Buttered Nipple (Butterscotch and Irish Cream) Cupcakes

I go to trivia ever Wednesday with a great group of friends. We used to attend trivia at a bit of a rowdier, louder bar but have since found Moose’s Down Under. This bar truly makes us feel like home, we know all the staff, they know us, and Corina, the owner is absolutely fantastic. Erin runs the trivia night and does a wonderful job. Anyway, it is an awesome way to get together with all our friends once a week and I thought that there would be no better place to bring some donation-encouraging mini cupcakes! I made up the poster below and baked up two shot-themed cupcakes, the Piña Colada cupcakes and Buttered Nipple cupcakes. I offered the cupcakes in exchange for a donation of any amount, and the wonderful trivia goers answered in full-force! We made $240.70, including the jackpot that the winning teams (they joined together to guarantee a win) donated to us. I was so thankful for such a supportive group of people and for Corina letting me set up there!

DadPosterNoQr

Anyway, we had a great time and are really looking forward to the Spring Sprint this coming Sunday, May 26th. My sister, mom, nieces, and a bunch of our wonderful friends are coming into town for the walk, so it is going to be a great time!

ButteredNipple

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Black Forest Cupcakes for my beautiful mother’s birthday!

Black Forest Cupcakes

My mom’s birthday was on December 21st, and aside from wanting to spend some time with her family, she said that her favourite cake was black forest. Mom suggested making the black forest cake into kid-friendly cupcake portions, and this awesome dessert creation was born. These treats are perfectly portioned, not-too-sweet treats that have all of the black foresty goodness, without the black foresty effort! Happy Birthday to our wonderful mother whose love and support has gotten us through this difficult year and who, with our amazing father, made us into the women we are today.

Black Forest Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (regular is fine too)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (make your own with 1/2 cup milk and 1 tsp white vinegar, let sit for a few minutes before adding to recipe)
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  4. Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into the bottom of each paper cup, allow it to spread across the bottom. Dollop a heaping tablespoon of cherry pie filling on top of the batter (include 4 cherries in each scoop). Top with another 2 tablespoons of batter, or enough to fill the cups 3/4 of the way. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch. Allow to cool before topping with whipped cream.
  5. When ready to top the cupcakes, whisk together the heavy whipping cream and icing sugar until stiff peaks form (this will allow the cream to hold its shape in the fridge). Dollop a generous bit of cream on to the cup cakes and top with a spoon of cherry pie filling. Serve immediately, or refrigerate (these keep well in the fridge for a couple days).
Cherry layer.

Cherry layer.

Topped with batter, ready for the oven.

Topped with batter, ready for the oven.

Little pockets of cherry deliciousness.

Little pockets of cherry deliciousness.

Ah, so wonderfully decadent.

Ah, so wonderfully decadent.

My lovely niece Brooklynn demanded that sprinkles be added! She did a wonderful job of decorating for Grandma.

My lovely niece Brooklynn demanded that sprinkles be added! She did a wonderful job of decorating for Grandma.

Chocolate Chai Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting — 100th post! HUZZAH! HURRAY!

Well, time flies and so do posts! I can’t believe this is my hundredth post, and squashing 100 posts into a year filled with grad school, internships, and family devastation has been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve loved almost every post, and am looking forward to 100 more! I was going to do a giveaway for this occasion but have to amass things to give away first, though I have some book-like ideas, but also I have NO activity in the comments, for all the lovely readers I have. Hmm. I must need to be more provocative in my posts, thought provoking rather. Still figuring out the engagement bit of all of this.

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Guinness Cupcakes with a fluffy Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting “Head”

Oh my. OH MY. These are so frigging tasty. I already loved the Guinness chocolate cake recipe, as evidenced in this really early post, but this light, fluffy, erethreal frosting brings them to a new level. They are not weighed down by sweetness. Oh man, so delicious. Guinness brings a deep, dark, stouty note to the chocolate cake, and the whipped cream and mascarpone frosting is rich and lightly sweet, avoiding the too-tangy zip of cream cheese frostings. The fluffy, cloud of frosting becomes on the rich Guinness cupcake.
These cupcakes are part in honour of the Olympics in London… but truly they are in honour of my wonderful friend, Caelin who horribly left me to live in London, yesterday. She loves her a pint of Guinness, and I love me some Caelin. I think these would’ve been more appropriate an honour had I baked them in time for her to have one, but she can eyeball them from across the pond and weep at all the mistakes she’s made (ie. leaving me). Anyway, the cupcakes are the same that I used before, just halved, though it still made 22 (I made them smaller this time).

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/5 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup room-temperature Guinness

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the rack in the middle, and prepare muffin tins by lining with papers.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat together butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one and at time, beating well. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture and beer alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and mixing until just combined.
  5. Fill cups 2/3rds full and bake until the tops of the cupcakes are spongy to the touch, 18-20 minutes.
  6. Cool on a rack for at least 30 mins until cool before frosting.
  7. Feel free to eat one while still hot, sans frosting, these are DELICIOUS.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

From justJENN.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir together until smooth, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream until combined.
  3. Keep refrigerated, this isn’t a frosting to stay out overnight. That said, it keeps on the counter for a few hours if you are setting them out for people to munch on. Also, fold in some nuts and/or coconut for a funky, fun fruit/cookie dip!

