Tag Archives: swiss meringue

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

Spring Cupcakes and a Symbol of Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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

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

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

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

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Homemade Hazelnut Irish Cream

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

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

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

Or in a Hazelnut Irish Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream.

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

Do you see a theme here?

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

Tell me your favourite way to use Irish Cream.

Homemade Hazelnut Irish Cream Liquor

*adapted from allrecipes.com

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

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

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Filed under Cup Cakes, Extra Special, Ice Cream

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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