Tag Archives: Baking

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and My First Cake

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Cupcakes to Cake

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

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

The Art of Caking

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

 

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

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

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

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

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

The Smash Cake

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Little Chunky Monkey

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

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

 

The Guest Cake

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

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Monkey Time

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

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

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

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

Still A Monkey

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

I treated LCR to Chunky Monkey Cupcakes!

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

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

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

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

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

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

Summertime means toes in the water and butt in the sand and a Tequila Margarita cupcake in hand. These Cuervo-ed cupcakes are all you need to round out your Margaritaville themed summer bash.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

 

It is Friday folks!

That means we made it through another week and it is time to celebrate!

It is five o’clock somewhere and if you haven’t broken out the tequila yet, maybe you should go ahead and do that. Today I’m making heavily alcoholic Tequila Margarita Cupcakes with a Tequila Lime Butter Cream Icing.

Tequila topped in tequila! Yes, siree!

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

Summer brings on all the fun festivals and fiestas. This Tequila Margarita cupcake is sure to be a crowd pleaser wherever you may be headed.

Now, I have made Margarita Cupcakes several different ways but this is by far the most…should I say lush? The first time I attempted concocting the perfect Margarita cupcake, I made a purely lime based cupcake with a Tequila Butter Cream Icing. Well, that was nice and all but the lime flavor wasn’t very strong and it didn’t make me think of Jimmy Buffett when I took a bite.

Today, I present to you the new and improved Tequila Margarita Cupcakes specially concocted for that perfect tequila margarita taste.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

 

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. This is another recipe where we will be keeping our Wet Ingredients from our  Dry Ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, and salt. Place this bowl to the side for a moment while we prepare the Wet Ingredients.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

In a large mixing bowl, pour the sugar and lime zest.  Now the idea here is to get your sugar all limed up. (I start singing “Put the lime in the sugar bowl and shake it all up.”) You can press it with a fork or your fingers or whatever you’ve got until the sugar is fully mixed with lime oils. If you have a paddle attachment, use it to mix in your butter, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

Put the lime in the sugar bowl and shake it all up! Click To Tweet

This recipe calls for buttermilk. Sometimes, when I plan ahead, I have buttermilk on hand.

Other times, I do not and I still want my Tequila Margarita cupcakes!

So, I improvise. That is really what cooking is all about anyway.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

 

To make your own improvised buttermilk, you will need white vinegar and regular milk (whole or 2% would work best). Take one tablespoon of white vinegar and then fill your measuring cup with milk until it reaches a full cup. Stir and let it sit. It will look chunky and separated. That is actually what it is supposed to look like believe it or not.

It isn’t time for the buttermilk yet but if you needed to make your own like I did, it will need to sit for a few minutes and now is a good time to do that.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

Your mix doesn’t look like cake mix yet and that’s okay. It is going to look a lot funnier before it gets better. Add the lime juice and tequila. Yay tequila! That’s our favorite part, right? Mix on medium speed and scrape down the sides occasionally. The sugar will want to stick to the walls. Don’t let it.

Alright, now time for those Dry Ingredients. Pour a third of the mix in with the tequila mixture. Then pour half of the buttermilk in. I just leave my mixer turning while I’m alternating between the two. Just make sure to have your mixer on a slower setting so you don’t fling flour everywhere. Then add another third of the flour mix, followed by the rest of the buttermilk, and finishing with the flour. Just make sure it is mixed in well before moving to the next ingredient. I found this batter to be thicker than some of my other recipes.

To make your presentation pristine, line your tins with paper cupcake liners. I like to use yellow or green to go with the traditional margarita color. I spray them with cooking spray too and it makes the paper easier to remove.

Oh! I almost forgot, I found this nifty little tip on Pinterest and it really works. Place a little rice in the tin underneath the liners and it helps to prevent the bottoms of your cakes from getting all oily. This is especially helpful if you’ve decided to use adorable little liners.

Fill the cups 3/4 of the way full and place in oven for about twenty minutes. Typically, I only fill my tins 2/3 full but this is a denser cake and they do not rise the same as other cakes. A toothpick inserted will come out with very few crumbs when removed.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

Let those Cuervo-ed cupcakes cool while you prepare the icing.

What better way to top a drunken cupcake than with a drunken icing? Let me tell you, this is the best icing I think I’ve ever made. I’m not just tooting my own horn. I mean I’ve experimented a lot in my kitchen and this has been one of the most successful experiments thus far.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

 

One of my absolute favorite things to do in the kitchen is to experiment! This means adding flavors together that are unexpected or it could mean I didn’t have the ingredient I was supposed to have and I had to improvise.  Improvising is a totally acceptable way to make any recipe your very own.

Often I cook and bake on a whim and I am not running out to a store to pick up something for one freaking recipe.  I am sure you are familiar with that feeling too. You get really excited for a recipe and then while you’re reading over the ingredients you start making a mental grocery list of what you may not have on hand.

