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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream

13 Oct

These are delicious!!!! I love pumpkin pie, but all other pumpkin flavored desserts are not really my thing. However, these cupcakes are now my thing, if you know what I mean. If you’re looking for an EXCELLENT pumpkin cupcake, these will be your go-to. I’m seriously serious.

Oh, and do you want to know the very best part? No oil or butter is used in the cake!!!! It’s an autumn miracle!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin tins with 24 liners.

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to the other mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend only until just combined. Do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for roughly 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream

Taste of Home

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until blended and combined and fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and mix until smooth. Frost cupcakes as desired. Refrigerate any remaining frosting/cupcakes.

Enjoy!

If Life Gives You Lemons…

28 Jul

Make this lemon cake! It’s chock full of great, fresh, lemon flavor. I made this for a special birthday and the recipients absolutely loved it! It’s pretty easy to make too, and clearly comes with great results!

Lemon Cake

  • 1/4 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c, granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 . grated lemon zest (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt or loaf pan.

Cream the butter and 1 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cake is done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and set on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over the cake. Allow  to cool completely.

For the glaze,  combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cake and allow the glaze to drizzle  down the sides.

Enjoy!

Give Me Cake, or Give Me Death.

10 Jul

This is the type of cake that makes you change your mind. Your co-workers birthday party? No thanks. Your co-workers birthday party with this double chocolate layer cake? Yes. Please. Your bratty neighbors bar-mitzvah? No thanks. Your bratty neighbors bar-bitzvah with this double chocolate layer cake? Yes. Please.

I rest my case.

This cake is insane. It’s moist, rich, decadent, mouth-watering, awe-inspiring. Granted, I messed up my first attempt (which actually wasn’t a mess-up because it turned into the delicious cake pops) but I learned my lesson. Follow the recipe, put wax paper on the bottom of your cake pan, voila! If your into making cakes, this is just one of those recipes that you HAVE TO TRY. You’ll be happy you did. I added a raspberry filling, but you can just keep it chocolate on chocolate and it’s still delicious!

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

  • 3 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate (around 72%)
  • 1 1/2 c. hot brewed coffee
  • 3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 300 degrees and prepare baking pans by greasing with butter, covering the bottoms with wax paper, and greasing with butter again.

Finely chop the chocolate and mix with the hot coffee. Let mixture sit and stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (It is important to sift if your cocoa powder and/or flour is lumpy. Once combined with the other ingredients, it will make your batter lumpy and you’ll end up over-mixing if you try to get rid of the lumps. Sift first! )

In another bowl, using an electric mixture, beat the eggs until light colored and slightly thickened, about 3 – 5 minutes. Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, chocolate mixture, and beat until combined.

Add the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. You can finish mixing with a spatula if any flour remains on the side of the bowl.

Divide batter evenly between the pans, place in the center rack of your oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. About 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min.

Cool layers completely in the pans on a wire rack. When cool, run a knife around the edges to release the cake from the pan. Invert the pans onto racks and carefully remove the wax paper from the bottom side.

*This is optional, but I placed the two layers in the freezer over-night and then cut them in half to make 4 separate layers. The raspberry filling makes a lot, so it was good to have multiple layers to spread it between!*

Makes 2 10-inch layers

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • 1 lb. good quality semi-sweet chocolate (around 52%)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Finely chop the chocolate. In a 1 1/2 to 2 quart pot, bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is melted. Cut the butter into a few pieces and add to the mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Raspberry Filling

  • 2 10 oz. bags frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch

Puree the raspberries in a food processor. Heat the puree, sugar, and cornstarch in a small pot while stirring constantly. Heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Let it cool completely before spreading between the cake layers.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

4 Mar

I love chocolate covered straweberries. I love cupcakes. This. Makes. Sense.

What doesn’t make sense though, is how I managed to totally screw up the frosting I intended to use. I had to work some magic and ended up using my faulty frosting as a filling for these bad boys. It ended up making the cupcakes sooooo moist, and the actual frosting I used ended up being sooo much more Strawberry than the original. I win!

I used the Chocolate Cupcake recipe from this post.

For the frosting, give this recipe a try from My Baking Addiction. It’s what I ended up using for the filling. I think I was trying to alter it too much by adding more strawberry puree than it called for, and then my over-mixing caused it to separate. Definitely delicious though!

Mouth-Watering 🙂

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

30 Jan

So you say you like blueberry muffins? Well then you haven’t tried these! If you did, you’d say you LOVE them. Keep a bag of frozen blueberries in your freezer, the typical baking staples in your pantry, and you’ll be ready to make these any morning that the muffin man wakes up asking for them. 

Blueberry Muffins

Source: Annie’s Eats

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ~1/3 c. milk
  • 1 c. blueberries

Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. cold butter, cubed
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees and fill muffin pan with liners

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place the vegetable oil into a 1 c. measuring cup, add the egg, and then fill the cup with milk (about 1/3 c.) Combine with the flour mixture until smooth. If using frozen blueberries, place them in a bowl and coat with about 2 tbsp. of flour. This helps the blueberries to not bleed through the batter. Fold the blueberries into the batter until evenly distributed. Using a large ice cream scoop, pour into lined muffin cups.

For the streusel topping, combine the 4 ingredients by cutting together with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Distribute evenly across the muffin tops.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the top of the muffins comes out clean. Place on wire racks to cool.

Yield: 8-10 muffins

Enjoy!

Apple Turnovers

27 Jan

You know what I love? The fact that an apple turnover could easily be considered breakfast, when if you really think about it, it is so very veryyyy not a breakfast item. It is dessert. But who cares?!

Using the puff pastry we made in class, we made the Palmiers (previous post) and these apple turnovers. I love apple desserts: apple pie, apple turnovers, apple crisp, baked apples, etc. etc. This, however, I only LIKED. The recipe definitely could have used more cinnamon, a touch more sugar, a touch more flavor. But they were good, and now I can place a check next to apple turnovers in my looooooong list of ‘things to make’.

Apple Turnover Filling

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 4 tart medium-sized apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (used as a wash for the pastry)

In a large saute pan, melt the butter, and then add the sliced apples. Cook for 3 minutes. Add sugar and salt till combined. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Combine cornstarch and water, then add to apple mixture and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry to roughly a 12″ x 12″ square. Cut in half vertically and horizontally, so that you have 4 squares, 6″x6″ each. Lightly brush egg wash along all 4 edges of each square. Place a small amount the filling, about 1/4-1/2 c. into the center of each square. The amount will depend on the size of your squares. Fold one corner of the pastry over to the opposite corner, creating a triangle. Using a fork, seal the edges. If any of the excess liquid seeps out, wipe away with a paper towel until you are able to seal the edges. Coat the top of each turnover with more egg wash, dust with granulated sugar, and cut a small slit into the top so that steam can release in the oven. Place onto baking sheet.

Bake until the pastry is evenly golden and flaky, about 20-22 minutes.

Remove the turnovers from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Though they’re best served warm~a la mode!)

Yield: 4 turnovers

Enjoy!

Yes, please.