Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

With summer just around the corner, I’ve found the perfect light and flavorful cupcake to make for all occasions- the raspberry lemonade cupcake. It’s bursting with fresh raspberries and the hint of lemon, and is sure to please family and friends! Super easy to make, and even easier to indulge in!

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff


1 package white cake mix

1 small package vanilla instant pudding

3 Tbsp sweetened raspberry lemonade drink mix ( Country Time Lemonade or the like- pink lemonade mix also works)

1 c. sour cream

2 tsp lemon zest

3/4 c. water

3/4 c. oil

4 egg whites

3 drops of red food coloring

1 c. fresh raspberries


1 c. butter, softened

1 c. shortening

1/2 c. frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed

2 Tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla

zest from 1 lemon

2 lb package or 7.5 c. confectioners sugar

3-4 drops red food coloring

*I could have easily halved this and frosted all my cupcakes. I had a ton left over*


In a large bowl, whisk cake mix, pudding mix, nad drink mix together. Add sour cream, water, oil, lemon zest, and egg whites to the mix, and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Add drops of food coloring and mix in. Fold in raspberries and mix gently to incorporate.

Scoop batter into a muffin tin with cupcake liners (24).  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream butter, shortening, and lemon zest together. Add the lemonade concentrate, milk, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, mixing well until light and fluffy. Beat in the food coloring.

Pipe frosting on cupcakes and garnish with a raspberry on top.


Cinnamon Roll Cake

There aren’t too many times when Ryan asks me to make a certain meal/dessert. When he does, I know it’s something he’d really like to have. One item that has been requested has been cinnamon rolls. Ryan loves them, and wishes I would make them probably every weekend.  I haven’t yet…I avoid making them like the plague. I say it takes too much time, and Ryan offers a way to shorten the process. I say I have absolutely no idea how to make them, and Ryan provides a step by step recipe. All this effort means he really must want them!

I found this cinnamon roll cake recipe online, and thought this would be the perfect substitute for rolls so I didn’t have to make them. Ryan called me out right away when I mentioned the recipe and said this wouldn’t be as good as the real deal and that I should just make the darn rolls. *sigh* I have quite the persistent husband.

While this recipe didn’t turn out quite like the blog I found the recipe from (mine was quite fluffy), I really liked the cake, and Ryan liked it too. It was no cinnamon roll, but it may be as close as I’ll get to making them! 😉 The cinnamon swirl was yummy, and the glaze acted just like frosting on a roll. If you’re looking to get out of making cinnamon rolls, definitely give this recipe a try- I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Recipe from Chef In Training


3 c. flour

1 c. sugar

4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 c. milk

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c. butter, melted


1 c. butter, softened

1 c. brown sugar

2 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp cinnamon


2 c. powdered sugar

5 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 glass pan with cooking spray, and set aside.

In an electric or stand mixer, add the flour, milk, eggs, vanilla, and baking powder. When well combined, slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9 x 13 baking pan.

For topping, mix the butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy.  Drop evenly over the batter by tablespoonfuls and use a knife to swirl through the cake.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out nearly clean.

For the glaze- In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy birthday…{to me!}

When asked what I want for my birthday each year, there’s only one thing I TRULY want- a cake, and it’s either an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen or a marble cake with chocolate frosting. Most years I’ll get one a few days after my birthday when Ryan and I get together with my family to celebrate my sister and my birthdays. Ryan’s completely against making homemade frosting for a cake, and he doesn’t like ice cream cake, so I usually go cake-less on my birthday.

When I saw this polka dot cake on SnowyBliss’s blog, I thought it’d be the perfect birthday cake for me. Vain a bit? It’s my birthday- I can be! 🙂 I love all things polka dots, so finding out you can make cakes with polka dots, I about died. Super cute, and didn’t look too terrible hard to make.

The polka dots are made by using a Babycakes Pop Maker. My mom scored a new one for $6.00 around Christmas and gave me it. I also decided to color my pops so I used fuchsia gel dye to make those babies vibrant.

I didn’t follow SnowyBliss’s directions completely, but wish I would have followed a little closer, as my pops weren’t covered with batter and they ended up being a little dry on top. Other than that, the cake was easy to assemble, looks fun, and tastes great!

