Tag Archives: Astoria

Day 12 – Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

12 Aug

I love Oreos.  I love the new Oreo jingle.  I love minis.  Full-sized.  Double Stuf.  Yeah…

So, of course, I needed to try the Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (recipe below from Annie’s Eats).

Cookies & Cream Cupcake          mini Cookies & Cream Cupcake

Yup.  There’s an Oreo in the bottom of each cake (regular Oreo for the big, mini Oreo for the minis), as well as inside the batter.  I don’t recommend the mini, as cute as it is.  It’s way to dense!!  These are solid, thick cakes.  They are slightly reminiscent of a waffle cone…or a big ole Oreo…of Cookie Crisp cereal milk (ya know, the milk left after you eat the cereal).

Cookies & Cream frosting

If you make the frosting exactly like the recipe says, it’s a little thin, but very creamy.  It’s sweet, but not overwhelming.  Not surprising – it tastes like the center of an Oreo.

Cookies & Cream Cupcake          mini Cookies & Cream Cupcake

Together, the cupcake is a bit of a one-trick pony.  The flavor doesn’t go anywhere.  It’s a fun, simple cupcake, just nothing terribly complex or interesting.  For an Oreo cupcake though, it is exactly that…an Oreo.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  (My hubby says, “If Oreo cookies were gonna be a breakfast food…this is your recipe!”)  So we’ve renamed it: Oreo breakfast cake with Cereal Milk Frosting.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3

– Frosting Taste: 3.5

– Overall Taste: 3

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 17

RECIPE

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (recipe from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients

  • 24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 24 Oreo cookie halves
For directions visit Annie’s Eats.
*Tomorrow: Pineapple Coconut Dream Cupcakes*

Day 10 – Black Bottom Cupcakes

10 Aug

I have never even heard of Black Bottom Cupcakes (recipe below from Culinary Couture).  But, if I understand it correctly, it’s like a brownie under a chocolate chip cookie.  So, sure!  Let’s give it a try!

Black Bottom Cupcake

These are extremely dense cupcakes!  Feels like a brownie with a soft chocolate chip cookie on top.  The bottom part alone tastes very dark and bland, but almost bitter.  The top tastes like a chocolate chip cookie, plain and simple.

Mini Black Bottom Cupcake

(They don’t look great in mini-form.  It’s hard to get 2 batters into that small of a space, so they overflowed…a lot…)

The combination of the two parts together makes the top part taste a little sour, which it definitely isn’t when you taste it alone.  My best guess is that it’s how the cookie competes with how dark the brownie is.

Black Bottom Cupcakes halved

They are super easy to throw together!  The only semi-time-consuming part was pureeing the bananas.  They do seem more like a muffin – hard to see “cupcake” when there’s no frosting.  It’s a little hard to tell when they are done.  The toothpick never came out clean (thank you, chocolate chips!), so I aimed for when they started to brown.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste (brownie part): 2

– Frosting Taste (cookie part): 4

– Overall Taste: 2

– Appearance: 3

– Ease of Making: 4.5

– TOTAL: 15.5

RECIPE

Black Bottom Cupcakes (recipe from Culinary Couture)

Ingredients:
For the cream cheese mixture
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 small banana, pureed
1 egg
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chipsFor the chocolate mixture
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large bananas, pureed
1/3 cup oil
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

For directions visit Culinary Couture

*Tomorrow: PB & J Cupcakes*

Day 9 – Lemon Cloud Cupcakes

9 Aug

Floating away with a lemon cupcake?  Well, if I must.  Lemon Cloud Cupcakes (recipe below from farm baby).

Lemon Cloud Cupcake          mini Lemon Cloud Cupcake

The cake is light and fluffy.  Moist.  And super lemony!!  Very tart, a little sweet.  Similar to lemon curd.

Lemon Buttercream

This is a classic American buttercream with a little lemon added.  It almost tasted like a meringue.

