Tag Archives: frosting

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

 

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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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Valentine Cake Pops

This morning I had to make some mini chocolate cupcakes for an event.  I had a few dozen left over, that I usually leave un-iced for a lunch box treat.

On a whim, I thought, what if I use my left over minis and give Cake Pops a whirl?

I have really good whims sometimes…..

Cake Pops are the infamous creation of Bakerella.  She’s had an amazing year and has captured the world over with her Cake Pop creations.

I gotta say, she’s a pretty smart lady, cause these taste really good and look awesome.

These were fun and so incredibly easy.  And, they fit right in with my promise of Valentine’s Day posts for the next few weeks.

Wouldn’t these be great at a class party?  A girl’s night out?  Wrapped up with a sweet saying and some ribbon?

Lovely.

The um, unfortunate part is that I can’t actually give you a recipe.  I can only tell you what I did.

I took about 12 left over cooled mini chocolate cupcakes and crumbled them up in a bowl.  Then I used approximately 3 tablespoons of left over chocolate icing and mixed that all together until I had a nice dough ball.  I rolled them up and put them on parchment and in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up a bit.

Next, I melted some chocolate and dipped my candy sticks into it and then into the cake ball.  I left them in the fridge for a good hour to get nice and firm.

See?

I used Candy Melts to dip my cake balls when they were firm.  Keep some in the fridge while you are working so they are nice and cold when you need them.

Decorate with sprinkles, sparkles, jimmies, coloured Candy Melts, whatever you have on hand!  I found these super cute printables from Mommy By Day…Crafter By Night  and attached them to my candy sticks.

If you want a full recipe, that will yield 48 or more…look here.

I hope you give these a whirl when you have left over cake!

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Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Nutmeg Frosting and A Lesson

The Holiday Season is fast approaching and SweetRevelations has been busy busy!  I’m really excited to share that we will be featured in a new Magazine called Elegant Impressions.  It’s based out of New York, the launch date is January 2012 and word has it our Chocolate Roses are on the front cover!!   What an amazing way for us to start the new year.  Blogging has opened so many doors for us in 2011 and I can only wait with anticipation for what 2012 has to offer!

All that aside, I learned a valuable lesson this morning!  I always bake my goodies really early in the morning and I do all of my prep the night before.  I always (as I’m sure many bakers do) leave out extra butter and extra eggs, just in case.   Phew!  Good thing because this morning I woke up super early to pop some gingerbread cupcakes in the oven.  A huge surprise when I opened the oven door and my cakes had fallen really badly.  Like not presentable badly.  It was a new recipe and I didn’t have time to make it again.  So, thank goodness for the extra eggs and butter at room temperature, I did a quick mix of some Apple Spiced Cupcakes and I was good to go.  This is a new recipe that I tried from My Cake School and they are really yummy eaten without icing too!

Topped off with some Cinnamon Nutmeg Swiss Meringue Buttercream, royal icing decorations and some fondant (recipe here)  snowman these are pretty darn cute.   The royal icing tree’s are made out of many different snowflakes I made a few nights before.  So simple to make, but so delicate, make double what you need as they will break!

I do BELIEVE in the magic of the season…don’t you?

What a great display for the dessert table during the holidays.  Many thanks to The Celebration Shoppe for being so speedy in sending me the BELIEVE Cupcake Printables.  I love them.

Spiced Apple Cupcakes

*My Cake School Recipe

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2c. canola oil
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 3 c.  bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 c. grated apple
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line muffin tins.

1.   In a small bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter until light and fluffy.  Add oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.  Then, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.  Mix in the apples, nuts and lemon.

2.  Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 22 minutes or until cake tester inserted comes out clean.  Immediately cool on wire racks.

5.  Pipe with Cinnamon Nutmeg Swiss Meringue Buttercream and garnish with a snowflake!

Cinnamon Nutmeg 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
  • cinnamon and nutmeg 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 cinnamon and nutmeg (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Royal Icing for Snowflakes

*there are many templates for snowflakes on-line

  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 7 tbsp warm water
  • 4 tbsp meringue powder

1.  Beat all ingredients until stiff peaks form.  Icing should be thick but still easy to pipe.  I used a Wilton #3  round tip and piped them on to parchment paper.  They need at least 24 hours to dry.  Dust with pearl dust if desired.

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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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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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Garden Party Cupcakes

Today I met up with some girls from work for lunch.  In just a few weeks summer will be over and we’ll be back to our jobs at school!  I offered to bring dessert (of course) and as if my co workers haven’t had enough of my cupcakes, I brought some!

Pretty ones this time (well, I think they’re all pretty…).  Perfect for a garden party!  Treats for a nice bunch of ladies who deserve a bouquet of summer flowers every now and then.

I think these would be welcome at any gathering.  How about a rose or two?

Do you have a picture of cupcakes fit for a garden party?  I would love to see it!

I must say that as good as they looked, they tasted even better.  Blueberry Cakes with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting.    A very moist cake, bursting with fresh local blueberries and a tangy, creamy frosting.  I am a die-hard fan of Swiss Meringue Buttercream.   I rarely make any other kind of frosting.  Nothing compares to the creamy, light texture and sweet taste.  It’s what takes cake to a gourmet level!

Blueberry Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups vanilla sugar, regular white sugar is fine too

4 eggs, room temperature

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350° and line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and well combined (2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg until well incorporated.  Beat in lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and alternate with the milk and vanilla.   Mix the last addition of flour until the ingredients are well incorporated but do not over mix!  Gently fold in blueberries.

3.  Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

from Martha Stewart

5  large egg whites

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 tsp lemon 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 lemon extract and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

I use a 1M Wilton tip for icing swirls.

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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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