Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

by Sarah Steimer

The blog where I got the recipe cut out a lot of the sugar, which I appreciated. There’s really no reason to go overboard on sugar with either carrots or cream cheese — both are so naturally sweet.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cups canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 2-3 large carrots)
  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger in medium bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and oil. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in carrots and walnuts.

Divide batter among cupcake molds fitted with liners, filling 3/4 of each. Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before icing.

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I did use pure maple syrup, not sure if this made any difference)

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for a few minutes minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly. After icing the cupcakes, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from: Mehan’s Kitchen

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by Sarah Steimer

I found these to be very sweet cupcakes, so I would probably cut back on the sugar next time around. But the sour lime balances the sweet pretty well so it’s never really too overbearing. Also – yes I do know Cinco de Mayo is May 5 – just wanted to give you the recipe in advance!

For the cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup tequila (or half tequila/half orange liqueur, optional)

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light and fluffy – this is why you want room temperature butter or you’ll be creamin’ all day. Add eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Add lime zest and lime juice.

Turn mixer to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix just until incorporated. Fill each muffin cup about three-quarters of the way full. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, rotating half way.

Let the cupcakes mostly cool in the pan, but brush with the tequila while they are still warm.

For the frosting

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 egg whites
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • lime zest for topping

    There is just enough tequila in these cupcakes to not be overpowering. You can just barely taste it (I’m sure you could add more if you really needed to).

Place a metal or glass bowl over a simmering pot of water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk the sugar and egg whites until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 160 degrees with a candy thermometer. If you do not have a candy thermometer, just touch the mixture and rub between your index finger and thumb to test if the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture feels very warm (not very hot).

Remove the bowl from the stove. Whisk on high speed until the mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks (approximately 10 minutes).

Beat in one tablespoon of butter at a time on medium. The mixture might appear curdled but keep beating, it will pull back together. Add lime juice and 1 tablespoon tequila. Increase speed to high and beat until the frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy. Beat in remaining tablespoon of tequila, if desired. If the mixture looks runny (like mine did), pop the frosting in the refrigerator for 20 or so minutes. Bring it out and whip it again to make it smooth and fluffy.

Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with lemon zest.

Makes about 24 cupcakes.

Recipe from: Tide and Thyme

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by Sarah Steimer

The cake is Martha Stewart's recipe, but the icing is my own. It's really a great idea to read the comments or reviews on recipes you find online. I was fully intending to use the icing recipe that was posted with the cake recipe until I noticed a few readers comment on how gross it was.

For the cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, water and peppermint extract to the dry mixture and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Divide the batter between among lined muffin tins, filling about 2/3 of the way full. You should fill a whole pan on the first round and about 1/3 of the next pan, making about 18-20 cupcakes in all.

So beautiful yet such a pain. But maybe you're more patient and delicate than I.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Test with a knife or toothpick to make sure the cupcakes are cooked through. Let cool completely on a rack before icing.

For the icing

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
  • 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • green food coloring (optional)

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, milk or water, and the extracts. Mix until creamy, adding more milk or water as necessary. Add about two or three drops of green food coloring and mix for a light green color.

For the chocolate mint leaves

Now, this part was sort of absurd but I really wanted to try it. The results were pretty – but not enough turned out well that I was able to use them on all of my cupcakes. See the last picture in the post for another (easier) option.

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 or 2 bunches of mint leaves

Melt the chocolate morsels in a double-boiler or in the microwave, being careful not to burn the chocolate. Let cool slightly.

If you do go the mint leaf route, be prepared to also cover your entire kitchen in chocolate.

Using a small, soft (and clean) paintbrush, apply the melted chocolate to the backs of the individual mint leaves. Do not use just a thin coat, you don’t want to see any of the leaf sticking through. Plus, the thicker the chocolate, the easier the leaf will be to pull off.

Arrange each leaf as you go on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Drape a few over spoons or other utensils so the leaves have a more “alive” look. Place in the refrigerator or freezer so they may set.

Once the leaves are ready, take only a couple out at a time and remove the leaves from the chocolate. You will many of these unless you’re a magical being. Place the finished leaves back in the fridge/freezer to set one last time.

Ice the cupcakes and top with the chocolate leaves. Or just do this:

Ta-da! The MUCH easier version that my co-workers received (sorry for the lack of fanciness, guys).

Cupcake and leaf recipe from: Martha Stewart

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by Sarah Steimer

I got this idea from a kit I saw at World Market, which actually used little skulls instead of cupcake wrappers.

Use this recipe for both the cake and the icing. Add four drops of red food coloring and two drops of yellow food coloring to the icing. Use cupcake liners in your pan and fill about two-thirds of the way full.


I didn't make the plum sauce very sweet so its natural tartness cut through the sweet cake and icing.

  • 15 red plums
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons water

Cut the plums into small pieces and heat in a saucepan with the honey and water. Cook on medium-to-low heat until well softened and bubbly – about 10 minutes. Let cool. Puree in a blender until smooth.

When the cupcakes have cooled, use a pastry injector or long icing tip to inject the cakes with the plum sauce through the top of the

Lil' brains.

cake (pictured). Refrigerate for about an hour so the cupcakes and sauce can settle.

Using a regular round icing tip, draw on your brains as you see in the picture (self explanatory, really). Add a few red sprinkles because when you chop off people’s brains there’s a lot of blood that gets sprayed, according to movies.

Keep refrigerated.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

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by Sarah Steimer

These are cupcakes, not muffins, even though they don't have icing.

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well blended. Stir in the milk. Add the flour and baking powder. Gently fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter evenly in lined cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 12.

Recipe from: The Pastry Affair

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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