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Local Beer & Baileys.

St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 1


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm pretty excited about this post because I decided to put a different spin on the traditional Guinness & Baileys cupcakes!

A little backstory - Ever since Dylan & I moved to Michigan we try to have date night every Friday. And there are so many awesome restaurant choices, we rarely eat at the same place twice. Except Latitude 42, Portage's first microbrewery.

We first walked in at about 7 o'clock on a Friday night a few weeks ago. It was packed and the wait was over an hour. We were a little surprised, because since we moved out of crowded SoCal, we haven't experienced too many long waits at restaurants. But there were 2 seats open at the bar and I was starving (as usual) so we took them.

One of the first things you notice is the size of the building, about half being the restaurant & half the brewery with large windows inside and out. As well as a long list of house made beers and specialty menu items using them, such as their Beer Cheese Soup & the Dark Chocolate Stout Cake for dessert.

You can also buy Latitude 42's beer to take home, in 32 or 64 ounce growlers. Which is exactly what I did. I decided on All Night Long, a stout beer brewed with Sulawesi (Indonesian coffee beans) and organic Ecuadorian cocao nibs. Sounds perfect for baking with right?


I made these Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with a ganache filling and a Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

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Want some recipes? Here we go...


Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
-made 33 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup DARK cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1/2 cup regular unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup stout beer
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, beer, milk, eggs & vanilla and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Expect batter to be thin.
3. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake cupcakes 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely before frosting. Brush tops of cupcakes with beer, if desired.


Ingredients ready to go.

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The dry ingredients.

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Add the wet and mix it up. Mr owl is supervising!

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While cooling, I brushed the tops of the cupcakes with more beer!

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Time for some filling!


Irish Cream Chocolate Ganache

2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips ( I used dark, but you can also use milk chocolate)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liquor

1. Heat milk and butter over medium heat on stove & bring to a light simmer.
2. Pour over chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is melted. Add Baileys & stir until smooth.
3. Refrigerate until ganache is thickened but still fairly soft, about one hour.


I used a piping bag & tip to fill my cupcakes, but you could also cut out cones and fill cupcakes that way as well.

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I filled them by counting to 4 and using even pressure for each cupcake.

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Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream
-made enough to generously frost 27 cupcakes

5 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liquor

1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla & Baileys, and beat just until combined.
4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes.


Whisking my egg whites and sugar.

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Lets frost those cupcakes!

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Beautiful Baileys Buttercream.

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Now for the drizzle...

Take what is left of the chocolate ganache and microwave for 10-20 seconds, stir to smooth it out.

I used a plastic squeeze bottle but a little ziplock bag with the corner snipped off will work just as well.

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Keep a steady hand while drizzling.

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Took some of these yummy cupcakes to mine & Dylan's combined birthday dinner at Latitude 42!

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St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 3



Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

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St. Patrick's Thin Mint Cupcakes

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Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Since there has been an excess of Girl Scout Cookies around lately, I decided to turn them into cupcakes for St. Patty's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is always an over celebrated holiday at my house, since my birthday is the day after! These cupcakes just might be making an appearance this weekend =]


Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 32-36

12 thin mint cupcakes, ground in food processor
1 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 cup AP flour
2 1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Place finely ground thin mints, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl with paddle attachment.
3. Mix on low speed.
4. In measuring cup mix together eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients with mixer on low speed. Mix until combined.
5. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool & frost!



Mint Buttercream

5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2-4 drops green food coloring

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth with paddle. Add 2-3 cups powdered sugar, depending on sweetness desired.
2. Add vanilla, peppermint extract & food coloring. Beat until smooth and creamy.


Thin mint dust!

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The secret ingredient in these cupcakes!

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The dry ingredients.

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Wet ingredients ready to go.

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Scooping time!

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Chocolate Glaze

8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter

1. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every 30-45 seconds.
2. Once melted, add corn syrup and stir until smooth.

To Dip Cupcakes: I put my frosted cupcakes in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before dipping them. Helps secure the frosting to the cupcake so it doesn't melt off when dipped into the warm chocolate.


Glaze ready for dipping!

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Enjoy the weekend & don't forget to wear green! =]

<3hollicakes

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Blood Orange Valentine Cupcakes!

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So I was going to name these cupcakes You-Set-My-Heart-on-Fire Blood Orange Olive Oil Cupcakes, but that seemed like a little much!

PS, Happy Valentine's Day from hollicakes!

Blood oranges are still in season and that means time to take advantage & bake something yummy before they disappear until next winter!

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Look at those beautiful red segments!

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Another reason I was inspired to make these cupcakes is because I was able to get my hands on some delicious Lucero Chocolate Olive Oil!

Check out their website, HERE. They have tons of yummy olive oil & balsamic vinegars! The Chocolate was sure amazing, next I might have to try baking with some Meyer Lemon Olive Oil.


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All of my ingredients ready to go!

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Orange-Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes
-makes 26-28 cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup Lucero chocolate olive oil (or regular olive oil will substitute just fine)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons blood orange juice (or regular orange juice, freshly squeezed is better)
zest from 2 oranges
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & set out cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Sift together all dry ingredients; flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together all wet ingredients; oils, buttermilk, orange juice, zest and vanilla.
4. With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients to wet, mixing until combined and smooth.
5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes, or until cupcake tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool then frost!


The batter ready to be scooped!

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Cute Valentine's Day liners I found at Target!

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Cupcakes ready for their frosting counterpart! It might be true love...

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Blood Orange Buttercream
-enough to frost 24-26 cupcakes

6 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (less for subtle flavor, more for stronger!)
zest of 1 orange
red/orange food coloring (optional)

1. Cream butter in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mix until smooth.
3. Add vanilla, orange juice and zest and mix on medium speed 1 minute. Add a few drops red & a few drops orange food coloring if desired.
4. Frost cupcakes as desired! I used a plain round tip and piped in the shape of a heart for some of mine!


Freshly squeezed (Thanks Dylan!) blood orange juice going into the buttercream!

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Time to frost some cupcakes!

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hello swirls =]

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Another shot from the sparkler heart photoshoot! Something about extended exposure shots + fire is so exciting!!

