Happy New Year!!!

Just wanted to share my amazing new year cupcakes!!!

See ya next year!!!!
Be safe and have a cupcake!!!!

#29 Double Chocolate Snowman Cupcakes

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

This was taken last year :)

With the weather hanging around 20 degrees, I thinks it's a perfect day to blog about Snowmen!! These were made for another birthday party a few weeks ago for a co-worker. I had the challenge of making snowmen out of chocolate cupcakes. Nobody wants dirty snowmen so I baked these little suckers in silver cups so the chocolate color wouldn't bleed though the wrapper. I used a vanilla buttercream  and lots of shredded coconut to cover up the chocolate tops. It worked out pretty well.

Now those are some good looking snowmen!!

So lets get down to the nitty gritty! I used my two favorite recipes-Martha's chocolate cupcake recipe and her vanilla butter cream.

So after the cupcakes are cooled and the frosting is prepared don't forget about the filling!!!

Chocolate Ganache
No birthday cupcake is complete without surprise in the middle. The Chocolate Ganache filling is the finishing touch to the double chocolate part.

The Goods
8oz semisweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
1tablespoon butter room temp

The How To
Chop chocolate and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream on the stove until simmering and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for one min and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and stir until combined. Depending on how thick you want this place the ganache in the fridge for a few minutes if your going to dip something in it or a few hours if your going to use it as filling.

all cooled and filled.
Now that the cupcakes are filled go ahead and get frosted!!!!

I started with the snowman's heads.
I found it easier to work with a couple of cupcakes at a time. If you wait too long the frosting starts to get hard and coconut doesn't want to stick. For the face I wanted a finer texture so I ran the shredded coconut through the food processor. I then mixed white and silver sanding sugar to the coconut to give it a little sparkle. The nose is made of orange slice candy that I cut down and the nose and mouth are mini chocolate chips.

After the faces are finished I moved on to frosting the large cupcakes which made up the body of the snowman. Now to get the snowman to stay together, take a toothpick and put it through the head connecting it to the body.

All the decorations are edible. The scarfs, mittens, ear muff bands, and ties are made out of laffy taffy which my husband rolled and cut out. The arms are pretzels sticks and the hats are large and small Oreo cookies. With the left over marshmallows that I had from my flower cupcakes I cut these in half and they are part of the ear muffs.

A perfect project for a snowy day!!
Up Next...
Pink Velvet Raspberry Cupcakes


#28 Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

Aidan's Spiderman themed 5th birthday was Dec. 16th. I asked him before hand what flavor cake he wanted and he tells me mint. Really? Most kids would say chocolate or vanilla but I get the challenge of making a mint flavored cake. So I decided to go with a red velvet cake that had white chocolate peppermint filling and a very blue peppermint frosting. Since I didn't want to overload everyone on mint I thought I would try out a different chocolate malt recipe which wasn't as malty as I would have liked but much better than my first attempt. So here are a few pictures of Aidan's birthday and of course the cupcake recipe I tested out.

The very red batter

Slightly brown but not burned. The bottom cupcake had a insert so you didn't have to dig out the middle for the filling.

All finished! My biggest cupcake yet.

Add a couple trick candles ;)

Was a little thick for Aidan to cut.

Happy Birthday Aidan!

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes(courtesy of Martha Stewart)

The Goods
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups malted milk powder
1 cup vegetable oil
3 lg eggs, at room temp.
1 cup sour cream, at room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The How To
Preheat oven to 350F.  Whisk together flour, cocoa, both sugars, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk and malted milk powder until powder is dissolved.
The milk looks a little chunky... Give it a chance it will dissolve.

The whisked dry ingredients

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat flour mixture, milk mixture and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat just until combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

I used some spiderman cupcake liners but the chocolate was a dark so I doubled the liners up afterwards.

Fluffy White Frosting
This is the same frosting I used when I made my strawberry confetti birthday cupcakes. The best part about this buttercream is that it can take on any color. So to go along with the spiderman theme I decided with blue frosting.

This color can also double for baby shower cupcakes!! lol

Taking on more of a spiderman feel with the chocolate webs

I made all the cupcake toppers too.

