Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread Cupcakes with a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream, Topped with a Little Gingerbread Man Cookie

So when my little brother (who is not so little at 6'5"), heard about my plan to make eggnog cupcakes for Christmas, he told me no one likes eggnog (soooo not true!) and that I should make something else.

Then he proceed to ask me why I had not made a second attempt at shipping him cupcakes (see my first attempt). As you can see from my first attempt, shipping cupcakes to Texas did not prove as easy as expected.

I did however, attempt to ship cupcakes a second time....they just didn't make it to the shipping part! I had this great idea of making Mountain Dew cupcakes, because what college freshman doesn't live on Mountain Dew and video games? But I ended up with just an OK cupcake with a blob of melted mountain dew frosting. I guess the carbonation from the soda destroyed the icing's ability to hold it shape and look pretty. Needless to say, I tried to forget this failed cupcake and did not blog about it, much less ship it!

Anyways....when I began listing off other Christmas themed cupcakes I could make, he settled reluctantly on gingerbread. Probably because all the others were just as bad as eggnog in his eyes.

Well, I am so glad I decided to make a second cupcake!

So here it is:

The Gingerbread Cupcake (from Tidy Mom)
Made 14 cupcakes.
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup molasses 
  • 1 egg, room temp and beaten 
  • 1-1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/2 cup boiling water 
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda 

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350° and line muffin tins with baking cups.

    2. In mixing bowl, using whisk attachment, combine oil, sugar, and molasses; then add beaten egg until well mixed.

    3. In a medium bowl whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Whisk into molasses mixture until well combined.

    4. Boil water and remove from heat. Add baking soda and whisk into batter.

    5. Fill baking cups 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Set aside to cool.

    6. Top with brown sugar butter cream. Garnish with gingerbread man cookie.

The Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened) 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed 
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk butter and shortening until fluffy. Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. 
  2. Continue mixing until well blended. Gradually add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Until you have a very thick gooey mixture. 
  3. On the highest speed of your mixer, stream in the heavy whipping cream pouring nice and slow until desired consistency. 

The Little Gingerbread Man  (from food for my family)
This makes A LOT of dough, I halved it and still had twice as much as I needed!
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream together brown sugar and butter in a stand mixer for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add in eggs and molasses and stir until combined. 
  4. Mix in flour and spices and mix until a soft dough forms and the dry ingredients are incorporated. 
  5. Split the dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  6. Lightly flour a flat surface. Roll out gingerbread dough and cut into shapes and then place on a baking sheet. 
  7. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F and chill the dough on the baking sheet while the oven preheats. 
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges just start to brown. Allow to cool completely. 
I have to say these were AMAZING! I wish I made more of them! The cinnamon brown sugar frosting complimented the gingerbread perfectly!

Tis the Season for Eggnog

Eggnog cupcakes that is!

I love when it finally becomes time for eggnog. There is nothing better than relaxing with a glass of southern comfort spiked eggnog sprinkled with a little nutmeg!

Even though I have made dozens and dozens of cookies for Christmas, I still got a request to bring cupcakes! I am taking this as the perfect opportunity to make some eggnog cupcakes that I have been dreaming about for weeks. Eggnog cupcakes, filled with an eggnog pastry cream (my first time making pastry cream!) and topped with an eggnog buttercream frosting.

Too much eggnog?....nope! They were like sipping an eggnog drink, in cupcake form. The eggnog flavor was not too overpowering, they were just right.

The Eggnog Cupcake (from the cupcake project)
makes 36 cupcakes (I halved this recipe)
  • 4 cups cake flour (not self-rising) 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 3/4 cups eggnog 
  • 1/4 cup dark rum 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. and line twenty-four 1/2-cup muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Into a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy and beat in vanilla. 
  4. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition 
  5. With mixer on low speed beat in eggnog and rum until just combined. 
  6. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, beating until just combined after each addition
  7. Bake for 14-17 mins. 
The Eggnog Pastry Cream (from chockylit)
You need to double this recipe to have enough to fill all the cupcakes.

I was surprised at how long it took for the pastry cream to thicken! Overall, it was a very easy process, though.
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1.  Place flour in a heavy sauce pan, gradually whisk in eggnog until blended and smooth.
  2. Add egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until just combined after each addition.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, removing from the heat occasionally to avoid lumps, until thickened. If necessary strain through a metal sieve to remove lumps.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in butter, rum and vanilla.
  5. Transfer pastry cream to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap, chill.
You can see the yummy pastry cream on the inside!

The Eggnog Frosting (adapted from cate’s world kitchen)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 4-6 tsp eggnog 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp dark rum.
  1. To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth
  2. Add the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time. 
  3. Add the nutmeg, then add the eggnog one teaspoon at a time until the frosting is smooth. 
  4. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. 
  5. Garnish cupcakes with nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

I have to say, it was really hard to stop myself from eating the whole batch of these cupcakes. The only sad part is, I used up all my eggnog for this recipe and had none left to drink with one of these little cupcakes! 

