I cannot believe it’s been a year since the notorious bulldozer cake and my little friend is already 4! He asked for superman/kung fu panda cake at first with fruitpunch flavored cake. I’m not one to steer people away from new flavors, but I advised to go in the chocolate direction and this was enthusiastically embraced. Now, I won’t get in to the details of the epic fail that was kung fu panda. I’ll just say that no toy store, target, cvs in the tri town area carries figurines anymore (just in case you’re wondering), but superman – now that’s a cake!
It’s a 4 year old’s birthday so I kept it simple with chocolate cake with chocolate pudding filling (literally from a box with milk – boom!) and buttercream. The birthday boy asked for seconds…I’m just saying, it was that good. Also, the logo was done by hand – I’m not kidding. I was pretty impressed with myself, however I had to ask my friend Kendra if it was backwards about four times because I was staring at it for an hour.
Superman Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Pudding
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
- 3 large eggs
- 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate Pudding Mix
- 1 Cup Milk (or whatever it calls for)
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add oil, coffee, and eggs.
- Beat at medium speed until smooth.
- Finally, fold in the sour cream and vanilla.
- Fill both 9" rounds with cake batter (caution - cake will rise! Don't overfill) and bake for 18 - 22 minutes. Check it with a toothpick at 18. Batter should make four 9" Rounds.
- Follow the directions - whisk in milk and let set.
- Cream the butter in a standing mixer. Once fluffy, add in sugar one small scoop at a time. Taste test - once it stops tasting like butter, mix in the vanilla and you're done.
- Trim tops of cakes with a bread knife or cake trimmer.
- Layer chocolate pudding on top of first cake and pop the next one on upside down. Then repeat for other two cakes.
- Spread a quick crumb coat on the layers and let set in the fridge while you toil with the fondant and food coloring.
- Take out the cake, spread on the blue buttercream and affix your logo and cape.
So I have to confess, I have a baker crush on Joy The Baker. If you haven’t
stalked checked out her site Joythebaker.com, you should do it soon. No really. She’s my hero.
Anywho – I had plans to make an oreo crusted cheesecake and was searching for a special topping…Then I saw this lovely little quick jam and knew it just had to happen. Thank you again for the inspiration.
The quick jam was delish on ice cream too!
Yes, you heard me – Cherry Bourbon Cupcakes . I know. I know – why didn’t you think of that?
Technically these are caramel cupcakes with cherry bourbon compote, but I think Cherry Bourbon Cupcakes just sounds sexier, so we’re going with it.
I consulted with my local Marty’s Liquor store dude on what would be the best bourbon for soaking cherries and stuffing in to cupcakes. Basil Hayden was recommended and I obeyed because I know cupcakes, not bourbon. I then hurried home to soak my fresh AND dried cherries (and tried a little – check, still not a bourbon drinker). The mix of both the fresh and dried cherries gave the compote a really lovely texture and flavor. It’s an extra step, but really worth it!
I had quite a bit of left over cherry bourbon compote (again – not a bourbon girl) and found that it’s also good on ice cream, in drinks, on cookies and even on toast (or at least that’s what my lovely bourbon drinking friends told me after I gave them the left overs). Yum!
- 1 cup dried cherries (soaked in bourbon for at least 3 days)
- 1 cup fresh halved cherries (soaked in bourbon for at least 3 days)
- 1/4 cup bourbon from cherry soaking jars
- 1/4 cup bourbon from bottle
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon
- Bring bourbons, lemon and sugar to a boil til a light syrup forms.
- Add in cherries (and a bit more bourbon if needed) and bring back to a boil for a few more minutes while stirring constantly - about five minutes.
- Let cool and then add half the cherry mixture to a blender or food processor. Once fully blended, add back to whole cherry mixture and let cool completely.
- Try it - if it's too Bourbony, add a bit more sugar. If it's too thin try a touch of cornstarch to tighten it up.
Beets. They are a sneaky little vegetable. So pretty and tasty on their own, yet still plays nicely with chocolate and cream cheese. Did I just write a singles ad for beets?
good lord. sorry.
Beets are the secret ingredient in purple velvet cake and frosting. I didn’t want to go out of the gate with “chocolate beet cake with beet cream cheese” because I thought my little cousins might cringe, so the name purple velvet was born. Ta Da. If you have any other name suggestions – let me know in the comments
First off. These cupcakes do not taste like beets. They taste like the most moist delicious chocolate cake (that’s not overly sweet) with a great little cream cheese frosting that my grandmother swears has raspberry in it (nope – those are beets too!). Did I mention these were for her 83rd birthday? Love her. Anywho, the beets basically melt in to the batter and the frosting turns a beautiful color purple so it’s not beet-y, it’s just yummy. Again, not beet-y. ( Beat It now stuck in my head. thank you very much.)
Ok enough story time. I recommend roasting your own beets. I got fresh beets (with the greens and everything) from whole foods and roasted a bunch for the cake and for dinner. Once they’re all roasty and done, let them cool and peel them. Then toss a few in the blender with a bit of water and ta da – you have beets for your cake and frosting (and the red hands to prove it).
