#9 Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

As soon as the leaves start falling and the days get shorter all I can think about is fall. Apples, pumpkins, and spices oh my!!! Found myself with a few extra apples so I couldn't help but make these lovely appley cupcakes.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes (courtesy of Martha Stewart)
If these don't make you go run out and buy apples then I don't know what would!!

The Goods
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used cake flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 3/4 pounds)

left my apple pieces on the chunky side

The How To

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low; mix in apples. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
Divide batter among lined cups and filling halfway.

bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins; transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
look at those apple chunks!! Yum!!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting(curtsy of cupcake project)
Now I was debating on what frosting to use. I asked around and found out there are people who don't like cream cheese!!! They seriously don't know what they are missing!! So after pondering on what to use i decided on this delicious recipe check it out.

The Goods

8oz cream cheese at room temp(don't do the low/nonfat kind)
1/4 cup butter at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (mine were a little over flowing)
2-3cups powdered sugar

The How To

Mix cream cheese and butter well
Add vanilla and cinnamon
Add powdered sugar

MMMM Cinnamon!!!

The frosting turned out perfect!

check out my new apron!! Thanks mom :)

Up Next...
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes


#8 Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

With the last days of summer coming to an end and the gift of free zucchini nothing is better than  this summer squash mixed with chocolate and a little spice!

Had to add at least one picture of Aidan in somewhere!!!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes(courtesy of 101cookbooks)
Nothing beats the smell of chocolate and spice!!

The Goods

1 1/2cups brown sugar
1/4cup melted butter
3/4cup vegetable oil
1tsp vanilla
1/2 buttermilk (I substituted sour cream)
2cups grated zucchini
1cup chocolate chips
2cups flour
1cup cocoa sifted
1/2tsp salt
2tsp baking soda
1tsp allspice
1 1/2tsp cinnamon

This cheese grater is awesome! I received it at my surprise bridal shower at work. It has a measuring cup on the bottom of the grater.

The How To
One thing I learned from these cupcakes is to not refrigerate unless the recipe states it. The cupcakes straight from the oven were wonderfully moist but after making this mistake a few people found them dry and they were on the crumbly side.

First preheat oven to 350degrees. In a separate bowl mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk or sour cream, zucchini and chocolate chips.
Don't worry the batter will look more appetizing in a sec!
In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined.
much better!
Spoon batter into prepared cupcake tins.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 35mins (I started checking around 20mins then recheck every 3-5mins til done) Cool on a wire rack. Don't overcook them or you will lose the moist goodness or refrigerate in my case.
These smelled so good when they were cooking!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4cup butter
4cups sugar
1/2cup coco powder

Mix cream cheese and butter until will incorporated and fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Then add the coco powder. Don't forget to taste test!!

Can you believe there are people who don't like cream cheese? Man they are seriously missing out!!

love the gold foil
Up Next....
Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes


#7 Chocolate Malt Cupcakes with Cherry Filling

My mom and I were testing out cookies a few weekends ago for my up coming bridal shower and we  made these amazing chocolate malt cookies. So with the thought of malt dancing in my head, I of course would want to give malt a try in cupcakes. Unfortunately the cupcakes were a disaster!!! The cupcakes didn't rise, the cherries that I originally picked out had no flavor, you couldn't taste the malt whats so ever, and the original cherry buttercream frosting was a nightmare. But after taking a deep breath I went back to the store and bought cherry preserves to fill around the black pitted cherries (they were seriously disappointing!!) and I found a very tasty chocolate frosting (thanks Rachel Ray!!) that saved the day. So here's the recipe and maybe you'll have a better outcome.

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes(courtesy of Sweetly Adventures)
This was probley the best batter I've ever had!

The Goods
1cup butter room temp
2 1/2 cups sugar
4large eggs room temp
1 1/2cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Then I added 1cup malt (I used chocolate)

My little side kick
The How To

Preheat oven to 375degrees. Beat the butter until it's softened in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy-about 2mins. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Measure out the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cocoa powder and malt and sift together.
This is all the dry ingredients sifted together
Measure out the milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup and stir to combine.
Aidan mixing the milk and vanilla
On low speed add about one third of the dry ingredients to the butter and vanilla and beat until barely mixed in. Keep doing this until your wet and dry ingredients are gone. The process should only take about 30 seconds. Unfortunately with my love hate relationship that I have with the mixer, some of the dry ingredients went flying everywhere and this process of wet and dry took much longer than 30seconds.

Finish by using a spatula to gently fold the batter to make sure everything is well mixed and the bottom isn't un-mixed. Scoop the batter into cupcake tins lined with cups about 2/3's full.

Bake cupcakes for about 25mins, until the cake tester comes out clean. I started checking after 15mins.
Not bad but you can tell they don't have the usual dome top too them.
After the cupcakes have cooled down I cut the center of the cupcakes out to make room for the cherries and preserves.

Then I added the cherries- this is when I realized the cherries sucked and I added the preserves the next morning before I had a chance to frost them.

with the preserves added.

Next the frosting (attempt one)...

