Cupcakes

Hollicakes does Weddings!

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Hi everyone! Its been way too long since my last update. I have been super busy DIY remodeling our house, working in the bakery at Earth Fare, AND planning away for our wedding in September! And I have some exciting news! Hollicakes now does weddings! I have done two weddings in the last three weeks and they were both a success!

The first wedding was at a cute farm just outside Grand Rapids. Caitlin & Patrick had a vanilla cutting cake and four types of cupcakes! Peanut butter chocolate, funfetti, vanilla lemon and strawberry!


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Dylan and I had so much fun setting up this display! Cute & simple.

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Thanks so much to the new Mr & Mrs Butler for letting me take part in their special day! :)


Wedding #2 was a little bit more crazy. See, it was our good friends Kelsey & Nick that got married! (Dylan was a groomsman!)

So even though we were busy running around for bachelor/bachelorette parties & rehearsal dinner we still managed to get everything baked and set up in time!

The bride and groom ordered a vanilla cutting cake, 5 different flavors of cupcakes & a custom Chargers grooms cake! The cupcake flavors were red velvet, moscato wine, blue moon, reese's & twix! The perfect combination, a little something for everyone!

Here is their vanilla cutting cake, designed to match their wedding invite.

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I LOVE how this display turned out, especially the custom bobblehead topper!

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The cupcake flavor sign was a big help!

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Here we are all dressed up ready to watch our friends tie the knot!!

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The new Mr & Mrs Caras cutting the cake!

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So happy to be a part of this beautiful wedding! Cupcakes for everyone! :)

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So that was my last few weeks in a nutshell! I really enjoying catering these two weddings and I hope to do more in the future.

Until then...Happy summer everyone! Have a sweet one :)
<3hollicakes


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Happy Summer! Let's have a beer...

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Hi my friends! I'm back with a beer inspired cupcake recipe for ya. Remember that time I made the Blue Moon Cupcakes? Well this recipe is a spin off those, but instead of Blue Moon, I'm featuring my newest favorite Michigan-brewed beer, Oberon.

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Michigan beer? What's Oberon?

So the story goes, in June of 1993 Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo became the first brewery in Michigan to serve beer by the glass to the public. How cool is that? Bell's Eccentric Cafe has 20 beers on tap, including seasonal small batch varieties that are not distributed outside the pub.

The Eccentric Cafe also offers food everyday until 9pm, including a pulled pork sandwich prepared with Bell's beer! And there's no better place to enjoy a sandwich & a cold beer than in the Bell's Beer Garden, which features live music on the weekends!

Here's what Bell's has to say about Oberon:
Bell's Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell's signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer.

These photos were taken in the Beer Garden, where the sunflowers are in full bloom!

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Here's what you need...

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Oberon Cupcakes
-makes 24

3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
orange food coloring
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 c beer +1/4 cup for brushing
1/4 c milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Cream butter and sugar with paddle attachment until light, about 2 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated.
4. Add vanilla, food coloring and orange zest and beat.
5. Mix beer and milk in a measuring cup. Add flour mixture and beer mixture alternating each. Mix on medium speed until combined.
6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.
7. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

Don't forget the beer!

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And the orange zest!

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Batter ready to bake!

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Time for some frosting!

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"Beer Foam" Meringue Frosting

3 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange juice
1 c sugar
1 T corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 c water

1. In a saucepan, mix sugar, corn syrup, water and cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick and bubbly, about 160 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla and orange juice until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously. Beat for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.


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This frosting is marshmallowy- fluffy & lightly orange flavored, just like the foam of your beer with an orange slice in it! Yum!

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Someone drank lots of Oberon while playing kickball this summer!

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In the Bell's Beer Garden!

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Hope the bartenders and servers loved the cupcakes! Thanks for letting us have a mini photo shoot in the garden! =]

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Have a good summer everyone! Cheers a beer at your local brewery!

<3hollicakes


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Happy New Year from hollicakes!

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Happy New Year everyone!!

Okay so I know I've been the worst blogger ever, being I have not updated since September. It has been an insanely busy & overwhelming holiday season, and I'm secretly happy it's over and new beginnings are upon us!

Before I get to these yummy cupcakes, a few updates about me & hollicakes; I started working full time in the pastry shop at the hotel over the holidays. I thought that it was what I wanted but once I got it all I could think about was how sad it made me that I never have time to bake/blog at home for you guys! So I am in the process of going back to part time so I will have more time to focus on what I really love, hollicakes!

Getting back to regular blog updates is definitely my first new year's resolution!


Speaking of New Years……how about some pink champagne?!

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I was inspired to make these cupcakes by a sweet Christmas present I received this year, The Boozy Baker! Such a fun and amazing cookbook!

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Lucy Baker has a great recipe for Champagne Layer Cake in her book, but I took it one step further & turned it into Pink Champagne Cupcakes!

Cupcake bakers, it's time to bust out the leftover champagne!

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Don't mind my cheap bottle of champagne or the nerdy photo =]

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I love making recipes from new cookbooks!

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Pink Champagne Cupcakes (Recipe adapted from The Boozy Baker Champagne Cake)
-makes 24 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pink champagne
8 large egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake pans with 24 liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder and salt.
3. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside in new bowl.
4. Next, cream together sugar and butter with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Slowly add flour mixture and champagne, alternating with a little of each at a time.
5. Add a generous spoonful of the egg whites to the bowl, mix on low speed with paddle to lighten the batter. Fold the remaining egg whites into batter with spatula. Divide evenly into 24 cupcake liners. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back when touched.


Champagne Meringue Frosting
-enough to frost 24 cupcakes

3 egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon pink champagne
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup water

1. In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites & champagne until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously. Beat for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
3. Frost cupcakes immediately, frosting will set once cooled. Store cupcakes in refrigerator up to 3 days. Best eaten on same day, or if brought to room temperature first.


Egg whites at stiff peaks!

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Champagne meringue ready to frost. I used a star tip for piping!

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All dressed up & ready for some glitter.

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I used a combination of these fun glitters and candies. I really wanted to capture what pink champagne represents; a girly fun time!

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The cupcakes ready to make an appearance at a holiday party!

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Time to dig in =]

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Enjoy these fabulous & fun cupcakes! It is really good to be back at it baking and blogging again!

Can't wait to share more treats soon!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy & sweet 2013!


<3hollicakes

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Brown Butter Chai Tea Cupcakes

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Happy almost fall everyone! I'm here with a recipe for some cupcakes that will help ease the transition from summer into fall!

I don't know how I feel about summer ending since it's been so nice out here lately! But at the same time all the cute fall stuff is out in stores and you know I just can't resist =]

I mean, Starbucks already has their pumpkin spice latte out! Oh my, too soon for me! So I went with cinnamon and spices for these cupcakes instead!

What is brown butter you may ask? Simply butter that has been cooked on the stovetop until it is brown. It adds a nutty, more in depth flavor to your cupcakes, pastas, or anything you add it to. Brown butter + chai tea = yummy goodness.

My recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter.

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Browned butter! I only lightly browned mine. You can always go darker, but the risk of burning increases if you do. I used medium heat, stirring occasionally.

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I picked my three favorite chai teas to use in this recipe! I would recommend using your favorite tea as well.

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Steep for 5-10 minutes in your milk.

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The dry ingredients. Yum cinnamon!

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Mixing it up!

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Ready to become cupcakes.

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Ready for the recipe? =]



Brown Butter Chai Tea Cupcakes
-makes 26-28

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and softened
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
3 chai tea bags
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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, salt, and cinnamon; mix on low speed until combined.
2. Add browned butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
3. Heat milk to a simmer and steep tea bags 5-10 minutes. Remove bags, add instant coffee and vanilla. Add eggs, whisking thoroughly so the warm tea mixture doesn't cook the eggs.
4. With the mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in a slow stream and mix until just combined and smooth.
5. FIll liners 3/4 full and bake 20-22 minutes. Cool, then frost!



Cinnamon Swirl Cream Cheese Frosting

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3-6 cups sifted powered sugar, depending on taste desired
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 + 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth in electric mixer.
2. Add powered sugar, vanilla, & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat until fluffy.
3. Reserve 1/2 cup of frosting in separate bowl. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon & stir until combined. This will be your cinnamon "swirl".
4. Prepare piping bag with round tip. Using a knife, smear a stripe about an inch wide up the inside of the piping bag with the cinnamon mixture. Fill bag with the rest of the frosting and pipe away!


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Happy almost fall everyone!


<3hollicakes

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Honey, Goat Cheese & Apricot Cupcakes!

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Honey Apricot Goat Cheese Cupcakes made at the Fairmont Newport Beach!

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So as you guys can probably tell, I haven’t been updating as much as I used to. And it’s because I’ve been so busy at my job at The Fairmont Newport Beach as a pastry cook! So many fun events and opportunities! I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a hotel that is involved in amazing projects such as adopting goats and harvesting honey from our own bees!

The adoption of seven goats - Suzy Q, Snickers, Frankie, Lucy, Cali, Trixie and Taffy
is the hotel’s latest culinary initiative. In collaboration with Drake Farms Goat Dairy, where the female goats reside, the animals are cared for by dedicated farmers and staff and receive regular visits from the hotel’s executive chef. The farm uses the goats’ milk to produce organic goat cheese, which the chef brings back to use in dishes for the restaurant and lounge.

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SO cute!

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Executive Chef Chad Blunston visiting with our goats!

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Rob Anderson making friends!

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I feel so lucky to be a part of a company that is so involved in the community, as well as cooking amazing food. Organic ingredients make such the difference when cooking and baking.



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Also in 2011, Fairmont Newport Beach saved their current hive of honeybees from extermination when they were found “swarming” in the hotel’s ground-level parking lot. The hotel’s beekeeping partner, Backyard Bees, rescued the bees before relocating them to a safer home on the rooftop.

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Fun Fact: Citrus and avocado orchards, coastal oak, black sage, eucalyptus, and buckwheat are among the many rich forage plants that keep the hotel’s honeybees thriving.

The bees in their new home!

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The keepers at Backyard Bees harvest the honeycombs created by our bees, then bring back the sweet honey for us to use in the kitchen!

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And the other day, there was a banquet order for “assorted cupcakes.” Can I even tell you how much I love it when I see this on the prep sheet? I can make any flavor that I want. The freedom and creativity is endless!


Then came a brilliant idea. Why not combine two amazing things? A moist honey cupcake topped with an apricot honey goat cheese frosting and a tiny bit of apricot preserves.


Let’s start with the cupcakes. (This is my first time taking step by step photos somewhere other than my own kitchen!)


Honey Cupcakes
-makes about 2 dozen

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with paper liners.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, honey and vanilla.
3. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
4. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
5. Alternating wet and dry ingredients, gradually add and mix on low speed until combined.
6. Scoop batter and fill liners 3/4 full, bake 15-18 minutes for minis, 18-22 for regular cupcakes.
7. Let cupcakes cool, then frost.

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The honey bucket. Yum.

