A Red Velvet Dream

As crazy as this might seem, I had a dream about red velvet cupcakes last night. I dreamt that I was in a kitchen trying to bake lemon poppy seed cupcakes. No matter what I did or what recipe I tried, when I went to pull the cupcakes out of the oven, they always turned out to be red velvet cupcakes. Naturally, when I woke up, I decided the dream meant I was supposed to make red velvet cupcakes. I started looking for red velvet cupcake recipes online and I came across one that looked really good. I called my best friend and told her I was on my way over and we had some baking to do.

The recipe I found was so good! It used a chocolate ganache in the cake batter, which really set off the bitter taste from the food coloring. They were moist and extremely delicious! If you decide you want to try this recipe out, make sure you read the directions carefully. The chocolate ganache is supposed to be mixed with the cake batter, however, I overlooked this step and had to start all over. I hope you enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Dry Batter Ingredients
 2 2/3 cups sifted cake flour (Softasilk)
2 cups sugar
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Batter Ingredients
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs + 1 egg white
1 cup sunflower seed oil
 1 1/2 TBSP red food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar

Chocolate Ganache
 4 oz Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate baking bar
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 4 cups)
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salted butter, Challenge
“European Style”, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups confectioners powdered sugar
1 TBSP heavy whipping cream, very cold

  1. Line cupcake pan(s) with cupcake liners. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Using a stand mixer or electric handheld mixer, mix all dry batter ingredients together in a large mixer bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix together all wet ingredients on low.
  3. To make chocolate ganache, coarsely chop Ghirardelli chocolate bar. Melt chocolate with heavy cream in a glass bowl in the microwave on the lowest setting, stirring thoroughly every 30 seconds until smooth. If there are just a few lumps left, don’t nuke it again, just keep stirring and they’ll melt right in. Add chocolate ganache to wet mix and blend with mixer.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, mixing in between on low setting. Mix until batter is smooth.
  5. Fill cupcake liners a little more than 3/4 full with batter, evenly distributing to all liners. Place pans in oven and bake for 25 minutes for jumbos, 20 minutes for standards, 15 minutes for minis, or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cupcake. Remove pans from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Trying to pick them up out of the pans too early may leave dents in the still soft tops and cup liners. After which, it’s best to remove cupcakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack or counter before frosting.
  6. Meanwhile, make cream cheese frosting. Using a stand mixer or electric handheld mixer, combine softened cream cheese and butter. Beat until well blended and smooth.
  7. Add vanilla extract. Beat well.
  8. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well in between to really incorporate the sugar. This process will ensure a smooth texture.
  9. Add 1 TBSP very cold heavy whipping cream. Beat well for fluffiness.
  10. Using a spatula, scrape frosting into a pastry bag. Chill in refrigerator until cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting. Chilling the frosting also helps it gain more structure when piping since we softened the cream cheese and butter earlier.
  11. Frost The Cupcakes!
  12. You’re good to go! Arrange these red velvet cupcakes on a pretty platter or cupcake stand and serve, or pack them up to share. Best if eaten same day, but still quite yummy on day two. Enjoy!

 

 

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A Refreshing Treat

Today my friends and I woke up early to participate in Big Event. Big Event is a community service project here in Stillwater, Okla. We were assigned a house to go to and help out with whatever the owners needed help with. We were told that we would most likely be raking leaves, and boy did we rake leaves. We pulled up to the house and our jaws dropped. The lawn was bigger than a football field and every inch of it was covered in leaves. We had our work cut out for us. We spent more than two hours raking leaves and filled more than 30 trash bags and still did not finish even half of the lawn.

After a hard mornings work, all we could think of was filling our stomachs with food and drinking some lemonade. We ordered pizza and I went to the store to buy ingredients to make refreshing lemonade cupcakes.

I first made these cupcakes this summer with my best friend. They are very moist and so good! They took me a couple bites to get used to, because I am used to cupcakes being sweet. This cupcake is sweet but has a sour kick to it. I have posted the recipe for those of you brave enough to try. Enjoy!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Cake:

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 1 small package vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 Tbsp sweetened pink lemonade drink mix (like Country Time Pink Lemonade mix)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 4 whites eggs
  • 6 drops of pink food coloring

Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 pound package  or 7 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 drops of pink food coloring

Decorations:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk cake mix, pudding mix, and drink mix together.  Add sour cream, lemon zest, water, oil, and egg whites to the dry mix. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for about two minutes. Use a strong mixer, this batter is thick.
  2. Scoop batter into 24 lined muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cupcakes don’t look wet and a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.
  3. Prepare the frosting by creaming butter, shortening, and lemon zest together. Then add lemonade concentrate, milk and vanilla with a mixer. Beat until smooth.  Then gradually add the sugar, mixing well until light and fluffy. Beat in the food coloring.
  4. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.  (You will have plenty to pile it on.  I had over 1 cup leftover.  Leftover frosting is good sandwiched between two graham crackers).  Place a lemon candy wedge on top of each cupcakes.  With the straws cut the top 1/3 of the straw off just below the flexible part.  Discard the tops.  Then cut the remaining straw pieces in half.  Place one straw piece in each cupcake to resemble a drink.