This was taken right after Aidan was picked up from daycare and saw the kitchen decorated for the first time.

Up Next...
Double Chocolate Snowman Cupcakes


#27 Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Peppermint!!!! I just cant get enough of it. I've made marshmallows, bark, and of course cupcakes with this flavor. I found the loveliest cupcakes in my mom's Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Baking issue. These cupcakes had frosting in the middle and on top. They were rolled in crushed candy cane and sprinkles. The only part I didn't like was cutting the cupcake in half. So I decided to just fill the centers with frosting instead. I already had a bag of  crushed candy canes so the decorative part was taken care of.

Chocolate Cupcakes
I went with my all time favorite chocolate recipe by Martha Stewart which I used when making my marshmallow turkeys. If you've got another recipe in mind then use what you like. I also added a tablespoon of black cocoa powder that I bought on the King Arthur Flour website. This gives the cupcake a really rich chocolate flavor and makes the cupcakes really dark in color which is a nice contrast with the frosting.

Peppermint Buttercream
This should put you in a peppermint coma for sure ;)

The Goods
2sticks butter room temp
5cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons peppermint extract

The How To
Beat butter on medium speed until fluffy 2-3mins. Change to a slower speed and gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar., beating well. Beat in milk and peppermint. Gradually beat in the last 3 cups of sugar until smooth. If necessary, beat in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make it spreading consistency.

Now fill centers and tops with frosting. You can now roll the edges in candy or sprinkles.

Up Next...
Chocolate Malt Cupcakes


#26 Gingerbread Cupcakes

I think I'm starting to get my blogging grove back! So with the spirit of Christmas in mind, I thought gingerbread would be the perfect start to the month. However, after making these I found out I'm not the biggest fan of this flavor. It might have something to do with the molasses. Molasses by far is the grossest ingredient I've put in a cupcake! It's worse than jalapenos! On a positive note I really enjoyed the crystallized ginger which was used in the batter and on top of the finished cupcake.

Gingerbread Cupcakes (courtesy of Cupcake Project)
Dear Mr. Gingerbread Man I think these cupcakes will give you a run for your money!!!

The Goods
1stick unsalted butter
1cup unsulfured molasses
1cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 1/3 cups flour
3/4teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger (not the kind in syrup), diced really small

The How To
First chop up your ginger than set aside.

This picture is before I chopped the ginger up. The pieces should be much smaller than this.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the butter and molasses in a small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of stand up mixer that is fitted with a paddle attachment. Cool for 5 minutes, then mix in the sour cream and orange zest.

In another bowl sift the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together. Use a whisk and mix until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix only until smooth.

Now fold in the crystallized ginger with a spatula.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3rds full. Bake for 25-30mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10mins before removing form the pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Has a hint of lemon which goes great with the crystallized ginger.

The Goods
8oz cream cheese a room temp.
1 stick unsalted butter room temp
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4cups powdered sugar

The How To
Mix the cream cheese, butter, orange zest and vanilla together. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

After the cupcakes are cool, frost and top them off with a few pieces of crystallized ginger.

The cupcake looks so small compared to the size of Aidan's head!

Packed and ready to go.
Up Next...
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

#25 Strawberry Confetti Birthday Cupcakes

I'm such a slacker!!! It's not that I'm not baking, because I'm on baking overload. It's just that I haven't been keeping up on my blogging :( So sorry! Don't be surprised when you see Christmasey cupcakes in January! These butterfly cupcakes turned out amazing! I made them for one of my co-worker's daughters birthday at the beginning of December. I made all the chocolate butterfly wings and leaves a couple of days ahead of time and everything was assembled the day of the party. With the extra cupcakes I made some flower bouquets. but i noticed that after a couple days the marshmallows get a little mushy so they should be eaten quick.

Vanilla Confetti Cupcakes
The strawberry comes later. If you don't want the confetti affect just leave out the sprinklers.

