21 June 2008


I just realized that I had never posted the recipe for the s'mores cupcakes and marshmallow frosting. Oops! Well, the recipe and baking instructions can be found here.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Just yesterday I returned from a visit with my boyfriend. When we're not in school we don't really get to see each other all that often because of the distance [about a two hour drive]. I love taking a little something special down to his family when I visit and I usually go with brownies. This time I was feeling daring [that's definitely not the word to use here, but it sounds more exciting] and decided I would go with some cupcakes instead. We had some over-ripe bananas hanging out in the refrigerator so I figured I'd use those up and make some banana chocolate chip cupcakes. Again, I turned to my new cupcake book for the recipe.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
adapted from 100 Best Cupcake Recipes

2 cups plus 4 tablespoons cake flour [eliminate the extra tablespoons if using regular flour]
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk [I used buttermilk]
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 medium mashed bananas [about 1 cup]
chocolate chips [I didn't measure these out, but rather tossed them in to my liking]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin cups with baking cups.
Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Add oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until well blended. Beat in bananas until well blended. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling three-fourths full.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

I seriously wish you could smell the aroma these cupcakes gave off while they baked. The cinnamon and the allspice were so fragrant and I couldn't wait to try one of these...so I didn't! I called my sister over to help me taste-test the cupcakes [we had to make sure they were good enough to send down to Bryce's family] and she was more than happy to oblige.
I loved the texture of these. They were incredibly moist from the banana and oil and the spices complimented the banana quite well. The chocolate chips I used were a little dark and I think milk chocolate chips would have been a better match for this cake.
So now...frosting...We were running a little low on stick butter and I take full responsibility for this because of my obsessive baking since returning home from school. So due to that and the fact that I didn't want to wait for butter to soften, I decided to go with a frosting that didn't require butter. I ended up choosing the marshmallow frosting I used on the s'more cupcakes because I figured that would go pretty well with banana and chocolate. Well...it was okay. I would have preferred a chocolate frosting or even a peanut butter frosting [which Bryce's mom would have avoided]. But even though I wasn't completely impressed with the combination, everyone else seemed to really
enjoy them. Also, the piping on these cupcakes was awesome. I was so proud of myself afterwards. It made me want to go out and buy more tips to try!

16 June 2008

Oreo cupcakes

Again, I've gotten a little behind in my posting and I apologize to the whopping two readers I may have. This summer has proved to be quite hectic between working two jobs and taking care of a new kitten. But, of course, I have still managed to find plenty of time to bake! As I mentioned before, I picked up a new cupcake cookbook at Barnes and Noble titled 100 Best Cupcake Recipes. The book is full of delicious looking recipes and I was having a difficult time deciding which I would try first until a higher power [or my parents] intervened. I spotted a brand new package of Oreo cookies on our kitchen counter and knew, right away, that I had to make some cookies and cream cupcakes! Again, I went ahead and made mini ones so my mom could enjoy without overindulging and reversing all of her healthy eating. I guess it's partially for myself as well because all of this baking and a lack of physical activity hasn't been very kind to my waistline.

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups + 4 tablespoons cake flour [eliminate the tablespoons if using AP flour]
1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup [1 stick] butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 egg whites
1 cup crushed Oreos [about 10 cookies]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease your muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl; stir in sugar. Add
milk, butter and vanilla; beat with electric mixer at low speed for 30 seconds. Bead at medium speed for 2 more minutes. Add egg whites and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of crushed cookies and then spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes
in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

I foolishly overfilled some of my muffin cups and these resulted in some very flat-topped cupcakes. Thankfully, I didn't do this for all of them so some of the cupcakes did form perfect muffin tops. Also, the baking time differs when making the mini cupcakes. All of my times varied due to trial and error, but I would suggest baking them for 6 minutes and keeping on eye on them from there. I do believe 8 minutes worked well but better to check sooner rather than later.

As for the frosting, I don't really have much of a recipe. I decided to wing it and threw a stick of butter into a bowl, beat it until it was light and fluffy, and then started adding powdered sugar. I kept adding the sugar until it reached a good piping consistency and then i stirred in extra cookie crumbs. The frosting was a bit sweeter than what I usually prefer, but I reminded me of the frosting I had on my cookies and cream cupcake back at Pink Moon Cupcake Bakery. I ended up needing another half-batch of the frosting to finish up my cupcakes and that batch turned out a little sweeter than the previous.

All in all, I thought the cupcakes were great. They were very light with a very mild...well, Oreo flavor, I guess. The frosting added a nice sweetness to the cupcakes without being too sweet. I really doubted the family and coworkers would finish off this batch, which yielded way more cupcakes than I expected, but the sweets are nearly gone! I'm sure this is due to my sister sneaking at least 2 a day, but that's okay.

I do have another batch of baking to post, but I'll be leaving tomorrow morning
to go stay with my boyfriend for a few days. I'll do my best to post them as soon as possible!

02 June 2008

Mini mango cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

The super-tiny font was getting to me, so I'm going to try something different this time around. So much for cohesion!
Anyway, I found the original recipe for these cupcakes over at Coconut & Lime a short while ago and
I've been aching to try them since. I'm a sucker for anything mango and these sounded like a really nice, light summer cupcake. I made some alterations to the recipe for personal tastes and other such reasons. My mom doesn't care for spicy things, so the chile was omitted. Also, I liked the idea of using pineapple with the mango, though I'm sure key lime would be really tasty. Finally, I went with the mini size to, again, make them more appealing to mom. She participates in a weight-loss "competition" of sorts at work and so I felt that mini cupcakes would be more approachable during this time.

Mango Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Coconut & Lime

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour [only use 1 cup if using AP flour]
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup mango nectar, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour the mini cupcake pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the butter mixture. Add the milk and mango nectar to the rest of the batter and beat until well combined. Fill each well 2/3 of the way full. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted the center of a cupcake comes out mostly clean. Cool briefly in the pan, then remove cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
optional food coloring

In a large bowl, beat together all ingredients until well combined. Spread on cupcakes.

I was worried that the cupcakes would stick to the pans, but a liberal spray of some Baker's Joy prevented that from happening and the little cakes popped right out after cooling. I also used more powdered sugar in the frosting so I could try some more piping. That probably wasn't the best idea and I made a pretty big mess while piping.
We all found the mango flavor to be very subtle. Maybe...too subtle? I could barely pick up on it and some people couldn't at all. In the future, I may try cutting down on the milk some and using more nectar, or perhaps adding fresh mango to the mix. As for the frosting...delicious! It's not too sweet and the pineapple juice provides a nice tang and some freshness to the cupcake. I would definitely try making these again, but with some changes to the cake and possibly a different frosting.