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And another! It's hard to pick my favorite shots because each one is so different.

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Want the cute little heart sparklers for your next special occasion? You can order them HERE!

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So Dylan got a chance with the piping bag and came up with some heart shaped frosting! Love this. Just pipe large heart first, then smaller and smaller ones on top! I usually needed up with 3 or 4 hearts.

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I hope everyone has a sweet Valentine's Day!

<3hollicakes

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Summertime S'mores Cupcakes!

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Nothing says summertime better than making s’mores over a campfire! Or in my case, a bonfire at the beach. Or in Dylan’s backyard.

Just a few weeks ago my family BBQed hotdogs and toasted s’mores on the beach. Dylan was toasting our mallows to melty perfection!

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So I decided to take my love of all things ooey gooey chocolate marshmallowy (if that makes sense) and turn it into a cupcake!!


These cupcakes have 4 steps to them; graham cracker base, chocolate cupcake, dark chocolate ganache filling, & marshmallow frosting. A little bit time consuming, but well worth it once finished!


First we start with the Graham Cracker Base;

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar in bowl. Melt butter, add and stir until mixture resembles wet sand.
2. Press 1 tablespoon into each cupcake liner, bake 5-7 minutes. Cool before adding cupcake batter.


You’ll need graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter.

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Melt your butter, and mix it with the crumbs and sugar.

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Fill each cupcake liner with about a tablespoon of the crumb mixture.

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This step is important, firmly pressing down the crumb mixture. I used the top of a can of nonstick spray, fit perfectly inside the liners!

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Should look like this before going in the oven to bake about 5-7 minutes. (Don’t mind my dirty, well-loved cupcake pans)

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While those bake….time for the chocolate cupcake batter!


I used a 1/2 recipe of my usual hollicakes chocolate cupcake recipe.


Chocolate Cupcakes
-made about 20 cupcakes

1/2 heaping cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Add the eggs, 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 3/4 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through. Cool.

The dry ingredients.

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Look how cute they are once baked! I couldn’t resist I had to unwrap one to see =]

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While your cupcakes cool, make your Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling!

1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter

1. Bring heavy cream and butter to a simmer, then pour over chocolate. Stir until smooth. Cool in refrigerator 1 hour before use.


This ganache recipe is super easy, takes only a few minutes to make!

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The trick is waiting an hour for it to firm up and look like this! Much easier to pipe, trust me!

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Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Insert into top of cupcakes and squeeze! I filled each one of approximately 4-5 seconds, or until I saw the cupcake start to expand from the filling.

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The final step…..Homemade Marshmallow Frosting!


Marshmallow Frosting
- makes enough to frost about 20 cupcakes

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup cold water
1 cup sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup water to soften, set aside.
2. Boil sugar and 1/4 cup water in saucepan over medium-high heat, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush to make sure sugar crystals do not form. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan, and boil syrup until temperature reaches soft ball stage, about 238 degrees.
3. Remove from heat, add sugar to softened gelatin and whisk by hand to cool for about a minute. Then whisk with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until glossy, but not dry peaks form, about 8-10 minutes. Use immediately, frosting will stiffen.


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Dylan caught a shot of me frosting! Sometimes I wish I had a third hand so I could frost and take pictures at the same time!

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Look at that shiney, beautiful mallow frosting!

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Now the most fun part, torching the marshmallow! Careful not to light the paper liners on fire….I may have a couple times. Oops! =]

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Yum! I love the way toasted mallow smells.

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Dylan made me a cute little collage of cupcake torching! Love it.

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A cupcake sunset by the fire.

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Hope you enjoy these fun summer cupcakes!

Be sure to have some s’mores at your next BBQ =]



<3hollicakes

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Cinco de Mayo Nachos!



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Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Here are some super easy, yet amazing looking cupcakes for you!

They may look intense, but trust me, they are a piece of cake =]

First, my main ingredients….minus some flour tortillas!

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Chocolate-Cinnamon Cupcakes
-makes 18-20

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup mllk
1 teaspoon sour cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cake mix, cinnamon,, eggs, oil and milk. 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.



Add your eggs, milk, sour cream, oil and cinnamon to the cake mix, and bake!

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While the cupcakes are baking, take 2-5 flour(or corn) tortillas and cut them into chip like triangles.

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Place them on a lined baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake until crispy, about 5-10 minutes.


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See, crispy sweet chips =]

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Cupcakes are done!

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Next, your buttercream!


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Cinna-Cheese Buttercream

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3-6 cups powered sugar, depending on taste desired
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
yellow food coloring
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth in electric mixer.
2. Add powered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon & food coloring and beat until fluffy. Add heavy cream, mix on slow to achieve a softer, more nacho-cheese looking frosting. I used a piping bag and plain round tip to frost, the more abstract and messy, the better!

Like so!

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Cinna-cream cheese in place! Ready for some toppings =]

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I cut the red parts off of gummy worms to make some “tomato”

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Cut some watermelon sour straws for my green onion!

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One thing I forgot a picture of is raspberry preserves, used for the “salsa”!


Place about 3 chips on each cupcake, then sprinkle with nacho toppings!


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Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

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Be safe!

<3hollicakes
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where's hollicakes?

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I’m in the garden!


Hello everyone! So sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few months. Things have been crazy over at the hotel & I’ve been working a bunch.

Along with working, I’ve picked up another hobby besides cupcakes, gardening! I may be spending more of my free time outside in the garden rather than inside in the kitchen, hehe =D

I made an ADORABLE miniature garden.

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But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been baking! Here are a few things you’ve missed….


Chocolate Pistachio Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes for Dylan’s birthday!

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Fancy Chocolate Cake I made at work, also for Dylan’s birthday (he’s totally spoiled) =]

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Corona & Lime Cupcakes! & a Coronita bouquet. Loved this!!

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Chocolate-Blackberry Cupcakes for a family gathering, yum!

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See you soon with some fresh & fun springtime recipes!

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Chocolate-Covered-Strawberry Cupcakes

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Happy Valentine’s Day from hollicakes!

One of the most popular desserts on this romantic day are chocolate cover strawberries. Two of my favorite things. So I combined them into one fabulous cupcake!

