Honey, Goat Cheese & Apricot Cupcakes!


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


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.


SO cute!


Executive Chef Chad Blunston visiting with our goats!


Rob Anderson making friends!


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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


The honey bucket. Yum.


Alternate wet and dry ingredients.


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! =]


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


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


Ready for some goat cheese made locally?


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!


All mixed up.


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


Finishing touches.


Ready for taste testing!


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


Cupcakes in the garden!