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Alternate wet and dry ingredients.


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I just love our big wooden table in the middle of the bakery. One day I want to have my very own wooden bakers table! =]

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Scoop ‘em out. I made minis. Also, we use nonstick silicone molds instead of metal cupcake pans. No need for liners!

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They came out a little bit wonky. It happens sometimes. Even to me! Cover it up with frosting and no one will ever know!

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Ready for some goat cheese made locally?

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Apricot Honey Goat Cheese Frosting
-makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup goat cheese
1-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cream

1. Cream together goat cheese, cream cheese and butter with electric mixer.
2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, to taste. I used about 1 2/3 cups.
3. Add preserves, honey and cream. Beat on medium high until combined and fluffy.
4. Frost cupcakes, leaving a small well in the middle. Fill well with 1/2 teaspoon of apricot preserves.



The butter/cheese mixture for the frosting!

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All mixed up.

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Frost away, leaving a small well in the center for the apricot preserves.

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Finishing touches.

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Ready for taste testing!

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Took a couple cupcakes home for my family to try, ended up taking some super cute pictures!


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Cupcakes in the garden!

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Spring turns to Summer!

Once again, I seemed to disappear lately! Where has hollicakes been?

On a 2 week road trip to Arkansas with my mom and grandma!

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Had a blast seeing the country and family! (my cousin KynLey, future hollicakes assistant!!)

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Once I returned home, back to work I went, where Brooke and I have been deep in creating jello shots for the hotel pool!

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And other fun treats for summer-vacationing families at the hotel!

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Garden themed cupcakes for a combined Mother’s/Father’s Day Party! Love these.

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Some patriotic cupcakes!

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And cupcakes for a friend’s sister’s bridal shower!

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….with Dylan by my side =]

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So I would definitely say that I’ve been in the kitchen a ton, but just not in an organized, “blog-able”, picture taking fashion. I am so sorry about that!

Hopefully I’ll have some free time soon to post some fun new summertime recipes for ya =]

Thanks for visiting and I’ll be back soon, I promise!!


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Cookie-Butter Cupcakes!

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Hey everyone! I don’t know if any of you have tried Biscoff spread, aka cookie butter, but it is amazing!

I first heard about Biscoff spread over at one of my favorite blogs, Picky Palate. Check out her Biscoff Cupcake recipe HERE!


Although this jar doesn’t say Biscoff, I think it tastes very similar & yummy. THANK YOU Trader Joe’s!

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Super easy recipe. Mix all your wet ingredients together.

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Whisk up your dry ingredients, then add to wet! Mix until combined & smooth.

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I happened to have half a bag of white chocolate chips laying around, so I threw them in & mixed by hand.

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Baked cupcakes, yum!!

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Cookie Butter Cupcakes (Recipe adapted from Biscoff Cupcakes by Picky Palate)
-makes 18 cupcakes

11/2 cups all-purpose flour
11/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup Biscoff/cookie spread
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda & cinnamon.
3. With an electric mixer, blend together oil, sour cream, cookie spread, eggs & vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in white chocolate chips by hand. Divide batter between liners and bake 18-22 minutes. Cool on rack before frosting.


White Chocolate Buttercream
- enough to frost 18 cupcakes

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
6 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
2-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 almond extract

1. Beat butter until creamy with electric mixer. Add melted and cooled white chocolate.
2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, until desired taste/sweetness achieved. Add extracts and mix until fluffy.


Melted white chocolate!

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Finished frosting, all white and beautiful!

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I frosted using a plain round tip and a fondant flower decoration!

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Hope you guys love this recipe, don’t forget to search your local Trader Joe’s for cookie butter/Biscoff spread!


See you next time =]


<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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Pumpkin Cheesecake + Cupcakes!

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Ahh I LOVE these little owls. I found them at Sur La Table in a cupcake kit. So freaking adorable.

Anyways, its not about the owls, unfortunately. It’s about the cupcake underneath the owls!

Pumpkin Cheesecake cupcakes, to be exact.

I was trying to think of a good fall/november themed cupcake to share with you guys when it came to me! My favorite pie to eat on Thanksgiving is Pumpkin Cheesecake. Pie + hollicakes = pie cupcake!!

I feel like I’ve posted a TON about pumpkin recently, but it’s impossible not to! Pumpkin is only popular/socially acceptable in desserts a few months out of the year, thus I must take advantage of it! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do =]

I used my standard Pumpkin Cupcake recipe, and added some graham cracker crumbs to the batter and bottoms of the cupcake liners.


Pumpkin Cupcakes
-makes about 24

2 cups cake flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs + extra for bottom of liners
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and set out cupcake pans with liners, add 1 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs per liner. Whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, graham cracker crumbs & spices in the bowl of a mixer.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, buttermilk & eggs.
3. With mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients, mix until just combined & smooth.
4. Fill liners 3/4 full, then bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack.


Graham cracker crumbs about to go into the bowl.

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The dry ingredients.

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The wet ingredients all whisked together.

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Add to bowl, mix until just combined!

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All done!

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1 teaspoon per cup.

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Cream Cheese Frosting
-enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

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

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


I sprinkled some graham cracker crumbs on top & added an owl to each cupcake!

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I love the cute little owl feet.

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Happy fall cupcaking friends!

<3hollicakes

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Harvest Cupcake Display!

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Happy November everyone! Once again, I was over at my grandma’s community for a little get-together/meeting. Cupcakes were baked. And eaten!


They told me it was Harvest themed so I planned these three flavors;
Pumpkin, Cranberry Walnut Pancake, and Hot Chocolate!

First lets start with my classic pumpkin recipe. I’ve posted the recipe before, but I will again just cause =]

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Pumpkin Cupcakes
-makes about 24

2 cups cake flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and set out cupcake pans with liners. Whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder & spices in the bowl of a mixer.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, buttermilk & eggs.
3. With mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients, mix until just combined & smooth.
4. Fill liners 3/4 full, then bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack.

For the frosting I just used a classic cream cheese frosting.



Next, Hot Chocolate!

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Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 24

1 heaping cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, sit 5 min
4 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, 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

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.




And finally the Cran-Walnut Pancake!

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So I decided to try a new vanilla cupcake recipe. I like the one that I usually bake, but I’m not in LOVE with it. So I’m on the hunt.

Dylan did some research as I was freaking out because my regular vanilla cupcake recipe didn’t turn out right. My love saves the day, again!

The recipe he found was from Glorious Treats, link HERE. It’s called Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes. Sounds good, right?

Well it was pretty good, the only thing I think I messed up was that I wasn’t thinking and didn’t have the oven on convection bake, when I usually ALWAYS do. So I’m definitely going to give this recipe another try with that modification.


Vanilla Cupcakes
-makes 15-16 cupcakes

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk

and I added these 3 ingredients ...
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries
zest from 1 orange

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
5. The batter will be thin. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
6. Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes.
7. Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.


What makes these Cran-Walnut Pancake? Maple frosting of course =]

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s SMB recipe)

5 large egg whites
1 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
3. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.


It was a crazy meeting, people were swarming for cupcakes so I wasn’t able to get that many pictures. Here’s one of the whole display!

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Hope everyone is having a great November! Can’t wait to share some more fun fall recipes with you guys =]


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Halloween Celebrations!

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Happy Halloween everyone!!

It is my absolute favorite time of year! I love the baking, the pumpkin patch, and dressing up! This past week I had 2 awesome events, a pumpkin carving party at my house & a Halloween party at my Grandma’s community. They were both SO fun! And both involve cupcakes and other equally delicious treats.

First was my pumpkin carving bash! I made a bunch of food; butternut squash soup, cornbread, spiked apple cider, marshmallow pops, cupcakes, whoopie pies, and more!


Gettin’ ready to roast some fresh butternut squash for soup. And my Dad loves to photobomb...haha.
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My assistant and best friend Kayla Berry dipping some marshmallow pops!

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I love the way these turned out!

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Orange Velvet Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting, yum!

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Whoopie pies! Spiderwebs done by Kayla!

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Dylan made a batch of his famous dirt & worms! (Crushed oreos, chocolate pudding & gummy worms!)

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Everyone brought their pumpkins to carve!

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Love this girl, couldn’t have done it without her!

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Dylan did a Mustache-O-Lantern and I did a kitty. Typical us =]

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Everyone and their pumpkins, amazing job!! Thank you to everyone who came.

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Now on to the Halloween party!! I catered the cupcakes, of course.

It was my grandma’s party, so I figure I better start off with a picture of us! I’m Little Red for Halloween this year. Can anyone guess what Dylan is?!

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My creepy cupcake display!

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I did a Pumpkin cupcake, topped with a green Tic-Tac for a stem and some glitter, of course!

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A bloody Red Velvet cupcake!

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And Chocolate Mint, topped with my leftover Nightmare Before Christmas toppers I made last week!

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Love all the bright colors.

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Dylan met me at the party dressed as the Big Bad Wolf! Love.

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I hope everyone has a safe & delicious day!

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Happy Halloween from hollicakes!<3
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Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcakes!

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Hey friends! So sorry this post is a little late. These guys took some time in the kitchen!

So Dylan & I just renewed our Disneyland passes, and got to go see the park all decked out for Halloween. Oh my gosh, my favorite!

And every year we go on the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion, it is amazing what a transformation that ride gets for the holidays! Impresses me every time. Needless to say, that is where my inspiration for the week’s cupcake came from!

What did I make? I did a white cake with a dash of cinnamon, baked with a Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kiss inside, topped with cider caramel buttercream!

These cupcakes have multiple, time sensitive steps to them, so I’ll go through them in the order that I worked in!

The first thing I did, a couple days before: I made the cider caramel.
What is cider caramel? Apple juice, reduced down to a think cider, then caramelized and mixed with butter & cream to make a cider caramel sauce! And its delicious and caramely with a hint of apple cider. A new fall favorite, for sure.

Here’s how I did it, in a little more detail.

Cider Caramel Sauce
-makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 container of apple juice (yes a whole container!)
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 - 2 cups heavy cream, depending on how thick you want your sauce

1. Pour container of apple juice into a large pot, simmer on medium-high heat until reduced by about 75%. (This took me almost 2 hours. I had it on medium heat while I worked on the decorations)
2. Once all the water has evaporated from the apple juice, it will become a sticky, thicker liquid. Keep going. At this point you will want to stop what you’re doing and watch it closely. Since it is a caramel, it can go from almost there to burnt very quickly! Also, be careful friends, especially with children in the kitchen. Hot caramel is dangerous and can burn you!
3. You will see it start getting darker, once its a medium amber color, remove from heat, add butter & cream. It will bubble, watch out!
4. Stir until combined, if sauce is too thick, add more cream. When hot it will seem very liquid, but once it cools it’ll set up. To test, dip a spoon in caramel & set in fridge for 5 minutes. Will keep for 7-10 days, refrigerated.

What it looked like when it started to get sticky.

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Have your butter & cream ready. Missing 1 stick of butter in the picture though! I was kind of winging it, didn’t know how much I was going to use.