First we’ll start with the easiest, almost-foolproof chocolate cupcakes ever!

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin trays with paper liners. (I made 1 dozen regular cupcakes & 2 dozen minis with this recipe)
2. Mix all ingredients together using a stand mixer, or just simply by hand.
3. Distribute evenly into liners, filling about 2/3 full (they rise quite a bit). Bake for 20-24 minutes, or when tops spring back when touched.
4. Cool cupcakes, then frost!

The main ingredients.

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All mixed up. I gave my mixer the day off and mixed this by hand!!

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Cooling by the window. I always wonder if people walking by outside can smell them =]

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Beautiful strawberries!

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I used half of them for the frosting and the other half for decoration!

So I didn’t love this Strawberry Buttercream recipe as much as I thought I would. But it was still pretty good! Thick almost like ice cream. I think next time I’ll try for a Strawberry Swiss Meringue variation.

Strawberry Buttercream

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces strawberries, pureed
2-5 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until fluffy. Turn down speed and slowly add in powdered sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
2. Add vanilla, pureed strawberries and cream/milk. Once combined, beat on high speed until frosting is fluffy. Frost away! Garnish with a chocolate-dipped-strawberry.


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I also made red velvet cake balls, and dipped some cute little strawberry heart marshmallows in chocolate as well. Anything sweet dipped in chocolate is always better. =] Then combined all the elements in my hollicakes Valentine’s boxes!

See!


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Find the recipe for these yummy cake balls at one of my favorite sites, Bakerella!

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Hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day!

<3hollicakes


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hollicakes <3's MOvember!

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So its about halfway through the month, how are everyone’s mustaches’ coming along for Movember?

What is Movember?

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Check out the Movember website HERE.

When I think of Movember, I think of guys. And types of food that remind me of the guys.

Like chocolate, beer, pretzels, and eating store-bought frosting straight from the can (AKA my dad, hah).


I decided on a Chocolate Stout cupcake, topped with Dark Chocolate frosting and Chocolate-Covered Pretzel’s. YUM!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
-makes about 24

1 cup stout beer (I used Guinness Extra Stout)
1 cup unsalted Butter
3/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
6oz dark chocolate
3oz cream
2 cup flour
2 cup sugar
1 1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t Salt

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
2. Simmer the Guinness and butter in a small pot over medium heat, then add the cocoa and stir until smooth. Transfer to bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low for 3-5 minutes. (To cool it down, we don’t want our eggs scrambling!)
3. While the chocolate beer mixture cools a little bit, heat the cream over the stove or in the microwave, then pour over the dark chocolate and let stand one minute. Stir until smooth. Then add to chocolate beer mixture in mixer.
4. Add sour cream and eggs and mix until combined.
5. Add dry ingredients. Fill lined cupcake pans 3/4 full, then bake for about 20 minutes.


Beer + Butter, simmer.

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6oz of chocolate chips!

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melting...

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Dry ingredients.

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Sour cream and eggs.

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All mixed up!

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My cupcake pans have seen better days!

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Now for the frosting I used Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate. Mainly because I was short on time, but then changed my reasoning to the genius notion that my dad LOVES store-bought frosting, especially by itself. Is that a guy thing? Or is it just me that doesn’t prefer the super intensely sweet store-bought variety? Hmm, either way, this frosting went perfectly with this cupcake.

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And of course I need some cute mustache cupcake toppers!! I found these guys over HERE.

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And some delicious Dark Chocolate-Covered Pretzels from Trader Joe’s! All crushed up and sprinkled on top!

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Dylan, my man & mustache representative.

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While we were taking pictures my dog Annie got close to taking a bite! Maybe some Pupcakes are in order soon... =]

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A real up close shot of the blonde mustache! Pretty legit.

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These were so much fun to make, I don’t know what it is about mustaches that is so awesome!

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Happy Movember everyone!

Do your part, grow a stache, support the cause.

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Mint Chocolate-SPIDER-Chip

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BOO! Happy 2nd week of October, cupcake lovers!

So sorry for the randomness & lack of updates, finally figuring out the issues with the program I publish the blog with. Whew!

Just in time, because starting now, October-December I will be posting a holiday flavor of the week, every week!

Last week, the first week, I posted my Pumpkin Pie Latte cupcakes. And this week I will be featuring one of my new Halloween favorites, Mint Chocolate-SPIDER-Chip.

Yep, you heard right. One of my favorite ice cream flavors transformed into a Halloween cupcake. Life couldn’t get any better right?

Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 20-22

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup 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, 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. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
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.

Heaping 1/2 cup, I love my chocolate chips!

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Bunch of cute Halloween liners. & I didn’t end up using these sprinkles on the cupcakes, but they are super cute anyways, and will definitely use them soon!

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Chocolate cupcakes, they almost look like brownies!

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Mint Buttercream
-makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, to taste
1/2-1 teaspoon mint extract, depending on how strong you want the mint
5-7 drops AmeriColor Electric Green food coloring

1. Cream butter and shortening until fluffy. Sift powdered sugar, add 1/2 cup at a time until desired sweetness is achieved.
2. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix until combined and smooth. Frost cupcakes.


Mint Buttercream, yum!

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LOVE the lime green.




Piped chocolate spiderwebs and “BOO”s with chocolate melting wafers.

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This is what you get if you’re a neighbor of hollicakes. The extras!

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Like the creepy photos?!

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And the cute spider cupcake stands? From the Halloween section at Target! $4.99 for a set of 4! So cool.

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Dylan and I had so much fun taking these pictures; fog machine, candy corn & spooky lights!

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Have I mentioned Halloween is my favorite holiday? LOVElove love it.

Do YOU guys have any fun Halloween cupcake/cookie/cake/brownie decorating ideas that you want to see featured on my blog?
Send me a Halloween decorating challenge & I’ll try my best to tackle it =]



<3hollicakes
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Snickers & Jack



Oh Snickers & Jack. These are my latest masterpiece, “The best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten” says my mom.

