White Cake Cupcakes

This recipe is a white birthday cake recipe that I found and wrote down from an old cookbook at my mother-in-laws. It required a lemon but I did not have any on hand, so I replaced with some vanilla paste and it tinged the cake slightly so I didn’t get that white birthday cake look. However, after one bite I didn’t care these were amazing with a very tender crumb that was still light and moist. I haven’t made cupcakes in a while so I was thrilled to finally make something new.

I will use this recipe again frequently if the opportunity allows. I must try this with lemon because it is probably divine, just replace the vanilla with lemon juice and zest. I had some basic swiss buttercream in the freezer from earlier in the week. To use frozen frosting defrost it and then whisk it up, add in the food coloring and is perfect for quick cupcake needs.

On very high recommendations I bought some americolor gels and I used the violet in the frosting and I am beyond happy with the gels. They are bright, vivid, and true rich colors. I threw out my other colors and replaced them, these color gels are just amazing. If you have not had a chance to try them out and jump on that bandwagon do so soon. I cannot say enough good things about this AmeriColor Gels pack, it has all the basic colors you would need.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

EDIT: This pre-posted a few days early, originally and without a photo, that we were going to take, but unfortunately… we ate all the cupcakes before taking a good picture so despite my husbands very strong objections, I am using the photo off my iPhone, I am very sorry for the bad photo, forgive me? I really wanted to post this recipe because it was just fantastic! And the proof? We ate the cupcakes before we could take a photo, that’s how good they were!

I have the honor of making the cupcakes/cakes for my good friends boyfriends birthday. She has mentioned before that he likes German Chocolate Cake, so I knew that I had to make it for his birthday cake. Being that this even was going to be in her apartment I wanted to limit the amount of cleaning up she may have to do. Rather then making a big cake that would require plates and forks I went with cupcakes, and then a small 6″ layered version for the birthday boy.

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Irish Car-bomb Cupcakes, Revisited

Revisiting the cupcakes because of picture updates and some slight recipe changes. The changes in the recipe to make it a little more dense and moist. I took them to a BBQ and they were devoured! I actually ate some, which is a big deal. I might have a bite of cupcakes but never much more then that, these I ate I think two this is a big, deal for me. This recipe will not change and is utter perfection. Please, if nothing else, the cake and the frosting are complete bliss, and a must try.

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Vanilla Bean Birdie Cupcakes

I spent the last week thinking of something cute and fun to take to my sister in-laws for Easter.  I had tons of ideas on my mind.  From sugar cookies, to cupcakes with little fondant bunnies, to just a pretty cupcake with some cut out flowers of marbled white and pink fondant.  Every time I had one that I was quite sure was “the one” I had another idea.  Finally I gave in and went with my first instinct. Which in my home has become our motto, follow your gut, go with your first instinct.

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

The name alone makes me want to take a shot, it’s ok it’s 4pm here. If you are not familiar with this shot that inspired this amazing confection let me give you a brief rundown. You get a small tumbler filled with Guinness, with it’s malty, rich, foamy, decadent, chocolate, coffee tones of yumminess. I am a huge fan of Guinness if you cannot guess. Then you layer a shot glass with Jameson Whiskey, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Just before you’re going to drink you drop the shot into the beer and quickly drink before the Bailey’s curdles in the beer. Now, this might not sound delicious, but trust me it’s so delicious. With St. Patrick’s Day just days away what better time to make these, it would be just wrong to not make them.

Now you know a little about the shot which is where the idea for this cupcake came from, to me this is the best cupcake I have ever had. I have many friends who are all fans of either the shot or Guinness. Sharing these with them made for some of the best complements I have ever gotten about my food. That, and the high request for these as their Birthday Cupcakes leaves me to believe they are just made of win.

I made just a few changes from the original, mostly because I felt filling the cupcakes took away from the overall flavor and my experience with filled cupcakes is people tend to eat around the filling or leaving most of it still on the plate. I went with making it into a ganache that went over the caps of the cupcakes which not only add a different dimension to the flavor but help seal in the moisture keeping the cake from drying out. Not that these ever last more then a day or so. Then you get this light spongy cake with this hint of malt and coffee, then this rich decadent ganache with a tinge of whiskey, and to round out the flavor the most amazing tasting buttercream frosting you’ve had in your life. I seriously had to stop myself from just eating the frosting while piping. It’s sweet, creamy, light, fluffy, rich, and has that amazing Irish Cream flavor that finishes out the cupcake to perfection. Enough about how just simply amazing these are. I will let you judge for yourself, but just know that these are NOT for children, as the cake part is the only item in this that has the alcohol cooked out. However, you could just do the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream and it would be great.

My next challenge with this is in april, I will be making it into a cake for frank, for his 35th Birthday.

Irish Car-Bomb Cupcakes
Makes 30 Cupcakes or 3 9″ cake rounds

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup stout (Guinness)
  • 16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 oz Greek Yogurt

Jameson Ganache Topping

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1.5 tbsp Jameson Whiskey

Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 vanilla sugar
  • 24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 ml Bailey’s Irish cream

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

For the Cupcakes:

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add the beer, chopped unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set to the side and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, whisk until combined. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sour cream till well combined. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Ganache:

Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl. In a sauce pan or microwaveable cup bring the cream to boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter. Leave untouched for 2 minutes. Stir until thick and glossy. Add in the whiskey and stir to incorporate. Refrigerate for 5 min, and stir. Repeat this until the ganache is cool but not solid. It should resemble a thick chocolate sauce.