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What it looks like when its caramelized and ready for the cream & butter!

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Meanwhile......

I was working on the Nightmare decorations, using stencils Dylan made for me!

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And here they are for your piping pleasure! Minus the mummy eyeball guy, I didn’t end up liking him!

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First I piped the outlines for each, like in the above picture. Then I flooded them with the royal icing.

Never used royal icing? Well its pretty easy to make, and perfect for frosting sugar cookies with. (Think decorated Xmas sugar cookies! Yep that’s royal icing.)

Or also perfect for piping out decorations onto parchment! Once they dry(mine dried in about a day and a half) they peel of nice & easy.

Here is a recipe for you guys.

Royal Icing (Wilton’s Recipe)

3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).

Tips:
For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.

When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.

Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.


Now time for the cupcakes! I used this recipe by Martha Stewart, but the only things I added to it was cinnamon and Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses!

Cinna-White Cupcakes
-makes about 24

3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
8 large egg whites
24 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.

4. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.

5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with 2/3 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.


Found these kisses at Target, yum!

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Look at the pumpkin cream inside!

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Anyways, back to the cupcakes...

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I used clear Vanilla Extract to make sure the cupcakes would be nice and white!

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Look at that beautiful white batter.

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Kisses in the cupcakes.

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Baked and ready to be frosted!

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Time for some frosting with that caramel we made earlier!

Cider Caramel Buttercream

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
12 tablespoons shortening
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cider caramel
3-5 drops orange food coloring (optional)

1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat butter and shortening until smooth.
2. Sift powdered sugar, add 1/2 cup at a time to taste.
3. Add caramel and food coloring, beat until smooth and fluffy. Frost cupcakes as desired!

Caramel, yummy!

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Ready to frost?!

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I used a plain star tip to frost my cupcakes, then placed the royal icing decorations on top with a little glitter.

Hello fabulous Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcakes!!

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Jack & Sally<3

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Pumpkin Monster & Oogy Boogie

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Happy Halloween Everyone!!

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Vanilla Bake Shop: Review

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So a few weeks ago it was mine and Dylan’s 3 year anniversary! Crazy, the time has gone by so fast. And since I work for Fairmont, we went to stay at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica for a day/night of relaxation. And lots of yummy food =]

One of the first places we stopped at was Vanilla Bake Shop, only a couple blocks away from the hotel!

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They had the cutest Halloween display in the window. I wanted to take it home with me!

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We were each going to get a mini cupcake, but since they only sell the mini cupcakes in 3’s, we picked out a third!

Finally decided on Banana Chocolate Chip, Fudgy Brownie & Red Velvet.

Started with the Red Velvet, it was so moist the wrapper was falling off! Loved the cake, but thought the frosting could be a little bit more cream cheesy.

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Then Fudgy Brownie, this one was our least favorite. The cake was a dry “brownie” with not-so-exciting vanilla frosting.

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Cutting it in half to share!

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Banana Chocolate Chip, this one was AMAZING! The banana cake had the perfect amount of chocolate chips and was super moist, and the cream cheese frosting complimented it very well. Would definitely order this cupcake again!

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Yum?

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And Dylan got a super awesome shirt!

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Why yes they do.


If you guys want to visit Vanilla Bake Shop, they have 2 locations; one in Santa Monica & one in Century City.

512 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Ph: 310.458.6644

10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Floor 1 Space 1250
Ph: 310-284-7937

Hours
Monday thru Saturday 10am - 9pm
Sunday 12pm - 7pm



Happy cupcaking!

<3hollicakes

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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 =]



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CW Event!

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Hello again! I’ve been a busy little cupcake lately & I’m so excited to share what hollicakes has been up to!

The most recent event, Collaborative World’s Fall/Holiday Launch! It was on September 28 at the Galaxy Concert Theater.

What the heck is CW and why was hollicakes there?

Collaborative World is a for-profit apparel company(t-shirts, hats, hoodies, etc.) that donates 50% of their profit from sales to partnering companies already doing good around the world. Giving is the brand. Hollicakes is proud to be a participant in this amazing cause. All the cupcakes featured at this event were donated, we say GIVE CUPCAKES. The CW MISSION: To actively pursue new and more extraordinary ways to give while encouraging others to do the same.

Are you encouraged yet? I sure am =]


Ready for some pictures? Me too!


Chocolate cupcakes lookin good.

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Chocolate, Pumpkin, & Blueberry Pancake; all in line.

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newest addition to the hollicakes team, andrew!

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Team hollicakes! (minus Kayla, we missed you!!)

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The boys setting up.

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The featured seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Pie Latte!

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Sweet + Salty = YUM.

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Back by popular demand.

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Cupcaking with my love!

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Our Fall display!

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Andrew tray-passing hollicakes! love it.

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the boys, haha

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Amazing new CW shirts on display!

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heyyyy, i love cupcakes.


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Pumpkin Pie Latte Cupcakes!

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Hello, fall!

I must say, fall & holiday baking is definitely my favorite time of year. ESPECIALLY Halloween! So get ready for a series of spooky & fun Halloween treats!

You know for sure that fall is here when coffee shops start bringing out seasonal flavors, like pumpkin pie!! My favorite =]

So I decided to turn my favorite seasonal drink into a yummy cupcake, lets see how I did it....


Both your sugars, spices, & baking powder.

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Pumpkin + Cake four = one good cupcake.

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The wet ingredients.

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Add the wet to the dry, mix it up.

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Cute mini cupcake liners I found on sale after Halloween last year!

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Want some recipes? Here you go;


Pumpkin Cupcakes
-makes about 24

2 cups cake flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and set out cupcake pans with liners. Whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder & spices in the bowl of a mixer.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, buttermilk & eggs.
3. With mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients, mix until just combined & smooth.
4. Fill liners 3/4 full, then bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack.



Oh what makes these cupcakes all coffee & yummy?

Kahlua. The good stuff.

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Mocha Cream Cheese Frosting
-enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon dry instant coffee, if desired
1/4 cup baking cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar


1. Beat together softened butter & cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. In a small bowl, add instant coffee and Kahlua, mix to dissolve coffee.
2. Add Kahlua mixture & whipping cream to butter/cream cheese mixture. Mix until incorporated.
3. Sift together cocoa and powdered sugar, add 1/2 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly in between each addition.
4. Frost cupcakes as desired!


Adding the Kahlua to the dry coffee, yum!

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Beautiful pumpkin cupcakes, cooled & ready to be frosted.

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I love how the frosting looks like little pumpkins.

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Happy first day of October!

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<3hollicakes

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Cupcake Camp OC!




On September 11, 2011, an event called Cupcake Camp OC went down over at the Atrium Hotel in Irvine.

All the proceeds went to Children of the Night, a non-profit organization out to stop child prostitution.

So tickets were $15 per person, and you got to pick which track you wanted, 12-2 or 3-5. And from 2-3 was a cupcake competition for the bakers! Each person received 5 tickets, and could trade each ticket for 1 regular or 2 mini cupcakes.

From the moment the doors opened it was cupcake craziness. We brought 700 mini cupcakes, which was split evenly for each of the tracks. But we very quickly found out that there were WAY more people than the event expected and not enough cupcakes for everyone. We handed out 350 cupcakes in 30 minutes.


Here are some photos from the day;

hot out of the oven!



3/4 of team hollicakes getting ready to go!



Dylan and Kayla having a mid-setup cupcake break!



My amazing cupcake engineer, assistant & soulmate.






Oh what flavors did we bring? I thought you’d never ask =]


Mallow Delight - Chocolate cake topped with homemade marshmallow frosting then dipped in dark chocolate.

This flavor was also featured at this years LA Cupcake Challenge, and has become a favorite of some of my youngest fans! What kid (or adult) can say no to the combination of marshmallow & chocolate?!





Raspberry Velvet - Raspberry red velvet cake with tangy cream cheese frosting.

A fun, fruity twist on a delicious classic. Even topped with a homemade fondant heart & edible glitter!





Snickers & Jack - Caramel snickers cake topped with homemade caramel and chocolate Jack Daniels buttercream.

I recently posted about these cupcakes, which were inspired by a “Top Shelf” ice cream that was once featured at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach.





Breakfast in Bed - Blueberry buttermilk cake topped with a maple swiss meringue buttercream & cinna-bacon.

These cupcakes were created by Dylan, and feature his famous cinnamon bacon! These sinful breakfast cakes, along with my Snickers & Jack cupcakes have become a favorite of the guys’. You know, the boyfriends/husbands/ brothers of all those cupcake-loving women out there. The men are happy, the women are happy, cupcake bliss.





All set up & ready for the cupcake lovers!



New hollicakes shirts courtesy of TC Screen Printing, pretty amazing.



Cupcake Love<3






The competition included three categories; Most OC, Most Childhood Inspired, and Spirit of 9/11.

RESULTS; hollicakes earned two 2nd places and one 1st place! Yay! I honestly was shocked, and so happy that people loved my cupcakes!


Most OC: Chocolate Orange - Chocolate cake filled with a sweet orange curd, topped with white chocolate orange buttercream & a candied orange slice dipped in chocolate.

2nd Place Winner!





Most Childhood Inspired: Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies - Brown sugar cake filled with a chocolate chip cookie dough, topped with brown sugar buttercream & mini chocolate chips.

2nd Place Winner!





Spirit of 9/11(design only category): Dylan designed and built fondant Twin Towers with light-up blue LEDS.

1st Place Winner!





My cupcake boys - Andrew & Dylan!



Dylan’s favorite cupcake of the day.



Four of my favorite things; Cupcakes, chocolate, glitter & turquoise.



Andrew giving away the LAST breakfast in bed cupcake! intense moment.



Cupcake madness.



Gave away all 700 cupcakes, ended up with a TON of tickets! Love it =]




I had an amazing time at Cupcake Camp OC and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped organize the event, the hotel, all the cupcake fans out there, & the judges.

And most of all THANK YOU to Team Hollicakes!! Dylan, Kayla, Andrew & my mom!! I love you guys! I could not have done it without you.


Until next time,
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Fabulous Carrot Cupcakes!

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HELLO yummy pre-fall flavors! Lately I’ve been so anxious to start baking fall-flavored goodies! BUT it isn’t quite fall yet, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

And it just so happened, it was a friend’s birthday, and she loves carrot cake! Perfect, right?

Still get to use a little brown sugar, cinnamon & ginger but we’re not goin’ all the way to pumpkin or gingerbread yet!

Look at those bright, beautiful carrot shavings! (I used a food processor)

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Add your eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, & vanilla. Mix with paddle attachment.

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Then whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, & ginger.

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Then add your dry ingredients to the bowl, mix until combined.

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Fill liners 2/3 full, then bake!

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Here is the full recipe for you guys just incase you missed any of that...

Carrot Cupcakes
-makes about 24

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

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


One thing I totally forgot to take pictures of....the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting! Don’t worry though, its an easy one!

