Monday, July 23, 2012

Summertime and the living's easy. {Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting}

Hello cupcake lovers! I haven't blogged about baking cupcakes for a really long time. Life happened and things were busy. (Isn't that always how it goes?) But I'm finally in a place that I can bake again. During my time away, we had a baby and moved back to Arizona. Life has changed dramatically for us, but in a good way. I like where things are going right now...

Anyways! Enough about me and more about how much I love living in Arizona again! ;) The only downside to living in Arizona (and honestly this isn't even a downside) is that it's pretty much summer all year long! So, in order to make summer feel more summery, I decided to bake a cupcake that will help make it feel more like summer.

When we lived in Maryland we had the chance to try a bunch of different cupcake shops. From the most popular ones: Georgetown (DC) Cupcakes to Sprinkles Cupcakes. We even got to try a Cupcake Food Truck: Curbside Cupcakes. But my favorite cupcake shop in the DC area was Baked & Wired. Their cupcakes were so amazing, I wish I had gone there more than once! But they had a cupcake that I never got to try called the Smurfette, which was a vanilla cupcake with blueberries topped with a lemon buttercream. So since I never got to try theirs, I wanted to make my own version! And here it is...
{Blueberry Lemon Cupcake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting}

Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes: 
{makes 36 cupcakes}
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter (room temp)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
fresh squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
2 cups sour cream
1 pint of blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. 
3. Mix the butter and sugar together in a stand up mixer until it's light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix thoroughly. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, mix to combine.
4. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the sour cream, ending with dry mixture. 
5. Stir in the blueberries by hand.
6. Give the batter a taste and if it isn't lemony enough for you, add a little of the lemon juice.
7. Fill the prepared tins two-thirds full and bake 16 to 20 minutes. 
Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
3 sticks of butter (room temp)
3 - 4 cups of confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. Whip the butter until light and fluffy.
2. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar. I normally add it one tablespoon at a time (8 tablespoons = 1 cup). It's a little tedious and you HAVE to pay attention, but it makes it mix smoother. Be sure to stop and scrape the sides periodically, too. If you lose track, just stop and do a taste test every so often to make sure it's sweet enough. And remember that you can always add more but you can't take any out, so make sure you don't add too much or it will be too sweet.
3. Add in the vanilla extract, mix well.
4. Lastly, add in the lemon juice. Start with a tablespoon and if that isn't lemony enough for you add more. But it should be enough.
5. Pipe on to the cupcakes once they are cool. (Or else it will melt the frosting.)

I am loving how these two flavors play with each other. The sweetness from the cupcake mixed with the tartness of the blueberry and then complimented nicely with the tang of the lemon. Even if you just leave off the frosting, you have an amazing breakfast cupcake! 

I am going to keep the summer fruit theme going for my next cupcake. I'm in the mood for rhubarb, how does that sound?... :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pumpkin + Beer + Cupcakes = Is it Fall yet?!

My absolute favorite season is right around the corner! The season of scarves, crunch leaves under your feet, warm coffee beverages, and pumpkin flavored everything... Yes, I am talking about FALL!

One of my favorite things about this season (besides the aforementioned items) is Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Well, that was before I got pregnant. Now I just get to enjoy watching my hubby drink it. But that doesn't mean I can't bake with it! ;)

I created a heavenly delicious fall inspired cupcake using Punkin Ale. It may just be my new favorite cupcake.

The Punkin Ale Cupcake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting! Last year I tried to make these and I put the pumpkin puree in the cupcake, but it completely took over the beer flavor. So I modified my recipe this season and it's a million times better. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

  Punkin Ale Cupcake (makes 24) 
1 cup Punkin Ale (this can be substituted with any pumpkin flavored beer you can find or like!)
1 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar (for beer/butter mixture)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar (for finished cupcake batter)
ground cinnamon, to taste
ground nutmeg, to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake trays. You can make normal or mini-sized cupcakes.
2. Chop the butter into squares, doesn't have to be perfect it just helps it melt faster, and throw them into a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the Punkin Ale and let it come to a simmer (this helps cook off the alcohol, but not the delicious beer flavor).
3. As the butter and beer are simmering, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
4. After the butter and Beer have simmered, remove from heat and add the brown sugar. Let this cool for a minute.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream together with an electric mixer until smooth. Combine this mixture with the cooled butter and beer concoction.
6. Combine the butter/beer/brown sugar goodness into the bowl of dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt) you have set aside. Gently stir until all is combined.
7. To bring out the flavors in the beer, I added a touch of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg to the batter.
8. Finally, I wanted my cupcakes a little sweeter, so I added another 1/4 cup brown sugar to the batter. This is optional and depends on how sweet you want them.
9. Fill your cupcake trays, each cup should be 3/4 of the way full.
10. Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes.
11. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting them!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz package cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar

1. In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, butter, orange juice, and vanilla extract together.
2. Add in the confectioners sugar one cup at a time.
3. Once everything is mixed together and thickened it is ready to go on top of your cupcakes!
4. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of the cupcakes once they were frosted. Totally optional.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down {Cup}Cake

Hello my dear, sweet, neglected cupcake fans! Long time, no see. I know, I know... But I'm baaack! And I have a brand new cupcake for you all to enjoy! Yay!

