Archive | February, 2014

February Monthly Competition

28 Feb

Alright.  Here are the tasty competitors for February:

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Brownie-with-PB

Samoas Cupcakes

Samoa-Cupcake

Coconut Lovers Cupcakes

Coconut-Lovers

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted-Caramel-Chocolate

Check out how they did and which one came out victorious:

Thanks again to my Cupcake Panel: Maddy, Jesse, Laura and Spencer.  And, of course, thanks to my hubby, Ken, for all of the filming and original music!  See you tomorrow for the start of March’s cupcakes!

Day 212 – Gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes

28 Feb

So, the way I see it, everyone deserves some Red Velvet happiness.  I mean, right?  I have met very few people who don’t love a good Red Velvet…well….anything.  So, when I saw these Gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes (recipe below from Sarah in the Kitchen), I figured, “perfect”!  Let’s see how they do…

GF-Cupcake     Mini-GF-cupcake

There’s no red food coloring in the cupcakes.  It might be the first thing you noticed: the color.  The author said that the cocoa made them red. But my cocoa just made them brown.  The cupcakes are small, extremely dense and crumbly.  They have a strong cocoa flavor, and aren’t overly sweet.

Frosting

The frosting is very thin, though it did hold some shape on the cupcakes.  I added a bit more powdered sugar than it called for, but I didn’t want to overdo it.  The butter and the white chocolate are very strong flavors.  They go together, but it just tastes like a buttery melted white chocolate.

GF-Red-Velvet-Cupcake     Mini-GF-Red-velvet

The moistness of the frosting complements the cupcake a lot.  It takes away some of the dryness and adds a little sweetness to it.  It’s still a very chocolatey cupcake without a whole lot of other flavors going on.

GF-Red-Velvet-top     Mini-GF-Red-velvet-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3
  • Frosting Taste: 3
  • Overall Taste: 3
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 16

RECIPE

Gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes (recipe from Sarah in the Kitchen)

Cupcakes:

  • ¾ cup pure cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ lb unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, superfine
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose Gluten-Free flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Frosting:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose Gluten-Free flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 8oz of white chocolate, broken
  • 1 ¾ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar

For directions visit Sarah in the Kitchen.

*Tomorrow: Honey Banana Cupcakes*

Weekly Winner #28

27 Feb

Another very interesting, extremely variety-packed week of cupcakes!

Cinnamon-filled Spiced Cupcakes

Cinnamon-filled

Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red-Velvet-Cupcake

Nutella Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Nutella-Strawberry

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted-Caramel-Chocolate

Half Baked Cupcakes

Half-Baked

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

Fluffernutter-cupcake

And, with 20 points, this week’s winner is…..

Salted Caramel Choc top

The Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes from Grin & Bake It.  Check out that tasty day here.  And check back tomorrow to see how it does in the Monthly Competition against these competitors:

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Brownie-with-PB

Samoas Cupcakes

Samoa-Cupcake

Coconut Lovers Cupcakes

Coconut-Lovers

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted-Caramel-Chocolate

Day 211 – Fluffernutter Cupcakes

27 Feb

I will never get enough of Marshmallow Fluff.  I love it.  It makes me happy.  Always has.  Probably always will.  So, when I saw these Fluffernutter Cupcakes (recipe below from Not Your Ordinary Recipes), I just knew I had to try them!  But first, check out today’s tip video!

Now, enjoy these cupcakes!

Marshmallow-Cupcake     Large-Marshmallow-cupcake     Mini-Marshmallow-cake

The cupcakes have a muffin-like consistency. And they are sugary. Like, similar to eating a Peep sugary. Which, I don’t mind, cause I love Peeps. I was just surprised.

Note: The baker originally made the cupcakes with mini marshmallows, but said she’d rather make them with large ones, so I tried both. I personally preferred the ones with minis.

Peanut-Butter-Frosting

The frosting is very, very thick. It’s pipeable, it’s just thick. It tastes like sweet peanut butter. That’s about it. Not much butter in there, so you really just get the honest-to-goodness peanut butter flavor.

Fluffernutter-cupcake     Mini-Fluffernutter

The sweetness of the frosting is cut a lot by the cupcake, which is interesting cause the cupcake is really sweet all by itself. You definitely get a fluffernutter-feel from these cupcakes. The cupcake brings the marshmallow and the frosting brings the peanut butter. Classic. Simple.

Note: The mini cupcakes get totally drowned out by the frosting. They’re adorable, just don’t overload them with frosting or they’ll disappear.

