Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting plus Tips & Tricks for Successful Cupcake Baking with Butter Based Recipes62

Posted by chockylit in General (Friday February 12, 2010 at 11:51 pm)

chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting

There is nothing terribly exciting or novel about this recipe. It’s my standard chocolate cupcake recipe with strawberry frosting. Boring, no? Well, what I intend to do with this post is to articulate all those little tips & tricks that I know from experience/reading, but never include in a condensed recipe. Some of this is covered in my “basics & troubleshooting” section, but I thought it would be of use to describe these tips & tricks in the narrative of a recipe.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I wrote out the recipe for my chocolate cupcakes. This is what I want to do if I plan to be very careful and not miss anything. I find its easier to follow and I can check off things as I add them.

recipe with tips & tricks

Then I had the idea to write down the little things I was doing that normally don’t end up in a recipe and explanations for certain aspects of the recipe. Hence the idea was born. So, no formal looking recipe in this post. Just a story…



Beat 2 sticks of butter until soft.

butter

First off – the butter. Every recipe says it, but do we always pay attention? ROOM TEMPERATURE. I really can’t stress enough just how important this step is. I have been disappointed before… About to start baking only to remember that I forgot to take out the butter hours earlier. But really – the best thing to do? Wait it out. An alternative? Beat the hell out of the butter all by itself, scraping down a few times in between beatings. Why? If the butter isn’t soft it won’t get all nicely cut up by the sugar and distributed evenly in the batter. You might just end up with little pools of it melting in your end result. I have had it happen. But whatever you do, don’t microwave the butter. It will just melt and melted butter is useless to you.



Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

sugar

Most butter-based recipes say this as well. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat for 3 minutes. Etc. But do you always? Why 3 minutes? Why not 2 or 4? What is light and fluffy? Bottom line? You want to beat that butter well. You want it cut up into tiny, tiny pieces by the grainy sugar so it doesn’t end up into little pools compromising the structure of your wonderful cupcakes. So, beat away! Turn on your mixer and have a glass of wine! Scrape down the bowl and beat some more. (Sometimes mixers leave a thin layer of butter untouched… once that gets folder into your batter you could be in trouble!)



Add 4 large eggs, one at a time, beating well between each.

Similarly, you want the eggs incorporated very well. Basically when you are baking things like cupcakes, you DON’T want to beat the batter once the flour is in (it will toughen them up) but you DO want to beat the ingredients so they are well incorporated. So, beat the butter, sugar, and eggs as much as you can (without going overboard). Now is the time for beating.



Whisk together 1-3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

dry

This part is easy! Many recipes mention sifting, but sifting is a pain. I have never noticed a difference with whisking and whisking is easier to do. So, I whisk. The goal is to just get everything mixed together and any lumps removed. As an aside, I use these restaurant style containers to store dry goods and its very convenient for scooping stuff out without making a mess. And I know I should weigh the dry ingredients, but there is something inherent in me that requires I go only SO far when it comes to baking.



Measure out 1 cup of whole milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla.



Alternate adding the dry ingredients and wet ingredients mixing to incorporate between batches.

So what is with this step? It’s always a little complicated to write down. Some recipes are very specific about adding 1/3 dry ingredients, mixing, adding 1/2 wet ingredients, mixing, 1/3 dry ingredients, and so on. Is there something magical about these proportions? Doubtful. What you want to avoid is dumping everything in and having to beat and beat to get it mixed up, because word on the street (ok, I never tried this…) is that doing so will make your cupcakes tough. The idea being the glutens get over beaten. Whether this is exaggerated, I do not know, but with many of the other steps described above, I have screwed up and have seen the unfortunate results. So I am leaning towards this being a good thing to follow. One day I should over-beat some and see what happens.



