Monday, July 2, 2012

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Apple Pie Cupcakes
A couple months ago I went to see one of my favorite bands, M83, play in Pomona, CA. While waiting in line to get in, we just happened to be placed right beside a cupcake shop. Of course I can't remember what the name of the shop was, but I do remember the glorious cupcake we tried... Apple Pie. It was warm and had just the right amount of spice on it. With all of the fruity cupcakes I've been doing (and enjoying) lately, I decided to look for some kind of apple cupcake recipe. And I found an apple pie cupcake one right here on Annie's Eats! The icing recipe I used was from the lovely Brown Eyed Baker blog. Just a normal vanilla buttercream.

Easy enough recipe. Just a regular vanilla cupcake with a scoop of cooked apples in the middle. My sister helped me cut and core the apples. She's a nice person :) Then I just cooked the apples in cinnamon, sugar, and butter. They're Granny Smith apples, though, so it took awhile to get them to a good softness. And even at the end they were still a little crisp.

Most people liked them. I decided to try one half cold, and then heated up the second half to see if I liked it more warm or cold. The icing of course melts all off, but I definitely liked it more warm than cold. So keep that in mind when making these. If you're serving them immediately then I would make them without the icing, heat them up, and add a big spoonful of vanilla ice cream on top!

Sister helped cut and core the apples!
The cinnamon and sugar made them look beautiful.
The bounced back a bit when I pressed on the tops. Perfect!
Definitely overfilled the cupcakes with apples. Had to make sure they had enough of the best part!
Topped with buttercream when they cooled off.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Last week I realized how many of my friends love bananas. It's just one of those things that you don't think about, mostly because it's unimportant information, but that's neither here nor there. I decided to do a banana cupcake. I conveniently already had a banana cupcake recipe saved on my Pinterest. I used the Martha Stewart recipe for the cupcake and then used the Caramel Buttercream frosting recipe from Made in Mel's Kitchen blog.

Yes, Martha Stewart had her own frosting recipe, but I cheated and used the "Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce" on the other blog. Look, I tried to make my own caramel, but it didn't work. Ask my sister. It was taking forever to change color and just getting crusty instead. And I already had caramel left over from one of my previous cupcakes. I'll try to make my own caramel a different day. Don't judge me too hard. The only thing with this frosting recipe is it is a salted frosting, and I'm not too sure that would taste good at all with banana, so I took out the sea salt and just added a pinch of regular salt instead. I also did not add the pecans to the cupcake... gross.

These cupcakes were a huge hit. Another one where I should of made 24 instead of 12. They tasted just like banana bread, but better (I think, at least). It was just enough spice and just enough banana. So if you have a banana lover on your hands, then this is the cupcake for them. Now to try and figure out how to make a whole cake out of it..

They even looked like a good banana bread!
No fancy frosting, just spread it on top with a butter knife.
And then add a banana slice for garnish! You may want to wait and put the banana slice on top right before you hand them out, just so you don't have any gross and smooshy bananas. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Butterbeer Cupcakes
My sister is possibly one of the biggest nerds of all time, and I love her for it. For her birthday this year we threw a huge nerd bash full of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, and most of all Doctor Who. For her cupcakes, she specially requested Butterbeer cupcakes, like the drink they have in Harry Potter. We went to Harry Potter World (aka the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando) last summer and had the most delicious butterbeer ever. We have yet to be able to recreate it, but I did find a butterbeer cupcake recipe at Amy Bites's blog. 

The cake part had Cream Soda in it with a butterscotch ganache and the frosting was butterscotch buttercream. It was a super easy recipe. I poked a lot of holes in the cake to make sure it was filled with the butterscotch ganache. I was a little worried it might of had too much filling, but everyone really liked it. You could barely taste the Cream Soda in it, but that was actually okay because butterscotch is awesome and delicious.

These were definitely a hit, even if you don't like Harry Potter or have any idea what butterbeer is. As long as you like butterscotch, then you'll like these cupcakes. And if you don't like butterscotch then you should probably rethink your life... but seriously. It's delicious.

Light and fluffy cake
Lots of holes for the ganache. I kept pouring the butterscotch in there until it was spilling out the top.
Kinda pretty, I guess.
I also made Game of Thrones Ned Stark head on a stake cake pops! Red Velvet. Absolutely delicious.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

S'mores Cupcakes
"-Hey, Smalls, you wanna s'more?
-Some more of what?"

If you don't know what that's from then Google it and go watch that movie immediately. No questions about it. I apologize it has taken me so long to write a blog on this one. It's been one of those weeks, or two... I went camping this past weekend so these cupcakes were my ode to camping. I hope you all have many camping trips in your future this summer. That delicious toasted marshmallow, plus the melted milk chocolate, AND crunchy sweet graham cracker.... it just cannot get better than that. I found the recipe on Half Baked's cake blog.

You will not believe how hard it was to find marshmallow fluff out here on the west coast. I looked everywhere (kinda). Also found out a number of LA-ians did not even know what the stuff was. Blasphemy! Marshmallow Fluff is delicious and should be eaten by everyone as a kid, and sometimes even as an adult. Boom, said it. Anyways, enough about that. I had to make my own marshmallow fluff for this cupcake. You really just take some mini marshmallows and corn syrup and cook it on a double boiler. I found that recipe on yahoo answers somewhere. It worked well enough I guess. Use the fluff if you can, though.

