Tag Archives: buttercream

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.

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

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.

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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.

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Ina’s Classic Coconut Cake

To say that I”m a chocolate cake fanatic is an extreme understatement.  For some reason, I’m just drawn to rich dark desserts that ooze with chocolate and the like.  Vanilla just isn’t my thing.   I’m not sure why, I love the smell and I do like the taste (really, of any dessert), but if I had my druthers I would bake something chocolatey.

Not so today, I just got it in my head that I needed a bright and cheery dessert for a New Years Day dinner at my sister in-laws.   And I had coconut on the brain.  Now, I’m not a huge coconut fan, unless they are in these snacking favourites, but I just needed to make something…well…different.  So the search began for a fantastic Coconut Cake, something coconutty but not too sweet.  A look through some of my favourite cookbooks and I quickly settled on Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I made just a small 6 inch version as a test batch and then an 8 inch contour version for the dinner.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I must say that it’s pretty darn good and will be on my ‘make again’ list.  This is a fairly dense cake and the icing compliments it so well.  I do love a good cream cheese icing every now and then.

I needed to glam it up a bit with the pineapple flower.  These are so easy to make and look stunning on desserts.

It doesn’t take long before the cake is gone… and oddly enough, there are only two of us in the house at the moment, the baker and the photographer.  You know what that means…we had cake for lunch!

Thank you for all of your support in 2011.  I can’t say how much your comments and feedback mean to me.  I have so enjoyed this year of blogging and meeting new blogging and baker friends alike.  I get my inspiration from so many of you!  We sure have whipped up some sweet things on this journey.  Lets see what 2012 has to bring!

Renee

Coconut Cake

*recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper.

1.   In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.   Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

2.  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

3.  Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for appox 4o minutes,  until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

4.  For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).

5.  To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

Garnish with a pineapple flower.

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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

It has been a very hectic few days around here!  Christmas Eve and Christmas morning bliss, followed by family dinners and some post-Christmas Day shopping.  I’m completely exhausted and looking forward to laying low for a few days.  But first!  I did want to share some of the yummy things that have made their way out of the SweetRevelations kitchen in the past few days!

This past Friday was the last day of school for my children before Christmas break.  This was the first year that I sent a box of baked goods for their teachers.  I know, big surprise, it was cupcakes.

But, in my defense, baking is a way for me to express to others that I care about them, that I’m thankful for the things that they do, that I appreciate all of the “extra’s” that the teaching staff do for the students!

Well, and doesn’t a gourmet cupcake say all of those things?

Something rich and decadent with a minty frosting?  Ok, maybe not, but a few minutes with a yummy moist piece of cake and some peace and quiet sure doesn’t hurt on the last day before Christmas break.

I love the contrast of these cupcakes.  Dark Chocolate cake (gosh I’m so predictable) and creamy Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Just a hint of peppermint.  And I thought, to keep these somewhat elegant and classy looking (ahem..like the teachers at our school…), I would use some chocolate coated peppermint sticks as a garnish.  These smelled so wonderful and tasted like a classic winter mint chocolate.

First, make some of these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, without the added espresso powder.  Then, top with some Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (below).

Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

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 peppermint and beat until combined.  Add food colouring if desired.  Use immediately.

Garnish with a chocolate covered peppermint stick.

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Mocha Cupcakes with Bailey’s Frosting

Autumn is definitely here and I don’t have to tell you that the days are getting shorter and the warm weather is no longer.  One of my kids even said the “f” word this morning….frost.   It’s time for warmer drinks and comfort foods and I can’t think of anything better than a hot cup of coffee with a Bailey’s shot- or two– in it!  I can think of something better actually…how about a Rich Dark Chocolate Mocha Cupcake with the most amazing Bailey’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

When I made these, I also filled them with a chocolate ganache infused with Bailey’s.  I would leave it out.  It’s not necessary because the real star of the dessert here is the icing.  You know about my ongoing love affair with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  I have to say that the boozy version is absolute bliss and sits right at the top of my favourites list!