Scoop batter into cupcake papers 1/2 full.

done

This step gets me thinking about a few things. First, every recipe is different. So if something goes wrong with a recipe or a cupcake comes out with a dome or without a dome, it all really depends. The more flour there is proportionally, the more structure the cupcake will have, the less likely it will be to sink, the more likely it will have a dome, and the more batter you can put in the cupcake paper (like 2/3s to 3/4s full). But these cupcakes, while more fool proof, are also denser and not as soft. The less flour, the less structure, the more likely it will overflow or sink, the less likely it will have a dome, and the less batter you can put in the cupcake paper (1/2 full at most). BUT these cupcakes will be soft, fluffy, and in my opinion superior… By the way, ice cream scoops are really absolutely necessary. They make filling the papers a breeze…

This chocolate cupcake recipe is a result of my experimentation in trying to get the cupcake to be as delicate as possible and as chocolately as possible without being a complete disaster. That said, you need to be careful. Don’t, I repeat, DON’T overfill the papers. And DO make sure your oven is at the temperature it says it is. If you are super concerned, add another 1/4 cup of flour to the recipe. That will help reduce some of the risk. That said, I love the way the cupcakes come out and while I do sometimes overfill and get some overflow, it doesn’t stop me from eating them and sharing them.



Bake for approximately 22-25 minutes at 350F or until a cake tester comes out clean.

This step sounds easy. It isn’t. It’s where I tend to screw up when I do. For example, I have a working theory that cool spots in the oven cause some of my cupcakes to overflow. This is because the overflowing cupcakes tend to be in one area. I especially see that if I am baking a lot of cupcakes. The ones on the lower rack tend to overflow. So often I will do one of two things, preheat the oven to 375F and drop it to down to 350 once I get them in there. Or I will preheat to 350F but run the convection fan during preheat and for the first 10 minutes of baking. The problem with this (I did it a couple of weeks ago) is if you leave the convection fan on the whole time, the cupcakes will over bake and be crumbly and dry. Normally when you use convection you should drop the temperature down 25 degrees. I also think convection is better for things like cookies or chicken where you want it to get crispy, but doesn’t work so well with cupcakes. It seems like a good way to get rid of unevenness in the oven…. Jury is still out.

I recommend not disturbing the cupcakes for the first 10-12 minutes. Then I will often rotate the pans also because of the unevenness mentioned above. I start testing at around 22 minutes for this recipe. I think post people use toothpicks as opposed to official “cake testers” but I use an ice pick as that’s what I have on hand. Anything pointy you can stick in there. If you under-bake these cupcakes they will be gummy. If you over-bake them they will be dry and crumbly. So start testing around 22, test every couple of minutes, and try your best to get it right.

Whew, with any luck you have some gorgeous cupcakes cooling on a wire rack. Now let’s get cracking on the frosting.



Beat 2 sticks of butter until soft.

Pretty much the same thing goes with frosting. It’s way better if your butter comes naturally to room temperature before making frosting. I have tried many shortcuts and they work ok enough, but in my opinion you won’t get as smooth as a frosting otherwise.



Sift in 3-4 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

frosting1

Again, I don’t like sifting, but if I must (and with frosting, you must or it will be lumpy) I will use one of these metal sieves and a spoon. By far the easiest method I have come across. I always start with a good amount of powdered sugar with room for adding more later.



Add 1/4 cup of strawberry puree and beat until combined.

frosting2

Not much to this except your yellowish frosting turns a pretty pink. Feel free to add a teaspoon of vanilla at this step if you want.



Add more powdered sugar until you get the consistency you like.

When you add a liquid to buttercream it’s hard to get it to a nice thick consistency that is good for photo shoots. You can keep adding powdered sugar, but it won’t help. So minimize the amount of liquid. I went beyond 1/4 cup in one try of this recipe and it was way too much. I never recovered the frosting. It was usable, but runny. If you are anxious about this, omit the puree and just add chopped strawberries. It won’t be as strong a strawberry flavor, but less risk is involved.

I also made a cream cheese version of the strawberry frosting. If you want to try that substitute 1 8-ounce package of philly cream cheese with 1 of the sticks of butter and don’t add much puree. Stick more to using chopped strawberries as the cream cheese will already make the frosting softer than buttercream.