I noticed when you find the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe its best to just stick with it so I went with Martha Stewart's vanilla buttermilk cupcakes which I used for national vanilla cupcake day. For the confetti effect I added pink and yellow sprinkles. I know your dying for pictures but my computer must have eaten any pre-decorated pictures of the cupcakes
:( So you'll have to use your imagination.....

The flower petals were made out of marshmallows that were cut in half and dipped in sprinkles

Strawberry Filling
This will leave you wanting more! It tasted just like fresh strawberry shortcake!

The Goods
1pkg (16oz) frozen sliced strawberries in syrup thawed (I ran it through the food processor)
1cup heavy cream
2tablespoons cornstarch

The How To
Combine strawberries, cream and corn starch in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 8-10mins. Remove from heat and chill before filling cupcakes. I made this the night before.

 Vanilla Frosting
For the frosting I went with Martha's delectable fluffy white frosting. Nothing screams birthday more than this stuff!

The Goods
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

The How To
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth.

So after you have the cupcakes cooled, filled and frosted it's now time to decorate!!! Unfortunately i didn't take step by step pictures of the process since I would like to keep somethings a secret ;) So here are a few more pictures of the outcome.

before the butterflies

And after. Don't the chocolate leaves look awesome?!
Up Next...
Gingerbread Cupcakes


#24 Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes

If your looking for something with a lot of wow factor then this is it! I heard my co-work talking about this amazing moist 3 milk cake and that started me on a search for a recipe. I found it a little time consuming, but the outcome is worth the effort. Before I dove head first into making these I started out by making the Dulce de Leche. My theory was if this didn't turn out I was really only out a can of condensed milk verse all the stuff it takes to make the cupcakes. Luckily the dulce de leche turned out fine so I was able to give the whole recipe ago. Oh and make sure to use foil liners or your going to end up with some soggy paper ones.

Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes (courtesy of food network)
"Pastel de Tres Leches" or "Tres Leches Cake" is named for the three milks in the soaking liquid (Leche means milk in Spanish.) The three milks in the soaking sauce for Tres Leches are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream or in this case the cream is switched out with coconut milk.  This is  extremely dense and moist, almost like a custard. Tres Leches is sweet and delicious, but it is nothing like a traditional dry cake that is light and fluffy. -about.com

The Goods
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs- separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup coconut milk

The How To 
I did this a little backwards...

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. To make the dulce de leche, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie plate (I ended up using a small square glass dish and it turned out fine) and cover with foil. Place in a larger roasting pan where pie plate can sit flat. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to a depth of about halfway up the pie plate. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir until smooth.

Sorry I spaced taking before pictures but I think you get the idea of what to do.
While this was cooling down turn the oven down to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl of a stand up mixer, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed.

Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating until all the yellow disappears. Add the vanilla.

showing off my egg separating skills here.
add one yoke at a time

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.

the shiny stuff is the egg whites by the way.
Fill liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack that has been placed over a baking sheet to cool. Don't be surprised if your cupcakes go flat in the middle I found that a common problem according the comments on the food network page.

While cupcakes are still warm, stir together the 3 milks I tossed in some cinnamon too. Since I didn't have a meat injector needle, I just used a wooden skewer and poked a bunch of holes in the top of each of the cupcakes. Be careful not to punch all the way through the liner.  Pour the milk mixture over each cupcake while they are still warm, filling each hole. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before icing.

Here is my milk mixture.
This might look like a lot of milk but it really isn't. It soaks in pretty fast I ended up adding more milk to them before I left them in the fridge for the night.
Now that your dulce de leche is completely cool, place egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl.

Stir the sugar,cornstarch, and salt together in a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk in the water first, then the dulce de leche and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk the dulce de leche mixture into the 2 egg yolks.

My sugar, cornstarch, and salt
This is the dulce de leche mixture  just added to the eggs
Now Stir in the vanilla. Strain through a wire mesh  strainer into a small bowl and set aside to cool completely.

Beat the butter on high speed in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled  dulce de leche mixture. Beat in the 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable. Frost each cupcake with a generous amount of dulce de leche buttercream.

I added a dash of cinnamon to finish off the cupcakes.
Up Next...
Strawberry Confetti Birthday Cupcakes