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Buttercream
-makes enough for about 24 cupcakes

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
12 oz cream cheese
1/2-1 cup brown sugar, depending on taste preference

1. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth in electric mixer.
2. Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Frost cupcakes as desired, I used a piping bag and plain round tip. And a couple sprinkles here and there!


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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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Chipotle Burrito Cake




So one of my best friends Kellen drove ALL the way to South Carolina for college, and for her going away party I made this Chipotle-inspired cake!

Backstory... when we first met we went on a Chipotle binge and ate there everyday for about a month straight. Unhealthy, I know. But it happened!

Everything on this cake is sweet, even though it looks savory.

The burrito “tortilla” is made of vanilla genoise cake, you can find the recipe here.

The cake batter is spread in a thin(about 3/4” thick) rectangle on parchment over almost the entire cookie sheet, then baked about 20 minutes. The secret here is that you don’t over mix when you add the flour, since there is no baking powder/soda in this recipe, the batter will fall flat easily.

Another tip, something I learned from my baking teacher back at school, once the cake is out and cooled for about 5-10 minutes, lay out a CLEAN kitchen towel the size of the cake. Dust with powdered sugar, then flip the cake onto it. Slowly peel back the parchment, then gently roll the cake up in the towel like a swiss roll. Doing this allows the cake to cool and form to the shape it will eventually be in later. Make sure you use enough powdered sugar, or else the cake will stick to the towel, and we don’t want that! If you cool it completely then try to roll it, it is more likely to break/crumble.

Once cool, unroll cake and spread thin layer of chocolate frosting(any kind will do!), staying about an inch away from the edges. Then slowly and gently roll your burrito back up, this part is probably the most challenging.

I’m so sorry, this probably sounds hard and I don’t have any pictures to help you out! I decided to make it last minute so I didn’t have enough time to stop and take pictures every step =[ I wish I would have!

The chips are made from store bought, already made pie dough! Just unroll, cut triangles, sprinkle with sugar, and bake until lightly toasted! The “guac” is simply whipped cream colored green!

The rice is sprinkles, lettuce is shredded coconut + green food coloring (put coconut and coloring in a plastic bag and shake!), and the cheese and tomatoes are made out of fondant.


Good luck at school Kellen, love ya!!



<3hollicakes
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Watermelons!

So I wanted to bake something fun and summery, and EASY. These cupcakes are exactly that.



Watermelon Cupcakes
-makes about 20-24

1 box strawberry cake mix
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
watermelon candy flavoring oil (Can be found at baking supply stores, or online)
4 sticks butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
green cupcake liners
green and pink gel colors

1. Mix cake as directed on box, adding mini chocolate chips at the end. Bake as directed.
2. Cream butter on medium-high until fluffy and smoothed, adding sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. More or less depending on how sweet you want the frosting!
3. Add 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of the watermelon flavoring to frosting, to taste.
4. Color half of the frosting pink, and the other half light green.
5. Fill pastry bag fitted with star tip half with pink, half with green frosting. This part can be tricky, and would be much easier with 3 hands instead of just 2! Frost cupcakes as desired and sprinkle with leftover chocolate chips!

The star ingredients!



Mix it up!



Electric Pink.



Electric Green...what can I say? I like my colors bright =]



Ready to go!



Luckily I was baking over at my grandma’s house, so she was able to help and lend a 3rd hand in filling the pastry bag!



Yum!




Hope everyone is having an amazing summer!


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True Blood Cupcakes: 3.0




Yess finally True Blood is back! And time for another round of cupcakes, of course!

I used the same cake recipe, but changed up the filling and frosting a little bit. Here we go...

“Pale Skin” Vanilla Cupcakes
-makes about 16-18

2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large egg whites
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350, line muffin tins with liners.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in mixing bowl. In bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg whites one at a time, mixing in between additions. Add extracts.
4. Add half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, then the other half of the flour. Mix until combined.
5. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 minutes.


While cupcakes are cooling, I suggest making the filling next! Oh I learned that Oregon pie filling > Comstock pie filling, just sayin.



“Blood” Cherry Filling
-makes WAY more than enough to fill 18 cupcakes

1 can Oregon Cherry Pie Filling
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon red food coloring

1. Puree cherry filling in food processor, then transfer to small pot.
2. Add cornstarch and food coloring, whisking over medium heat until thickened and coats back of a spoon without dripping off.
3. Allow “blood” to cool before filling cupcakes =]


While blood is cooling, using the cone method, get your cupcakes ready to be filled!

Cut small cones out of the center of the cupcakes. Cut off and eat the “cone” part, and reserve the top or “lid” to seal back up the filled cupcakes later! Don’t do this step too far in advance though, the longer the cupcakes sit out with their centers exposed, the more likely they are to dry out!




Ready to fill ‘em?

Cooled cherry mixture.



Fill your cupcakes, not overly full though. Or else the “blood” will ooze out once you put the cupcake top back on......Or is that really such a bad thing? ;)



Filled and ready to be topped!



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.

I frosted my cupcakes with a medium round tip in a piping bag.




So once the frosting sets, it becomes the exact consistency as a giant marshmallow! Congratulations, you have just made a homemade marshmallow!

To make the “bites” I simply dipped the end of a toothpick into the cherry mixture and poked two little holes, then adding a little bit more underneath as the drips. The marshmallow frosting becomes the perfect consistency to be able to do this. It holds the toothpick holes, and allows you to pretty much paint on the blood dripping down without becoming a gooey frosting mess.

Hello yummy cupcakes =]



Happy Sunday nights, Trubies =]





<3hollicakes
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Wedding Favors: Bride & Groom Pops




On June 24, 2011 my cousin Ashley’s childhood friend Priscilla got married right down the street from my house in Huntington Beach!

And for 3 days before then, Ashley and I worked on these! Oreo and Vanilla cake pops!



Yumm these were my favorite. I’m def an oreo type of girl!



Edward may or maynot be trying to convince us to go to the beach. hahaha.



Oreo Cake Pops
-makes about 40-50 pops
- 1 pack of Oreos
- 8oz package of cream cheese
- 1 bag white melting chocolate ( Do not use Nestle white chocolate chips, they won’t melt thin enough to dip your pops cleanly. And you’ll run into a mess of problems. Use Wilton or preferably Mercken’s Candy Melts, or any other chocolate meant for melting/coating.)
- 1 bag dark chocolate
- 1 bag light blue chocolate ( or whatever color you want)
- lollipop sticks, about 100

1. Finely crush oreos in a food processor, add the softened cream cheese and mix. (I like to mix these with my hands!)
2. Form balls about 1 inch wide, chill in refrigerator.

Vanilla Cake Pops
-makes about 40-50 pops
- 1 box white cake mix, baked
- 2/3 can of white frosting

1. Bake cake as directed on box, cool, then crumble into a bowl.
2. Add frosting a little at a time, mixing in between. It quickly goes from being too dry...too sticky. And you don’t want them too sticky.
3. Form balls and chill in refrigerator.


The steps are pretty much the same from here, so I’m going to combine the two!

4. Melt your white chocolate, we used Mercken’s Candy Melts in Super White and Dark Cocoa, as well as Light Blue for the decorations.
5. Remove pops from fridge, dip end of a lollipop stick in melted white chocolate, and insert into cake ball. Allow chocolate to harden, then completely dip balls into white chocolate. Be careful they aren’t too cold or else the chocolate will start to crack.
6. For the grooms: Melt dark chocolate and dip pops, leaving V of white in the front for the bow-tie and buttons. Then melt blue chocolate, using a piping bag, pipe bow-tie and buttons.
7. For the brides: Use white chocolate in a piping bag, drizzle chocolate onto the pops to make the dress “ruffles”. Repeat with blue chocolate leftover in the piping bag from the grooms! Pipe dots around the top for the matching necklace.

Cake pops are a challenge at first, but once you do the motions over and over it starts to get much easier. I suggest being very patient, its hard for me sometimes, haha. Or get yourself some assistants to help ya out =]








I really enjoy making wedding cake pops, so if you or anyone you know is getting married anytime soon, let them know about Hollicakes Wedding Cake Pop Favors!




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Its Almost Summer...

That means its time for some Arnold Palmer cupcakes out by the pool =]

If you don’t know what an Arnold Palmer is, don’t feel bad, neither of my parents had any idea what I was talking about. For instance, direct quote from my dad, “You mean the golfer?”

Nope. Anyone thats ever worked in foodservice, AKA a restaurant, knows that Arnold Palmer means half iced tea half lemonade!




So for these cupcakes I went pretty old school and used the instant iced tea mix, its actually not that good by itself... ha. BUT in these cupcakes it is fabulous!

A really simple recipe too.

Iced Tea-Lemonade Cupcakes
-makes 24

1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Instant Unsweetened Iced Tea Mix
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour, iced tea mix, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in bowl of a mixer until combined.
2. Combine all wet ingredients, both milks, lemon juice and oil, in a separate bowl.
3. Slowly add wet ingredients to the mixing bowl containing the dry, and mix until combined evenly. Divide bater between 24 standard cupcake liners and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched.



Lemon Buttercream
-makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

3 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
zest from 2 lemons

1. Add butter to bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest to taste.
2. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until fluffy and creamy.
3. Frost cupcakes however you like! I used a simple star tip.




Enjoy this summer-friendly cupcake recipe!

<3hollicakes


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Apple Store Event; Cupcake Style




So the boyfriend comes over after work and asks if I can make cupcakes for an event at work. See, Dylan works at the Apple Store at South Coast Plaza, and I’m the newly converted PC to MAC girlfriend who happens to make cupcakes. I said yes, of course. Any flavors I want, yay!

So I decided on chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and strawberry cupcakes with chocolate buttercream.

Creamy Chocolate and Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

For the little apple logos I made my own marshmallow fondant. Which is actually easier than it sounds.

Marshmallow Fondant

8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)
1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), sifted
2 tbsp water
Food coloring or flavored extracts, optional

1. Melt marshmallows in microwave safe bowl on 50% power, be careful not to burn them. Add water, and add mixture to bowl of an electric mixer. Mix marshmallows on low with a dough hook, then add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix on medium until fondant comes together. Fondant should form a ball in mixer, its okay if some powdererd sugar and marshmallow gets stuck to the bottom of the bowl. As long as the majority is together in a ball.
2. Dust smooth surface with powdered sugar, and roll out fondant to desired thickness.

I used a little apple cookie cutter, then the end of a spoon to make the apple bite!





Enjoy MAC lovers!

<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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Easter Cupcakes : Bird's Nest



Once again, its been way too long since I’ve updated.

Don’t think I haven’t been baking though, at home and at work. Just haven’t had time to take pictures of my creations!

I know these are a little late, but better late than never, right??

I’ve seen birds nest cupcakes done for Easter and for baby showers, and of course springtime in general. That’s why they are so awesome, and easy too!

Pick your favorite cupcake and frosting flavors, I did chocolate cake with vanilla frosting! So many possible combinations. Toasted coconut cream cheese frosting would be amazing as well!