Decorate as usual by either piping the frosting on, scooping it on, whatever works for you. If you pipe, use a tip with a big opening, like 1/2 inch or so.

chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting

Gluten-Free and Gluten-Full Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting39

Posted by in Chocolate (Sunday October 7, 2007 at 11:07 am)

chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

I was baking for two birthday boys this weekend, one with a gluten intolerance. I started with my favorite chocolate cake recipe which has much less flour than the typical recipe – I wanted there to be no discernible difference between the gluten-free and gluten-full versions. From there I decided on a salted caramel frosting – firstly because I have been dreaming of it since I tasted Trilly’s a few weeks ago – secondly given salted caramel is all the rage in San Francisco since B-Rite opened their creamery, it would surely be a crowd-pleaser and thirdly since I would end up with a masculine colored, latte-brown frosting, it would be perfect for a man’s birthday celebration.

As for the cake, I didn’t want to just do the gluten-free version. I did both side by side so I could compare the two. The gluten-free version did shrink a bit more and pulled from the sides of the paper. The biggest difference was this and the way they looked, but a side by side tasting showed very little difference between the two.

I deconstructed the frosting in my mind and thought I had a pretty good idea what the recipe was, but I called Trilly just to make sure I was on the right track. I was on the right track and got a couple of tips along the way. I went ahead and crafted a recipe. I can’t say if it came out exactly the same, but it did come out freaking tasty. Yum. I highly recommend the frosting. The caramel is very noticeable and the cream cheese adds just a bit of tang to balance the sweetness. The salt lies low flavor-wise and simply intensifies the richness of the caramel.

The cupcakes went over quite well. I recommend them if you are looking to satisfy a room full of adults.

Cupcakes
26 regular-sized cupcakes / 350 degree oven

7 ounces (200 grams) Valrhona 85% cacao (or any bittersweet chocolate)
3 sticks (343 grams) butter
2-1/4 cups (445 grams) sugar
8 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (90 grams) flour, all purpose
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (90 grams) flour, gluten-free
2 tablespoons (30 grams) + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
3/4 teaspoon + 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1. Chop the chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. Add the butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate melts and the butter is combined.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. Measure out the regular flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt into a small bowl.
5. Measure out the gluten-free flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the xanthan gum into a different small bowl. Keep track of the gluten-free bowl and be extra sure to not get any regular flour in the mixture.
6. Transfer the cooled chocolate/butter mixture to the electric mixer and beat for 3 minutes.
7. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 10 seconds between each.
8. Scrape the bowl and separate into 2 batches by measuring out 2-3/4 cups of batter into a second bowl.
9. Sift the gluten-free flour into one bowl and mix to combine. Keep track of the gluten-free batch!
10. Sift the regular flour into the second bowl and mix to combine.
11. Scoop into cupcake cups only 2/3s full. I put parchment under the gluten-free cupcakes so I wouldn’t lose track of them. Bake all the cupcakes at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you are using cupcake papers, use a different color for the gluten-free.

Note: If the oven is not hot enough than these cupcakes may over-flow. One way to be safe is to either fill 2/3’s full or another trick I use is to preheat to 375, then drop the heat to 350 once I put the cupcakes in. I also rotate the pans after 15 minutes of baking. It is safe to gently move them at that point and I find the lower back of my oven to be a bit cooler.

gluten-free baking
gluten-free baking

Salted Caramel

4 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea

1. Combine the water, sugar, and the corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat.
2. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the sugar is incorporated.
3. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
4. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
5. Do not stir from this point on, but it is important to carefully shake the pan so that one area of the caramel doesn’t burn.
6. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
7. *** This is the dangerous part *** Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Wear oven mitts, stand away from the pan, and be careful. The mixture will bubble up significantly.
8. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
9. Measure 1 cup into a Pyrex measuring cup. Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick like molasses and warm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Note: There was a small bit of extra caramel that I poured onto a small plate that I covered in aluminum foil and greased with vegetable oil. I transferred the plate to the freezer for about 30 minutes. I chopped the caramel quickly into squares (its starts to get soft) and topped each cupcake with a square.

Salted Caramel Frosting

2 sticks butter
8 ounces or 1 package of Philly cream cheese
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
3. Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
4. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
5. Sift 2-3 cups of powder sugar, in 1 cup increments and beating between each, until you arrive at the thickness and sweetness you desire. I used 6 cups. The frosting wasn’t super thick, but it was starting to get pretty sweet.

