First things first. Its been a while since my last post. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know!! And that means its been a few weeks since I participated in Tuesdays with Dorie. Things are busy here! Colby has had quite a few doctors appointments. After his MRI, we found out he has a brain lesion which may be causing his epilepsy. This is kind of big news. It could finally give us a cause. Which would be HUGE! Various tests will have to be preformed to determine if it is the lesion causing his seizures, but these tests will require he be admitted to Children’s. Some genetic testing is going to be done first, and we will wait for that to come back. Other big news, Colby has been seizure free for a week, as far as we can tell. SEIZURE FREE! Hopefully the medicines continue to do their job for now.
Okay next, in a twist of fate, a coffee shop that catered the wedding I baked for back in April asked to sell my cupcakes once a week. Small orders, but its still very cool to me. These are the cupcakes I made today for them.
White cake recipe is from the lovely Peabody. Vanilla Frosting by me. If anyone wants the recipe, comment and I will type it out. Yes, I am lazy. Don’t judge me.
Hoping to hop back on the TWD bandwagon soon. I miss it!
HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY TUESDAYS WITH DORIE!
Wow. Just WOW! I cannot belive it has been 2 years. Did I ever in my wildest dreams think I would still be doing this into 2010? No. No way. Did I think that so many people would want to do it with me? No. Never. Do I like to ask myself questions? Apparently. I am so very excited that this bright idea took off in such a big, big way. I am even more excited that we are going to forge ahead. There are so many recipes left and I can’t wait to bake and taste each one. And share it with all of you. And once again, thank you, thank you, thank you Dorie. I couldn’t have picked a nicer author to create an army of stalkers for. MUAH!
Now, on to business. For TWDs 2nd Anniversary, I decided to let the members choose the recipe we would celebrate with. Of course, I put my 2 cents in. But, Tarte Tatin won by quite a bit. Dammit. Since I am a sore loser, I decided we would have 2 recipes that everyone could choose from. Neener neener neener. My vote went to Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake. Let me break it down, when I think of a party, Anniversary, birthday, celebration, I think cake. I just do. I do not think upside down apple tarte. No offense.! I quite enjoyed the tarte tatin. But, its all about cake for me.
I decided to make pastry cream to fill the layer cake. I made espresso-frangelico pastry cream, following the instructions in BFMHTY. It came out perfect. Then, I moved on to the cake. After I had it ready for cake pans, in a moment of weakness, I lined cupcake papers and scooped the batter into those. Hey, I can give away cupcakes. Its a lot harder to hack off pieces of a layer cake to dole out. To top the cupcakes, I chose chocolate cream cheese frosting. To thin it, I added heavy cream and then whipped it. Oh my. SO GOOD! I wanted to just eat the frosting. The cupcake as a whole is by far the best cupcake I have ever made. Ever. And you guys know me. I have eaten my fair share of cupcakes. (Shout out to Cupcake Hero!) This combo was perfect. I will definitely make them again.
On to the Tarte Tatin. I wanted to make my own puff pastry, but quickly zooming down the freezer section, I snagged some premade. Next time, I will try to make my own. Its something I definitely want to do. The tarte looked perfect, or so I thought, when it went in the oven. When it came out, and I flipped it. It was a runny mess and the apples were too pale for me. It just did not match the picture in the book. This meant I didnt cook the caramel/apples on the stove top long enough before putting it in the oven. I don’t think it affected the taste of the tarte too badly. We ate it up with a touch of whipped cream on the slices. I know next time to cook the caramel a lot darker. My worry of burning it bit me in the rear.
If you would like the recipe for the Tarte Tatin, click here.
Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake
FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MALT BUTTERCREAM: (not the frosting pictured)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
GETTING READY TO BAKE:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then the yolks one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); mix only until each new batch is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and, if you want, add the melted chocolate, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (Once the layers are cooled, they can be wrapped airtight and left at room temperature overnight or kept frozen for up to 2 months.)
TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM:
Melt the chocolate with half the brown sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the malt powder and cocoa together in a small bowl, pour over 3 tablespoons of the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Whisking the melted chocolate gently, gradually pour in the hot malt-cocoa mixture and stir to blend–it should be dark, smooth and glossy; set aside.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining brown sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more, until well blended. Beat in the salt and vanilla extract, then reduce the mixer speed to low. Scrape in the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Still working on low speed, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. When all the sugar is in, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for a couple minutes. Lower the speed and add the remaining tablespoons of boiling water, then increase the speed and give the frosting another quick spin. It will be light and should be thick enough to use immediately. If it doesn’t hold its shape, beat in just a bit more.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
Place one layer top side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Frost the top of the layer, then cover with the second layer, top side down. Frost the sides and top of the cake, either smoothing the buttercream for sleek look or using a spatula, knife or spoon to swirl it for a more exuberant look.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day, if that’s more convenient) to set the frosting, then bring it to room temperature before serving.
Whipped Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (frosting pictured here)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (about)
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
Cream the cream cheese and butter until fully incorporated and smooth. Add the cocoa powder, mix to combine. Add the powdered sugar until desired sweetness and consistency is reached. Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream, whip until light. (I added a 2nd tablespoon of heavy cream to make the frosting really light.) Frost cooled cupcakes. Yields enough to lightly frost 24 cupcakes.
Link to the pastry cream I used, click here. I added 1 tablespoon frangelico and 1 tablespoon very strong espresso to this pastry cream.
As always, go check out the TWD blogroll for all the tasty goodness you can stand.