All you need is shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, both are fine) and Robin’s Egg candies! Toast the coconut in the oven until lightly browned, then dip the tops of the cupcakes in it once cooled. Top with candy eggs, and they are done!!

In the box ready to go!



Happy LATE Easter! Off to deliver...



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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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Brighten Up Your Day...



With some PB&J cupcakes! Now these cupcakes aren’t just your average Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcakes...It is moist Peanut Butter cake, filled with a Homemade Blueberry Sauce, topped with Banana Cream Cheese Frosting! With a little granola cluster and blueberry jam drizzle too =]

Inspiration came to me from The Burnt Truck! They often feature a dessert slider that has peanut butter, blueberry jelly and fresh banana slices all on a sweet hawaiian roll! I tried it once and I was hooked....

And soon after this cupcake was born.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- makes 22-24

1 3/4 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (really helps keep this cupcakes moist!)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line cupcake pans with your favorite paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. On medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Reduce speed, then add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Add peanut butter, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla, flour mixture and sour cream.
3. Divide batter into lined cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, baking careful not to over-bake, these guys can get dry very fast!

Blueberry Sauce
- makes about 2 cups

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries, 1/4 c water, orange juice, and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil.
2. In a small bowl, mix together other 1/4 c water and cornstarch, then stir into blueberry mixture. Simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, stir in almond extract and cinnamon.





Banana Cream Cheese Buttercream
-enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons peanut butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mashed bananas

1. Cream butter and cream cheese in mixer with paddle attachment. Add peanut butter, bananas and powdered sugar.
2. Mix until fluffy, then add vanilla.



For the little nut topping I bought some of these...




And then drizzled some of the leftover blueberry sauce on top!

These cupcakes definitely called for a glass of milk, so yummy!


More delicious cupcake recipes to come soon!

<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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LA Cupcake Challenge: Part 2



The day of the event started off crazy!! We went to sleep around 3am, and had to get up and finish the last batch of cupcakes before we left for LA!

The Hollywood Renaissance Hotel is about an hour away, add in Saturday afternoon traffic and 1,398 cupcakes in the back seat...not a good combination. There were only a couple cupcake casualties on the way there, and I was so nervous I almost got sick in the car! Or maybe it was Dylan’s driving....haha just kidding =]

But we finally made it and met up with two of my best friends Caitlin and Kayla, along with my grandma, mom and a few of her friends!



Setup went pretty fast, and before I knew it, it was already 4 o’clock and people were lined up outside!

I feel so lucky every time I look at these pictures. So lucky because I had so many doubts and worries about whether or not my young business could take on such a big event. But it did and it can! And I feel so grateful for that =]

Anyways...

the Cactus Cooler tower!






And the Mallow Delights!






My beautiful assistant Caitlin!



One last shot with the boyfren, before the madness starts!




We also had some amazing cupcake neighbors, be sure to check out Goodie Girls! =]



Last year I met the Cupcake Activist, this year she ate some Hollicakes! So stoked.



I LOVED talking with all the cupcake-lovers, the whole time I kept thinking to myself “Ah a room completely filled with my people!”...CUPCAKE PEOPLE!



And all I can hope for is that everyone enjoyed my cupcakes. Because I really enjoy making them!



I just want to say thank you to everyone who came out to the LA Cupcake Challenge, there would be no challenge without the cupcake fans =]




Check back soon for some Valentine’s Day Treats =]

<3hollicakes


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LA Cupcake Challenge: Part 1



We did it! The LA Cupcake Challenge was a success! Even though we didn’t win, it was still an amazing experience and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it.

1,398 mini cupcakes.

The most cupcakes I’ve ever made at one time!

We started off baking the chocolate cupcakes for the Mallow Delights!



Then on to the homemade marshmallow fluff frosting! And dipping in chocolate!



The chocolate dipping definitely took the most time!



We also baked some red velvet cupcakes to sell for Valentine’s Day!



All individually packaged with love =]



On to the Cactus Cooler cupcakes! Pineapple puree and orange zest in the cake, mmm!



I had made the mango swiss meringue buttercream the night before, so all we had to do was frost them! Dylan even stepped up and practiced his piping skills! So impressive. For someone who didn’t think twice about baking....until he met me =]



After 15 straight hours of baking and decorating, I’m surprised that we even remembered to take any pictures. Seriously.



Oh that’s only half of them.





Check back for more pictures from the event! Sorry I slack....600 pictures in one day is quite a lot to deal with.
Soon I promise!

<3hollicakes

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Pre-Cupcake Challenge Prep!

So things have been so crazy and busy in the world of hollicakes.

I’ve been doing tons of prep work for the LA Cupcake Challenge that is now less than a week away!

1300 mini liners, 110 plastic cupcake containers, 4 mini cupcake pans, 36 hollicakes t-shirts, 50 lbs of sugar, 25 lbs of flour, 25 lbs of chocolate chips, 50 eggs, 2 hollicakes banners, 2 handmade cupcake towers, and so many other things.

It makes me tired just thinking about all the money that’s been spent! But it is all worth it, because its going to help my little business more than I know (hopefully).

For those of you who don’t know, the LA Cupcake Challenge is on Feb. 5 from 4-7pm. You can find out all the info here!

Wana know what 2 flavors I will be entering? Okay, okay I’ll tell you.

Cactus Cooler - Pineapple orange cake topped with mango swiss meringue buttercream.
Mallow Delight - Dark chocolate cake topped with homemade marshmallow fluff and dipped in chocolate.

I can’t wait to make these cupcakes =]

Hello, Costco shopping trip!



Wow.



The boyfren starting to make my cupcake towers =]




Wish me luck with the many hours of baking I have ahead of me this week!

I’ll post again soon with some more pictures of the process!

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Morning After Mimosa Cupcakes



I’m sorry I’ve been such a terrible blogger, haven’t updated in forever. I feel so bad!

But the thing is...I just started a new job at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach! In the Pastry Kitchen/Bakery =]

I’m so excited. This is like a career job. I’m done with school, starting a career job....that means I’m like a real grown-up, adult now. Oh wow.

Anyways, back to these alcoholic cupcakes!

And by the way, Happy New Year!

So what is a Morning After Mimosa Cupcake? It’s a champagne cupcake with fresh squeezed orange juice.

The perfect remedy for those nasty New Year’s Day hangovers.



Morning After Mimosa Cupcakes
-makes 20-24 cupcakes

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup champagne
1/2 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed!)
zest from 2 oranges

1. Preheat oven to 350, prepare cupcake pan with liners. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl.
3. Add orange zest, orange juice and champagne. Then add dry ingredients, mix until just combined.
4. Fill liner 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

The main ingredients, minus the eggs.

Oh yeah, those oranges are from my grandma’s orange tree in her backyard. Pretty much the most amazing oranges ever.




Mimosa Cream Cheese Buttercream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups cream cheese, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons orange juice
2 tablespoons champagne
pinch of orange zest

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until combined and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to taste.
2. Add orange juice, zest and champagne. Mix until combined. Frost the cooled cupcakes!


More posts coming soon!
Also working on some amazing updates for the website too!

<3hollicakes
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Christmas Flavors: Gingerbread and Red Velvet.



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

Gingerbread Cupcakes
-makes about 24 cupcakes

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

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




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

Red Velvet Cupcakes
-makes about 24 cupcakes

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

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




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





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

Royal Icing
-very small amount

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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




Hope you guys love these recipes.

Merry Christmas!
<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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Happy LATE Halloween!

It has been WAY too long since i’ve updated, and I feel terrible! Life has just been so crazy and busy...

I considered not posting these pictures and just saving them for next Halloween....but then I’d feel bad haha...and lazy.




For the second year in a row, my grandma’s community ordered cupcakes from me for their annual Halloween party! I was so excited and couldn’t wait to create these little works of art!

I’m just guna jump right in and start off with the pumpkin cupcakes!





They are pumpkin flavored cupcakes with grass swiss meringue buttercream on top and a little pumpkin topper!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
-makes about 27

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
4. Use grass tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes, then add toppers!


Now on to the Jack Skellington Cupcakes!




I used a simple vanilla cupcake recipe, with a dark chocolate fudge frosting!

Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
-makes 5 cups

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.
Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
3. 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.

You Will Also Need...
- fruit leathers (I got mine from Vons)
- lollipop sticks
- large marshmallows
- black edible food marker
- black nonpareils
- exacto knife
- chocolate melting wafers

1. Draw out a stencil of the bat on Jack’s collar, you can make it as simple or detailed as you want. I looked up a picture of Jack on Google and printed it out as my stencil!
2. Cut out bat collars with exacto knife, carefully!
3. Pour nonpareils into a shallow bowl, then coat the collars with them.
4. Draw Jack faces on marshmallows, then attach them to the lollipop sticks.
5. Using melted chocolate wafers in a piping bag, attach the bat collar to the lollipop sticks.
6. Place the Jack’s into the frosted cupcakes, resting the bat collars on the frosting for extra support.











Next.....Graveyard Scene Cupcakes!




I went simple with these guys as well, using my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and the same chocolate fudge frosting as above!

You will need...
- Milano cookies
- Oreo cookie crumbs
- orange nonpareils
- chocolate melting wafers
- pumpkin candies
- orange frosting

1. First, lay out your Milano cookies, then using the orange frosting in a piping bag, pipe RIP on each cookie.
2. Crush the Oreo cookies, removing the cream center.
3. Melt the chocolate wafers and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe out trees onto parchment paper, being careful not to make the branches too thin, sprinkle on orange nonpareils while chocolate is still wet. Also, when piping the trees, make sure to make an anchor/large branch on the bottom of the tree stump so it is easy to stick them into the cupcakes.
4. Frost cupckes! Then gently push RIP cookies into the cupcakes, sprinkle on cookie crumb “dirt” for the graves, add pumpkin, then add the trees last. Be careful they are very delicate!


Lastly, Witch’s Cauldron Cupcakes...





Mmm my favorites! Sweet Potato Cupcakes! I just covered mini marshmallows in lime green frosting, used pretzel sticks as mixing spoons and some spooky purple glitter!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

2 pounds (about 3 medium) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until completely soft and juices begin to seep from the potatoes and caramelize, about 1 hour. Reduce oven to 325°.
2. When cool enough to handle, slice potatoes in half lengthwise and use a fork to scrape the flesh from the skin into a bowl, discarding skins. Mash potato with fork until smooth. (You should have about 2 cups.)
3. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until completely incorporated after each.
4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes are set and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.


You will need....
- mini marshmallows
- green frosting
- pretzel sticks
- purple edible glitter

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together mini marshmallows and green frosting, making sure marshmallows are completely covered.
2. Divide up mixture onto the tops of the cupcakes, place one pretzel stick onto each, then sprinkle with purple glitter!








The cupcakes on a custom Halloween cupcake tower made by the boyfren! =]





Me and the grandma, so happy!





Happy LATE Halloween!





<3hollicakes
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Dexter, will you bring me doughnuts?