Me and my hubby have gotten really into eating fruits and veggies that are in season. Today we even went out and picked our own strawberries! They were soooo good too. This cupcake doesn't contain any strawberries.... It does, however, contain pineapple! Which are also in season! :)

Today, I introduce to you the Pineapple Upside Down {Cup}Cake! Okay, I need to be honest with you guys. I don't think that I have ever had an actual Pineapple Upside Down Cake before. Terrible, I know. But these cupcakes were delish, so I think you will like them!

Basic Vanilla Cupcake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
12 pineapple slices (either fresh or canned, I found the canned ones fit on the cupcake perfectly!)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
3. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix.
5. Reduce the speed to low. Add a little of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add some of the milk, beating until well incorporated. Continuing alternating the addition of the flour and milk until all the ingredients are included. (Always start and end with the dry ingredients!)
6. Scoop batter into baking cups.
7. Carefully place the a pineapple slice on top of each cupcake.
8. Bake for 15-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. (Some batter will come through the hole in the middle of the pineapple. That is totally fine, I just popped off the excess cupcake once they were cooled. It made for a nice snack while making the frosting! ;) )

Whipped Creme Frosting
1 cup Heavy Whipping Creme
5-6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a standing mixer, beat the whipping creme on a medium speed until thickened (about 2 minutes).
2. Slow the speed down on the mixer and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until the whipped creme gets stiff peaks. You may have to stop the mixer to check the whipped creme peaks.
3. Mix in the vanilla extract, to taste.
4. Frost the cupcakes and top with a cherry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I am in desperate need of a {cupcake}!

It's been nearly a month since I have been in my kitchen baking cupcakes. I guess that means that I have been busy doing other things, which is fine by me. But this weekend cupcakes will be happening!

Luckily, I have a cupcake in mind since this weekend is Easter! :) So stay tuned!

Also, I will be working on trying to ship some cupcakes soon. Still gathering materials and figuring out the cheapest route to go! Ultimately, I don't think this will be ideal, but I really want to try it out.

<3 Jenna

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup{cake}

We are a little short on cash and who knew that baking cupcakes would be an expensive hobby! Ha! So, I rummaged my pantry and realized that I had most of the ingredients to make one of my husband's favorite cupcake flavors: Chocolate & Peanut Butter. Naturally, I had to run to the store and get more butter and sugar. I seem to run out of those the fastest! 

I dedicate this cupcake to my husband: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup{cake}

Devil's Food Cupcake: (makes 32 cupcakes)
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line the cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
8 oz Chocolate, chopped

1. In a small saucepan, bring the whipping cream up to a boil.
2. Put the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl.
3. Once the whipping cream is boiling, pour it on top of the chocolate.
4. Stir the chocolate until melted through.
5. Pop the bowl of chocolate into the freezer for about 15 minutes to thicken the consistency a bit.

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting: 
6 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. With an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and butter until fluffy.
3. Add in the salt, peanut butter, and vanilla, mix until incorporated.
4. Fold in the whipped heavy cream.

Putting together the cupcakes:
1. Punch out a hole in the center of your cupcakes.
2. Fill the hole with the chocolate ganache.
3. Frost your cupcakes with the peanut butter frosting.
4. Drizzle on some chocolate ganache.
5. CONSUME. (With milk, because that frosting is really rich.)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes! {Breakfast for Dessert!}

I have only tried to make homemade cinnamon rolls once in my life because it is a ridiculously long (and messy) process. Plus, me and dough reaaaallllyyy don't get along too well. So, I decided to turn this breakfast favorite into a delicious cupcake. :)

Cinnamon Cupcake:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temp
1 tsp cinnamon

Brown Sugar Filling:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
sprinkle of cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
3. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
5. Combine the vanilla extract, cinnamon and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
6. Reduce the speed to low. Add a little of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add some of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Continuing alternating the addition of the flour and milk until all the ingredients are included. (Always start and end with the dry ingredients!)
7. For the filling, just mash all the ingredients together until well incorporated. The butter should be cold enough to have the sugar clump and then stick together.
8. Scoop batter into baking cups and then stick a small spoonful of the filling in the middle. (Now, in retrospect, I would probably put a bigger dollop in the middle, or try to swirl it around. Mine were just small in the middle, which saved the best bite for the center. But I guess that makes it the same as a real cinnamon roll, so it's personal preference really.)
9. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temp
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3-4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until nice and whipped.
2. Slowly beat in the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time until sweetened to your liking.
3. Beat the vanilla extract in and then add in some cinnamon. I just kept adding it until it tasted good to me, so have fun with it, but remember start with less because you can always add more. :)

Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe on your frosting and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top for decoration.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Things are just getting out of control here!

I started this blog with full intent of blogging about cupcakes with unique flavors. But in the world of baking, sometimes I just have to talk about some of my other creations. This is definitely something that needs to be shared with all of you! Please, be seated when you read about what I have baking in my oven right now. Are you ready? (I doubt it...) But okay....

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Try and wrap your head around that! I feel the diabetes kicking in just by typing that! Haha. The reason I am making these is because they were requested by my friend Niku as a going away gift. Obviously, I couldn't say no! I got the recipe from Picky Palate, and I followed it to a tee.

What you need:
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Double Stuf Oreo Cookies

What you do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
2.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.
3. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough.
4. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking.  Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
5. Share with friends. Or not. Either way, make sure you have some milk.