Category Archives: Cup Cakes

Best Ever {I Mean Ever} Banana Cupcakes

Hey guys.  Um, can we talk?  I’m seriously bursting with happiness about some changes that will be happening over here in the next few weeks.  First off, in just 10 days it will be 5 years since I started this little adventure, with hubs and camera in tow.  A lot has happened in 5 years!  We made some pretty amazing new friends.  Yup, for real, that’s you.  And we’ve had some pretty great experiences.   Remember when we were in the launch issue of Taste of Home Canada Magazine?  That was seriously a thrill for me.   Like, icing on top of the cake amazing.  The bee’s knee’s.  You know, pretty darn cool.   And those articles for Food Bloggers of Canada?  That’s us, feeling proud to be networking with our fellow Canadian foodies alike.  As well, just last year, I became a contributor over at Hello Creative Family.  And I love that group of creative people over there.  Gosh, guys, I’m so darn grateful.  Because slowly but surely, this blog is climbing up to where I dream it to be.  And I’m hoping you’ll come right along with me.

Best Ever Banana Cupcakes via SweetRevelations

 

Oddly enough, the very first post ever was called New Beginnings, which is just where we’re headed.   Pretty soon, this sweet little blog of mine, will have a whole new look.  I just can’t even tell you how excited I am.  No seriously, the designer I’m working with will probably want to strangle me when all is said and done.  This blog has been my pride and joy for 5 years, so moving things around and doing a makeover is kind of overwhelming and scary.

Oh, don’t worry, desserts and sweets will still be a huge part of my blog, because frankly, this world needs a whole lot more cake.  But I’m also really excited to share other things about myself and my family too.  We live on a postage stamp sized lot, in the middle of a bustling city, but are working to shift to a more sustainable living.  We’re growing things, and upcycling things, supporting local farmers, and just generally trying to live a little more you know, soulfully.  I’ll be writing and posting about some of these idea’s along the way.

Best Ever Banana Cupcakes via SweetRevelations

 

I’m thinking and hoping that this might be the last post, before the big reveal.  I thought it fitting to share one of my most pinned and viewed recipes, ever, in the last 5 years.   This time though, I’ve made it in cupcake form.  When I had the bake shop, I made hundreds of these Banana Cupcakes for weddings, showers and special events.  They’re super moist, full of that banana flavor that you love, and pretty simple and elegant.  Leave them un-iced for a quick snack too.  There is always a batch in my freezer, so the kiddos can grab a quick snack on their way out the door.

Best Ever Banana Cupcakes via SweetRevelations

So, I guess this is it huh?  Is this where we stand at the door, awkwardly twiddling our fingers, hoping to see each other again soon?  It might be quiet here for a week or two, but when I come back, I promise I’ll be all dolled up.  Have I told you yet HOW EXCITED I AM?!

See you soon friends,

Renee

Best Ever Banana Cupcakes

yield 24 – 30 cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups bananas , mashed (about 3)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 250 gr. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Crisco
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare 3 cupcake trays with 30 liners total.

1.  In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda , nutmeg and salt; set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, mix oil and sugar until well combined.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add in vanilla.
3.  On low, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Stir in banana mixture.
4.  Pour batter into prepared liners, no more than 1/4 cup per liner, and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Place cupcakes on wire racks and cool completely.
5.  While the cupcakes cool, make the icing by beating the cream cheese, Crisco and butter in a large bowl.  Beat until smooth and well combined.  Add salt.  Add the icing sugar slowly and mix well to remove any lumps.  Fill a piping bag (with a 1M tip), and ice using a circular motion to create the rose effect.  Cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before serving.  You may have extra frosting left over, which is delicious on homemade cinnamon buns!
*recipe adapted from Food.com

 

7 Comments

Filed under Cake, Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,

Renee

xo

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.

Notes:

  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.

12 Comments

Filed under Cake, Cup Cakes

Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel

And so begins the season of pumpkin everything.  Some people celebrate their birthday month, but in this house, we rejoice in pumpkin month.  A celebration, all month-long, of how many recipes I can fit pumpkin into.