It seems weird to even this Cupcake Hero entry. I have entered lots of times.. in my dreams.. Literally, I have tons of dreams about cupcakes. Its a definite sickness. Normally, I name the theme, then think of tons of entries in my head. Never executing any of them because at the end of every month, I have to execute other peoples cupcake masterpieces.
So, here I am on my Cupcake Free Summer and yes, I am baking cupcakes. I should be shot. Really, I just wanted to show my support to my good friends CB and Nikki. (I wanted to participate in June too, but I dont like cantaloupe, so sorry April, love you too babe!)
Red, white and blue posed to be harder than I originally thought. I didnt want to do berries, because I knew that they would be used by the masses. Knowing that, whats left? Whats blue? It took me a while to come up with an idea. In the end, I went with white cake cupcakes for the white part. Cherry Jello for the red part. And marshmallow frosting tinted blue for the blue part. Then, I topped them with blue raspberry sugar and sour cherry balls. The light was fading fast on me for the pictures, and I wasnt sure how marshmallow frosting would hold up in the fridge. I took the pictures fast and called it a day.
The white cake recipe came from my Better Homes and Gardens. I think any white cake recipe would do it justice. Its really not about the cake anyway. The jello totally takes over. The jello aspect of it can be found here. And the marshmallow frosting recipe came from Baking: From My Home to Yours.
This month’s DB Challenge is a Dorie! And you all know how I feel about Dorie. This would have been a double Dorie week for me, had I made the Caramel-Topped Flan. Alas, I did not. (Again, Sorry Steph!) I will also admit, I almost bailed on this DB Challenge. I’ll come totally clean, because we are friends, right? Right? I am sad to say, I am far too busy when it comes to blogging events. Sometimes it feels like a job. Ewwww. Something has to give. Seriously. Something has to give. I have a feeling that something may be DB. Why? Because, the other 2 blogging events that keep me hopping are both managed by me. (And my helpful friends of course. Chelle, TW, Joy, Nikki and CB, dont think I wouldn’t give you some cred.) Its beyond difficult to hide from your own events. I know, I know, poor me, whatev, I’ll shut my complaining trap. More on this later…
This month’s Daring Bakers Challenge is the Perfect Party Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. My fav baking cookbook, of course. My good friend Chelle talked me into doing this challenge for her birthday. It was actually her real birthday when we made the cakes. I ended up having to halve the recipe because of a lack of eggs when I set forth to bake this cake. That left me in a pickle because I didn’t have a pan the size I needed to make a mini layer cake. I decided I would make due with cupcakes and layer those, shortcake style.
The recipe is easy to follow. Directions are great. I decided to take the cake in an orange direction rather than lemon. Only reasoning behind that was that I had an orange on hand, and no lemon. So orange it was! The cake was lovely. Very orangy, light, spongy, just delightful. I will totally make the cake again. For the buttercream, see the above note on lack of eggs. Le sigh. I ended up making regular buttercream, adding orange zest to flavor it and then using the raspberry jam as the fruity portion. The cakes came together easily, albeit messy to eat. Overall, I want to try it again with the buttercream recipe in the book. My regular buttercream was entirely too sweet for the cake. It was overpowering. I think I am plain over regular buttercream. Its just to sweet for me now. I never thought I would say that! Luckily, I will have the chance to try this recipe again when some lovely Tuesdays with Dorie member picks it as the recipe of the week. Can’t wait to give it another go!
Thanks to Morven for picking a lovely cake. You can find the recipe by clicking over to her blog. Thanks to DB, as always. You ladies rock for keeping this massive group in line!
I was a very lucky gal 2 days ago. Multiple packages came in the mail. I will blog about all of them, don’t fret. Right now though, let’s talk about the kickass cupcakes I baked up last night. I had been wracking my brain all day what I wanted to bake. What can I bake with cocoa powder that will really highlight the cocoa? I have cocoa from Askinosie and really want to show off this awesome cocoa powder! The sheer smell of it made me want to scoop it up with a spoon. However, I knew that would be bad news. So, brownies, pound cake, cupcakes, whoopie pies?? All of the choices were good, but I finally settled on the obvious, chocolate cupcakes. The recipe is easy as hell. It doesnt even use the KA. I mixed it all in a sauce pan. WOOT! I am all about minimal mess. Because I really do make one hell of a mess when baking. Its a definite flaw of mine.
The cupcakes were whipped up and in the oven in no time. I was looking for something a little tangier. I decided to scour the internet highway for a Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting. Nothing was really found. There are tons of white chocolate cream cheese frosting recipes, but that is not what I wanted. Welp, I just had to make it myself. Thats fine and dandy.
I used cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and the wicked Askinosie cocoa powder. Now, I am going to admit I slacked a little. I should have sifted my cocoa powder before putting it into the frosting. I did not. In my defense, it was later at night, I had tons of things to do, because company is coming today and I was baking cupcakes instead of doing said tons of things. Corners were cut, but it did not effect the outcome of the cupcakes. The frosting, even with the nicely speckled, cocoa powdered frosting, tasted asbolutely fantastic. It may be my new fav chocolate frosting recipe. (For today, Im fickle kids.)
Jaos dubbed these his new favorite cupcakes. That says something. Jaos hates everything. It takes a lot for him to even say something is good. He said these were his new favorite. That is an enormous compliment. Thank you Jaos, that totally made my evening. The cupcake itself was really moist. Surprisingly so. I am not sure if this was the addition of yogurt instead of buttermilk or not. But the cake was wicked good. The frosting, sweet, uber chocolatey and tangy at the same time. They are really very good. Its hard to impress me at this point too. I have had more than my fair share of cupcakes. (Thank you Cupcake Heroes!)
