Wizard of Oz Cupcakes!



“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” -The Wizard of Oz


A friend of mine at work was having her graduation from college this past week, and requested some Wizard of Oz Cupcakes! They were technically supposed to be for her birthday in March, but I was ridiculously busy at the time and unfortunately had to postpone =[ BUT, my schedule has finally slowed down so I decided it was definitely time. So back in March I ended up ordering these adorable handmade Wizard of Oz cupcake toppers from Etsy. The seller’s store is called Cupcakes and Dragonflies, you can find it HERE!

The requested cupcake flavor was chocolate, so I used a Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcake recipe!

Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes
makes about 30

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
3. 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 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

So I was super into baking and decorating that I didn’t end up taking very many pictures of the process!



Somewhere Over the Rainbow.



Adorable toppers!




For the frosting I tinted a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream yellow and green! Here is the recipe.

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.


So after your cupcakes are baked and frosting whipped up, the fun part starts! For the yellow brick roads I started by applying a really smooth coat of the yellow buttercream to one half of the cupcakes with a mini offset spatula. Then I took a toothpick and outlined what I wanted the “road” to look like. You can probably skip that step, but I’m much better at piping straight lines when I have some sort of a template. Next, I dyed some frosting gray, filled up my piping bag fitted with a very small round tip and filled in the road. Stick the cupcake toppers in and you’re done!

The rainbows where a little bit more involved, I started by coating the cupcakes with frosting tinted green. Then I measured out the size I wanted the sour belt rainbows to be, and cut out the total number needed. Next I cut a bunch of mini marshmallows in half, aka the clouds. And the next step is just combining the rainbow and the clouds together on top of the cupcake! You can make the rainbow as tall or short as you want, but wider is better because they stand up better. Then you attach the marshmallows, sticky side down, on either side of the rainbow to secure it! Add some red sprinkles for a poppy field and you are done!


Happy baking my loves.
<3hollicakes



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Carrot Cupcakes&Cream Cheese Frosting!



So the father of one of my best friend’s ordered 30 carrot cupcakes this past week for a birthday party, and even though it’s nearly finals week at school, I could not turn it down! I was so excited to actually get paid for all my hard work! The requested theme was bold colors and glitter. I made a double batch so there would be leftovers for my family&friends to try! A little over 2 pounds of freshly grated carrots went into these cupcakes, mmm!

Carrot Cupcakes
(makes about 24)

1 pound carrots, finely grated (I used a food processor)
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved (I used 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead)
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla-bean seeds(or extract), and raisins. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.
2. Divide batter among liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 23 to 28 minutes, rotating tins halfway through. Transfer tins to racks to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from tins; let cool completely.

The flour mixture.



The wet ingredient mixture, minus the carrots.



2lbs of carrots!



ready for the oven...



done! just looking at this picture makes me hungry.



the decorating process.



finished product =]








And for the frosting I used a classic cream cheese recipe, I also made a double batch.

Cream Cheese Frosting

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

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until combined. Continue to beat while adding confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add vanilla, and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.


I hope you guys enjoyed my new style of cupcake photography, more to come soon I promise!




<3hollicakes

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The Perfect Circle Cupcakery

Yay for new cupcake reviews! My boyfriend and I were on our way to Disneyland and decided to make a stop in Orange, CA to visit The Perfect Circle Cupcakery! This was by far the most adorable bakery I’ve ever been to, decorated in all teal, black and white. The cupcakes were $3 each, and they also offer a variety of vintage sodas and coffee. Although it said “No Photo Shoots” on the door (which I thought was very strange) I was able to sneak some photos!






ridiculously cute, right?



the boyfriend with cupcake goodies.



with my cupcakes!






The Queen - Sourthen Light Cocoa Cake with rich Cream Cheese Frosting lightly dusted with Red Velvet Cake.



Tuxedo - Valrhona Dark Chocolate Cake with rich Vanilla Buttercream Frosting covered in bittersweet chocolate chips.



Snickerdoodle - Cinnamon Swirled Vanilla Cake with rich Vanilla Buttercream and dusted with cinnamon sugar.




My Review
The Queen - Red Velvet is my absolute favorite, so I couldn’t pass this one up. The cake was very moist and the frosting had the perfect amount of cream cheese flavor. These cupcakes were a little bit larger than your average cupcake, and I was happy to find that they had a good amount of frosting, not too much though!

Tuxedo - So I sorta convinced my boyfriend to pick this one so I could try a bite of it =] The dark chocolate cake was amazing! The vanilla frosting was good, but not anything too special. I would have LOVED it if this cupcake had the cream cheese frosting that the red velvet had! Mmm!

Snickerdoodle - We were so ridiculously full from lunch and a cupcake each that we only ended up trying a bite or two of this one. It was good, a little bit dryer than the chocolate and red velvet. It was the same vanilla frosting, but the cake was definitely better. But then again I’m such a chocolate lover my reviews on non-chocolate cupcakes may be a little harsh! Since this was a seasonal flavor I really wanted to try it anyways! Ha.

www.tpccupckery.com



Or if you would like to visit here is the address;
Perfect Circle Cupcakery
165 N. Glassell
Orange, CA

Until next time my cupcake lovers,
<3holli


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Chocolate + Raspberries




So I was finally able to visit French’s Bakery in Costa Mesa, and it was there I was inspired to make cupcakes with some combination of chocolate and raspberries. I knew I wanted chocolate cake, but couldn’t decide on a frosting. So I solved this problem by doubling the cupcake batch to make 36, then using 2 different frostings! Half I frosted with White Chocolate Raspberry and the Other half with Dark Chocolate Fudge. The chocolate cake recipe I used was so-so, ended up having brownie-ish textured cupcakes. BUT I will share both of the frosting recipes because they were both yummy!

The White Chocolate Raspberry frosting can be found HERE or read below!



White Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Makes 2 cups (enough for about 18 cupcakes)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup melted white chocolate
¼ tsp raspberry extract
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together confectioners’ sugar, butter, melted chocolate, raspberry and vanilla extracts, and salt until smooth.
2. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve or for up to 8 hours.






Next is the Dark Chocolate Fudge frosting, so creamy and rich.



Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2¼ cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
2. Beat in the cocoa mixture. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.



Happy Baking!
<3holli Read More...
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Peanut Butter Mousse-Filled Cupcakes



These cupcakes were made specially for my boyfriend’s best friend’s 21st birthday! He too, is a peanut butter chocolate lover. So I used a devil’s food cupcake recipe with a peanut butter mousse filling! Another awesome thing about these cupcakes is that I got to use this sweet pan for the first time. It has a rack that hooks on to the top and creates little holes to put filling in! So amazing.



Devil’s Food Cupcakes
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. In a bowl, stir baking soda into the boiling water; stir this mixture into chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until the mixture is light and pale yellow in color. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add flour and buttermilk, alternating between small amounts of each, and blend well.
Add the melted chocolate and vanilla to the batter, and stir well. Pour the batter into the paper cups, and bake until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake, about 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the oven, and allow them to cool briefly in the muffin tin before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Ice, and serve.







For the Peanut Butter Mousse I used a very simple recipe!

Peanut Butter Mousse
1 Pkg. jello Cheesecake flavored pudding mix
1 cup creamy Peanut Butter
1 small container cool whip
1 1/4-1 1/2 cup milk

Directions:
Beat jello mix, peanut butter and 1 1/4 cup (reserve 1/4 cup if mixture is too thick) in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Fold in about 1/2 of the small container of cool whip (more or less depending on desired consistency) and refrigerate for 1 hour.




Happy Birthday Sam! Read More...
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