Tag Archives: Tip Thursday

Day 127 – Hostess Inspired Chocolate Cupcakes

5 Dec

This cupcake needs very little introduction.  Other than this.

I have been desperately hoping to find a version of the Hostess cupcake that is a “gourmet” version of this childhood treat.  Some have come close, but, so far, none have amazed me.  So, will these Hostess Inspired Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe below from My Baking Addiction) rise to the challenge?  Check out today’s tip and then see how they do!

And the challenge begins!

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are very sticky and moist.  They have a taste very similar to Devil’s Food cake. Very chocolate-y but not dark or light.

Filled-Cupcake     Cream-Filling

The filling is thick and fluffy, but not as sticky as an egg-white frosting.  It tastes a lot like egg-white frosting, that simple, sweet vanilla flavor.


The ganache is smooth and creamy.  It has a very even semisweet chocolate taste.

Hostess-Cupcake     Mini-Hostess-Cupcake

This is yummy! It is accurately named “Hostess inspired” because that is what it tastes like. But a gourmet, homemade version.  So a Hostess cupcake, but way tastier.

Hostess-Cupcake-top     Mini-Hostess-top

The filling brings out all the sweetness, without being too much, and the chocolates complement each other extremely well. Overall I’m really excited about this….and worried….cause I ate a lot of them…


Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 4.5 (between the filling and ganache)
  • Overall Taste: 4.5
  • Appearance: 5 (even though my piping isn’t the most amazing, there’s no doubt about what it’s supposed to be)
  • Ease of Making: 2.5
  • TOTAL: 20.5


Hostess Inspired Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe from My Baking Addiction)

For the Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the Filling

2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache Frosting

1/4 cup cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

For directions visit My Baking Addiction.

*Tomorrow: Coffee Toffee Cupcakes*

Day 64 – Peanut Butter Banana Elvis Cupcakes

3 Oct

It’s Tip Thursday!!  Enjoy the quick little tip video below!!

Today’s cupcake is the classic combination made extremely popular by Elvis Presley.  Peanut Butter and Banana.  I, personally, love this combo!  (And, I feel I should mention, my hubby is a HUGE Elvis fan.)  So, I knew I had to try these Peanut Butter Banana Elvis Cupcakes (recipe below from I Love Peanut Butter).

Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cupcake

Both cakes have good density!   Thick enough to be solid, but lighter than a pound cake.  They also don’t taste like a banana muffin, which so many do.  It almost tastes like a white cupcake with banana extract cause it’s so smooth (and there’s no chunkiness).


The frosting is whipped and fluffy, but easy to pipe.  It has a great balance of peanut butter and sweetness. Not a strong PB flavor, but a nice, balanced flavor.

PB-Banana-Elvis-Cupcake     Mini-PB-Banana-Elvis-Cupcak

This cupcake shocked me. Normally fruit-based cupcakes (with the exception of lemon) aren’t phenomenal. This is not a muffin. At all. It’s a cupcake. A full-blown dessert. The flavors balance really well, cause nothing is too strong. You get the banana, the sugar and the peanut butter with every bite. And the fried crumbs add just a little bit of salt and crunch that ties it all together.

Note: both mini and full-size are equally well-balanced. Simple to make. Taste great. Definitely a must-try. You could do some serious damage with this cake cause you could eat several of them – not like the Toffee Crunch Cupcakes from August, where I could barely get through one. It’s a surprise. Peanut Butter & Banana doesn’t sound exciting. But, trust me. Do it! It’s the magic of a great recipe. It comes together the way a cupcake should.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 4.5

– Frosting Taste: 4.5

– Overall Taste: 4.5

– Appearance: 4

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 21.5


Peanut Butter Banana Elvis Cupcakes (recipe from I Love Peanut Butter)

For the cupcake
1 very ripe banana
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 whole eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons very soft, unsalted butter

For the buttercream
8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup Smooth Operator peanut butter
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the butter-fried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup panko
pinch of salt

For directions visit I Love Peanut Butter.

*Tomorrow: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes*

Day 57 – Caramel Apple Cupcakes

26 Sep

It’s Tip Thursday again!!  I hope you enjoy the tip and, as usual, let me know what your favorite tips are!!

As promised, here are some more details, in case you’re curious.  The protein in each flour is what determines the density of your baked goods.  This varies (as shown below) from bread flour, which produces the most dense baked goods, to cake flour, which produces the lightest.

– Bread Flour: 14-16% protein

– All-Purpose Flour: 11% protein

– Pastry Flour: 9% protein

– Cake Flour: 7-8% protein

Also, here’s the DIY tips for substituting flours:

– Using All-Purpose instead of Cake flour – for each cup of Cake flour that’s called for, you can substitute 1 cup of All-Purpose flour, minus 2 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

– Using All-Purpose instead of Self-rising – for each cup of Self-rising flour that’s called for, you can substitute 1 cup of All-Purpose flour, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Okay, now it’s cupcake time!!

Clearly, Fall is upon us.  And, clearly, I am ready to jump in.  These Caramel Apple Cupcakes (recipe below from My Recipes) are no exception!  I mean, what goes better with a lovely Fall day than a tasty Caramel Apple?!

Apple-Cupcake     Mini-Apple-Cupcake

The cakes are very muffin-esque.  But, they’re pretty much all apple.  Next time I would maybe use half the apple, cause I don’t really get as much of the cake as I’d like to.  It also tastes a bit more like a sweet muffin than like a cupcake.


The frosting is extremely thick and very stiff.  (Note: I needed to beat it on high speed for it to not be a crumble.)  It has a very strong caramel flavor but is not overly sweet.

Caramel-Apple-Cupcake     Mini-Caramel-Apple-Cupcake

Together they totally taste like a caramel-apple dessert!  I’m missing a major crunch factor – it tastes so much like an apple pie or an apple crumble, that I want the crumble or the crunch of a pie crust.  It doesn’t scream dessert.  It’s somewhere on the border of a muffin and a cupcake.  (That’s probably due to the oversweet muffin craze.)  This would be a great Sunday brunch cupcake – it’s can definitely be a dessert, but for those people who don’t want a “dessert” at brunch, these are also totally justified as a muffin-like-dessert!

(Note: Since the caramel in the frosting needs to chill for an hour, I’d suggest making the caramel, then the cupcakes, then the frosting.  Just to save a little time.  I’d also chop the apples really, really small for the minis. Since they end up being mostly apple.)

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3

– Frosting Taste: 3.5

– Overall Taste: 3.5

– Appearance: 4.5 (recipe called for crab apples, but I couldn’t find any, so I improvised)

– Ease of Making: 3.5 (while the waiting for the caramel is tedious, the overall process is quite easy)

– TOTAL: 18

Caramel Apple Cupcakes (recipe from My Recipes)


  • Fresh Apple Cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • Paper baking cups
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Old-Fashioned Caramel Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (16-oz.) package dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Toppings:
  • Toasted pecans
  • Fresh crab apples (optional)

For directions visit My Recipes.

*Tomorrow: S’more Cupcakes*

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