I want to thank Shawn at Askinosie for letting me give his cocoa a test drive. It is seriously awesome. You have to try it. I will not go back to Hershey’s. I WILL NOT! I just love Shawn’s story too. Please go check out his site. I love seeing people do what they truly love doing. It gives me hope!
This is the first of a couple Askinosie posts, I have more chocolate to bake with.
Adapted from Molly of Batter-Splattered
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or 1 teaspoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk (I used vanilla yogurt, and a very full 1/4 cup)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 10 paper cups. Stir 1/4 cup butter, coffee, 1/4 cup cocoa and vegetable oil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl until blended. Whisk in cocoa mixture. Whisk buttermilk, eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl until blended. Add to flour mixture and blend well. Spread batter in prepared cupcake pan.
Bake until tester inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Askinosie)
2 cups powdered sugar (about)
Cream the cream cheese and butter until fully incorporated and smooth. Add the cocoa powder, mix to combine. Add the powdered sugar until desired sweetness and consistency is reached. Frost cooled cupcakes.
I want to start by apologizing for my slackness with announcing the winner of Cupcake Hero: Project Baby. It certainly was not due to the lack of excitement I had about the event. It was because I am a total doofus. We forgot our camera at home on our trip to celebrate Colby’s 1st Birthday. Who does that? Who forgets their camera on a BIRTHDAY? I do, that’s who. I was scrambling to get photos from cell phones to post.
Without further ado, Colby on his 1st Birthday…
And Tub Time…
And the contenders for this event were….
Karen of Do Better baked what is a family tradition in their home, an Angel Food Cake Cupcake topped with Chocolate Frosting. Chocolate and 1st birthdays seem to go hand in hand. Its the best choice because its the messiest! Thanks Karen!
Michelle of Clever Cupcakes baked Funfetti Cupcakes with Grape Kool-Aid Frosting. I knew immediately the kids would love this. I mean, it has KID written all over it. Well done Michelle, well done.
For this challenge, I let my 5 year old son Liam choose. It was not shocking to me what he did. He said “Colby should have the Funfetti Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.” I said “Well, thats not an option.” He said “So what, your baking them, make it happen.” Such a smartass for being 5, eh? But, that’s just what I did. I made the Funfetti Cupcakes by Michelle with the Chocolate Frosting by Karen.
Michelle AND Karen, you WIN Baby Cupcake Hero!!!
However, since there were 4 entries, and I loved ALL your recipes and will totally make them for the boys, I am going to give prizes to all. I am unsure what still. But, you will all get something. Please send me your snail mail address to superslush AT gmail DOT com. Mystery prizes are the best anyway.
Thanks so much for sending your entries in. As you can see, Colby totally loved the cupcakes. Thank you for making his 1st Birthday extra special! xo
Where do I start? You guys came out and came out BIG! Last month, we had 24 entries. This month, with the theme of BOOZE, you showed up 45 strong. To say I am stunned is an understatement. Either you are all just alcoholics, or Cupcake Hero is reaching the masses. Either way, I’ll take it.
This was a big month for CH. Not only did we have the ever sarcastic Tempered Woman as our oh so cool co-host, but she came on as a Full-Time Cupcake Hero employee. I am still unsure how I managed to pull that off, but I did. I am pretty sure at some point she will beg me to quit. But, she’s in it for life baby! And not only did we add TW, but we added another Full-Time employee, as well. I will reveal who that is with the new theme for March…
On to the Liquory, Boozy, Hooched, Crunked, Drunken Cupcakes….
Let’s start with Alana of Artists in the Kitchen. She chose her favorite alcoholic beverage as her inspiration. Vanilla Nut Martini Cupcakes were born. They contain Frangelico and Vanilla Vodka in the cake and vanilla bean in the frosting. Alanna says they are “Oh My God” good. That’s a rave review if I have ever heard one. Thanks Alanna!
Allison of Cinnamon Love recovered from illness just in time for the CH deadline. Her Chocolate, Rum and Mango Cupcakes contain just that. Topped with whipped cream and mango slices, I think these cupcakes would be great in summer. Very refreshing. Thanks Allison! I am glad you are feeling better and can bake once more!
Sam of She’s So Suburban posted this entry for her friend Alissa. Their cupcakes are based off the popular King Cakes. These being King Cupcakes. They contain a Chambord and Lemon Liqueur filling. This is the first CH entry that I can think of that has contained yeast, awesome! I always love the unexpected. Great job Alissa, and thank you Sam!
Andrea of Born to Entertain baked up Banana Foster Cupcakes. OMG, Holy Moses just look at em. You all know I love anything banana. And we always have bananas 1 day from the gar-bage in my house. Great new recipe! The photo is lickable good too. Thanks Andrea!
Cara of The Picky Apple baked up Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes. Strawberry Margaritas are her favorite drink. I would have to agree, they go great with Tex-Mex! With Tequila and limeade concentrate in the frosting, they sound hella good. Jaos would love them, he adores strawberries. Thanks Cara!
Carla of Dessert Lounge made Kir Royale Cupcakes They contained sparkling wine and creme de cassis. Her recipe leaves more than a nip left for the chef, perfect! Baking and drinking go hand in hand. Okay, no they don’t really, but come on, the theme is liquor for godssakes. Thanks Carla!
