#22 Coconut Snowball Cupcakes

In honor of having the coldest November to date since 1985 I thought snowball cupcakes were appropriate! For all you coconut lovers these were pretty amazing. This was the first time I've used beaten egg whites in a recipe and the out come was a little interesting. They were delightfully sweet (in a coconut sweet way), they felt a little on the heavy side but the cake was actually very delicate and the texture of the cake was slightly chewy kind of like a macaroon cookie. With the suggestion from my mom I went with a Bavarian like filling and topped them with Swiss meringue buttercream and coconut shavings. So while the wind is blowing and making it feel like -1 outside I stay in and make these instead. At least these snowballs wont give you frostbite!!!

Coconut Snowball Cupcakes (Courtesy of Jacki's Bento Blog)

The Goods
3cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut cream
8oz butter room temp
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 egg whites

The How To
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place and whisk flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Combine the coconut milk and coconut cream in a small bowl and set aside for later.

Put the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until fluffy about 1 min. Decrease the speed to low and slowly add sugar over 1-2mins. Once all the sugar has been added turn the mixer back on to medium speed and continue creaming until the mixture becomes lighter in color about 3mins.

just the butter

Sugar and butter after it has been mixed for a couple of mins.
Stir in the coconut extract.

Add the flour mixture alternating with the coconut milk mixture to the butter and sugar in 3 batches, ending with the milk mixture. Don't over mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. I used my hand mixer. Fold the egg whites into the batter, just until combined.

my stiff peaks

the batter looks a little wet after adding the egg whites
Fill cupcakes tins about 2/3s full. Bake for about 25 mins rotating half way through. The cupcakes will turn golden brown around the edges and a toothpick should come out clean when stuck into the center of the cupcake. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for 10mins then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

This is the first batch as you can see I didn't rotate these ones and the cupcakes in the back got a little burned :(

Now for the filling! I made mine the night before so it could fully chill.

Bavarian Cream (Courtesy  of cakecentral.com)
This stuff reminds me of doughnut or eclair filling!!

The Goods
8oz cream cheese softened
2 ( about 3.5oz) packages instant pudding mix (I used vanilla)
3/4cup milk
12oz Cool Whip thawed

The How To
Mix together cream cheese and dry pudding on medium speed.

Reminds me of scrambled eggs
Add the milk and beat on medium speed for about 2mins or until lumps have smoothed out.

Mix in the Cool Whip on low speed. Chill for a couple of hours before using.

After the Bavarian Cream has had time to chill, fill in the center of the cupcakes.

For the frosting I went with Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream which I used for my marshmallow turkey cupcakes. The only difference is that I added 1 teaspoon of the coconut extract.

After the frosting has been spread add the sweetened shredded coconut to the top.

I also played around with a couple of different toppers that I had made.

Testing out my chocolate butterflies. Not bad for the first time. These turned out a little thick so next time I need to make the chocolate a little thinner.

I also melted down some jolly ranches and made some snow flakes. With some of the left over frosting I  tested out my rose making skills too. Not too shabby :)
Up Next...
Sweet Potato Cupcakes (for real this time!!)


#21 Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes

I cant help it!! I've tried really hard to wait and post this after Thanksgiving, but I couldn't. Sweet potato cupcakes are still on their way, but I really wanted to post this one first. I searched high and low for a chocolate eggnog recipe and without success I went with the recipe by Annie's Eats and tweaked it a little. The frosting went amazing well with the cupcake. My only complain was that it was a little on the runny side. Not to the point it that it was sliding off the cupcake, but it definitely wasn't pipeable even after refrigerating. I did get some mixed reviews- some thought they were perfect, a few couldn't taste the rum and I got a couple who couldn't taste the eggnog. I'm curious to what others thinks so give them a shot and let me know.

Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes
Nothing beating the smell of rum and chocolate!!!

The Goods
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/2cups eggnog
1/4 cup veggie oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flour-sifted
2/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch processed)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

The How To
Preheat oven to 350degrees. In a small bowl mix together the rum, eggnog, veggie oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.

Not looking to appetizing but keep going it gets better!
In another bowl  sift together the nutmeg, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder/soda, and salt.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until just combined.

Go ahead and try the batter now it's much better!
Divide evenly between prepared cupcake tin.

Bake for 18-20mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back when touched.

 Cool in the pan for 5mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

yes these are my left over blood splattered Halloween liners. Gives them a little extra pizazz;)
Now for the frosting!!!

Vanilla Nutmeg Cream cheese Frosting
I made this the night before hoping it would firm up a little bit more but it didn't. Loved how the whipping cream gave it a creamy taste, but next time I will add a little less and see it the frosting gets a little firmer.

