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 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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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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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 ;)).