In honor of Halloween, and one of my favorite shows, Dexter.

I have been wanting to make these cupcakes for a little while, and all I needed was a good excuse from one of my girlfriends like, “Hey Holli, my brother is having a Halloween party, can I come over and make some awesome cupcakes with you?”

Um, YES.

But the only bummer is.....I got really distracted and forgot to take pictures while making them. =[

I will do my best to describe how I made them to make up for it!

First, I made some simple vanilla cupcakes, you can use any recipe or even a box! Shh I won’t tell.

THEN, I took a can of cherry pie filling and pureed it.

You can’t forget the most important part, the knives...First I melted some chocolate wafers in a piping bag and piped out the knife handles onto parchment paper. (Using a knife stencil of course, just google knife and print out a picture of a knife shape you like.) Then I dyed some white melting wafers gray, and piped the knife blades, making sure to connect it to the handles so they stick together!

Once the cupcakes were cool, we filled them all with a little bit of the pureed cherry.

See?




And then we dyed some buttercream a light skin tone color. Not guna lie, we could’ve gone darker haha. Pale is the new tan right?

Lastly, frost the cupcakes with a thin coat, splatter on some red cookie icing, and stab em. Literally. Gently though, the knives are fragile!




Dexter cupcakes off to their Halloween party in Palm Springs!





I hope you Dexter fans love these as much as I do!

Thanks Kayla and Caitlin for helpin me out, love you!

<3hollicakes
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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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Jack-O-Lantern Cake Pops + Hello Bakerella



So in honor of meeting Bakerella this past week, which I will tell you all about at the end of this post, I HAD to make some Halloween cake pops!

Jack-O-Lantern cake pops to be exact. My friends started calling them “hollipops” and all the sudden that was the new name for my cake pops.

In Bakerella’s book she has tons of cake/frosting flavor combinations for her pops, but there was one flavor I really wanted to make that was not featured in her book. Pumpkin! So I had to get creative...And it was a lot easier than I thought!

Pumpkin “Hollipops”

1 box vanilla or yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or I’m sure a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves would do!)
eggs, oil and water amounts directed on box
1 can cream cheese frosting (you won’t need all of it)
3 bags orange candy wafers
1 package green apple tick-tacks
48 lollipop sticks
48 plastic lollipop bags and ribbon
edible food markers

-will make about 48 pops

1. Preheat oven to 350 and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Coat pan with non-stick spray then pour batter into pan, bake as directed on box, depending on the size of the pan.

Cool cake, then cut into 4 sections, taking two at a time and crumbling them together into a big bowl.



Add your cream cheese frosting a little at a time until it becomes dough-like and sticky enough to roll into a ball.



Mix evenly, then start rolling out the cake into little balls about one inch thick.



Get the decorating ingredients ready...



Melt your chocolate, I used an old easter egg kit cup since they are nice and deep. Dip the sticks in chocolate, then insert them into the pops.



Let the chocolate dry.



Then dip away! At first my chocolate was too thick, so I added a little bit of shortening and it thinned right away!



Right after you dip them, place a green tick tack at the top for the pumpkin stem, then put them in styrofoam to dry!

Then draw your pumpkin faces! Sadly, my black edible marker ran out after the first four pumpkins =[



So the rest of the pops got wrapped up all cute!



Happy Halloween!





So this past Monday there just so happened to be a Bakerella book signing at the Williams Sanoma near my house.

And I finally got to meet the famous Bakerella! So exciting.

It started off with a Q&A session, then on to the book signing. I was number 113, in other words, I was there for quite a while.



About an hour and a half into standing in line...Met so many awesome people though.



Not so great of a picture, but Bakerella had ridiculously amazing pink heels on!



Finally at the front of the line!



Telling her how much I loved her shoes.



YAY! I’ma huge nerd and I know it.



You can tell I’m so stoked. Needless to say I was so happy after that I went and bought some new shoes =]




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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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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!



This rainy Monday inspired me to think outside the cupcake and break open one of my other baking books for a change! It just so happened to be this one...




I originally didn’t plan on making whoopie pies, but when I saw the recipe for pumpkin paired with a maple buttercream filling, I couldn’t resist.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
-makes about 30 cookies, 15 sandwiches

2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup, or 1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift( I whisked) together flour, baking powder, baking soda, all spices and salt.
3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Add the flour mixture a cup at a time until just incorporated, don’t overmix!
5. Using 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the batter about two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cakes begin to crack and are firm to the touch.


Maple Buttercream Filling
-makes enough to fill about 15 sandwiches

1/2 cup, or 1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Sift powdered sugar, then add it 1/2 cup at a time to the butter.
2. Add the milk and maple syrup and beat for 3-4 minutes until fluffy.
3. Using a piping bag with a round tip, spread the buttercream onto one of the whoopies, then top with another!


Flour and all the spices!



Butter, brown sugar, egg and pumpkin!



My whoopies actually didn’t flatten out as much as the picture in the book. So after taking them out of the oven and cooling them for about 5 minutes, I lightly flattened them out with the palm of my hand!



Looks like a cookie, tastes like cake, with buttercream in between =]




Enjoy!

<3holli Read More...
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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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Banana Spice Cupcakes!



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

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

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

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

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

Here is the recipe...

Banana Spice Cupcakes
-makes about 30-32

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

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


Dry ingredients.



Butter and sugars mixing it up.



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



Found these cute fall liners at Michael’s.



Everything you’ll need for the buttercream.




Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Buttercream

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

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


Mmmm!



The house smelled like cinnamony-fall-like goodness.



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




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

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




Friday was a very special day.

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

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

What do you think? Cute, huh?

Anyways! Back to the cupcakes. Simply Vanilla.



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



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

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



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




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Hi-Top Cupcakes, Inspired by Bakerella.



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

Hi-Top Cupcakes...

Thank you so much Bakerella, these were amazing.

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

EXTRA Chocolatey Cupcakes
-makes about 20-22

3/4 cup unsweetened DARK chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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



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

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

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

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

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



And tada! Done!



Amazingly delicious.






Enjoy!

<3holli

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A Night in the City: Sweet 16



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

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

Here is how it all went down...



In the oven!



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



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



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



Opposite colors!



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




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

Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 24

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used half regular cocoa, half dark chocolate cocoa)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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


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

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

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




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




Happy Sweet 16 Jenna!

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Pineapple Mango Cupcakes



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

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

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

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



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



Out of the oven!



Pineapple Cupcakes
-makes 24

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

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


Mango Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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

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




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




<3hollicakes
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Surfboard Cupcakes!



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

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

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



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



Dry ingredients combined.



And wet ingredients combined.



Ready for the oven!




Vanilla Cupcakes
-makes 30

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


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


Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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


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


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



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



Last one!



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



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



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



Boxed up and ready to go!





More yummy treats coming soon.

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Labor Day Burgers & Fries.



I am SO excited to be writing this post!

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

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



Easy enough right?

Bake cupcakes and brownies.



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



Mmmm!



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



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



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



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



best burgers ever.



Sliders anyone?








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



I can’t wait to buy it.

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

I will see you there, cupcake lovers.

<3hollicakes

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Frosted Review Part 2



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

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



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

Cute little test tubes with sprinkles in them.



Red Velvet cupcake with vanilla ice cream.



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



Pretty good!



The boyfriend with his cup of milk, so cute.



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



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

Oh well maybe next time!

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

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


Until next time cupcake lovers.

<3holli Read More...
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I found cupcakes in VEGAS.



So while I was in Vegas I was determined to find a cupcake shop! We stayed at the Flamingo, definitely no cupcakes there. But while we were out and about on the strip, we just happened to run into The Cupcakery located inside the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino.




We decided on 4 different cupcakes;
Kir Royal- Moist raspberry cake drenched in a bubbly champagne frosting.
Bugsy- Tasty carrot cake topped with luscious cream cheese frosting.
Southern Belle- Sumptuous red velvet cake smothered with cream cheese frosting.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup- Rich chocolate cake topped with crunchy peanut butter frosting.




The Kir Royal’s raspberry cake was delicious and perfect! The frosting however, was REALLY sweet, almost too sweet! Their version of red velvet was very traditional and did not dissapoint. I’d say the cream cheese frosting was my favorite part, I even took a piece of the raspberry cake and topped it with a little cream cheese frosting....oh my, so good!




I did not end up being able to taste the carrot or the chocolate peanut butter, BUT of all my family and friends who were there, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup was voted the BEST cupcake!




The aftermath.



I’d say this cupcakery was a success!

Until next time...
<3holli

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Margarita Cupcakes, Vegas Bound!



I know it has been over a month since I last updated, and I feel terrible about that! But now I am back from my summer vacations and ready to get baking =]

I have also been very busy working on expanding hollicakes, starting with making business cards! They are oh-so-close to being finished and I can’t wait to hold them in my hands! And of course, post a photo on here for everyone to see!

Anyways, back to the cupcakes...!

This post is dedicated to my cousin Ashley’s 21st birthday, which was July 30. We had been planning a trip to Vegas for months and I was so excited! BUT I could not figure out what kind of cupcakes to make.........lightbulb! Anything with alcohol...MARGARITA! Ah yes, that was about how my thought process went.

Hand-squeezed limes by Dylan!




A good amount of tequila went into the cupcakes AND frosting.




Sprinkling on the lime zest.




Margarita Cupcakes
-makes 24, recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats

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 the oven to 325˚ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir with a fork to blend.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.
3. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
4. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



Tequila-Lime Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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 (don’t worry, it will come together!) Stir in the lime juice and tequila and mix until fully incorporated and smooth.





Proof that the cupcakes made it to Vegas in one piece.




Happy 21st Ashley! From the top of the Rio...




It feels good to be back, happy baking!
<3holli 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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Frostings Cupcakes Review!

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



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

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




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

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

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




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



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






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Día de los Muertos Cupcakes



aka, Day of the Dead Cupcakes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sugar Skull Recipe

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

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

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

The beginning.



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



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



Finally finished!



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



My favorite swirl.




Marble Cupcakes
-Makes 16 cupcakes

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

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

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

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

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


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



Red Velvet Cupcakes
-makes 24 cupcakes

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

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

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

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




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





Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
-makes 4 cups

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

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

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

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




Love the mustache.















Boxed up and ready to go!










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


<3hollicakes
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4th of July Fusion.



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

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



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



Wana bite of this?




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




<3hollicakes
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My First Wedding Cupcakes!




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

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

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




Red velvet cake batter in the mixer!



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



These came out PERFECTLY rounded, I was so stoked.




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

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

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

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

Hello beautiful cupcakes!






Lemon Cupcakes

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

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

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

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





Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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


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





Mmm lemon!



















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

<3hollicakes
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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!

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True Blood Treats.



The Season 3 premiere of True Blood was on last week, and my mom and I decided to throw a party! Including vampire themed food =]

See, about a year ago I made True Blood cupcakes, and they were AMAZING. I’d been wanting to do a 2.0 version of them and my party was the perfect excuse! Last time I made vanilla cupcakes with pureed cherry pie filling centers and white chocolate cream cheese frosting. The frosting was great, but just not quite white enough. So this time I made the same cake and filling, but instead used a homemade marshmallow cream frosting! Oh my. Just wait.