Polka Dot Cake

1 boxed cake

Ingredients for the pops (found in the Babycakes recipe booklet)

Gel dyes- optional

Frosting of your choice- I used a chocolate fudge buttercream found on this post 

Step 1:

Make the cake pops as directed within the Babycakes booklet. If you want colored pops, once batter is mixed, squeeze dye in until desired color is found.








Step 2:

Make cake batter as directed on the box instructions. Pour a small amount in a greased and floured 9 inch round pan. Push half the pops into the batter. Repeat with a second 9 inch round pan.










Step 3:

Divide the remaining batter between the two round pans and pour on top of the cake pops.

Step 4:

Cook the cake, checking after the directed time to see if a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine about 7-10 minutes extra. Let your cakes cool on a wire rack.

Step 5:

Make your frosting.

Step 6:

If your cakes are rounded on top, use a knife to level them off. Put one cake on a plate,  put some frosting on top and spread around the cake.








Take the second cake and place on top of the frosting. Use remaining frosting to frost entire cake.

Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting

I don’t even know where to begin with these cupcakes. They are so good! Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but they really are delicious. A rich chocolate cupcake with a yummy, chocolate chip marshmallow filling, topped off with a frosting made with hot fudge.  You heard me. HOT FUDGE. Did I just hear you running out the door to get to the grocery store as fast as possible to pick up ingredients?!

This recipe is modified from a Hostess cupcake recipe I found, and have used in the past with success. My co-worker’s wife turned 30 and I said I’d make cupcakes in addition to the cake he had special ordered for her. When asked what kind of cupcake he thought his wife would want, my co-worker said it for sure had to be one with a lot of chocolate. The Hostess cupcake recipe came to my mind right away, and I mentioned that, and said with a different frosting it could be the winner. My co-worker mentioned the addition of chocolate chips in the middle and we were set.

I’d have the say they are probably one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. They are that good. I’m told that the cupcakes were a huge hit not only with my co-worker’s wife, but also with the people who attended her 30th birthday party. If a lot of people have said they are good, that means you should go make them. Now!

Hostess Cupcakes (modified, so if you want the full recipe, see the below site)

Recipe from Bake at 350

For the cupcakes:

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 c. granulated sugar

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract ( I used imitation and lived)

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

For the filling:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 c. powdered sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp. heavy cream

1 c. marshmallow creme

1/2-3/4 c. mini chocolate chips


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin tin for 20-24 cupcakes.

Prepare the cupcakes: Bring the sugar and 1 c. water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.

Using a mixer, beat the eggs into the chocolate, them mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 c. batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 13-16 minutes (original recipe stated for 25 minutes, so it really depends on your oven). Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

(Cupcakes may sink in the middle…if they do, they’ll puff up when filled later)

For the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tbsp. heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar and 2 tbsp heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Add chocolate chips (Using as little or many as you’d like- keep in mind when using a piping bag that the chips may not come out if you use too many…trust me!); set aside or refrigerate.

Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a large round decorating tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). (It’s okay if some of the filling is showing- you’ll cover it when you frost)















Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting

1/2 c. butter, at room temperature

1/4 c. shortening

1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp. milk

1 c. hot fudge topping

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together the butter and margarine with the shortening. Sift the cocoa with the confectioners’ sugar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together adding 1 tbsp at a time of milk to keep mixture smooth. Don’t add more than 1/4 c. milk.

Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy. Frost the cupcakes.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Oreos. I’ve never had a love hate relationship with them. It’s always been 100% love and happiness. I really don’t see how anybody can hate Oreos. They are soooooo good! I always dip them in milk, let’m soak, and then enjoy the mushiness of what’s left. Ryan finds my method of eating Oreos completely disturbing. He doesn’t get why I’d like them all mushy and thinks I’m a bit crazy for taking so much time to eat just one cookie. One cookie?! Who are we kidding here? It’s more like 3… or 4… or 5… 🙂

When I saw this recipe for Oreo cupcakes, I knew I’d have to give it a try. They looked too good to ignore. After seeing this recipe, I found out that my friend Tiff, who guest posted on these delicious cupcakes was coming to town and wanted to bake with me. Let me tell you, I was BEYOND excited! I hadn’t seen Tiff since January 2010! I missed her! Couldn’t wait to catch up and crack jokes. Plus, Tiff wanted to bake, and who could turn down that offer!

