Breakfast Cupcakes 2.0



So yesterday was my mom’s best friend Sheila’s birthday and a few months back she requested that I make Breakfast Cupcakes as her birthday present. The last time I made any sort of breakfast cupcakes was the weekend of my 21st birthday, which came out slightly less than perfect, hence the occasion hah.

BUT, this time I was ready. I knew I wanted to switch it up and instead of a buttermilk cupcake, something super chocolatey. I tried out a new recipe that includes a couple ounces of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate in the batter! Mmmm. Hopefully you can see where this is going.

I decided to give the Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream another shot, leaving out the maple extract this time in hopes that it wouldn’t end up as watery. Success!! Sweet, sweet success.

And instead of just normal bacon on top, I used Dylan’s Cinnamon Bacon Secret Recipe! Actually, he used his secret recipe. But I’m sure I could figure it out if i tried =]

So SO good! I know it sounds weird, but just think sweet and salty. Like popcorn and M&M’s at the movies.

They look almost like brownie cupcakes!




Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes 12

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.
3. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine
4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogenous and thick.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.






Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream
-makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes + a little extra

1 cup light brown sugar
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, then salt and beat until smooth.


Cinnamon Bacon!



Finished!



I’m a fan of polka dots. And cupcakes.



Happy Birthday Sheila!

<3hollicakes
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Frostings Cupcakes Review!

I took the trip up to Lake Forest, CA to Frostings Cupcakes last week. I was half going to get cupcakes, half going to see my friend Harmony from baking school who was lucky enough to get a job there!



The shopping center that it is located in is huge! It’s recently remodeled and really nice looking, tons of trees and plants. As well as cupcakes, they had a ton of cute merchandise including shirts, sweatpants, coffee mugs, and cupcake aprons! Luckily when I went they were having a 50% off sale, so I couldn’t resist getting a shirt =] I didn’t end up taking a picture of it, but it says Frostings Cupcake University in pink!

The cupcake flavors I ended up getting were Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream, and Night and Day.




The Red Velvet was delicious! It was the perfect color too, dark and chocolatey with a hint of red. The cake was very moist, paired with the cream cheese frosting = perfect!

The Night and Day cupcake was good, but a little bit less moist than the Red Velvet. And I definitely prefer the cream cheese frosting over the vanilla buttercream. It wasn’t bad, but the cream cheese was soooo good! I think I’m just a sucker for cheese in general.

Unfortunately I didn’t end up trying any of the Cookies and Cream, instead I gave it to one of the bffs Kellen! It looks VERY good though! I”ll just have to go back very soon to try some more flavors.




Frostings Cupcakes is for sure going on my list for favorite bakeries! Make sure you check them out here;



23624 El Toro Road, Suite D
Lake Forest, CA 92630






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Día de los Muertos Cupcakes



aka, Day of the Dead Cupcakes.

In July? I know what you’re thinking. You see, a few days after I made wedding cupcakes for Janine Jarman, she called me back and asked if I could make some Day of the Dead themed cupcakes for a girlfriend’s bridal shower. I had never done anything using sugar skulls, but I was too excited for the challenge to say no =]

So I had about 2 weeks to come up with an idea for these cupcakes, the specifications were; 20 red velvet, 20 marble, sugar skulls on top, red purple and pink as main colors.

I did some research online and found that most sugar skulls are made from molds. I found a Day of the Dead themed mold that featured 5 different skull faces that were the perfect size to put on top of a cupcake. Ordered and in the mail.

Next I couldn’t decide what I wanted to decorate these sugar skulls with. Royal icing? Edible food markers? A combination of both? Of course I chose both! But I didn’t have any edible food markers on hand so....ordered those as well. Figured I’d need them eventually anyways!

My deadline was Sunday July 11, and by that Tuesday all my supplies came in the mail. I may or may not be obsessed with ordering new baking supplies online =]

I knew that these cupcakes we going to take longer than your average cupcake order, so Dylan and I started on Thursday. We actually ditched our Economics class that night to stay home and make sugar skulls, hahah. My baking teacher would be proud, my econ teacher....not so much. So that night we managed to create exactly 40 sugar skulls, it took about 4 hours. Let them dry/harden overnight.

