Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and My First Cake

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Cupcakes to Cake

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

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

The Art of Caking

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

 

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

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

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

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

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

The Smash Cake

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Little Chunky Monkey

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

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

 

The Guest Cake

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

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Monkey Time

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

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

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

Still A Monkey

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

I treated LCR to Chunky Monkey Cupcakes!

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

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

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

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

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

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Getting Started

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

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

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

Doing the Maintenance

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

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

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Do It Yourself

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

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

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

Triple Chocolate

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

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

Start With A Base

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

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

Chocolate Filling

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

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

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

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

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

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

Chocolate Buttercream

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

What the buttercream is not:

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

What the buttercream is:

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

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

Where Do They Go

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

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

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

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

DIY Rewards

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

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

Fill Me In

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

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