Cassandra made Chocolate Hazelnut Kahlua Cupcakes. Kahlua in both the cake and the frosting. Ground hazelnuts in the cake. Yum and Yum. We love our coffee round these parts. Thanks Cassandra!
Cassie of How To Eat A Cupcake baked Chocolate Frangelico Cupcake with Nutella Swiss Merinuge Buttercream. Whew! As soon as I saw these, I knew I would love them. I have been a Nutella fan since my high school exchange student introduced me. Nutella can go on anything and make it 100 times better. Great recipe Cassie, thanks!
Charcuterista baked Guiness Cakelettes. I am a big fan of guiness in cupcakes. It makes them seriously good. Charcuterista was very sneaky and entered her cupcakes in CH as well as another cupcake event. Nothing like a good 2fer, eh? No matter, we do not discriminate round these parts. Thanks Charcuterista!
Clara of I Heart Cuppycakes baked up Red Wino and Chocolate Cupcakes. Clara came out of her comfort zone with this one, since she doesn’t really drink. I have been assured she did taste them though. Both she and her hubs gave them very good reviews. Chocolate covered strawberries always earn you bonus points too. Way to church it up CB! Thanks!
Gigi of Gigi Cakes baked up Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting. She totally cracked me up with her post. “They smelled so good that I was thinking this should be a car air freshener. You know, one of those of little trees you hang from the rear view mirror. If you find yourself in the mood for delicious cupcakes and in need of an air freshener for your car, then look no further.” Thanks Gigi!
Zebe of Life in a Nut Shell used her fav drink, White Russians as her muse for this cupcake. Her White Russian Cupcakes are a Kahlua Chip Cupcake with Cream Filling and Kahlua Chocolate Frosting. Look at that frosting, oh my they look good. I have always been a fan of white russians too. Then again, there isnt many drinks I will turn away. Thanks Zebe!
Ivy of The Bombshell Within baked Pina Colada Cupcakes. This was actually her second entry. Ivy pulled out all the stops for this round of boozy cupcakeness. These cupcakes have Dark Rum, pineapple and coconut. Mmmm. I love me some frozen pina coladas in the summer. Thanks Ivy!
This is Ivy’s first entry. Yes, I probably should have put them in correct order, but I’ve been drinking while writing this up, gimme a break. Crouching muffin, Drunken Cupcake was the title of this post. Very creative! They are Borracho Cupcakes flavored with Passoa. They look drunken indeed. Thanks again Ivy!
Joy of Joy the Baker baked Coffee Cupcakes with Butter Whipped Baileys Chocolate Ganache. Oh my, can you say YUM! As you all know, we love coffee. Coffee and cupcakes are an ideal combo for this household. Add liquor to the mix, and I’m a very happy camper. Joy’s photos are always stunning, too. Thanks so much Joy!
Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats baked Pina Colada Cupcakes. Judy cracks me up because she has baked more than once for Cupcake Hero, but then doesn’t enter if its not up to par. I keep insisting she enter all the creations she baked for CH! Look at these cupcakes, they are fantastic. I love that you put them under the broiler Judy. Thanks!
Kate from KBK Bakery made Kahlua Coffee Cupcakes. I have to say, I did not know kahlua was so popular until this month. Until Coffee CH, I do not believe I have ever bought it. You guys looove Kahlua! Which is fine by me, because it bakes up some very tasty cupcakes. These babies have Kahlua candies inside too. Man, that’s an awesome idea. Thanks Kate!
Kay of Kitchen Jouissance made Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes. I am all about food coloring, so I instantly fell in love with these cupcakes. Let alone that they contain tequila AND triple sec too. Kay was not messing around. Way to booze em up Kay! Thanks!
Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp made Vodka-Laced Mango Cupcakes. These cupcakes were made with a special edition of Absolut, Absolut New Orleans, a mango & black pepper flavored vodka. Kelly, I absolutely agree with you, everything is better with booze, especially dessert. Thanks!
Kitty of Boring History Girl made an entire cocktail party of cupcakes. Look at the picture, I am not joking. There are, Screwdrivers, and Daiquiris, Mango and Strawberry, Mojitos, Blue Hawaiians, Margaritas, B52s and Cowboy Cocksuckers. I’m drunk just reading about them. Good lord, I would like to attend Kitty’s house for a party. Her bar is stocked baby! Thanks Kitty!
KJ of A Cracking Good Egg made Raspberry Sherry Trifle Cupcakes. I love raspberries in anything, so I was super excited when I saw KJ’s creation. I think these would be great for a summer picnic, or family reunion. At least that’s what I am thinking. Desserts are always needed at the family shindigs, and come on, everyone could use a little nip to get through it, no? Thanks KJ!
Kristina of Crafty Precious baked Amaretto Sour Cupcakes. Her post was cute, entitled “An Experiment in Crunkcakes”. I adore the picture of the cupcake in the glass, too. Extremely creative Kristina. If you end up making Sex on the Beach cupcakes, please let me know. Thanks!
Liz of Food Snobbery is my Hobbery made Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Whiskey Buttercream and Chocolate Drizzle. I am so glad you found your ancient whiskey in the cabinet and threw it into a cupcake for CH! Jaos loved Butter Pecan, its his fav ice cream by far. Thanks Liz!
