily. The food coloring, especially liquid drops, like to bead up and roll off the cocoa.

The best way to really make the paste is to take the back of a spoon and press the color droplets into the cocoa firmly and smear it across the bottom of the bowl. Just keep at it until the cocoa is well coated in food coloring.

Add

Adding the flour and buttermilk to the mixture thickens up the batter. Alternate between adding the flour and baking soda mixture and the buttermilk, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Fold

This is where the chemistry happens. Fold in the vinegar and the vanilla extract. Be mindful not to over mix the batter. You just want to fold it in enough to allow the vinegar to interact with the baking soda.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

Bake

How simple was that? I love recipes that are easy to remember because it ensures I keep coming back to them. Throw those beautiful blood red cakes in the oven and bake for about twenty-five minutes at 350 degrees.

Inspiration

While you are waiting on those beautiful cupcakes to bake up, head over to GrowingSpangs for some daily inspiration. I love how Ashley thoughtfully and eloquently writes about her family, her faith and what every mom needs: a little encouragement.

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Icing on the Cake

The only real way to eat a red velvet cupcake is to have it paired with cream cheese icing. This Cream Cheese Butter Cream is sweet and creamy and the perfect topping.

The key to this icing is making sure your cream cheese and butter are both softened before creaming them together. No one wants a chunk of butter in their icing. Not just for eating but when you go to decorate the cupcakes, the chunks can get stuck in your decorating tips and make decorating more difficult than it should be.

Decorations

The decorations are really what make this cupcake a Wonder Woman cupcake, right? Exactly! There are plenty of ways you can choose to decorate for a Wonder Woman or superhero themed party. A nice and easy way is to find rings or figures to place on top. I found this great miniature Wonder Woman at the Dollar Tree. Ordering online allows you to order a case for all your cupcakes or party guests without having to travel to different stores and hunt them down.

I used the Cosmos ® 10 Pieces Multicolor DIY Cake Fondant&gumpaste Decorating Modeling Tools Set to cut out the Wonder Woman symbol from rolled gum paste. Unless you are an artist, this can be fairly time-consuming especially if making a lot of cupcakes.

Diana just isn’t Wonder Woman without a little shimmer and pizazz. A brushed coating of Wilton Pearl Dust, Gold-0.05 Ounce (1,4g) adds just the right amount of shimmer to make the symbol sparkle.

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Only Love Can Truly Save the World

The above quote is from the newly released Wonder Woman movie but let it also be a compass for us to direct our young girls.

I hope Olivia enjoys her Wonder Woman cupcakes and has a blast at her September birthday party. I also hope that we acknowledge the other wonder women in our lives and celebrate them as well.

Who is the Wonder Woman in your life? What other favorite super heroes would you like me to create a cupcake for? Let me know in the comments below.
Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A rich egg free red velvet cupcake with a sweet cream cheese butter cream
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A rich egg free red velvet cupcake with a sweet cream cheese butter cream
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Cream Cheese Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with 24 liners
  2. In a large mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter, applesauce, and sugar together.
  3. In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix food coloring, salt, and cocoa into a paste. Wet food coloring will want to bead up. Press spoon firmly against the bottom of the bowl to press coloring into cocoa. Keep blending until a paste-like consistency is formed. This may mean adding a bit more coloring as needed.
  4. Add colored cocoa to the sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together flour and baking soda.
  6. Add flour mixture a little at a time to the sugar mixture, alternating with the addition of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  7. Fold in vinegar and vanilla extract using a spatula. Do not over mix.
  8. Fill each cupcake tin 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack before icing.
Cream Cheese Butter Cream
  1. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and cutter until soft and smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar to the cream cheese mixture one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  3. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix on medium high speed until well blended and icing is fluffy.
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