In addition to the cupcakes, I also made Vampire Bite Cookies! Anti-Vampire Garlic Bites. AND a beautiful fruit platter. All recipes will follow!

Pureed Cherry Pie filling for the “bites”



Cupcakes with centers cut out, ready to be filled!



Homemade Marshmallow Cream Frosting!



Cupcakes filled and frosted, with centers left for snacking =]



Using a toothpick to make the vampire bites!









True Blood Cupcakes and Cookies.



Loved this fruit platter =]



Anti-Vampire Garlic Bites.




For the Vampire Cupcakes and Cookies I used recipes from BakingBites.com, make sure you check them out and all the other great recipes featured on the website!

Recipe for Vampire Bite Cupcakes

Recipe for Vampire Bite Cookies

And for the Anti-Vampire Garlic Bites I used a recipe from TLC Cooking, and you can find it HERE.


The party was SO fun, I want to say thank you to all my friends that came! And to my mom, her best friend, and my boyfriend for helping with the food and decorations, they were amazing =]

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in CUPCAKE Form!



So last week I went on a very relaxing vacation to my cousin’s house up in Northern Cali. BUT of course we had to bake at least once! I was showing her family some of the yummy looking treats on Annie’s Eats and we decided on the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. You can find the recipe HERE. We were a little short on time, so we decided to leave out the mini chocolate chip cookies on top. But next time, I definitely plan to make them! Mmmmm just typing about this makes me hungry for cookies. Here’s how it all went down...

Oh hand mixer?! I should have brought my KitchenAid.



The batter looked almost exactly like cookie dough.



Out of the oven.



Cookie Dough Frosting.




Since I wasn’t in my own kitchen, things were a little hectic and I forgot to snap pictures of the cookie dough filling! Oops!

These were very popular cupcakes. The recipe made 28, and they were ALL gone by the time I left a few days later....Wow! The cookie dough filling was a huge hit with her little brothers and well as some co-workers. I hope every baker gets a chance to make these cupcakes at least once, they will amaze you I promise!






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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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Sweet&Saucy Shop



Hey again! Updates two days in a row?! I’m proud of myself!

Well yesterday the boyfriend and I had some extra time and wanted to hit up a new bakery, but I couldn’t think of any specific one. So I did what I usually do, check out a few of my favorite cupcake blogs for ideas. And on the CupcakeActivist.com I found one! Sweet and Saucy Shop in Long Beach! Her reviews looked promising, so we decided to give it a try.




I really want to get some cute cake stands like these.



We ended up getting a mini Red Velvet Cupcake, a mini Candy Bar Cupcake, a Red Velvet Cake Pop, and a Banana Peanut Butter Cake Pop.






Treats and a glass of milk, perfect.




The Red Velvet cupcake was a tiny bit dry, but still overall very good. I think it was the frosting that won me over! I’m not a huge frosting fan, but I LOVED this cream cheese frosting. It almost seemed like it had a little bit of cinnamon added to it, I didn’t see any specks in the white frosting however, so maybe I’m crazy! Either way, it was VERY good.

The Candy Bar cupcake was ridiculously sweet but with the perfect amount of salty to balance it out. The mini version was perfect, because it was much richer than the Red Velvet. I might have sugar coma’d if we would have gotten a regular sized cupcake =p




This was actually the first bakery I’ve been to that features cake pops, pretty exciting! So of course we had to get a couple.



As you can see in the photo, the Banana Peanut Butter pop was dipped in chocolate once, but the Red Velvet was dipped twice!




I thought 2 coats of chocolate was a little bit too much, and it took away from the flavor of the cake a little bit. But the amount of chocolate on the Banana Peanut Butter pop was PERFECT!




What was leftover =]

Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Sweet and Saucy Shop. The customer service was awesome, and the treats delicious. If you want to visit, they are located here:

6400 Stearns Street
Long Beach, CA 90815

Store Hours:
Monday - Friday : 11am-7pm
Saturday: 11am – 5pm
Sunday: Closed

Phone: 562.397.9190



<3hollicakes
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Ants at a Picnic!



Hey there my cupcake lovers. I have a really fun post for you today! =]

So for Memorial Day my family was invited to a BBQ that was free as long as you brought some sort of dessert, and OF COURSE, any excuse to bake and I’m there. I had a few suggestions for patriotic or American flag cupcakes, but I wanted to do something different and save the red, white&blue for 4th of July!

You see, a few months ago I bought the newest addition from the author’s of Hello, Cupcake called What’s New, Cupcake.



And this is the very first time I’ve used it. I chose Ants at a Picnic, the perfect dessert for any backyard BBQ!

And I’m going to be honest with you guys, I used a boxed cake mix, Funfetti to be exact. Although homemade cupcakes are better, boxed cake mixes produce moist and sturdy cupcakes that are perfect for when you’re going to be spending extra time on the decorating.

You Will Need:
1 box Funfetti Cake Mix
1 can Vanilla Frosting
Brown Peanut M&M’s or round/oval chocolate candies
1/4 cup chocolate frosting
2 cups finely chopped coconut
green food coloring
5-8 watermelon candy slices
your favorite cupcake liners

But I have another confession to make...
My assistant, aka very helpful boyfriend, did 95% of the baking portion of these cupcakes. Although it was a boxed cake mix, maybe he shouldn’t get too much credit =] Anyways, this mix made 20 cupcakes. So that means 40 brown M&M’s. 20 brown Sixlets (or any other type of round chocolate candy), and 120 little frosting legs.



With that said, the decorating on the other hand was all me! I used a regular vanilla frosting and dyed it green. Next frost the cupcakes with a smooth coat, making sure to get the sides almost all the way to the liner. Then take about 2 cups of finely chopped coconut in a ziplock bag, add a few drops of green food coloring, and SHAKE! Pour the coconut onto a plate, then roll the edges of the cupcakes, making sure to get an even width of coconut all the way around.



Next, arrange the M&M’s in rows of 3 on each cupcake. Put the chocolate frosting in a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe 6 bent legs on each ant, 3 on each side. Give the little guys some antennas. For the watermelon candies, pipe small teardrops to make the “seeds”.



On to the hardest part, getting the watermelons to stand up on the poor little ants. So the book made it look and sound easier than it really is. The only way I got them to stay is if I used some chocolate frosting to attach them, immediately put them in the fridge to solidify the frosting “glue”. It only takes about 15-20 minutes, but getting them from the counter to the fridge is the tricky part! I actually put a plate into the fridge, put down the cupcake, and attached the candies right there to avoid having to carry them and risk having the cute watermelons fall over!

Arrange cupcakes in a line and serve!







Until next time...
<3hollicakes
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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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Carrot Cupcakes&Cream Cheese Frosting!



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

Carrot Cupcakes
(makes about 24)

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

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

The flour mixture.



The wet ingredient mixture, minus the carrots.



2lbs of carrots!



ready for the oven...



done! just looking at this picture makes me hungry.



the decorating process.



finished product =]








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

Cream Cheese Frosting

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

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


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




<3hollicakes

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The Perfect Circle Cupcakery

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






ridiculously cute, right?



the boyfriend with cupcake goodies.



with my cupcakes!






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



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



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




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

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

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

www.tpccupckery.com



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

Until next time my cupcake lovers,
<3holli


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Chocolate + Raspberries




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

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



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

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

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






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



Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

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


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



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



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



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

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







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

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

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




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My First Attempt at Red Velvet...






Believe it or not Red Velvet is my favorite cake flavor! And I was really in the mood to bake the other day and could not think of anything! I was flipping through a couple of my cupcake books and saw a recipe for Red Velvet, and I knew that was my mission for the day.

In the mixer...



cooling...




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

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

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

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

To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.

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

Directions
Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth. Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, bring to room temperature, and beat until smooth.

Soo my cream cheese frosting was suppose to turn out light and fluffy! But it didn’t turn out that way, a little bit gooey instead. But that’s okay because it still tasted amazing!

I took them to work the next day, and lets just say they were pretty much gone before I even left =]

Happy baking
<3holii


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Cupcakes for Breakfast!

So this post is a little bit late! Oh well though. A few weekends ago, more specifically my 21st birthday weekend, we decided to have a recovery brunch on Sunday. My friends and family all brought their best breakfast item to share. My cousin Ashley and I decided to do Breakfast cupcakes, of course!



I did Buttermilk cupcakes with Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream and real bacon pieces on top!

The frosting ended up a little bit watery, but they still tasted amazing!



Ashley made French Toast Cupcakes!



And I know this doesn’t have anything to do with baking, but my boyfriend Dylan made his famous Cinnamon Bacon! And it looks too amazing to not include in this post...



My plate!




You can find the recipe for the buttermilk cupcakes
HERE. And the recipe for the Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream HERE.


Happy Baking!
<3holli
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Penguin Cupcakes

March is a month full of birthdays! Not to mention mine! I had my 21st birthday on March 18 and it was amazing! But another one of my best friends has a birthday 2 days after mine! And I promised him that I’d make him the Penguin Cupcakes from Hello, Cupcake.

I baked a batch of 12 vanilla cupcakes, nothing super fancy because they need to be sturdy to support all the penguin-ness that is about to happen!

Getting all the littles pieces ready to assemble.



The first little guy.



The catch of the day!



Icebergs!



The penguin family!








Happy Birthday Shawn!

<3holli
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Green Velvet Mini Cupcakes!




So today was St. Patrick’s day, one of my favorite holidays (not just because it’s a day before my birthday either!). And for the past few weeks I’ve been seeing these cute little green velvet cupcakes around. For instance, Sprinkles featured their version of the green velvet cupcake today as well, which were a yucky brownish green instead of outright green! (pictures of that later!) The recipe I used was from Bakerella.com, click HERE to check it out or read below!


Green Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil (I used 1 1/4)
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 oz. green food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside. Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined. Pour into cupcake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container. Then make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar


Sift sugar and set aside. Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla. Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition. And frost away.

Time for some pictures!

My adorable assistant was nice enough to get all the ingredients out for me =]



The eggs, oil, buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla.



Add the food coloring!



Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in a mixer.



Yummy green batter!



Into the mini cupcake pan.



Out of the oven!



Frosted and ready for me to take to work! (Yeah that’s right, if you work with me I bring treats.)



I also added some lime green edible glitter to the tops of these cupcakes. Its hard to see in the pictures, but awesome in person!




All done! Check back soon for some birthday treats!
<3holli Read More...
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Birthday Hippie Cupcakes!

So one of my best friends Caitlin requested tye-dye hippie cupcakes for her birthday! Not just any old birthday, it was her 21st birthday! So i knew I had to make them look amazing! So I decided on a white vanilla cupcake recipe, to make sure I get the brightest colors! And again with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, strawberry flavored this time! Find the recipe for both HERE.

I mixed up the frosting, then separated it into five bowls (soup bowls to be exact, ha)



Swirled together!