Lori of Cis4cupcake baked Blue Hawaiian Cupcakes. These island beauties have Blue Curacao in the batter, a pineapple curd filling and Blue Curacao Rum Frosting. Holy YUM! I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Hawaii in 2004, while Jaos was there on business. It was 14 glorious days in Waikiki. We had a total blast. I was 28 weeks pregnant, so there were no Blue Hawaiians for me. Nothing is stopping me now! Thanks Lori!
Luki of Sinfully Sweet made Black Russian Cupcakes. They contain Vodka, Sherry and Baileys. Whew! Luki called them, “Stuff I Had In My Liquor Cabinet… and That I Stole From My Mom’s House”. I love the scavenger approach to Cupcake Hero. Thanks for being such a trooper Luki, and for the very boozy cupcake, too!
Lysy of Munchkin Mail baked Queenie’s Chocolate Cupcakes spiked with Ginger Liquor. She then added more ginger to the buttercream for extra spice. They sound great Lysy, and I think your photos are great! Its always great to get tips from a pro. Thanks!
Mary of Shazam in the Kitchen baked Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes. Mary knew what she was doing. She knows both myself, and especially TW love red wine. Smart lady! The picture is stellar. Mary did not stop there.
Mary also made Pear Chardonnay Cupcakes. The brilliant lady she is, she realized not all women like red wine, some are white gals. I think adding pear to compliment the cake really brought them over the top. Thank you so much Mary, for both of your wino cupcakes! I love the picture of you and your Mom, too. Old photographs are the best.
Megan and Jennifer baked Vegan Mimosa Cupcakes, an Orange Cake with Champagne Frosting. I think I would enjoy that at any fancy brunch I attend. I hope they become mainstream. I think we are putting boozy cupcakes on the map, baby! Thanks Megan and Jennifer!
Michelle of Clever Cupcakes made Cuba Libre Cupcakes. I am going to quote her here, because I think she did a better job than I could do. “I would like to claim that I baked these cupcakes after Fidel Castro stepped down, but alas it is purely coincidence. One of my favourite drinks is a Cuba Libre. I suppose it may be because I only drink them at the beach on a Caribbean island, so you’ll have to picture the sound of the ocean when eating these cupcakes. Since Canada does not have a trade embargo with Cuba it is a very popular vacation destination for Canadians. Cuba Libre cocktails are a popular drink at all the resorts and consist of Coke, Rum, and Lime.” I think that says it all. Thanks Michelle!
Molly of Batter-Splattered made Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. Made with Guiness, I knew I would love them straight away. I am yet to taste a Guiness Cupcake that did not live up to expectations. I highly recommend that anyone who has not tried a Guiness Cupcake do so. Now. Thanks Molly!
Nava of A Madness baked Toblerone-Schnapps Cupcakes. The first time I had a Toblerone was after seeing that Friends episode where Rachel was toting one all over to bring back for Joey. I had never heard of them before that. They are def worth toting all over creation for. And adding Butterscotch Schnapps to the already great Toblerone is sheer genius. Thanks Nava!
Nikki of Crazy Delicious made Strawberry Filled Champagne Cupcakes. You see, Nikki wanted to out do her friend CB. Their constant bickering and teasing of one another is always fun to watch. I help out where I can. I have 5 brothers, and that’s how we operate too. I love good mockery. Back to the cupcakes, Jaos loves strawberries, I know these would be a total hit with him. Thanks Nikki!
Prissycook made Sangria Cupcakes. Just look at them. I mean, come on, who would not LOVE to scarf one of those down any time of day, any day of the week. There isn’t even a wrapper to slow you down. I like it. Beautiful cupcakes Prissycook! Thank you!
Rachel of Cooking and Booking baked Mint Julep Cupcakes. She says in her post that this was the first time she made her own cake recipe and the first time she had that much alcohol in her oven. Let me say I am honored on both accounts that Cupcake Hero brought you 2 firsts! That’s awesome! Thanks Rachel!
Sarah of Usually Muesli baked Muddy Landslide Cupcakes, which are Chocolate and Amaretto. Chocolate is always good in my book. I haven’t yet met a chocolate cake I wouldn’t eat. (Although that Gateau from TWD, a few weeks back, came clooose.) I love the dog chillin the back too. Just waiting for Mom to stop paying attention so he can sample them. Great photo Sarah! Thanks!
Sarah of What Smells So Good? baked Strawberry Cocktail Cupcakes. They have a touch of Grand Marnier and are a low fat, healthier cupcake. I thought that important to point out for any of you watching your weight. I host this contest, which means I bake a zillion cupcakes a month. Which means I probably do not fall into that category. Thank you Sarah!
Stefani of Cupcake Project baked Mimosa Cupcakes. She says, “…the mimosa cupcake batter was one of the best batters ever. It was one of those batters that almost seems a shame to bake because you just want to eat it all! After baking, the cake was still tasty. Phew! It hits you with a nice splash of orange flavor. One comment everyone had was that it was particularly dense. Some said it was almost like pound cake. I enjoy dense cakes. If you are of the light and fluffy (wimpy) cake camp, these may not be for you. The frosting on the other hand, was extremely light and had a nice, subtle champagne flavor.” I love the in depth review of her cupcakes. Fantastic! Thanks Stefani!
Steph of A Whisk and A Spoon baked Rum Punch Cupcakes. They are a Rum Vanilla Cupcake with Rum Syrup, An Orange Pineapple Custard Filling and Sweetened Whipped Cream Frosting. Steph always amazes me with her combinations, but she has out done herself here. These are amazing. The umbrella on top is sooo cute too. Thanks Steph!
