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Sunday Supper Movement

Cupcakes

I first learned to drink coffee while studying abroad. During the semester in Viña del Mar, Chile, I would go with a couple of friends to a little cafe called Mango’s every afternoon. There, we should share cappuccinos with a spoonful of extra sugar and little cookies. Supposedly we were working on homework, but mostly we just chatted. During my summer doing research in Santiago, my go-to coffee place was the cafe in the national library. It was breathtakingly beautiful. After returning to the U.S. for my senior year, I moved from costly cappuccinos to slowly learning how to drink regular coffee, which was free at the cafeteria or cheap on campus coffee shops. To this day, however, espresso drinks (cappuccino, caramel macchiato, cafe mocha) are definite treats to myself. I use them mostly to bribe myself out of bed…. “there’s a caramel macchiato waiting for you when you get to work.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes I roll back over for another hour and buy myself a fancy espresso drink anyway.

This caramel macchiato cupcake recipe has a subtle cupcake base – highlighted by just a hint of espresso flavor (I couldn’t find the caramel macchiato frappuccino and used a unflavored frappuccino instead) with a slightly sweet frosting. I did taste the frosting as I went, and tried not to drizzle too much caramel on top, for fear of making the cupcake overly sweet.

This cupcake recipe was originally adapted from More From Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey’s Home Kitchen by Allysa Torey and posted on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. The frosting recipe is original by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

Makes 20-24 Cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • 1½ c. self-rising flour*
  • 1¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ c. superfine sugar**
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 c. Starbucks Bottled Caramel Frappuccino (use the original Frappuccino flavor if you can’t find the caramel)
  • 3 Tbs. caramel sauce***
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Caramel Italian Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 c. sugar
  • ¼ c. water
  • 5 egg whites
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into tablespoons
  • 4 Tbs. caramel sauce, plus more to drizzle over cupcakes***

* I don’t use self-rising flour on a regular basis and refused to buy some just for this recipe. I made my own. For 1 c. self-rising flour, portion out 1 c. all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tsp. of flour and discard. Stir in 1½ tsp. baking powder and ½ tsp. salt. Voila! Self-rising flour! (Don’t forget, you need 1½ cups of self-rising flour – that would be 1½ cups minus 3 tsp. of all-purpose flour, 2¼ tsp. baking powder and 3/4 tsp. salt).

** Make superfine sugar by throwing it in a food processor (I use food processor the attachment for my emulsion mixer) and pulse a couple times.

*** I used store bought caramel for this recipe.

Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl and add caramel. Beat for two minutes.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the self-rising flour (or self-rising flour mixture). When thoroughly combined, add half of the frappuccino and the vanilla. Add the all-purpose flour. Scrape down sides of bowl and finally, add remaining frappuccino.
  4. Portion batter into prepared muffin tin – filling each cupcake liner until 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting and Ice the Cupcakes:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 c. sugar and 1/4 c. water to a boil. When the mixture reaches 245F, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. While cooling, fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks. Then, with the mixer still on high, add 1/4 c. sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture starts to form glossy peaks.
  3. Keep mixer on high and slowly add the hot syrup to the meringue. Continue whisking for 7-10 minutes, until the outside of the bowl has cooled to room temperature.
  4. With the mixer still running, add butter, one tablespoon at a time. The butter will deflate the frosting. (I think I added the butter a little early and the frosting was a little soft for piping – just keep whisking and it’ll firm up again). Once incorporated, add caramel sauce, mixing for another minute.
  5. Frost cupcakes and, if desired, drizzle with caramel.
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Ok, I swear, I’m working toward the end of all these desserts and toward a more balanced recipe posting! (I’ve got enchiladas and bread lined up for the next couple weeks.)

I never drank eggnog growing up, and really don’t drink it now. I might have a small glass of vanilla eggnog, but that’s about it. My hubby, on the other hand, loves the stuff. As a treat for him and some coworkers, I decided to make these eggnog cupcakes. When test-tasting, I was surprised to find out that I liked them more than I thought I would.