Isn’t it funny how the pumpkin craze becomes slightly over the top in October?  People are hoarding cans and cans of puree, and then for the rest of the year the poor pumpkin pie spice sits, untouched, literally ignored?  If you figure out what the deal is with that, let me know.

pumpkin cupcakes

I haven’t posted cupcakes in a long time, so I thought these Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel, would be the perfect start to pumpkin everything month.  Just as the name implies, it’s a spicy but super moist delicate pumpkin cupcake, with a gorgeous brown sugar swiss meringue swirl, and a sweet and salty pool of homemade salted caramel.    It’s the pumpkin and salted caramel combination that gets me every time.  Not to mention cloves and cinnamon.  I do love the smell of cloves.

pumpkin cupcakes

These pumpkin cupcakes are an excellent recipe that do double duty as easy muffins too.  I simply double the recipe and freeze half for lunches, because they freeze so well.  They are also an easy make ahead dessert, because every component can be prepared in advance.  Make and freeze the cupcakes until you need them, whip and refrigerate the icing a few days ahead, and keep that salted caramel in the fridge for up to a week!   Your prep time is literally only minutes when you need to ice and serve them.  For this reason alone, these are a superb choice for any Thanksgiving celebrations you might be preparing for.

pumpkin cupcake

And don’t be afraid to make your own pumpkin puree too!  Although I do love the convenience of canned puree, it is incredibly easy to buy pie pumpkins from market and make your own.

Now excuse me while I spend the next few hours scouring Pinterest for the next great pumpkin recipe.  Have you got one?  Share it with me in the comments!

Happy pumpkin baking friends,

Renee

xo

Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350° and line two muffin trays with cupcake liners

  1.  In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves, set aside.  In a large bowl combine the sugar and oil.  Mix well.  Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  2. Fill tins with a 1/4 cup of batter or use a cookie scoop, to ensure all of the cupcakes are the same size.  The recipe will yield approx. 20 cupcakes.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

 

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place the bowl of eff whites on the stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and pinch of salt and beat until combined.  Use immediately or refrigerate for a week.  Icing will need to be at room temperature and whipped for about 5 minutes if kept in the fridge.

Salted Caramel Sauce

*Cooking  Channel TV

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.

2  Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Reheat for a few seconds before drizzling if needed.

Cupcake Assembly

Pipe an icing dam around the perimeter of the top of the cake, with a large round tip, leaving a hole in the middle.  Using a small spoon carefully drizzle salted caramel into the hole.  Top with raw pepitas for garnish.  Serve at room temperature.

22 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing, Sauces and Syrups

Peanut Butter Parfaits ~ To Go!

These are by far my top “to go” dessert.  Rich chocolate cake, layered with crunchy peanuts and smooth peanut butter buttercream.  It’s my favourite layer cake all prettied up in a simple jar ~ to go! For me, the flavor combination is to die for.   This week I packed a few up to throw in our cooler as we made our way to Music City for 5 days.

pbjar

 

 

Five days camping in sunny Tennessee, touring  Music City with a sweet peanutty treat to enjoy after dinner each night.

Without the kids.

pbtop

I’m not sure which part of those two sentences was my favourite.   Don’t  get me wrong, I love my babes, but a week away with my number one grown up is pretty awesome.  And pretty rare.

pbjars

 

Whenever I make cupcakes and buttercream, I always throw the extras in the freezer.  It’s so easy to whip something up on short notice.  Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a snap to make and freezes beautifully.  These parfaits take minutes to assemble (put the cupcakes in frozen!), can be thrown in a cooler or fridge and they travel amazingly well.  Use regular jars or invest in some Weck Jars, that look great and offer the most perfect serving size for dessert (see here).  I can’t tell you the countless times I have used them for serving.

pbempty

 

During the time I ran the bakery this peanut butter buttercream was always one of our most requested.  It’s so light and creamy and tastes like a cloud of whipped peanut butter.  If you’re a peanut butter lover like me, this is a must try!

I’m including the recipe for the Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Just layer your parfaits with your favourite rich chocolate cupcake (one of my favs is here) and some chopped peanuts.  Or, to really switch it up, layer it with Banana Cupcakes made from this recipe here, my Best Ever Banana Cake.  Just as awesome.

 

Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (or more to taste)

1. Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2. In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined. Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time. Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick. It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify. Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and peanut butter and beat until combined. Use immediately.  Will frost about 24 cupcakes.  Icing can be frozen for up to two months, just allow it to come back to room temperature and re-whip for 5 minutes.  It may look curdled but keep whipping!

 

Assembly of Parfaits:

1.  Bake your favourite chocolate cupcakes.  This is one of my most loved recipes here.

2.  I find using a piping bag (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off), is the best way to get the icing neatly in the jars.  Simply pipe a small layer of icing in the bottom of the jar and top it with an unwrapped cupcake.  Layer again with icing, some chopped peanuts and another cupcake.  Top with a dollop of icing and chopped peanuts (if you’re not planning on closing the jars), or top with some chopped peanuts and put the lid on the jars.

2. Parfaits can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.  Simply bring to room temperature before eating (otherwise the icing is hard like butter).

Happy summer and enjoy!

