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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Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes

A custom “Free the Nipple” Black Forest Cupcake: A light chocolate cake filled with a juicy Morello cherry filling and topped with heavy whipped cream.

 

A Special Request

Sometimes in my adventures creating cakes for people, I come across a special request. Sometimes this request may seem silly or even vulgar but something deep inside tells me I have to make this cake.

This week is definitely one of those cakes I had to agree to make.

Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes Cupcakes decorated to look like female anatomy Pink and Brown breast shaped cupcakes with nipples Fleshy boob cupcakes with a red background

Free the Nipple

Juniper Woodbury from JuniperWoodbury.com (so easy to remember!) approached me several weeks ago about an idea she had for a cupcake. She very specifically asked me for a “Free the Nipple” custom cupcake recipe for her to feature in her upcoming ebook.

Many of my readers are moms and I’m quite familiar with the “war against the breast” when it comes to breastfeeding in public. But, to be on the safe side, I inquired just to be sure I knew exactly what I was putting my name and brand on.

Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes Cupcakes decorated to look like female anatomy Pink and Brown breast shaped cupcakes with nipples Fleshy boob cupcakes with a red background

Girls Aren’t Funny

Juniper Woodbury is a feminist and humor blogger, comedy writer, and self-proclaimed food enthusiast. She started Girls Aren’t Funny to address sexist problems using humor. She explained that she wanted to create a small recipe book of comedic feminist recipes including and featuring the “Free the Nipple” cupcake. The “Free the Nipple” idea is an all-encompassing one: both supporting breastfeeding and against the over sexualization of female nipples.

As a feminist and comedian (ha! well at least I think I’m funny), I had to get on board. I couldn’t wait to serve up some delicious ta-tas for a good cause.

When I am thinking about a cupcake that totally encompasses what it means to be a woman and the tastes they desire, I can’t help but think of chocolate, cherries and some sort of fruity liqueur. Why not combine them for the sweet rich taste of a Black Forest Cupcake?

This recipe comes in three parts. A recipe in three acts if you will. I know that sounds daunting but I made the last part the super easiest of all. So hang in there and I know you will love the end result.

Black Forest Cupcakes Chocolate cupcake filled with cherry pie filling and topped with whipped cream icing and a cherry. Chocolate cupcake with white icing and chocolate shavings Cherry on top

Act One: The Filling

I had a jar of dark Morello cherries that have probably been sitting in my pantry since the holidays of last year. I used them for their dark burgundy color and because that is what I had on hand. You can use maraschino cherries if you prefer or you can skip this step altogether and just buy some cherry pie filling. Where’s the fun in that?

Heat your cherries with the juice on medium low heat. Add in four tablespoons of granulated sugar and then sift two tablespoons of cornstarch into the mix. Add the Cherry Vodka and you’ll want to stir the cherries periodically. They may seem to still be wet for awhile but the cornstarch thickens the mixture into a pie filling consistency fairly quickly.

Remove the cherries from the heat once you’ve reached desired consistency and stir in your vanilla extract.

You can put the cherries to the side to cool for awhile. I put mine right back into the jar I poured them out of. It gave me more space to work and I recycled the jar.

Black Forest Cupcakes Chocolate cupcake filled with cherry pie filling and topped with whipped cream icing and a cherry. Chocolate cupcake with white icing and chocolate shavings Cherry on top

Act Two: The Cake

This cake is so fun to make. In the electric mixer, throw your six room temperature eggs and beat them on high speed for one minute. Then add in the sugar. Now, here is the fun part. Turn your mixer on high and just leave it for a while. Seriously! You want to let those eggs beat up until they are the consistency of pudding or a mousse.

I have never had a recipe where I could just walk away from the mixer before. This one you can! The eggs need to mix on high speed for about eight minutes. That doesn’t sound like long but in the cake world, it makes me super happy to have my KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series Stand Mixers – Empire Red to do all the work for me.

When the eggs are ready, just fold in the flour and cocoa. The idea here is to not over mix the batter. We don’t want to deflate the eggs we just spent so much time fluffing. Then fold in the butter and vanilla extract.

It is important that the butter is melted and cooled before pouring it into the batter.

If it isn’t melted, it won’t mix into the batter. If it isn’t cooled, it will want to deflate the eggs. Make sure to scrape and fold from the bottom to make sure the butter is not pooling at the bottom of the bowl.

Black Forest Cupcakes Chocolate cupcake filled with cherry pie filling

Filling the Cakes

You can use a special cupcake plunger like this one from Wilton: Wilton 2103-5354 Cupcake Corer, White. Or you can cut it out with a knife and scoop it out like I did. I am pretty sure I used this same technique for the Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes. Why would you purchase a tool when you can just cut it out? The best answer is a time saver. I am pretty notorious for doing things the hard way just because I am stubborn.  You don’t have to be that way!

After scooping, spoon a bit of your cherry filling into each hole. Spoon as much as you can fit in the hole you’ve created. Don’t worry if it mounds on top a bit, we will cover that with frosting.

Black Forest Cupcakes Chocolate cupcake filled with cherry pie filling and topped with whipped cream icing and a cherry. Chocolate cupcake with white icing and chocolate shavings Cherry on top

Act Three: The Finale

Remember when I said I’d make this the easy part? There are two ways to make the frosting for this recipe. One is the more difficult way. I will post the ingredients for it down below. The other is the best and easiest way to make icing ever! Wilton makes a Wilton Vanilla Whipped Icing Mix and all of your Whipped Icing dreams come true. Just follow the directions on the box. Literally, the only direction is to add ice cold water to the mix and whip it until it is fluffy. How cool is that?!