Guinness, cocoa powder, and flour. Ready to go!

Poured and ready to bake!

DSCF4319

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes for my 25th!

It was my 25th birthday on Tuesday (that’s right, mark your calendars!) and I decided on Monday night that I would bake up a batch of cupcakes to covertly celebrate. I didn’t mention the reason for my cupcake-offerings and none was asked (as they are used to weekly baking) but I was happy to see smiles all around. Gen took me out for a lovely jaunt to Granville Island and we had a romantic dinner up on The Sandbar’s patio.

 Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

Made about 26 cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 6-8 cups whole cherries (to be pitted and chopped… I didn’t measure the post-pitting/chopping amounts)
  • 3/4 cup of raspberry port (or some other fruit liquor that would be lovely with cherries… Kirsch perhaps)

Directions

  1. Do the cherries first, if only to avoid the frustration in the midst of baking. If you have a cherry pitter, make use of it; if not, use a bobby pin! Really, it worked for me. Rip the stem off and jab the rounded end of the bobby pin into the centre, moving it around to loosen the pit, extract pit, place pit-free fruit in bowl, grab new cherry, repeat process. Be careful, cherries are squirt-y and the juice is stain-y.
  2. Once the pitting is complete roughly chop the cherries (set aside 26 or so whole cherries for popping in the top of the cupcakes before baking) and place back in the bowl, pour your port over your cherries and allow them to soak while you prepare the rest of the batter.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake tin.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, or at the very least, well combined.
  6. Pour off the port and cherry juice into the butter and sugar mixture. Add the eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla and combine.
  7. Slowly  add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  8. Fold in your cherry pieces.
  9. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 and push a pitted-whole cherry into the top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, OR until the top springs back when poked.
  11. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes and then frost. I frosted mine with Dreamy Buttercream that I doused with about 3/4 cup of port… not the brightest idea as it started to separate, but with some vigorous mixing it stayed together and tasted great. Wash a bunch of cherries with nice stems, pat dry, and plop into the icing for a fancy-looking treat.

Up close and personal with a classy cupcake.

Rum Cupkrakes (with Kraken Rum)

So The Kraken rum is dark, smooth, and almost most importantly, comes in a gorgeous bottle. The design and the name inspired my purchase but the rum inspired my baking. I love rum cake. The first time I tried it was a few years ago when a colleague came back from some rum-producing nation and baked us a batch. It was heaven and I’ve made it a couple of times since then. But, baking for a large group means that cakes aren’t particularly fun to haul around, so I tend to cupcake things that might not normally be cupcaked. This is one of those times. Also, full pun-credit must go to Genesis, he is the one who masterminded the Kraken pun. He is also very handsome, this may or may not be unrelated.

Rum Cupkrakes

Adapted from this all-homemade recipe for Rum Cake.

Ingredients

Cupcake

  • 3/4 cup walnuts, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp + 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil (low flavour), separated
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup DIY vanilla instant pudding mix (or packaged mix)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark rum (The Kraken)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Rum syrup

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake tin, and distribute a layer of crushed walnuts (making sure to keep enough for other rounds).
  2. Cupcakes: In a large bowl cream the sugar and the butter. Add the oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt combining until evenly distributed. Mix in the pudding mix.
  3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, water, rum, vanilla, and remaining oil. Add to the dry mixture and mix well. The batter will be smooth, thinnish, and will pour easily.
  4. Ladle (a new trick that I should’ve discovered years ago) into the prepared cupcake liners, about 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the cupcakes comes up clean.
  5. While the cupcakes cool on a rack, prepare the rum syrup.
  6. Rum syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the rum, butter, water, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter completely melts and the sugar dissolves. Let reduce slightly, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over, it will bubble a lot.
  7. Place copious amounts of wax paper under your cupcakes, or even better, a baking sheet (to catch the excess syrup). Spoon the hot rum syrup over the cupcakes and let soak for 8 hours (overnight).

Rummed and ready for the oven.

Release the KRAKEN! (into my belly!)

Brown Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The title is a mouthful and a bit misleading because while my intention was to make dark chocolate swiss meringue, it turned into more of a dark chocolate-kissed swiss meringue buttercream drizzled with dark chocolate. In any case, these are my favourite whiteish cupcakes topped with a fluffy cloud of buttercream. Neither the cake nor the buttercream are super sweet so this makes for a fantastic bite.

Brown Butter Cupcakes

Recipe from here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup room-temperature milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Use the cup of butter to make brown butter as per this post. Allow your browned butter to cool while you start the rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare your cupcake tins with liners. (if using full-sized cupcake tins, preheat to 350°F)
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until fluffy and pale, about a minute. Add milk, browned butter, and vanilla, mixing until just combined.
  5. Add half of the dry mixture and beat, again, until just combined. Repeat with the second half. Don’t overmix, this is the key.
  6. Divide batter amongst liners and bake for 15-20 minutes (18-22 mins, if making full-sized cupcakes), until tops are springy to the touch or a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Start checking at 10 minutes as mini-cupcakes bake quickly.
  7. Cool tins on a rack for 2 minutes before carefully removing the cakes. Allow to cool completely before frosting (this will be 5 minutes if you made mini cupcakes, they take no time at all to cool).