Fluffernutter-top     Mini-Fluffernutter-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4.5
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19

RECIPE

Fluffernutter Cupcakes (recipe from Not Your Ordinary Recipes)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 2/3 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Butter, Melted
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Jar (7oz) Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 Cup Mini Marshmallows (*or 12 large marshmallows)

Frosting:

  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Half and Half (*can substitute for cream or milk)

For directions visit Not Your Ordinary Recipes.

*Tomorrow: Gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes*

Day 210 – Half Baked Cupcakes

26 Feb

Ok, let’s be real.  Nothing says, “getting you over hump day” like some Ben & Jerry’s.  Nothing.  Although, to be fair, Ben & Jerry’s can and should be enjoyed often.  At least, that’s my opinion.  So, I couldn’t resist these Half Baked Cupcakes (recipe below from Mayhem in the Kitchen)!

Brownie-Cupcake     Mini-Brownie

The cupcakes are dense and chewy on the bottom with a serious crunch on the top. They taste a lot like a brownie. Not an overly fudgy brownie. But definitely a brownie.

Note: A toothpick tester won’t give accurate results for this cupcake. Like a brownie, you wanna take it out before it’s completely dry, otherwise they’ll be tough.

Cookie-dough-frosting

The frosting is thick. A lot like cookie dough in every way possible. It’s sugary with brown sugar and lots and lots of mini chocolate chips!

Half-Baked     Mini-Half-Baked

Together it’s just sugary and chocolatey and sinful!! I need a big glass of milk now. Like….a huge one!! But I feel like a kid. Indulging in a brownie with cookie dough ice cream on top. Way too much sugar, but way too yummy to pass up!

Half-Baked-top     Mini-Half-Baked-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4.5
  • TOTAL: 19.5

RECIPE

Half Baked Cupcakes (recipe from Mayhem in the Kitchen)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 oz baking chocolate (6 squares)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs (large)
  • 2 cups ultragrain flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Frosting:

  • 2/3 cups salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup ultragrain flour
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

For directions visit Mayhem in the Kitchen.

*Tomorrow: Fluffernutter Cupcakes*

Day 209 – Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

25 Feb

So, apparently, I’ve missed the boat on this flavor combo.  Yes, yes.  Caramel and chocolate.  That one I know.  But there’s coffee in these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe below from Grin & Bake It).  I mean.  It makes sense.  Caramel, chocolate and coffee.  Yes, please!

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-cupcake

The cupcakes are very squishy and sticky. A little like Devil’s Food cake. Well, okay. A lot like Devil’s Food. In taste, look and texture. Chocolate, but airy and light all at the same time.

Salted-Caramel-Frosting

The buttercream is smooth and creamy. Very sweet with a nice caramel flavor. Not to dark, but it’s definitely strong.

Salted-Caramel-Chocolate     Mini-SC-Chocolate

Together, this is a cupcake to make mouths happy. It’s full of yummy goodness. A little dark, a little sweet, and just a teeny tiny bit salty.

Salted Caramel Choc top     Mini-SC-C-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 3.5
  • TOTAL: 20

RECIPE

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe from Grin & Bake It)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup freshly brewed, caramel flavored hot coffee

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1  1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For directions visit Grin & Bake It.

*Tomorrow: Half Baked Cupcakes*

Day 208 – Nutella Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

24 Feb

These Nutella Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below from The Baking Robot) are for anyone who needs that little extra kick to get their Monday started.  I know.  Trust me.  Mondays can be rough.  Hopefully today’s Musical Monday selection, “The Stone” by Bryan Morris, as well as these cupcakes, get you started off right!

Nutella-Cupcake     Mini-Nutella-Cupcake

These cupcakes are dense and almost on the dry side, but not dry. The tops have a serious crunch to them too. They are super chocolatey and remind me a lot of the cookie part of an Oreo. I don’t really get the Nutella flavor, but I like the flavor I did get!

Strawberry-Frosting

The frosting is thick and creamy. Very easy to pipe, and a pretty off-pink color. It is a definite cream cheese frosting, with a light strawberry flavor.

Nutella-Strawberry     Mini-Nutella-Strawberry

It’s like a strawberry dipped in cream cheese covered in chocolate. Exactly like that. Sweet. Chocolatey. Strawberry-y….If you like these flavors, you’ll love this cupcake!

Nutella-Strawberry-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19

RECIPE

Nutella Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe from The Baking Robot)

Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz (1 package) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp freeze-dried strawberries, pulverized to powder in food processor
  • 1/2 tsp imitation strawberry extract

For directions visit The Baking Robot.

