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French Toast Cupcakes

18 Jul

I asked The Husband what he wanted as this weekend’s sweet treat and he replied french toast.  Quite excited to test these out, I knew it had to be done this weekend.

A cinnamon cake with cinnamon maple icing, sounds good right? Well, it was! For an even more french toast flavor I’ll probably add 1 tsp of maple syrup to the frosting.

Ask, my dear, and you shall receive:

French Toast Cupcakes

For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

This step was new to me: Stir milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat just until butter melts; set aside.

In your standing mixer, beat eggs and sugar until the thick batter can form a ribbon. This typically takes five minutes. Continue to beat in orange zest and vanilla. Add the flour mixture of sifted flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Then beat in the milk-butter mixture just until blended after you’ve added the flour.

Bake at 325 for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maple extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon and maple and beat for another few minutes until light and fluffy. I may even add a little more maple next time.

Frost the cupcakes and garnish as you please. I just sifted some cinnamon on top.

I had never baked my cakes in this way and I was a little skeptical, but they turned out beautifully. The density was perfect and didn’t stick to the cupcake liner too much. Also, the orange zest is what made the cake delectable, without it I’m not so sure how great it’s be.

For a little garnish I made some french toast, cut out small squares and placed each on a cupcake. Just be sure you let the french toast cool it it’ll melt your frosting and that’s no good. The flavor and texture of the actual french toast is another key to this cake, really bringing it all together.

My dog had to get in on the action…

I’d love if you left your thoughts and comments!

Adapted by Annie’s Eats


Cookie Overload

13 Jul

If you haven’t realized yet, I have an insane sweet tooth. So, when I first started looking around for recipe inspirations everyone was chatting about how delicious cookie dough cupcakes typically are. Well, I was sold on this idea immediately.

I’ve mixed together a couple of foodie recipes for these little delectable desserts, and oh my were they good! From the cookie dough center to the icing with cookie dough in it, it’s almost too much. But for a sweets lover it’s just right.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes:
1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

The cookie batter recipe came courtesy of Love and Olive Oil and I will be thankful for years to come. You’ve got to freeze the cookie dough before you can bake it, so I went ahead and did this step the night before. But they should be frozen after a couple of hours. I made cookies out of the extra dough for a little taste…I’d never had eggless cookies before. Honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference. All I know is that they were fabulous.

Next up, the cupcake batter. For my husband’s sake I went with a vanilla cupcake as to not overload him with chocolate this week.

Vanilla Cupcakes  (The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)

12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter on high until soft (about 30 seconds). Add sugar and continue beating on medium-high until light and fluffy (3 minutes). Then add eggs one at a time as usual, beating slightly in between.

Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Measure milk and vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/2 of the milk and so on and so on ending with flour. I added 1/2 a cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter on a whim. A good decision.

Be sure you scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl. Pour batter into cupcake paper-lined muffin tins filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

So, for the frosting I stuck with Love and Olive Oil‘s recipe since the cookie dough itself was so good. And this decision certainly paid off.

Cookie Dough Frosting:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup eggless cookie dough, room temperature

I was inspired by the cookie dough cupcakes and decided to pick up some Oreos to use in a cupcake. I used the same cupcake recipe as above for these cakes with a few moderations to make them their own special cookie creation.

Oreo Cream Cupcakes:

Before baking these cupcakes, place half of an Oreo at the bottom of each cupcake tin. Make sure that there is cream on the cookie.

For the frosting:

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp. whipping cream
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. Oreo cookie crumbs

Beat the whipping cream adding sugar and vanilla extract. Once you’ve got a fluffy consistency add in the Oreo cookie crumbs. Ice on the cupcakes and top with an Oreo half.

I recommend making either of these recipes as soon as you can, they were AMAZING!