Stephanie of Steph Chows made Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Amaretto Sauce. These are another in the healthier option category. Are you guys trying to tell me something? Has Jaos been posting pictures of my bum somewhere? Seriously though, they sound fabulous. Healthy is always the better option. Thank you Stephanie!
Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy baked Kir Royale Cupcakes. They have blueberries, raspberries, Cassis Syrup and Cream Cheese Frosting. Oh my! I have to say, I adore the little fondant flowers on top. They are beyond cute. They are gorgeous cupcakes Tammy! Thank you!
Thayer of I Like Cake made Banana Daiquiri Cupcakes. These cupcakes have Spiced Rum, Banana Pudding and Spiced Rum Cream Cheese Frosting. I am going to admit, I have never had a banana daiquiri. I am not usually a fru-fru drinker when I go out. I stick with beer or heavy liquor. But, if I were going to choose a fru-fru drink, this would be high on my list. And as a cupcake, forget about it. Its def on the top of my list. Thanks Thayer!
Tina of Sweet Designs baked Tiramisu Cupcakes. These will forever be a favorite of mine. Jaos and I love tiramisu and do not order it enough. I am glad I have several tiramisu cupcake recipes to utilize now. They look lovely on the cupcake stand, too. Thanks Tina!
Wendy of The Cupcakery baked Frangelico Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cupcakes with Hazelnut Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting . Just looking at them, I think I gained 10 pounds. Maybe I do need to start making the healthier cupcakes! You guys are trying to off me! I do not think I need to say anything more about this cupcake. That photo says it all. Thank you so much Wendy!
Now, for the winner…. This month was hella hard. I know I say that every month. With more entries, comes more competition, and more calories I have to consume to determine who is the Cupcake Hero. I am not sure if this is a blessing or a curse. I think I have created a monster. But, what a delicious monster she is.
If any of you read TW’s blog, you know she and I have kind of a back and forth of old school friends, sisters or close cousins. (I have no old school friends, sisters, or close cousins really, so I am guessing. Maybe I am way off and she is really just totally making fun of me all the time.) I am thankful I found TW, she always busts me up, a good bit of the time laughing to tears. In our back and forth, she has stated that, I will not be her friend unless she links to me from her blog once a week. I am unsure where this all came from. In an attempt to prove to her that my love is real, I am letting her post the Hero this month. You are forced to go read her, hopefully drunken, rantings on who The Cupcake Hero for February is…
This concludes my part of the Cupcake Hero: Liquor commentary. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your entries. You guys really made my month with them all.
Please excuse any typos, slurring, or complete nonsense, as this is the Liquor Hero, what else do you expect from me?
The New Cupcake Hero Theme for March will be named tomorrow. I think you will all love it. In fact, I know you will. Stay tuned for the latest Cupcake Hero Employee, too.
* If for some reason you do not see your cupcake entry here or on TW’s blog, please email me. We had quite a few that we plucked out of spam. Damn you Gmail! I will be sure to correct it ASAP.
**For those waiting on the Baby Cupcake Hero reveal, it will most likely be on Wednesday. My apologies to those who entered for my delay. We forgot our camera that day, and I have been trying to get pics from cell phones. Sorry! Its coming, I swear it!
The deal with Homegrown Gourmet is:
“Homegrown Gourmet was created by Bean’s Bistro to represent one’s home region: town, state, or area by featuring a local ingredient or a traditional dish or a creative twist on something from your region.”
I hail from Pennsylvania Dutch territory. And my Pop-Pop’s family is full blown PA Dutch. I immediately started googling the heck out of PA Dutch or Amish recipes for quick breads. It didnt take long before I thought I had found it. Shoe Fly Cupcakes! A cousin to the Shoe Fly Pie.. and said by my Grandma to be an actual recipe. I double checked with her to make sure it wasnt some wackadoo made up thing.
The recipe I tried today came from here. I ended up tweaking it a bit. Because after I mixed the flour, sugar, shortening together, I realized I only had 1/2 cup of molasses. So, I had to half the recipe. After I had it ready to go, the batter seemed way too thin to me. I ended up using 3/4 of the flour, sugar mixture anyway.
They dont look like much. And they fall under the no frosting cupcake. Which some would call a muffin. But as my Gram has told me many, many times. (She was a home-ec teacher for a gazillion years, so she knows everything.) “A muffin should crack on top, a cupcake should not.” These did not crack. Frosting or no frosting a little cake is a cupcake to me. I dont discriminate.
With that said, they taste even worse than they look. Awful. Not enough sugar. And the crumbs on top are so bland. I smothered the rest in butter to choke it down. And even sweet butter could not redeem them. I call my Gram to tell her how bad they are. She says to me “I dont really like them Laurie. My friend makes what they say are excellent Shoe Fly Cupcakes, but I think they taste flat. Its not like the pie, with that layer of molasses goo on the bottom to give it the extra sweetness.”
There you have it. Thats exactly it. They do taste flat. I dont think its the recipe, I think they may just be an acquired taste? Im on the prowl for another recipe. My Gram said she may have one in one of her cookbooks. Shoe Fly Cupcakes, Take 2 coming up soon. First, I need more molasses.
Cupcake Hero: Mint had more entries than any other month. Does that mean yall like mint? Or that you had holiday spirit? Maybe, you just wanted to bake. Whatever your reason for sending your cupcakery our way, We thank you! Ive said it before, and Ill say it again, You guys rock!