We decided after both pondering that Oreo cupcakes would be our recipe of choice. After discussing the recipe, we decided to switch things up a bit. The normal recipe added mini-chips in the batter. We took it to the next level and put chips in some, crushed Oreos in the others. Also added to a few were Oreos at the bottom of the cupcake. Yum! Tiff and I couldn’t wait to see how they turned out! The result? Fantastic, tasty, chocolately cupcakes. This cupcake recipe will definitely be a keep at my house!

Oreo Cupcakes

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

1 (18.25 oz) package devil’s food cake mix

1 (5.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 c. sour cream

1 c. vegetable oil

4 eggs

1/2 c. warm water

2 c. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, or 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped Oreos (if doing both, divide the batter, and cut amounts in half)

24-28 whole Oreos, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water. Stir in the chocolate chips/Oreos and pour batter into muffin tins with liners.

Bake for 21 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes thoroughly in a pan at least an hour and a half before removing.







Buttercream Dream Frosting

1 stick salted butter- at room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter- at room temperature

1 c. shortening

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 lbs confectioner’s sugar

4-6 tbsp very cold milk

8 crushed (make sure there are no big chunks) Oreos with the cream removed before crushing

*If you’re not sure what to do with the Oreos since they don’t have filling anymore, pile all the filling on one Oreo and dare a friend or signficant other to eat it in one bite 🙂










Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer or stand mixer. Add the vanilla and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, being adding the very cold milk, one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency. Fold in the Oreo cookie crumbs. Top cooled cupcakes with the buttercream frosting and garnish with 1/2 an Oreo.

Look at Tiff frosting away!










This is how you frost when your Oreos aren’t crushed up enough, and they get stuck in the frosting tip (please excuse the light from the flash!):










*Make sure you add enough milk! I didn’t, and got extremely thick, super hard to use frosting. It was still good, just not your normal frosting!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

I had the pleasure of baking with my cousin Michaela recently. Michaela is a college freshman at a local school in the area, so I figured she needed a break from her studies and could use some treats. Plus, she’s a great baker! I knew we’d have no problem sharing the kitchen to accomplish our recipe.

I should have known from the moment Michaela went, “You named your mixer?!” that we’d have many laughable and eyebrow raising moments. We had decided Michaela would handle the batter, and I’d make up the cookie dough so we wouldn’t be baking all night long. Long story short, I messed up, and ended up doubling my dough, and Michaela forgot to alternate milk and dry ingredients so it was one soupy mess adding in the milk until it was blended. Oh, and Michaela forgot the chocolate chips. Who does that?! 😉 It’s the best part of the batter!

For all the mess-ups we had, we just laughed them off, and kept on trucking. Those errors weren’t going to stop us from getting these cupcakes! I think they actually made things even more enjoyable than they already were! We ended up having success in coring, inserting dough, and frosting the cupcakes once they were done. Success in photographing the cupcakes at 9:00 pm…not so much! After many tries of getting the cupcakes to look right, we gave up, and Michaela was sent back to the dorms with cupcakes to share with her floor. I’m told they didn’t last long 🙂

If you’re a cookie dough and cupcake lover, definitely give these bad boys a try!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Recipe from Bake at 350

For the cupcakes:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed

4 large eggs

2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet)

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).

Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cream together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Alternating add the dry ingredients to the miser with the milk on low-speed, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between 24 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes bake and cool, prepare your cookie dough filling.

For the cookie dough filling:

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 Tbsp. light brown sugar, packed

1 c. plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

7 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

To make the filling:

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Add flour, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, (approximately 1 hour).

After the cupcakes have cooled, fill the cupcakes by cutting a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hold with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.








For the Brown Sugar frosting:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed

3 1/2 c. confectioners sugar

1 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. milk

2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the frosting:

Beat butter and brown sugar with the paddle attachment on high-speed until creamy and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla until smooth and combined.