I frosted these this morning before going to work.  And you can be darn sure I licked the bowl shiny clean.   I could’ve easily eaten the whole bowl without the cupcakes.  It’s that yummy.  And I had a container of chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish.  So as I was licking the icing bowl I was also munching on espresso beans.  Breakfast of champions.

You can imagine the state I was in when I got to work….

I couldn’t wait to post this recipe today to share with you! Let me know if the Bailey’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream makes your top ten!   Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes

*adapted from What The Fruitcake?

Makes 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup strong hot coffee

3 tsp instant espresso powder

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, espresso powder 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.

Bailey’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • Bailey’s 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 Bailey’s (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.
*I’ve since edited this to add that LorAnn Oils has an excellent Irish Cream Flavour that can be added to this icing to enhance the Baileys flavour. It can be found in most baking supply stores.

Garnish with a chocolate covered espresso bean.

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Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes and a Special Birthday

See this little angel?

This is my oldest child when she was a year and a half.  Look at those big blue eyes staring so innocently at me.  Time goes by too fast when you’re a parent.  I remember cuddling at bedtime with this little girl and reading her favourite stories over and over and over…..  She turns 13 today and I wanted the day to be special for her.  You only officially become a teenager once!

At lunch I took her out to have her hair done and for a bite to eat.  Just me and her.  It was awesome to spend time with her like that.  When we came home all of her friends and family were waiting to surprise her.

We always write the kids a poem for their birthday.  They moan and groan when it comes out, but you can tell that they love reading the things we have written about them.  We poke fun at some of their idiosyncrasies and tell them how proud we are of some of their accomplishments.  She’s a good girl with a big heart and I’m proud of the lady she is becoming.

She wanted Criminal Minds cupcakes for her birthday because she loves that show.  I had these cute paper toppers made by Angie over at Etsy.  So cute once glued on to popsicle sticks!  Then I made some other toppers out of Marshmallow Fondant.   The cakes are Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes.  I iced them with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and I used Chocolate Ganache as a ripple in the icing.   I also made a few with Dulce de Leche rippled through the icing.

I could quite simply just eat a bowl of icing and not think twice about it.  Amazing.

Sorry about the bad photos, but the light was terrible in that room!

It is very difficult to make crime scene cupcakes look pretty!  Thank goodness the taste makes up for it!

Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

*from Food and Drink

  • 4 ounces (120 g) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chips
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°

  1. Line 18 standard muffin cups with papers . Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter together in a large saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla.
  2. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture along with chocolate and nuts.  Divide among cups. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or just until cupcake centre is raised and feels slightly firm when touched. Do not over-bake. Cool
    completely on rack.

Chocolate Ganache

*this makes enough to frost all of the cupcakes.  I only made 1/2 of this recipe to use as a ripple in the icing.

  • 1 cup chopped-into-bits semi-sweet chocolate or chips, about 175 g (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt chocolate and whipping cream over very low heat in a small saucepan.  When almost smooth, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature and dip or frost cupcakes.  Icing will set in an hour at room temperature.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites

1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

3 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 tbsp 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, sugar and salt just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on 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 beat until combined.  Use immediately.

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Apple Spice Cupcakes with Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Well fall is definitely upon us!  I was at the market this morning and was instantly drawn to crates and crates of local apples.  This is one of my favourite seasons to be baking, and apples are by far one of my favourite fruits!

I also bought a huge jar of homemade apple butter and decided to use it to flavour the icing.   Anyone who has been following SweetRevelations knows how much I adore my yummy Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing!

The cakes were really good.  I love any cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice combo.  And the icing was pretty yummy too!  Great apple flavour that screams fall and Thanksgiving dinners.  I thought the cakes were so good that I left some un-iced (the horror!) and packed them in the freezer for lunch treats.

The Pastry Case is where I found this yummy recipe and I have no doubt that the cakes would taste awesome with the Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream that she has on her site.  Or, you could make the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I made here (delish).