Now, for a little added flavor, I did add one tablespoon of Cherry Vodka to the Wilton Whipped Icing Mix. This stuff is so great that the addition did not affect the consistency at all!

Freeing the Nipples

The “Free the Nipple” cupcakes were decorated especially for the occasion. Using fondant and Wilton gel coloring I blended the colors together to relatively believable skin tones. When working with fondant and gel colors, I always try to start with a little bit of color and build up to darker ones. It is much easier to make a color darker than it is to lighten it.

I would love to say that I recorded exactly how much of each gel color I used to create these colors, but alas I did not. I placed a toothpick into the gel color and then added it to the fondant. However, I can tell you which gel colors I used so you have a base to start from.

The brown nippled breast used a combination of the Wilton Gel Brown and the Wilton Gel Copper. The pink nippled breast used a combination of the Wilton Gel Pink and the Wilton Gel Golden Yellow.

Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes Cupcakes decorated to look like female anatomy Pink and Brown breast shapped cupcakes with nipples Fleshy boob cupcakes with a red background

It looks like Wilton has thought of everything! If you do not want to mix your own colors, Wilton has the Wilton 710-2314 Decorator Preferred Natural Skin Tone Fondant already premixed into four generic skin tone shades.

Shape the fondant into your desired shape. In this case, circular breasts to cover the top of the cupcake plus a circular areola and nipple for the top. And then let them be free!

Alternate Decorating

If you are just wanting a beautiful Black Forest Cupcake without all the nip slip, I have an alternative for you. Pipe that fluffy white whipped icing into billowy clouds over top your cherry filled chocolate cupcakes. Sprinkle a few shavings of your favorite dark chocolate and plop a shiny cherry right on top!

It may be more conservative but you’ll see just as many happy faces with this traditional decoration as you do with the nipple version.

Black Forest Cupcakes Chocolate cupcake filled with cherry pie filling and topped with whipped cream icing and a cherry. Chocolate cupcake with white icing and chocolate shavings Cherry on top

Don’t Forget

Don’t forget to check out Juniper’s ebook featuring this recipe and many others. You can get ahold of your own copy here.

I would love to see your versions of the “Free the Nipple” cupcake!

If you aren’t that bold yet, then don’t hesitate to make the traditional Black Forest Cupcake version.

Let me know in the comments.

Are you a feminist? Is this exactly the type of recipe you’ve been waiting for?

Free the Nipple to make life taste sweeter!

 

 

 

Black Forest Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A light chocolate cake filled with a juicy Morello cherry filling and topped with a Cherry Vodka flavored heavy whipped cream.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Black Forest Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A light chocolate cake filled with a juicy Morello cherry filling and topped with a Cherry Vodka flavored heavy whipped cream.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Cherry Filling
Chocolate Cupcake
Cherry Whipped Cream Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Cherry Filling
  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat cherries with juice on medium low heat.
  2. Add in granulated sugar and then sift cornstarch into the mix.
  3. Add the Cherry Vodka and you'll want to stir the cherries periodically. They may seem to still be wet for awhile but the cornstarch thickens the mixture into a pie filling consistency fairly quickly.
Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, in a large bowl beat the eggs on high for one minute.
  2. Add sugar to the eggs and beat on high for eight full minutes. Eggs will become fluffy with the consistency of pudding or mousse.
  3. Fold in flour and cocoa. Do not over mix or the batter will deflate.
  4. Fold in cooled melted butter and vanilla extract. Make sure to scoop and fold from the bottom so butter does not pool at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Spoon into a lined cupcake tin, filling the cups 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. When cupcakes have cooled, core the centers and fill with Cherry Filling.
Cherry Whipped Cream Icing
  1. In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream and powdered sugar on high until stiff peaks form (about 8 minutes).
  2. Fold in Cherry Vodka.
  3. Pipe Icing into billowy cloud on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle dark chocolate shavings and place a cherry on top for decoration.
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Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes

Almost Legendary Apple Bacon cupcakes are apple cupcakes chocked full of bacon and topped with a Maple Cream Cheese Icing.

Hey, guys!

As promised, I am bringing you delicious cupcake recipes straight from my kitchen. This particular recipe is one I have been perfecting for the past five years.  The first time I made Apple Bacon Cupcakes was for a potluck at my old call center job.

They looked so pretty without icing, I didn’t even bother frosting them. I will heed warning, without frosting they could easily pass as muffins and someone could mistake them for being healthy. There’s my disclaimer.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

What makes this recipe nearly legendary?

My coworkers fell in love with these scrumptious little Apple Bacon cakes and began asking for them on a regular basis.  Since then, they have always been a favorite and people ask me for them again and again.

Every time I made them, I would tweak the recipe just a bit until I found the perfect apple to bacon ratio for maximum tastefulness. What makes these cupcakes really over the top is all the bacon.

Two Pounds of Bacon!

Not only are they garnished with a piece of crispy bacon but there is also a pound of that crumbled bacon in the cake batter itself. The salty bacon is balanced well with the light sweetness of the apple.

Today, the recipe is fairly easy and I include a frosting that pairs well with the flavor combinations. I would hate for someone to mistake them for muffins and think they were diet approved. However, the flavors are certainly ones that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late night snack time.

How to make Apple Bacon Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and go ahead and shred those Gala apples. This is the most time-consuming part of this process. Once the oven is preheated, place one pound of bacon on a cookie sheet. As much as I love cookies, bacon is a far better use of these pans.

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

Of course, you could fry up your bacon the old fashion way but this way saves time and allows you to cook quite a bit at once without fear of bacon burns. You know, those burns you get when you are frying bacon with minimal clothing on and inevitably grease splatters out on tender bits of exposed skin.