The Goods
16oz cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter-room temp
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg-(or dump to taste)
5-6 cups powdered sugar (I added like 7-8 trying to get the frosting to firm up)

The How To
Put cream cheese and butter in bowl of a stand up mixer (or a reg bowl and a hand mixer) mix on med-high until light and fluffy.

Turn down the mixer to low and slowly add milk and vanilla (I added my vanilla to my milk so there is only on thing to pour in)

Add the sugar and nutmeg

Use right away or refrigerate until needed.

I added a little extra nutmeg to the tops too.
Up Next...
Coconut Snowball Cupcakes


#20 Marshmallow Turkey Cupcakes

Well it's that time again to create another cupcake masterpiece for the ms cupcake club and this month was the oh so cute marshmallow turkey. At first I was a little skeptical, I saw that it needed the Swiss meringue buttercream and I cringed a little. Since my disaster with the 7 min. frosting last month I was expecting another flop, but to my surprise it was extremely easy and very tasty too. It reminded me of marshmallow fluff, but without the sticky mess. The hardest item to find for these were the coconut marshmallows, which after endless searching were finally located at Walmart. So here's my take on Martha's turkeys.

Chocolate Cupcakes (pg. 152 in MS cupcake book)
This was the first time I've actually used buttermilk usually I substituted sour cream for it, but I think the buttermilk really makes a difference. They were very moist.

The Goods
1 1/2cups flour
3/4cup unsweetened dutch-process coca powder
1 1/2cups sugar
1 1/2teaspoons baking soda
3/4teaspoon baking powder
3/4teaspoon salt
2lg eggs
3/4cup buttermilk
3tablespoons veg. oil
1teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4cup warm water

The How To
Preheat oven to 350degrees. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

I got all the ingredients together and pre-sifted before I put it in the mixer
Reduce speed to low. Add eggs. buttermilk, oil, extract, and water; beat until smooth and combined.

FYI this is not a super thick batter
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until a tooth pick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20mins. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10ins; remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.

Look at that dome action!!!
After the cupcakes are cooled start on the Swiss Meringue Buttercream (pg. 304). I actually made mine the night before just in case the frosting didn't turn out I would have time to come up with something else.

The Goods
5lg eggs whites
1cup plus 2tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1lb unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temp
1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate-melted and cooled

The How To
Combine egg whites, sugar, and slat in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water.

Before I boiled the water I took the bowl from the mixer and figured out how much water I needed so the water wasn't touching the bowl
And here is my double boiler
Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips.)

Whisking my little heart out.
Take the bowl and attach it onto the mixer fitted with the whisking attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks form.

unfortunately the mixer was moving way to fast for my camera :(
Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) about 10mins.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition.

I had my trusty butter added on hand. As you can see he takes his job very seriously!!
Once all the butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2mins. If needed scrape down sides with a spatula and keep beating until frosting is completely smooth.

Taste tester approved!!
Since I made mine the night before and I totally forgot to add the chocolate I brought the frosting to room temp and mixed it on low speed with the paddle attachment for about 5mins. Then I melted the chocolate (while the frosting was fluffing) and then added the chocolate to the frosting with a flexible spatula after the chocolate has had time to reach room temp.

Now that you have the major parts of the project ready you will need to make 12oz of toasted sweetened coconut. Preheat oven to 350. Spread coconut evenly onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Toast and stir occasionally until it starts to turn brown about 10mins.

Not realizing that I only needed 12oz, I ended up toasting the whole bag.
Good thing I like coconut!!!
Now while your coconut is cooling frost up the cupcakes. I did a couple at a time.

This was the closest thing I could find to a all brown cupcake liner.
Get all your decorating stuff together. You will need 24 coconut marshmallows, long chocolate sprinkles, 1lb gummy fish I found large and small ones and toothpicks.

I found my fish in the bulk section of Haggens.
Get yourself situated and grab a little glass of water ( I used a shot glass) and take the wet toothpick and poke 2 holes in the marshmallow to make room for the long sprinkles which will become the turkey's eyes.

Cut up some orange gummy fish (this is where I used the small fish) in half or in my case cut off just the tails and push half the gummy into each marshmallow for a beak. I found it easiest to take the toothpick and make a whole before inserting the gummy.

Now that you have your turkey heads ready insert a tooth into the marshmallow, this will keep it from falling off the cupcake. Now press marshmallow heads onto cupcake.

Take 5 gummy fish and press them into each cupcake to make tail feathers. I used the larger gummy fish for this also cutting the tails off so this only took 3 gummy fish per cupcake. I then took the left over fish tails and gave poor little turkey wings.

much better with wings
 Sprinkle toasted coconut over naked turkeys until completely covered.

And there you have it!!! Decorated cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temp in airtight containers.

Up Next...
Sweet Potato Cupcakes