Month: April 2010

Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes

Are these just the cutest things? Even though they look like ice cream sundaes, no ice cream was involved in the creation of these cupcakes. These cupcakes are a little time-consuming to make because they involving making the cake, frosting, and two kinds of ganache – but believe me, they were a labor of love.

Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes
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Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups.This recipe will make 12 cupcakes.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
3. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
4. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache Filling
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

1. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl.
2. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate.
3. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.)
4. Add the butter and stir until combined.
5. Put the ganache in the refrigerator to firm it up a bit – 15-20 minutes in the fridge will do.
6. Remove a portion of each cupcake and fill the cupcake with ganache.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
Recipe source:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer.
2. With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar – scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
3. Add the vanilla and increase mixer speed to medium. Blend until frosting is fluffy – about 1 minute.
4. Frost the cupcakes using a round piping tip.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup

1. Place chocolate in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.
2. Gently stir chocolate and cream until totally combined; begin near the center of the bowl and gradually work your way toward the edge, pulling in as much chocolate as possible, until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
3. Drizzle over cupcakes, add sprinkles, and top with a cherry.

And here’s one more photo, just because:

Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

One of my good friends has celiac disease, which inhibits her from being able to eat anything containing gluten (wheat protein). Yes, you heard me. No wheat — no flour, no bread, no baked goods. You would be amazed at how many foods contain gluten. Twizzlers have a ridiculous amount of gluten – who knew? Thanks to MJ, I am learning more than I ever thought I would about what contains gluten and what doesn’t.

She mentioned to me that the food she misses the most are lemon bars. Finding a good, gluten-free lemon bar has been a challenge for her, so I wanted to give it a try. I found a GREAT recipe – these bars are GOOD. Using rice flour tends to make most baked goods a little sad looking — cakes or bars containing rice flour seem to be a little thinner than those containing wheat flour. But don’t let the appearance fool you – they were SO delicious.

Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
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Shortbread crust:
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine

Lemon curd filling:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp rice flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon peel
powdered sugar

1.Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cut butter into the dry crust ingredients, until you have a something similar to cookie dough (I used a food processor for this step and it worked REALLY well).
3. Pat into bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake for 17-19 minutes. Let cool.
4. Beat eggs. Add sugar, rice flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Whisk until smooth.
5. Pour over crust and bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until filling is set. Dust with powdered sugar.

Blueberry Muffin Tops

We all know that muffins are the same thing as cupcakes — but muffins are a little less cute and attractive. We all also know that the muffin top is the best part of the muffin. Why even continue after that delicious, slight-crunchy, sugar-filled top is consumed? My dad bought me these muffin liners that allow you to make blueberry muffins that are just big muffin tops. They were delicious!

Blueberry Muffin Tops

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3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 whole large egg
1 large yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries

for the topping:

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

*Note: you will need special muffin liners for this recipe! You can find an example of the liners here at

1. Preheat oven to 375F and place oven rack in the upper third of oven.
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Once butter is melted, remove from heat. Whisk in the milk, then the whole egg, yoke, and vanilla until combined well.
3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl – then add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups, spreading evenly.
5. To make the topping: rub together all topping ingredients in a bowl with your fingers until crumbly, then sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.
6. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden and a tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Happy Easter!

Happy Bunny Day!

Mini Cupcakes

Happy April – the month of spring, in my opinion! The weather is finally improving, Easter is approaching, and all things spring are here. I made these little cupcakes as my last baking project in my previous apartment. Admittedly, I took the easy way out and make funfetti cupcakes from a box and used store-bought frosting — but sometimes, the easy way is just as tasty. If you’d like to replicate these, here’s what you’ll need:

Mini Cupcakes
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1 box cake mix of your choice (plus oil and eggs, as called for)
2 tubs of vanilla frosting
~ 48 mini muffin tin liners
Assorted food coloring

1. Make the cake mix according to box directions.
2. Line a mini-muffing tin with liners and fill 2/3 full with batter.
3. Bake approximately 11 minutes – and check to make sure a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Divide and color the frosting to your liking. I used pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple coloring.
6. Once the frosting is colored, microwave the frosting, one color at a time, for 8 seconds. Dip the cupcakes in the frosting to coat. The microwaving will soften the frosting and give it the smooth, silky appearance.
7. Decorate the cupcakes with sprinkles or whatever you’d like!