Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. I love pretty much anything with coffee in it especially desserts. So when I saw this recipe for Tiramisu cupcakes I though oooh yummy and oooh easier than the real thing. Um not really. This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book.
First off the recipe is different in the book than it is on her video online. If I had followed her video I would have done fewer steps. It is a little labor intensive with the three steps of mixing the eggs and sugar, then heating, then beating again. I think I might tweak this recipe a little the next time I make it so its not as many steps.

Here they are ready for the oven. I am a dummy and made 24 when the recipe said in TINY print makes 18. Sooo mine were all a little smaller than I had wanted. I guess then its ok to eat two.

One of the steps was to scrape a vanilla bean into the milk mixture. So worth doing this step. You can see the little flecks of vanilla seed and the aroma is amazing. Tastes way better than adding liquid extract.

They were all nice and poofy in oven and flattened out and even sank in a little. I was worried considering I just got a NEW oven..

They get soaked with a coffee/marsala/sugar syrup. Marsala is an Italian dessert wine. I had a sip to taste it just to see what it was exactly. It's like port. But sweeter. I don't think I will be having a glass anytime soon. Maybe just making lots of Tiramisu with it

This perhaps was the best part of the cupcake. The mascarpone frosting. It was to DIE FOR yummy. Mascarpone, powdered sugar, whip cream and a little vanilla. It was so good we licked the bowl clean after I frosted the cupcakes. My husband even stopped to see if there was leftovers in the bowl. It was that good.

Dusted with a little cocoa powder just before serving and this is what it looks like in the inside after I took a bite!!

You can see that yummy coffee/marsala syrup soaked in.
These are on the top of my list to make again. But with a different recipe for the cake. Less steps so I can eat them faster!!

Tiramisu Cupcake Recipe
Copied exactly from Martha Stewart's Book, Cupcakes

Tiramisu Cupcakes


Makes 18
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 3 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Heat milk and vanilla-bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter until melted, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar. Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. With an electric mixer on high speed, whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted.
  3. Gently but thoroughly fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches; stir 1/2 cup batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
  5. To finish, brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee-marsala syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes. Dollop frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers. Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving.

Coffee Marsala Syrup


Makes enough for 18 cupcakes
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
  • 1 ounce marsala
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  1. Stir together coffee, marsala, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

Mascarpone Frosting


Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted


  1. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes

I am not sure if I don't know anyone who doesn't love the combo of chocolate and peanut butter. I mean is there anyone, with the exception of those with allergies, that would pass up a Reeses peanut butter cup? Hard to find I bet
So I found a recipe for a peanut butter cream filled cupcake and added my own twist to it.
First I started off with a yummy devils food cupcake

which flattened out nicely when they cooled
I then made the peanut butter cream and filled each cupcake. I piped just a blob into the cupcake. The peanut butter cream was the same recipe as the frosting minus the powdered sugar so it was easier to squeeze into the cupcakes without tearing them too much
I sort of had to squish the peanut butter cream back down with the back of the spoon since it was erupting out. I wanted LOTS of peanut butter inside

I then dipped the cupcakes in chocolate ganache. Just a basic chocolate and whip cream ganache but I used a little less cream so it was thicker and wouldn't run over the cupcakes too much. I just wanted a nice layer on top

Don't they look good already? And now for the grand finale...
The peanut butter frosting. I only added a little bit. They were already decadent enough
is your mouth watering yet? As I am writing this I wish I had some left!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Strawberry Limeade cupcakes

I was bummed when I moved to Portland and found out there wasn't a Sonic here. I have a deep love for their strawberry limeade drink. I could drink one everyday and be happy. I have tried making my own version and even added in vodka sometimes, but its just not the same. Also I am a fan of making a drink into a cupcake. Like my margarita cupcakes. So I decided on the strawberry limeade cupcake. I had some leftover lime cupcakes from the margarita ones. The frosting is my new go-to Martha Stewart's fluffy vanilla with a few tablespoons of freshly pureed strawberries added in. These really taste like the drink and probably would be even better with a Sonic strawberry limeade. I found out there finally is a Sonic here - well an hour away. I love Sonic but not really worth the drive. I will just have a cupcake instead!