Frost cupcakes using a pastry bag and 1 M tip. Decorate with mini chocolate chips and if you have them, mini cookies.









If you’re like us, and want to eat some of the cored pieces, frost them, sprinkle with chips, and you’ve got a mini-cupcake!











Baby Shower! { Recipes for Oreo Cheesecake, Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, & Homemade Hostess Cupcakes}

This past weekend, I co-hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law Amber and baby S. It was well attended by many loving friends and family members of Amber’s. Larissa, Amber’s sister, entertained us all with some great baby shower games that had guests laughing and competing to win prizes. Here’s a picture of some of the Play-doh babies guests were asked to make in a short time frame.








Amber received so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts, and I’m sure she’s ready to start using them soon! Baby S isn’t scheduled to arrive until early December, so we’re all waiting anxiously for his arrival!

We started planning the shower a while back with Larissa so it was great to see everything come together as planned! There was a candy bar with Laffy Taffy , Fruities, and gummy bears, as well as bubble gum cigars. We also had a table full of Oreo cheesecakes, raspberry cheesecakes, homemade Hostess cupcakes, a fruit bouquet, and lemonade. If people left hungry, it was not due to the fact that we didn’t have enough food!








I prepared the cheesecakes and Hostess cupcakes, and Larissa created the fruit bouquet. Instead of writing every recipe on the blog, I’ve decided to link them to the blogs I found the recipes at. This makes it easier for you to just click and go instead of scrolling through this whole post if you want a certain recipe. I made a few modifications on the recipes, and I’ll note them by their links.

Oreo Cheesecakes: Recipe is great just the way it is!

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecakes: I wasn’t able to find a fine mesh strainer, so I kept the raspberry seeds in. No complaints about them in the cheesecakes! I added a little whipped cream and a raspberry to dress the cheesecakes up a bit.








Homemade Hostess Cupcakes: The recipe stated around 25 minutes for baking. I baked mine only 12 minutes, and they were completely done. I recommend checking at 12 minutes, and then every few minutes after that to see if a toothpick comes out clean. Each oven has different baking times! I also wrote baby, love, and boy on the tops of the cupcakes. I never knew how hard it was to write on cupcakes until I made these! The writing isn’t perfect, but I think you can read them!








To my fantastic sis Amber and bro Adam, congratulations on the upcoming arrival of baby S! I’m beyond elated for you on this new chapter in your lives! Baby S is such a lucky little man to have you as parents!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s the second, most wonderful time of the year! Leaves are changing color and falling to the ground, pumpkin is the most popular flavor for drinks, food, scents, etc., it’s not so blasted hot ( Well, I take that back. This week is supposed to be in the 80’s! Holy cannoli!), and the air has a great crisp to it that just makes me smile. I always feel that in the fall I need to make pumpkin-flavored muffins, breads, cupcakes, cakes, etc., because it’s “the time” to make all of that. The rest of the year, pumpkin doesn’t seem as well liked for treats. Don’t get me wrong, I could eat most pumpkin treats everyday! It’s everybody else that claims pumpkin as only Fall appropriate. 😦

When I saw the recipe for these pumpkin cupcakes, I immediately flagged the page as a “must make” recipe. Anybody else out there do that with magazines/recipe books? I probably flag 6-8 recipes every time I get a food magazine. Don’t ask how many of those I’ve actually been able to make! Any who, the recipe boasts some serious pumpkin flavor due to key ingredients of spice cake mix and pumpkin puree. This is more dense than your typical cupcake, but still has the cupcake attitude and charm people love.

This cupcake is paired with a yummy cinnamon cream cheese frosting, which I feel just adds to the deliciousness of the cupcake. The cupcake is great by itself, but topped with the frosting, these two were certainly meant to be together! Just like Ryan and me, right?! Okay, okay… not exactly the same, but you know what I mean!

Grab some apple cider or coffee, and enjoy a pumpkin cupcake or two!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe from Kraft Food and Family

1 pkg. (2-layer size) spice cake mix

1 c. sour cream

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

1/4 c. oil

1 pkg ( 8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1 pkg (16 oz) powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat first 5 ingredients with mixer until well blended; spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar. Blend in cinnamon.  Spread over cupcakes.