*Tomorrow: Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes*

Day 207 – Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes

23 Feb

Or, better known as Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting and Chocolate Ganache Filling (recipe below from The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood).  Yeah.  That’s a mouthful.  (Pun intended.)  Ok, I love a good red velvet cupcake.  And there are SO MANY different recipes out there.  But, this one is a little different.  With a non-cream-cheese frosting (weird, right?) and a chocolate ganache filling (what?!).  How could I not try them?

Red-Cupcake     Mini-Red-Cupcake

These are some of the brightest red velvet cupcakes I’ve ever made! The color is beautiful. They are dense and chewy. Just on the verge of dry, but not quite dry. They have a sweet flavor, with just a hint of cocoa.

Chocolate-filling

Super easy to make! Which is always nice. But make it first, cause it needs to be in the fridge for a couple of hours before you use it. It tastes just like a semisweet chocolate ganache, but it has a stiff mousse texture.

Frosting

The frosting is a sturdy but smooth consistency. It tastes very sugary. It actually reminds me A LOT of the inside of a Double Stuf Oreo. A LOT!

Red-Velvet-Cupcake     Mini-Red-Velvet

The addition of the chocolate filling is what really puts this cupcake ahead of other red velvet cupcakes. It allows the color to be more red, cause there’s less cocoa powder in the cupcake, but it still gives a stronger chocolate flavor, without being overwhelming. The chocolate and cupcake cut quite a bit of the sugary sweetness in the frosting. Yum!

Red-Velvet-half2

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 3.5
  • TOTAL: 18.5

Red-Velvet-top     Mini-Red-Velvet-top

RECIPE

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting and Chocolate Ganache Filling (recipe from The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood)

Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks salted butter at room temp.
  • 2 eggs at room temp.
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup red food coloring
  • 4.5 T of cornstarch and 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Just under 1 cup regular milk and a splash of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T distilled white vinegar

Ganache filling:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 heavy cream

Frosting:

  • 1 stick crisco
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For directions visit The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood.

**Tomorrow: Nutella Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting**

Day 206 – Cinnamon-filled Spiced Cupcakes

22 Feb

So, although we celebrated President’s Day this past Monday, today is George Washington’s actual birthday.  America’s 1st President was born on February 22, 1732, and is called the “father of his country”.  What you might not know about him?  He loved food!  Especially desserts.  Spice cakes, sugar cakes, fruit cakes, pies, cheesecakes.  He liked ’em all.  So, to celebrate President Washington’s 282nd birthday, I found these Cinnamon-filled Spiced Cupcakes (recipe below from une gamine dans la cuisine).

Cinnamon-cupcake     Mini-Cinnamon-cupcake

The cupcakes are a lot like muffins. Sturdy and dense. They have a nice, sweet cinnamon flavor. All my filling sank to the bottom though, so it stuck to the wrapper. It tastes really good though. Like the sticky cinnamon stuff on the plate after you eat a sticky bun….or 4…

Glaze

The frosting is more like a glaze in consistency and in taste. It’s smooth, soft and creamy, but hardens on the top, like a glaze. It also has that powdered sugar flavor that glazes have. You don’t really notice the sour cream.

Note: I added almost a whole extra cup of powdered sugar to my frosting and it was still too runny to pipe.

Cinnamon-filled     Mini-cinnamon-filled-side

This is a simple, cinnamon-sugar kinda cupcake. Not a wow, necessarily. But full of flavors and textures. The cinnamon gooey-ness complements the glaze really well (even if it is stuck on the bottom). Leaving the cupcake as just a simple middle floor for the other 2 parts.

Cinnamon-filled-top     Mini-cinnamon-filled

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 3.5
  • TOTAL: 17

RECIPE

Cinnamon-filled Spiced Cupcakes (recipe from une gamine dans la cuisine)

Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

Filling:

  • 2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Splash or 2 of cream (for such a small amount, you may use milk instead.)

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup of sour cream (have some extra on hand)
  • 2 cups of confectioners sugar (have some extra on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

For directions visit une gamine dans la cuisine.

*Tomorrow: Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes*

Weekly Winner #27

21 Feb

Another interesting and varied week of cupcakes!  I am still surprised at how many different kinds of cupcakes there are out there.  Happily surprised, of course!

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Strawberry-Cupcake

Coffee Cupcakes

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Devil's-Food-Cupcake

Fruity Pebble Cupcakes

Fruity-Pebble-cupcake

Chocolate-filled Cupcakes

Chocolate-filled-half2

Banoffee Cupcakes

Banoffee-cupcake

Coconut Lovers Cupcakes

And, with 20 points, the winner is…..

Coconut-Lover-top

The Coconut Lovers Cupcakes from the baking cup.  Check out that tasty day here.  And, make sure to see how it does in the Monthly Competition on February 28th!

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