Total Solar Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

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

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

 

Happy Thursday Loves!

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

Total Solar Eclipse

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

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

Band of Totality

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

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

Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

NASA

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

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

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

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

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Inspiration

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

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

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Lemons and Blackberries

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

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

All in the Filling

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

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

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

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Over the Moon

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

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

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

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Why is this not a thing?

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

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

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

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Wonder Woman

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

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

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

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

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

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

On With the Cake

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

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

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes Infographic

Cream

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

Paste

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

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

Add

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

Fold

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

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

Bake

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

Inspiration

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

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Icing on the Cake

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

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

Decorations

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

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

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

Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Only Love Can Truly Save the World

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

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

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

Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcake

A Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcake topped with a Vegan Avocado Chocolate “butter cream” icing to satisfy one of the most stringent diets and the familiar chocoholic.

Hey, Guys!

Today is Friday and you know what that means: Cupcake time!

It is also the day that Aimee from Be Bold and Free goes live on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Who is Aimee and what is Be Bold and Free?

Aimee is the inspirational author of the blog Be Bold and Free. Though she documents her journey with health and maintaining a plant-based diet, her site is really more about taking risks and finding new adventures.  In many ways, I feel like her message of “be bold to live free” goes hand in hand with my message to make life taste sweeter.

In the spirit of Aimee’s message of taking chances and exploring life outside of my comfort zone, I decided to experiment with my first intentionally vegan recipe. Aimee has removed meat from her diet and found that her health and mood have both drastically improved. Keeping meat out of a cupcake may sound like a pretty easy feat for some folks but that isn’t so easy for the creator of the Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes.

The other challenge with veganism is also abstaining from animal byproducts like eggs, milk and even honey. That part is a little more difficult but certainly not impossible.

Why Avocados?

Do vegan chocolate cupcakes have to be made with avocados? Absolutely not! The avocados were just an extra challenge.

Captain Cupcakeasaurus hates avocados. He will not touch the guacamole or the chunky Mexican shrimp cocktail. Making a dessert that I know he would not be able to resist like a chocolate cupcake and then filling it with his least favorite food was both torturous for him and hilarious for me. I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist and would end up loving these Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes.

Avocados Are Cool

They are also an awesome fruit with twenty or so essential vitamins and minerals.  Some people even call them a super food because of all of their healthful benefits.

Avocados are sometimes called Alligator pears. How appropriate is that name for this Floridian baking endeavor? They are green and pear shaped and often have a scaly outer skin. My Florida avocados were quite large and actually had a smoother skin than their Mexican counterparts.

A Chocolate Cupcake is a Chocolate Cupcake, with or without avocados. Click To Tweet

A Chocolate Cupcake is a Chocolate Cupcake

To be completely honest, these chocolate cupcakes are just regular chocolate cupcakes with a few substitutions. If you are really that scared of using an avocado in your chocolate cupcakes, you could easily use an oil equivalent. I’m telling you though, these cupcakes are perfect just the way they are.

If you are looking for another chocolatey vegan cupcake recipe, you can always try Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes with Date Syrup. Just remember to use agave instead of honey for that recipe.

Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A chewy vegan chocolate cupcake made with Florida avocados and topped with a vegan avocado "butter cream" icing
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A chewy vegan chocolate cupcake made with Florida avocados and topped with a vegan avocado "butter cream" icing
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes
Vegan Avocado Chocolate "Butter Cream" Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with twelve liners.
  2. In a small bowl of measuring cup stir together almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit while preparing other ingredients.
  3. Brew coffee and let cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients of flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a large mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, mix together the sugar, avocado puree, applesauce and both vanilla and maple extracts. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  6. Add almond milk mixture and brewed coffee to the avocado mixture. Batter will be very wet.
  7. Add dry ingredients into avocado mixture a little at a time mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from tin and let cool on rack.
Vegan Avocado Chocolate "Butter Cream" Icing
  1. In a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, mix the avocado puree, coconut spread, cocoa powder and salt on medium to high speed until well blended.
  2. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  3. Icing will be a bit wetter than most; refrigerate until ready for use. Ice cooled cupcakes and enjoy.
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The cupcake batter may seem a bit wet when you are spooning it into the cupcake tin but I promise it works out just fine out of the oven. Sometimes when I bake, I have a couple cupcakes that want to swell more than others and create that dreaded muffin top. This batter stays put and all the cupcakes come out even and beautiful. They are chewy and moist like every favorite chocolate cake you’ve ever eaten.

