Tag Archives: cupcakes

Mini Cinnamon and White Chocolate Cupcakes and Frosting For The Cause

I’m so thrilled to be sharing today’s post with you!

It’s my first guest post over at Frosting For the Cause and I’m just tickled about it.  The site is an inspiring year-long collaboration from bakers all over the United States and Canada.  It is completely dedicated to raising awareness of women’s cancers, while sharing some amazing recipes and personal stories.   This site was developed by Paula Kelly-Bourque, also known as the Vanilla Bean Baker, who really is an example of what a compassionate soul is.

Today is SweetRevelations day, and I chose to make these Mini Cinnamon and White Chocolate Cupcakes.  I make gourmet cupcakes for people all the time and I was so nervous about delivering these to some pretty amazing ladies who were participating in the After Breast Cancer Luncheon in my community.    Please head on over to Frosting for the Cause to check out my recipe and my personal story.

I also wanted to send some thanks to Najwa over at Delicious Shots.  She put together a beautiful virtual Christmas Magazine full of beautiful recipes and DIY projects.   I am so excited to have one of my posts featured on this very creative piece!  Please take a moment to check it out, a SweetRevelations creation is featured on page nine!

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A Retirement Party and Nautical Cupcakes

My dad is officially retiring at the end of the month.  And it’s his birthday on Tuesday too.  We had a surprise gathering and picnic lunch for him today.  All the kids and grandkids arrived at the party wearing matching t-shirts with the name of his boat on them…”Knot Done.”  So named because he is retiring and turning 65 and there are lots of things he still wants to do with his life.  Genius.

You can say a lot of things about my dad but you could never say he wasn’t a hard worker and a dedicated employee.   He is the true definition of giving 200% to a task.  I know he is very well-respected by his colleagues.  He is a problem solver.  He is a leader.  He is a teacher.  His kids think he’s pretty awesome too!

This picture is an oldie.  Taken from an old employer.

My dad does woodworking as a hobby too.  He’s meticulous and accurate and he’s taught me a thing or two about working in the shop!  Even as an adult I get very excited when dad and I are working on a project together.  I cherish those times that he’s teaching me something.

For a good part of my life, dad has had a boat.  He comes from Nova Scotia so being on the water is second nature to him.    I decided to use a nautical theme for his retirement/birthday party cupcakes.

Thank you dad for teaching me the value of hard work and dedication.   You are one of the most influential people in my life.  I hope you enjoyed your party!

These are Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  The fondant is Homemade Marshmallow Fondant that I made here.  I did add some Gum-Tex to the fondant before working with it because I wanted the decorations to dry harder than they normally do.  Fondant is so easy to work with and colour.  You just need the imagination!  Give yourself lots of time however, as I made these a week in advance so they would have lots of time to set up.

Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe to come shortly!!

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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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Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Rum and Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Phew!  That is a mouthful!  But worth every last syllable I guarantee you.

This is actually a recipe for a bundt cake that I found a few years ago.  And I have made it as a bundt cake with some Rum Syrup brushed on top many times and it is fantastic!  Today we are going to a BBQ so I opted to make these as cupcakes and add my favourite Swiss Meringue Buttercream, using the Rum Syrup as flavouring.

I love fall baking.  I know that it’s still technically summer, but markets are starting to display beautiful little pie pumpkins just shouting my name.  Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin dessert (my mom makes the best pumpkin pie hands down).  I roasted a few pumpkins the other day to use for this recipe and froze the rest for later use.

Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes

  • 3/4 chopped pecans
  •  1-2/3 cups packed brown sugar
  •  1/4 cup softened butter
  •  3 eggs , room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  •  2 cups roasted pumpkin purée
  •  2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  •  1-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  •  1 tsp baking soda
  •  1 tsp ground ginger
  •  3/4 tsp salt
  •  1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  •  1/4 tsp ground allspice

 

Syrup

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

Line 2 muffin tins with liners or grease and flour a  10″ bundt pan.

1.  On baking sheet, toast pecans in 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes; let cool.

2.  In small bowl, stir pecans with 2 tbsp of the brown sugar and sprinkle over the bottom of each cupcake liner (about 1/2 tsp).  Or, if using a bundt pan sprinkle around the bottom of greased and floured 10″ pan.

3.  In large bowl, beat remaining sugar with butter and beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in oil until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin until
smooth.

4.  In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt, nutmeg and allspice; stir into egg mixture, just until mixed.   Fill liners or pan.

5.  Bake in 350°F oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 24 minutes for cupcakes and 50 minutes for bundt cake.   I removed cupcakes immediately to a rack to cool.  Let bundt cool on rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to rack.

Syrup: In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.   Stir in sugar and 3 tbsp water.  Boil until dissolved and thickened,
about 3 minutes. Stir in rum and boil for 1 minute. Brush over cakes.  * I brushed some syrup on top of the cupcakes as they were cooling and used the rest in my buttercream.

Rum and Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites

pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup rum syrup (above)

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 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.