These cupcakes were inspired by a “Top-Shelf” alcoholic ice cream that was once featured on the happy hour menu, and created by the Pastry Chef over at the Fairmont where I work. She is AMAZING and I learn an insane amount of new things every time I’m there. And for that, I thank you Allyson. And the rest of my pastry team, of course. =]

So last time I made these cupcakes, I did a chocolate/snickers cake, with a caramel/jack buttercream. They were good, but not perfect!

This time I decided to switch it up and do a caramel/snickers cake, topped with a chocolate/jack mousse.

Here was the plan;




The recipe for these cupcakes was actually a trial run in preparation for Cupcake Camp OC coming up on September 11 over at the Atrium Hotel.



Find out info and get your tickets HERE!

I will be donating cupcakes in the Professional category (Dylan convinced me to go professional instead of ammetuer....eek I’m a little nervous!)

So it works like this, you end up with a couple tickets(how many I am not quite sure) and at the event you are able to trade 1 ticket for 1 regular sized cupcake or 2 mini cupcakes. Keeping this in mind, I have to bring at least 350 regular cupcakes. But instead I am bringing about 700 mini cupcakes so people can try more than one flavor =] you are welcome.

Anyways, Snickers & Jack will be one of those flavors!


Time for some recipes...

Brown Sugar Snickers Cupcakes
-makes about 24 cupakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown 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 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 regular size Snickers bars, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugars, 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, sour cream, 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. Fold in chopped snickers by hand.
4. 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.


I didn’t end up loving the chocolate buttercream I used, so I’m going to switch it out next time! Better recipe to come!

Caramel Filling (from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book)
***Friendly Reminder: making caramel can be VERY hot, be careful bakers.***

2 ½ cups sugar
cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¾ cup heavy cream

1. Heat sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Stir occasionally until syrup is clear. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Stop stirring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush as needed.

2. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and temperature just reaches 360°F.
Remove pan from heat. Slowly pour in cream and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Use immediately. If caramel begins to harden, reheat until pourable.

3. Using a paring knife, cut a cone-shaped piece, about ½-inch deep, from the center of each cupcake. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of warm filling into each cupcake.


Lets see some pictures already!


Start with your dry ingredients.



Add the butter.



Wet ingredients.



Mix it all together =]



So it was after taking this picture that I realized I forgot one very important ingredient.....



SNICKERS....I used dark chocolate!



So I chopped up my candy.



Sprinkled on top, then mixed it up with a toothpick....Yeah sometimes things get left out, and you do whatcha gotta do to make it right!



About 25 minutes later.....baked and beautiful cupcakes!



So I didn’t end up with any good pictures of the caramel filling, so here is one of me brushing the cakes with Jack Daniels because we realized the buttercream wasn’t strong enough, and already too soft to handle adding any more liquid....again, you do whatcha gotta do.



Don’t mind my messy table, had like 3 projects going on at once! And trying to finish these cupcakes ASAP so we could get to the beach!



And of course I had decided to bake on the hottest day of the week, and my chocolate buttercream did not enjoy the heat!



Enjoy !






See you at Cupcake Camp OC!

<3hollicakes
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Belated Mother's Day Cupcakes



So this Mother’s Day post is so late because my grandma’s community didn’t have their brunch until this past Saturday!

They didn’t request any specific flavors, so it was all up to me! Oh here we go...

The first flavor I decided on was Lavender Honey !



I had never done a flavor like this before, but it sounded spring-like and fun, so I figured Mother’s day was the perfect occasion to try it out!

Vanilla Bean Lavender Cupcakes
-makes about 26-30

3 cups flour, slifted
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 ( Or I used 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise & seeds scraped)
2-3 drops lavender oil

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 flour, 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, lavender oil 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, 20-25 minutes.

Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream
-makes enough to frost about 25 cupcakes

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 sticks of butter
1 tablespoon honey

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 honey and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.


Next... Chocolate Raspberry.

PS I got both of the lavender and these red flower liners at Orange Novelty Cake Supplies, so cute I couldn’t resist.



Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
-makes about 22

3/4 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
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup pureed raspberries (you can strain out the seeds, or leave them in)
1/8 teaspoon raspberry 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, milk, buttermilk, oil, extracts & puree; 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.

Chocolate Buttercream
-makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 sticks of butter
4 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
raspberries to garnish

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 chocolate and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.

On to my favorite flavor, Strawberry! ...with homemade sugar cookies on top, of course.




Strawberry Cupcakes
-makes about 30

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries (I used a food processor to save time)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
2. Reduce speed to low. Mix milk and vanilla together. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Fold in strawberries by hand. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes.


Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
-makes enough to frost about 25 cupcakes

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup finely chopped strawberries

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.
2. Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Add strawberries and mix until fluffy.

And as for the sugar cookies, it is Dylan’s (the boyfriend) one and only secret recipe. Maybe one day I’ll share it =]

The last and most beautiful.... Lemon with marshmallow Chrysanthemums on top!



These cupcakes took the longest, by far. But so worth it when you see everyone’s reactions =]

Lemon Cupcakes
-makes about 24

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 T lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with liners. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Add sugar, lemon zest, butter and cream cheese to mixing bowl, beat until light and creamy, 2 - 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each egg. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, once incorporated, add the next 1/3 of the flour mix, followed by remaining buttermilk, and remaining flour, beating each addition until just incorporated. Add lemon juice, beating until just incorporated on low speed.
3. Transfer batter to muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
-makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
zest of 1 lemon

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and zest.
2. Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition.


To make the marshmallow chrysanthemums, you’ll need a bag of the pastel color mini marshmallows. Separate them out by color.



Then cut them in half, diagonally. Sprinkle each color with matching sugar sprinkles. Most of them might fall to the bottom, but thats okay just dip the sticky side of the marshmallow in the pile of sprinkles before attaching to the cupcake!



Frost the cupcakes with a thin layer, just enough so the marshmallows will stick! Start from the outside, and work your way in.



Add a pearlized round sprinkle, or whatever you want as the center of the flower.




Happy belated Mother’s Day!

<3hollicakes
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Cinco De Mayo Cupcakes







Oh how excited I was to do these Cinco De Mayo cupcake flavors! Here is the breakdown for ya:

Margarita Cupcakes - Lime Cake, brushed with tequila, topped with a lime tequila buttercream.