Assembly
1. Frost cooled cupcakes with a generous amount of frosting.
2. Sprinkle each cupcake with sea or kosher salt. I ground some rock sea salt onto each.
3. Top with a caramel candy, homemade or otherwise.

chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit Curd Filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting48

Posted by chockylit in Cheese,Citrus (Monday January 9, 2006 at 9:14 pm)

I don’t know about you, but I ate lots of chocolate over the holidays. I felt like a break and decided to make a trio of citrus curds to stuff into some basic vanilla cupcakes. I topped them with a simple cream cheese frosting and a little zest for decoration. Simple, fresh, and delicious.

I used some existing recipes this time around… Magnolia’s Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe (adjusted to use all-purpose flour only) and Martha Stewart’s lemon curd recipe. I have used both of these, on numerous occasions, with great results. I have reprinted them as I have altered them slightly and I provide some tips along the way.

Cupcakes from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
5. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
6. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
7. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
8. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
9. Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full (depending on whether you want flat or domed cupcakes).
10. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Tip: It is important that the butter is at room temperature and beat well. Otherwise you might get butter chunks which sort of melt into little pools and make the cupcakes come out funny-looking. Not a huge deal, but I thought I’d mention it.


cupcakes ready for baking

Citrus Curd from MarthaStewart.com

4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed citrus juice, strained
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
7 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

1. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and citrus juice in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes.
2. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in butter, piece by piece. Cover with plastic wrap, and cool in the refrigerator.
3. Whip together cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold cream into the chilled curd.

Tip: The above recipe makes enough curd for over a teaspoon of filling for 24 cupcakes. I made 6 egg yolks worth so that I could get three batches for the three flavors. I ended up with extra, but those who wandered into the kitchen didn’t mind having something to dip the cupcake guts into.

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy
4. Add half of the sugar and the vanilla. Beat until combined
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like


cupcakes ready for filling

Assemble
1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon or so of curd.
3. Replace top.
4. Frost with frosting.
5. Decorate as you wish. I topped the cupcakes with zest.

Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes8

Posted by in Berries,Cheese,White Chocolate (Monday December 3, 2007 at 4:49 pm)

Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe is for Leslie, a reader who asked for a recipe for cranberry white chocolate cupcakes to serve at Christmas. I jumped on the combo as I had been wanting to try converting the rich chocolate cupcake I do so often into a white chocolate version. I tweaked the recipe to adjust for the sweetness of the white chocolate, but otherwise stuck to the original. The recipe needs work in the looks department, but taste-wise its great! I’ve heard only positive feedback from the tasters and my husband, who is very picky when it comes to cupcakes, devoured a number of them before I even had time to make the frosting.

As far as looks go, the top of the cupcake has a funny texture (see photo below) and the cupcakes rose some and fell back slightly. This was less obvious the day of, but more prominent the second day. By day two they had shrunk quite a bit. As for the funny texture on top, I am not fazed as it gets covered with frosting anyway. The shrinking aspect might bother the perfectionist in some of us, but if they are served the same day, it will be less obvious. If I have time to work on the recipe before the holidays I will be sure to post an update.

In the taste department, the cupcakes were quite nice. I could taste the white chocolate, but it wasn’t too sweet, something that I expected. The tartness of the cranberries definitely helps. The frosting is yummy as usual, nothing to worry about there. When is frosting not good?

Speaking of frosting, I am still working on my frosting post. I have had to divide it into two posts as its getting way too long. The first will be about the recipes themselves and the second about tips for flavoring frosting as well as piping technique. I hope to get the first post out shortly.

Cupcakes
regular cupcakes / 375 degree oven

7 ounces white chocolate
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. Add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Note that when you add the sugar the mixture will separate and look pretty funky. This is ok.
4. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
5. Add the vanilla. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Mixture will thicken and you should no longer see butter floating on the top.
6. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 10 seconds between each.
7. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the mixture, return to the electric mixer, and mix until blended.
8. Roughly chip the cranberries. Stir into the batter.
9. Scoop into cupcake cups 2/3s full and transfer to a 375 F oven.
10. Set your timer for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes is up turn the oven down to 350 F.
11. Set your timer for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes is up rotate the pans. (Move the bottom to the top rack and turn front to back.
12. Set your timer for 7 minutes more. When the 7 minutes is up test one of the top-center cupcakes with a toothpick and remove the cupcakes once it comes out clean.