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 rum syrup (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Garnish with toasted pecans.

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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches and a Birthday (or two!)

Yesterday my boys turned 11.  Hard to believe that 11 years ago they were so tiny (just a little over 4 pounds when we brought them home!) and now I wear their shoes when I need to go outside for a quick second.  They are both very different personalities (one’s neat and tidy and one’s a whirling dervish!) but also so similar in some ways.  Both have a great sense of humour and both are sporty social guys who are really loyal to their friends.  They’re good boys.   I can’t really take credit because I think they were just born that way…perfect to me.

I have to say though, something happened, maybe ‘in utero’ as they say….

I don’t know what I did….

I don’t know how it happened…I question it all the time…..

My boys don’t really like cake.  They don’t really have a sweet tooth which probably in the long-term is fantastic for them, however for me it continues to be a puzzle.

So, for birthday dessert one of my sons requested Homemade Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches.  Pretty easy to do, but a little tough to decorate with candles….

I found the recipe in Chatelaine Magazine and have made it many times over the summer.   There are so many options for flavours!  The sandwich part is a brownie baked on a cookie sheet.  Easy easy!  And so rich and yummy.

I did make some cupcakes too (I can’t help myself…) just for blowing out candles.  Some were a yummy Milk Dud flavour and some were Devils Food Chocolate with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream which I’ll be sure to share in a later post!

Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches

  • 84 g  unsweetened chocolate, about 3 squares,  coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 tsp  vanilla
  • 2   eggs
  • 1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2 L  vanilla ice cream or flavour of choice, in rectangular box

Preheat oven to 350°.

1.  Oil a rimmed baking sheet measuring about 11 × 17 in., then line with parchment paper. Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium until chocolate is almost melted, about 2 min. Stir halfway through.

2.  Stir sugar, salt and vanilla into warm chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in flour just until mixed. Scrape onto prepared sheet. Spread batter over parchment using an offset spatula to create a smooth, even, very thin layer.

3.  Bake in centre of oven until brownie appears shiny and is firm but slightly undercooked, about 8 min. Remove from oven and cool in pan, about 30 min. Run a knife along edges of pan. Cut brownie in half, making two long rectangles. Place pan in the freezer for 5 min. Remove from freezer. Gently lift brownie and, using scissors, cut the parchment, separating the rectangles.

4.  Place 1 brownie top-side down on a cutting board. Peel off parchment. Open box of ice cream. Slice off 5 1-in. slices and arrange on top of brownie on board until it’s completely covered. Peel parchment from bottom of remaining brownie and place on top of ice cream. Pat down firmly. With a sharp knife, score top of brownie into 16 rectangular pieces.

Freeze for at least 3 hours, until very firm. Remove from freezer and, using a serrated knife, cut into 16 sandwiches, using the scored lines as a guide. Individually wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap. Sandwiches will keep well in the freezer up to 1 month.

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Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Fig Sauce

The best thing about a cupcake is that it is the perfect little portable dessert.  Generally no utensil required!  However, I recently saw an episode of Cupcake Wars (remember this one?), and really wanted to try the recipe for Brown Sugar Fig Sauce.   These were oooey gooey, lick your fingers, use a spoon kind of cupcakes.  On the show, they were presented upside down with the sauce spooned on top, but I didn’t get that fancy.

I love figs.  Dried figs are a great little snack and full of fibre and calcium….  (These are the things I repeatedly tell myself when I eat 3 cupcakes in a sitting)

Oh, and I think they symbolize peace too.

Hmmm, I always thought chocolate was the symbol for peace?  Weird.

The fig sauce was amazing.  I was sadly eating it by the spoonful.  The cake itself had a lovely hint of orange flavour and they were so moist!  Even a few days later, still very moist!   The icing is a simple cream cheese icing.  The actual recipe calls for a similar frosting made with goat cheese which looks just as yummy.

The left over fig sauce (if you have some) would be delish on some vanilla ice cream.

The Absurdist Cupcake

*Cupcake Wars 

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Brown Sugar Fig Sauce, recipe follows

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 18 to 19 cupcake liners.

1.  Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a medium bowl.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the eggs, orange juice, butter, and vegetable oil on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Finish mixing by hand just until combined.

2.  Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.

Brown Sugar Fig Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 black figs, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1.  In a medium saucepan, bring the brown sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the figs, butter, and orange zest, and heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 250 g cream cheese – cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1.  Cream the butter and powdered sugar.  Add the vanilla and cream cheese in large pieces and beat just until combined (do not over beat).

Note: adding the cream cheese cold makes the icing thicker and easier to pipe onto cakes.

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Chocolate Tiramisu Cupcakes

Company’s coming!  Today my sister-in-law is coming with her boys for dinner and a swim.  I am sooo looking forward to some adult company this afternoon!  Now that summer is here our house is constantly full of kids and I have become a full time lifeguard in our pool (not that I’m complaining about sitting poolside all day long…)!  So we’ve made a lovely summer BBQ dinner and of course a decadent dessert.  These are Chocolate Tiramisu Cupcakes.  Boozy Kahlua cupcakes topped with mascarpone cheese and whipped cream…hello!  Screaming your name yet??