Margarita Cupcakes (from Annie’s Eats)
-makes about 24

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 limes, zested and juiced
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 325˚ F and line cupcake pans with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time, blending slowly until each is fully incorporated. Add lime zest, juice and vanilla.
3. Mix in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, then the other half of the flour. Mix slowly in between each addition until just combined. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 20-24 minutes.

Margarita Buttecream
- makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

2 cups sugar
8 large egg whites
Pinch fleur de sel (coarse salt)
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2-4 tbsp. tequila

1. Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
3. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more until smooth again. Stir in the lime juice and tequila and mix until fully incorporated.


Next, Churro Cupcakes - Brown Sugar Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, topped with Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps!




Churro Cupcakes
-makes about 18 cupcakes

3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F and line cupcake pans with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl, set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time, blending slowly until each is fully incorporated. Add vanilla and mix.
3. Mix in half of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the other half of the flour. Mix slowly in between each addition until just combined. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 20-24 minutes.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- makes enough to frost about 20 cupcakes

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon and vanilla
2. Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition.



Mexican HOT Chocolate Cupcakes - Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon and a pinch of Cayenne Pepper, topped with homemade Marshmallow Frosting!





Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
- makes about 20 cupcakes

3/4 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
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
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, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.
2. Add the eggs, milk, 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.

Marshmallow Frosting
- makes enough to frost about 20 cupcakes

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup cold water
1 cup sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup water to soften, set aside.
2. Boil sugar and 1/4 cup water in saucepan over medium-high heat, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush to make sure sugar crystals do not form. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan, and boil syrup until temperature reaches soft ball stage, about 238 degrees.
3. Remove from heat, add sugar to softened gelatin and whisk by hand to cool for about a minute. Then whisk with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until glossy, but not dry peaks form, about 8-10 minutes. Use immediately, frosting will harden.



The last flavor is Tres Leches - cake made using the 3 milks, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream; topped with whipped cream.




Tres Leches Cupcakes ( from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
- makes about 18 cupcakes

6 large eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of unsalted butter melted
1 cup of all purpose flour sifted

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, line pans with foil lined cupcake wrappers (Paper liners will not hold up once milk mixture is brushed on). Whisk together egg whites, baking soda and salt with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.
2. Add yolks and sugar and whisk it until it is completely combined. Fold in the melted butter.
3. Add the flour in small batches and fold until it is all combined, fill cupcake pans 2/3 full, bake fr 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Milk Mixture:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup cream
1 can evaporated milk

1. Mix together all three milks in bowl while cupcakes are baking. Once removed from the oven, immediately poke holes on tops of cupcakes with a skewer. Martha Stewarts recipe says to use ALL of the mixture, but it makes a TON. I only ended up using about 1/3 of it! Didn’t want to risk them coming out too soggy! Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.




Whew, that was a long update! I only have 7% battery life left on my laptop, so I better make this closing short! Haha.

Thank you guys so much for putting up with all my crazy recipes!

Happy Cinco De Mayo - from hollicakes and Nan!




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Boyfriend's Birthday Cupcakes!



I feel bad I haven’t updated lately, March is a crazy busy month for me! My birthday and the boyfriend’s birthday are within 10 days of each other!

Which means lots of cupcakes!

So for Dylan’s birthday the cupcakes HAD to be something with a chocolate + peanut butter combination.

I did a little searching online and found an amazing recipe from a website called The Ginger Cook, find the recipe HERE.

Just your basic chocolate cake recipe, not too different from the recipe I usually use. But the frostings! Oh my. I received most compliments on the presentation AND flavor of these delicious frostings.

The trick to making the frostings look swirled is filling half of your pastry bag with peanut butter frosting, then fill the other half with the chocolate frosting!

A little surprise in the middle =]






And I even had time to make cute little signs!







Happy Birthday to us!




Don’t worry I’ll be back soon with some more updates!
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St. Patrick's Day !




Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Guinness, brewed in Dublin, and Bailey’s Irish Cream sounds like the perfect combination for a St. Patty’s Day treat right?

Maybe not though. I don’t really like the taste of Guinness and Bailey’s is just alright, by themselves that is.

But TRUST ME, oh please trust me when I say the two are delicious when paired with dark chocolate and cream cheese frosting =]

I’m not a big drinker, I’m not really even a medium sized drinker. And Dylan doesn’t drink at all. And he even tried these cupcakes and LOVED them. So hopefully that convinces you that these are amazing.

And of course right when I go to open the Guinness it explodes all over...good thing I was right by the sink.



So the recipe for the Guinness Cupcakes is a little different then your usual chocolate cake recipe.
But I’ve been blogging for over a year now, so you guys can handle it right? Good.

Look how delicious they are right out of the oven!! I could eat it just like that...maybe.




While I was making the frosting Dylan got a little creative with the cupcakes!




Oh yes, I almost forgot. See the little gold sparkly balls on top of the cupcakes? (That kind of remind me of pots of gold....)
I made those out of plain old white sugar pearls. Why you ask? Because beautiful, amazing, shiny, fabulous gold and silver dragees are illegal in California.
All because someone ate a whole pack of them and got some sort of metal poisoning. Who eats the whole pack?! Ruin it for everyone why dontcha...

Don’t know what a dragee is? Here’s a random picture I found on google. So freakin cute.




Anyways...I made them out of these three ingredients. Ivory sugar pearls, gold luster dust, and clear/rainbow edible glitter!




I just poured some of the sugar pearls in a little bowl, added a few drops of water, and a sprinkle of the dust and glitter. Mix with a toothpick and there you have it! Homemade gold dragees =]

So they might not be as shiny, but hey good enough right?



And I also found these really cute shamrock cupcake toppers at Michael’s a couple days ago..



Are you ready for some recipes?