Note: The batter is pretty liquidy and the cranberries very heavy, so they will fall to the bottom. I was pleased with the layering effect, but if you aren’t into that idea I recommend two options. Either dust the cranberries in flour before mixing into the batter or drop some into each individual filled cupcake before baking.

cranberry white chocolate cupcake
baked cupcake

Cranberry, Clove, White Chocolate Buttercream

8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) philly cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
[optional] 1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1. In a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the white chocolate. Allow to cool for 2 minutes or so.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy.
2. Beat in the melted white chocolate.
3. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla, and clove and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar to arrive at the consistency and sweetness you like. 2 cups worked for me.

Assemble
1. Top cooled cupcakes with the frosting.
2. Top with a decoration, chopped cranberries, or chopped walnuts.

white chocolate
white chocolate

Browse Cupcakes74

Posted by chockylit in  (Saturday August 11, 2007 at 12:50 pm)

Welcome to the CupcakeBlog archives where you will find over 85 cupcake recipes dating back to March 2005 organized into 5 sections fresh – for recipes that contain herbs, flowers, or plants; fruity – for, well, fruits; spicy – for recipes that feature spices like cinnamon, fennel, cardamom, etc; rich – for recipes that feature chocolate, coffee, liquors, etc; other – i needed someplace for the ube cupcake

fresh

Lavender Cream Filled Cupcake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Tarragon Cupcakes with Tarragon Cream Cheese Frosting

Basil Cream and Mint Cream Filled Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousse Frosting

Late Summer Peach, Blueberry, and Thyme Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemongrass Cupcakes with Lemongrass-Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Green Tea, Lavender, and Honey Cupcake Bombe

Green Tea Bubble Cream filled Cupcakes with Green Tea Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemony Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes with Lavender and Rose Frosting

Lemon Cupcakes with Bitters, Sorrel, and Toasted Meringue

fruity

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

Lime Custard Cupcake with Meringue Frosting

Ricotta Raspberry Almond Cupcakes with Citrus Meringue Frosting

Persimmon Pavlova Cupcake

Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit Curd Filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Papaya-Coconut Cupcakes with Ginger-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cupcakes, a Few Ways

Mooncake Cupcakes (Bean Paste Filled Cupcakes with Date-Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting)

Pomegranate-Grapefruit Cupcakes

Cherry-Vanilla Cupcakes

Alfajore Cupcakes or Peruvian Caramel Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream and Coconut

Jackfruit, Banana, and Peanut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Blueberry & Raspberry Ricotta Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fresh Fig and Almond Cupcake Bombe

Fresh Cantaloupe and Honeydew Cupcakes with White Chocolate-Cardamom Butter Cream

Wasabi White Chocolate Cupcakes with Plum Sake Filling

Lime Tart Cupcakes

Grape Cupcakes

Fig And Quinoa Cupcakes

Pomegranate Green Tea Cupcakes

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Cupcakes

spicy

Thai Ice Tea Cupcake Experiment No. 1

Horchata Cupcake Experiment No. 1

Thai Ice Tea Cupcake Experiment No. 2

Carrot Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Carrot Sprinkles

Mini Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Lychee-Coconut Cupcakes with Ginger-Cream Cheese Frosting, Candied Ginger Sprinkles, and Sugar Decorations

Churros and Chocolate Cupcake

Ginger-Cream Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Eggnog Cupcake with Bourbon Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes with Fennel Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut Rice Pudding Stuffed Cupcakes with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting & Fruit

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes with Fennel Meringue Frosting

Carrot Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Orange Peel Nest

Pistachio Cupcakes with Rose Petal Buttercream

Chocolate Chai Spice Cupcake

Thai Tea Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Fresh Pumpkin Cupcakes with White Chocolate Chunks and Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Hot Cupcakes

Cashew, Carrot, Cardamom Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

Pine Nut and Candied Orange Peel Cupcakes with Christmas Spice Buttercream Frosting

Walnut Cupcakes Topped with Rose White Chocolate Mousse and Baklava

Chocolate, Pumpkin Cupcakes With Toasted Meringue Frosting

rich

Devil’s Food Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream

Peanut Butter-Banana Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Glaze and a Caramelized Banana Disk

