Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

I made these cupcakes for my mom's first day at her new job! She wanted a vanilla based cupcake because she doesn't like chocolate... I know, crazy, right? 

Anyways, for the first time in a long time I felt like trying something new for cupcakes. Now I have made the salted caramel buttercream before, but they were atop my usual chocolate cupcake. 

I decided to go with a brown sugar buttermilk cupcake, and they turned out wonderful! You can really taste the brown sugar, and it gives it a sweetness that really went great with the caramel. The buttermilk makes them denser with a creamier texture. 

Below is the recipe which I got from 52 Kitchen Adventures. The batter turned out super thick, almost like cookie dough.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes
Makes ~18 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk, stirring after each until everything is combined.
  3. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin until each liner is 3/4 full. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cupcakes were in the oven, I made the caramel for the frosting....and I actually did it right the first time! Every other time I have tried to make my own caramel, it comes out burnt, so I was super excited. Here's a pic of me making the caramel:

Here is the recipe for the caramel buttercream:

Salted Caramel Buttercream (from Fearless Homemaker)
(makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. in a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar + water. bring to a boil over medium high heat. cook without stirring until mixture turns a light amber color. remove from heat + slowly add in cream + vanilla, stirring until very smooth. let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm, but still pour-able.
  2. in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter + salt together until lightened + fluffy. reduce speed to low + add powdered sugar. mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. scrape down the side of the bowl + add the caramel. beat on medium high speed until light + airy, + completely mixed (about 2 minutes). mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. if your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny – if this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
My go-to classic frosting tip is Wilton 1M or 2D, which is what I used here. These would also be cute with a french tip swirl too.

For the Caramel Flowers:

This is super simple! I just used worther's chewy caramel candies and rolled them out with a rolling pin. Then used a tiny flower cutout and piped a dot of frosting in the middle. They were super cute and super easy! (And I got to eat the leftover caramel pieces... Yum!)

I am still waiting to hear the verdict from mom's new co-workers, but I certainly scarfed down one of them! I love the frosting because its got a hidden saltiness. The salt is not overwhelming, but its there in the background!

My mom actually helped me make these, and every time we bake together I realize just how different our styles are! But its still fun and we do work well together! She is super clean, and I am just about the messiest baker there is, lol! And for buttercream frosting, I have make about a million bajillion of them and can pretty much make them with my eyes closed... so I have a tendency not to measure and just dump some powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in and taste test. Mom freaked a bit when I just threw some salt in without carefully measuring! But they turned out great anyways!

Wish I had more creative pictures, but I am limited on counter space in my tiny studio apartment!

Until next time, here's one last pic of these beauties!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bridal Shower Cupcake Cake

Its been awhile since I have made cupcakes! But I am back at it again! Last weekend, I made a cupcake cake for my cousin's bridal shower. LOVE how it turned out! So Cute!

I just made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Then arranged them into a dress shape. The pearls and broach were from Michael's, and they work pretty perfectly.

This took 27 cupcakes, so I had a few extra to spare... I mean eat!

I frosted them into a rose shape using Wilton's 2D tip. Start in the center and swirl outwards. It was actually the first time I had tried to frost them like that... so I was glad I had a few extras to practice on!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

S'mores Cupcakes

A Chocolate Cupcake with a Graham Cracker Crust, Topped with a Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Who Doesn't love S'MORES?!? And these are S'mores in cupcake form, I LOVE making these cupcakes...yet I haven't made them since before I had this blog. Well Christmas Eve was the day for them!

Aaaaaand.... I get to use my torch for this recipe! So much FUN!

The only downside to this recipe is that it doesn't last very long (maybe only a day or two). The sugar in the frosting starts to break down and seep into the cupcakes and all over the box....and you end up with a sticky mess!

The frosting is also kind of tedious. You have to heat the egg whites while constantly whisking until they are the perfect temperature then whisk in the mixer until it looks marshmallowey. If you heat the egg whites too long or too little, the frosting doesn't get those nice peaks. Which means they gloop all over before you can torch it.

