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Recipe Review: Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

25 Jul
Yum…cherry limeade drinks from Sonic are my favorite drink treat.  So, when I came across this recipe from It’s the Life blog, I knew that I had to try it.  I signed up to feed the volunteers at Vacation Bible School and wanted to make something pretty and tasty.  These were perfect.  Not only are they pretty to look at but they taste so good!  The cupcakes were gone in no time and I received lots of compliments.  I will be making these again for an upcoming family reunion but will probably double the recipe because they were so awesome.  I will also use stemmed cherries as well….I think they will look prettier.
Enjoy!
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
(original recipe by It’s the Life)

Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix (and all ingredients needed to make the cake)
1 jar maraschino cherries (with or without stems)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 limes
Buttercream Frosting
1 bag powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 lime
milk

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven and make the batter according to the package directions.  Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cherry liquid into the batter.  You could chop some of the cherries and add to the batter, but I wanted a smooth cupcake.  While the cupcakes are baking, make a lime glaze by mixing the juice of two limes with one cup of powdered sugar.  Once the cupcakes are removed from the oven, poke several (I did at least 10 to 12) holes with a toothpick in each cupcake.  With a spoon, slowly spoon the glaze on each cupcake, using the back of the spoon to spread it out covering each hole.  Allow the cupcakes to sit a few minutes and repeat the glazing.  Loosely cover cupcakes and refrigerate for a few hours.  While the cupcakes are cooling, drain the cherries and rinse them thoroughly.  Drain them on paper towels for a few hours.  (This step will ensure that the cherries don’t bleed in your beautiful white frosting.)

To make the frosting, beat the softened butter until fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, beating to ensure there are no lumps.  I used all but about a cup of powdered sugar because I like a stiffer frosting.  I had some leftover glaze, so I also added this along with the juice of one lime.  Add a little milk, if needed, to thin it out a bit.  Frost as you normally would.  Add the dried cherry to top of each cupcake.

Linked To:
*Lamb Around: Not Baad Sundays
*The Girl Creative: Just Something I Whipped Up
*Boogieboard Cottage: Masterpiece Monday
*11th Heaven’s Homemaking Heaven: Homemaker Monday 
*Two Maids a Milking: Two Maids a Baking
*Sumo’s Sweet Stuff: Market Yourself Monday
*Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker: Your Recipe, My Kitchen
*A Southern Fairytale: Mouthwatering Monday 
*Blessed with Grace: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday 
*Dr. Laura’s Adventures: Tasty Tuesday
*Mandy’s Recipe Box: Totally Tasty Tuesday 
*From Mess Hall to Bistro: Made From Scratch Tuesday 
*Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
*It’s a Keeper: It’s a Keeper Thursday
*Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for Saturday
*Everyday Sisters: Sharing Sundays 
 

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Recipe Review: Tagalong Cupcakes

15 May
I have been wanting to make these cupcakes for months.  This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, InsideBruCrew Life.  She has the most awesome recipes!  I saved back a box of Tagalongs with this recipe in mind.  Boy, I am so glad I did!  These were so so very good and my family has eaten them up.  I love the fact that they are made with a box cake mix…saved me some time.  If you have a box of Tagalongs stashed away somewhere, you must give these a try!
Enjoy!
Tagalong Cupcakes

1 vanilla cake mix 

Tagalong Cookies (from your favorite Girl Scout)

Preheat oven to 350* Place liners in cupcake pan. Make up the cake mix according to the directions. Put 2 tablespoons of batter in each liner. Set a cookie on top of the batter in each liner and then finish filling the liner with batter. Fill it at least 3/4 of the way full. Bake 22-24 minutes. Let cool. Frost with Honey Peanut Butter Cream. Add sprinkles and eat!

Honey Peanut Butter Cream
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp water
2-4 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
4 cup powdered sugar

Cream butter and peanut butter. Add the water, salt and vanilla and cream again. Slowly add the powdered sugar. After all the sugar is added, beat in another 1-2 tbsp water. Then beat in the honey until creamy. 