Apple Spice Cupcakes

from The Pastry Case

yield: 30 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light molasses
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 3 tart baking apples, peeled and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

1.  Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula then beat in the molasses. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each addition.

2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices to blend.

3.  Add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. After each addition, beat on low-speed just to combine the ingredients. Stir in the shredded apples and vanilla.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of apple 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 until whites have increased in volume 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 apple butter and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

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Milk Dud Cupcakes

Remember this?

I posted these back in August with the promise of a recipe!  I have received a few e-mails wondering where that recipe might be….sorry I keep forgetting!

Have you ever had a Milk Dud?  Chewy, stick in your teeth caramel covered in milk chocolate.  One of my favourite combinations (one of my dentists favs too I’m sure…)  I’m eating some as I type as a matter of fact.  It’s really the icing (again) that is the star here.  Take some smooth and creamy Swiss Meringue Buttercream, my absolute favourite, and beat in some homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.  Screaming your name yet??

Honestly, I could’ve bathed in this icing it’s that yummy.  Don’t judge me, it really is that good.

I really apologize for the lack of photo’s but these literally went like hotcakes and I didn’t have a chance to take any extra’s.

I was left with one giant box of Milk Duds that I have been hiding in the back of the pantry for a month.  I have a teenager who is more obsessed with chocolate than me (if that’s possible) and often my goodies just “disappear.”

Since the caramel really is the star here, I will be posting the recipe for the icing only.  My advice is to use your best rich chocolate cake recipe.

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

*adapted from Sweetapolita

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of sea salt

2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature

5 large egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Making Salted Caramel Sauce:

*make this first to set aside to cool while you make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

1. Place  1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the
water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stop stirring and cook until caramel is amber, gently swirling the pan from time to time. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, whisking by hand until smooth. It
will be splatter, so be careful. Whisk in sea salt. Let cool.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

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 rest of 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 until whites have increased in volume 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 salted caramel sauce (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Garnish with a Milk Dud

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End of Summer, New School Year

The party is over at our house.  Today is the last day of freedom and tomorrow a new school year begins (for me too!).  No more lazy mornings on the deck with coffee, staying up super late reading a good book or keeping pj’s on allll day long if you feel like it.  I really love summer and my only wish was that it was just a little longer (say… 10 months longer….)

My kids are away today, all doing something fun for their last day of holidays.  I left them a little surprise for their return….

Just a little thank you for being great kids and hanging out with me this summer.  For putting my bait on the hook for me, for going for bike rides with me, for walking the dog with me, for playing endless games of Scrabble and SkipBo with me and for staying up late around a camp fire sharing funny stories and things about your life with me.

It’s a new school year and things will soon become hectic and busy.  Instead of saying “come sit by the pool with me” I’ll be screaming “for the last time get out of bed or we’ll be late!!”

Nothing says summer like ice cream and this is a fun and whimsical dessert.  Would be perfect for a birthday too!  I used my favourite Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream (here) and a new Vanilla Cake recipe (below).  Just colour icing to suit and have fun!  I used a piece of 29″ x 12″ yellow foam board with ribbons glued to the bottom.  This idea is from My Cake School Blog, which is full of fabulous resources.

Pure Vanilla Cupcakes

  • adapted from Form V Artisan
    Makes 18 cupcakes
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilkPreheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper
    liners.1.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, sift together flour,
    baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sugar and mix on low-speed until well
    blended. Add softened butter and beat on medium-low speed until butter is coated
    with flour and mixture resembles dry crumbs, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to
    medium and beat 30 seconds longer.2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and
    mix on medium-low speed until moistened and the batter begins to form webs along
    the sides of the bowl and the beater, about 45 seconds. With mixer on low speed,
    gradually add milk and beat until batter is smooth, about 20 seconds. Scrape
    down the sides of the bowl and mix until batter is light, airy and creamy
    looking, another 15-20 seconds on medium to medium-low speed. Do not over
    mix.

    3.  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling them about
    two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the
    center of the cakes comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Transfer cakes to wire
    racks to cool completely.

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