Natalie and I had a hell of a time, to say that we struggled picking a winner this month is an understatement. When all was said and done, much baking was done and many cupcakes sacrificed. I pulled opinions on the cupcakes from various sources. Kid tested, Mother approved as they say. (Lots of kids and several mothers.) So, sit back and enjoy the minty ride.
Lets start with Steph of A Whisk and A Spoon. Her Minty Chocolate Cupcakes are piled high with White Chocolate Whipped Ganache Frosting. They also have a chocolate mint pudding inside. I love the cake to frosting ratio here. I think my kids wish I would do that! My Gram used to pull out the Andes mints at holidays as well. They are damn tasty. Thanks Steph!
Jen of Beantown Baker received Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for Christmas. She decided to try it out for Cupcake Hero! She and her sister baked up Peppermint Vegan Cupcakes. They look like like the essence of a candy cane. Which is perfectly fine with me! Thanks Jen! I hope the book provides many, many more tasty recipes!
Brina of Brina Bakes made Chocolate Mint Cupcakes as part of her Christmas dessert menu. Topped with Chocolate Ganache Frosting and green mint sugar, I am sure they were a total hit. That beats ending a meal with a measly mint any day! Thanks Brina!
Malibu Rum in the cake with Minty Chocolate Bailey Frosting topped with coconut… now that is one busy, boozy, beautiful cupcake! Claire of Claire of All Trades is the creator of these M&M Cupcake masterpieces. She says they went so fast, her Mum didn’t even get to try them! Thanks Claire!
Laura Secord inspired Frosted Mint Cupcakes are brought to us by Michelle of Clever Cupcakes. I have no idea who Laura Secord is. But she must be a genius. A Chocolate Cupcake with Mint filling and White Chocolate Mint Ganache Frosting sounds heavenly. I think Laura Secord would be proud Michelle! Thanks!
Rachel of Coconut & Lime baked us Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes. I love that her recipe is for 6 cupcakes! PERFECT! Baking 24 at a crack is having an effect on my waistline. Man, the amounts of cupcakes I could test if they were all for 6! They are super cute too. Love the red sprinkles on top! Thanks Rachel!
This cupcake would make every girl scout in America proud. Based off the taste of a thin mint, but way, way better. I bring you The Girl Scout Cupcake made by Carla of Dessert Lounge. Chocolate Cake, Peppermint Cream Filling and Chocolate Ganache. Are you drooling yet? A box of thin mints will never be the same for me now. Thanks Carla!
Matcha Mint Fairy Cakes with Red Fruits and Royal Icing. They sound dreamy don’t they? Dhanggit of Dhanggit’s Kitchen baked these up for her own birthday. (You can bake my birthday cake anytime.) Happy Belated Birthday sweetie! The story that goes along with her birthday post is not to be missed. Please check it out. Thanks Dhanggit!
Liz from Food Snobbery is my Hobbery, (I just love that blog name. It makes me smile.) baked a cupcake in tribute of her long time neighbor. Mrs. Winter’s Iced Tea Cupcakes came about from her neighbors kind gestures. Iced mint tea and Andres mints were the staple when Liz and her Mom would visit Mrs. Winters. These cupcake are gluten free and vegan to boot. Thanks Liz!
This cupcake, while gorgeous, looks innocent enough. But don’t be fooled. Inside is a wicked yummy surprise. Mint Bailey Chocolate Cupcakes stuffed with Strawberries topped with Whipped Mint Mascarpone Cream. WOW! Sihan of Fundamentally Flawed is the master baker of these sinful cupcakes. Thanks Sihan!
The ever so lovely Gigi of Gigi Cakes baked Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes. She received a sweet gift pack with hot cocoa mix and decided to use it in the cake batter. Genius! The cake has a very deep chocolate flavor and the mint frosting on top is perfect. Thanks Gigi!
Clara of I Heart Cuppycakes made her husband’s favorite, Red Velvet with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting. I have to agree, red velvet just seems so christmasy! And I love your chocolate trees on top. Super cute cupcakes Clara, thanks!
This cupcake looks ever so sweet, does it not? With the white frosting and little mint leaf on top… But it is not a sweet cupcake. Thayer of I Like Cake, beings us the first ever savory Hero entry, Lamb and Mint Cupcakes. She says “lamb wrapped in shortcake and creme fraiche on top, how can you go wrong?” What else can you say? Thanks Thayer, you are by far the Quirkiest Cupcake of the Month!
Jessica sent me Death by Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting. These cupcakes contain 2 kinds of chocolate and peppermint patties inside. They look beautiful too. Seriously, does it get better than that??
It does get better than that! Jessica submitted 2 cupcakes!!! Thats true Cupcake Hero spirit. Green Tea Peppermint Cupcakes with Green Tea Peppermint Frosting look gorgeous as well. Your piping is killer! Thanks Jessica!
Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats totally cracked me up with her cupcakes. Labeled “Pathetic but tasty”, her White Cupcakes with chopped Andes mints and Peppermint Buttercream look good to me! Most people like frosting more than the cake anyway. Thanks so much for sending them Judy. I hope you do try cupcakes again soon!
Rebecca of Lil Miss Cupcake baked Hot Chocolate Peppermint Schnapps Cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes with Peppermint Schnappy frosting, YUM! You guys must be on to my love of booze in desserts! The different sprinkles are oh so cute! Thanks Rebecca!
Q: What do you do with a chocolate mud cupcake that is just a little too crumbly?
A: Mix it with vanilla ice cream, top with peppermint buttercream frosting and enter it into December’s Cupcake Hero contest!