Lemon Cloud Cupcake          Mini Lemon Cloud Cupcake

First of all, the mini cupcake is like a bite of summer — a shot of lemonade.  The sweetness of the frosting balances the tartness of the cake really well.  (Today was a little toasty outside…I had to resist the urge to quench my thirst with these…)  Note: The recipe doesn’t specify an oven temp, so I baked at 350 F.  The minis were about 9 mins, full-size about 13 mins.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 4

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 4

– Appearance: 4.5

– Ease of Making: 3 (zesting + juicing 7 lemons…a little time-consuming)

– TOTAL: 19.5

RECIPE

Lemon Cloud Cupcakes (recipe from farm baby)

Lemon Cake Recipe:

Start by zesting enough lemons to get about 1/3 of a cup of zest. Usually around 7 lemons will do the trick here. Put those lemons aside, you will need them for their juice soon enough.

Mix the fresh zest into 2 and a 1/2 cups of sugar and let the flavour really meld while you get to work putting all of the other ingredients together.

Base Ingredients:

1 cup Butter

Sugar/zest mix

4 large eggs

Dry ingredients:

3 cups of flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

Wet ingredients:

Do not combine the lemon juice and milk they may curdle.

1 cup of fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup milk

Big splash vanilla

Little splash Lemon extract.

Basic American Buttercream

1 lb butter
1 kg icing sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract

For directions visit farm baby

*Tomorrow: Black Bottom Cupcakes*

Day 8 – Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes

8 Aug

Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes (recipe below from Lady Behind the Curtain).  Well, that is quite a name.  How could I resist the promise of so much chocolate in one cupcake?

Decadent Double Chocolate Cupcakes          Mini Decadent Double Chocolate Cupcakes

These cakes are simple, not too sweet, dense and moist.  They feel very much like a box cake, but without the box.  The full-size is better – the mini tastes almost bitter.  They remind me of a full-size chocolate cake.  Even taste, delicious chocolate scent and nice dark color.

mousse filled

The mousse is simple to make and easy to use.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

The frosting is a Marshmallow Buttercream, which made it all the more appealing to me.  It’s a lovely, stable whipped topping.  Sweet and sugary, but not enough to make your teeth hurt.

both-frosted-white          both-frosted-green

I dyed a bit of frosting cause the recipe states how easily it translates.  They were correct!

Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes halved

The mousse in the center throws off the balance of this cupcake.  It’s a little too bitter.  But I would totally do the cake and the frosting – the cake isn’t too sweet and the frosting is, so they’d be a perfect pair.  That would make a classic, ‘old school’ cupcake.  Ya know, what cupcakes were before all the frills.  The ones your Grandma made – simple, straight-forward.  The mousse feels like it was added to bring it up-to-date.  You don’t need it.  I mean, the Xbox is great, but every once in a while you wanna play classic Nintendo 😉

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 2 (only because of the mousse)

– Appearance: 4 (It’s so versatile!)

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 17.5

RECIPE

Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes (recipe from Lady Behind the Curtain)

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
    • 3/4 cup hot water
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1-1/2 cups butter
    • 2-1/4 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup sour cream
For the Mousse:
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 5 tablespoons hot water
    • 7 ounces, chopped fine bittersweet chocolate
    • 1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Marshmallow Butter Cream Frosting:
  • 7 ounces marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 32 ounce confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • food coloring (optional)

For directions visit Lady Behind the Curtain

*Tomorrow: Lemon Cloud Cupcakes*

Weekly Winner #1

7 Aug

Let’s look back at our first week of cupcakes…

Lemon Cupcake with Strawberry Lemonade Buttercream

Lemon Cupcake w/ Strawberry Lemonade Buttercream

Devil’s Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling

Devil's Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling

Monster Cookie Dough Cupcake

Monter Cookie Dough Cupcake

Toffee Crunch Cupcake

Toffee Crunch Cupcake

Strawberry Cupcake with Ice Cream Frosting

Strawberry Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream

Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcake

Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes

S’mores Cupcake

S'mores Cupcake

And the winner is…..Drum roll please!

Toffee Crunch Cupcake          Mini Toffee Crunch Cupcake

Coming in with a whopping 21 points, the Bakers Royale recipe for Toffee Crunch Cupcakes from August 4th is Weekly Winner #1.  Take another look at that day here.  And then check back on August 31st to see this bold-flavored cupcake compete in our Monthly Competition!!