Tickled Pink

This weekend a group of friends and I decided to get out of Stillwater and go to the city for a girls night out. We went down to Bricktown and ate dinner at Zio’s, which was delicious. After dinner we were all in the mood for something sweet. Luckily, one of my favorite cupcake shops was just around the corner, so I suggested we walk there. Everyone loved the idea and they were even more excited when we turned the corner and they saw the shop.

Pinkitzel is one of my favorite cupcake shops in the Oklahoma City area. It got its name from the owner and her german family. Pink is her favorite color and itzel is a german word. Put it all together and you get Pinkitzel, which means tickled pink!  It has the feel of an old soda shop, which is perfect for the type of goodies they sell. Not only do they sell cupcakes but they also sell various kinds of candy. My favorite cupcake there is the chocolate salted caramel cupcake. Mix a little sweet with a little salty and you get the best of both worlds.  I have not found another cupcake shop that makes a salted caramel cupcake as good as Pinkitzel.

It has a great location right across from the Ford Center. When the NBA was actually having games, tons of thunder fans would go to Pinkitzel after the game to get a celebratory cupcake. They know how to work the system and they stay open late on event nights to attract more customers. If you’re ever in the area I strongly encourage you to stop by and try them out! They were a hit with my friends and I’m sure they will be with yours too!

Left Over Halloween Candy

I love the tradition of kids dressed up in costumes going door to door on Halloween night collecting candy. I live in a sorority house, which to no surprise, does not get many trick -or- treaters. I decided I wanted to participate in Halloween this year, so I went over to my best friend’s house to help her pass out candy. Unfortunately, her house did not attract many trick-or-treaters either. We had tons of candy left over and we did not know what to do with it all. If we ate it we would gain 10 pounds. If we let it sit in the house, it would still eventually get eaten. So, naturally, we decided to use the left over butterfinger to make butterfinger cupcakes!

She had some ripened bananas that were not going to be eaten, so we used those to make the cake batter. It turned out so moist and delicious. Next time though we would add a little more banana to give it some more flavor. We hid little pieces of peanut butter covered butterfinger inside the cupcake and then topped it with a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. It was heavenly! Definitely one of the best cupcakes we have made.

If you have some left over butterfinger from Halloween or feel like making the dreaded Wal-Mart trip to get some, you should try these cupcakes! Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
4 eggs
Scant 1 cup mashed ripe banana
2/3 cup buttermilk
12 fun size Butterfinger bars, cut in half

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

For garnish:
4 fun size Butterfinger bars, coarsely chopped

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in the mashed banana until well combined.  With the mixer on low speed alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until just incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 to ¾ full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy.

To assemble the cupcakes, place a candy bar half on top of each cooled cupcake.  Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cupcakes, covering the candy bar completely. Sprinkle with chopped candy bars for garnish.

A Cupcake Fit for a Groom

Last week I travelled to Houston for my sisters “personal” shower.  She is getting married on Dec. 16 so her friends and I decided she to throw her a shower. We played games, ate great food and watched her open gifts.

For the past month she has been trying to decide what to do for the grooms cake at the reception. My mother suggested to her that she have me make cupcakes. Maddie was hesitant at first, so I told her after the shower I would bake a batch for her and her fiance to try. Most grooms cakes are chocolate. I decided to make one of my favorite chocolate cupcakes…the snickers cupcake!

I stayed up late into the night baking and the cupcakes turned out delicious! Maddie and Isaac absolutely loved them and offically hired me to make the snicker cupcakes for the wedding. They described the cupcakes as “delicious, rich and unlike any cupcake they’ve had before.” I hope the guests at the wedding love them as much as  Maddie and Isaac.

Here is the recipe for any readers that might like to try. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcake

1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
1 small box Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

Chocolate Mousse Filling

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 stick softened butter
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 bag mini Snickers

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners. To prepare the cupcakes, place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream into stand mixer. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cupcakes are cooked through and a toothpick comes clean from center. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool.

2. To prepare the mousse, melt the milk chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream with a stand or electric mixer until it looks like whipped cream and stiff peaks form. Fold melted chocolate chips into whipped cream until well combined, then transfer batches into a piping bag. When cupcakes have cooled, press the tip of the piping bag into the center of the cupcake, about 1 inch deep. Squeeze the mousse into the cupcake while pulling the tip out. It doesn’t take much, just one firm squeeze is perfect. Continue filling all the cupcakes.

3. To prepare the frosting, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla until well combined and a nice frosting consistency. Spread over cupcakes then top with chopped Snickers.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

All for the cause

This morning I did something that a year and a half ago– my lazy year– I never thought I would do. I ran a 5K! The race was the Susan G. Kommen Race for the Cure in Oklahoma City. I ran it with my best friends, the one I bake cupcakes with, and her family. It was a lot of fun and such a good feeling to see more than 18,000 people come together for one important cause. I’m so glad that I agreed to do the race with them.

