Banana Spice Cupcakes!



Okay here’s the deal guys. So usually I find already written recipes and change them up a bit to make them my own. But today is a very special day.

I wrote my OWN recipe. Not just switched one or two ingredients out. I guess this means I’m a big girl all grown up and about to finish Pastry School =]

Speaking of Pastry School, this is my last semester at OCC and then I will finally have my Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts =]

Pretty freakin’ excited. Another sweet development is that I’m currently interning at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach in their Pastry Kitchen! So far so good, I can’t wait to post some pictures!

Anyways, back to my cupcakes. MY cupcakes. Wow that feels pretty good to say.

Here is the recipe...

Banana Spice Cupcakes
-makes about 30-32

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cloves
1 stick plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl.
2. Cream butter and both sugars in mixer. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix applesauce and bananas together in a bowl, making sure there are no banana chunks in the mixture.
3. Alternate adding applesauce mixture and flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.
4. Fill lined baking cups to 3/4 and bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Dry ingredients.



Butter and sugars mixing it up.



Mash up those bananas. Mine weren’t as ripe as they should have been but it still turned out delicious!



Found these cute fall liners at Michael’s.



Everything you’ll need for the buttercream.




Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Buttercream

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
12 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth in electric mixer.
2. Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy.


Mmmm!



The house smelled like cinnamony-fall-like goodness.



I just sprinkled some cinnamon and put some banana chips I bought at Trader Joe’s on top! But be careful if you put the chips on right away they will get soggy in a couple hours!




I hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do!

<3holli Read More...
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Birthday Cupcakes and Some Sweet Progress.




Friday was a very special day.

I had a simple and fun cupcake order. AND my business cards FINALLY came in the mail! My first ever business cards. So freakin’ excited. =]

My amazing and talented boyfriend designed the cards and I absolutely LOVE them!

What do you think? Cute, huh?

Anyways! Back to the cupcakes. Simply Vanilla.



I rolled out some pink fondant and used a mini flower cookie cutter! Then I brushed them with some luster dust. I actually used the end of the paintbrush to get the little indentations in the middles of the flowers.



Hm so it seems like every time I bake I end up forgetting to take pictures at a certain point. And this time it is the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. But I’ve made vanilla cupcakes and buttercream and documented it before! You guys should be fine...right?

I hope so. Well here’s the finished product...Not sure how I feel about this green background though, hmmm.



If anyone in the Orange County Area would like to order cupcakes, CALL ME! =]




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Hi-Top Cupcakes, Inspired by Bakerella.



I was laying on my bed relaxing and browsing some of my favorite baking blogs when I saw these beautiful cupcakes...

Hi-Top Cupcakes...

Thank you so much Bakerella, these were amazing.

In Martha Stewart’s version of these cupcakes she uses a regular milk chocolate cupcake recipe. Oh no, that’s just not me. If I do chocolate, I REALLY do chocolate. You’ll see what I mean in the recipe.

EXTRA Chocolatey Cupcakes
-makes about 20-22

3/4 cup unsweetened DARK chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
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 warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2.Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add chocolate chips. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
3.Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20-25 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Mine baked for a little over 25 minutes, and were still very moist! You can probably tell I’m obsessed with moist cupcakes.




Now the Marshmallow Frosting is where many struggle, including me.

See, I have this beautiful Tiffany blue Kitchenaid stand mixer that I used almost everyday. But this frosting recipe requires that you mix AND double boil at the same time...one of the only things my cute little mixer can’t do. So I had to bust out the old hand held mixer from about 1995, ha. And mix. And mix. Holding the mixer for 15 minutes. You can see where I’m going with this....

Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
-makes enough for about 10 cupcakes (I doubled it)

1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1.In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
2. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160 degrees.on a candy thermometer.
3. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting thickens.

Mine took more like 15 minutes, and I didn’t use the candy thermometer, I just mixed until it reached the right consistency, AKA stiff peaks.

Now before you dip your cupcakes, you wanna make sure they are chilled! Because if they aren’t, the frosting might melt right off the top into your chocolate. I’m very excited to say that none of mine melted! =]

Over the double boiler. Oh make sure your cord doesn’t touch the burner, haha.



Not so great of a picture, but the only one I got of the finished frosting!



This was so fun to pipe. But my frosting was still a little warm so it didn’t pipe as high as I would’ve liked, oh well!



Melt yo chocolate, Bakerella suggested using an old easter egg dying cup. Exactly what I did.

Dipping Chocolate
-makes enough for about 15 or so cupcakes, double or 1 1/2 it for 24 cupcakes.

2 cups chopped (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

1. Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. 2. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.

Dip your cupcakes! I didn’t end up with any dipping action shots, bummer!



And tada! Done!



Amazingly delicious.






Enjoy!

<3holli

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A Night in the City: Sweet 16



These cupcakes were so much fun to make. Especially the fondant purses and shoes...So freakin cute.

So this order was for a good friend’s sister, none other than her sweet 16! The theme being “night in the city” with cheetah and zebra print in hot pink and teal!

Here is how it all went down...



In the oven!



I spent a good amount of time cutting out circles, so worth it though =]
And this is the only pic I got of the stencils I used for the shoes and purses..



60 cupcakes total, plus extra for the fam to munch on.



Birthday toppers finished! J for Jenna and M for Maddie!



Opposite colors!