This recipe came from Martha Stewart

Chocolate Cupcake with Graham Cracker Crust
(makes 2 dozen)

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
  4. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
  5. Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
  6. Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
  7. Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup on top of the graham cracker mixture.
  8. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake about 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. 
  10. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.

Marshmallow Frosting


  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. 
  2. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. 
  3. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  5. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.
  6. Frost with a French Tip
  7. Take a pastry torch/Creme Brulee torch and lightly toast the frosted cupcakes, taking care not to catch the liners on fire!
  8. Enjoy!

Vanilla Malt Cupcakes

Vanilla Malted Milk Cupcakes with a Whipped Cream Frosting & Chocolate Grad Caps and Scrolls

I made these for my cousin's graduation party...needed 6 dozen cupcakes! But I whipped them out like a champ! I mean besides the miscalculation that ended up with me having twice as many cupcakes as I needed! Oh, well, more for me!

That is a chocolate graduation cap and scroll, in case you can't tell

Everyone LOVED them!

I kind of LOVE this angle!
The Cupcakes had a hint of Vanilla malt in them, and the frosting was light and airy... a perfect compliment!

Top View!
The cupcake recipe is from Paula Deen

Vanilla Malt Cupcakes
Makes about 16 cupcakes

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup malted milk powder
  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, malted milk powder, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add butter and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in eggs until just combined.
  5. Slowly mix in milk until just combined.
  6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
Just out of the oven!
Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 3 cups heavy or whipping cream 
  • 5 Tbs. granulated sugar 
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer for 20 min. in the refrigerator or 5 min. in the freezer. 
  2. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and whisk on medium-high speed until it just starts to thicken. 
  3. Slow the speed down to medium and gradually pour in the sugar. 
  4. Continue to whisk until soft peaks form.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk by hand until the cream is smooth, and stiff peaks form.
This recipe was super easy! You could add a few more Tablespoons of sugar if you wanted. It wasn't too sweet as it is.

Ready to go to the party!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mudslide Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake with a Bailey's and Kahlua Frosting Swirl

I came across this recipe from Endless Simmer a few months ago and it has been on my to-do list for forever! I love Mudslides and turning them into a cupcake sounded AMAZING! ... And it was!

I made these when we went away for the weekend to Bennett Springs for trout fishing. The cabin had limited cooking utensils and measuring cups (only teaspoons and a 2-cup glass measuring cup... No Tablespoons! I had to do a lot of converting!) But they seemed to turn out pretty good. still. I made the frosting with a hand mixer... because I wasn't about to transport my stand mixer....well I was, but my fiance convinced me to leave it behind.

Doesn't the frosting look kind of like soft-serve ice cream?

And now for the recipe. I actually started sifting my flour a few weeks ago. Before, I always thought that was too much work and it couldn't possibly make a difference. Well, let me tell you, it absolutely does make a difference! The cupcakes come out super light and fluffy when you sift the flour, it is worth the extra step!

The only thing I really changed about this recipe was the Bailey's. The original recipe had you making your own home-made bailey's... but I used store-bought Bailey's instead. And it was delicious in my hot chocolate later that night! ;)

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. 
  3. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. 
  5. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. (It took only 15 minutes for me so make sure to check them early!)
  6. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Now for the frosting. You make one frosting base, then split it into two bowls. And turn one into Bailey's and one into Kahlua.

Butter Cream Frosting Base
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 16 pieces
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a large heat proof bowl. Set the bowl over (not on) simmering water in a sauce pan and heat, whisking constantly until sugar has dissolved. The mixture is ready when with it is very warm to the touch, about 2 minutes and approximately 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
  2. Remove from mixture from heat and transfer to a stand mixer bowl and beat on high until egg white mixture is fluffy, led to room temperature and holds stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.
  3. Turn the speed to medium low, add salt and the butter a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to high and beat until mixture is creamy, about 3-5 minutes more. Evenly split buttercream into two separate bowls.