A vegan cupcake was not so difficult. A vegan icing on the other hand proved to be a bit more challenging. You try making a delicious icing that doesn’t use milk, butter or cheese!

Originally I was going to just make an avocado “butter cream” but frankly the color put me off enough that I decided to make it chocolate icing instead. I can’t ruin a beautiful chocolate cupcake by putting an avocado green icing on top.

I used a little bit of a coconut spread to help the “butter cream” hold together. If you have a vegan butter on hand, it would probably work as good if not better.

Today we made life taste sweeter with vegan sugar.

Just remember when you are making a recipe that has strict dietary restrictions make sure to read all of the labels. Even ingredients that you would not expect, like sugar, might have animal products or by products included. Typically, if a product is vegan it will be labeled as such. Reading the ingredient list on the packaging is helpful too.

Everyone Needs a Chocolate Cupcake Sometimes

It is even better when you are also receiving healthful nutrients from avocados. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone to create this Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcake. I hope you are also inspired by Aimee’s message and take a risk by giving them a shot.

Let me know in the comments what you think of these vegan alligator pear chocolate cupcakes. Then head over to Be Bold and Free and let Aimee know how much you loved her custom cupcake.

 

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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Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcake

Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear cupcake is a Cinnamon Pear cupcake with Pear Butter Cream Icing and topped with Banana flavored cereal puffs.

I am so excited to share with you this special cupcake for a special little one. Her favorites: pears and cereal puffs are key ingredients for this custom cupcake recipe.

I met Gina through the Facebook group Bloggers Supporting Each Other. She is a lifestyle blogger for the modern momma over at Momm(a)Musing. Immediately, I could tell she was a fun loving mom like me. I only wish I had her inspirational words of wisdom when I first gave birth to Little Cakeasaurus Rex. She provides encouragement and amusement for all young mothers and those soon to be.

Gina is the proud Momma of Baby Z. Baby Z has been known to be a picky eater but I hope that a few of her favorite flavors will make this cupcake a favorite as well. You can learn all about Gina’s parenting journey and all about little Baby Z at Mommamusing.com.

The Inspiration

With Baby Z in mind, I went to work to create a custom cupcake just for her and hopefully Momma will be pleased too. Her favorite flavors are pears. She also enjoys the baby cereal puffs. I have not met a baby yet that didn’t love shoveling these in by the fist full. These two favorites were the inspiration for Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcake.

Baby Z’s custom cupcake is a pear cupcake with pear icing. If you think that sounds like too much pear, you’d be wrong. Even though fresh pears are super juicy and flavorful, they have a very mild flavor when cooked.

So, even though these cupcakes are full of pears, you may not realize it just by taste alone. Some recipes use applesauce as an alternative for eggs and oil in baking recipes. The flavor of the baked goodie doesn’t suddenly taste like apples. For this recipe, the pureed pears performed like the applesauce in those other recipes. The cake does not have a distinct pear flavor nor do we need eggs or oil for this recipe.

To me, the flavor of the Perfectly Pear cupcake closely resembles that of a spice cake. It has a little cinnamon flavor and a muffin like consistency that makes it perfect as a breakfast cake. I may or may not have had one for breakfast.

