Wednesday, December 14, 2011

chocolate birthdays and dulce de leche

so here are some pictures of some cupcakes I recently made. First owl cupcakes for my moms birthday! she loves owls! these are the red velvet cupcakes with a cream cheese and chocolate chip center and cream cheese frosting that I recently posted about. they are divine, and i thought the owls were pretty damn cute! also on this post are mexican chocolate cupcakes that i filled with easy dulce de leche and topped with dulce de leche buttercream. to make dulce de leche, take a can of sweetened condensed milk, peel the label off, put it in a pot and fill with water- completely covering the can with water and cover pot with lid and boil for 2 hours adding water as needed to keep can covered, then cool can completely and ta-da! dulce de leche! crazy if you ask me but completely delicious, especially in these cupcakes!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Lemon Curd filling and Vanilla Bean and lemon zest buttercream

These vanilla cupcakes are very tender but hold up well with a filling inside. They were moist and fluffy, perfect texture but not a very strong flavor, on their own they would be pretty plain but that made them a perfect base for a filzled cupcake. I made half of this batch with lemon curd and the other half with mango butter, both were tasty! I actually just used store bought lemon curd and mango butter but by all means make your own, I was just being lazy that day and wanted a quick treat! Here are two recipes for lemon curd, this one is actually a MICROWAVE lemon curd! And here is alton brown's recipe:

Lemon Curd via Alton Brown
2 egg yolks
1/3 c + 1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 Tbls butter

Add enough water to a medium saucepan (or a double boiler) to come about 1-inch up the side and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl (that will fit well over the simmering water without touching it) and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk until smooth.

Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. Whisk constantly until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each piece to melt before adding the next.

Transfer to a clean container place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 

Vanilla Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk
(or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using)

* Preheat oven to 350*F.
* In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
* In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil, beat.
* Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk.  Beat until just combined.  Scrap down the side of the bowl.  
* The batter will be thin.   Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners.  Fill liners about 2/3 full. 
* Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes. 
* Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.

to assemble, I used the "cone method" where you cut out a cone shape from the center of your cupcake, cut off the bottom of the cone and fill your cupcake and top it with the remaining circle from your cone. then you eat the bottom of each cone in the process =)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh my!

photo credit: Ina Mae Unga Taea

photo credit: Ina Mae Unga Taea

photo credit: Ina Mae Unga Taea

Oh my... I'm in love... With these cupcakes! A friend of mine, who is a fellow cupcake-aholic, found some red velvet cupcakes with chocolate chips baked in them. What a good idea I thought! Then that same friend found some red velvet cupcakes with a cream cheese swirl baked in them, wow! That's also a great idea! So my genius idea was to combine the two! So here we have red velvet cupcakes with a baked in cream cheese and chocolate chip center topped off with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.
For the red velvet cake I used this recipe. That was my first ever blog post! Haha. It's a slight adaption from Paula Deen's recipe.

For the filling:
1 8ounce package of cream cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 heaping cup semisweet chocolate chips

Beat cream cheese till smooth, add egg then powdered sugar and beat till smooth again then add chocolate chips.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/4 full with red velvet batter then add about a tablespoon full of cream cheese chocolate chip mixture to each cupcake and top with more red velvet batter to make each cupcake liner about 3/4 full or a little more. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 8 ounce package cream cheese
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-6 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth, add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating well, until desired consistency is reached. Continue to feat until fluffy about 2-3 minutes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

S'mores Bars

A bunch of my friends have been having bon fires and making S'mores all summer long which made me really really jealous! I've been dying to have a bon fire, pretty much for s'mores alone but it didn't happen and I couldn't wait any longer! I have had this recipe bookmarked for quite some time now from "the girl who ate everything" and I've been dying to try it! Definitely a success!! I can't wait to make them again! The graham cracker crust is so good, like a soft warm cookie and then obviously the filling is great! I actually used semi sweet chocolate chips instead of the chocolate bars just because it was what I had on hand. Anyways you should try these! super easy and de-lish!

Smores Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized Hershey's milk chocolate bars
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (7 1/2 oz jar)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This part can be tricky. I made little disks with the dough and formed them into a sheet on some parchment paper then transferred it over. Spread it around gently.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 16 cookie bars.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

ocean fun

sorry, no new recipe but here are some pictures of the cupcakes and mini cakes I baked for my friend's twin boys for their first  birthday party! The cupcake flavors are coconut, red velvet and chocolate. I made the sea creatures out of royal icing. I also used royal icing to paint the bikinis and surf shorts on the teddy graham cookies. Hope you get some fun ideas.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chocolate Toffee Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

lame iphone pic- sorry

 So a while back my dear friend Kami told me she makes her banana bread with chocolate covered macadamia nuts sprinkled on top, what a genius idea!!! So I thought, what about delightful chocolate toffee macadamia nuts because of their crunchy and buttery goodness, and yum! I also added macadamia nuts to the batter itself, not the toffee chocolate ones though. Here is the recipe, I dare you to try it!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups (3-4 medium sized) very ripe bananas, mashed (I used apple bananas)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped chocolate toffee covered macadamia nuts chopped (I think the brand I used was island princess, but I'm sure a few companies make them)

1. Heat oven to 350. spray 2 (8x4 inch) loaf pans with pam or grease bottoms.
2. In your mixer beat sugars and butter. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla, beat with mixer until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except for chocolate toffee mac nuts and mix just until well incorporated. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and top with chopped chocolate toffee mac nuts.
3. Bake at 350 f for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for about an hour before slicing(or eat hot because you can't wait).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

jungle fun

i went to a jungle themed pot luck baby shower yesterday and brought these fun treats =)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


chocolate cupcake filled with cookie dough and topped with cream cheese frosting!
half baked cookie dough center
chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and buttercream flowers
(black) chocolate and (yellow) vanilla layer cake for my friends husband. i wish i had a picture of a slice of the inside! it was 4 layers alternating black and yellow. 

My favorite chocolate cake at the moment is this recipe, it's very simple and very moist and chocolatey! I used it for all of the cakes/cupcakes in the above pictures. For the amazzzzzzing cookie dough cupcakes I dropped a ball of cookie dough in each cupcake batter before I baked them and the result is a half baked cookie center and it is to die for! you could easily make them with store bought cookie dough but I made the dough of my favorite chocolate chip cookies which I will also give the recipe for. I know I promised that recipe a looong time ago but here it is.

Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes: (24 cupcakes or 2, 8 inch layers.)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup black coffee, cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk 
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (I do half and half, butter makes it yummy but oil makes it moist so do both )
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray pans with Pam or grease.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, water, buttermilk, vegetable oil/butter and vanilla extract. Whisk into flour mixture until all of the ingredients are mixed in and no streaks of flour remain. Add in optional mini chocolate chips, if using.
4. For cupcakes bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one the cakes comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs or if you press one it should spring back. cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 
 (recipe adapted from baking bites)

Best chocolate chip cookies in the ENTIRE world!!!!!! recipe:

(If you are using this for the cupcakes you will just need 24 balls of dough for the center of each cupcake and just drop them into the batter after you've filled the cupcake liners 3/4 full, try to make sure that the dough is covered with batter. and bake for the normal time of the cupcakes you're making, if you use the chocolate cupcake recipe above then that is 15 minutes. You will have plenty of dough left to make cookies with too =) and you can even freeze the dough to make cookies for later or freeze the dough balls and make cupcakes later.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.