Category Archives: Frosting

Funfetti Cupcakes

My friend has been gone, in Italy to be exact, for over a month now and her return occurs tomorrow. I don’t need more cause for a celebration than that, do you? Her favorite cake is funfetti and she loves fresh strawberries so funfetti cupcakes with fresh strawberry Italian meringue seems fitting.

Funfetti Cupcakes
1/4 cup milk
6 eggs whites, room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Whisk all of the above in a bowl

2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Put in the bowl of a mixer and blend together

Add 12 tablespoons room temperature butter cut into tablespoon pieces to the flour mixture

Add 3/4 cup milk to flour and butter mixture. Mix for about a minute and a half

Add egg white mixture in four part, allowing the mixture to blend for about 30 seconds between each addition

Fold in 1/2 cup sprinkles (any kind, this is a great opportunity to use up sprinkles)

Fill lined cupcake pans. Bake at 350 degrees to 16 to 18 minutes.

Allow to fully cool before frosting

Fresh Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting

De-stem and hull about 15 strawberries and puree. Then run through a sieve to catch any big bits. Set aside. You might not need all the puree.

4 egg whites
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whisk in a bowl over a double boiler until the mixture reaches 160 degrees.

Pour hot mixture into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until at room temperature – it took me about 12 minutes.

3 sticks of room temp butter cut into tablespoon pieces. Add to mixer while whisking one piece at a time. Allow it to fully blend before adding another piece.

After all butter has been added allow it to whisk a few minutes more then add the strawberry puree (start with about 1/2 a cup) add more until flavor is right. Keep whisking. Eventually the frosting will look like it has broken but don’t panic, keep whisking it will come together.

I used a closed star tip to make it look a little like a rose.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes

I have still not found or figured out a chocolate cake recipe that will be my final goto recipe but this one was delish, came together quickly and baked up nicely.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Scharffen Berger)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot water or coffee

Whisk together all the dry ingredients, including the sugar.
In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
Slowly add dry to wet then add the hot liquid slowly just until combined.
This is a very liquid batter.

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes filled 2/3 full (I generally use a large cookie scoop to fill muffin tins).

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes but follow your nose, when they start to smell like delicious chocolate cake test with a toothpick.

Cool completely and frost.

Cherry Buttercream
2 sticks softened butter
1 box powdered sugar (it’s about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
15 drained and patted dry maraschino cherries finely chopped (I use a small food processor for this and the liquid that happens in this process is fine and will be directly added to the frosting).

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla for longer than you think. Maybe five minutes. Then stir in cherries.

Use your favorite frosting method.

Chocolate Ganache
6 ounces dark chocolate chips
8 ounches heavy cream

Heat cream pour over chocolate. It should be fairly thick. I usually just eyeball this so my measurements are best guesses. Let cool until room temp.

I used a squeeze bottle to pour ganache on the cupcakes but you could also use a spoon.

Top with whole maraschino cherry.

And eat! They were so tasty.

Buckeye Cupcake

Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate. This recipe could have been improved upon had I used marshmallow and homemade peanut butter but I am not going to lie, these cupcakes are delish!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

For the filling:  
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Blend together all ingredients then make 1 inch balls, it made 28 balls for me. I made them the night before and stored them in the fridge overnight.
For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs

Put flour, soda, salt and cocoa in a bowl and whisk. Set aside,
In a measuring cup mix together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of a mixer (with a beater blade) cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
Alternate additions of flour mixture and sour cream mixture. Start and end with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Line cupcake pans with paper, drop 2 tbsp of batter into the bottom of each cup (I used a cookie scoop for this, it was the smallest one I had, probably 1inch). Put 1 peanut butter ball in the middle of each and then top with 1 tbsp more of the batter. If you have batter left over divide it among the cupcakes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes (I was done around 20 and I think I should have pulled them out at 19). Let cool completely.
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Combine butter, cream cheese and peanut butter in a mixer (with a beater blade). Add powdered sugar and then the whipped topping. (I think I would swap whipped topping for marshmallow cream but either way it ends up with that thick consistency)
Frost cupcakes as desired. I used a big star tip. I also made dark chocolate disks by melting quality chocolate (my choice is Scharfenberger) and then I used a squeeze bottle to create them on wax paper. It all went into the fridge while I created the frosting.


It’s pumpkin season!

On of my favorite co-workers has decided to leave our company and move on to bigger and better things. For me, this is a reason to bake! Her two favorite things of mine are my pot pie (recipe is here) and pumpkin (last year I made her a pumpkin applesauce bread and a pumpkin jelly roll cake, neither of which I blogged about.)

So tonight I make pumpkin spice cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting and sugared pecans! OMG so good!








Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Sugared Pecans


2 2/3 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz ) can pumpkin
1 c sugar
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 c canola/veg oil
4 large eggs

Sift flour, soda, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt – set aside

Cream pumpkin, sugars and oil. Add eggs 1 at a time

Add dry to wet in 2 additions – mix just until combined

Use 1/4 c. cookie scoop to fill cupcake liners – it made 23 cupcakes for me. Bake 350 for 18-22 minutes

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz package of cream cheese softened
3/4 c. butter soften and cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 tsp maple flavor (the one I used is not an extract)
3 – 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Sugared Pecans

Chop a couple of handfuls of pecan halves – really fine

Put in a cold pan with 1 tbsp sugar

Heat on medium to medium high until the sugar is melted – stir constantly

Remove from heat and spread on wax paper – top with another 1 tbsp sugar and toss. Let cool.

Cool cupcakes completely, frost in whatever way you prefer (when I tried piping the frosting I didn’t have enough so I had to do half piped and pretty and half smoothed with a knife) then top with the sugared pecans. So delish!

Swiss Meringue Vanilla Bean Buttercream

I have had some epic baking failures lately and tonight’s chocolate cake was no exception. Had I remembered the eggs this post would be very different but as it stands now I have an amazing frosting with no cake to frost.

I had never made a cooked buttercream. It was easier than I expected but I think I still prefer the quick buttercream.

Swiss Vanilla Bean Buttercream

5 egg yolks
1 c plus 2 tbsp sugar
2 c butter softened and cubed
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
Pinch of salt

Clean you mixer bowl with vinegar then add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk over a pot of simmering water until the mixture is 140 degrees.
Move the bowl to you mixer and with the whisk attachment let it mix until shiny, white and cool.
Switch to the paddle attachment and slowly add the cubes of butter. Blend until thick and smooth. The mix will appear to curdle at one point but just let it keep mixing. It took me over five minutes. Then add the pinch of salt and vanilla bean paste.
Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a few months. When ready to use just bring to room temp and whisk for a few minutes.


Red Velvet Logans

I had to come up with a red, white and blue something for a team potluck at work. Everyone likes when I bake so I couldn’t miss the opportunity. I pondered what to make when I decided to do a red velvet cupcake filled with homemade blueberry jam and topped with cream cheese frosting.
I had never made a red velvet anything so I asked my uber baker friend Logan if she had a favorite recipe. She obliged and that left figuring out how to make a quick jam. Apparently the addition of an acid takes a compote to jam status in just a few minutes.
The resulting cupcakes were delicious and not a single one was left at the end of the party.

Red velvet cake:
Yield: 3 cake layers or 30 cupcakes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour (you can easily make this recipe gluten free by swapping the flour for an ap gluten free flour substitute like gluten free pantry. I always add at least 1/4 tsp of xantham gum per cup of flour to help the texture)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil (swap for room temp coconut oil if that’s your thing)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Cupcake variation: Since this has been published, many readers have written in to express that it adapts well to cupcakes. The yield is approximately 30 cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way, and the baking time should be between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them 2/3 of the way through in case your oven gets the job done faster.

Blueberry Jam
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar plus a little more depending on the sweetness of your berries and what you like
Juice and zest of 1 small lemon

Smash the blueberries in your pot then add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and let coo 10 to 15 minutes until thick. Then cool completely and put in the fridge.

I hallow out about two tsp of cake from each cupcake and then top with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting
8 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
1 lb powdered sugar plus probably a cup more
1 tsp vanilla

Beat this all for a good five minutes until smooth.




Magnolia Bakery in my very own kitchen

>Oscar Sunday was last week and I opted to bake my contribution to the party. I knew I wanted to do cupcakes but what to do what to do!

Enter the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook that has been on my shelves for years and never used. The decision. Lemon Cupcakes and Chocolate cupcakes. I thought I was going to do cream cheese frosting on both but it just didn’t taste right on the lemon so I whooped up the lemon with a lemon curd filling (from the book) and a lemon buttercream frosting.

The lemon curd was to die for so that is the recipe I am going to post. To fill cupcakes I used some weird tool in my kitchen that was for juicing lemons. I think there is a tool made specifically for this task so I might have to buy one because the idea of filled cupcakes is a winner in my book.

Lemon Curd
6 egg yolks at room temp
1 1/2 Tbsp grate lemon zest
1/2 c. lemon juice (freshly squeezed of course)
1/4 tsp lemon extract (this really added a nice balance)
3/4 c. sugar
cook all of that for about 20 minutes (stirring constantly) over medium heat. It will get thick and bubbly (you’ll think it is thick enough earlier but just keep going for about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and add 1 c. of cold butter cut in small pieces one piece at a time and stir until each piece is incorporated.

Place in a heat proof container and chill until firm (the recipe calls for overnight, but I only had a couple of hours)

I made about a dozen cupcakes and I only needed about half of the mixture to fill them. The rest was consumed on toast, biscuits, name it!

I am the bread baker’s apprentice! at least today..

My friend Oscar is leaving for Spain in a few short days. For the past two years I have promised and promised and promised again to bake the man buttermilk biscuits. I have yet to perfect my buttermilk biscuits but maybe when he gets back from Spain I will make him some.

