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Local Beer & Baileys.

St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 1


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Want some recipes? Here we go...


Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
-made 33 cupcakes

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


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


Ingredients ready to go.

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The dry ingredients.

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

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

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Time for some filling!


Irish Cream Chocolate Ganache

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Whisking my egg whites and sugar.

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Lets frost those cupcakes!

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Beautiful Baileys Buttercream.

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Now for the drizzle...

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

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

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Keep a steady hand while drizzling.

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

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St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 3



Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

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St. Patrick's Thin Mint Cupcakes

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Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

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

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


Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 32-36

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

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



Mint Buttercream

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

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


Thin mint dust!

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The secret ingredient in these cupcakes!

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The dry ingredients.

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Wet ingredients ready to go.

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Scooping time!

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Chocolate Glaze

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

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

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


Glaze ready for dipping!

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

<3hollicakes

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Blood Orange Valentine Cupcakes!

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

PS, Happy Valentine's Day from hollicakes!

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

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Look at those beautiful red segments!

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

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


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All of my ingredients ready to go!

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

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


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


The batter ready to be scooped!

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Cute Valentine's Day liners I found at Target!

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

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Blood Orange Buttercream
-enough to frost 24-26 cupcakes

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

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


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

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Time to frost some cupcakes!

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hello swirls =]

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

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

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

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

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I hope everyone has a sweet Valentine's Day!

<3hollicakes

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Red, White & Blue Jello Shots!

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You guys wondering how I made those cute little patriotic jello shots in my last post?

Well you’re in luck, cause I’m about to tell you how =]

Its easier than it looks, all you need is jello, booze and some patience!

First, you need some sort of disposable cups. I used 1oz. plastic cups found at Smart & Final. I’m sure you could also find something similar at Costco or any party supply store.

What you’ll need;

50 1oz plastic cups, or 25 2oz cups

Red & Blue layers:
3oz box of red Jello
3oz box of blue Jello
2 cups vodka ( I used Smirnoff Raspberry)
2 cups water

White layer:
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk (I used fat free)
2/3 cup vanilla vodka (I used Absolut Vanilla)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons Knox powdered gelatin
1 1/2 tablespoons water


Directions:

1. Blue layer; Heat 1 cup water, add blue Jello mix, stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup vodka, stir. NOTE; this recipe is pretty strong. If you want less intense jello shots I would go with 1 1/4 cups water to 3/4 cups vodka. I wouldn’t make them any stronger though, because the gelatin in the jello needs the water to set the alcohol. Not enough water, and they might not set.

2. Distribute evenly into 50 1oz cups, filling only 1/3 full, then refrigerate until set, about 1-2 hours.

3. Next is the white layer; this is the most difficult part of these tricolor shots! Place powdered gelatin and water in small bowl, let soak for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to “bloom”. In a medium saucepan, heat cream, milk, sugar and vanilla extract to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add gelatin and stir to dissolve. Add vanilla vodka. Let cool 10-15 minutes before topping blue layer.

4. Once blue layer is set and the white mixture has cooled, pour an equal amount of the white mixture on top of the blue. You’re almost there!

5. Finally the red layer; it is the same exact thing as the blue. Heat 1 cup water, add red Jello mix, stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup vodka, stir. Cool 5-10 minutes.

6. Once the white layer has set, and red mixture cooled, fill the cups the rest of the way until full. Refrigerate until set, about 1-2 hours.

7. Enjoy some patriotic jello shots!! =] Garnish with mini flags on toothpicks. Looks super cute, plus using the toothpick to release the jello from the sides of the plastic cup makes it come out easily without breaking apart.


Plastic cups, vanilla vodka and powdered gelatin.

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Mixing up the red layer!!

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Blue and white layers set, ready for red!

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Finished!! Serve on a party platter with mini American flags =]

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You can see here I skimped on the white a little bit. If you get them as close to even as you can, you should have the perfect amount for 50 shots!

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Everyone have fun and be safe this 4th of July!

Don’t drink too many jello shots =]


<3hollicakes


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Cinco de Mayo Nachos!