Chocolate sour cream cupcakes

I had some sour cream that I had bought that was intended for a recipe that I ended up not using it in so instead of going to waste I decided to make cupcakes with it. I have heard that sour cream makes for a nice moist cupcake with a little bit richer flavor. Boy isn't that the truth. I am not normally a chocolate fan, well with the exception of a warm fresh out of the oven melty chocolate chip cookie, I am thinking I might be a chocolate fan now. These cupcakes are chocolaty, rich, dense with a little tang. And the fluffy vanilla frosting with chocolate sprinkles made these a fave on my list. I will make these again for sure.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

S'mores Cupcakes

You want s'more? How can I have some more when I haven't had any yet. OOOHH You mean...


If margarita cupcakes didn't scream SUMMER loud enough for ya then how about everyone's favorite by the campfire treat S'mores? That ooey gooey toasty maybe even slightly charred marshmallow over melting chocolate with that crunchy slightly sweet graham cracker that sandwiches it all together. I had been tossing around the idea of trying the s'mores cupcake after having seen several online and in cook books and after seeing the beautiful ones my friend Stephanie had made. This is my version. I took the graham cracker cupcake recipe from Cupcakes Galore and added my own twist. I had a nice chunk of Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate baked inside for that melty chocolate and my version of the marshmallow frosting. Sprinkled with a little graham cracker cumbs and another chunk of that yummy bittersweet chocolate. These weren't too sweet like the actual S'more can be but just right. I had first attempted the swiss meringue frosting that I had seen on one of my favorite blogs, How to Eat A Cupcake, but I failed miserably. It was my second time trying it. First was for the swiss meringue buttercream for a vanilla and chocolate malted cupcake I made. It flopped. And then for these. I couldn't ever get my meringue to hold those nice stiff peaks. So I basically made what was close to my homemade marshmallow recipe ( yes I make those every year at Christmas time! And they are a million times better than store bought). I got nice stiff peaks and they piped out beautifully. I had these in the fridge and a few days later I decided to try microwaving a few seconds to get the chocolate melty ( yes I took off the foil wrapper - not interested in a microwave lightning show and killing my microwave. I need it for reheating my coffee over and over). It was a great idea. 20 seconds later I was in ooey gooey marshmalloey chocolate heaven. For all of 4 bites. Just like an actual S'more.

Smore's Cupcakes Recipe
from Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman
makes 18 cupcakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers ( about 20 grahams)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips or chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Line muffin pan with 18 cupcake papers.
Mix flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt together and set aside
In and electric mixer cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Ad the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk and beat until just combined, don't over mix. 
Spoon batter into cupcake pan filling each cup 1/3 full, add in a few of the chocolate chips or chunks ( as much as you want) into the middle and then spoon more batter on top until each cup is about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean, or the cupcake springs back on top when lightly touched. Cool for 5 min in pan, take out of pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Marshmallow Frosting
aka 7 Minute Frosting


  • 1 1/2 cups caster ( extra fine) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homemade "goldfish" crackers

Being that I am an avid baker and love trying all kinds of fun recipes sweet and savory I decided to try to make my daughter a homemade goldfish style cracker. She loves her organic "cheerios" and is a cheese fiend already so why not try to make a nice cheesy cracker. I found a recipe online that seemed simple enough, not many ingredients, organic white whole wheat flour, organic extra sharp cheddar cheese, butter, water, salt, pepper. After processing the dough I chilled overnight. It was ROCK hard. So I let it sit out til it softened a little. Rolled it out with my silicon mat and new nonstick rolling pin ( which I LOVE) and cut out little shapes with my mini fondant flower and circle cutters

I then baked til nice and crispy - about 15 min or so at 350 deg

They are really tasty. Almost like the real thing. Has a nice cheesy aroma just like you get when you open a bag of cheddar goldfish. Wish I had a small fish cookie cutter! I think I will tweak the recipe a touch. Some were softer and some crunchier. But the most important part is that my baby girl shoves them in by the handful. I guess they are a winner!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Margarita Cupcakes

On a HOT summer day what is better than a margarita? How about a margarita cupcake. The thought of combining two of my most favorite things in the world into one delightful treat is mouth watering. Cake - I LOVE. Margaritas - I LOVE. Margarita Cupcake. Enough said.