Day 7 – S’mores Cupcakes

7 Aug

I.  Love.  S’mores.  I love all things s’mores!  So, I can’t ever resist a s’mores recipe.  These S’mores Cupcakes (recipe below from Baked Perfection) are no exception.

S'mores Cupcake          Mini S'mores Cupcake

What I found most interesting in this is that they aren’t a chocolate cupcake, which is normal for S’mores recipes.  They’re a graham cracker cupcake.  Super unique!  These cupcakes are very dense and almost wet, similar to a carrot cake.  The minis have the same density, which is nice.  The tops are slightly crispy.

Cupcake with filling           frosting

The chocolate filling is essentially a ganache.  It’s quite yummy, but I would prefer a semi-sweet or possibly adding a little milk chocolate in – the bittersweet was strong.  The frosting is delicious, though I’d add slightly less vanilla next time.

S'mores Cupcake          Mini S'mores Cupcake          S'mores Cupcake inside

Yum.  There’s a nice crunch to the toasted frosting.  (I used my oven broiler — it would be significantly easier if I used a kitchen torch.)  The minis have a nice bite-sized flavor, but the flavors really shine through in the full-size.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 3.5 (would be higher with a lighter chocolate)

– Appearance: 4.5

– Ease of Making: 3 (Filling + egg white frosting)

– TOTAL: 18.5

RECIPE

S’mores Cupcakes (recipe from Baked Perfection)
recipe makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers ground in processor)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
1/2 cup (scant) heavy whipping cream

Marshmallow Frosting
Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For directions visit Baked Perfection

*Tomorrow: Decadent Double Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes*

Day 6 – Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes

6 Aug

Again, I’m a cookie fan.  So why not try these Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes (recipe below from Yummly)?

Peanut Butter Cupcake          Mini Peanut Butter Cupcake

The cake is exactly like a peanut butter cookie.  It’s really thick, almost bread-like.  The full-size tastes saltier than the mini, I’d say overall the taste in the mini is better.

Peanut Butter Frosting

The frosting is good and thick.  It’s like a slightly sweetened creamy peanut butter.  (Like, the eat-it-with-a-spoon-out-of-the-jar kind.)

Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes          Mini Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes

These bad boys have a rich, peanut butter cookie flavor, that’s for sure.  Makes me want a BIG glass of milk!  The frosting adds a creamy element to the drier cupcakes.  I personally prefer the mini version – the full-size cake is stronger than the frosting, so the balance isn’t quite as good.  (Note: I had to freeze the frosted cupcakes to get the frosting to a place that I could score with fork tines.)

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3

– Frosting Taste: 3

– Overall Taste: 3

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 3

– TOTAL: 15.5

RECIPE

Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes (recipe from Yummly)

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CUPCAKES
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • FOR THE FROSTING
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for decorating
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

For directions visit Yummly

*Tomorrow: S’mores Cupcakes*

Day 5 – Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream

5 Aug

I mean, it just sounds yummy, doesn’t it?  Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream (recipe below from Lemon Sugar).  Sounds like the perfect end-of-summer cupcake to me.

Strawberry Cupcake          Mini Strawberry Cupcake

I added just a few drops of red food coloring to get that lovely pink color.  The cupcakes are abundantly moist, borderline wet, even though they were completely cooked.  The minis are nice, but they definitely lost the strawberry flavor.

White frosting          Pink Frosting

I dyed a small batch of the frosting pink, you’ll see why in about one sentence…

The frosting has a good, solid consistency.  Very easy to pipe.  It’s extremely sweet!!  Like vanilla ice cream on crack.

Strawberry Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream          Mini Strawberry Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream

Well, they are adorable!  The whole combo is very moist and creamy.  And, the really good news is that no matter how good you are at frosting, they’ll turn out beautifully!  They’d be great for a spring/summer party or a bridal/baby shower.  BE CAREFUL not to overfrost though — the frosting is very VERY sweet and can be a little overwhelming by the end of the cupcake.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 4

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 3 (the frosting got to be too much)

– Appearance: 5 (so freakin’ cute!!)