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

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

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

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Chocolate-Cinnamon Cupcakes
-makes 18-20

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


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cake mix, cinnamon,, eggs, oil and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.



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

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

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


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See, crispy sweet chips =]

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Cupcakes are done!

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Next, your buttercream!


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Cinna-Cheese Buttercream

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

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

Like so!

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

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

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Cut some watermelon sour straws for my green onion!

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


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


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Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

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Be safe!

<3hollicakes
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Chocolate-Covered-Strawberry Cupcakes

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Happy Valentine’s Day from hollicakes!

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

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

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

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

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

The main ingredients.

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

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

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Beautiful strawberries!

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

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

Strawberry Buttercream

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

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


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

See!


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

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Hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day!

<3hollicakes


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Happy New Year! Mimosa anyone?

Hello friends! I am so sorry I have been MIA the past month! Christmas was insanely busy!! I’m so regretting not having enough time to post any awesome Christmas cupcakes for you guys, so here are some cupcakes that will for sure start your New Year off right =]

So last year I did a Mimosa cupcake for New Year’s as well, but this year I made a couple changes! And they are even better than they were before! And Dylan and I took even better pictures! Wana see?

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I LOVE sparklers =]

Want some recipes?

Orange-Scented Cupcakes
-makes about 20

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
1/2 cup milk
1 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 milk. Then add dry ingredients, mix until just combined.
4. Fill liner 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Butter and sugar!

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Fresh oranges from my grandma’s tree!

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Flour, salt, baking powder, and orange zest. only 1/2 cup orange juice, imagine another 1/2 though =]

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Ready for the oven.

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Whenever I try baking with Champagne it is always very finicky. I’m guessing something to do with the carbonation or the alcohol. But things just don’t turn out the way I want them to; cupcakes don’t rise, frosting is too liquidy, etc. So I was at my local cake store and saw this!

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Perfect solution! I didn’t end up using any of the Champagne oil in the cake, saved it for the frosting!

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Champagne-Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups cream cheese, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
zest from 1 orange
1/2 bottle Champagne oil, or 2 tablespoons Champagne

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


At this point the whole house smelled of sweet citrus, so yummy.

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I took a box of these guys for a holiday get-together at my uncles house, so fun!

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The leftover cupcakes from this batch stayed home, patiently awaiting mine and Dylan’s arrival, so we could play with some sparklers!! =] We took these photos out in my front courtyard, at 10:30 at night, in dense fog! So fun.


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From all of us at hollicakes, we wish you a very Happy New Year! See you in 2012 for some yummy birthday cupcakes coming up!

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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 =]


meeee1



<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 =]



<3hollicakes
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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!

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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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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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Father's Day Extravaganza.

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

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

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



Caramel cream steaks, haha.



Candy shishka-bobs.



Ever seen cupcakes look like a BBQ grill?



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



Baseball!



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



Oh balls.



Day at the golf course anyone?





What You Need:

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Enjoy! =]



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








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






Let’s have a BBQ.






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




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

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

<3hollicakes Read More...
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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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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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Valentine Cupcake Pops!



A sweet thanks goes out to bakerella.com for this recipe! I found it a few months ago and have been DYING to try it out. I really wanted to do a red velvet cake but the Target by my house was out, so I got the next best thing, Devil's Food Chocolate! I baked it in a 13x9 pan, and while it was in the oven my cute assistant cut out hearts from the styrofoam for me =]
 

 
Once it was semi-cooled (I was a little too excited to start forming these cute little cupcakes) I crumbled it into a bowl, along with a container of cream cheese frosting.
 

 
 Once it was mixed we started forming balls and placed them on a cookie sheet.
 

 
 Put them into the freezer for a good 20-25 minutes, then started forming the cupcakes with a little 1.5" flower cookie cutter.
 

 
Back into the freezer for another 15-20 minutes. Got the melting wafers and styrofoam hearts ready while waiting.
 

 
Time for dipping!
 







 
Lets wrap these cute little things.
 

 
So cute.
 

 
These were so fun to make and I can't wait to give them to my friends & family for Valentine's Day! =]
Find the recipe HERE!
 
<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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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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