Ok, so here’s what I did…these are actually a recipe from Pampered Chef.  They use mini cakes for theirs, but me?  Go big or go home that’s what I say.  I did not use a cake mix, I made this decadent dark chocolate cake from Sweetapolita (who I LOVE and am secretly obssessed with), then I topped it with a mascarpone cheese mixture and whipped cream on top of that.  Okay, I must confess, I cheated on the whipped cream and went and bought some (gasp!).  Next time however, I would whip my own as it would probably be more stable and last longer.  I literally had to top one with the mascarpone and cream and then take pictures as the whipped cream was melting.  This isn’t a dessert you could throw on a picnic table and leave (it wouldn’t last that long anyway).

Make the cupcakes and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Then, brush (LIBERALLY I say…) with some Kahlua or coffee liqueur.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely.  Top with mascarpone mixture and then whipped cream.  Sprinkle some cocoa on top.

Here’s the mascarpone mixture:

  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Mix thoroughly and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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Cupcake Giveaway Today!

I have only just begun to wrap my head around this blogging world and already so many opportunities have come my way.  I’m really excited about the things that are happening and will share soon, I promise!  Today is a busy day in our house- we are baking and shooting cupcakes for a new site that is going to launch really soon!   Yay!  As my way of saying thank you to all of my faithful subscribers and readers, I am giving away some of the goodies that were made this morning.  The catch is….you must live in my area and you need to pick them up (unless you’re REALLY stuck, I may be convinced to help out :)).  Even better, why not give them away to someone who may need a warm fuzzy today?  How about someone who is celebrating something?   It’s your choice!  Here is what’s up for grabs….

Strawberry Buttercream Cupcakes made with ‘just picked’ farm fresh berries.

and….

PB and J Buttercream Cupcakes

You guessed it, vanilla cakes with raspberry jam centers and peanut butter buttercream frosting.  These are very sweet and it’s really the icing that makes the cake here.

All you need to do is contact me (here!)  First 3 people get the goods!

SweetRevelations is located in the Woodstock, ON Area.

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Baby Shower Cupcakes

School is quickly coming to an end and it’s almost time for summer break (insert happy dance here!). Classes are winding down and this week and next week my children all have class parties. My sons class is having a potluck lunch today as a celebration for his teacher who will be having a baby in a few weeks time. So, up early to make and frost cupcakes. Pink and blue for the baby to be with cute little toppers. There are so many free printables online that can be used as toppers too. Blessings to the new mommy and baby!

These are just simple vanilla cupcakes with creamy Vanilla Meringue Buttercream.   The recipe can look intimidating, but it’s not, and sooo worth the extra effort.  This is very light and creamy and not super sweet.   I make Nick Malgieri’s version and I wouldn’t change a thing (check out his book on my homepage).

Meringue Buttercream

4 large egg whites

pinch of kosher salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

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.

Below, just out of the oven, the sun is shining through the window as they are cooling!

Making the cupcake toppers are so easy.  Many templates on line, look here and here.  Just print onto cardstock and attach a sandwich pick on the back.

These look so yummy…luckily there was one left over (couldn’t fit in the box!), so I got to eat one for breakfast…..

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Blueberry Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

I admit, I’ve become a little cupcake obssessed lately.  There are so many flavour combinations to choose from and it’s a perfectly wrapped little treat for someone!  Yum!

Friday is usually our “meeting” day at work and I offered to bring snacks this time.   Since we meet fairly early, I wanted to find something that was deliciously sweet but also could be considered breakfast-y so people would eat it (really, our group of ladies need NO arm twisting!).  How does Blueberry Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream sound?  Let me tell you, delish.  Think blueberry pancakes with pure maple syrup.  The buttercream icing is so fabulous, easily one of my favs.   Who would not want to start the day this way??

First, make my Vanilla Cupcake Recipe and add a 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries to the mix.  Bake as directed.

*this recipe is adapted from Yumology

When the cupcakes came out of the oven, I poked a hole in the center of each one with a toothpick and poured just a few drops of pure maple syrup on top.  I spread it around with the back of a spoon and as the cupcakes were cooling it was absorbed into the cakes.

Frost with Martha Stewarts Maple Buttercream

3 large egg yolks

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

1.  In a stand mixer, whisk eggs on high speed for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, place maple syrup in a small pan and boil over medium heat until syrup reaches 240 degrees (10 minutes).  While mixer is running, slowly pour the hot maple syrup down the side of the bowl into the eggs (do not pour directly on the whisk attachment!).  Continue beating mixture for about 4 minutes or until mixing bowl is warm to the touch.  Add butter, one piece at a time and beat until fluffy (5 minutes).  Use immediately.

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