Gingerbread Cupcakes

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Happy New Year! Hard to believe we are already THREE weeks in to 2016. I have no idea how that happened. It’s almost every day that I think, “Man, I wish I had a pause button.” The time seems to FLY by these days. Anyone else feel that way?

So rewinding…. I was charged with making a few desserts for Christmas Eve this year. Dinner is a sit down affair for 32 (that’s not a typo: THIRTY TWO) people. Baked stuffed lobster, linguini with anchovy sauce, fried scallops, and stuffed calamari are just  a few of the delicacies my mom prepares. Dessert is typically on the lighter side. Easy bites people can pick up and nibble on while sipping homemade lemoncello are best.

While cruising around Pinterest I found these adorable looking cupcakes. The mini Wilton sugar gingerbread men that Sally’s Baking Addiction  put on top of her cupcakes are adorable. I ran around to all of our local craft stores and could not find them. These cute little trees had to work–and they did! I love the winter wonderland-y effect they have when perched on top of the thick cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes were moist and satisfying and would be a tasty addition to any winter dinner.

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Gingerbread Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  In a large bowl using a  stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the egg until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the milk, molasses, and vanilla on. Mixture will look slightly curdled.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

In a medium bowl using a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together on until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more tablespoon of milk if needed to thin out. Beat for 1 minute.

Frost cooled cupcakes immediately before serving. Decorate with sprinkles of cinnamon and your choice of candy.

 

Recipe credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

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Pumpkin Cupcakes

 

 

Pumpkin cupcakes! Perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful season!

Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe found here: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/11/pumpkin-cupcakes/

P.S. I hope One-Pie never changes their can label. I love the nostalgia it evokes and choose it over Libby’s every time because of it!

Coconut Cupcakes with Easter Eggs and Chicks

I made these really cute coconut cupcakes for Easter! I was very happy with how they looked on the table and very sad when I took a bite and realized I over baked them a bit. I will pay very close attention next time!

I made a simple white frosting (butter + confectioners’ sugar +vanilla + almond extract) then tinted it pale green. I piled it onto the cupcakes using an offset spatula then sprinkled each cupcake with green coconut. (To make colored coconut just add coconut and a few drops of food coloring to a zip loc bag and shake, shake, shake!) The little “eggs” are speckled peanut butter M&Ms and worked really well on top of the green coconut. The chicks are (of course) Peeps!

Voila! Cute Easter cupcakes that will add flare to your holiday dessert table!

While we are on the subject of cute Easter cupcakes, check out these little flower pot cupcakes my sister-in-law baked. Aren’t they precious?!

Adorable Flowerpot Cupcakes with Lollipops made by my sister-in-law

Coconut Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut (for IN the batter) + 7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut  (for on TOP of the cupcakes)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Recipe by Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa found here on foodnetwork.com.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

This is probably my favorite holiday. I have wonderful childhood memories of this holiday, some of which I have discussed on the blog in years past.

This year the pumpkin cupcakes made a reappearance, this time with Smitten’s Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. No fancy decorating, just plain and delicious.

If you are looking for some other last minute ideas, check out these festive baked goods from past years!

Chocolate Peanut butter Cake 

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Silver Peanut butter Frosting

Apple and Meringue Tartlets

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Mini Chocolate and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes (and Halloween cupcake decorating ideas)

Mandarin Orange and Pomegranate Tart

Peanut butter cup cookies

Maple Pumpkin Muffins

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Orange White Chip Cookies

Enjoy!!!!!

Sunflower and Ladybug Cupcakes

We had a little birthday celebration for our precious girl! The theme was a “ladybug picnic.” I made these chocolate cupcakes. I used my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe and a Wilton icing recipe. While Wilton icing is not really my favorite flavor-wise, I believe there is a time and place for it. When you need something that will hold up for an extended period of time, it usually does the trick. That said, the weather was humid and warm and these still melted a bit (as you might be able to tell from the photo).  I can’t even imagine what would have happened if I used a butter-based recipe! I bought the cute little sugar ladybugs from Oriental Trading and they worked out just perfectly. I was happy with how these turned out and they looked very sweet along with all of the other treats!

(Here is a little preview of the cake!)

Pumpkin for my Pumpkin (Pumpkin Cupcakes)

I tend to become very sappy when it comes to first birthdays. My nephews turned me into puddles on each of their birthdays (Clown Cake,  Fire Engine Cake, Monkey Cake).  And now it’s time to be nostalgic all over again on an even more personal level because today is the one year anniversary of my daughter being born, also known as, her first birthday. Yup. I know, I can’t believe it either. *holding back a little sniffle* 

She captures my heart over and over and over with her sweet face, sparkling eyes, and  scrunchy-nosed smile. She has gone from a squishy little mammal that needed to be sustained (one year ago) to a delightful, charismatic, tiny person (today). She blows us kisses (“mmmmmmmmmmahhh!”), climbs into the dishwasher, opens and empties all of our drawers and cabinets, giggles uncontrollably when we tickle her belly, shows us which book she’d like to read then crawls into our lap, unfolds all of our laundry, and dances with her head. She claps when she hears an applause from the television set, holds her arms up like a waitress and scrunches her shoulders when someone walks out of the room (“Where’d he go?”), and stands up in her highchair during every meal.

Being her mom is the best gift I have ever been given.

I love that she was born during my favorite season because it gives me another very big reason to love this time of year more than any other.

So I’m continuing the cupcake frenzy with another batch, this time in honor of my little pumpkin. (Her birthday cake has not been made yet!) I used this recipe for pumpkin cupcakes from Smitten Kitchen. I found the texture to be fantastic–very light, moist, and crumbly. These are definitely cakes as opposed to pumpkin bread baked in a cupcake tin. I topped them with the requisite cream cheese frosting. A great treat for a celebration of the season and of my girl.

Oatmeal Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (Again)

We have here another favorite and crowd pleaser: Oatmeal cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes are great for fall because the cinnamon and nutmeg capture the warmth and essence of the season. These are a grown up cupcake that kids love too.

If you’d like to see me make them before your very eyes, check out this video: http://how2heroes.com/videos/dessert-and-baked-goods/oatmeal-cupcakes-w-cream-cheese-frosting