Churro Cupcakes

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Photo by Jaime Stockton – http://www.jaimestocktonphotography.com

Well, this post is long overdue. And finally, here is a post about cupcakes on a cupcake blog. My friend Jaime and I had been talking about having a cupcake baking night since May. Finally, in August, we had that baking night and made churro cupcakes. Continue the three month delay trend, here is the post.

These cinnamon spiced vanilla cupcakes with a homemade churro topping were a hit. We made two dozen of them, and they were all gone within two hours of bringing them to work. It was a ton of fun making them, especially the churro topping. The cake is a cinnamon-spiced cake, and we decided to further spice it up with a hint of coffee extract. Wow, did that make a difference!

The churros first seemed a little daunting. You could use fry up some frozen churros, but fear not, homemade ones are super easy to make! All you have to do is mix a few ingredients and pipe it into a deep fryer (or a frying pan will suffice). You are supposed to pipe the dough into the oil using a piping bag to get the texture, but a scooping it in with a spoon works too. After they cool, load ’em up with some cinnamon sugar, and even some chocolate! Ooh, I wish we had some done that.What a sugar high that would be! Maybe next time…

Happy baking!

Xoxo,
JJC

Recipe

Cake, yield 12
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon coffee extract
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
2. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and coffee extract.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs to the butter mixture at a time.
5. Add the flour mixture and the liquids alternately, beating well after each addition. Consistency should be similar to a pudding.
6. Fill the cupcake linings about 2/3 full
7. Bake the cakes at 325F for about 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cinnamon Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cream
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar

1. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the liquids, cinnamon, and confectioner’s sugar until it is at a desired consistency.

Churro topping
1 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
oil for frying
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, salt, and oil. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Then stir in the flour until it forms a ball.
2. Heat the frying oil and then pipe in the dough using a pastry bag.
*Note, we did spoonfuls of the dough without any issues.
3. Combine the cinnamon and the sugar to dip the churros in the mixture.

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Photo by Jaime Stockton – http://www.jaimestocktonphotography.com

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Shirley Temple Cupcakes

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Greetings!

Happy (almost) summer! The last time I posted, there were mounds of snow everywhere, but now I am happy to report that there is not a single flake of snow on the ground. Therefore, it’s time for a summer-y post!

That means it’s time for Shirley Temple cupcakes! Who doesn’t love grenadine syrup in a lemon-lime soda? Yum! For my interpretation, I made a lemon lime base with a grenadine buttercream.

Xoxo,
JJC

Recipe
Cake, yield 12
1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup Sprite or Ginger Ale
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, Sprite, lime juice, and lemon juice.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time.
5. Add the flour mixture and the liquids alternately, beating well after each addition. Consistency should be similar to a pudding.
6. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
7. Bake at 325F for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Lime Grenadine Buttercream Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1½ stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons grenadine
1 teaspoon lime juice.

1. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the liquids and confectioner’s sugar until it is at a desired consistency.
3. Frost cupcakes and decorate.
4. Enjoy!

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes Part II

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today we have an Irish Car Bomb themed cupcake. What does this adaptation mean exactly? Glad you asked. We have a chocolate Guinness base with an Irish Cream butter cream. Oop, my past few posts have had Irish Cream. Can you blame me? It tastes great…

This recipe is actually blast from the past. I made a batch of Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes for two years ago. Hence, we have Part II of the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. This recipe will always have a special place in my heart, since it’s when I really fell in love with the art AND science of baking. I love that baking is an art in that you can create whatever your heart so desires. But that creativity is a double edged sword. It still requires some precision; otherwise your cake will simply flop over.

Through blogging, it is truly incredible record the progress I’ve made over the past few years. At first, I strictly followed recipes to the bone to try to understand exactly how to make a certain cake. Now, I kind of just threw together what I thought would make a good, scrumptious cake. Talk about #transformationTuesday.

March 2013

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March 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Similar to the first time, I used an apple corer to hollow the center. The only difference is that I filled it with the Irish Cream filling instead of a Jameson chocolate ganache, since I didn’t have any Jameson. The Irish Cream filling worked just as nicely. I used a little less sugar, which made the cake a little darker, and sweet butter cream provided the perfect amount of sweetness to dark Guinness cake.

DSC_1525Lastly, happy baking and enjoy! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Xo,
JJC

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Recipe

Guinness Chocolate Cake, yield 14
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup Guinness Draught
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 eggs

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and Guinness.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time.
5. Add the flour mixture and the liquids alternately, beating well after each addition. Consistency should be similar to a pudding.
6. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
7. Bake at 325F for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Irish Cream Buttercream
Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1½ stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons Irish Cream
1 dash of salt

1. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the liquids and confectioner’s sugar until it is at a desired consistency.
3. Frost cupcakes and decorate.
4. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

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Not only is it AT&T’s recent advertising slogan, it’s also generally human nature to think that “more is better.” However, that is not always the case when it comes to baking. Last week I thought that it would be nice to make pumpkin chocolate cupcakes to celebrate autumn, the most delicious season of all. I took a Martha Stewart and tried to half the recipe adapt it to what I normally make. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that my recipe would only call for half the can of pumpkin puree, instead of the entire can. So, I dumped the entire can in.

The issue with adding too much pumpkin is that it is a very dense food that sinks to the bottom of the cupcake. While the cake looked ready after 17 minutes from the top and passed the toothpick rule, there was uncooked pumpkin chilling (pun intended) at the bottom of the lining. When I took the trays out, the cake almost immediately sunk and turned into a crater:

Attempt 1: don't add too much pumpkin. But when all else fails, grab a pumpkin ale.

Attempt 1: don’t add too much pumpkin. But when all else fails, grab a pumpkin ale.

In an effort to save the cupcakes, I ended up putting them back into the oven, which you’re really not supposed to do, for another 5 minutes. This resulted in a chewy pumpkin cake, but at least it was cooked. The only good thing that came out of it was the pumpkin ale (so good!), and the overall flavor of the cupcake was still good.

Feeling unsuccessful, I tried to make the same pumpkin cupcakes the following week. This time, I reduced the amount of pumpkin in the batter and kept a watchful eye on the oven to ensure that the cakes were fully cooked before taking them out of the oven. I also added a little more cinnamon and nutmeg in the cake to enhance the pumpkin flavor. Finally, I changed the frosting recipe to include a bit of coffee to give it a nice dark chocolate flavor.

Once the cakes cooled and the dark chocolate frosting was applied, it sure tasted like a biting into autumn bliss. In the end, I really enjoyed this cupcake and now am stocking up on pumpkin puree. It’s the best when enjoyed with a cup of warm spiced apple cider (preferably farm fresh, but the one from Trader Joe’s isn’t bad either). Or, if you’re stuck in midterm season, these pumpkin cupcakes will make any trip to the library just a bit better.

Xo,
JJC

Recipe
Cake, yield 18
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sour cream

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time.
5. Add the flour mixture and the liquids alternately, beating well after each addition.
6. Blend in the pumpkin puree and the sour cream.
7. Fill 24 cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
8. Bake at 350F for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup milk with 2 tablespoons of dissolved cornstarch
1 tablespoon coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
~3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the liquids, the cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar until it is at a desired consistency.DSC_0425

Minion Cupcakes

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In making these minion cupcakes, I broke one of my cardinal rules of baking and used a boatload of artificial coloring. But come on, the minions from Despicable Me are just too adorable. I recently saw Despicable Me 2 in theaters. It wasn’t necessarily the best story (the plot of the first Despicable Me was better). However, the minions made the movie worth watching a second time. That is enough about the movies; this is a cupcake blog, not a movie review site.

The cupcakes I made this time included a chocolate cake with a vanilla buttercream frosting. I have not ventured to the world of gum paste, which makes for more cakes with a more professional-looking design. I may soon, but the summer is, believe it or not, almost over (side note: where did this summer go?). Anyway, I used a buttercream frosting and added food coloring to it. For the yellow and blue colors, I added about 7 drops of food coloring. I bought a black gel frosting pen for the black straps on the minions’ goggles and for their smiles. I also used the black to mix it with the normal white buttercream to make the grey goggles. Considering I didn’t have enough frosting bags, I think I did a pretty good job with the makeshift bags made of Ziploc bags cut at the corner. It worked pretty well, since you need to create a flat surface for the yellow. For about 16 cupcakes, I would recommend that you use 3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter.

The entire process from mixing the batter to the end of frosting took nearly three hours. It was definitely worth it. The chocolate cake is nice and moist and almost melts in your mouth. Plus you have to feel happy when you see the minions. AND the cupcakes are smiling at you. Next on my list of cupcakes to bake are the evil purple minions!

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Xo,
JJC

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Green Tea Cupcakes

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Green tea cupcakes really hit home for me. Not only do I love anything green tea because it is good for the healt, green tea cupcakes were the first cupcakes that I ever made from scratch in March 2012. It’s really something to compare photos from then to now and to see how much I have improved.

This time when I made them, I had the company of my cousin Anna and used some stolen borrowed matcha powder from my sister. Baking alone, for me, is usually a stress-reducing activity (until I realize I have a dozen cupcakes for myself–then it becomes stress-inducing!), but it’s also great to bake with family or with friends.

Matcha powder, as expensive as it is, is such a beautiful powder. It is so fragrant and has a beautiful rich green color–no food coloring was used in the frosting! With the green color, it is also fun to make grass and other patterns. We made both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with green tea frosting with a surprise inside. I’m usually partial to desserts with chocolate, but both the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes were delicious, so I’d recommend you make both!

Xo,
JJC

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Recipe

Vanilla Cake, yield 8
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time.
5. Add the flour mixture and the liquids alternately, beating well after each addition.
6. Fill 16 cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
7. Bake at 325F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Green Tea Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup matcha powder
1 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the liquids, matcha powder, and confectioner’s sugar until it is at a desired consistency.DSC_1707

Banana and Chocolate Cupcakes

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This summer has basically been a summer of working and baking cupcakes. I don’t mind. It’s extremely relaxing and pretty great. This weekend I made banana cupcakes with a chocolate frosting. I made these cupcakes nearly a year ago, and these look a lot prettier. The bananas I used overly ripe, making the cupcakes nice and moist and light with a delicious banana taste. The cake could have stood on its own, but the dark chocolate frosting made the overall cupcake a taste from heaven.

Xo,
JJC

Recipe
Cake, yield 16
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time.
5. Add the flour mixture and the liquids alternately, beating well after each addition.
6. Fold in the mashed bananas into the mixture.
7. Fill 16 cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
8. Bake at 325F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk with 2 cornstarch mixed in
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the liquids, cocoa powder, and confectioner’s sugar until it is at a desired consistency.

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