The frosting on these cupcakes is pretty sweet, so I wouldn’t go overboard when frosting them. The rum in the cupcakes and frosting is optional, but a little alcohol never hurt anyone, right? 🙂

Eggnog Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Makes 12-18 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ c. dark rum (or bourbon)
  • 1 c. eggnog
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. sugar

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 20 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 2½ Tbs. eggnog
  • 1 Tbs. dark rum

Garnish:

  • Ground cinnamon or grated nutmeg
  • Cinnamon sticks

Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine rum, eggnog, vegetable oil, vinegar, and sugar on medium-low speed until combined. With the mixer running, add baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour, scraping down the bowl as needed. Cupcake mixture will be very soupy.
  3. Portion batter into prepared cupcake liners. Fill 2/3 full for 18 cupcakes, or 3/4 full for 12 slightly rounded cupcakes. Bake 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth, 20-30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, salt, and nutmeg, mixing until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 1 minute. Add eggnog and beat until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. With the mixer still running, add rum.
  2. When thick enough to pipe, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large, unlabeled start tip with frosting and pipe onto cupcakes. Or, if you prefer, simply take a knife and frost the cupcake. Garnish with ground cinnamon or nutmeg, or a cinnamon stick.
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There’s really no words to describe these cupcakes. My hubby has declared that these are his all time favorite cupcakes. For me, they rank among the top three – the S’mores Cupcakes and Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes all rivaling for the top three slots. I brought a batch of these to work for a mini bake sale (proceeds going to Susan G Komen and breast cancer research), and some of the guys were walking away with up to 4 cupcakes. Oh yes, they’re that good. Or maybe I should have charged much more. Anyway, make these and you’ll win over the hearts of your significant other, family, friends, coworkers…. and if you’re fundraising, you can probably make a pretty penny off of these. No more commentary needed. Enjoy!

Baking Notes: When I made the recipe, I used a single batch of the cupcake base, a 1/2 batch of the cookie dough filling, and a 1/2 batch of the icing. These changes are reflected below. I note this specifically in case you run out of filling or icing. It is perfectly fine to make another 1/2 batch. I did make a whole batch of the chocolate chip cookies (full batch reflected below), although you’ll only need about 1/3 of a batch for the cupcakes. The rest I packaged and sold at my mini bake sale, at least the ones I managed to hide from the hubby.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Cupcake recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats;

Chocolate chip cookie recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated (p 434) via Annie’s Eats

Makes 24 cupcakes and 7+ dozen mini chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients for the Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 2 c. plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips*

* If making normal sized cookies, use regular chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Cookie Dough Filling:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbs. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3.5 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Cookie Dough Icing:

  •  1/2 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 to 2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • heaping 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Garnish:

  • Mini chocolate chip cookies
  • Mini chocolate chips

Make the Cookies:

  1. Ensure oven racks are placed in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butters and sugars on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Sprinkle in dry ingredients and beat on low until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl, add chocolate chips, and beat briefly until everything’s mixed in. If chocolate chips aren’t evenly distributed, stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. For this next step, you’ll either use a teaspoon (for mini cookies) or a half cup measuring scoop for large cookies (or a tablespoon or 1/4 cup measuring scoop for something in between). Portion out cookie dough – a teaspoon for mini cookies or a scant 1/2 cup for large) and roll into a ball. Pull apart into two equal halves. Place halves on prepared cookie sheets with jagged surfaces facing up. Yes, I thought this was weird too, but the cookies were tasty and stayed soft, so just do it. 🙂 (Actually, I was curious so I googled it. Beantown Baker used the same recipe and said that this step gives the cookies “the crinkled and craggly bakery cookie look.”)
  4. Bake for 11-14 minutes if making the full-size cookies, rotating pans halfway through cooking. If making the mini cookies, start at 6 minutes and keep checking the cookies until the cookies are lightly golden. Outer edges should start to harden but middle should still be soft. Don’t overbake!
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350° . Line two cupcake pans with liners and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each.
  3. Scrape down sides of the blow and on low speed, slowly add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of flour, the milk and vanilla, and the remaining flour. Again, scrape down bowl and beat until all ingredients are just combined.
  4. With a spatula, fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill prepared cupcake pans with batter, about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing to a baking sheet to cool completely.

Make the Cookie Dough Filling:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add flour, condensed milk, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make the Icing:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (yes, your mixer is getting a work out with this recipe!), beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. With the mixer still running, add flour and salt. Finally, add milk and vanilla extract. Icing should be smooth yet thick enough to pipe.