Ready for the oven.

Fresh out of the oven!

Topped with my first attempt at Swiss Meringue Buttercream and drizzled with dark chocolate!

Chocolate-Dipped Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Well these cupcakes were an incredible hit. And how could they not be! I made this strawberry cake with a few adjustments, my favourite buttercream chocolate and strawberry-style, and I dipped the tops in melted chocolate. They were awesome. The cake in particular is amazing, it is rich with strawberry flavour. I could eat the cake all day. All day long.

Chocolate-Dipped Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups  very ripe fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3.5 cups sugar
  • 8 tsp baking powder (or 2 tbsp and 2 tsp)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups butter, softened (not melted)
  • 2 cups (or more if needed) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate, I didn’t have any on hand)
  • 1.5 tbsp shortening

Directions

  1. Toss sliced and hulled strawberries in a bowl with the 1 tbsp of sugar. Let the strawberries sit and generate some delicious juiciness. Puree the strawberries with a hand blender (works great, you just need to move it around).

    Before and after. Pour the leftover puree on EVERYTHING. (Maybe not on meat)

  2. Reserve 2 cups of the puree for the cake. Use leftover puree as a filling/topping for the cupcakes or fold into the frosting, if desired (I folded the puree into some chocolate buttercream).
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins.
  4. In medium bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
  5. Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute, until combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 30 more seconds. Fill the cups 2/3 of the way.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are spongy to the touch (time will vary). Once cool enough, place cupcakes on a rack and allow to cool completely before icing (about 30 mins).
  7. Prepare some Dreamy Buttercream (or your favourite frosting) and mix in 2-4 tbsp of cocoa (or more if you like it that way) until chocolatey enough for you. Fold in 1/2 cup strawberry puree (this step can be skipped, it does make the frosting a little slippery but it also adds a brilliant tartness that lightening it a bit).
  8. Frost the cupcakes in a swirl. Once frosted, place the cupcakes in the fridge to set the frosting, about 15 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, melt 2 cups of semisweet or dark chocolate with 1.5 tbsp of shortening (it thins it out for dipping and allows it to set nicely). I microwaved my chocolate and shortening for about 45 seconds and then stirred until it was completely smooth. Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes but not set.
  10. Pour the chocolate into a deep bowl or cup/mug (deep enough that the icing wont hit the bottom). Dip each cupcake straight down into the chocolate, hold upside down to drizzle off the excess, set aside. Let the cupcake set for a few hours (in the fridge or at room temperature, works either way).
  11. Devour.

Naked cupcakes. These were amazing on their own... which you can see by the half-eaten one.

Dipped!

Cupcake anatomy. Layers of deliciousness.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with a Peanut Butter Surprize

A couple of friends of mine are vegan so I decided to try out a vegan chocolate cupcake recipe with a bit of a twist. Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favourite combos!

Peanut butter and chocolate.

The cupcakes are turned out alright, the true test will be tomorrow when I take them to the cohort. While I like how fluffy and moist they are (of course I had a tester) they are a little bland and not as rich as I would like. The peanut butter ball in the centre competes with the flavours in the cake (which is weird because it is supposed to be chocolatey but the almond extract that they recommend is the culprit here) but is a nice surprize on its own.

Batter with coconut oil chunks and the batter ready for the oven.

Nice crispy tops with peanut butter balls.

I topped three cupcakes with a “buttercream” made from the leftover peanut butter filling, some vegan butter, shortening, extra icing sugar, and some almond milk. I HATE the flavour of vegan butter (Earth Balance) so I just made a small amount of icing with that and went with my favourite buttercream for the rest.

I clearly need to hone my icing skills.

I used Coconut Oil which I love but it seized when I poured it into the batter and I had a bit of a battle incorporating it. If you aren’t prepared to do a heat bath to melt the oil in the batter (ugh not my brightest moment), then best to stick with canola or olive oil.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Yield: 24 cupcakes

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used Dark Chocolate Almond milk)
  • 2 cups sugar (I used white sugar but might do brown next time to make it more rich)
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (or other oil)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract (optional, I would opt out if you are going to pair the chocolate in the cupcake with another flavour of icing or filling)
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Ball Filling

  • 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • pinch salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Beat together the following ingredients in a large bowl: non-dairy milk, oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, almond extract. Beat on medium speed for a minute or two.

2. Now sift in the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, until the clumps are gone. If you are a dolt like me, place the bowl in a larger bowl that has some warm water in the bottom. This will help to melt the clumps of Coconut Oil, stir until incorporated.

3. In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt. I normally use a spoon to start and then knead it together with my hands until it is shiny and well combined.

4. Spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pan, about two thirds full for each. Roll a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture into a ball, press one ball lightly into the centre of each cup.

5. Bake for about 22 minutes at 350F, or until the cupcake slowly springs back when pressed with a finger. Allow to completely cool before frosting.