Making the Cake

Baby Z's Pear Cupcake with Pear Icing
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Pear cupcake with Pear Butter Cream Icing and topped with Banana flavored cereal puffs
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Baby Z's Pear Cupcake with Pear Icing
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Pear cupcake with Pear Butter Cream Icing and topped with Banana flavored cereal puffs
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Ingredients
Pear Cupcakes
Pear Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Cinnamon Pear Cupcake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer and paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla extract to butter mixture.
  4. In a blender, puree 2-3 whole pears to make 2 cups of puree.
  5. Add Pear puree to butter mixture. Mix on low speed until pear puree is mixed in. Batter may look like it is separating.
  6. Add flour mixture into pear mixture a cup at a time, making sure ingredients are well blended after each addition.
  7. Line cupcake tin with 24 liners. Fill the cups 3/4 full and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Toothpick will come out clean when done. Remove from cupcake tin and cool on baking rack.
Pear Butter Cream Icing
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar on medium high speed for about 4 minutes until fluffy.
  2. Add salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.
  3. Add pear puree and whipping cream. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add additional powdered sugar as necessary to thicken Icing to desirable consistency.
  5. Pipe icing on to cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle baby cereal puffs off the top for decoration and an added crunch.
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Just like we pureed the kiwis for Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing, I used the Nutri Ninja cups from my Ninja Mega Kitchen System (Blender, Processor, Nutri Ninja Cups) BL770 to quickly puree the pears. I just peel them and de-seed them and then the blender does all the work. A couple pulses and I have perfect pear puree. Now, I pureed my own, but if you are making these for a baby like Baby Z, then you may have pear baby food around that would work just as well.

Remember Baby Z’s second favorite? Cereal Puffs! After icing these Perfectly Pear Cupcakes, I decided to add banana flavored cereal puffs to the top. They add dimension, texture and an added crunch to this pear cupcake. Your little one may want to pluck them off and eat them individually. That is fine by me but I like the crunch.

In all honesty, had I found pear cereal puffs, they would have probably sent this cupcake over the top. Banana was the flavor I found that I thought would best go with our Perfectly Pear cupcake. They are a bit different for a cupcake but I really couldn’t resist and I LOVE the extra crunch. I mean it, the crunch takes the cake!

The crunch takes the cake! Click To Tweet

Baby Z’s cupcake needed to be cute and feminine. I found these beautiful butterfly cupcake liners at the Dollar Tree. They have party supplies for almost every occasion and you don’t end up spending an arm and a leg.

 

Don’t forget to let Gina know how much you loved Baby Z’s cupcakes at Momm(a)Musing. Do you have a little one at home that would love these Perfectly Pear cupcakes? Let me know in the comments below and  follow me on Pinterest so you can have all your favorite recipes at your fingertips.

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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Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing

A super sweet collaboration with Vera from Voice of Vera inspired a whole new world of connections and custom cupcake creations. This Peach Spice Cupcake with Kiwi Sparkler Icing was created just for her.

The Inspiration

One of my favorite things to do is to go gift shopping for someone special. I like the feeling of thinking about them and thinking about what they would enjoy while searching the aisles. Many times, a type of candy , a specific animal or a figurine will remind me of a memory we shared together.

Baking isn’t much different. I was making Little Cakeasaurus Rex his Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and I was thinking about him the entire time. Thoughts of his monkey toes curling around my finger when he was a baby and how he would even hold his bottle with his feet spun around my mind like the batter around the beater.

I decided it might be fun to start connecting my recipes to people. How neat would it be to connect with other inspiring and adventurous people and create a custom cupcake flavor representative of who they are and what they do?

Who is Vera?

I was discussing this idea with Vera from Voice of Vera and she was excited to start swapping recipes and have me make a custom cupcake recipe for her.

Vera is a creative mom of four and blogs about her adventures including fashion and DIY.  One of my favorite things about her blog is that it is full of inspiration and her uplifting motto says it all:  “The best is yet to come!”

When she described her favorite flavors as being sweet, tart and fruity, the recipe practically wrote itself. I knew I needed something fun and flavorful for this awesome woman.

Custom Cupcake Creation

When the warm weather comes around, I can’t help but get a taste for fresh tropical fruit. Pineapples, kiwis, raspberries,you name it, I love them!