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Gifts From My Kitchen: Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars

19 Jan
Right before the holidays, I was reading through one my absolute favorite blogs, Our Best Bites, looking for teacher’s gifts to make and came across this…cupcakes in a jar!  I know right?  Can you believe it?  How stinkin’ cute are they and so different?  And really very easy.  They were a hit.  Not only did they taste good but they were so pretty.  While these were made for Christmas, why not for Valentine’s?  I could not find the wide mouth jars anywhere in my town, so I used what I had on hand, the regular size jars.  I didn’t have any problems with the size difference.  I was able to find Andes candy in red and white bits that was perfect as a topping.
I made the decorating simple.  I covered the top of the jar with the lid and put a cupcake liner upside down and flattened the bottom of the liner and then screwed the ring over the liner.  Instant and easy! 
You really REALLY need to give these a try.  Perhaps for your Valentine!
Enjoy!
Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars
(recipe from Our Best Bites)

Makes approximately 8 jars or 12 Cupcakes

Cupcakes (cake base for this dessert adapted from Shelly Kaldunski)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz chocolate, chopped. (or abt 1/2 C chips) Use bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet.
1/2 C + 3 tbsp real butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C plus 2 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

8 8oz wide mouth mason jars (or regular if you can’t find wide mouth)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set mixture aside and let cool 10-15 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon (don’t use an electric mixer) stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs one and a time, beating with your spoon until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not over mix.

Place the mason jars on a cookie sheet. Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 jars (no need for greasing the jars) or 12 cupcake liners if you’re going that route. The jars should be about half full or a little less. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the jar comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully (with a pot-holder!) transfer jars to a cooling rack. Let jars cool till at least close to room temperature before topping with ganache.

Peppermint Ganache
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream in microwave until bubbles form around the outside. Pour in bowl over chocolate chips and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes, add peppermint extract and then whisk until smooth. Let cool uncovered until thickened slightly, almost like a thin pudding.

To assemble, pour 1 1/2-2 Tbs ganache over the top of each cupcake jar. If desired, use a paring knife to first hollow out a well in the middle of the cake. Tilt jars to distribute ganache evenly over the top of the cake and then let cool for the ganache to set. If storing overnight, place lids and rings on jars and leave at room temperature.

Frosting
3 tbsp flour

1/2 cup milk (whole milk is best)
1/2 cup real butter
1/2 cup sugar (that’s granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. It should still be liquid-ish.  It’s okay if you have lumps, because we’re gonna strain those out right now. Place the mixture in a mesh strainer and stir with a rubber spatula to push it through. You should end up with a nice, smooth mixture. It’s almost like pudding before it’s set.

Put this mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. When it is chilled, you can move on to the following step.

In an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened
milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Don’t be scared. It’s going to look like a goopy mess and kind of lumpy and separated.  Beat on med-high for 7-8 minutes. After 7-8 minutes it will have transformed from that sloppy mess into something gorgeous, fluffy, and incredibly light and silky.

(See instructions on the Our Best Bites blog for creating a red and white striped look.) Pipe frosting on each jar, being careful to leave room for the lid. If desired, sprinkle on some crushed candy canes or candies and then screw on jar lids.

Linked To:
  * Blessed with Grace:  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
  * It’s A Blog Party:  Delicious Dishes
  * A Beautiful Mess:  Wordless Wednesday
  * All the Small Stuff:  Tuesdays at the Table
  * Not So Homemade:  What’s Cooking Wednesday
  * From my tiny kitchen:  Gold Star Wednesday
  * We are THAT Family:  Works for me Wednesday
  * Simply Sweet Home:  Friday Favorites
  * Prairie Story:  Recipe Swap Thursday
  * Mommy’s Kitchen:  Potluck Sunday
  * Sister Sister Sunday
  * Miz Helen’s Country Cottage:  Full Plate Thursday
  * It’s A Hodgepodge Life:  Hodgepodge Friday
  * Alli-n-son:  Sweet Tooth Friday

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Countdown to 2011: Desserts

2 Jan

Okay, so I am a day late in this post but I wanted to share some of the desserts I made over the past year.  I am joining Finding Joy in My Kitchen’s countdown. 

Here is some of the delightful goodness we enjoyed!

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Recipe: Banana Walnut Cupcakes

2 Aug
I know that I have said it before, but I do not like bananas.  However, I LOVE banana bread, banana muffins and now banana cupcakes!  These are sooooo good!   I found this recipe while watching Down Home with the Neely’s (love that show!).  I used Steen’s Syrup instead of molasses because I think it has way more flavor than regular molasses.  I made 15 cupcakes with the recipe.
This is a must try!
Banana Walnut Cupcakes
(modified from Gina Neely’s recipe)
Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, (reserve some for garnish)
Molasses Frosting:
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Steen’s Syrup (or molasses)
3 cups powdered sugar
Directions
Batter:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.   In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar. Beat with a mixer until combined. Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time. Incorporate the dry mixture and wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined. Add the bananas and walnuts, being careful not to over mix. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 way full. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops turn golden-brown and when a toothpick, inserted in the middle of the cupcake, comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and let cool before frosting.

Frosting:
In a large bowl, add the butter and cream cheese. Beat together until incorporated. Add the molasses and mix well. Stir in the vanilla extract, milk and powdered sugar.
Heavily frost the cupcakes and garnish with reserved chopped walnuts.

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