I’ve been hearing about beets in cake for a while now, but finally committed to a recipe from Joy the Baker (who I’m also now a little obsessed with). I adapted it a bit to my own taste, but she had a good thing going…
Happy Beet-y Baking!
Purple Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 medium beets, unpeeled but trimmed of their greens
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter(at room temp)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used half dark cocoa and half regular)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese (at room temp)
- 3 - 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tsps beets (from the blender)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsps milk or whipping cream
- 1/4 of a lemon squeezed
- Preheat oven to 375 (I cranked mine to 400 after an hour)
- Thoroughly wash beets under running water, and trim their leaves (I saved these for dinner - yum)
- Toss clean beets in pyrex dish with some foil. Drizzle with just a bit of olive oil. Seal up with some more foil.
- Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour - 1.5 hours. Remove the beets from the oven. Let the beets cool completely then dive in and peel these suckers. Yes, your hands will be red BUT they will return to normal with soap and water.
- Once cooled and peels, chop up the beets in quarter or whatever and toss in the blender with a touch of water. Measure 1 cup of pureed beets for the cake and 3 tablespoons for the frosting. Set aside (You'll have left overs).
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars. Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, for one minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Once eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture on low. Slowly add the buttermilk. Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated. Don't over mix...
- Bowl can be removed from the mixer and mixture folded with a spatula to finish incorporating ingredients. It's a thick batter - you'll need an ice cream scooper.
- In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Taste it to make sure it no longer tastes like just butter. good.
- Add lemon, vanilla, beets and milk or whipping cream. Continue beating until fully combined.
- Add the cream cheese last and beat until fully incorporated. Be careful not to over beat, cream cheese tends to get super loose if it's played with too much.
- Taste it - make sure it's good. If not, try a touch more vanilla or beets or whatever. Make it your own :)
If your friends, family and co-workers are anything like mine they are ALL on diets, ALWAYS. Especially when we are weeks if not days from ensuring that our swimsuit bodies are ready to go. So what could really be better than a cupcake that is half AIR? Really… air! They are already inhaling air 24 hours a day so how can anyone refuse— My argument is AIR tight!
These light and fluffy cupcakes are horribly addictive. I also made these as mini bite size cupcakes and served them with sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream. The key to angel food cake is whipping (air into) the egg whites so be sure that there are NO traces of yolk in your egg white mixture.
This was also an excuse for me to purchase a whipped cream dispenser / charger—does the job of whipping the cream and injecting the air via Nitrous Oxide (yes, whippets). It does allow for a finished look for freshly whipped cream. Alternately you can purchase Reddi Whip or something similar if you don’t have the need or desire to invest in a charger. I used the recipe below for 2 dozen full sized cupcakes and about the same in minis.
- 1 1/8 cups cake flour
- 1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 large egg whites AT room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line your cupcake pans, 2 full size pans and some minis
- Be sure that the egg whites are at room temperature and make sure that there are absolutely NO egg yolks in the mixture
- Combine the powdered sugar and flour and salt, whisk until thoroughly combined and all the “lumps” are gone.
- Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment beat egg whites until frothy.
- Add in cream of tartar, and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form (basically it will start to solidify but you don’t want them to be stiff)
- Slowly add granulated sugar and continue beat until egg whites thicken a bit more
- Finally beat in the vanilla extract
- You can now remove the bowl from the stand and with a spatula gently fold in the dry mixture ¼ at a time until done.
- Fill the full sized cupcakes about ¾ full and if you are baking minis they should be completely full.
- Bake for 18-19 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
- Cool and frost
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- Of using a whipped cream dispenser with charger combine the two ingredients until the sugar has dissolved. Load the dispenser and use as needed. Don’t forget that once you load a charger you can not refill the container so make sure that you fill it up so that you don’t waste any of the nitrous oxide.
- Alternately if you can purchase Reddi Whip or a similar product at the store to get a similar finished look OR just whip the cream in a stand mixer for a more rustic look.
I’m trying to be healthy. I swear. I really am…and not for the reasons you think. I’m tired of listening to my coworkers complain about the goodies I bring in or tell me their on a diet or that they can’t eat gluten or dairy or whatever. SO, I’m trying to make healthy little treats. You’re welcome.
These are quick, simple and DELISH! I tweaked the recipe from Shutterbean but have fun with it. I tried another version with dried mango and cranberries – it was an epic fail (WAY too crumbly/fall aparty but still tasty). The fleshy little apricots make just the right consistency for bar shaped healthy goodness. Also, I recommend keeping them in the freezer and snacking on them while they’re super cold.
Happy Healthy Eating!
Apricot Cashew Coconut Bars aka Apricot Heaven
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup flaked coconut (i tried it with ground coconut too)
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoons agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or just soft - it was hot when i made these!)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Line a 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
- Using a food processor, grind up the cashews and pecans (set aside) then using the same food processor machine (don't wash it - you're gonna mix all this stuff in a minute), mix up those apricots til they're consistently chopped/mushed up.