The words of Katie of Katie’s Kitchen. She must be brilliant! Cake, frosting, ice cream, all in one. When I was a kid, I would mash birthday cake and ice cream together into a big mess. My family was always disgusted, but it was wicked good. Thanks Katie!
Prissy Cook says “Take That Starbucks!” with her Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes topped with wicked looking bark. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a bucks junkie. Love them! And my husbands fav bucks drink is a Peppermint Mocha. We raise our sleeved paper cups to you, well done. Thanks Prissy Cook!
Luki of Sinfully Sweet Confections created Ginger Ale Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting. She makes her candied ginger from scratch too! You kick ass, Luki!
Megan and Jennifer made Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Sundae Cakes. With cake, ganache and buttercream, this cupcake is any kids dream dessert! I know my boys would devour them. (Minus the nuts.) Thanks Megan and Jennifer!
Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy created a wicked good summer cupcake. Mint and Strawberry Cream Cupcakes. My husband adores anything strawberry. I cannot wait for strawberry season to give these cupcakes a go. They look ever so good! Thanks so much Tammy!
Ritsumei of Baby Steps found Cupcake Hero at the very end of the month. She stayed up till late making her Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes filled with Vanilla Pudding and topped with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting. I am often a late night baker when all the boys are asleep. Its sweet victory to finish at 1am and sample my work. They look fantastic Ritsumei! Thanks!
A big HUGE apology to Nikki of Crazy Delicious!!! My 3 year old got a hold of my laptop this morning, deleting 1/3 of my write-up. Excuses, excuses.. I suck! Sorry Nicole! It certainly is not a reflection on your Spearmint, Lavender and Cinnamon Cupcakes. I heart spearmint. The combination sounds lovely, like a warm cup of great tea. Thanks Nikki, and Im so sorry! Im the uncool one, not you!
Maybe, its because I wanted to prove a cupcake doesn’t have to contain booze to be a winner. Maybe, its because we wanted to give a shout out to the Vegan Baking Community. Maybe, its because I just tossed all the names into a hat and this is the one was that was picked? (No no no, I didn’t do that. Come on people. Although, I did consider it, in a weak moment of indecision.) Or maybe, just maybe its because this cupcake WON the taste test! I give you Rich Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Mint Icing & Bittersweet Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Joe Joe’s. Melisser of The Urban Housewife brings us this masterpiece. As my son’s friend said, “Its like 2 desserts in one!”And I agree. It is indeed. The cake has a very deep rich flavor. I’m talking really chocolatey people. And the frosting tastes just like the inside of a peppermint patty. Add to it the chocolate covered cookie on top and you have pure gluttony. (No Candy Cane Joe Joes were harmed in this decision making process. Trader Joes has not yet graced Pittsburgh with its presence. I was forced to use mint oreos, which I love. But I am told, mint oreos are like the geeky, uncool cousin of a Candy Cane Joe Joe. If anyone would like to send me a box of Candy Cane Joe Joes, you will be amply compensated.)
So with all that said, Melisser, YOU are THE CUPCAKE HERO!
This month is prize packed. Natalie of Bake and Destroy! was my kick ass co-host and is sending the winner a Bake and Destroy! gift pack. Isnt that really, really awesome of her?!? And as always, you will receive an oh so cool Cupcake Hero t-shirt. I know, I know, you bake for the t-shirt. HA! Just typing that made me laugh.
Time for my list of Thank Yous. Thanks to Natalie for putting up with my ongoing rants and issues with picking a winner! You really do kick ass! Thanks to all of you who entered Cupcake Hero: Mint. I am still stunned every month at the number of people who send in entries. I dont think I will ever get used to it. And a special thanks to those of you who have entered every single month. My loyal followers of Cupcake Hero, your the reason I have kept going with it.
Enjoy your reign Melisser! The new theme will be named tonight. Are you The Next Cupake Hero?
These are a work in progress. And lucky for me, I have a bottle big enough for quite a few trials. The cake turned out good. More cinnamon and cloves needed perhaps. And more rum needed as well. I soaked the raisins over night in 3/4 cup of rum. (I meant to soak them a couple hours, but I got lazy last night.) They soaked almost all the liquid up. I thought that would get the job done. But, the rum flavor really didnt come through the way I had hoped it would. I think I may need to add some to the batter too. A few tweaks and it will be spot on.
For the frosting. I took the half package of cream cheese that was chillin in the fridge and 1 stick of butter. Added cinnamon, a tad rum, the sugar and voila! The frosting is wicked good. However, I am of the opinion that cream cheese frosting can help out any cupcake.
Together, they were damn tasty. Jaos said “They taste like a cupcake should.” Umm, ok??? He will forever stump me with his critiquing.
* Apologies on the picture taking. Bad lighting, and working with a new camera. Never did get a good picture before the boys finger prints were in the tops of many cupcakes.
Rum Raisin Cupcakes
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour milk (I used sour milk)
1 cup rum soaked raisins
A few hours ahead, soaked 1 cup raisins in 3/4 cup dark rum. Drain before adding to batter.
Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with cupcake papers, or grease with butter. In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
In bowl of standing mixer, beat butter and shortening on medium to high speed until well combined. Add sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and sour milk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in rum soaked raisins. Fill cupcake papers about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a wooden tester comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.
Cinnamon Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon milk (optional)
In a large bowl, or bowl of standing mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until completely combine. Add cinnamon, vanilla and rum. Continue to beat until combined. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. (I had to add some milk to mine because it was too stiff for me) Frost cooled cupcakes.