Bailey’s and Chocolate Kahlua Frostings

  • To make the Baileys buttercream add 3 tablespoons of Baileys into one bowl and beat until combined.
  • To make the Chocolate Kahlua Frosting in the other bowl, add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 4 oz of melted semi-sweet chocolate and 3 tablespoons of Kahlua and beat until combined.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vanilla Bean & Dark Chocolate

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Hershey Special Dark Buttercream Frosting

Sometimes simple is perfect! Especially when its 9:30PM the night before your potluck at work! I almost forgot to make these, and for a split second I considered just buying cupcakes to bring..... don't worry! It was a short split second and I came to my senses!

So my Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are probably my most requested cupcake ever. Its got high quality madagascar bourbon vanilla and vanilla bean paste (that's what makes them so much better than all the other vanilla cupcakes!)

The cupcake recipe originally came from the Cupcake Project, but I have posted it several times in this blog.

Here it is again:

Vanilla Cupcakes (from Cupcake Project)
Yield: 16 cupcakes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 T vanilla bean paste 
  • 1 3/4 cake flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature 
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream 
  • 1/4 cup canola oil 
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2/3 cup whole milk 
1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and vanilla bean paste

3. Mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. Add the vanilla sugar and mix until well combined.

5. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.

6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.

7. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

8. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.

9. Fill cupcake liners 1/4 of the way up. Place a mini-cupcake on top, cover with additional batter.

10. Bake for 14 minutes

11. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins.

Mmmm fresh out of the oven!
And here is the Chocolate frosting. Sean really wanted them to have this frosting (it is his favorite of all time!)

It originally came from Martha Stewart, but I have tweaked it some.

Dark Chocolate Frosting
This makes enough to frost about 25-30 cupcakes depending on how much you use on each cupcake.... I put the left-over frosting in the fridge so I can use it again this weekend.... maybe I will try and send Ben some more cupcakes!

  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder
  2. Add the butter, milk, and vanilla
  3. Beat until Smooth
  4. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin.
  5. Pipe onto dipped cupcakes (I used my Wilton #1M tip)

And of course I have to test one.... or three... to make sure they are good!

The best part about these was it only took about 45 mins from start to finish...including cool-down time! Fast, Easy, Simple.... and still Delicious!

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Ship Cupcakes?....Attempt #3

Gosh, this is my 3rd time trying this and I just can't see to get it right! I'm starting to get frustrated with this.

Here's a quick re-cap:

Attempt #1 - Complete and Utter disaster

Attempt #2 - Very close, but the container came open during shipment

Attempt #3 - Failed again. But I came closer... read below.

So this time around, since my cupcake container popped open during shipment and created a bit of a mess for Ben, I decided I was going to make certain that it could NOT come open this time around.

So I taped it up real good. Ben's exact words: "You really made this thing hard to open"

LOL. I guess I did.

But did the case come open? Nope! However, I had a different problem:

The heat got to them and they MELTED!

Yikes. But at least the cupcake part of them was still in-tact. (And Ben still ate them!)

So, I may have sent them regular mail (1st mistake)... And I may have mailed them on a Saturday, leaving a dead time day on Sunday (2nd mistake).... And that Saturday happened to be the Saturday before Columbus Day, leaving 2 dead time days where my cupcakes were sitting at the post office waiting to be mailed (3rd mistake).


So, Of course I already have a new plan devised:

1. Do not ship on a Saturday.
2. Do not send by regular mail. Instead send overnight.
3. Do not send right before a holiday.
4. Send in a climate control box/cooler with ice packs to keep them from melting.

I'm gonna remember the pretty before picture again:

And I haven't given up yet! I'll post again on my next attempt, and hopefully they will make it all the way to Texas un-harmed. (this task is not as easy as I thought when I first declared I would figure it out!)
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