Assemble the Cupcakes:

  1. When cupcakes are completely cooled, using a paring knife to core out the center, forming a cone-shaped center. Remove cookie dough filling from fridge. Fill each cupcake with 1/2 tsp. cookie dough (I rolled it into a little ball).
  2. Top with frosting. I piped frosting on with a large Wilton star tip.
  3. Garnish with mini chocolate chips and a mini chocolate chip cookie.
  4. Try to restrain yourself from having more than one cupcake.
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Happy 30th Birthday S! Thanks for letting me spoil you with your choice of cupcakes on you special day. These cupcakes (aka boozecakes) were a wonderful pick, something that I wouldn’t have looked at but normally chosen, since I’m not a huge fan of lemon desserts. However, I ended up really loving these cupcakes. I just wish the photos had come out better, but I guess I should have expected poor quality when I was hiding in your spare room trying to get the shots! Clearly, I’ll have to make these cupcakes again so that I can get some better photos.

A slightly sweet lemon cupcake filled with a tart lemon curd and topped with a light limoncello frosting, these cupcakes were way better than I imagined. The only trouble I had was with the frosting. The original frosting tasted a bit too much like cream cheese for me, and was not nearly thick enough to pipe. I ultimately ended up using twice the amount of confectioner’s sugar than indicated, and it still wasn’t quite thick enough. And I ended up with a ton left over because of all the extra sugar added. In the recipe below, I adjusted the frosting ingredients to make a thicker batch with a stronger limoncello taste.

Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

Adapted from BrownEyedBaker, originally from Tartlette

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Lemon Cupcakes:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tbs. limoncello
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c.  lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
zest of 1 lemon

Ingredients for the Lemon Curd:
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 c. lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

Ingredients for the Limoncello Frosting:
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 Tbs. limoncello
2+ c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Garnishes: i.e. slices of candied lemon, fresh lemon slices, berries, etc.

Make the Cupcakes:

Ensure an oven rack is positioned in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, beating until combined. Same for limoncello. Lower speed. Slowly add remaining dry ingredients (baking powder, salt and flour) alternating with the buttermilk. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add lemon juice and zest.

Portion batter into muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Set on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, Make the Lemon Curd:

While cupcakes are cooking, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is melted.

While waiting for lemon-sugar mixture to simmer, whisk together egg and egg yolk in a medium bowl. When sugar is dissolved, whisk the sugar-lemon mixture into the eggs. This will temper the eggs. Return mixture to saucepan (still over medium heat), and whisk constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the curd to cool completely.

Make the Limoncello Frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Lower speed and add limoncello. When incorporated, with the mixer still on low, slowly add confectioner’s sugar until frosting has reached desired consistency. (Clearly, mine was still a little soft, but I had run out of sugar!)

Assemble the Cupcakes:

When cupcakes have cooled complete, use a sharp knife to remove a cone in the center of each cupcake. Fill the little hole with lemon curd, and top with limoncello frosting. I piped the frosting using a Wilton 1M tip, but you can also spread it with a knife, if preferred.

Garnish with candied lemon slices or fresh fruit.

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I can’t say enough about these cupcakes. I had wanted to make them the minute Annie posted about them (and that’s not just because everything Annie makes is awesome). I had the perfect opportunity a few months ago, when a guy in my office turned 21. I know, right? How cute. He’s the only person I work with who is that young, so I knew I had to make it special for him.  These cupcakes did it. They were the talk of the office floor, and all sorts of people were “visiting,” hoping to be offered one.

So yeah. Make these cupcakes. In fact, make a double batch. They’re amazing. Completely worth the multiple steps. And if you don’t tell anyone about the surprise ganache in the middle, you’ll really get some great reactions.

The below recipe has a few modifications. I used a little extra Bailey’s in the ganache and the frosting, and made an extra half batch of the frosting in order to cover all of the cupcakes (although that could be that I’m just now experimenting with piping the icing).

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally found on Smitten Kitchen

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients for the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:

  • 1 c. Guinness stout
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c. sour cream (I used reduced-fat and it was fine)

Ingredients for the Bailey’s Chocolate Ganache Filling:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish Cream

Ingredients for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 8 Tbs. Bailey’s Irish Cream*

* Note: I love the taste of Bailey’s so added quite a bit to the frosting. I’d recommend adding a little at a time, starting at 2-4 Tbs., and tasting as you go.

