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Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Every year I get excited when I see strawberries in the grocery store.  I’m not really big on fruit desserts, but I do love strawberry shortcake, cupcakes, and ice cream.  I saw these cupcakes at the perfect time and decided to make them to celebrate this beautiful warmer weather that we’ve been blessed with!  These cupcakes were a pretty standard white cupcake with lemon flavoring, but it was the frosting that made them stand out.  This frosting was simply incredible!  I like pretty much any frosting, but a Swiss buttercream works great in sweets because it’s not overly sweet.  It’s more about the creamy,  buttery texture.  I added an entire carton of strawberries for extra flavor, which was just right for me.  David said that this is pretty much his favorite cupcake and he wants me to find even more excuses to make that frosting again!  These would be a great dessert to make for a spring cookout or for Mother’s Day- the perfect way to celebrate spring!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from Martha Stewart

3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
3 Tbsp lemon zest (from 3 lemons)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1-1.5 lemons)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Strawberry Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare muffin tin by either spraying with baking spray or lining with paper liners (my preferred method).

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Turn mixer to the low, and add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated.

Fill each muffin cup ~3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pans at the halfway point. Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing.

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
2 cups sugar
8 egg whites
3 sticks butter, room temperature
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 pint strawberries, pureed
1 tsp vanilla

Place the stand mixer bowl over a simmering pot of water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk the sugar and egg whites until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 160 degrees with a candy thermometer.

Place bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until the mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks (approximately 10 minutes). Change to the paddle attachment and beat in one tablespoon of butter at a time on medium. The mixture might appear curdled but keep going, it will pull back together. Add lemon juice, strawberry puree, and vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat until the frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy (this will take about 10 minutes).

Yields: Frosting for 24 cupcakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snickerdoodles are such a fun cookie, so I couldn’t resist making them in cupcake form.  I love cinnamon, and these cupcakes make it the central flavor.  These cupcakes were easy to make- basically your standard cupcake recipe, and their simplicity made the cinnamon stand out as the star ingredient.  They taste a lot like the cookie: sweet and simple.  Martha’s book states that snickerdoodles are thought to have a German origin, and that their name is likely a mispronunciation of schneckennudeln (crinkly noodles).  It makes sense, though, because cinnamon seems to have a huge role in traditional baked goods.  The recipe calls for a seven-minute frosting, but I thought a cinnamon buttercream would be better.  I used my favorite buttercream frosting recipe and simply added cinnamon until I got the desired flavor.  Snickerdoodles are a popular cookie, and everyone got really excited about enjoying them in cupcake form!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Source: Martha Stewart Cupcakes, also found on marthastewart.com

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Frosting Note: I made half the recipe for cupcakes and this full recipe of frosting and had some left over.  For a full batch of cupcakes, I would at least multiply this recipe by 1.5, if not double to be on the safe side.  If it’s too much, that’s okay, who doesn’t love leftover frosting? 🙂

Cinnamon Frosting
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated April 2007

20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2½ cups Confectioners’ sugar (10 ounces)
1/8 tablespoons table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons cinnamon (or to taste)

In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla, cinnamon, and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.


Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes

I’ve never been a coffee drinker.  When I was in college I discovered that I loved coffee flavored desserts, but I’ve just never been able to drink a cup of coffee.  It’s funny, because my mom is a big coffee drinker but hates coffee in everything else!  Anyway, I was responsible for bringing dessert to a meeting recently and when I was going over the possibilities in my head, I kept going back to mocha flavors.  I love cupcakes because they’re perfect for individual servings, which suited the meeting well.  I looked at several recipes before settling on this one.  What really drew me in was the buttercream.  I’ve made similar Swiss buttercreams before (in Dorie’s famous Perfect Party Cake and again with this raspberry buttercream).  The thought of coffee-flavored Swiss buttercream sounded really good to me.

These cupcakes were really delicious!  They had the perfect mix of chocolate and coffee.  When I tasted the batter, I didn’t think the coffee flavor stood out enough, so I added 2 teaspoons of ground coffee.  I was really pleased with the way the mocha flavor came out in the cupcakes, and the frosting brought out the flavor even more.  I really loved the way this frosting came out.  It was rich and buttery and was the perfect match to the cupcakes.  This was all in all a wonderful cupcake!

Mocha Cupcakes
Source: slightly adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake, originally from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

Makes 12-16 (I got 15)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons ground coffee
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and brewed coffee. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about ½ to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 16-20 minutes (book says 22-24 minutes, mine were done at 16). Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee

Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee into 1 tbsp hot water until dissolved, then put it in the refrigerator or freezer until it comes down to room temperature. Reduce mixer speed to low and add coffee mixture. Continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

Dirt Cupcakes

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I wanted to make one of my classes a treat for being so well-behaved.  In South Carolina, second year teachers have to go through an evaluation process to get our professional teaching license.  That means several unannounced observations throughout the year.  I had my first one recently, and my kids were so well behaved that I wanted to reward them with a treat.  (Luckily they are also well behaved all the time anyway!).  Since it was so close to Halloween, I wanted to make something appropriate for the occasion and something they would love (this is 7th grade).  I decided on dirt cupcakes.  It just came to me to make these, but since I’ve seen them before I can’t exactly take the credit- I think they’re a pretty commonly made kid treat.  They are very simple to make, and kids (and probably adults too!) will just love them!  My kids told me that I am their favorite teacher 🙂

Dirt Cupcakes

1 recipe chocolate cupcakes (I recommend these from Cook’s Illustrated or the Hershey’s one)
chocolate frosting
finely ground Oreo crumbs
gummy worms

Bake cupcakes as directed and cool.  Frost lightly with chocolate frosting.  Dip in Oreo crumbs, and then stick the gummy worm in the center of the cupcake.  Enjoy!

Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

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These have been popular on blogs all over lately, and it was no surprise that they were chosen for the Martha Stewart Cupcake Cupcake Club.  They were very easy to make, and the cream cheese frosting was the perfect topping.  It was a typical mixing of wet and dry ingredients, and reminded me very much of carrot cake.  It had very similar spices, but with zucchini instead of carrot.  I had some zucchini from David’s grandfather’s garden.  They usually give us several bags of it so I can freeze it and save it for baking, which is so convenient.  These were great cupcakes- light and moist, with smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting.  A definite hit!

Tracey chose these cupcakes for the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

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Recently, Betty of How To Eat A Cupcake asked me if I’d be interested in a baking group for Martha Stewart’s new cupcake book.  Since I already had the book, I knew I would be making plenty of cupcake from it, and it is a monthly baking group, so I felt comfortable taking this on.  The first cupcake chosen was a Salted Caramel Cupcake, which is one I was hoping to make soon anyway.  I love chocolate, and caramel is close behind, so the two together is pretty much hard to beat.  The cupcake portion of this recipe is very simple and straightforward.  They had a strong chocolate flavor, and would be great on their own.  After letting the cupcakes cool, you cut the center out to make room for the caramel.  After making several filled cupcakes, I’ve found that a grapefruit knife is helpful for this task, so if you have one, you will be pleased to know that it has more than one use!

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The caramel comes next.  I love caramel, and was happy that this made a little bit more than I needed 🙂  It was made using the wet method, which means that you heat sugar and water until it reaches the caramel stage.  You need to be fairly quick when you fill the cupcake centers with the caramel, because it will harden.  Next, you make the cupcakes and frost them with a delicious, rich, chocolate frosting.  It doesn’t get much better!  I really liked these cupcakes, although I thought the caramel flavor would come through a bit more.  It did make for a moist, gooey center.  The recipe calls for making mini cupcakes, but I decided to make mine regular size.  I halved the recipe and got 8 cupcakes, which was perfect for the size crowd I served them to.  I am looking forward to making more wonderful cupcakes in the upcoming months!

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes

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I go running every morning, and often I think of things I want to bake while I’m running (what a great way to stay motivated!).  During a recent run, I thought about raspberry buttercream and how it would be perfect with chocolate cupcakes.  When I got home, I did some searching on the internet, and remembered that Peabody made these yummy cupcakes last summer.  I decided that these were just what I was looking for.

I made these for David’s office.  He works for a small company, and I dropped by one day during lunch to meet everyone (I am a teacher, so I have the summer off to do things like this!).  They loved these cupcakes.  These cupcakes were delicious.  With so much Dutch-process cocoa, they were very rich and chocolaty, and they were nice and moist.  The raspberry buttercream was incredible!  It was perfectly sweet with a nice raspberry flavor- prominent, but not too strong.  The raspberries on top were a great additional touch.  I used a pastry bag to pipe the ganache into them.  It was tedious, but a great detail that didn’t go unnoticed.  I had some ganache left over, but it will be great for drizzling over ice cream or brownies.  I also had some buttercream left over, so I think that next time I would pipe some into the cupcakes for some extra raspberry flavor.  They made a great first impression on David’s office and definitely lived up to my expectations!

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Jam Buttercream and Raspberry Truffle
Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Devil’s Food Cake
Raspberry Jam Buttercream
Raspberry Truffles

Deeply Dark Devil’s Food Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour mini cupcake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix to incorporate.
Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the warm water in two additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake cupcakes for 13-15 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and remove cupcakes from pan. Let cool on wire rack. When cool, frost with Raspberry Jam Buttercream.

Raspberry Jam Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups powdered sugar
½ cup seedless raspberry jam

Place butter and jam in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream butter and jam until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. If frosting gets too thick you can add a little milk to thin it out.

Raspberry Truffles

2 pints fresh raspberries, cleaned and dried
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup seedless raspberry jam

Place chocolate and raspberry jam in a heat proof bowl.
Bring cream to a boil.
Pour cream over chocolate and jam and let sit for about 3 minutes.
Whisk together chocolate mixture. If it is still a little lumpy, put in microwave for a few seconds and whisk again.
Put ganache into a piping bag fitted or even an plastic bag(with a tiny hole cut out). Pipe chocolate ganache into fresh raspberries.
Let sit in fridge for about 15 minutes. Top frosted cupcakes with raspberry truffle. Eat any extras…they are good.

