Tag Archives: icing

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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Glazed Yeast Doughnuts

There are few desserts that I can eat 7 or 8 of in one sitting.

Seven cupcakes?  I’d do my best, but nah…

Eight scoops of ice cream?  Nope…

Seven pieces of pie?  No way!!

Seven or eight warm homemade glazed doughnuts?

*Gulp*  Ten.  Easily.

donut2

No kidding.  These are a sweet, light, fluffy, circle of joy.  Warm out of the fryer and then dipped in a vanilla or chocolate glaze.    Gets me every time.    I make a large batch for the family to enjoy and then immediately box up the rest to give away.  You can’t keep this stuff just lying around.

It’s lethal.

donut5

This is a perfect Sunday morning activity to do with the whole family.   We fried some with holes and some without.  No filling needed.

We dipped.

We double dipped.

We, errr… triple dipped too.

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See the pink ones below?  Just a dab of coloured gel in the your glaze.  Easy peasy.

donut6

Do you share my love of the doughnut?  I can’t wait to hear about it!!

Glazed Yeast Doughnut

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pkg (8 grams) – instant yeast, quick rise
  •  3 tbsp honey (I use creamed honey)
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated to 115 degrees
  • 3 egg yolks
  • enough oil for frying

1.  Mix cake flour, salt, yeast, honey and shortening in a large bowl.   Slowly add the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.  Add one cup of the all-purpose flour and the egg yolks.  Add another cup of all-purpose flour and mix just until combined.  The dough will be sticky.  Dump the dough onto a counter and knead for 8 minutes adding just enough flour to allow you to knead without it sticking to the counter (add as little as possible).    The dough ball will be very soft and moist.

2.  Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (overnight is good too!!).

3.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface (to about 1/2″ thickness).  Cut out with a doughnut cutter or use a biscuit cutter.  I used a 2″ biscuit cutter and an icing tip for the hole.

4.  Let doughnuts rise on a flour dusted parchment lined baking sheet (cover them up with a towel!).  Once doubled in size (about 1/2 an hour), they are ready to fry in oil heated to 350 degrees!  Fry on each side for approx.     1 1/2 minutes per side.  No more!  Drain on a wire rack over a baking sheet.

Glaze while still warm.

Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 tbsp warm milk – just enough to make the glaze pouring consistency

1.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl and dip the warm doughnuts in.

*for the chocolate, I used the same glaze above but added 3-4 tbsp of dark cocoa powder

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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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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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Dark Chocolate Ruffle Cake

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve received many “where are you??” e-mails from my fellow bakers.  No worries, just a little hiatus with the family!  We were camping for the week.  And while we were away a couple of things happened.  First, it was my birthday, and bless everyone who came out to visit me!  These people know me sooo well….everyone who came, brought me some form of dessert or another.  Believe me, when you’re camping a piece of cake or some homemade ice cream is heavenly.

Second, there was a raspberry farm just down the road.  And I obsessed about those darn berries all week long.  I made my poor hubby drive there on the way home (trailer attached!) to get some.   They don’t get any fresher than that!  There is nothing more lovely than Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream on a rich dark chocolate cake.   I could bathe in the icing.  It’s just that good.

I wanted to show off my new cake plate too.  From my friend Tara, who gave me two beautiful cake plates.  Just because.  She is just that kind of person.  Period.  And I love her for it.

Dark Chocolate Cake

*recipe is from Sweetapolita with a few additions of my own

First, grease and flour two 9″ cake pans.   Heat oven to 350°

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark good quality cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup strong, hot black coffee

1 cup Callebaut Bittersweet Chocolate wafers

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1.  In a small bowl mix cocoa, hot coffee and chocolate wafers until smooth.  Refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.  In bowl of electric mixer, sift all remaining dry ingredients. Slowly add the eggs, milk, vanilla, oil and chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients.  With paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed and pour into prepared pans.

2.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs.  Cool on wire racks in pans for 20 minutes then unmold cakes onto racks until completely cool.

Raspberry Meringue Buttercream

Make the Meringue Buttercream that I posted here, but double it.  I added approx 3/4 cup of whole fresh raspberries (very slowly and only a few at a time).  I would add even more next time because the flavour wasn’t as strong as I would have liked.  Don’t worry if your buttercream appears soupy after adding the berries, just whip whip whip and it will come back….I promise!  You could also add some raspberry flavouring if you want a plain white icing.

I used tip #104 for the ruffle but you could use any design you fancy!

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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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Eat, Drink And Be….Showered!

A few weeks ago I went to my friends wedding shower.  Beautifully done!  No games, open house style with yummy food and pretty decorations.  Everyone got to spend a few minutes alone with the bride-to-be.  Of course I eyed up the dessert table which looked so000 pretty with different flavours of fancy cupcakes (and you can bet I ate every kind).   And, as we were leaving we were given these cute little thank you boxes filled with mint smoothies….mine didn’t even make it out of the parking lot!  Yum!  What a nice day.  Blessings to you my friend.

My Vanilla Cupcakes with buttercream frosting and white chocolate (coloured of course!) hearts.

Mmmm buttercream frosting again with fresh fruit.  Perfect for a summer BBQ!

Vanilla Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups vanilla sugar, regular white sugar is fine too

4 eggs, room temperature

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

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.  Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at at 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!

3.  Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

And now I must seriously go and eat some fruit….and not some on top of a cupcake!  I have had 3 cupcakes so far!

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