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes 24-30

1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted Butter
3/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
6oz dark chocolate
3oz cream
2 cup flour
2 cup sugar
1 1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t Salt

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
2. Simmer the Guinness and butter in a small pot over medium heat, then add the cocoa and stir until smooth. Transfer to bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low for 3-5 minutes. (To cool it down, we don’t want our eggs scrambling!)
3. While the chocolate beer mixture cools a little bit, heat the cream over the stove or in the microwave, then pour over the dark chocolate and let stand one minute. Stir until smooth. Then add to chocolate beer mixture in mixer.
4. Add sour cream and eggs and mix until combined.
5. Add dry ingredients. Fill lined cupcake pans 2/3 full, then bake for about 20 minutes.


Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting
-makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

1 8oz pack of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (Don’t skip this step! I hate sifting...but smooth, creamy frosting is worth it.)
3 tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in mixer until creamy. Add sifted powdered sugar.
2. Add Bailey’s to taste! Not too much though, or else the frosting will be too runny.





Hope you guys try these recipes, they are amazing!

Have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day!

<3hollicakes

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Valentine's Day Trio<3




As if I haven’t done enough baking in the past week, I decided to feature 3 different flavors for this Valentine’s Day weekend!


Bee My Cherry - Chocolate Cherry cake topped with Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream, then drizzled with chocolate!




Strawberries and Champagne - Strawberry cake topped with Champagne-Strawberry Buttercream and a white chocolate heart!




Berry Red Velvet - Raspberry Red Velvet cake topped with Cream Cheese Frosting





If anyone is interested in ordering some Valentine’s Day cupcakes, shoot me an email at hollirisvold@yahoo.com or give me a call at 714-425-9031!

These special cupcakes are going for $30 per dozen or $2.50 each! =]


Have an amazing weekend everyone!
<3hollicakes
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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 Read More...
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Wedding Shower Cupcakes!



I LOVE making cupcakes for special events, especially weddings! So when a friend from high school asked me about cupcakes for her wedding shower, I was so excited!

We ended up deciding on half chocolate, half lemon with a pastel pink and white theme! And of course cute little ring toppers =]

I whipped up the chocolate cupcakes so fast I didn’t end up with any pictures. But you guys have seen my chocolate cupcakes before, right? Yep. And same with my swiss meringue buttercream, which is what I used on these cupcakes. I just dyed half of it pink for the chocolate cupcakes and added a little lemon zest to the rest for the lemon cupcakes!

Lemon! Mmm oh how I love when my kitchen smells like lemon zest.



Hello baked cupcakes!



It is hard to see in the pictures, but I loaded these cupcakes up with edible glitter to match the sparkly ring toppers!



See?







Congratulations Kim!


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Chocolate Chai Latte Cupcakes




A couple of days ago I was planning on making some halloween cake pops, but I just happened to find a recipe for chocolate chai latte cupcakes with cream cheese filling! You probably understand why I postponed the cake pops.....

I’m usually the type that likes to make the cake from scratch, but this super simple recipe calls for a box of chocolate fudge cake mix. Can’t say no to that.

Here are the 4 main ingrdients.




Chocolate Chai Latte Cupcakes
-makes 24 cupcakes

Cake:
1 1/2 cups boiling water
5 chai-flavored tea bags
1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate fudge or chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
3 eggs

Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg

Chocolate Chai Buttercream:
3 tablespoons reserved prepared chai-flavored tea
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan cups; set aside. Combine all filling ingredients in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy; set aside.
2. Combine boiling water and tea bags in glass measuring cup, let stand 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing out excess liquid. Add enough water, if necessary, to equal 1 1/2 cups.
3. Reserve 3 tablespoons prepared tea; set aside. Place remaining prepared tea in large bowl; add cake mix, melted butter and eggs. Beat at low speed 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
4.Spoon about 2 tablespoons cake batter into each prepared muffin cup. Top each with 1 tablespoon filling. Spoon additional cake batter over filling until cups are about 2/3 full. (DO NOT OVERFILL!) (Batter does not have to cover filling completely.) Bake for 19 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
5. Combine 3 tablespoons reserved prepared tea and milk in 2-quart saucepan. Add flour and cocoa; whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and just comes to a boil (4 to 6 minutes). Remove from heat; cool about 15 minutes.
6. Combine 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Beat at high speed until creamy. Continue beating, gradually adding cocoa mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until light and creamy and sugar is dissolved. Frost or pipe cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

The batter and the filling.



One scoop batter, one scoop filling, one scoop batter!



I tend to put a little bit of extra filling in my cupcakes, and a couple of them sank a little in the middle because of this! So worth it though.



Break a buncha pretzels in half! Make sure to munch as many of the mess ups as you can.



Bite-sized latte anyone?



For the pretzel handles, I just cut a hole in the middle of the cupcake liner with an exacto knife and stuck the end of the pretzel in! So easy.





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The Life of a Nerd's Girlfriend: D&D Cupcakes



So many of you won’t understand what these cupcakes are or what the heck D&D means. The thing is, a friend of mine ordered some Dungeons and Dragons cupcakes for her boyfriend’s birthday.

I know what you’re thinking. What does that mean? How would I decorate them? That’s nerdy.

That’s exactly why I couldn’t say no to these cupcakes.

I love a challenge, I love brainstorming decoration ideas. And most of all I love my boyfriend, who also happens to be a nerd that plays D&D.

The main theme of the cupcakes is a 20-sided dice, the most commonly used dice in the game. Dylan was a huge help by offering to let me borrow his D&D dice.

At first we were going to make two little dice for the top of each cupcake....then we realized how time consuming making these suckers is.

So we decided to do half with the fondant dice, the other half piped with buttercream.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
-makes 18

3/4 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 warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
1 cup pureed raspberries

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, vanilla and raspberry extract; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed. Mix in raspberry puree.
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.


Chocoate Fudge Frosting

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 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.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low.
3. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
4. 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.

This frosting recipe makes 5 cups, which is wayyy too much for the cupcake recipe! I halved the frosting recipe and still had leftover!

The ingredients.



Mix in the pureed raspberries.



Spend a good amount of time perfecting the art of a 20-sided dice made out of fondant.



The model dice.



Rasta dice!










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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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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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Father's Day Extravaganza.