Well, my answer to this is just to fake it until I make it. If I don’t have that particular ingredient, I just add in a few things I think will correspond with the flavors. I take what I have and I make it work. Previously, I’ve made tequila butter creams that required meringue, or triple sec or a number of other ingredients.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

I mention this because this recipe has some ingredients that I wouldn’t expect to be common in most households. I tend to collect liqueurs for just such experiments in the kitchen and to develop new flavor combinations. However, I thoroughly encourage you to look around and see what else you have that might work just as well. I don’t only encourage it, I promote it. Please share with me any of the alterations you make while baking these delicious Tequila Margarita Cupcakes. Leave a comment below, even if you have to substitute the tequila!

This icing uses your favorite tequila, an orange liqueur, and a key lime liqueur to round out that delicious margarita flavor.

In a small bowl, mix those together with the salt and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the shortening. I use the whisk attachment on my Kitchenaid mixer to help get that smooth creamy consistency. Let your mixer spin on medium speed for about two minutes and that should do the trick.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

 

Man, I love my Kitchenaid mixer with attachments. I have been baking for a long time but I actually did not acquire my Kitchenaid until just a few years ago. Providing a custom cake for a wedding and a friend meant I was paid with a Kitchenaid. How awesome is that?! I know that upfront it may seem pricey, but I promise it is worth every penny! You can get ahold of a KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red just like mine to make all of your baking adventures easier.

Now that the butter and shortening are smooth, add in three cups of powdered sugar. Add it in one cup at a time and make sure it is well blended before adding the next.

Now it is time to beat in your liquids. The icing will look really wet but we are about to thicken it up. And like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, we are going to thicken it up with sugar. The remaining powdered sugar is added one cup at a time and beaten until the mixture is well blended. The icing will be light and fluffy.

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

If you notice, your icing is a creamy beautiful white. That is well and good for icing but when I think margaritas I think of that tropical fluorescent lime green color. Eight to ten drops of Neon green food coloring provided the color I desired. This is baker’s choice really. If you want white, go with white. I wanted Neon Green, so I went with Neon Green. If you want Barney purple, go with Barney purple (but you’re going to need some other food colors for that).

As for garnishing these bad boys, I had an extra lime or two left over from the cupcake recipe and decided to zest the top and then add a slice of lime. By the way, I think dipping the lime in the icing and then sucking it off while biting the lime is absolutely delicious. It has the sweet and sour combination down to perfection. Also, who can have tequila without sucking on a few limes?

Summertime Tequila Margarita Cupcakes

 

Be safe out there this summer. Soak up the sun and dip your toes in the waves. I hope you enjoy these delectable Summertime Tequila Margarita cupcakes. Let me know that you love them by sharing this recipe with your friends!
Tequila Margarita Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Completely inspired by your favorite summer cocktail Margarita, this extra boozy Tequila Lime Cupcake is topped with a Tequila Lime Butter Cream to make the perfect Tequila Margarita Cupcake.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Tequila Margarita Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Completely inspired by your favorite summer cocktail Margarita, this extra boozy Tequila Lime Cupcake is topped with a Tequila Lime Butter Cream to make the perfect Tequila Margarita Cupcake.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Tequila Margarita Cupcake
Tequila Lime Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Tequila Margarita Cupcake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar and lime zest together until sugar is well coated in lime oils. With a paddle attachment, mixing on low to medium speed, add in butte, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Add lime juice and tequila to butter and egg mixture. The consistency will be very wet. Mix on medium speed and scrape sides as necessary to keep the sugar from sticking.
  4. Alternating between the flour mixture and the buttermilk, add a third of the flour mix to the butter and egg mixture. Mix thoroughly. Then add half of the buttermilk.
  5. Add another third of the flour mixture and mix thoroughly then the remaining half of the buttermilk.
  6. Finish by adding the last third of the flour mixture. Mix on medium to high until all ingredients are well mixed. This will be a thick batter.
  7. Fill lined cupcake tin about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 min or until toothpick comes out clean.
Tequila Lime Butter Cream
  1. In a small bowl stir together the tequila, both liqueurs and salt, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed for about 2 minutes until smooth.
  3. Add three cups of powdered sugar to the butter mixture one cup at a time. Make sure powdered sugar is well blended before adding the next cup.
  4. Add tequila mixture to butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low to medium speed. The icing will be very wet.
  5. Add remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing well between each cup.
  6. Beat icing on medium to high until it is light and fluffy. Stir in food coloring with a spatula if desired.
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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.

 

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

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!

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes
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.

IMG_20151210_135110436~2

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting

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

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

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

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting

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

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

 

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

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_FrostingGingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting

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

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

Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting Gingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_FrostingGingerbread_Cupcakes_with_Gingerbread_Cream_Cheese_Frosting

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

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

 

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

 

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

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

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

Pumpkins_Praline_and_Palm_Trees

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

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

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

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

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

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

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

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

 

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

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

Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

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

 

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

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

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

Happy Fall Y’all!

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

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

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

Pretty _In_Pink_Strawberry_Cupcakes

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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