Mint Chocolate Cupcakes


Lately I’ve been obsessed with Martha Stewart Cupcakes – the best little cupcake cookbook I own.

I flipped through and found this little gem – mint chocolate cupcakes! While I appreciate all the work Martha put in on the mint chocolate leaves and the mint butter cream, I decided to cut down my work and make my own variations.

For the cupcake base, I followed Martha’s directions, but for the icing:
Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • – Icing Sugar
  • – Mint extract (in place of vanilla extract)

Basically just use your basic icing recipe! I found this worked really well and still made a delicious, minty icing.

For decorations, I just threw a mint leaf on there! Still edible, and if I do say so myself, still adorable!

 
Enjoy!

Personal Cupcake Carrier – One at a Time!

I finally got a chance to use my personal cupcake carrier yesterday, and was so impressed with it!


I actually picked this little beauty up at Dollarama, making it the cheapest way to protect your single cupcake, and perfect if you’re bringing one cupcake for a friend, (or one for your lunch!).


I just tucked this little beauty upright in my purse, and the integrity of the cupcake lasted all day!

Did you notice the new Chocolate Mint Cupcakes? Blog post to follow!

Sawyer, my famous kitty!

Cute Overload

This way or thatta way!

Every weech way!


No way, Susan G.! Yes way and she says, “Sawyer is my new rescue kitten from the Toronto Cat Rescue – he looks peaceful in this picture, but in truth he’s a bit wild (but in the sweetest way!)”

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White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

It’s SUMMER!

Having just celebrated the most summery holiday in Canada (yep, Canada Day), I decided to make some summery cupcakes – white chocolate with raspberry buttercream icing.

Here is the result:

The MOST EXCITING thing about these cupcakes is that color is all natural, from the raspberry sauce!

I got the recipe for the sauce from Making Life Delicious, though I modified it slightly (for one, I doubled it, which made enough for 24 cupcakes + left overs, I didn’t use any vanilla, and I probably used 12 cups of icing sugar, so make sure you have an extra bag handy!).

The cupcakes themselves I made by using a box of white cake mix, following the directions and adding one bag of melted (and then cooled) white chocolate chips.

The result was delicious! The icing was really flavorful and tart, while the sweet cupcakes balanced it perfectly. The icing may have been a lot ofwork, but it was completely worth it!



Enjoy.

P.S. The other exciting thing that happened this long weekend, I finally opened my kitchenaid mixer! Post to come…

 

Carrot Cupcakes

I’ve always loved carrot cake – but as a passionate anti-raisin-ist, it’s always risky to buy it! So I decided to make carrot cupcakes for my co-workers birthday (Happy Birthday Lorraine!).

As a first timer, I used a trusty Martha Stewart recipe and made very few modifications. (modifications are bold and italicized – I also doubled the recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (from about 6 medium carrots) I used beautiful organic carrots that were the perfect shade of orange!

Frosting:

  • 2 packages (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Decorations:

  • 1 package of ripe blackberries
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup super fine (or “easy dissolving”) sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two 12-cup standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice; set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture mixing until well combined. Divide among muffin tin. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. To frost: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with your favorite tip (I used Wilton 1M).
  5. While cupcakes were baking (or cooling) sugar the blackberries. Dip each in egg white, and lay to dry on parchment paper. Once they are tacky (about 5 minutes) sprinkle with sugar. Repeat the process until some of the sugar remains dry upon application. Top cupcakes with these.


The result was moist, delicious cupcakes, which in all honesty could have been a little more carrot-y. While this time I grated the carrots by hand using a metal cheese grater, next time I would do that to half (some nice bigger carrot pieces) and food process the other half to get more of a carrot mush. I think this would give the cupcakes a more carrot-y taste and maybe make them a bit more moist as well (note: they were nice and moist, but with carrot cake, it can never be too moist!).

A few handy tips for this recipe:

  1. You don’t need an electric mixer! Stir these by hand and fold in the carrots, which means less mess!
  2. Make sure you bake for long enough – a carrot cake that is slightly raw in the middle will collapse
  3. The batter is thick enough, so you can use an ice cream scoop to get it into the cups! Very convenient
  4. I wish I had thought to flatten the top of the batter a bit before baking – since I didn’t, I had some lumpy cupcake (hence the excess icing!)

Enjoy!

Happy Transit of Venus! (ToV)

If you weren’t already aware, today is The Transit of Venus – in summary, Venus took a quick trip across the sun at about 6:08pm, while thousands of people (including tons of astronomers) watched on! This is the last transit of the century – so if you missed it, well… at least there are pictures!

In order to celebrate this special event (which was dear to many at my office), I decided to make some transit of Venus cupcakes!

To make the suns, I used yellow food colouring and yellow paper liners. The suns rays were made out of marshmallows, cut in half and shaken in a container with yellow sprinkles (I got this tip courtesy of my Hello Cupcake iPad app). I originally had planned to make Venus cupcakes as well, but after googling transit images, I realized a chocolate chip would suffice!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough… CUPCAKES!

On my search to try something NEW for my roommate’s birthday, I searched Pinterest for cupcakes and discovered these!

While all the blogs I searched made both the cupcakes and the dough from scratch, I decided to cheat due to time constraints and use pre-made.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One box French Vanilla cake mix
  • One tube chocolate chip cookie dough
  • One container milk chocolate frosting

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut your tube of cookie dough in half. Make 24 balls of cookie dough with half of the dough – and freeze for 20+ minutes. Make 24 balls with the other half, and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes, until tiny cookie toppers are complete

2. Mix cake mix as per the box directions. Before putting the cupcakes in the oven, drop a frozen cookie dough ball in the centre of each. Cook for the allotted time.

3. Decorate with a swirl of chocolate icing and top with a tiny cookie. Enjoy!

So this version was SO easy! While it was delicious, I definitely will try it again from scratch.

Another GREAT thing I tried was filling the cupcake cups with a zip lock bag instead of a spoon. I filled the zip lock bag with the batter, and chopped a small hole in the corner of the bag. This would have been easier with a thicker batter, but it was still pretty easy! I got this tip from the “Hello Cupcake!” App I was recently given! It’s full of cute easy tips and adorable decorations.

Enjoy!

Photos courtesy of Dishan W.