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Cream

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

German Chocolate Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Glaze

Coffee Buttercream Filled Almond Cupcake with Valrhona Ganache

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes Filled with Chocolate-Mint Ganache with Topped with Mint Buttercream

SamoasĀ® Cupcake

Vietnamese Coffee Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chestnut-Fromage Blanc Frosting and Madeira Wine Glaze

Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes with Toasted Walnuts, Homemade Toffee, and Cream

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cupcake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Himalayan Goji Berry Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Ganache and Himalayan Pink Salt

Banana Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

S’mores Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake Stuffed with Ginger Caramel, Frosted with Mango Ganache, and Topped with a Mango-Ginger Won Ton

Dark Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes

Doughnuts and Coffee Cupcakes

Sweet Corn, Maple, and Bacon Cupcakes

Gluten-Free and Gluten-Full Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Adzuki Bean Paste Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Matcha Green Tea Frosting

Pequin Chili Chocolate Cupcakes

Plain and Simple Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

Sweet & Salty Honey Peanut Cupcakes

Pear & Vanilla Bean Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

3 Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Sea Salt

Chocolate Cupcakes Stuffed with Strawberry Chocolate Ganache and Frosted with Chocolate Glaze and Buttercream

Sweet Corn, Maple, Bacon Cupcakes

Toffee, Chocolate, Bacon Cupcakes

Cream Filled Vanilla Cupcakes With Ganache Glaze And Coconut

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting (Plus Tips & Tricks for Baking Cupcakes)

other

Ube Cupcakes with Bubble Buttercream

FAQ330

Posted by chockylit in  (Thursday August 3, 2006 at 10:50 pm)

Here are my answers to some frequently asked cupcake questions. Feel free to post general questions/comments that don’t pertain to a particular recipe and I will answer them as soon as I can! More answers coming soon…

Products & Tools

Q. Where can I find those neat baking cups you use?
A. I have purchased them from here, where they are inexpensive, but the shipping is high. For UK folks, a helpful reader pointed out this site which has the regular size and the mini size!
I should mention, if a little late, that the first time I saw these types of cups was at Chubby Hubby, where he used them as containers for little banana cakes. I can’t locate the post, though :(

Q. How does one eat cupcake from these cupcake papers?
A. I will admit it. The papers, while nice to look at, are difficult to eat out of. I recommend three ways of handling it…
1. Clip the rolled up part of the paper ever so slightly before filling. This will give folks a place to easily tear the paper off the cupcake.
2. If you gingerly grab on the rolled up part at either side of a fold and tug the paper will start to come apart. If you continue this all the way around the cupcake you will actually end up with a little plate!
3.Use a spoon or fork to eat your cupcake.

Q. Where do you get your food coloring? Can I use regular, grocery store food coloring if I can’t find the gel food coloring?
A. The gel food coloring is thicker and more potent, so you need less to get the same effect as with the more liquidy stuff you find in the grocery store. This is mostly important with frostings as the liquid food coloring can mess with the consistency especially if you are trying to get a very vibrant color. Gel is better for this purpose.
When adding food coloring to batter, it’s less of an issue. However, if you are adding a lot of coloring, adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe. For example, if you add a tablespoon of liquid food coloring to a red velvet recipe, cut back on a tablespoon of the buttermilk.
I get my gel food coloring at a local cake supply store, Sugar N Spice. I use Americolor brand and there are plenty of online shops that sell it. Here is just one, Kerekes.

Q. How do you get those cool swirls on your cupcakes? My tips seem too small which ones are you using?
A. Using a big, plain or star tip is key to getting a nice looking swirl. I use Kaiser brand tips as they are readily available at a local grocery store, Andronico’s. I have also found some online stores that sell Kaiser tips, but the selection seems limited. Here is a starter set that includes a filling tip, which is something I need…

Find a list of basic equipment here.

Cupcake Sizes

Q. Can I make these regular cupcakes mini sized or the mini cupcakes regular sized?
A. Almost all the recipes I have will work in either size. The important thing to note is the baking time. On average, mini cupcakes take 12-15 minutes to bake and regular cupcakes take 22-25 minutes to bake.