The one thing I was told a lot about this cupcake was that it needed more graham cracker. Next time I would put a layer of graham cracker on the bottom of the cupcake and even more on top. I didn't want the graham cracker crumbs to be soggy, but maybe they would be alright at the bottom. I dunno, but it's worth a try. The people have spoken!

Also, I was trying to be kinda fast with these near the end, so the frosting just rolled right off of the tops of all of the cupcakes. That's why they all look like they've been partially eaten. Kinda gross ha, but they tasted good!

Mmm... chocolate cake
The icing looked okay at first.
Here, not so much. Super messy, just like a real s'more!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes
For Cinco de Mayo weekend, of course I had to do a margarita cupcake. I found a recipe with not only tequila in the cake, but also brushed on top of the cake, and in the frosting. Made me a little nervous at first because I kind of hate tequila. We've all had a few too many tequila hangovers, am I right? The last thing I wanted was for it to actually taste like tequila. Nope. No way. But margaritas are delicious when made correctly! The recipe I used for this one was from one of my favorites, Brown Eyed Baker's blog. 

The cupcake had a lime taste to it. I added sooo much lime juice to get rid of that tequila flavor. I'm getting good at zesting! For the brushing on top part, I only did one brushstroke on top of each cupcake. I'm not joking when I tell you how nervous I was about putting tequila right on top of it. The icing was the best part. I had so much extra that I could do two layers on each cupcake. Then I added some lime zest, some coarse sea salt, and a lime slice on top of each.

The end verdict was there should of been more tequila. Surprise face. I was too nervous to do it, but I really should have. So if you decide to make these then just go for it. Maybe two or three brushes of tequila on each. I thought the frosting was a little too sweet, too. I would of liked more salt, I think. 

You can barely tell in this picture, but you could see the specks of lime zest in each cake.
No brush? I used a piece of cheese cloth. I just twisted it up so none of the strings would get into the tequila. 
They looked so pretty!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
Last week's fruity flavored cupcake went over so well that I decided to do another fruity flavor...ish. Again, bring on the summer!! I found the recipe on Real Mom Kitchen's blog. Her cupcakes look super cute with all the garnishes. I did not go that far. 

The tough part was that the recipe called for White Cake Mix. I wanted to do it from scratch, so I found a recipe for the cake mix on Chickens in the Road's website. This blog post is awesome. It gives you the recipe for a regular box of cake mix (5 cups worth), and also tells you about the vanilla you would need to add, and how to switch out the powdered milk for regular milk: just replace the water that is included in the pink lemonade recipe with that much milk. Pretty simple enough. Just a lot of substitutions. The other part was the red food coloring I added instead of pink. I did about 5 drops of it into the cake batter, and 3 into the frosting. I also underestimated the amount of zest I would get from one lemon. The 2 tsp it calls for in the cake all came from one lemon. So I needed two lemons just for zest. 

These turned out delicious. Definitely had a sour taste from the pink lemonade packets, but I like sour. I had a friend eat 3 in one sitting! A couple people thought they were too sour, though. So make with caution. The pink lemonade recipe made so much extra frosting that she suggested eating leftover frosting with graham crackers. Tried it. A little too sweet. I liked eating the graham crackers alone more.

They flattened out more as they cooled down. 
I liked the way the frosting turned out. 
Pretty pink! Perfect for summer.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting

Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting
This week I wanted to do something a little different than I'd been doing. I went with a light fruity flavor instead of another heavy chocolate cake. Kind of my way of bringing on the summer. We all need that to happen soon! I looked at a bunch of different fruity cupcakes, but a lot of them wanted me to make a curd, and I don't know that I'm ready for that step in my cupcake relationship. Maybe one day ;) The best cupcake recipe (and easiest for my sake) I could find was at All Recipes. I pretty much just searched Pinterest for lemon and blackberry cupcakes and this is the one everyone recommended. 

This was the best cupcake I've made to date. Everyone liked it and everyone wanted another one immediately. I wish I'd made more! I only made 12 this time, since I almost always have so many cupcakes left over. That was a mistake. Never tell a hungry person there are none left. 

The one thing I had some trouble with was finding blackberry jam without seeds in it. There was only one blackberry jam in the whole Jon's grocery store. It was in the international foods section, and it had seeds. Ugh. So I took a strainer to it and literally pushed the jam through with a spoon so it didn't have any seeds. It may not of been bad with seeds in it, but I absolutely hate seeds in my jam. So it was more for me than anything. I also just kind of guessed on the lemon juice and zest part. It says 1/2 a lemon for 12 cupcakes, eh. Mostly did the juice and zest to taste. I did learned how to correctly juice a lemon, though, so that's something!

If you need a quick, refreshing, light cupcake then you need this recipe! It's easy and delicious. And a huge hit! This will for sure be my go-to cupcake from now on.

The cake part of the recipe barely filled the liners. If you do end up splitting the recipe in half then it may only make 11 full cupcakes. I was a little disappointed in that part. Not sure how the 24 cupcakes recipe would turn out, though.
This was my strained blackberry jam. No seeds!
I added more red food coloring to the frosting so it was this pretty pink color. It was too little and dull without the food coloring. Just add the food coloring to your desire, though.
It didn't really say to buy blackberries for the garnish, but they look much better with them on top. And it's a nice little treat to start the cupcake. I heart blackberries.