 

22 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Valentine Rose Cupcakes ~ Tutorial

Want an easy but really impressive dessert for Valentine’s Day?

valentine rose

No joke, just a few hours prep the night before and these can totally be on your candle lit table the next evening.  You know, between you and your Valentine… *gush.*

Heck, buy the cupcakes and you’ve saved yourself a step.

Although, I do recommend trying these or these or even these if you really want to impress the socks off someone.  See?  This is getting risque already….

I’ve added a picture tutorial to show you how simple this really is.

rosetutorial

All you need is some coloured fondant (for best results mix with a little gumpaste), 3 piping tips or circle cutters (different sizes), and a ball tool.  You don’t even really need the ball tool.  Remember here , when I showed you how to make rose petals with just your hands and some parchment?

1.  Gather all of your supplies.  Colour and roll out your fondant nice and thin.

2.  Cut out your circles.  You will need about 6 of each size.

3.  Using your ball tool, or fingers, thin out the petals as much as possible.  Try to create some ruffles or movement.

4.  Let your petals dry out over night on a flower former.  Or, use a dish covered in foil like I did here.

5.  The next day, begin with the largest petals and start layering on your cupcake.  Try to do some overlapping.

6. Voila!   Aren’t you pleased with yourself?

You could make a few large roses and then add some ribbon roses on the rest.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

valentine rose 2

35 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Tutorial

Chocolate Love

I have to tell you right off that I think I may have discovered the best chocolate frosting ever this week-end….

***squeal!!***

Like, if I could marry a frosting this would be the one.

If I could bathe in a frosting this would be the one.

Don`t judge me… this stuff is so darn chocolatey and rich and delicious.  Ruffled on top of a moist dark chocolate cake.   With a fresh and sweet strawberries on top?

You know you want it….

I thought I would give this recipe a whirl because my usual chocolate frosting just isn’t fudgey and chocolatey enough for me sometimes.  This is melted Belgian chocolate and cocoa whipped together with icing sugar and butter.

You had me at melted Belgian chocolate…..

I swirled some on top of my cupcakes and used some to make little tiny trifle cups.  These are just plastic wine cups that I layered with a cupcake, some icing and some diced berries.  Perfect to bring out to the patio after dinner.

Make it.  Then e-mail me right away and tell me that without a doubt this is the best chocolate and cupcake combo you have ever had.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

*adapted from What The Fruitcake?

Makes 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup strong hot coffee

3/4 cup dark cocoa

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp mayonnaise, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners

1.  Whisk together coffee and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside.  Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder in another small bowl and set aside.  Measure out buttermilk and mix with vanilla extract and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar and salt.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating each egg in thoroughly and scraping the side of the bowl before adding the next egg.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined.  Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until combined.  Repeat, ending with the last of the flour mixture.  Add the cocoa and coffee mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.  Fold in mayonnaise.

3.  Divide equally into prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for 16-18 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool thoroughly on wire racks before frosting.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  •                                         1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  •                                         2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  •                                         3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  •                                         1/4 teaspoon salt
  •                                         1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Callebaut Bittersweet)

 1.   Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.   Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

This icing can be stored in the fridge for about a week.  Bring to room temperature and beat until smooth again.

60 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Hot Milk Cupcakes

I’m almost embarrassed to be telling you what kind of cupcakes I made.  I looked back on my previous posts and realized the last few have all been lemon flavoured.

Must be spring.  Must be related to my hopes for some warm sunny weather and spring blossoms.  I’m ready for it.

It seems to be taking its sweet time.

It really doesn’t matter what the flavour of icing is for these cupcakes, the cake is the real star here.   This is a recipe for old-fashioned Hot Milk Cake.    The texture is similar to a sponge cake, but not quite as dense and much more moist.  Just as it sounds, it’s the addition of a hot milk mixture right at the end of the recipe that makes these  so wonderful.  I added a vanilla bean to the milk as it was heating.  It gives it a little extra sweetness.

Can you see my cake looking on in the distance?  It has a creamy lemon curd filling and just a swirl of lemon buttercream on top.  I had enough batter for 20 cupcakes and a 6 inch cake.

I couldn’t resist the sugar dogwood for decoration.  This cupcake here, is the one I have received the most emails and comments about.  Ever.  It’s just gorgeous.  These are a smaller version of the dogwood that I purchased on-line.   The simple addition of a blossom can take a little cake to a whole new level.

Wouldn’t these be gorgeous in a big beautiful bakery box for mom on Mother’s Day?