The other day Oscar confessed that there was one thing that would top buttermilk biscuits on his list of wants…Cinnamon Rolls.

I have never made cinnamon rolls but it sounded like the kind of challenge I was up for. Did I know they would take all day? I knew they would take a good amount of time and effort.
Did I know they would be gorgeous and taste like sin itself? No!

The recipe came from the Break Baker’s Apprentice – a book by Peter Reinhart.

The book was a gift I received many years ago and until today I had not attempted a single recipe, though I have read and re-read dozens.

The recipe made 8 giant cinnamon rolls

Oscar’s Cinnamon Rolls
6 1/2 T. granulated sugar
1 t. salt
5 1/2 T. room temp. salted butter
1 large egg (room temp)
1 t. lemon extract
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour (you will likely need a little more to add in)
2 t. instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 c. milk (room temp)
6 1/2 T. granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 T. ground cinnamon (for the inside mixture)

Cream sugar, salt, butter on medium speed using paddle attachment. Add in egg and lemon extract until smooth. Then add flour, yeast and milk. Mix on low until the dough forms a ball (I had to add more flour to even get to a sort of ball, and it was still a little tacky not exactly a ball).
Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on medium speed for 10 minutes (still adding more flour as necessary – just a tablespoon or so at a time).
Dough should be silk and supple, tacky but not sticky.

Spray a bowl with spray oil. Turn the dough into the bowl and roll around the sides. Cover and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place. (I took this time to turn the oven to 350 and kick out a batch of chocolate chip cookies)

Spray the counter with oil and roll the raised dough onto the counter. Roll out dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle 14″ wide by 12″ long (about 2/3 inch thick) Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and roll up. Seem side down cut in half, half again and half one more time (that will give you 8 rolls) you can make them smaller if you want.

Place in a greased 9×13 pan and let rise for another 75 to 90 minutes

Preheat over to 350 (you see, I didn’t have to do this, I let the heat from the oven rise the dough and bake my cookies, then it was ready to go when I wanted to pop the rolls into the oven)

Bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Mix together 4 c. powdered sugar with 1/2 c. warm milk and 1 tsp. lemon extract.

Drizzle mixed over semi-cooled rolls (about 10 minutes out of the oven) – it ends up being a ton of glaze but trust me you want it all. Let it sit for a couple of minutes them remove the rolls from the baking pan and place on a cooling rack. Scoop up the rest of the glaze from the pan and redrizzle over the rolls.

Let cool about 20 minutes and then serve.

It is without question a great deal of work but the finished product is so worth it.

(If you are gonna go for a roll you might as well go all out and put butter on the finished product when eating)

Eat up!

Now Oscar can depart to Spain knowing he is loved (having witnessed the work and time these rolls took)

Friday night..

The ritual of friends gathering on a Friday night to share some laughs, eat some food, and drink some libations is not new. My friends are insane and we play ridiculously competitive and raunchy versions of games like Scattegories, Scene It, and Balderdash to name a few.. there is almost always pizza and beer…and I am the dessert bringer.

This Friday I was asked to bring the dessert and an amazing chinese chicken salad (which I won’t go into because this is a bakers type blog). I get so excited when I talk about baking and when I think about getting this store off the ground.

It will be incredible the day I open the doors and spread the love!
But, alas, today I just bake. A quick search of the net revealed a “Spring Celebration Carrot Cake”..hmm carrot cake sounded good and the recipe looked delicious. So make it I did! I haven’t had the chance to taste it yet, but the frosting is yummy and the cake feels super moist.

Spring Celebration Cake

1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 (4-ounce) jars pureed carrot baby food

Preheat your oven to 350, butter 2 (8-inch) cake pans (round/square you decide), line them with parchment and then butter and dust with flour.

Cake Batter Directions
Toss the carrots, walnuts and 1/2 cup pineapple with 1/2 cup flour in a small bowl and set aside.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and light – about 5 minutes. While continuing to beat the eggs slowly add the oil and then the pureed carrots. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet and then fold to make a loose batter. Then fold in the nuts, carrots and pineapple.

Pour into the pans and bake until firm to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean. About 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on a rack for a 25 minutes. Turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on the rack peel off the parchment from the bottom of the cakes.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz softened cream cheese
12 tablespoons of softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple

Beat the living daylights out of this frosting with a hand mixer or kitchenaid stand mixer with a whisk attachment. (Probably 5 minutes or so) Refrigerate the frosting for about 20 minutes to let it firm up.

Put a little frosting in the middle of your cake board (if you use one, if not do this directly on your cake plate), place the first layer and frost with about half of the frosting. Top with some more fresh chopped pineapple (I used half of a pineapple for the whole recipe) top withe the next layer and repeat frosting and pineapple series.

This cake was moist and dense even though it tasted nice and light. Keep any left overs in the fridge.