My new johnny cupcakes shirt matches the frosting! Love it.




The cupcake flavors were Chocolate and Vanilla, with Swiss Meringue Buttercream! This is probably my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe because it is SO good and super easy.

Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 24

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used half regular cocoa, half dark chocolate cocoa)
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 warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2.Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; 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 one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


My vanilla cupcake recipe is featured a few posts back for the Surfboard Cupcakes, and the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe as well!

So I totally failed at taking pictures of the making of the fondant purses and shoes...I’m sorry!

But basically all I did was color the fondant, roll it out, printed a stencil (see a few pictures up). Then I cut out a shoe and a purse from each, and used an exacto knife to cut each one out of the fondant! I used an edible black marker to make the zebra stripes! I wish I would have taken pictures, I even had the brother of the birthday girl cutting out purses =] haha.




I also used hot pink and teal edible glitter on these cupcakes, but it is hard to see in photos!




Happy Sweet 16 Jenna!

<3hollicakes Read More...
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Pineapple Mango Cupcakes



Time for the last fruit cupcakes of the summer! After this its all of my fall favorites like sweet potato and pumpkin cupcakes =]

So I ended up with a last minute cupcake order, flavor of my choice!

It most certainly had to be these Pineapple Mango Cupcakes from Bakerella.

I pureed a can of pineapple, there’s a first time for everything!



Since whole mangos are pretty expensive, I figured these would work!



Out of the oven!



Pineapple Cupcakes
-makes 24

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained and pureed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tray with 24 paper liners.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer for several minutes. Add the eggs one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in three additions with the milk in two additions (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour) Mix until combined with each addition
5. Add the pineapple and mix until combined.
6. Fill cups about 2/3 full and bake for about 15 minutes. (Mine took 25 minutes.)


Mango Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 - 3/4 cup pureed mango

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.
4. Add mango puree to taste and beat until combined.




Quote from my mom, “The taste of these cupcakes made me feel like I was instantly in Hawaii.”




<3hollicakes
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Surfboard Cupcakes!



So this past Labor Day weekend was a busy weekend for me!

A good friend I used to work with ordered 24 surf-themed cupcakes for her cousin’s 16th birthday. There were a couple of different themes I could have picked from, but I went with beach/surfing since summer is almost over!

I heard the birthday girl was a fan of the color “Tiffany Box Blue” so I couldn’t resist these cute liners.



All my ingredients, including the Macbook and the vanilla extract I bought when I was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas!



Dry ingredients combined.



And wet ingredients combined.



Ready for the oven!




Vanilla Cupcakes
-makes 30

1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. (Mine ended up baking for 30 minutes.)


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.


I added some Wilton gel food coloring in Teal to my frosting.



What would I do without my boyfriend? Not have sweet decorating shots, duh.



Last one!



Where did I get these adorable surfboards you ask? At ShopBakersNook.com, you can find the surfboards HERE.



I LOVE my new cake stand, thank you Crate and Barrel =]



It is hard to see in photos, but I actually sprinkled each one of these cupcakes with hot pink edible glitter!



Boxed up and ready to go!





More yummy treats coming soon.

<3hollicakes Read More...
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Labor Day Burgers & Fries.



I am SO excited to be writing this post!

Yesterday I was sitting out by the pool with my family and the boyfriend, enjoying our Labor Day weekend. After a couple hours of sun, my labor-free weekend was about to end! Dylan and I decided we were making burgers and fries, Bakerella style =]

So we went to the store and bought 5 things; yellow cake mix, brownie mix, sugar cookie mix, white frosting, and sesame seeds.



Easy enough right?

Bake cupcakes and brownies.



For the french fries; roll out sugar cookie dough. I used a pizza cutter on my fries, sprinkled them with sugar and bake!



Mmmm!



Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the brownies, remove liners from cooled cupcakes, and cut them in half!



Color your frosting red, yellow and green for the ketchup, mustard and lettuce!



Wow these pictures aren’t bad for being taken on an Iphone.



Custom french fry holder and picnic-style tray templates can be found at Bakerella!



best burgers ever.



Sliders anyone?








Speaking of Bakerella, I am so excited because her Cake Pops book is finally out!!



I can’t wait to buy it.

And if anyone is in the Orange County area on October 11 Bakerella will be at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa at William Sonoma for a book signing!

I will see you there, cupcake lovers.

<3hollicakes

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Frosted Review Part 2



It was a beautiful, hot summer day. The perfect type of day for some ice cream. And cupcakes.

So me and the boyfriend took a drive to Frosted Cupcakery in Long Beach to try an ice cream cupcake!



The cupcakes in the case looked so good when we walked in I couldn’t resist getting one!

Cute little test tubes with sprinkles in them.



Red Velvet cupcake with vanilla ice cream.



About to dig in. The little bag has 3 “pupcakes” made specially for dogs =]



Pretty good!



The boyfriend with his cup of milk, so cute.



We also picked out a Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake and a Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake



I brought both of these cupcakes home but didn’t end up getting to try either of them, sad face!

Oh well maybe next time!

Anyways, back to the ice cream cupcake review...

Red Velvet...I had to. It was a good cupcake, but I think it would have been better with some cake batter ice cream! The cake was a little bit dense and hard, I would have almost rather had a soft and moist cupcake with a scoop of ice cream next to it. Overall, not bad but not the best.


Until next time cupcake lovers.

<3holli Read More...
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