Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

IMG_5126

Sometimes, pictures say more than a million words would. This is one of those times. These cupcakes were beautiful as well as delicious. The strawberry frosting uses strawberry extract and it is beyond delicious. Like, seriously.  They were actually somewhat easy, although they certainly don’t look like it! Here is the recipe if you want to make them (and we both know you want to):

For the cupcakes (makes 24):

  • 2 3/4 cake flour
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 4 T (1/4 cup) strawberry gelatin powder
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 T (1/4 cup) fresh strawberry puree
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
     

Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla extract and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. To puree your strawberries, place a few (around 8-10) hulled berries in a mini-food processor and pulse until it looks smooth. Beat the butter, oil, sugar, and gelatin and mix for about 1 1/2 minutes until it is light pink in color. Add the eggs one at a time and blend well, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Then add the strawberry puree and mix to combine. Add the 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix for a few seconds. Then add 1/2 the milk and vanilla mixture and mix for a few more seconds. Repeat this process ending with the final third of the dry ingredients. Take care to not over-mix this batter. Bake for 20 minutes.

 

For the ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Boil heavy cream and pour over chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk ganache until chocolate is melted and the consistency is even. Refrigerate ganache until the consistency is spreadable and spread a little on each cupcake with a knife.

 

For the frosting:

  • 1 (7-8 oz.) container marshmallow creme 
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. strawberry extract
  • approx. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Beat the marshmallow creme and butter until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar and strawberry extract. Add heavy whipping cream until you reach your desired frosting consistency. Tint frosting pink, if desired. Frost cupcakes and top with a chocolate covered strawberry. Enjoy 🙂

Advertisements

Best Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

IMG_4391

It is officially fall, which makes pumpkin spice everything officially acceptable, which makes me EXTREMELY happy. Pumpkin spice anything is my favorite, and these cupcakes are no exception. They are wonderfully moist and spiced perfectly… and the cinnamon cream cheese frosting is to die for. I highly recommend making these, because they’re easy and delicious; what could be better than that?!?

For the cupcakes:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Whisk the eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl.  Add dry ingredients and whisk until well blended. Divide into lined muffin tins. Fill about 2/3 full (I used a cupcake scoop). Bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 20-30 minutes or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

For the frosting:

  • 2 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Blend all ingredients until well combined.

Basic Red Velvet Cake

photo 2

Red velvet is a very popular cake flavor, however, there’s so many recipes out there claiming to be the best that it’s easy to get confused… but let me share a secret with you: they’re all very, very similar. They all have buttermilk, vinegar, red food coloring, and a  hint of cocoa. So, here’s a recipe for basic red velvet cake… it’s delicious and guaranteed to please all of the red velvet cake fans you know! 🙂

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1+ tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 round cake pans. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed. Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • 3 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 4-8 cups powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredients together until well-combined. Frost cooled cake.

Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

photo 2

These cupcakes are light and perfect for summer. The cream cheese frosting compliments the cake perfectly. If you like lemon, these cupcakes are definitely for you! The lemon flavor isn’t super overpowering, but you can definitely taste it. Enough said, here’s the recipe:

For the cupcakes (makes 30):

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 30 cupcake pan cups with paper liners. Mix the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with the milk and lemon juice. Beat until just combined; do not over mix. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. 

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredients together  until  well-combined. Frost cupcakes. Enjoy 🙂

 

“Pi” Cake

IMG_2524

I needed to test out a new recipe (for marble cake) and I also wanted to practice piping small letters/numbers on a cake. The cake was for my geometry teacher’s birthday, so I figured that I should probably do something with numbers. So… I wrote the first 100+ digits of Pi on a 9×13 cake 🙂

Shamrock Shake Cupcakes

IMG_2415

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that shamrock shakes are without a doubt the best part of St. Patrick’s Day. So, when I found a recipe that combined two of the best things ever (cupcakes and shamrock shakes), I was really excited to try it. I was completely amazed with the results. Somehow, I got the cupcakes to taste EXACTLY like shamrock shakes. These are not mint cupcakes. These are shamrock shake cupcakes. So, even though St. Patrick’s Day is over, you still need to make these cupcakes because it’ll be worth it, I promise.

For the cupcakes (makes 22):

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. mint extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 2/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • green food coloring

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 22 cupcake tins with paper liners. 2. Mix buttermilk, milk, mint extract, and several drops of green food coloring in a bowl. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 3. In a large bowl, beat together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg whites one at a time. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the shortening mixture (you can add more food coloring, if needed). 4. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake for15-20 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

For the white chocolate mint frosting:

  • 6 oz. white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. mint extract
  • cornstarch, if needed

1. Place white chocolate in a large bowl, pour boiling whipping cream over it and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Stir until melted (I had to put it in the microwave to let it melt completely). 2. Refrigerate white chocolate mixture for about 10-15 minutes. 3. Beat in butter, powdered sugar, and mint (and cornstarch if you need to thicken the frosting). Frost your cupcakes, and enjoy!

Basic Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

photo

To tell you the truth, red velvet actually kinda scares me. The first time I made red velvet cupcakes (almost exactly two years ago, actually), they turned out terrible. Awful. Worst cupcake disaster of my life. Anyway, I had to make 100 red velvet cupcakes for this event at my church. I’m pretty sure everyone liked them… I know I did. I am very picky when it comes to cupcakes and I actually enjoyed these. This is Paula Dean from Food Network’s recipe. If you’re looking for a foolproof recipe for basic red velvet cupcakes, this it it 🙂 

For the cupcakes (makes about 24):

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick or knife for doneness. Remove from oven and cool.

For the frosting: 

  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat together all the ingredients until well combined. Frost the cupcakes.

Note: I’m sorry for the terrible picture.