Sugar Skull Recipe

2 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg white from an extra large egg, or 2 from small eggs
1 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cornstarch, about a half cup, for powdering surface

Mix all ingredients together until a sandy dough is formed. In order to get 40 sugar skulls, I had to make this recipe 5 times. And before putting the dough mixture into the molds, make sure to dip them in cornstarch and sprinkle a good coat of cornstarch on the mold as well. They can be VERY sticky.

Oh Friday. Luckily I worked a day shift at my other job so I had all night to work on decorating the sugar skulls. Dylan my wonderful assistant came over and we worked for 4 more hours hand decorating these skulls with royal icing and edible markers.

The beginning.



The sugar skulls actually stuck to these platters a little bit once they dried, but no need to panic, mini offset spatula to the rescue! You can see the remenents of the stuck skulls in the picture below.



Workin hard with the boy, my mom insisted on a picture while making dinner.



Finally finished!



So I made the Red Velvet cupcakes before work that Saturday, and I totally forgot to take any pictures of them! What can I say, I love to sleep in. But the Marble cupcakes were made after work when I was much more awake, hence the photo edidence of them...



My favorite swirl.




Marble Cupcakes
-Makes 16 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk and cream.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until combined.

To make chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl. Stir into reserved 1 cup batter.

Fill prepared cups with alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each three-quarters full. Run the tip of a paring knife or wooden skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to make swirls. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are golden and a cake tester (i.e. toothpick) inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.


For this recipe I used a 1½ batch in order to get 24 cupcakes.



Red Velvet Cupcakes
-makes 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color (I added a little extra to get a darker red color)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.




*Note on the Red Velvet Cupcakes. I’ve been using this recipe for a while now, and have been experimenting with it in order to create the perfect red velvet cupcake! My dilemma is that I want my red velvet cupcakes to be a deep red with a hint of brown, BUT this recipe has been giving me quite the opposite, icky brown colored cupcakes with a hint of red. I originally didn’t want to resort to adding more red food coloring, because it is known to make food taste bitter if too much is used. However, I think I finally found my perfect recipe for red velvet which does include a little extra red food coloring! So keep an eye out for my new recipe coming up in the next few weeks!





Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
-makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.




Love the mustache.















Boxed up and ready to go!










Although these cupcakes took a very long time to complete, it was definitely worth it. I just might have to recreate these when October rolls around...


<3hollicakes
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4th of July Fusion.



Last 4th of July I went with a flag cupcake cake, so I knew this year I’d have to step it up and not do the same thing. I started thinking about red and white stripes and fireworks....

I decided on layers of red and white cake, tinted blue buttercream topped with sprinkles, strawberries and cute firework toppers.



I made simple white cake and red velvet cake batters, put them into piping bags, then alternated thin layers of each until the liners were about 2/3 full.



Wana bite of this?




And if you had to work on the 4th of July like I did, I feel your pain. So I brought some of these cupcakes to work, and they were gone within an hour! =]




<3hollicakes
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My First Wedding Cupcakes!




Last weekend I was lucky enough to be able to make cupcakes for a wedding! A friend from high school ordered them for her sister Janine Jarman’s wedding, who you may have seen on the TV show Shear Genius a few years back. A dozen red velvet and a dozen lemon cupcakes. The wedding colors/theme I had to work with were mint green, peach, and pastel blue with a vintage-like feel.

Simple enough right? I decided to stick with my favorite frosting, a swiss meringue buttercream for both. Tinted light peach for the red velvet and an elegant white for the lemon cupcakes. I found some pearlized sugar sprinkles in ivory and mint green that matched perfect with the theme! BUT, there was still something missing. Back to the cake supply store I go...... And it was there I found what I was looking for; light yellow mini frosting roses to top off the cupcakes!

Being the procrastinator that I am, I left myself with only half a day to bake, decorate, photograph and box up these cupcakes. So thank you to my boyfriend/assistant for remembering to take these pictures =]




Red velvet cake batter in the mixer!



I don’t know why but I LOVE this picture. Maybe because it’s my lil’ KitchenAid, or maybe because I can see my favorite color blue reflecting in the metal, or because red velvet cupcakes are being made. Who knows, I just know I love it.



These came out PERFECTLY rounded, I was so stoked.




Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color (I added a little extra to get a darker red color)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Hello beautiful cupcakes!






Lemon Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla.

Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.





Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.





Mmm lemon!



















Thank you so much to my friend Corie for thinking of me when ordering cupcakes! And congratulations to Matt and Janine! Check out
A Shear Genius Wedding in People Magazine!

<3hollicakes
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