Growing up in North Carolina, our summer vacation was always a four hour trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Along the way, the family tradition was always to stop at a fruit stand and grab a basket full of big juicy South Carolina peaches. One bite of that peach and you would have sweet syrupy juice dripping down your chin. That sweet nostalgic flavor equates to summer for me. Now that we are knee deep into summer vacation, I am having an intense hankering for that sweet peach deliciousness.

This Peach Spice Cupcake recipe satisfies all of those tropical fruit cravings and has the added bonus of reminding me of a cocktail.

Peaches check off the sweet and fruity requirements for Vera’s custom cupcake. Now, I needed that tart flavor to bring it all together.

 

Peach and Kiwi

Peaches and kiwis? I know, right?! Who knew? The fact is, peaches have such a sugary taste to them that I felt a peach cupcake in the middle of summer desperately needed a complementary tart icing.

Kiwis provided the tartness to balance this recipe and make it the perfect sweet, tart and fruity flavor we were looking for.

 

A Kiwi Sparkler is a summer cocktail that includes kiwi and peach scnapps. How perfect?! The peach schnapps is what I would use to tie the kiwi icing to its peachy cupcake counterpart.

Now, I used Florida peaches for the Peach Spice Cupcake. Florida peaches are much smaller and less juicy than their Georgia and South Carolina relatives. They still provided that popping peach flavor though which is all I needed.

However, the difference is important. Pay attention!

Important!

If you are using a juicier peach for your baking endeavors, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe. If your ingredients are too wet, your cupcakes will shrink or sink in the middle. To offset this, you can either bump up your dry ingredients accordingly or you can just reduce the amount of peaches you use.
Personally, I would just do the latter. Adding in less peaches is way easier than adjusting the rest of the recipe and if they are that juicy, you won’t be losing any of the flavor.

Let’s get started!

Go ahead and set your oven to our favorite temperature of 350 degrees. Now is a good time to go ahead and put cute cupcake liners in your tin. You can get colorful and thematic ones here.

In a large mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar on medium speed until nice and smooth. Then, add in your egg, vanilla and rum. The rum is going to make your batter look pretty wet and runny. It may also make it look like it is separating. It is okay and it won’t be ugly for long.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. This is your flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. It doesn’t matter how many cupcakes I make, every time I add in the baking soda, salt and baking powder, I always feel like I am about to create a science experiment. I mean, I am a culinary chemist to some extent.

 

Usually a recipe like this will use buttermilk to mix alternately with the dry ingredients. I decided to try something a little different by using Greek yogurt instead. The step works out about the same.

Pour about a third of your dry ingredients into your wet batter mix. Mix on low speed until well blended. Then add in half of the Greek yogurt and blend again. Keep alternating until you finish with the last third of the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended but do not over mix.

Fold in the peaches with a spatula and spoon batter into cupcake liners. You want to fill the cups three-fourths of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty-four to twenty-eight minutes. Mine were done at about twenty-six minutes. Just keep an eye out on them and check with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean when the cupcakes are ready.

Now for the Icing!

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth. This is easily accomplished with a whisk attachment for a stand mixer, but I’ve been successful using my old hand-me-down GE hand mixer too.  To make sure the icing stays smooth and silky, sift the powdered sugar in to the bowl one cup at a time, beating between each cup.

In a blender, blend about three kiwis into a puree. Peel the kiwis first with a potato peeler, leaving just the fleshy green fruit. I used the Ninja Blender to make the puree. Two presses of the pulse button and the kiwis are liquefied into a tart puree.

The kiwi puree definitely resembles baby food at this point. I thought it might make the icing a strange pea green color but the  white powdered sugar lightens the color tremendously. Add the kiwi puree, salt, peach schnapps and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. You will want to mix that on medium speed until well blended.

Sift the last cup of powdered sugar into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed. Your icing will be smooth and almost silky feeling. There will be some specks from the kiwi seeds mixed throughout the icing.