So Father’s Day was a few weeks ago, I know I’m slacking. Anyways, my grandma ordered 75 cupcakes from me for a brunch that her community was having, so exciting! Well she didn’t mention anything specific, so I was free to design the cupcakes however I wanted. I starting thinking sports and BBQs....typical dad-like things.

So since I needed 75 for the order, and some extra for my dad and family friends AND one day to bake and decorate ALL of them, I decided to use boxed cake mixes. Not my favorite, but it works when you need a ton in a short amount of time.

Let’s look at the process, a very fun 7ish hour day of baking and decorating!



Caramel cream steaks, haha.



Candy shishka-bobs.



Ever seen cupcakes look like a BBQ grill?



Hmm what sport could these be? I’m thinkin some red laces...



Baseball!



The assembly line. Couldn’t do it without my assistant and my Cactus Cooler.



Oh balls.



Day at the golf course anyone?





What You Need:

- 75 cupcakes, any flavor
(25 for golf, 25 for basketball&baseball, and 25 for BBQs)

Golf Course
- 25 cupcakes
- about 3/4 cup green sugar
- 1 package of white Tic-Tacs
- 13 toothpicks
- about 15” ribbon 1/2” to 1” wide
- double-sided tape
- 1/2 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/4 cups white buttercream frosting

1. Place green sugar in a shallow bowl. Frost cupcakes with a thin, smooth coat of buttercream, then dip in green sugar making sure to coat evenly.
2. Making the Flags; Cut the ribbon into 1” pieces, use double-sided tape on inside to wrap around toothpick. Cut into triangles.
3. Place flags on top of 13 of the cupcakes, as well as a Tic-Tac, pushing it halfway into the cupcake so it looks round like a golf ball.
4. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on each of the remaining 12 cupcakes, shaping the sand-traps with your thumb. Add a Tic-Tac as a golf ball where ever you want, or leave them without!


Sports Cupcakes
- 25 cupcakes
- about 1 cup orange non-pareils
- about 1 cup white non-pareils
- 1/4 cup black frosting
- 1/4 cup red frosting
- 1 1/4 cups white frosting

1. Frost cupcakes with a thin, smooth coat of buttercream. Place orange and white non-pareils in separate shallow bowls.
2. Dip half the cupcakes in orange, and the other half in the white, making sure to coat them evenly.
3. Place the black frosting in a piping bag with a small round tip, pipe the laces on the basketballs. Do the same with the red frosting on the white cupcakes for the baseballs.


Let’s BBQ
- 25 cupcakes
- multi-colored gummy candies (enough for 18 shishkabobs)
- 32 Hot Tamales
- 16 caramel creams shaped into steaks
- 1/4 cup gray frosting
- 18 toothpicks
- 2 tablespoons orange sugar

1. Place gray frosting in piping bag with small round tip. Pipe 5 lines on each cupcake to make the grill, sprinkle with a pinch of orange sugar for the hot coals.
2. Cut the gummy candies into small squares or triangles, then add them to the toothpicks, 5 each in alternating colors. Place 2 shishka-bobs on 9 of the cupcakes.
3. Add 2 steaks to 8 of the cupcakes, adding little “grill marks” with the leftover gray frosting.
4. Add 4 hot dogs (Hot Tamales) to the remaining 8 cupcakes, also giving them grill marks with the gray frosting.

Enjoy! =]



It’s time for your close-ups, little cupcakes!








I ended up taking these photos the next day, and my red laces bled into the white of the baseball =( Oh well though!






Let’s have a BBQ.






Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! And if you were one of my neighbors or friends you may have gotten one of these...




I know its after Father’s Day, but these cupcakes are also great for birthdays, summer BBQs, and sports parties!

Another update coming soon......my first wedding cupcakes!

<3hollicakes Read More...
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Banana Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes!




Ohhh bananas. Today is my grandma’s 75th birthday, yes 75. And I am just about to go to her surprise birthday party! I knew I had to make something delicious. So yesterday my assistant and I baked all afternoon! We started with a banana cake, that included 2 whole bananas!! A chocolate surprise in the middle, and a caramel swiss meringue buttercream with caramel drizzled on top. Woah.

I found the recipe on Annie’s Eats. I’ve never used a recipe off this website before so I was a little nervous! You can find it HERE.

The only thing I changed was that I attempted to add a chocolate swirl. BUT....it ended up more like a chocolate layer on most of the cupcakes. I used a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and about a cup of heavy cream, heated and melted together. You can most certainly omit this part. Maybe a chocolate frosting with caramel drizzled on top? Mmmm.

Anyways, these cupcakes turned out very moist, one of my new favorites! The frosting was SUPER rich and sweet, maybe a little too sweet. If I were to use this frosting recipe again I would probably use a little less sugar and/or caramel.

Here are some pictures of the process;

ripe bananas&yellow cupcake liners.



mash those bananas.



mix it all up.



the house filled with delicious banana scent...



frost with caramel buttercream.



finished!






off to my grandma’s birthday party =]



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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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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.




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Girl Scout Cookie Inspired.

Around the beginning of March, every year, you start seeing them. Moms and little girls practically attack you when you walk out of the grocery store. Little neighbor girls start knocking on your door. It’s the Girl Scout Cookies.....I pretty much can’t resist. I starting thinking about the different combinations of my favorite flavors and it hit me, GIRL SCOUT COOKIE CUPCAKES. I must have thought about these cupcakes for a few months before actually making them, throwing around different cake and frosting flavors that would closely resemble the cookies in my head. The first cookie flavor I knew I had to make was Tagalong, there’s just something about peanut butter and chocolate I can’t say no to. Later I also decided on Thin Mints and Samoas as well!

Here was the crazy process (all recipes are at the end of the post!):

I started off using Martha Stewart’s Yellow Buttermilk Cupcake Recipe. I originally wanted about 18 of each Girl Scout Cookie flavor. This recipe makes 36, so I decided to use half for the Samoa batch and half for the Tagalong batch. For the Samoa’s, I baked off 18 of the yellow cupcakes in purple liners and set the cupcakes and the other half of the batter aside.




Then I took the other half of the vanilla batter and turned it into the Tagalong cupcakes. How did I do this? Well in Martha Stewart’s Cupcake Book she features Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes, and I mixed up the part used for the peanut butter “filling” and added filling to my vanilla cupcakes!