Strawberry Cupcakes

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David actually chose this dessert.  He saw me browsing through ideas when I was trying to decide what to make and these cupcakes caught his attention.  He is a big fan of fruit desserts, and really loves strawberries, so he was excited for me to make them.  After this long, cold winter we’ve been having, I thought it would be good to make something like this to remind us of summer and warmer months.  I made a strawberry cake a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but haven’t make anything like it since, and I thought it was time to try it again.  One major aspect of this particular recipe is that is contains strawberry frosting, rather than a vanilla frosting or cream cheese frosting.  It also contains lemon zest, which turned out to be a great addition to the strawberry flavor.

These were really great cupcakes.  They were nice and moist and had a great strawberry flavor, although I would add more strawberry puree next time to make it even more strawberry-like.  I really can’t say enough about the frosting.  It was more of a strawberry buttercream, since the primary ingredients were butter and powdered sugar.  You beat the butter cold, and I thought there was no way it would ever get to the right consistency.  I kept beating it and scraping down the bowl, and it was slowly getting there.  Once I added the strawberry puree, it came together like I thought it would.  It was perfectly sweet and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.  I had a little bit left over, so I was able to enjoy the rest straight out of the bowl!

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Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes

cupcakes
2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (i used kosher salt)
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon grated
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, lemon zest and strawberry puree; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

sprinkles’ strawberry frosting

1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Source: Picky Cook, originally from Candace Nelson’s recipe on marthastewart.com

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes

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I love making layer cakes, but sometimes I just can’t resist making cupcakes.  Their size is so irrestible, and they are great to serve to a crowd.  It had been a while since I made cupcakes, so I decided to make a batch one night.  I thought these chocolate-beer ones would be perfect for our group of friends 🙂  I also love making filled cupcakes, and the ganache filling sounded just right.

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The cupcakes came together very easily.  I let them cool, and then scooped part of the center out.  This was made very easy using a grapefruit knife.  The ganache was so delcious.  I didn’t have any whiskey, so I used rum instead, and it turned out great.  I had just enough to fill all of the cupcakes.  The frosting was to die for.  It was so rich and creamy.  I made double the amount the recipe called for, since the original post said that it made a small quantity, and I am a frosting person all the way.  After frosting all the cupcakes, I had some left over, but I knew exactly what to do with it 🙂  I decorated them with some pretty red sprinkles to make them festive.  Everyone really liked them, and really thought the ganache was a great surprise when biting into the cupcakes.  They were pretty chocolaty, and I would definitely recommend trying them!

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Chocolate Beer Cupcakes
Source: Smitten Kitchen

While the Guinness in the cake gets mostly baked out, the Baileys is fresh and potent, so if you’re making this for people who don’t drink – ahem, nobody I know, but I hear such people exist – you’ll probably want to swap it with milk.

The Baileys frosting recipe makes a smallish amount of frosting – enough to just cover the cupcakes. Because they were so rich and this frosting so sweet, I felt it only needed a little. Double it if you want more of a towering effect.

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon Irish whiskey (updated to add this, optional)

Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom – aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

[This is a fantastic trick I picked up while working on the cupcakes article for Martha Stewart Living; the test kitchen chefs had found that when they added the sugar slowly, quick buttercream frostings got less grainy, and tended to require less sugar to thicken them up.]

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes. [I used a star tip and made little “poofs” everywhere and sprinkled it with various colors of sanding sugar to keep it looking festive for New Years. I bet shaved dark and white chocolates would look gorgeous as well.]

Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled – or filled and frosted – in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)



Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

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When I saw these in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living, I knew I had to make them!  They looked so cute, and I knew it would be hard to resist the pastry cream and chocolate.  I think it’s so funny that Boston Cream Pie is not actually a pie, but rather a cake.  I’ve never had or made the cake, but I would imagine these cupcakes are very similar.  They came together very easily.  Next time I will take them out of the oven a couple minutes earlier, because I think they were very slightly overbaked.  The pastry cream was delicious and had just the right amount of sweetness.  I made it a day ahead, so all I had to do the next day was stir it up to loosen it a bit and spread on the cupcakes.  The ganache was a typical ganache and came together as expected.  I thought these would make a huge mess, but I was glad that everything stayed in place just as it was supposed to.  This was a great way to enjoy the taste of Boston Cream Pie in cupcake form, and they were enjoyed by all!

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes (from Martha Stewart Living February 2009)

Makes 18.

Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for tins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for tins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour standard muffin tins. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Warm milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Beat eggs and sugar with a mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in dry ingredients.
  • Bring milk and butter to a boil. With mixer on low speed, add milk mixture to batter, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each halfway. Bake cupcakes until light gold, about 15 minutes. Let cool in tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Let cool.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut each in half horizontally. Spread 1 tablespoon vanilla cream on each cupcake bottom. Sandwich with top. Spoon glaze over each, and serve immediately.

Vanilla Cream

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whisk yolks until smooth. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour 1/3 of milk mixture into yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thick, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
  • Pass vanilla cream through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.

Chocolate-Ganache Glaze

Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Remove from heat, and add chocolate and corn syrup. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool, stirring often. Use immediately.