If you are planning on making the icing and garnish as well, now would be the time to throw the other pound of bacon on a cookie sheet too.  Let your bacon cook until it looks like you’re desired preference of crispiness. I usually just let it crisp up while I mix up the other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl…

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients of all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and sugar. Set this bowl to the side while we prepare the wet ingredients.

Mix together the wet ingredients of softened unsalted butter, vanilla extract, eggs and buttermilk in a separate mixing bowl. On low speed, pour your wet ingredients into your dry ones and mix until thick batter forms. Now you can add in your apples. The batter will be lumpy and that is completely okay. It is about to get a lot lumpier.

When your bacon is to your crispiness liking, pull it out and let it cool on the cookie sheets. If you are wondering what to do if you don’t like your bacon crispy, that is completely fine. It can be a bit chewy just remember it is going inside your cupcake and might make your cake chewy too.  Let the bacon cool until it is cool enough to crumble easily in your hands. If it is chewy, grab the kitchen shears and cut into small pieces. Add bacon to the batter and stir on low until well mixed.

This recipe makes approximately twenty-four cupcakes. Place paper cupcake liners in two cupcake trays and spray with cooking spray. It may sound weird to do both but the liners are so much easier to remove when sprayed a little. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from pans and let cool to prepare for icing and garnish.

How to make the Maple Cream Cheese Icing:

In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing until the icing forms a semi thick consistency. Mix in the maple syrup and add cinnamon. I am a fan of the cinnamon and like seeing the little specks in the icing to add dimension.

The bacon cooked earlier should be nice and cool by now. You can use either your hands or kitchen scissors to cut the strips of bacon into 1-2 inch pieces. I try to find the crispier pieces for garnish because they hold up better for presentation.

Food is 90% presentation! Click To Tweet

And like my grandmother always says, food is 90% presentation. Gently place the salty crunchy piggy pieces on top of each cake. And ta da! You have delicious beautiful cakes perfect for any time of day or night. Whether you are winning over co-workers or welcoming neighbors or just feeding the family, these Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes are sure to satisfy.

 

Are you needing a perfect potluck contribution? Let me know what you and your coworkers think of this recipe in the comments below!

Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Apple cupcakes chocked full of bacon and topped with a Maple Cream Cheese Icing.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Apple cupcakes chocked full of bacon and topped with a Maple Cream Cheese Icing.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes
Maple Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bacon on a cookie sheet until desired crispiness. Set aside and let cool. Keep oven set at 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients of all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together the wet ingredients of softened unsalted butter, vanilla extract, eggs and buttermilk.
  4. On low speed, pour your wet ingredients into your dry ones and mix until a thick batter forms and all ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Crumble cooled bacon and fold bacon and apples into mix. Mix on low speed until well blended.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. A toothpick inserted will come out clean. Cool on baking rack.
Maple Cream Cheese Icing
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook bacon to desired crispiness. Set aside and let cool.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing until the icing forms a semi thick consistency.
  4. Add the maple syrup and add cinnamon. Mix until well blended.
  5. Ice cupcakes and garnish with bacon. Bacon can be crumbled over top or can be broken into 1-2 inch pieces and placed on top.
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Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

When we don’t have the time to sip on our Unicorn frappuccinos, sometimes when we’re at home we like to add a little kick of Kahlua to our cup of Joe. Kahlua, coffee and,… what is it missing? Oh yes! Chocolate!

 

Hey guys!

This recipe may look familiar. I have posted it before but I wanted to bring it to you again in a much easier to read format. It is also so delicious that it needed to be brought back into my kitchen this week.

We often see Kahlua added into mixed drinks at a bar but not often added into our brownie or cupcake recipes. It really is a shame. I think Kahlua adds the perfect coffee flavor to enhance all the chocolate recipes. This one is no exception.

Feel free to have a Kahlua mixed drink while baking. Just drink and bake responsibly of course.

First, we will start with a basic rich chocolate cupcake recipe but add a twist. I promise there is nothing basic about it especially after adding a good helping of Kahlua. 

Similar to many cupcake recipes, the ingredients are divided into two groups: the wet ones and the dry ones. For the most part anyway.

When I am exploring a new recipe one of the first things I try to do is determine which bowl should be my mixer bowl and which is not. I can not stand putting my eggs in the wrong bowl and having to switch to my stand mixer later.

I know, I’m sure the professionals out there are saying I should thoroughly read through a recipe before I start mixing. Who has time for that? I barely make it through the ingredient list. Ha!

To clarify, go ahead and put your eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil in your stand mixer bowl and that will from hence forth be your Wet Ingredients. In your other mixing bowl, whisk together the Dry Ingredients.

Alternate mixing in the Dry Ingredients first into the Wet Ingredients and then adding the buttermilk. You will do this two to three times both starting and ending with the Dry Ingredients.

I save the coffee, Kahlua and vanilla extract for last. Mix in the coffee and Kahlua while still using the mixer on low to medium speed. Everything should be well blended to make that magical cupcake chemistry happen.

You can remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the vanilla extract. I find that the vanilla extract tends to get lost in the batter if it is over mixed.

Once your cakes are good and liquored with that Kahlua tastiness, you will want to bake them at 350° for about 15-20 minutes. A toothpick poked into the middle may not come out completely clean. Don’t worry. A few crumbles attached to the toothpick are completely okay.  Just make sure it doesn’t come out with wet batter attached because that would not be tasty.