– Ease of Making: 3.5 (pureed fruit + dying part of frosting + frosting 2x)

– TOTAL: 19.5

RECIPE

Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream (from Lemon Sugar)

Ingredients

Strawberry Cupcakes:
    • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup cake flour, (not self-rising)
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 and 1/4 cups sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 large egg white
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 2 cups finely chopped strawberries
    • 1-2 drops red/pink gel food coloring, if desired
    • Strawberry Buttercream
    • 1-2 drops light pink gel food coloring, if desired
Vanilla Ice Cream Buttercream:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter at room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup half and half (more to desired consistency)

For directions visit Lemon Sugar

*Tomorrow: Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes*

Day 3 – Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes

3 Aug

For those of us who like cookies and cupcakes alike, this is the cupcake for us!  Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes (recipe below from Wishes and Dishes).  C’mon?!  Is this for real?!

Yes.  Yes, it is.

Monter Cookie Dough Cupcake          Mini Monter Cookie Dough Cupcake

The cupcake itself is a peanut butter chocolate chip cupcake.  It’s a little dry, but a simple cake.  Ridiculously easy to make, which is fantastic!  (Note: the recipe calls to just put all the ingredients together except chocolate chips and mix.  I made them with the traditional wet ingredients/dry ingredients method of baking.)

But here’s where the fun begins!

Monster Cookie Dough Frosting

To quote my mom, “I’d eat this with a spoon!”  Yeah.  That’s real.  It’s a thick, creamy bowl of cookie dough, but no eggs, so no worries.

Monter Cookie Dough Cupcake          Monter Cookie Dough Cupcake

I mean, look at those!  They’re so adorable!!  Now, I personally prefer the mini version of these cupcakes, it’s like a bite-size party snack.  But, that’s (clearly) a matter of opinion as several of my friends can eat the full-size with no complaints.  So, they both work.

The cupcake really serves as the ‘canvas’ for the (superior) frosting.  This frosting could easily be used on your favorite vanilla or chocolate cupcake as well. It is a fun, “happy” dessert and insanely easy to throw together.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 1

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 3.5

– Appearance: 5

– Ease of Making: 4.5

– TOTAL: 18

RECIPE

Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes (from Wishes and Dishes)

INGREDIENTS:

*makes about 12 cupcakes*

For the Cupcakes:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

For the Cookie Dough Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (don’t use reduced fat or fat free!)
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1- 2 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. oats
3/4 bag plain mini M&Ms
3/4 cup mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

For directions visit Wishes and Dishes

*Tomorrow: Toffee Crunch Cupcakes*

Day 2 – Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling

2 Aug

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling (recipe found below from Delish)Is there anything better than that title?  As a self-professed chocolate addict, the name grabbed me immediately!  And then add marshmallow….yes, please.

Devil's Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting          Mini Devil's Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting

This little morsel has a great milk chocolate color, which is lighter than the typical Devil’s Food cupcake.  It smells lovely and chocolatey.  Very moist and springy, with a simple, light chocolate flavor – not aggressive or overpowering at all.

Chocolate Frosting

The frosting is thick and very easy to pipe.  It’s got a milky flavor.  Kinda like sour cream chocolate, which was a little strange…

Devil's Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling         mini Devil's Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling

Then, we stuff with Marshmallow Fluff.  I could stop here.  Chocolate.  Marshmallow.  Yummy!  The fluff was a little difficult to use as a filling.  It’s crazy sticky and brings some crumbs with it when you’re piping.  But, this is the price we must pay for marshmallow filling.

Devil's Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling          mini Devil's Food Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling          halved

All together now.  The individual parts to this were all pretty tasty, but something didn’t work for me when it was put together.  The frosting is so strong that it overpowers the cake and the marshmallow filling, which is a shame. And, while this cupcake was easy to make in mini, it lost a lot in translation.  There was definitely not enough cake to stand up to the frosting.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 4

– Frosting Taste: 2

– Overall Taste: 2.5

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 16

RECIPE

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting (from Delish)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup(s) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 cup(s) milk
  • 1 jar(s) (7-ounce) marshmallow cream

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounce(s) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1/4 pound) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoon(s) unsweetened cocoa

For Directions visit Delish

*Tomorrow:  Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes*

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