I LOVE the cute little cinnamon sticks as garnish!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Taking a Short Break from Cupcakes

It's time for Christmas Cookie Baking....YAY!

Although recently, I have been feeling somewhat guilty whenever I make something that is not a cupcake....sorta feel like I am betraying my blog.

Oh well, Thanksgiving Pies and Christmas Cookies are just going to have to be an exception : )

The Array of Cookies This Year:
  1. Bon Bons
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  3. Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
  4. Pecan Crescent Cookies
  5. Dark Chocolate Mint Cookies
  6. Gooey Butter Cookies (Chocolate, Vanilla, Red Velvet, and Funfetti)
  7. Peanut Blossoms (PB cookie with a Hershey Kiss in the center)
  8. M&M Cookies
  9. Reese's Peanut Butter Temptations
  10. Snicker's Surprises
  11. Snowball Cookies (White Chocolate and Cherry)
  12. Triple Chocolate Cookies
  13. Butterscotch Oatmeal
We calculated it out and needed about 7 dozen of each kind, which makes over 1,000 cookies! It took us 2 full days this year.

Eggnog Cupcakes are on my agenda for Christmas eve!

Bon Bon Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcake Stuffed with Chocolate, Frosted with Almond Buttercream with a Chocolate Swirl on Top.

It's getting closer to Christmas-time, so I've got cookies on my mind... Can't wait for tomorrow when I start to bake them! My mom needed cupcake for a work party tonight, so I decided to make on of my favorite Christmas cookies into a cupcake.. the Bon Bon. 

A bon bon cookie is a ball of dough around 6 chocolate chips which is baked, then glazed with a pink almond glaze and swirled with chocolate. They look like this:

The Amazingly Delicious Bon Bon!

I think my cupcakes are pretty close! And they taste surprisingly similar to the cookie version.

Vanilla Cupcakes (from Martha Stewart)
(makes 12) I halved Martha's recipe
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 plus 1/8 cups milk 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well.
5. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to medium.
6. Mix in 3 batches of flour mixture, alternating with 2 batches of milk.
7. Raise speed to medium-high; mix until thoroughly blended, 10 to 20 seconds.
8. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Place a piece of chocolate into the batter and bake for about 17 minutes. Let cool in tin on wire racks 10 minutes.

the inside

Almond Frosting (from Little Lady Cakes)
(makes enough for 24 cupcakes)
1/2 C. Shortening
1/2 C. Room Temperature Butter
1 T. Almond Extract
2 TBS. Heavy Whipping Cream 
4 Cups of powdered sugar
1 TBS. Meringue Powder 
  1. cream together shortening, butter, and almond extract. 
  2. Sift together the sugar and meringue powder. 
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients. 
  4. Add cream and beat at medium speed.

Chocolate Swirl:
6 T Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Combine and melt in a double-boiler or microwave. Let stand 5 minutes.

Spread frosting onto cupcakes and pipe a swirl with chocolate.

The Finished Product

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Party Cupcakes

Vanilla Frosted Vanilla Cupcake Garnished with a Mini Tree Cookie

My company's annual Christmas Party is happening this weekend, so I decided to make Christmas cupcakes (only because my traditional Christmas cookies are not baked yet and I made a bunch of pies last week for Thanksgiving).

Well, I calculated that I would need about 75 cupcakes (its going to be a big crowd this year!). I don't have the energy to make them all complicated cupcakes, so I originally decided to keep it simple. I was just going to do vanilla with vanilla buttercream.

Then I got bored after work this week ....and made little tree roll-out cookies and iced them with green colored color-flow icing. The next day, I was bored again after work and decided to whip up a batch of buttercream so I could pipe garland and ornaments onto the tiny trees. I debated also putting a little star sprinkle at the top, but I didn't have enough of them and hate going to the grocery store!

I made this recipe from
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F . Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart cookie sheets. (I never leave that much space, they don't spread out hardly at all)
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, mine took closer to 6 mins.
Icing - follow the instructions that come with the color-flow mix, you can get it at Michael's or here.

Finished Little Tree Cookies
I made the Cupcake Project's Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing. The recipes are re-posted below(with my edits because I don't like using real vanilla beans). This recipe is Amazing, the best vanilla recipe ever!

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 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.

Vanilla Frosting (from Cupcake Project)
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar (add more until it reaches your preferred consistency) 
  • 1cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (add more to taste) 
  • 2 tablespoon milk 
1. Mix together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy.

2. Add vanilla bean paste and milk and continue to beat for another minute.

3. If desired, add more vanilla bean paste to taste, or more confectioners' sugar to make it stiffer

All the cupcakes on display for the party!

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