Keep an eye on those cupcakes though because the cake for this recipe will come out like brownies with a crispy outer edge and gooey center.  The perfect consistency if you ask me.  Though absolutely delicious (especially for us brownie lovers), a little refrigeration helps firm the cupcakes up in order to help with adding our surprise centers.

Surprise centers?!

That’s right! A sweet and slightly tart surprise to balance all of that rich chocolate. This is where the cherry pie filling comes in to play.

After chilling, it is time to cut holes in your beautiful cakes. Oh no! It will be okay. The taste is worth the price of beauty on this one. There are plunger type utensils that will core your cupcakes for you. Using this utensil would probably make my job a whole lot easier. But, you know me, I like to take the extra difficult route and then tell you all about it.

 I just take my handy-dandy kitchen knife and do my best to cut a round pocket into the cake. Be careful not to cut too low to the bottom of your cupcake. We don’t want the cherry falling out! It also doesn’t need to be huge, just large enough to hold one cherry and a little bit of the pie filling jelly.

If you do it my way, this can certainly be a time-consuming process but it is worth it. After spooning a cherry into each pocket, just replace the cake hole over top. It doesn’t matter if it is pretty or even the cake hole from the same cake. Icing will cover up the imperfections and no one will notice when they are sinking their teeth into decadence.

I have been making quite a few butter creams lately and maybe you thought they were my favorite. They’re not! Sure a Butter Cream has its place but the star of the show is usually a light fluffy creamy cream cheese icing. Think about it. Your favorite cake? Probably Red Velvet. Why? The cream cheese frosting!

I’m kidding. I have no idea which is your favorite cake. However, that Red Velvet is a favorite to many so just keep that in mind here.

 

The magic of the cream cheese icing is that it provides that balance for your taste buds. Of course we all have our sweet tooths (teeth) and we love indulging in those deep rich chocolate flavors but we need that life raft of cream cheese icing to bring us back to our senses.

 A sweet cake, I feel, deserves a milder icing so as not to give you a toothache. With all the overly sweet elements of this cake, it can become heavily sweet very quickly.  The cream cheese icing moderates that sweetness and adds a bit of pep with the coffee grounds that complement the Kahlua flavor in the cake.

Much like those frappuccinos from our favorite coffee shop, I like more sugar and cream than I do actual coffee. Even my coffee grounds are flavored. I prefer light and flavored coffee like vanilla or French vanilla and that is usually what I have on hand. You are certainly welcome to switch out the type of coffee grounds for any that you prefer. Those flavors are already flavors you enjoy so there is no harm done in adding them to your icing. I would love to know what you think of the icing with a more robust coffee used in the icing. 

After icing, your cakes are perfect the way they are.

I wanted to add to that sentence but really they are perfect. But, if you insist on beautiful presentation, adding a cherry to the top is the perfect detail. It provides the perfect preview of what is to come inside.

The can of pie filling from earlier still has half a can of cherries left. We are not wasteful. We use those cherries and call them decoration. Just plop one of those babies on top and now you have a picture perfect dessert that all of your chocolate lovers will enjoy. Your coffee lovers will it enjoy it too. So will your Kahlua lovers. Also, your cherry lovers. I bet they’d enjoy this recipe as well. 

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below. I am always curious to know how yours turned out and if you made any changes. Let me know down below!

Thanks for making life taste sweeter!

Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Moist chocolate cupcakes rich with coffee and Kahlua flavors. The cherry filling adds just the right amount of tartness to round out a mouthful of flavor. Creamy Coffee Cream Cheese Icing balances the flavors and brings it all together.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 30 minutes
Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Moist chocolate cupcakes rich with coffee and Kahlua flavors. The cherry filling adds just the right amount of tartness to round out a mouthful of flavor. Creamy Coffee Cream Cheese Icing balances the flavors and brings it all together.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Coffee Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
  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 Kahlua and mix on low speed.
  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 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. Cut a small hole in the middle of each cupcake. This can be done with a cake plunger/corer or just a knife and spoon. Save the scooped out holes.
  10. Spoon cherry pie filling into the cupcake holes. Make sure to include at least one cherry and some of the pie filling jelly. Save remaining pie filling cherries for topping. Replace the cake holes over top of the cherry and await for icing.
Coffee Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add evaporated milk and mix until well blended.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing on low to medium speed. the icing will start to make a smoother consistency.
  4. Add coffee grounds, vanilla extract and salt and mix on medium speed until all ingredients are well mixed. Icing should be creamy consistency.
  5. Frost cupcakes and add a cherry from the Cherry pie filling to the top of the cake to complete.
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New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The best way to celebrate the new year is with champagne and strawberries. These Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes make the perfect kickoff for a brand new year!

I am so excited for the new year!

More excited than I was to move to Florida. More excited than I was for Christmas.

What better way to celebrate the new year than with some bubbly champagne and delicious strawberries? That sounds like a good start to a new year to me.

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I have had such a build up of excitement lately. This feeling I think normally hits people in fall or spring but for me it is right now. I want to shed all of the dead weight of 2015 and start 2016 clean, new and fresh. I have so many ideas and projects in store. I just can’t wait to share all of them with you.

Of course I will be maintaining our special Fridays of delicious cupcake goodness (forgive this one for being a bit late (I know, I know, not a great start for a new year)). But, I also have some other great recipes to share that I know you are going to love and some projects I’ve been working on as well. My house is going to undergo some changes this year with planning and budgeting and maybe some inexpensive remodels too. I can’t wait to get underway!

But first, let’s have a cupcake!

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The natural inspiration for this cupcake was bubbly champagne. You pour a glass, you toast a friend, you kiss your love and that’s what New Years is all about. Well, for most folks anyway.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesCaptain Cupcakeasaurus was working at the station on New Year’s Eve so the kiddo and I packed a few glasses, grabbed a bottle of sparkling cranberry juice instead and toasted in the new year that way. Our family was together and that was the important part.

