Christmas Flavors: Gingerbread and Red Velvet.

A family friend ordered some cupcakes for an office Christmas party, requesting Red Velvet and another flavor. I couldn’t help myself when I chose my Gingerbread cupcake recipe I’ve been waiting to use again since last Christmas!

Gingerbread Cupcakes
-makes about 24 cupcakes

2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup unsulphered molasses
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups, and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light. Beat in the brown sugar until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in the eggs.
4. Fill the cupcake papers three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cupcakes cool a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

And next I used my simple Red Velvet recipe...

Red Velvet Cupcakes
-makes about 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
3. Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.

And for the decorations, I used a Wilton Candy Mold of Christmas light bulbs. I melted each color down in separate little bowls, then I piped all of the chocolate bases first. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Then pipe the rest of your colors and refrigerate for about 10 minutes when finished. The chocolates should easily pop out of the molds.

And for my Christmas tree stars I made a quick batch of royal icing. I mean a really small, quick batch.

Royal Icing
-very small amount

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon meringue powder
1-2 teaspoons of water

1. Sift powered sugar and meringue powder, don’t skip this step! Or your royal icing will be clumpy.
2. Add water a couple drops at a time, mixing by hand, until desired consistency is reached.
3. Pipe decorations onto parchment paper, allowing enough time for them to dry before peeling them off. These stars took about 25-30 minutes, but remember the bigger the design, the longer it will take to dry!

I know this is not a very good picture, but its the only one I got of my cute little stars!

On to the cream cheese frosting. Oh how I love cream cheese.

I adapted this easy recipe from a couple different sources, mainly I Am Baker. Love this site, she makes the cutest stuff.

The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting
-enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

8 oz (one package) cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Sift powdered sugar, this is very important! We don’t want grainy, clumpy frosting!
2. Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until combined and fluffy.
3. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, then add extracts. Also, make sure you refrigerate this frosting if not using right away, it likes to melt if it gets too warm!

Hope you guys love these recipes.

Merry Christmas!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes!

Again, I am so sorry it has been so long since my last update. I have been finishing up my last semester in pastry school! Busy busy!

A few weeks ago when it was starting to get nice and cold outside, these cupcakes popped into my head. I was thinking hot chocolate + peppermint schnapps.....and whipped cream! Oh so good.

So here is what I did.

Malted Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 20

3/4 cup Ovaltine
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup Peppermint Schnapps

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together Ovaltine, cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and schnapps; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Mix it up.

And for the frosting...I imagined the perfect cup of hot cocoa topped with marshmallows AND whipped cream. Oh yes.

EASY Marshmallow Whipped Cream

1 pint marshmallow cream
1/4 cup butter
1 pint whipping cream
1 tablespoon Peppermint Schnapps
2 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix

1. Whip the whipping cream, vanilla pudding powder, and add schnapps.
2. Blend the softened butter into the marshmallow cream. Fold into the whipped cream.
*For plain frosting, substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla for the Peppermint Schnapps.

And to garnish I just crushed up some classic peppermint candy canes and sprinkled them on top! Be careful though, if letting these cupcakes sit overnight, refrigeration is a good idea. But if serving within a few hours, the gelatin in the pudding mix will allow them to hold just fine. Also, wait until serving to sprinkle on candy pieces, because they will dissolve if left overnight.

Happy Holidays!

The boy crushin up the candy canes, haha.

Have a cup =]

<3hollicakes