Naturally, to celebrate our success and completion of the race we decided we needed cupcakes. We had heard of a cupcakery not too far away from where we were and decided to go. It is called Sarah Sarah’s Cupcakes and was absolutely adorable. The shop was a, victorian house that had been turned in to a cupcake shop. Everything in the store was white with subtle pink accent accessories. While there, the owner told us the story of how Sarah Sarah’s came about. He had a daughter named Sarah who loved cupcakes. It was her dream to own a cupcake shop. Unfortunately, before she was able to see this happen she died from cancer. Her parents opened up Sarah Sarah’s in honor of her and to support the research to help cure cancer. It was a very touching story. Not only do they have great cupcakes, but they also have a great story!

I got the Destin cupcakes, which is their version of a key lime pie cupcake. It was very good and I would definitely get it again. All of their other cupcakes looked delicious as well and we will be going back soon to try out some of their other flavors. If you all are ever in Oklahoma City and close to 7 NW 9th Street, just east of Broadway, I highly recommend checking Sarah Sarah’s out!

Tailgate Decadence

There is no better food to eat at a tailgate than cupcakes. Especially, when they are made to celebrate a birthday! This past weekend my best friend’s sister celebrated her twenty-fourth birthday. It’s hard to believe how old we are all getting. Luckily for me, she shares my love for cupcakes. She requested that her sister and I make her chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. Sounds delicious right? Well, the name doesn’t even come close to explaining how rich and decadent these cupcakes really are. Most chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes are just a white cake batter with chocolate chips in it. However, this is no ordinary chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake. The cupcake we made had cookie dough in the center of the cupcake that was not baked. How did we pull this off? You’ll have to take a look below at the recipe and give it a try. They were a big hit at the tailgate as well as with some of my other friends who were lucky enough to snag one before we took them over to the party. Enjoy!

For the cookie dough:
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
3 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

To make the cookie dough, combine the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Beat in milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a 1.5 tbsp scoop, shape the dough into balls or tubes. Freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet overnight.

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Blend in the vanilla.

Using a 3 tbsp scoop, fill the prepared cupcake liners 2/3 full with the cupcake batter. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.

Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins.

To make the frosting, combine the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Beat in the salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips!

Serve to all your friends and watch their jaws drop!

Owl Always Be Faithful To My Sorority And Cupcakes

It’s that time of year again when sorority girls start crafting for their “soon to be” littles. We spend hours upon hours on our bedroom floor putting all of the finishing touches on their gifts . Since I’m a junior this year, I do not get a little. However, my little is taking twin littles. I am now the proud “soon to be” grandbig to TWO amazing girls. I can’t wait for them to join our family!

It is a tradition in my sorority to give our littles some type of cookie/cake/candy on one of the nights during our big/little week. Of course, since I am in LOVE with cupcakes, I offered to make my little cupcakes for her to give to her littles. If you couldn’t guess from the title of this post, the cupcakes were decorated to look like owls. Owls are my sorority’s mascot. Precious, I know.

The cupcakes turned out really cute! They were a little dry for my taste, but I think that is because I baked them too long. Also, the recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. I am not a huge fan of almond extract so if I were to make these again I would use 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract and add 1/4 teaspoon more of vanilla extract. If any of you would like to try to make these, they are super easy and I have posted the recipe and a picture below. Enjoy!

 

Cookies N’ Cream Cupcakes
1 cup soy milk [or regular milk]
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped Oreo, Newman-O, or other chocolate cream-filled cookies
(about 8-10 cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 muffin pans (or use 1 pan plus as many free-standing paper souffle cups as needed) with baking liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK). Gently fold in chopped cookies.

Fill liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
[or use a combination of semisweet and bittersweet]
1-2 tablespoons corn syrup

Combine the chocolate and cream in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Try to submerge the chocolate as much as possible, but it’s okay to have some above the cream. Microwave the mixture on medium for 1 minute. Stir and heat again in 15-second increments, stirring thoroughly each time, until fully melted. Stir in corn syrup. Let this cool and thicken (in the fridge if needed) before using. If it cools too much, reheat in the microwave at 5-second intervals until it softens to the consistency you want.

Use a small spoon or spatula to smooth chocolate ganache frosting onto the tops of the cooled cupcakes. Place the cream sided cookies, cream side up, on the middle of the cupcakes, making sure that the eyes are oriented the way you want. Push gently to make sure they’ve adhered to the frosting.

To make the ears, attach the cut cream-less cookies to the cupcakes above the “eyes”, textured side facing up and round edges inward. These should hang over the edge of the cupcakes, but be sure to press them into the frosting where possible to make sure they adhere well.

Lastly, press M&M candies [standing them up on their sides] between and slightly below the cookie “eyes” as beaks. Show them off to everyone!

Summer of Cupcakes

Cupcakes have become one of my absolute favorite desserts. Last semester, my friends and I made it our mission to find different, funky cupcake shops anywhere we went. We found three in Oklahoma City that we fell in love with and one in Tulsa that was awesome as well.

After finding these cute shops, my best friend and I were inspired. We were both in Bartlesville this summer and decided that we were going to try a different cupcake recipe every week while we were home. This blog is  dedicated to sharing these delicious recipes and also to giving the cupcake shops we found some much deserved publicity.