*Store frosted cupcakes in refrigerator*

By the way, how cute is this dessert plate?! I got a set of 4 on clearance at Macy’s, and couldn’t be happier! I also have a large dessert platter with the same theme and love it!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

Every once in a while, I’ll be asked to bake treats for various occasions. I’ve made cheesecakes, cupcakes, and cakes mostly. I had the privilege of being asked to bake for my co-worker’s daughter’s 1st birthday party, and was challenged to find a vanilla bean cupcake, and pair it with a strawberry frosting. Vanilla bean? As in use a real vanilla bean, and cut and scrape out the vanilla seeds? But that’s scary! The fear of figuring out vanilla beans was coming to a close for me.

I attempted to try the “cheap” route for vanilla cupcakes, as I wanted to keep the costs down for my co-worker, so my first option was a boxed vanilla cake mix and adding vanilla extract to make it more vanilla-like. Let me tell you, they weren’t even worth bringing into work for a taste test. I’ve used the vanilla boxed mixes many times, and been okay with them, but this time, it just wasn’t working for me.

I moved on to my second option, which was using real vanilla beans in the recipe instead of just using vanilla extract. I was terrified. I wanted to turn around and run. How the heck do you get the seeds out of the vanilla bean?! Where do you even get vanilla beans? I want my mommy! (Okay, okay. It wasn’t THAT bad!) After asking my friend Meghan over at Meg’s Everyday Indulgence ( Go check out her blog! She’s absolutely amazing!) where to find the vanilla beans, I got all my ingredients together and put on my big girl pants to conquer my fear of vanilla beans.

The recipe I tried was fantastic. It’s super easy, as you put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, then mix, and you’re done. It’s really as easy as that! I’m all for a one bowl recipe! Aaaannnndddd, getting the seeds out of the vanilla bean was way easier than I thought! All the over-reacting for nothing. I can be such a drama queen- just ask Ryan. I brought in the cupcakes the day after I made them, and they were a hit among all who received one. The vanilla bean added so much flavor, and the denseness of the cupcake was a delight.

Since my co-worker said she definitely wanted the cupcakes for the party, I set off to purchase the Cupcake Courier I’ve had my eyes on for transporting 36 of the 48 cupcakes I was to make. How functional and great is this thing? It even allows for you to transport cakes!








I paired the vanilla bean cupcake with a strawberry mascarpone frosting, and think they turned out great! Happy 1st birthday Payson!:)











Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

(This recipe is not something I created. I accidentally threw out both this and the frosting blog information)

Makes 12-16 cupcakes

1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt (opt)

1 c. sugar

1 stick butter, melted

1 egg

1/4 c. sour cream

3/4 c. milk (I used skim and they turned out great!)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (with blade attachment) or mixer bowl. Fill cupcake liners slightly more than halfway full.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until center cupcakes bounce back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

1/4 c. softened butter

1- 8 oz container mascarpone, at room temperature (I couldn’t find mascarpone, so I used Neuchâtel Cheese. I would believe that cream cheese can also be substituted)

1/2 c. fresh strawberries, pureed

2 Tbsp. strawberry jam

4-5 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the strawberries and jam. Mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until the frosting has the sweetness and consistency you desire ( I ended up using around 7 c.). If your frosting is not stiff enough to pipe, add more powdered sugar. Note that this may not have the same stiffness/form as typical frosting when piped.

Use right away, or refrigerate until ready to use.

It’s a hijacking!

Ok, not really, I was invited! My name is Tiffany and I am normally posting over at my own little blog , “This is my life.” However, Kate had the fun idea of swapping blogs for a guest post. So here I am!

Once Kate presented this idea to me I thought, “oh my gosh, this makes us “real” bloggers!!” My following thought was, “hmm, I’m going to need to come up with something super delicious (how else can I keep up with the wonderful Kate?!)!!” After much thinking I finally decided to take a risk and share a new recipe with you. However, here are my three thoughts right out the gate about the recipe I chose.
1. This is super delish and you MUST try it!
2. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list, it’s a bit long, but not difficult!
3. Your life will not be fulfilled if you skip out on the frosting!
These are just my thoughts though, who am I to tell you what to do?!