Adapted from Annie’s Eats and Love and Olive Oil.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

9 Jul
I’m on a strawberry kick since 4th of July, so I’ve been looking for another excuse to make something with the yummy berry. I found a recipe for a strawberry frosting and thought it would be perfect with a chocolate cupcake. I mean who doesn’t love chocolate strawberries, right? Here’s how it’s done:
Beat together:
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs (add one at a time)


  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder

Measure out 1 cup of milk and 2 tsps vanilla

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/2 of the milk and so on and so on. Also, be sure you scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl, you don’t want flour stuck to the sides when you think you’re finished. Pour batter into cupcake paper-lined muffin tins filling them 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

My first batch looked amazing. I moved them to cool and filled in the second tin. After setting the timer and giving them a minute to cook, I returned to check on my chocolate cupcakes. What I found in the oven was barely baking batter. Crap! I had turned the oven off. After a quick laugh at myself, I turned the oven back on and reset the timer.

I had to watch this batch a little closer because of my little slip up, but they still turned out just right.

The recipe for strawberry frosting sounded good, but I have a thing for creamcheese frosting so I changed it up a little. Rather than adding two sticks of butter, I added one stick of butter and one package 8 oz. cream cheese both at room temperature and beat until creamy.

Then sift in 3-4 cups of powdered sugar and beat. Add 1/3 cup of strawberry puree and beat until combined. After adding the puree my frosting was a little runny. Next time I’ll probably just try chopped strawberries.

Although I’m not completely pleased with the frosting, this cupcake was delicious!


Frosting 101

9 Jul

Five Tips for Making Buttercream Frosting

  1. About three cups of confectioners’ sugar produces the right amount of buttercream frosting for a batch of 24 cupcakes.
  2. Use one tablespoon liquid to one cup sugar to two tablespoons plus two teaspoons butter. Adding whipping cream helps in making a fluffier frosting. I know everyone is very precise about measurements in baking, but I add to taste and aesthetic. Just be careful not to make it too runny.
  3. Sift the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, etc. to prevent lumps in the frosting. Don’t overlook the sifting! No one wants a lumpy frosting.
  4. Begin with soft butter. Using butter that has naturally become room temperature is best, but if needed, soften the butter in the microwave.

Perfecting a Basic Yellow Cake

9 Jul

My first attempt at the yellow cake was an epic fail. I found a pretty general recipe that had five stars and basically followed it to a tee. The end result was a very dense, very dry yellow cupcake. I’m wondering how it had five stars, but I guess we’ll never know. The bright side here was that the flavor was good.

A yellow cake can’t be that hard!

I’m a Food Network junkie and have always heard cooks whine about how detailed baking is. I guess I never really understood what they were complaining about until this dry cupcake entered my life. After a little research I realized the actual importance of the way you beat the butter and sugar mixture as well as the flour, how sifting can change a cake and a secret ingredient that did miracles.

Thanks to Google, my second attempt was a complete success.

Yellow Cupcakes (makes one dozen)

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 package vanilla pudding
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk

As a beginner to this whole baking thing, I like to get all my ingredients set out before I begin baking. It just makes the whole experience less stressful. Plus, the butter and eggs need to be room temperature so you’ve got to be prepared! This is one of those little details in baking that can make a big difference. Who knew.

Start by creaming the butter in an electric mixer. Once it looks nice and fluffy go ahead and add your sugar. Okay, now this is important, take the time to beat this mixture now because once you add the dry ingredients you want to beat it as little as possible. Add the eggs one by one as well as the vanilla and beat well.

Now, add the flour, baking powder, pudding and salt mixture. Like I said, my first attempt was super dry so I found that many people made a moister cake with a package of pudding. This I had to try! To my surprise it worked very well!

Important: Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/2 of the milk and so on and so on. Also, be sure you scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl, you don’t want flour stuck to the sides when you think you’re finished. Pour batter into cupcake paper-lined muffin tins filling them 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. My current oven cooks super hot so be sure you get to know your oven.

I had a little extra batter and naively added more to a few of the tins. This resulted in a slight overflow and some edges to be a little overcooked. Don’t do this! If you have extra batter take the time and make the few extra cupcakes!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (substituting one tablespoon of whipping cream makes for a fluffier frosting)

Beat the shortening, butter and vanilla together. Add sifted sugar and cocoa one cup at a time. You should now have a dry mixture, so scrape the sides and add the milk as you continue to beat. As listed in the recipe, adding whipping cream makes for a fluffier frosting which makes it just that much better!

(Typically I’ll be posting pictures of the good, the bad and the ugly, but the first failure and success weren’t documented.)