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

I am not one to just “miss out” though. When the holiday calls for champagne, we are going to have champagne dang it! It is funny because I have been craving ham for months now expecting it to come around for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Well, when my grandmother announced she wouldn’t be doing ham for either of those holidays I practically purchased a ham the same day and announced we would be having it for our New Year’s dinner. They were a great price at Aldi and I ended up buying two.  The point is, I’m not missing out on my ham either!

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

The natural pairing with champagne (outside of orange juice for a morning mimosa of course) is strawberries. This New Year Bubbly and Berry cupcake brings you both in a supremely sweet package. The cupcake has just a hint of champagne flavor so no need to splurge on fancy bubbly for this recipe. The cheap kind works just fine. The batter will be wetter than some of our other batters but it works out in the end.

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes When they are ready to come out of the oven they actually resemble muffins in look and density.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesNew Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesDon’t let that fool you though because topping them in a fluffy sweet Strawberry Buttercream makes for a delicious little cake. You can enjoy them on their own or go ahead and serve with bubbly good stuff.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesIt is time for the toast. Hold your glass high. Here is to a new year full of energy, fun, tasteful treats  and another year of making life taste sweet!

 

 

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Light Champagne and strawberry cupcake topped with a sweet Strawberry Buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Light Champagne and strawberry cupcake topped with a sweet Strawberry Buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Strawberry Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 24 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and strawberries on medium speed. Add in champagne and vegetable oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients a cup at a time into the ;large mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Batter will be quite wet.
  5. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cupcakes will resemble muffins. A toothpick will come out clean when done.
Strawberry Buttercream
  1. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 4 cups powdered sugar and vanilla to the butter and mix on medium high until well blended.
  3. Add pureed strawberries a little at a time while mixing into the buttercream. Powdered sugar may need to be added to maintain firm frosting consistency after pureed strawberries are added.
  4. Pipe frosting on to cooled cupcakes and enjoy.
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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

Hey Guys!

Man, it has been a fun filled week. I have successfully completed almost all of the Christmas shopping. There are just a few things left to check off that list but for the most part done. We added two new furry members to the family this week. They are the sweetest little eight week old kittens who have diligently been helping me gift wrap presents. By help of course I mean chase string and chomp on bits of paper.

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As we all get into the holiday spirit, Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex built his own Gingerbread house made of foam. Why not a real Gingerbread house? Well, one, I have always felt funny about eating candy off of real Gingerbread houses. Something about Hansel and Gretel and eating stale candy….but I digress.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

But reason two is that we were filling the house with the smell of delicious Gingerbread cupcakes instead. These taste way better than any prefabricated Gingerbread house kit or stale candy you can pick up at the store.

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting

Full disclosure, this was the first Gingerbread anything I’ve ever made from scratch. I knew that Gingerbread required molasses but I had never directly worked with it before. In my mind, I imagined molasses being a lot like Karo syrup. Molasses is NOT like Karo syrup. It does not smell good and doesn’t really taste good raw either. Yes, of course, I had to try it. Just like that time when I was about seven or so and decided that vanilla extract smelled good enough to eat. No no no. But thankfully, molasses mixed with other delicious things, much like vanilla extract, ends up tasting amazing in the end.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

 

These Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting are super easy and super cute for all of your holiday gatherings and treats. Much like so many of my recipes, you separate your dry ingredients and your wet ones and then you mix them in together. The consistency and color of the batter will look like the smoothest peanut butter you’ve ever seen.

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_FrostingGingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting

When the cakes come out they are so  fluffy and much more enjoyable than the rock hard cookies in the kits. Can you tell I have some hate for the Gingerbread house kits? It is probably repressed anger from never being able to get my royal icing packet to the right consistency to dry before my house fell over. I’m a baker. I bake. I am not an architect nor a construction master. I’ll leave the house building to the other guys. We’ll stick with cupcakes.

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_FrostingThe frosting is just as easy as the caking. At first, I felt like that was a TON of sugar for a cream cheese icing but then I realized why. Ginger and molasses both have really strong flavors. You end up needing the extra sugar to balance out those flavors. It works out I promise. It works out so well that I was practically eating the frosting by the spoonful. Really, this stuff would taste good on sooo many things.

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_FrostingGingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting

The final touch is adding these adorable little Gingerbread men to the top. I LOVE almost any food I can bite the head off of. Ok, that may sound weird. I don’t mean like meat and animals and such. I mean I love biting the heads off of Peeps, and Teddy Grahams and gummy bears. So, if you have an obsession like I do of edible decapitation, then you’ll love these decorative Gingerbread men decorations. Wilton has a great line of Christmas Icing Decorations that include Christmas trees and snowflakes and these lovely Gingerbread men. I also noticed they have some dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters or my favorite, the ones I used, which are holding little gum drops. Too cute!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

 

So while you are decking the halls and inevitably making spirits bright, make sure to make life taste sweeter with these scrumptious Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting!

 

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting
Print Recipe
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting
Print Recipe
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Gingerbread Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar on medium high speed. Add in eggs and mix well. Then add in molasses, again mixing well.
  3. Add a third of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix completely. Add about half of the water to the wet ingredients. Continue to alternate between flour mixture and the water, ending with adding the last third of the flour mixture. Mix until well blended.
  4. Fill 24 lined cupcake tins 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. A toothpick will come out clean when done.
Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large mixing bowl, with whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Texture should be smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in salt, ginger, and molasses until well blended.
  3. Add in powdered sugar a cup or so at a time. The frosting will thicken and really take shape.
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Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Hey guys!