 

Now it is time to enjoy.

Top those juicy sweet Peach Spice cupcakes with the Kiwi Sparkler icing and you have the perfect summer treat. I hope you love the sweet, tart and fruity flavors of this unique cupcake.

Make sure to head over to Voice of Vera and let her know how much you love her custom cupcake flavor.

If you are interested in developing your own custom flavor or having me develop one for you, please leave a comment below. I’d love to connect to with you!

This is how we make life taste sweeter together!

 

Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Print Recipe
Juicy sweet peach spice cupcake with chunks of real peaches topped with a tart Kiwi Sparkler icing.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Print Recipe
Juicy sweet peach spice cupcake with chunks of real peaches topped with a tart Kiwi Sparkler icing.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Peach Spice Cupcakes
Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Peach Spice Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add egg, vanilla extract and rum to butter mixture. Mix on medium until blended. The rum will make the batter separate. It will not look pretty but it will be okay in the end.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, alternating with the Greek yogurt. Start and end with the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in chopped peaches and spoon into a lined cupcake tin 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 24-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from tins and cool on rack.
Kiwi Sparkler Icing
  1. Beat butter and shortening with a whisk attachment on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add two cups of powdered sugar sifted, one cup at a time. Mix well between additions.
  3. In a blender, puree three kiwis to make 1/2 a cup of puree.
  4. Add kiwi puree, salt, peach schnapps and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Add last cup of powdered sugar to the mixture and beat on medium to high speed until icing is smooth and silky.
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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.

IMG_20160101_150258654~2

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!

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes4~2

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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Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas festivities need a warm melting hot chocolate cupcake to keep spirits warm and bright.

Hey Guys!

Christmas is almost here and hopefully everyone is staying safe and not getting too overwhelmed this holiday season.

If you do feel a bit stressed, just grab a piece of chocolate and take a deep breath. The holiday is about love and giving not stressing out over gifts and making everyone happy.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

The Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex started Boy Scouts a few weeks ago and will be celebrating with them soon for a Christmas party. What kind of Cupcakeasaurus would I be if I didn’t volunteer to bring the cupcakes? I asked the kiddo for his favorite flavor as my jumping off point for this one.

Chocolate!

Can you blame him? Also, I enjoyed the Lindor white chocolate truffles so much in the White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes that I was excited to incorporate them again using milk chocolate this time. So, if we were in North Carolina or perhaps even farther north, then it would be cold enough to be enjoying hot cups of cocoa.

 

The Best Hot Chocolate

Now, I don’t know how you’re used to making your Hot Chocolate but I love making it for the little man by adding a few extras to make it really delicious and over the top. I do usually use a base of Swiss Miss and milk, not water. I’ll heat it on the stove and add in some chocolate syrup and a good bit of cinnamon.

After pouring into his favorite Spiderman mug, I add one milk chocolate truffle to melt into smooth rich chocolate. I top his with marshmallows though I typically prefer whip cream for myself. Then a little drizzle of chocolate syrup on top to really finish it off.

Ideally these are enjoyed just before dropping him off somewhere else so they can endure the sugar high from all the chocolate. I’m kidding of course but I realize I’m fairly serious about my Hot Chocolate.

 

The Best Hot Chocolate Cupcake

Thankfully cupcakes don’t need specific temperature requirements to really be enjoyed. So I can bring all those wonderful flavors from our Hot Chocolate right into an easy to eat cupcake. I hate waiting for my Hot Chocolate to cool down enough to drink. I’m so impatient I end up burning my tongue on it and having a sore spot for the next few days. No risk of that with cupcakes.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

The cupcake base is a chocolate cupcake recipe I edited to bring out more of the cinnamon flavor. Amazingly the cake does not use butter or eggs. Instead your liquid ingredients in this one are going to be Greek yogurt and milk. The batter is extremely thick but it is also super easy to mix. I didn’t even use my mixer this time; just my whisk and a little elbow grease.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