- Keeping the apricots in the mixer, add coconut, oats, agave syrup, coconut oil, chia seeds, ginger and salt. Process until mixture comes together.
- Add the chopped cashews/pecan mixture and pulse until well combined.
- Put the apricot coconut mixture in the parchment lined baking pan and firmly press into pan (I find a measuring spoon does the trick). Cover the bars and place in a freezer for one hour to set.
- Take them out and slice them up. Try not to eat all of them.
- Put them back in the fridge or the freezer. Enjoy!
As soon as a I saw these on Steph’s Bite by Bite I knew I had to make them. I switched them up a bit with the addition of coconut and honey and I’m sure you could keep mixing things up in these little chocolate cups!
Chocolate and Peanut butter AND banana? Um, Yes Please. See – now you want to make them too.
I will warn you – the chocolate shell part is a bit time consuming, but that’s the hardest part – the peanut butter, graham cracker and banana parts are super easy (and quick). They’re totally worth though. Trust me.
Also, the graham cracker was a little crumbly. I might switch that up next time and try a bit more butter or maybe peanut butter on the bottom then graham cracker to make it stay in place. Just my two cents.
Peanut Butter Cups with Banana and Coconut
- 2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark or whatever you want)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons coconut (finely grated or spun in the food processor)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I like the natural stuff, but whatever works)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon honey (1 for pb and 1 for graham crackers)
- 24 banana slices (about 1 - 2 banana tops)
- Line a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners.
- Melt your chocolate (I like the double boiler but the microwave works just fine).
- Drop a teaspoon into a mini liner pan and spread it up the sides using a small spatula. I say do this in small sets of three or four at a time or the chocolate will start to set up on you.
- Toss the pan full of chocolately goodness in to the freezer for 15 minutes.
- While the chocolate cups are setting in the freezer, mix together your peanut butter mixture (combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and honey) and put in the fridge to set.
- While still waiting for your chocolate cups (because the pb thing took two minutes) mix together your graham cracker mixture (graham cracker crumbs, coconut, butter, coconut oil, honey). I also added a little cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice to kick it up, but that's totally optional.
- Cut up your bananas.
- Take your fully set chocolate cups out and start stacking your graham cracker, pb, and banana slices. I found it better to press the graham crackers then toss on a teaspoon of pb (it can get sticky) and then press it all together with the banana slice.
- Once they're filled with graham cracker, pb and banana things, top them with another teaspoon of chocolate. Try to coat the whole thing so they become one solid cup.
- put back in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Take out and peel off all the wrappers. Trust me - you don't want people to see this part :)
I had a blast at Cupcake Camp Boston!! The 120 Bananas Foster Mini Cupcake FLEW off the plates! Next year, we’re definitely going to need more cupcakes!
THANK YOU to everyone who came to say Hello in our little corner of Cupcake Camp!
If you’re looking for the Bananas Foster Recipe, click here. (The trick to the marscopone frosting is whipping the cream first, then folding in the cheese) Enjoy!
Check out our facebook page or follow us on twitter @cupcakedaydream for more fun cupcake daydreamy things!
Thanks again to Cupcake Camp for a great time!
Strawberry “Short” Cupcakes
What can I say- I love trying to translate traditional desserts into some sort of cupcake form. Sometimes the simplicity and minimal ingredients of a dessert is what makes it so great. I find strawberry shortcake to be that simple beautiful blend of fresh and sweet. While trying to think of something special to make for a friend of mine with a newborn baby it was clear that borrowing the components of strawberry shortcake would satisfy her sweet tooth without the richness (ie. calories) of a traditional buttercream cupcake.
For this recipe I took a simple vanilla cake recipe and sandwiched in sugared strawberries with freshly whipped cream. The result was light and the perfect amount of sweetness.
2 ¼ cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven 325 degrees, line 2 standard cupcake pans
- In a mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar together
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt, whisk to combine
- Add sour cream to the cream and sugar mixture
- Add egg to the wet mixture one at a time until each one is combined
- Finally, add vanilla and then the dry mixture to the wet mixture until combined, do not overmix
- Divide the batter among the two pans
- Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let them cool completely before assembling
Sweet Strawberry Topping
1 lb of fresh strawberries
2 cups of sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
- Clean, hull and slice 1lb of strawberries into ¼-1/2 inch slices
- In a large pot combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.
- Gently stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, careful not to break apart the strawberries
- Remove from heat and cool.
Fresh Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment combine heavy whipping cream and vanilla
- Whip until the mixture forms soft peaks
- Gently cut off the top of the cupcakes, set aside
- Spoon a layer of sweetened strawberry mixture on top of the cut cupcake
- Add 2 tablespoons of fresh whipped cream on top of strawberries
- Place the top of the cupcake on top of the whipped cream
- Finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar (optional)