If you weren’t feeling it last week, you should definitely be feeling it this week. We are in full Fall swing now. Nothing makes me think of Thanksgiving quite like Pumpkin Pie. Since we made Pumpkin cupcakes last week, I was going to switch it up with some sweet potatoes this week.

 

But, you really can’t say no to these Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. That’s Pumpkin Pie AND a delicious cupcake. Two desserts in one. Double the dessert without doubling the calories. I’m pretty sure since Snickerdoodles are a cookie, it could technically be THREE desserts in one. I just couldn’t resist and had to share. We can always save the sweet potatoes for next week.

 

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

So as difficult as baking a pie inside a cupcake sounds, it really isn’t too bad. A few extra steps but nothing that will make you feel chained to your stove. First, we bake pies. Yay Pumpkin Pie! Handmade crust in little mini muffin tins and voilà, mini Pumpkin Pies! I am , of course, sharing my Go To recipe for homemade pie crust which is great for quiches too by the way, but you are welcome to use pre-made pie crust dough if that suits you.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pie crust dough is fairly easy to whip up but temperature is really important. You want to make sure that your butter and the water added are both cold. I don’t even thaw my butter I just cut it into tiny pieces to make it easier to mix into the dough. Some recipes may call for a pastry cutter to do the mixing for your pie crust but I have two good hands that work just fine.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

I will let you know that I do have to put my engagement ring in the cabinet when I cook. I am terrified of it being on the counter or anywhere where it could be bumped or knocked off. So sometimes, Captain Cupcakeasaurus will be putting away dishes or something and happen upon my ring. I figure that’s better than having it be all buttered and floured or worse yet end up down the drain or baked inside a cupcake. Though the latter may sound romantic, I promise, it isn’t.Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

 

When pressing the pie crust in to the mini muffin tin, make sure to keep it as thin as possible. No one wants to bite into a delicious cupcake only to get a mouthful of pie crust. The crust will puff up a bit so just keep that in mind while crusting the tins.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

I ended up putting about two teaspoons of pie filling in each mini pie. I tried to fill them as much as I could without running over. You will have quite a bit of filling left. You can either make a pumpkin pie with your remaining crust dough and filling or come up with something else to utilize the extras. I made a Pumpkin Pie “tart”. Meaning I couldn’t locate my pie pan and decided a bread pan would work just fine. I lined my bread pan with the remaining pie crust dough and after baking for a few minutes to harden the crust, I filled it with the remaining pie filling. So not only will I be serving Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, but MsCupcakeasaurus will have her own Pumpkin Pie to enjoy as well. Yum!

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_CupcakePumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

 

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Alright, so once your little pies are cooling, now we get to do the cupcake bit. You can leave the stove on 350 degrees because it won’t take us long to whip up the batter.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

The batter is a type of vanilla cake batter but I find that it comes out a bit more golden than a regular vanilla cupcake.  By “golden” I don’t just mean in color. I guess, to me, it would be like the difference in a biscuit and toast. Both are bread and eaten during similar times but clearly a difference.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_CupcakeAt the end of the recipe, you’ll notice where it says to beat the egg whites and fold them into the batter. If you are curious as to how stiff they should be, I took a picture just for you. This is an important step that really lightens up the batter. I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty sure without this step the batter would be way too thick and your cupcakes would come out really dense and heavy. We are already shoving a pie inside there, we don’t need it any heavier.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Put your pretty little liners in for 24 cupcakes.  You’ll want to spoon about a Tablespoon of batter into the bottom of each cup. We don’t want the pies to sit on the bottom of the cupcake but rather float in the middle. Nestle your little Mini Pumpkin Pies on top of the batter and lightly press to secure. Then add another Tablespoon of batter to the top. I used a butter knife to spread out the batter evenly across the cupcake and help join the top layer with the bottom. I’m sure a spoon or any other preferred utensil would work as well.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

I baked these for about twenty-five minutes. I checked on mine at fifteen minutes and realized that the outer cupcakes were looking more done than the inner ones. So, simple fix, I just turned both pans around for the final ten minutes to help them bake more evenly.

Be warned, these cupcakes will rise over the lip and create a bit of a muffin top. It is inevitable. We stuffed a pie inside of a cupcake. There is bound to be some spill over. I can only imagine how that poor Turducken must feel.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_CupcakeOnce cool, I lightly brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The tops will quickly look like every picture you’ve ever seen of a Snickerdoodle. They are so pretty, you could almost leave them just like that. But, to clearly distinguish cupcakes from muffins, we have to add that irresistible frosting.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

This frosting is a nice smooth cream cheese frosting with added Pumpkin Pie spices to really bring the whole cupcake together.  First, you’ll want to cream your cream cheese and butter. It is important to really cream it well or else you’ll end up with little butter or cream cheese chunks in your frosting. Though that may not bother your taste buds, it can easily clog your Wilton 2D decorator tip. Pro tip though, I do use a knife to carefully pull open the prongs to help frosting not get stuck in there.

 

 

I am so excited about these Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes I can barely contain myself. My taste tester, Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex, has already demolished one for snack today. The rest will be accompanying me this weekend to that Turkey Shoot I mentioned. I’m sure they will be a crowd pleaser.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

 

Let me know what your family favorites are this time of year. Are there any special dishes that MUST be on your Thanksgiving table?

Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Ingredients
Go To Pie Crust
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Go To Pie Crust
  1. Place flour in mixing bowl. Cut butter into slices for easier manipulation. You can use your hands to mix the flour and butter together.
  2. Add salt and cold water to the mixture. Hand mix until dough is formed.
  3. At this point, it could be rolled out for regular size pies. For our purposes, I hand mashed little discs for the mini muffin tin. Poke with a fork in the bottom and bake at 375 degrees until light brown (about 10-20 minutes).
Mini Pumpkin Pies
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  3. Add in eggs and pumpkin puree and whisk until well mixed. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  4. Pour pumpkin pie mixture into pre-prepared mini pie crusts still in mini muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes. Toothpick in center of pie should come out clean.
Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
  1. Continue to leave oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake tin with 24 liners.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolks only and mix well. Mix in the vanilla extract as well.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients in with the creamed ones. Mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl and with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula.
  7. Spoon one tablespoon of batter into each cupcake liner. Gently set a Mini Pumpkin Pie on top and lightly press into the batter. You do not want the pies to sit at the bottom of the cupcake. Spoon a second tablespoon of batter over top of the Mini Pumpkin Pies. Use a spoon or spatula to spread batter out evenly in cupcake liner.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Edges will be light golden brown. Cool on baking rack.
  9. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter. Lightly brush the tops of each cupcake with melted butter. Sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar mixture over cupcakes to create the Snickerdoodle effect.
Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until well mixed. Add in vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. Using piping bag and decorating tip of choice, frost medium peaks on top of cupcakes. Leave the rim showing to reveal the Snickerdoodle topping.
Recipe Notes

Since we are making mini pumpkin pies, you will have a significant amount of pumpkin pie filling remaining. You will also have enough crust remaining to make a personal Pumpkin Pie if you wish while making these cupcakes.

The frosting above is doubled. In order to have enough icing for all 24 cupcakes, it required more than just one batch. However, at the doubled rate, you will also have some extra frosting. I'm sure we can think of something fun to put that on.

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Pumpkin, Praline and Palm Trees

Will someone please phone Florida Weather Control and let them know that it is Autumn? That means temperatures should not be above 75 degrees and even that is high. How the heck am I supposed to get into the holiday spirit when I’m roasting in 90 degree temperatures? At least I have my pumpkin to help me feel better.

Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex carved his up and we got to watch it whither and melt over Halloween. I decided not to carve mine. So he’s just been chilling out in a corner of my kitchen. This pumpkin does not look like a carving pumpkin anyway. He is large and really really lumpy all over. He is my Lumpy Pumpky!

Pumpkins_Praline_and_Palm_Trees

It’s Friday y’all and as always I’m baking some tasty treats to share. In true Fall fashion, we are baking up some pumpkin favorites that can be a great addition to your Thanksgiving tables. Next week, I’ll be attending a turkey shoot and these treats can be appreciated there as well.

I started with the praline. This is so super easy it isn’t even funny. This recipe is more than enough to top your cupcakes so feel free to snack on a little too. I did!

Go ahead and lay out a cookie sheet and cover in parchment paper. Wax paper could work but parchment is so much more baking friendly. It makes the praline super easy to remove.

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

You’ll put two cups of granulated sugar in a saucepan on medium high heat and let it melt. I used my metal spoon to stir it up as it was heating and it was neat watching it turn from the white granules to the amber syrup. Then just add in two cups of whole pecans. I didn’t have to stir them in long, just a quick few flips with the spoon to make sure they were covered.

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

Spoon out the amber sugar syrup and pecans on to the parchment paper. The nuts will want to stick together and may make this a little difficult. Just smooth it out and try to get just one single layer of nuts on the cookie sheet. Then just set that to the side to cool. It actually doesn’t take too long at all. I sat it to the side while whipping up the batter and by the time I put the cupcakes in the oven the Pecan Praline was ready.

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

Making the praline brings back memories of baking and candy making with my stepmother years and years ago. During the holidays she would make a peanut brittle and a holiday peppermint bark. Maybe I can get into the holiday spirit after all.

Now for our delicious pumpkiny batter, we’ll start by sifting together our dry ingredients and then the wet ones. In a medium bowl, add in your flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Wait, do those last ingredients sound familiar? They should. That’s your Pumpkin spice flavoring. Almost the exact same ingredients are used for Apple Pie spice. I like to pretend I’m funny and make a joke about the difference between Apple Pie spice and Pumpkin spice. The ginger makes all the difference. Okay, so maybe that goes over better with my redheaded pals.

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

In your mixing bowl cream the butter, one cup of granulated sugar and half a cup of brown sugar. Similar to our butter cream in Caramel Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcakes, it will become light and fluffy looking. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing between them. Then you will mix in your dry ingredients in three parts alternating with the milk and lemon zest. This you’ll want to do on low speed because we don’t want flour flying everywhere. Last, add in the pumpkin puree and mix until well blended.

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

Fill the liners 3/4 full and then pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when they are done. They look like little pumpkin bread muffins and the whole house will smell heavenly.

I’ll be honest this icing is not what I expected it to be. At first it was supposed to be a light whipped cream type topping but my whipping cream was not cooperating. I will blame that on the 90 degree November I’ve got going on here. So a few additions turned this into a creamy, cheesy, brown sugary goodness.

I named it Pumpkin Brown Sugar frosting because I liked that the anagram would be PBS. I know that is silly but Whipped Cream Pumpkin Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting just seemed exorbitantly  lengthy.

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

 

Pour your whipping cream into your mixing bowl. Set your mixer to medium and basically just walk off for awhile. I’m serious, I got the mail, had some lunch, watched some Arrow on Netflix and then came back to my cream. Then you will add in the brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract and Pumpkin spice. Again you can pretty much walk away while it beats itself to death. You’ll want to beat it until it is smooth, no lumps. Don’t be Lumpy Pumpky!