My tip for making sure the ganache doesn’t run down the sides of your cupcakes, is to place the cupcakes in the freezer for 10 min or leave in refrigerater for 30 min. They should be cool to the touch before adding ganache. The cooled cake will solidify the ganache quickly preventing it from dripping down the sides.

Bring the bowl over to the cooled cupcakes. Grab the cupcake by the base and dip the top up the wrapper line in the bowl of ganache. Hold over the bowl to allow excess to drip off. A twist of the wrist as bringing back to upright position, while over the bowl will help reduce mess. Let the cupcakes cool for 1h or till the ganache is not tacky but firm to the touch. If in a hurry you can refrigerate to cool.

For the Frosting:

In a medium metal bowl add the egg whites and whisk with a pinch of salt to break up. Add the sugar to the egg whites and whisk till incorporated. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Continue to whisk until the sugar has melted into the egg whites. When you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth not gritty. *FYI: Sugar melts at 186°F and in accordance to the USDA and FDA eggs should be cooked to 145°-155°F to be safe. You do not need a candy thermometer to make this frosting which some sites suggest. Just due the melting point of sugar your eggs are heated to the significant enough temperature to be safe. Just make sure that when you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth no grittiness left at all from the sugar. *

Once it is smooth transfer to the bowl of an mixer and whisk on med high for 7-10 minutes until has almost tripled in volume and the bowl is cool to the touch. It should resemble marshmallow fluff in texture and have very stiff peaks.

Once your egg whites are at this stage slowly add in butter. You will notice it does appear to look curdled after you have added in all butter but keep mixing it will come together I promise. Taste and add powered sugar to desired sweetness. I typically add 1 cup.

Now time to add the baileys. I use 100ml which is a whole bottle out of of the Bailey’s Mini pack. Be careful not to over mix. Just mix until the bailey’s is just combined. Taste add more sugar if needed if not mix for 30 seconds more.

Place into piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. I typically use a Wilton 1M tip. Enjoy!

Adapted: Annie’s Eats

The Catalyst: Cupcakes

I decided to take a minute and let those who might be curious know a little bit about me, my  history, and how the blog came to be.

I am originally from a town around equal distance in the middle of I5 from Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC.  I used to spend my younger years taking care of my brother while my mom and grandmother worked so I cooked a lot, mostly bologna sandwiches and mac and cheese.  I used to watch those cooking shows on the discovery channel.  I would look forward to 4:30pm every day as that was when my favorite was on, they mostly did desserts.  However for the life of me, I cannot recall the name of the show.  I grew up like kids do, and I still had that little spark of the just love of cooking.  When I could I would cook and one year I think I was around 17, I made the dinner for thanksgiving that year.  All I remember is a pumpkin cheesecake that my brother and mom still talk about years later.

in 2001 while bar-tendering at this little Greek version of Denny’s in Portland, OR I met my now husband.  We actually did meet through a friend, but before it was almost socially acceptable we met in a online turn based game, so I say we met through a friend.  My first words to him after his friend showed me his personal website was “you’re fucking hot.”  Great story for the kids one day, lol.   He was living in Minneapolis, MN me in Vancouver, WA.  As online friends it became more and he came out for Thanksgiving a month later, where I made; Baked Cod with herb wild rice, green beans, and a sour dough loaf.  Apparently that meal is what sealed the deal for him, for me it was coming home one day while he was visiting and found he did the dishes and threw out the garbage!  Less then a month later on December 17th 2001, I was on a plane to Minneapolis with two suitcases and an backpack of clothes and belongings.

Now, 9 years later we are still together.  Last summer we were planning a big wedding to have in July, 2011.  I was in a tissy, stressed out, and unsure if a big wedding was me.  In early fall of 2010 I was thinking on the wedding cake.  I was getting upset because, I never liked cake… How could I pick out a cake for a wedding that all my guest were going to eat when I didn’t even like it?  What if I picked out something they didn’t like!?  So, I started a project!  I was determined to try and make a cake that I liked.  I started following food blogs that focused on desserts mostly. I started out simply and slowly, with vanilla and chocolate cupcakes.  Failures and successes, I kept it up.  I just wanted to keep trying to get something that I liked.  Eventually, people started saying how amazing they were, how pretty they looked.  I started making them for people’s birthdays at work, finding any excuse to make more cupcakes!  My now darling husband, encouraged me to try other things.  Our dinners were getting a bit old, you can only have so much chicken teriyaki before you’re sick of it,  so I did!  I eventually started buying better ingredients, better cookware, better anything!  Anything to make everything better!

Now, here we are.  not even a week into 2011 and the past 4 months have been a ride!  We decided to call off the big wedding in favor of small one with just us.  On December 17th we got married, 9 years to the day that I arrived in Minneapolis to be with him.  I got all new kitchen equipment, and every week I make a list of new things I want to try and make, new flavor combination, new cookware, and new ways to make Frank smile.  Armed with my trusty shopping list I hit the grocery store so happy!  With Starbucks in hand and grocery list in the other, I have more fun then clothes shopping.  Every day his encouragement to keep trying even after failures of me pouting over flat macarons or burnt herbs keeps me going, and to think… All this cooking and new found excitement and enjoyment in my life.. started with cupcakes.  Hence, The Catalyst: Cupcakes….