Moving right along.  Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of Chocolate Cupcakes with…hold your breath…Peanut Butter Frosting (are you officially salivating (if you aren’t your glands must be broken!  seriously, who doesn’t love the chocolate and peanut butter combo?!)) We’re going to start in the obvious place with the cupcake portion and then move on to the peanut butter frosting.

To make the Chocolate Cupcakes you are going to need these items:In exactly these amounts:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons strong, brewed coffee

1 3/4 cup flour

1 cup powdered cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

First things first, get your coffee brewing so it’s ready when you need it.  Then get your oven heating, you’ll need it at a warm 350 degrees.  With all of that underway, grab yourself three bowls…one large one and two medium ones.

Starting with your large bowl, drop in 12 T. of butter and 2/3 c. of each sugars.  Mix them on high, until they are light and fluffy, sort of like this…

Then, one at a time, plop your eggs in and blend it up real well.  Lastly into the large bowl, blend in

2 tsp. of vanilla like so…

(Alright, I mostly had to include this picture as a salute to Dottie and all her amazing duties she can accomplish.  However, let it be known, while I long for a Dottie of my own, a $30 handheld mixer can get the job done too!)

Back on task, grab one of your medium bowls and whisk up 1 c. buttermilk, 1/2 c. sour cream and 2 T. coffee (remember I already told you to brew your coffee? you listened, riiight?!).  Now, if you’re like me you were totally ready to make these cupcakes.  You made sure you had all of the proper ingredients and all the right amounts of said ingredients.  Duh, who doesn’t check stuff like this before they bake?!  (Insert downcast eyes and embarrassed smile <HERE>!)  Even though I know this would never happen to you, let us just pretend that you aren’t prepared.  Let us pretend that perhaps you pull your sour cream out of the refrigerator, pop the lid off and find something similar to this…

That is just repulsive and under no circumstances would anything like that EVER happen in my kitchen.  However, let’s just say it happens in yours…DO NOT DESPAIR.  There are many sour cream substitutes.  For example, take advantage of that big carton of buttermilk you bought and mix 3/4 cup of it with 1/3 cup of butter.  You will never know the difference (not that I’d know, this is just an example people!)

Moving right along.  Take your remaining medium bowl (I know you are thinking all these bowls are making for A LOT of clean up, but trust me, IT IS WORTH IT!) and whisk, whisk, whisk 1 3/4 c. flour, 1 c. cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.

You should have three bowls all set…a sugary butter bowl, a liquid bowl and a cocoa flour bowl.  All we are going to do now is combine them together. Everything gets added into your big bowl of light and fluffy, sugary butter.  Alternate adding in thirds the buttermilk mixture and a then the flour, end with the flour.  It will look something like this along the way…

Mix the batter until it is just blended, don’t beat it to death!

Now, pour this yumminess into your choice of pan. I made a dozen cupcakes and a 9 inch cake. With the cupcakes only fill them 3/4 of the way or they will overflow during baking (bad news!).  For cupcakes bake at 350F for 20 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to be certain they are cooked all the way through, be sure not to over cook them or they will dry out, and voila (and that is pronounced vwala folks, just in case you’re curious), you’ve got this…

Now, if you had good sour cream to work with that recipe wasn’t so difficult, was it?

Here is a suggestion about all of those bowls, clean them while the cupcakes are baking.  It makes waiting go so much faster.  Total bonus!  Plus, while they are baking you can make your yummy frosting using these ingredients…

In these exact amounts:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

Take one of those medium bowls you finished cleaning and mix everything together except the heavy cream.  Beat it until it’s smooth and then add in your 1/3 c. heavy cream.  Mix this on high until it is light and smooth!

(I could have licked the whole bowl out and not frosted the cupcakes it was that good!!)

Hurry up and frost those ‘cakes so you don’t eat all the frosting alone!  For fun, throw some mini chocolate chips on top!!  You can never have enough chocolate!!!

Now try to refrain from eating only one!!

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