There are many different margarita cupcake recipes on the internet. I took three different ones and came up with my own. I have made this recipe twice now with two different batters and two different frostings. Both are excellent and one is less time consuming than the other considering your base is a box mix instead of all from scratch. I am not usually a fan of box mixes. They just taste so.. well.. boxed. But with adding in other ingredients besides the suggested, water, oil/eggs, milk etc. you can make it taste from scratch. This was a white box mix with Bacardi margarita mix ( just thawed the can - didn't dilute) whole eggs, vanilla, lime zest and my favorite part TEQUILA. They came out light and spongy. The frosting is a tequila lime buttercream with lime zest and a little bit of green and yellow food coloring to give it that margarita look. Rimmed with green and yellow coarse sugar crystals to mimic the salt rimmed glass and a fresh lime slice. These were a hit with friends and a now hold a permanent place in my recipe file. Or should I say pile! I have updated this blog with both recipes.

 Margarita Cupcake Recipe 1
Margarita Cupcakes

1/4 cup lime juice ( or frozen margarita mix concentrate)
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
1 cup milk
3 egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp tequila
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, milk, egg whites oil , tequila, vanilla and sugar.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to lime mixture and stir until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins.
Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Tequila and Lime Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp milk
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tequila
2+ cups confectioners’ sugar
coarse sugar for “rims”

Cream together butter,milk, lime juice, tequila, and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Add in more sugar as needed to make frosting stiff, but spreadable.
Spread on cupcakes and roll the edges in a small amount of coarse, colored sugar (poured into a small bowl, so it’s easy to direct it.

 Margarita Cupcake Recipe 2
Recipe from Recipe Girl
This is the recipe I used for the cupcakes pictured in this blog. I have made these cupcakes several times now and have used different recipes. All come out pretty dang good!


9 ounces liquid Margarita mix (a little over a cup)
3 ounces tequila (a little less than 1/3 cup)
¾ ounce Grand Marnier
1 box white cake mix
3 large egg whites
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs lime zest
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), at room temperature
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lime zest
green food coloring, if desired
small lime slices for garnish, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. Prepare cupcakes: Whisk together margarita mix, tequila and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. Measure out 1¼ cups for the recipe; pour the rest on some ice and drink it while making the cupcakes.
3. In a large bowl, blend cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest and 1¼ cups of the margarita mix from step 1. Blend on low for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium and blend for two additional minutes. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
4. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners (about ¾ full). Bake for 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them to a rack to cool completely.
5. Prepare icing: Once cucpakes are completely cooled, prepare the icing. Place butter in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until butter is fluffy. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar, salt, lime juce, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar until the frosting is of a good spreading (or piping) consistency. Mix in a tiny amount of green food coloring or gel paste if you’d like the frosting to have a green tint. Ice cupcakes in whatever manner you prefer… spreading or piping the frosting. Use small lime slices as garnish.
Yield: About 24
Cooking Tips
*Don’t worry too much about exact measuring for the margarita mix/tequila/Grand Marnier. Just eyeball it and measure out the 1 1/4 cups that you’ll need for the recipe.
**If you just spread frosting on the cupcakes (rather than piping), you’ll probably have a bit of frosting leftover.
***If you prepare these a day before, it’s best to place them into a covered container and refrigerate them. Remove them to room temperature a couple of hours before serving. Of course, they’re best if eaten the day they’re made.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Spongebob Squarepants

A friend of mine asked me to make a Spongebob cake for her son's birthday. I made a sheet cake & covered it with buttercream frosting. I then made my own fondant using marshmallows & powdered sugar. Everyone enjoyed the cake & it was a lot of fun to make