Make the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:

Line two cupcake pans with paper muffin liners and preheat oven to 350° F.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine Guinness and butter. When butter is melted, add cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sour cream just until combined. Add Guinness mixture, again mixing until barely combined. With the mixer on low-speed, gradually add in salt, baking soda, sugar, and flour.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each to 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cupcakes are cooled, core center with a small paring knife. This will be for the chocolate ganache.

Make the Chocolate-Bailey’s Ganache:

On the stove, set up a double broiler. In the top bowl, heat cream, until very hot. Add chocolate and allow it to sit for a minute. Whisk cream and chocolate together until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and Bailey’s. Set aside to cool.

When ganache is cooled and thick enough to be piped, transfer to a piping back and pipe into the cupcakes.

Make the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading, until incorporated. Then mix in Bailey’s, until incorporated.

Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag or spreading.

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I think that tomorrow, the cupcake fairy shall come to visit. I’ve been in the mood to play in the kitchen, but between work, various planned outings (the spa last weekend!), and trying to eat healthier, I haven’t had much of an opportunity. Today, I had the afternoon free, and cupcakes and blogging sounded way more fun than laundry.

This recipe came from a cookbook that I regularly flip through, but have not used nearly enough – Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I received the book at my book-themed bridal shower, a compliment to my book-themed wedding (isn’t the library where my reception was held amazing?!). I think the giver of this book warrants a visit from the cupcake fairy, don’t you? And maybe one for the hubby, who surprised me with flowers last night, for no apparent reason. And maybe for a couple coworkers, since it’s been a long week at work. Who would you surprise with a cupcake? And maybe a couple for me (slightly sweet and a but savory, I wonder if I could justify these as breakfast).

Blackberry Cornmeal Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes (p. 103)

Makes 16 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 . all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. fine-ground cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar (1 c. + 2 Tbs. for cupcakes, 2 Tbs. for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2-6 oz. containers of fresh blackberries

* If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make it by combining 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 Tbs. vinegar or lemon juice.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Line 1-2 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, melt butter in the microwave (about 30 seconds). Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and 1 c. plus 2 Tbs. of the sugar.

Add the eggs and buttermilk to the cooled butter and whisk to combine. Add to the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling only to the half way point. It won’t look like a lot, but I promise, that’s accurate.

Place 4 blackberries on top of the batter – it’ll look tight but they’ll spread out when cooking – and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake 23-28 minutes (Martha says 20-25), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (don’t forget to rotate) baking trays halfway through if using more than one). Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Ahoy Mateys!

Each year, on September 19, I like to treat my coworkers to a little treat, for Talk Like a Pirate Day. Usually, I make rum cake. However, in the past year, my team has exploded in size, and one cake wasn’t going to cut it. Instead of adapting my recipe, I decided to try a new one – these were nice and easy. I did use less than half of the glaze called for (reflected below), so if you don’t have enough, it would be fine to make a full batch.

And so, happy talk like a pirate day, mateys! Enjoy!

Rum Cake Cupcakes

Adapted from The Cupcakery

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 box (18 1/2 oz.) yellow cake mix
  • 1 box (1 3/4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. rum

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/8 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. rum

Make the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325F and line 2 cupcake pans with muffin liners. Sprinkle chopped pecans on the bottom of each liner. Set aside.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat for about 2 minutes. Pour mix into prepared cupcake pans, filling the liner 3/4 of the way. If you have extra pecans, sprinkle a bit extra on top.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the pans before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze & Finish the Cupcakes:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly – caution, it will come to a boil very quickly.

Remove from heat and stir in rum.

With a toothpick, poke holes in the cupcakes. Using a teaspoon, drizzle glaze over cupcakes, repeating until the glaze has been absorbed.

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Last weekend, my girlfriends and I hosted a “Boobieque” raise money for our Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure team. While the menu and other photos will be posted later this week, I wanted to get this recipe up sooner, as there have been lots of requests for it.

I’ve been eying Annie’s S’mores Cupcakes for quite a while – chocolatey goodness topped with toasted marshmallows? Can’t get any better, right? Wrong! These far surpassed my expectations. I loved the graham cracker crust at the bottom and the sweet bite of chocolate chip before reaching the chocolate cake. The best part was the marshmallow frosting, which tasted like fluff with just a little bit of the burnt marshmallow.

This was my first time using a pastry bag for frosting, and also the first time using my mini-blowtorch, so the cupcakes aren’t perfect. I don’t have the perfect frosting that normally comes from this icing technique, and if you look closely, you can see a bit of the burnt cupcake liners (there was no fires, I swear!) Anyway, these cupcakes were amazingly good – I’m already plotting when to make them again.

S’mores Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats*

Makes 24+ Cupcakes

Ingredients for the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 1 1/2 packs)
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Note that the cake batter and frosting make more than 24 cupcakes-worth. Feel free to add a little extra graham crackers, sugar, and butter to make extra crust.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 c. plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. plus 1 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. boiling water

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Make the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350° F and line two cupcake pans with liners.

In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Place 1 Tbs. mixture into each cupcake liner and press down slightly – with your fingers, the bottom of a 1/4 c. measuring cup, or the bottom of a squeeze bottle. Sprinkle a bit of the chopped chocolate on top of the crust.

Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Make Cake Batter:

In a stand mixer, whisk together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla on low-speed. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the stand mixer, mixing on low-speed for 30 seconds, until combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat for 2 minutes. Add boiling water, mixing until just combined.

Add batter to cupcake liners, filling each almost to the top. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be sure to rotate pans halfway through. (If making mini-cupcakes, bake 16-18 minutes).

Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 5-10 minutes, before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. The cupcakes will be very soft if you pull them out too soon!

Make the Frosting:

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Set on top a pot of simmering water, heating and whisking often until mixture reads 160° F.

Remove from double broiler and set back in stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment. On low-speed, whisk mixture, gradually increasing speed to medium-high, to form stiff, glossy peaks. Mix in vanilla.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, frost cooled cupcakes. Brown with a mini-blowtorch – be careful not to burn the cupcake liners! Garnish with chocolate or graham crackers.

* Annie found this recipe on Lovin’ From the Oven, who attributed this recipe to Trophy Cupcakes, cake from Hershey’s

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Peanut-Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes (p. 118)

Makes 12-15 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter (i.e. Skippy)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325F and line a muffin tin with liners.

Make the Filling: Combine all ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Make the Cupcakes:

Melt chocolates and butter together over a double broiler (or in the microwave). Stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk to combine. Whisk in vanilla.

Sift salt, baking powder, and flour into chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Dough will feel heavy and will be very wet.

Spoon 2 tbs. of chocolate batter into each of the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 tbs. of the peanut butter filling, and top with 1 tbs. of the chocolate batter. For a marbled look (skipped here), take a toothpick and swirl the batter.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

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This is another Barefoot Bloggers recipe chosen by Jamie, of Jaime’s Green Kitchen. While I’ve never made these cupcakes from scratch, I was given the boxed mix, available at Crate & Barrel, in my Christmas stocking one year. They were wonderful then, and I was looking forward to making them from scratch. In fact, these ended up being the perfect sweet treat to make for my week snowed in, as they remind me of little snowballs.

I made a few ingredient changes to this recipe, since I didn’t have everything on hand. I also halved the recipe, since we’re trying to eat better, and I don’t need lots of cupcakes around the house. I have no idea how this happened, but instead of the 10 cupcakes I should have gotten when I halved the recipe (full recipe would have made 18-20 cupcakes), I ended up with a dozen cupcakes and 10 mini-cupcakes. If you tend to use very little frosting, as I do, you can even half the frosting recipe below – I did and I had plenty for all of these tasty treats.

Coconut Cupcakes

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Makes: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 extra-large eggs,* at room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk*
  • 7 oz. (about 2 c.)  sweetened, shredded coconut
* Note: Instead of buttermilk, I used 1/2 tbs. white vinegar and then filled the measuring cup to the 1/2 cup line with milk. Also, since I had large eggs on hand instead of extra-large, I used 3 large eggs, instead of trying to halve them.

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 3/4 lb confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Make the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Lower speed and add eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl, and add vanilla and almond extract, beating until combined.

With the mixer on low, add in baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in 3/4 c. flour and half the buttermilk. Repeat. Turn off the mixer when flour and buttermilk has been just combined.

Fold in half the coconut, about 1 cup.

Fill each of the cupcake liners in the prepared pan with batter, to the top of the liner.

Bake 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before moving cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream all ingredients except the confectioners’ sugar. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes, and sprinkle remaining coconut on top of the frosted cupcakes.

Happy Snow Days!

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