Out of the oven, soo rad.



Strawberries in the blender for the frosting.



Buzzzzzz.



The finished product!








Happy Birthday Caitlin! =]
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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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Peanut Butter Pup Treats and some last minute Cake Pops!

Hey everyone!
 

 
 This past weekend my mom's best friend got a new puppy Oliver, so I was inspired to make some homemade doggie treats! (My two pups may have also influenced that decision...) I found a great recipe at MyLittleCupcakePop.com or HERE.
 
And I also had a cake leftover from a project in my baking class, no one was eating it so I turned it into some Cake Pops! While I was tending to the Cake Pops, my adorable neighbor Avalon totally took over the kitchen and finished the Pup Treats, along with a little help from mom.
 
the cookie cutter queen!


 
pup treats hot out of the oven.


 
made little gift bags for the other dogs in my neighborhood


 
Cake Pops!
 

 
Treats for humans and dogs!


 
Happy baking!
<3holli
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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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LA Cupcake Challenge!


Best Traditional, Best Original, and Best Overall.
 
Here are some pictures!
(I would like to thank Kate for the majority of these pictures, my camera had a bad day!)
 
The Cake Shop.
- Red Velvet and Orange Cranberry
 
 
On February 20, 2010 I was lucky enough to attend the LA Cupcake Challenge for the first time! It was at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel and my friend Kate, a fellow cupcake lover, joined me for the event! We sampled 40 mini cupcakes that were featured by 25 different bakeries! As you can tell from the picture above, I had sticky fingers pretty much the entire time. The cupcakes were judged based on three different categoris,

 
Charmed Cupcakes.
- Red Velvet and Blueberry
 

 
Big Man Bakes.
- Red Velvet (my favorite) and Carrot Cake
 

 
My Delight Cupcakery.
-Breakfast Cake and Key Lime
 

 
Hansen Cakes.
-Wedding Cupcakes
 

 
Speakeasy Sweets.
- Irish Car Bomb and Amaretto Sour
 

 
Meringue Bake Shop.
- Pretty Woman and Pigs on Tap


 
Jus Minis.
- Red Velvet and Caramel Banana
 

 
Friandise Pastries.
- Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coconut
 

 
they had the cutest headbands
 
 

Blue Cupcake.
- Sweet and Salty Vanilla and Pumpkin
 

 
PolkaTots.
- Lucky Charm and Little Penguin
 

 
BabyCakes.
-Hot Chocolate and Bananas Foster.
 
w13
 
Two Parts Sugar.
-Vanilla Throwback and Chocolate Covered Strawberry
 

 
Fairy Cakes.
- Pumpkin White Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Almond Dream
 


 We had so much fun sampling all these delicious cupcakes! Next time I'm definitely bringing something to carry all of them in. Some got squished in my box...
 

 
time to eat....
 

 

 

 
That is the look of a sugar coma.
 

 
With the Nesquik Bunny!
 

 
And I also got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Elise from CupcakeActivist.com =]
 

 
Meringue Bake Shop was having a giveaway and Kate won! She got lots of sweet stuff, like a cupcake carrier, cupcake ring, bacon cards, an apron....
 

 
 
I can't wait to go back next year, with a cake box!
<3holli
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Cupcakery Reviews!

So I decided that I am going to start hitting up all kinds of bakeries in southern California and start up a review page! My boyfriend/assistant Dylan was sweet enough to take me to two different local bakeries this past Valentine's weekend! Lucky me =]
 
First we went to The Frosted Cupcakery in Long Beach.
 

 
I got a Red Velvet and he got the monthly flavor, Cherry Chocolate Chip! And I even got a new tshirt that says "Frosted is for Lovers" soo happy about that! =]
 

 

 

 
he likes to snap pictures of me with cupcake in my mouth....
 

 
 
 
 The NEXT day........ SusieCakes in Newport Beach.
 

 
Once again I got the Red Velvet, Dylan picked out the Peanut Butter. And we decided on a third, the Cupcake of the Month, Sugar and Spice, vanilla cake with cinnamon sugar frosting.
 

 

 
Peanut Butter.
 

 
Red Velvet
 

 
As you can probably see, our cupcakes rarely make it home...
 

 
 
My Review:
I liked the Red Velvet cupcake at The Frosted Cupcakery better than the one at SusieCakes.They both tasted good, but overall the cupcake at Frosted tasted a little bit better! Maybe cause it was Valentine's day =] It had a little less frosting than SusieCakes, which is okay with me. I'm more of a cake lover anyways! They were both very moist and very rich. Although the cupcake at SusieCakes was a little redder, I think the one at Frosted was a tad bit bigger. The Sugar and Spice cupcake was a little bit dryer than the Red Velvet, but still very delicious. The cinnamon sugar frosting was amazing! And the vanilla cake even had some cute red confetti in it.
 
Dylan's Review:
“While nothing was quite as delicious as any of the treats Holli makes, ALL of the cupcakes I go to try were incredible. One thing I really liked about both The Frosted Cupcakery and SusieCakes was that they had extremely moist cupcakes and they didn’t overflow the cupcakes with frosting like some of the other bakeries. All in all, I actually preferred the cupcakes at SusieCakes, although when I go back to Frosted to try the ice cream filled cupcakes I may have to change my mind. My favorite overall cupcake was definitely the peanut butter one from SusieCakes, but that may just be because I’m a Peanut-butter-aholic.”
 
 
 
If anyone wants to visit either of these bakeries, here is the info. More reviews coming soon!
 

 

2043 Westcliff Drive #104
Newport Beach, CA 92660 Read More...
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Had enough Valentine treats yet?


 
 
I haven't!! And I also had too many Valentine cupcake liners laying around saying "put me to good use holli!" sooo I pretty much had to make some more cupcakes! First I made some strawberry cupcakes (from the box, don't shoot me, box cakes are legit when you're short on time....and money). But to spice these up I whipped up some heavy cream and filled them! Then I made some chocolate ganche and dipped the tops of the cupcakes. I still have a ton of ganche leftover...what to do...hmmm. Anyways, I also had a box of Valentine Funfetti cupcakes, and I topped them with Strawberry Kool-Aid flavored frosting. Amazing. They came out like this:
 

 
The process...
 

 
The Strawberry-whip-cream-chocolate-ganche cupcakes!
 

 

 
The Funfetti Strawberry Kool-Aid cupcakes!
 

 

 
My friend Mikaela from baking school was over, and she made delicious homemade lemon cupcakes with a lemon curd, and used some of my leftover whip cream for topping. The perfect sweet/sour combination! Here are some pictures of how hers turned out.
 

 

 
If you guys want to try either of these recipes at home, this is what you'll need.
 
Strawberry-Whip-Cream-Chocolate-Ganche Cupcakes
 
   For the cupcakes:
- 1 box strawberry cake mix (mine made 21 cupcakes)
 
   For the filling:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- powdered sugar, optional & to taste (I used about 1/3 cup)
 
   For the ganche:
- 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet chocolate chips)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
 
Make cupcakes as directed on box, I used cute Valentine liners I found at Target.
Once cooled, put 1 cup heavy cream into a mixer, and whip until thick and peaks form. I added my powdered sugar a little bit at a time just to give it a little sweetness, you don't have to use any if you don't want to. Use a disposable piping bag with a small round tip and fill it with the whip cream. Stick it into the center of each cupcake and squeeze for about 2 seconds. I used a small offset spatula to smooth out the tops, some whipped cream oozed out the top of my cupcakes.
Then heat up the 3/4 cup heavy cream and 2 T butter in a small saucepan. Once simmering, pour over 8 oz chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let sit for about 2 minutes, then whisk until chocolate is melted.
Dip the cupcakes, and use spinkles while chocolate is still wet, if desired.
 
Funfetti Cupcakes with Kool-Aid Frosting
 
   For the cupcakes:
- 1 box Valentine Funfetti cake mix (mine made 24 cupcakes)
 
   For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 1/2 cups powered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 .14 oz packet of Strawberry Kool-Aid ( I only used 1/2 teaspoon, its VERY sweet)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
Bake cupcakes as directed on box. While cupcakes are cooling, cream butter in mixer. Alternate and slowly add powdered sugar and milk, Add vanilla and Kool-aid to taste. Be careful, it gets very sweet very fast!
Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost as desired. I used a pastry bag with a star tip to frost mine.
 
Happy Baking!
 

 
<3holli Read More...
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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!

<3holli Read More...
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Cupcake keychain!

I found this Juicy cupcake charm at Macys! It was $42. They also had a really cute cupcake necklace but I couldn't have both! I needed a new keychain anyways =)

Update soon with some superbowl cupcakes!



<3holli Read More...
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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!)



















<3holli Read More...
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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!)



<3holli Read More...
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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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Cupcakes For Dinner?

So if you guys haven't already noticed, my cousin Ashley is one of my favorite people to bake with (besides my handsome assistant, which you will see in some pictures very soon). And one of our favorite books to bake with is Hello Cupcake!



We decided to take on the challenge of the TV Dinner Cupcakes, and surprisingly it wasn't very hard to do. We made a batch of 12 vanilla cupcakes, and we each got a little silver tray that holds 6 cupcakes. We turned it into somewhat of a challenge of who could make the better TV Dinner, what do you guys think?



Mine is in front, Ashley’s is in back.

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Happy New Year!

Sooooo I spent my New Years up in Northern California with my cousin Ashley and our families. You know what that means....cupcakes!

I did a simple vanilla cake mix (I was on vacation so I cheated!) and added a tablespoon of cinnamon to the mix! Poured the batter into gold liners, then sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar before baking! Then for the frosting I used a simple butter+powered sugar recipe then added a little vanilla and cinnamon! I used a plastic bag to pipe the frosting ( I left my piping bags at home =[ ) and decorated them with silver edible glitter and ivory pearlized sugar candy. Topped with a Happy New Years sign! =] the signs were purchased HERE at Orange Novelty Cake Supplies.
<3Holli

Me and my cousin Ashley on New Years Eve! Read More...
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Christmas Cupcakes!

Soooo I ended up being too busy to make any crazy decorated Christmas cupcakes this year! =[ that's okay though because I did make these delicious cupcakes instead!
 

With a little help from my boyfriend/assistant, I made simple chocolate cupcakes piped with homemade vanilla frosting, sprinkled with white chocolate peppermint candy pieces! To make this yummy topping, all you do is melt white chocolate chips, spread it out to 1/4 inch thick on a cookie sheet, then sprinkle it with chopped up candy canes! (boyfriend did the chopping haha) Then refridgerate until firm enough to chop.
 

We also made some vanilla peppermint cupcakes using THIS recipe. The chocolate lover in me came out, and I spiced these cupcakes up by piping some chocolate ganache into them before frosting =]
 
<3holli
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Christmas Treats Begin

I started off the Christmas Season with some simple Holly Cupcakes...

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Frosting. Sprinkled with a little coconut. And topped with a Red Hot and a frosting Holly Leaf!

Here they are!

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