Q. How long to jumbo cupcakes take to bake? Where can I get jumbo cupcake papers?
A. I normally don’t bake ‘jumbo’ cupcakes. I am a firm believer that cupcakes should look cute and they are cuter the smaller they are.

Technique

Q. Do cupcakes need to be refrigerated? Can they be frozen? How are they best stored?
A. I find that room temperature; air-tight storage retains the most flavor, texture, and moisture. However there are some frostings and fillings that I believe should be refrigerated if cupcakes are stored for more than a few hours – mostly for safety reasons. So, if you are storing cupcakes overnight and they are frosted with cream cheese or filled with whipped cream, then store them in tupperware, in a cake box wrapped in plastic wrap, or in a cupcake container wrapped in plastic wrap.

I have frozen unfrosted cupcakes before when I simply had too much to do too close to an event and needed to get the cupcakes baked off the weekend before. I have had success with cakes, but ultimately I believe that freezing detracts from the texture and flavor of the cupcake. So, I try to not do it. If you must, double wrap unfrosted cupcakes and place in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze but for not more than a week. To defrost, place the wrapped cupcakes and let defrost wrapped for 6-8 hours, and then unwrap.

Ingredients

Q. How much does a stick of butter weigh?
A. 110 grams give or take a few. Here is a good resource for weights of a cup of various ingredients.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional baker or pastry chef. I have, however, been baking fairly consistently since I was 13. I have taken a week long pastry class at Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (which was awesome, by the way) and some consumer classes at the California Culinary Academy. I went to school for chemical engineering, but am now a software quality engineer. The schooling influences my approach to baking (methodical) and the software experience helped with adding a third column to the blogger template (why no three-column templates, blogger?). The whole digital food photography thing is a new world for me and I am enjoying the challenge immensely.
To sum it up - I speak from experience only. I try not to answer questions that I don't have answers for, but will do some googling and forward references to folks if I haven't figured out the problem in the past.

Banana Cupcakes, a Few Ways33

Posted by chockylit in Bananas,Cheese,Chocolate,Experimental Recipe,Nuts,Spices (Sunday April 23, 2006 at 5:59 pm)

I had request for cupcakes this weekend. They had to be good for breakfast (muffins) and have banana in them. I didn’t want to make a muffin, so I stuck with a cupcake recipe and planned to go light on the frosting. I made two attempts (two full attempts, but a total of three different recipes) and I am not 100% happy with any of them. I will print the best of the recipe bases, but the base recipe needs work. The cupcakes tasted yummy, but the texture was too dense, hence why it needs work.

The combination most appropriate for breakfast is the pecan-cinnamon. The yummiest (in my book anyway) was the macadamia-white chocolate. I didn’t like the pistachio so much. I don’t blame it on the pistachio, but on the recipe…

Mise En Place for Fillings
I made a few flavor combinations – toasted pecan and cinnamon, macadamia nut and white chocolate, and pistachio and cardamom.

1/3 cup pecans, toasted 5 minutes at 350 degrees, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled & chopped
1 teaspoon cardamom

1. Prepare all the fillings and set aside.

Banana Cupcakes
makes 22-24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
2. With a blender or food processor, blend banana and buttermilk until the banana is broken up.
3. In another bowl, combine banana/buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
4. Fold dry mixture into the wet mixture.
5. Divide batter into three bowls. In one bowl, fold in toasted pecans and cinnamon. In the second bowl, fold in macadamia nuts and white chocolate. In the third bowl, fold in pistachios and cardamom.
6. Scoop out into cupcake papers.
7. Bake at 350 degree oven for ~20-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (start checking after 20 minutes).


baked cupcakes

Thick Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces or 3/4 package of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add half of the sugar. Beat until combined.
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. For this recipe, I was going for a very thick frosting.


scooping frosting

Assembly
1. Scoop a bit of frosting on to each cooled cupcake.
2. Smooth frosting into a thin layer.
3. Top with caramelized banana disks, white chocolate dipped macadamia nuts, whatever you please…

I don’t have many pictures as I had a guest over while I was baking. My guest was a fellow baking enthusiast who I met through the blog. She is a caterer and cooking instructor in the bay area. She is mid-remodel and wanted to see what I had done. She brought delicious Vietnamese sandwiches. It was great to share tips. I am going to try some out in the weeks to come.

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