I started by mixing my dry ingredients of flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. I whisked that together until well mixed. Then I added in the milk, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Like I said, the batter is really thick. It does get softer as you mix it though. The last step is to fold in the chocolate chips. I suppose technically chocolate chips would be an alteration to the Hot Chocolate recipe but we’ll pretend they are subbing in for the chocolate syrup.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Just like we did in the White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes, take your kitchen shears and cut into the top of the cupcakes an X shape and push an unwrapped milk chocolate truffle into the top. Press down slightly so that the top of the truffle is almost flush with the top of the cupcake. If it sticks up a bit that is okay too.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Icing

These cupcakes do not need a significant amount of icing. Pretty much we are just icing them enough to hold the marshmallows on and to add a bit of contrasting flavor.

Hot_Chocolate_CupcakesIn a large mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, mix on medium high two sticks of butter, two teaspoons of vanilla, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 1.5 lbs of powdered sugar. The icing will be quite thick as well but the butter will be creamy. Make sure that there are no chunks of butter remaining and everything is smooth.

I then piped a thin amount of icing on top of each cupcake in a circular motion starting from the outside of the cupcake and wrapping my way to the middle. I pretended it was like whip cream swirling at the top of the mug.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

What’s Hot Chocolate Without Marshmallows?

The marshmallows really have no rhyme or reason. I mean I didn’t count them or have a method of how I attached them or anything. I just took a handful and placed them on so that it looked like a dome of marshmallows on top of Hot Chocolate. That is the whole look we are going for after all.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

I had some leftover chocolate from the Rum Soaked Chocolate Covered cherries the other day, so I heated some of that up. There are several ways to do a drizzle. If your chocolate is cooperating, you can take your stirring spoon and drizzle the chocolate right over the cupcakes.

If it isn’t, then you can use a mini squirt bottle like I did or I’ve even used a sandwich bag before. I don’t recommend a sandwich bag because if the chocolate is the slightest bit too hot it can melt a hole in the bag and go everywhere. I learn from experience folks. In a pinch though, it does work if you are careful about the temperature of your chocolate.

 

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Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

The last finishing touch that really sells the Christmas party theme for these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are the little mini candy canes. I remember going to Black Hawk Hardware and sitting on Santa’s knee for pictures. He would always give out these little mini candy canes. It is funny to me how important talking to Santa was back then but I could not for the life of me tell you one thing I ever asked for him to bring me for Christmas. I do remember he had a real beard and I was fairly convinced he was the realest of all the Santas.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Speaking of Santa, I am sure he would love one of these Hot Chocolate cupcakes left out for him with a tall glass of milk.  That’s how you get the fun stuff kids!

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What a way to make the holiday magical? Whip up some Hot Chocolate Cupcakes and maybe enjoy them with your own mug of Hot Chocolate as well. Curl up with your family and enjoy the holiday. This is how I’m making life taste sweeter.

As always please like, share, and follow to spread the Christmas cheer.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes stuffed with Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles topped with a simple vanilla butter cream and mounds of marshmallows. Finish with a milk chocolate drizzle and mini candy cane for holiday delight.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes stuffed with Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles topped with a simple vanilla butter cream and mounds of marshmallows. Finish with a milk chocolate drizzle and mini candy cane for holiday delight.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes
Simple Vanilla Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients of flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add in Greek yogurt, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. Fill 24 lined cupcake tins 3/4 full with batter.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean. Using kitchen shears cut a cross into the top of each cupcake. Insert an unwrapped Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffle in to the opening and press down slightly until the top of the truffle is nearly flush with the top of the cupcake.
Simple Vanilla Butter Cream
  1. In a large mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, mix on medium high butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. Swirl a very light flat coating of icing over each cupcake. Add about 10-12 marshmallows to the top of the icing.
  3. Melt Almond Bark in a microwave safe bowl on High in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and add 10 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Using a spoon or squirt bottle, drizzle Almond Bark over the top of cupcakes. Garnish with a mini candy cane on each cupcake.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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