Hot Milk Cupcakes

*adapted from Taste of Home

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • one vanilla bean split and scraped
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cubed

1.  In a large bowl, beat eggs on high-speed for 5 minutes (don’t skimp on this step!) until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy and increased in volume. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to batter just until combined.

2. In a small saucepan, heat milk, vanilla bean, seeds and butter just until butter is melted and mixture begins to bubble slightly at the side of the pan. Remove vanilla bean.  Gradually add milk to batter, a few tablespoons at a time; beat just until combined

3.  Pour into greased and floured 6 inch pan and 20 lined muffin cups.  You can also use a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until cake springs back when touched.   For the 6 inch pan approx 30 minutes, cupcakes approx 17 minutes and 9 x 13 pan approx 40 minutes.

4.  Top with icing, berries and cream or dust lightly with powdered sugar.  Enjoy.

45 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes

Spring Cupcakes and a Symbol of Hope

I always eagerly await the first signs of spring.  Bright and cheerful bursts of tulips and daffodils are a welcome sight after a cold, bland winter.   They invigorate us and announce to us that spring has sprung!

Thank you for arriving spring I am so ready for you!  I’m ready for open windows, bed sheets on the clothesline, sitting in the sun and drinks on the patio!

I thought these cupcakes would be the perfect fit for our Easter table.  Beautiful sunny yellows amid pops of white, blue and pink colours.

It’s doesn’t hurt when your pops of colour are candy coated and full of milk chocolate either.  Another wonderful sign of spring. Easter chocolate.

Remember here when I made lime cupcakes with Tequila frosting?  These are identical, just substitute the lime for lemon.  Omit the step of brushing on the Tequila.   Swirl on a generous amount of Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream (below).  These  are keeper lemon cupcakes.  Really moist with a good hit of lemon followed by, you guessed it, the creamiest lemony Swiss Meringue icing.

Did you know April is also Daffodil Month for the Canadian and American Cancer Society? Daffodils are a symbol of hope for those living with cancer.  Unfortunately everyone has a cancer story.  All of the monies raised from the Daffodil Campaign go to life saving cancer research.

I hope this spring leaves you feeling rejuvenated.  I hope spring has sprung where you live!  Happy Easter everyone.

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd or lemon pie filling (or more to taste)

1. Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2. In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined. Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time. Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick. It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify. Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and lemon curd and beat until combined. Use immediately.

17 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Homemade Hazelnut Irish Cream

I’m not an Irish Cream on the rocks kind of girl.

I love it in my morning coffee or as an after dinner dessert drink.

I especially love it in a creamy Swiss Meringue icing.  Gorgeously piled on top of a Guinness Dark Chocolate Cupcake.

Or in a Hazelnut Irish Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream.

Rich Callebaut chocolate chunks marbled throughout a creamy Irish Cream Ice Cream?  Yes Please!

Do you see a theme here?

I think Irish Cream lends a smooth and creamy flavour to many desserts without going overboard.  And, even better when it can be made in an instant.  Literally.  Five minutes of prep time and your guests will love you for it.

Tell me your favourite way to use Irish Cream.

Homemade Hazelnut Irish Cream Liquor

*adapted from allrecipes.com

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  •  1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 cup Irish Whiskey
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp hazelnut oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.  Store in a sealed container in the fridge.  Shake well before using.

2 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Extra Special, Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Have a glass of milk handy for these yummy things.

This is a ‘need a sugar fix’, ‘dying for some cookie dough’, and  ‘want some comfort food’ kind of dessert all wrapped into one.  A dense and sweet Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake with cookie dough baked right into the middle.

Why choose between cookie and cake when you can have both?   I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for quite some time and had the opportunity to use it this week-end.  It’s from the wonderfully written blog Kevin and Amanda .  The cookie dough has no eggs in it, so no worries about raw eggs sitting in your cupcakes!  Brilliant Amanda!

These tasted so fantastic just shortly after coming out of the oven.  Still a touch warm.  Like a warm cookie.

The key to these cupcakes is to freeze the cookie dough the night before so it doesn’t bake when you bake the cupcake.

Like these, see?

I used Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream on top of mine.  It’s sweet but not overly sweet so goes well with the loaded cookie dough cake.  You can find the recipe for that here, but don’t include the rum syrup in the recipe.

Cookie Dough

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1.  Combine the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.   Beat in milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Mix in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

2.  Using a small scoop, shape the dough into balls or tubes. Freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet overnight.

Cupcakes

1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners .

1.    Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.   In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.   Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix well.

2.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low-speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.

3.  Using an ice cream scoop, fill the prepared cupcake liners 2/3 full with the cupcake batter. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.  Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins.

Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool and if you haven’t eaten them all up, top them off with a swirl of Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

25 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes