Funfetti Cupcakes for Two

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My sister gave up chocolate for lent. I’ll give you a moment to digest that information and react accordingly.

Who gives up chocolate for lent?! Crazy people. Unless you gave up chocolate for lent, I like you.

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If I’m being honest, I already find it tough not to bake with chocolate. I find ways to sneak it into almost everything. Maybe it’s excessive?

All that aside, I did have to put my thinking cap on. Good thing Caroline came to the rescue with these. I saw them today and made them today. And I’m glad I did.

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This recipe only make two cupcakes with just enough frosting. They are soft and fluffy, aromatic and full of sprinkley goodness! These are perfect when there are only two people around to eat them.

Or when your sister is a piggy (;P) and eats them both in less than 5 minutes flat without offering you a single bite. I’m not bitter or anything.

Both, almost all gone!

Funfetti Cupcakes for Two
Yields 2 cupcakes + frosting

FOR THE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sprinkles (I used non-pareils)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with two liners (in the middle for even baking).

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg white, vanilla extract, and sugar until thoroughly combined.
Add in the flour and baking powder and whisk gently until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add in the sprinkles and using a rubber spatula, gently fold them in. Don’t over stir!! If you stir too much the dye from the sprinkles will bleed and you’ll have tie dye cupcakes instead of funfetti.

Pour batter into your prepared cupcake pan. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

FOR THE FROSTING

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a medium bowl and an electric mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract until a frosting forms. If you like a thinner frosting, add a bit more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Frost your cooled cupcakes, toss on some more sprinkles (because they make everything better, duh) and enjoy!

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Cupcakes adapted from Chocolate & Carrots; frosting adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

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Hey there, stranger!

Well, technically I’m the stranger. It’s almost as if I dropped off the face of the blog-world. You probably thought I forgot about you, that I gave up on sugar and baking, and that I’ve turned the other cheek. I assure you, I haven’t.

Life happened and in the midst of everything, I needed a hiatus. That hiatus turned to laziness then a loss of motivation. I think I’m ready to give it another go, I hope you’ll still have me.

After all, I made you cupcakes.

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These bad boys are SO tasty. A fluffy vanilla infused cake base with a cherry base, frosted with cherry infused buttercream and topped with a cherry.

So what do you say? Friends again? Pretty please with a cherry on top?

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Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
1 and 1/2 cups (6 oz) plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup Cherry 7-Up, at room temperature*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
Red food coloring

*I used regular 7-Up with a splash of maraschino cherry juice. It worked well!!

Instructions:

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a cupcake pan with your desired paper liners, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), add the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. (My mixture looked satiny at this point.)

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and alternate adding the flour mixture and the Cherry 7-Up, beginning and ending with the flour, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mixing well. (My mixture actually looked a bit curdled but they baked up great!)

Place about 3/4 cup of the cupcake batter in a separate small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, maraschino cherry juice, and red food coloring (to your desired tint).

Evenly distribute the red cupcake batter among your prepared liners, about 1-2 teaspoons per liner, gently smoothing out the batter.

Once the red batter is in place, evenly distribute the remaining cupcake batter among the cupcake liners, making sure not to mix the two batters. Be sure to cover the red batter completely so it doesn’t bake up the sides and to the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (do not overbake). Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch salt
2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

For garnish:
12 maraschino cherries with stems

To make the Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the pinch of salt, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice into the bowl. On low speed, incorporate the ingredients until the powdered sugar is mixed in. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2-3 minutes. If you like your frosting thicker, add more powdered sugar (small amounts at a time) and if you like it thinner add a bit more cherry juice.

Pipe as desired onto your cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

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Recipe from The Curvy Carrot For a gluten-free version go to Simply Gluten-Free for the recipe.

Carrot Spice Muffins – TWD

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Have you ever tried to grate up a million and three mini carrots to make muffins?

I have. And either I’m extra clumsy or just prone to bad luck, but it seems I grated my own fingers more than the dang carrots.

Scrapes aside, once the carrots were grated, these muffins were very simple to make. I didn’t even use any machinery. Just a whisk and a rubber spatula.

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Mix, pour, bake. Simple, simple, simple.

I really should make muffins more often.

Don’t expect these to be like carrot cake (unless you slop a heaping of cream cheese frosting on top) the flavor profile is similar but not exact. But these are a tasty treat either way.

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Thank you to the lovely Nancy for choosing these muffins. They made a bunch of hard workers have a bit of a better morning :) Head on over to her blog for the recipe (or click here to be taken directly to it.)

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Butterbeer Cupcakes for Harry Potter

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My initial idea for this week was to post a different Harry Potter inspired recipe leading up to the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. And maybe even getting a few more out there after just to get the recipes swimming in my head out of my system. Apparently I wasn’t the only evil genius because everywhere I look today, there are Harry Potter recipes running amok.

It’s crazytown out there, folks. But calm yourself because I have made you some of the BEST cupcakes to ever grace my kitchen.

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When I first read about Butterbeer in the Harry Potter books, I imagined butter… and beer. And that did NOT sound tasty to me at ALL (not to mention that I was wondering why these 11 year olds are drinking beer!). Oh sure, I’m all for butter, my baking world would be lost without it. But in beer? Blegh.

But it turns out that Butterbeer really has nothing to do with beer at all. At least not the recipes that I’ve found. Most of them include butterscotch and butter flavors.

These are pretty sweet so if your sweet tooth isn’t as hardcore as mine, I suggest skipping the butterscotch filling and just sticking with the cupcakes and frosting.

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Butterbeer Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Sweet Tooth

For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda

For the butterscotch ganache:
1 11-oz package butterscotch chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb powdered sugar
Splash of cream (as needed)

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Making the Cupcakes:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl and a hand mixer), cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffly, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing until well incorporates (about 1 minute), scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
5.  Add in vanilla and butter flavoring, mix for about 1 minute.
6.  Combine buttermilk and cream soda in a small bowl (or measuring cup for ease).
7.  Alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk mixture with the mixer on low, starting and ending with the flour.
8.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full (I would fill 2/3 full) and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

Making the Butterscotch Ganache:
1.  Melt the butterscotch chips and heavy cream together using a double boiler until completely smooth (or in a heat safe bowl in the microwave). Cool to room temperature to allow the ganache to slightly thicken.
2. Set 1/3 cup or mixture aside and fill a plastic squeeze bottle with the remaining ganache. Insert tip into each cooled cupcake about halfway down, squeeze gently filling until the ganache starts to slightly overflow.

Making the Frosting:
1.  Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add remaining 1/3 cup of ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar and allow it to come together for about 2 minutes. Add cream a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
2.  Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with a large tip and drizzle leftover butterscotch ganache over each.

Recipe yields 18 cupcakes.

For more Harry Potter fun, check these out:
Pumpkin Pasties
Sorting Hat Pita Bread
and stay tuned for more :)

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Caramel Buttercream

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And now, a haiku dedicated to my black bananas:

Unloved and hiding.
Begging for a second life,
In batter they go.

That’s my attempt at something cute at 10:30pm after a tough run, a tortilla for dinner, a headache, and a fitful night of sleep. Leave me be.

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I saw these on Tracey’s blog a while ago and I was overwhelmed by the cuteness of them and promptly remembered two black straggling bananas that needed a new home as their stay in my fridge was coming to an end. You see, they party loudly late at night and it keeps me awake. So they had to go.

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Chocolate and nanners are a great match. Nanners? I don’t think I’ll be saying that again. Next time I’ll toss in some peanut butter chips and drizzle with melty peanut butter just to mix things up. The cake portion was very soft and moist, chocolatey and banana-y, perfectly balanced. Topped off with this super easy peanut butter caramel frosting, a drizzle of chocolate or caramel (or both ;P) and you’re good to go! Add a chocolate covered espresso bean, if you’re fancy.

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Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

1/2 cup heavy cream (recipe states coconut milk but this is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed (about 1 banana, although I used 2 bananas)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (recipe states canola oil, again use what you have)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (I subbed black cocoa for 2 TBSP of the regular cocoa)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

(A semi-helpful tip to quickly mash your bananas: break up bananas into a mixer bowl and whiz them around on med-high speed until they resemble barely chunky baby food. You can achieve this with a bowl and a hand mixer, but this creates more dishes ;P)

In a medium bowl, whisk the mashed banana, heavy cream, sugar, oil and vanilla until well combined. The mixture won’t be completely smooth, but mix vigorously to get out as many of the large lumps as possible. In a second medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. (Sift your cocoa into this mixture if it appears clumpy). Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and gently whisk (or fold with a rubber spatula) until flour just disappears.

Distribute the batter evenly among the liners, filling each about 1/2 – 2/3 full (an ice cream scoop works great for this). Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the muffin pan to a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer them to the wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 cupcakes

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Peanut Butter Caramel Buttercream
from Cook’s Illustrated

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon caramel sauce

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (I used the paddle because I’m a rebel. Or I don’t read the recipe well enough), beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about a minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt to the bowl and beat at low speed just until the sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the mixture on med-high until fully combined. You’ll notice it taking on a lighter color and a more uniform texture, this is perfect. Finally, mix in the vanilla and caramel sauce and beat on med-high to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again then beat on medium speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with caramel drizzle, melted chocolate or anything your heart desires.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups (enough to frost 10-12 cupcakes)

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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The stores are bursting at the seams with red and pink… everything.

Hearts adorn everything from windows to pillow cases.

And you can’t go to Martha Stewart’s website without getting a million and three ideas of what to make (or not make) for your sweetie.

So if you have ill feelings towards Vday, I suggest you look away because it won’t be any different here.

Red, check.

Hearts, check.

Sweet, check.

Giftable, check check.

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Even if you don’t celebrate Vday, you can still make these and give them to your mom or your kids or heck… even your neighbor. Or, make them for yourself, wrap them up real nice and leave them on your desk and pretend that someone else made them for you so that your crush knows that you’re in demand ;)

I have my go-to red velvet cake recipe but I wanted to try another one to broaden my horizons. The only thing that hinders these from being my go-to is that the color isn’t as vibrant as I’m used to. But if that doesn’t bother you, get out your bowls and spoons because these are great!!

And do try to stay out of the frosting bowl. :)

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields 24 frosted cupcakes

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Heart sprinkles for decoration

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Directions:

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Frost each cupcake with a small offset spatual (or butter knife) or your favorite piping bag tip.

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SMS – Fluffy Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Filling

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I’ve been wicked short on time as of late. I’m surprised that I even got at least SOME of this recipe under my belt before my proverbial plate filled up.

And as you guessed it, I’m short on time now… so I won’t keep you too long!

I was under the impression that this cake was a coconut cake. I was finished mixing the batter when I realized that there was not coconut, well, ANYTHING! Thinking I’d missed a step, I re-read the recipe and saw that it was the frosting that was coco-nutty.

Ehhhh no thanks.

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So to save on time (and sanity) I quartered the recipe, made them cake into cupcakes, cut a hole on top to fill with apricot jam and topped with cream cheese frosting.

The cake was indeed fluffy and tasty (extra vanilla-ish because I used vanilla soy milk in place of the regular milk) but I’m not much of a frosting person so I ate them plain.

For the recipe for the cake, filling and frosting… head on over to Karen’s blog, Karen of Karen’s Cookies Cakes & More.

Up next week: Peanut Brittle.

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