The vanilla batter and the peanut butter filling.




On to the Thin Mint Cupcakes....

Unfortunately I was so busy doing too many things at once I didn’t take any pictures during the process of the Thin Mint cupcakes =[ But here is what they looked like when they came out of the oven!



I used Martha Stewart’s Mint Chocolate Cupcake recipe for the cake. It made 18 cupcakes as well.



Samoa, Tagalong (I swear there’s peanut butter filling inside!), Thin Mint.....just waiting to be frosted.




For the past month or so I’ve had an obsession with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, so for the Tagalong and Thin Mint cupcakes I decided to make some Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. SO AMAZING!

Whipping up the sugar and eggs, add the butter!



Melt some chocolate.



And you have some delicious, fluffy frosting! (recipe is at the end!)



Piped onto the Tagalong cupcakes.



Then I made a quick batch of ganache and drizzled it over the frosting!







And the Tagalongs are complete!

Next; completion of the Thin Mint.

Once the cupcakes cooled, I added a thin crumb coat (what’s that? A thin coat of frosting that secures the crumbs of a cake when dipping or frosting so they don’t get mixed in with the frosting) with the leftover chocolate buttercream. I kept the leftover ganache as well, reheated it, then dipped the tops of the cupcakes! Before the ganache set up completely, I sprinkled some lime green edible glitter on top!






And done with the Thin Mints! (I think they were the easiest.)

Finally, the completion of the Samoa Cupcake.....

I started off by dipping the tops of the cupcakes in ganache. Then adding a big spoonful of the coconut caramel topping!




Mmmm!



Next I drizzled some of the ganache on top for the chocolate stripes, just like the cookies.








How to make the Girl Scout Cupcakes....


Martha Stewart’s Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

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

Fill 18 baking cups with purple liners with batter 3/4 full, bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out fairly clean. Set aside the rest of the batter. Make Peanut Butter Filling.

Peanut Butter Filling:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Stir together all ingredients until smooth.

Line 18 more baking cups with red liners. Scoop one tablespoon of vanilla batter into each cup, then a teaspoon of the peanut butter filling, then one more tablespoon of the vanilla. These took a little bit longer to bake, between 25-30 minutes.

Samoa Coconut Caramel Topping
2 cups shredded coconut
7 oz chewy caramels
2-3 teaspoons milk

Heat caramels in microwave for 30 seconds intervals until melted, then stir in milk and coconut. Place spoonfuls on top of ganache-dipped cupcakes.


Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
-makes 18

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

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
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, water, and peppermint extract, and beat with a mixer on low speed until smooth.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in tins on wire racks for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to racks, and let cool. Undecorated cupcakes will keep, covered, for 1 day, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Find the ganache recipe HERE.

Enjoy my baking lovers!
<3holli

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Brownie Cupcakes!

Hi again! This has been a busy baking weekend for me! My boyfriend's brother's 16th birthday is today (March 1st!) and I promised I would make him some brownie cupcakes. It is even under my birthday requests! So I got out one of my favorite books, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, and found the perfect recipe! Brownies with a mini Peppermint Patty hidden inside!
 

 
Mint-Filled Brownie Cupcakes
 
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
3 large eggs
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
12 small chocolate covered peppermint patties, such as York

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners. Place chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until just melted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Whisk in the sugar and salt until mixture is smooth, whisk in eggs to combine. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa just until smooth.

Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each lined cup. Place 1 peppermint patty on top, gently pressing into batter. Top with another heaping tablespoon of batter, covering patty completely. Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted halfway into centers (above mint patty) comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
Recipe found HERE.
 
For topping I whipped up 1 cup heavy cream and 2 T of powered sugar! And don't forget the chocolate sprinkles!
 

 
Perfect!


 

 
Happy Birthday Ryan!
<3holli Read More...
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More Butterfinger Cupcakes...

My cousin Ashley sent me this picture along with how she made them!
 

 
 
"I used a chocolate cake mix store bought and I bought a bag of fun size butterfinger. Made the cake as directed on box and added about half the chopped up butterfinger into the cake mix. I used vanilla frosting and used the remaining butterfinger pieces on top! "
 
Mmm I wish you didn't live so far away so I could try one!
 
<3holli
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Superbowl Cupcakes!

Sooo my family isn't real big on football, but we had some friends over & made dinner, so I couldn't NOT make something Superbowl themed for dessert! I did something super simple.
 
First I baked a batch of dark chocolate brownies the day before!
 

 
Then some dark chocolate cupcakes...
 

 
Next I drew a little football shaped stencil, cut it out, and then used it to cut out brownie shaped footballs.
 

 
Then I whipped up some vanilla buttercream and used some to pipe the laces on the footballs.
 

 
Add some green grass buttercream and TADA!
 



 
happy baking!

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S'MORES Cupcakes!

Since yesterday was National Chocolate Cake Day AND the celebration of my mom's birthday I decided to make these S'mores cupcakes! I found the recipe on Bakerella.com (One of my FAVORITE websites!)



















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Neapolitan Cupcakes

Starting off my Valentine's Cupcakes, I have been waiting for the perfect occasion to break out these neapolitan cupcakes! I used a recipe from HowToEatACupcake.net, and instead of side by side I did chocolate on the bottom, vanilla in the middle, and strawberry frosting on top! Just like those little ice cream sandwiches I used to eat when I was little.

Enjoy! =]



Chocolate first, then vanilla!


Into the oven...


Are they done yet?



My makeshift double boiler makes the best frosting.



Finished =]



Cupcake Tower. (Thanks Lauren and Jason!)



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Mmm Butterfinger...

Yes, you guessed it, butterfingers are a weakness of mine. I'm usually more of a sour candy type of girl, but when it comes to a chocolate bar, butterfinger is where its at. So lucky for me my mom's best friend/neighbor brought over an article from Food Network Magazine with recipes for cupcakes inspired by candy bars! I'm currently a little disorganized and seem to have misplaced this article, so I'm sorry I can't tell you more about it. My cousin was in town for a week, so she helped me with these cupcakes as well.

Yum!





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