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

If the frosting is a bit wet, like mine was, just add in the powdered sugar. It thickens it right up and makes it much more manageable for piping.

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

Using Wilton’s 2A decorating tip, I piped the frosting on top. Then, it was time to add the crunch. Break off a few pieces of the Pecan Praline, try a bite, and then put the rest in a Ziploc bag. Since the praline tends to be glass sharp, I also laid out a kitchen towel and sandwiched the baggy between it. Then, SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER! I’m kidding. You don’t really need a hammer. I just used my body weight to crush the praline into little crumbly bits. Sprinkle as little or as much as you’d like on top of your beautiful cupcakes.

 

I also experimented at adding the Pecan Praline in a different way. I broke off a few larger pieces and stuck them up like Frozen’s ice walls. It looked okay, but it requires their removal before eating the cupcake. To get the full on flavor and texture effect, I find it best to crumble the Pecan Praline over the top, heavily.

Hopefully, you are able to enjoy these treats with a nice chill in the air overlooking beautiful Fall foliage. If not, you can still enjoy them almost as much with a nice AC breeze in the air overlooking palm trees. Either way,  they are a pretty sweet way to make life taste sweeter.

Pumpkin cupcakes with Pumpkin Brown Sugar Frosting and Pecan Praline
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Pumpkin cupcakes with Pumpkin Brown Sugar Frosting and Pecan Praline
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Spice
Pecan Praline
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Pumpkin cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 24 cupcakes with cute liners of your choice. Spray with cooking spray for easy removal.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients of Flour, baking powder, baking soda and Pumpkin spice.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add in four eggs one at a time mixing between them.
  6. Add flour mixture into mixing bowl into three parts. Alternate adding the milk and lemon zest. Mix until well blended.
  7. Add in pumpkin puree and blend completely.
  8. Fill 3/4 in cupcake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean.
Pecan Praline
  1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pour sugar into saucepan and melt on medium high heat.
  3. When sugar is amber colored and smooth, add in pecans.
  4. Stir pecans until completely coated. Pour sugar and pecan mixture onto parchment paper.
  5. Once cool, remove praline from parchment and break into sizable pieces.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Whip whipping cream on medium high until the cream stiffens.
  2. Add in brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract and Pumpkin spice. Beat on medium until smooth.
  3. If frosting appears wet, add in powdered sugar to stiffen.
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Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes

Happy Fall Y’all!

I totally just stole that from Jujube and her nifty diy-ed yard sign. But how fitting, right? October is closing and we are right smack dab in the middle of pumpkin season. Being in Florida for my first Autumn, I am seriously missing my North Carolina  colorful wonder from the changing of the leaves. It is hard for me to really embrace Fall without those majestic leaves dancing across city streets.

Instead, I get Palm trees. Palm trees in the summer, Palm trees in Autumn and I’m pretty sure they’ll still be here for Winter. So as we move into the season together, there will definitely be more season inspired cupcakes to come along. It is Friday folks and you know what that means. As promised in Halloween Spooktacular Disaster, I’m here to deliver you another scrumptious recipe from my kitchen to yours.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, as I’m sure you’ve noticed across social media with all things pink. Sticking with the theme of the month, these Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes will be a tasty addition. I know it is the end of October but that doesn’t change their sweet taste nor the importance of the cause. Please make sure you are getting that mammogram done or encouraging your significant others to do so. They really are one of the best ways for early detection.

Pretty _In_Pink_Strawberry_Cupcakes

Now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s get down to the fun stuff. The recipe is similar to generic strawberry cupcake recipes but with a few additions they quickly turn into the embodiment of female empowerment. By the way, they aren’t for women because they are pink. They just happen to be pink and can really be for anyone. I have to add a dash of my Feminism in there. However, after I made this batch, it was brought to my attention that the strawberry on top slightly (or more than slightly) resembles a piece of female anatomy. Don’t let that stop you from adding them though because I really feel the fresh strawberry adds to the sweet and strawberry tartness of this cake.

Before the oven
Before the oven
After the oven
After the oven

Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
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
Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
Simple Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl combine wet ingredients of butter, frozen strawberries, eggs and almond milk.
  3. Mixing on medium slow speed, gradually add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Batter should be thick and wet. Add drops of food coloring to make batter the desired pink shade.
  4. Line cupcake tins with liners and spray with cooking spray for easy cupcake removal from wrappers. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Add half a strawberry (inside facing up) to the top of each cake. Bake for 15-20. Toothpick should come out clean when done.
Simple Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. whip on high the cream cheese and evaporated milk until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar about a cup at a time. Icing should thicken.
  3. Mix in salt and vanilla until well blended. If runny, add more powdered sugar as needed.
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Reminiscent of Strawberry shortcake because in Fall we often long for those primarily Summer treats, I used Cream Cheese frosting but even whipped cream would work great. It is super easy and super delicious.

 

You can always dress these up with a fresh strawberry on top and really bump up that presentation. I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did. Strawberry is always such a classic flavor that so many enjoy.

Tomorrow, while you are out celebrating or not celebrating, remember to be safe and have fun. I am sure there will be plenty of Elsas and Jedis out there getting their Trick or Treating on. What is my Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex going as? Well, a Daryl-esque zombie hunter/survivor of course. That means Captain and I get the fun task of being awesomely disgusting zombies for the hunting.

 

Let me know how your batch comes out and I would love to hear what fun costumes your little goblins are going as this year. Trick or Treating is a great way to make life taste sweeter (or maybe it is just that big bag of candy ;)).