Cherry-Vanilla Buttercream(courtesy of recipe.com)
So everything was going fine with the frosting until I added the black pitted cherries and realized that the frosting really didn't have a distinct cherry taste so I added cherry preserves the next morning. After adding the preserves the frosting took on this shiny texture and the frosting looked like it separated (almost lumpy). Not sure what happened but here is the frosting and I will have to give this a try another day.

The Goods
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2cups unsalted butter room temp.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2/3cups cherry preserves (I used the pitted cherries then later added the preserves...)

The How To
Beat confectioners sugar and butter on medium-low speed until well blended. Add vanilla and heavy cream beat for 2mins until light and fluffy. Beat in cherry preserves until well combined.

This was before I added the preserves the next morning. Unfortunately I was in a hurry that morning and I didn't get a chance to get a picture of what it looked like afterwards.

Frosting attempt two....

Chocolate Buttercream(courtesy of Rachel Ray)
Now the outcome of this frosting was much better than the first and really easy to make.

The Goods
4oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2pound unsalted butter room temp
4cups confectioners sugar
4tablespoons milk
3teaspoons vanilla

The How To

Melt chocolate in microwave, checking after each 30 second interval to make sure you don't burn the chocolate. Stir and let cool. Next beat the butter and chocolate together until smooth. Add 2cups of sugar and 2tablespoons of the milk. Cream these ingredients until well blended. Add the rest of the sugar and milk and combine. Add the vanilla and mix in.
You would never know that this had been a total disaster!!!
Then add the optional sprinkles....
I was also trying out my new frosting tip but I think that's still a work in progress.
And of course it's approved by Taste Tester Aidan!

Up Next.....
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


#6 Watermelon Cupcakes

With the last days of summer upon us what better way to celebrate than with a seasonal favorite-watermelon! As I was surfing the Internet for some inspiration a few weeks ago I came across www.cupcakeproject.com and found watermelon jam. I know it sounds a little odd and nothing I would have thought of, but this seemed like a perfect challenge for me.

Watermelon Jam
So the first step towards making these cupcakes is making the watermelon jam. Since I haven't made jam on my own I asked my wonderful mom for help and of course she said yes!

My watermelon from Costco
The Goods (courtesy of southernfood.about.com)

4cups seeded, diced watermelon
3 1/2 cups sugar
tsp. lemon juice
1 packet of powder fruit pectin

The How To

Place diced watermelon in a blender or food processor bowl. Cover and blend/process until smooth-you should have 2 cups watermelon puree. In a 6- to 8-quart kettle or dutch oven combine the watermelon puree, sugar and lemon juice.

And yes the funny smell while it cooks is normal.
Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down) over high heat, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon. Stir in the pectin all at once. Return mixture to a full rolling boil; boil hard for 1min. stirring constantly.
At first I wasn't sure why you need such a tall pot but as this stuff boils it starts rising and I'm glad i didn't attempt this on my own or it would have been all over the stove!
Remove kettle or Dutch oven from heat; skim of foam. Ladle jelly into clean hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch space. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids, Allow to cool completely away from drafts, then store in cool, dark place. Makes 4 half pints. *I didn't do this last part I actually put them in the plastic freezer jam jars since I was only making enough for the cupcakes.
Looks good right?

So you cant tell from here but the pectin never activated so I took one of the two jars I had and recooked it for 3mins. And at the time it seemed to have thickened up. So happy with the outcome of the second jar I put it in the fridge overnight. When I took it out the next day it was beyond jam it was like hard watermelon candy and of course the other jar I had (I was hoping the pectin just needed time to activate) was still like syrup. So I ended up leaving the over cooked jar out for a few hours hoping this would soften it but after waiting I ended up adding some of the syrupy jam to the over cooked jam and came up with a happy medium. On with the cupcakes!!!!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (courtesy of creative confectionery)
I picked the vanilla since it's not a overly strong flavor and it really seemed to complement the watermelon.

The Goods

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
3large eggs
2cups sugar
1cup canola oil
2tsp vanilla ( used one vanilla bean and 1tsp of vanilla paste)
1cup sour cream

The How To

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In your mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2mins. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended.

This is the vanilla bean which i scrapped out the insides for the batter


my vanilla paste

here i added the oil and vanilla
Mix in the sour cream.....

Mix in the flour mixture until it's incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Pour into prepared cups and bake 18-23mins (I checked my at 15), until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 10mins. Remove from pan and let completely cool before the next step.
After the cupcakes have cooled down I took the watermelon jam and put it into a frosting bag with the injecting tip (sorry I don't know the correct name).

trying to get the jam into the bag.
I then squeezed jam into the center of the cupcakes. If you don't have a frosting bag you can always cut out part of the center of the cupcake and fill with jam too.

See the long tip

looking good :)
Next the frosting....

Vanilla Watermelon Frosting
This is just vanilla buttercream frosting and I added watermelon jam and red food coloring.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla paste or extract
watermelon jam (I didn't really measure this just poured and taste tested)
1-2drops of red food coloring

Beat the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add vanilla and jam. If you want the frosting pink then add the 1-2 drops of food coloring after the jam and vanilla is mixed in.

just added the jam.
If you look closely you can see the tasty little morsels of jam through out the frosting.
The chocolate chips are suppose to look like watermelon seeds what do you think?

Aidan approves!!!!

Up Next....
Chocolate malt cupcakes with cherry filling