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


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


Michigan beer? What's Oberon?

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

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

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

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


Here's what you need...


Oberon Cupcakes
-makes 24

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

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

Don't forget the beer!


And the orange zest!


Batter ready to bake!


Time for some frosting!


"Beer Foam" Meringue Frosting

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

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


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


Someone drank lots of Oberon while playing kickball this summer!


In the Bell's Beer Garden!


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


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



Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes


Happy spring everyone!

The weather has finally decided to warm up a little over here in Michigan. That means its time for some light & fruity cupcakes!

One dessert that I think has the perfect balance of tart & sweet is a simple lemon meringue pie! But I'm not much of a pie making girl, so I turned the springtime classic into a cupcake!


I started with a light lemon cake, filled with a tart homemade lemon curd and topped with a toasted meringue frosting. The perfect dessert for Easter!

Lets start with some cake...

Lemon Cupcakes
-makes 24

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

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla.
2. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
3.Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Some cute liners for Easter!


The batter is pretty thick once combined.


I like this recipe because they are light and fluffy!


Now we need some filling...

This is probably the most foolproof and easy lemon curd recipe I've ever made. It came out a little bit tart (which I like), so if you prefer a sweeter filling then you can add 1/4-1/2 cup more sugar.

Lemon Curd
-makes about 2 cups

6 Tbs unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar (extra for a sweeter, less tart filling)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1.In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
2. In a medium saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don't let the mixture boil, it will overcook and actually curdle the eggs. If this happens, depending on the severity you might be able to save it by stirring vigorously with a metal whisk while the curd is still hot.
3. Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

I made my lemon curd the day before so it could chill in the fridge overnight.


Don't forget to prepare your cupcakes for filling, I used the cone method!


I used a small pairing knife to cut out the cones, then trimmed them reserving the top of the cupcake. The cone trimmings are perfect for taste testing =]


You could always pipe the filling in, but I found using a teaspoon was just fine.


Now that the cupcakes are filled, its time for some frosting!!

So a traditional lemon meringue pie uses a French meringue, raw egg whites whipped with granulated sugar.

But since I needed a more stable topping for cupcakes, I decided to go with an Italian meringue; which is sugar syrup cooked to the soft-ball stage (234-240 degrees) poured into firmly whipped egg whites.

Italian Meringue Frosting
-enough to frost 24 cupcakes

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

1. In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is at soft ball stage(234-240 degrees).
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously. Beat for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
3. Frost cupcakes immediately, frosting will set once cooled. Store cupcakes in refrigerator up to 3 days. Best eaten on same day, or if brought to room temperature first.

Pouring the hot sugar into the whipped egg whites.


I love how this meringue looks so shiny and white! It dulls some once set though.


Cupcakes lined up and ready to be toasted!!


Be careful not to light your cupcake liners on fire though! (I almost did, oops!)


Look at that yummy filling!


I hope everyone had a great Easter!

<3 hollicakes


Happy New Year from hollicakes!

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 9.31.05 PM

Happy New Year everyone!!

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


I love making recipes from new cookbooks!


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

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

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

Champagne Meringue Frosting
-enough to frost 24 cupcakes

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

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

Egg whites at stiff peaks!


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


All dressed up & ready for some glitter.


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


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


Time to dig in =]


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

Can't wait to share more treats soon!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy & sweet 2013!



Blue Moon Cupcakes!


So I was killing some time on Pinterest the other day, and came across this amazing blog called Miss Make! Beer + cupcakes caught my eye immediately. The second I saw the post I knew I had to try it!!

But since baking for fun has gotten a little expensive these days, I try to wait for the perfect occasion to bust out new recipes I’ve been wanting to try! Two of my guy friends had birthdays the same weekend, the perfect opportunity!! I love when that happens.

Check out an awesome blog and her how-to + recipe for these cupcakes right here, Blue Moon Cupcakes by Miss Make.

Thank you so much for a great recipe and inspiration!

Good thing I had the perfect liners just laying around!


I used zest from oranges fresh picked from my grandma’s orange tree, so yummy!


Baked and beautiful!


One thing I did change in this recipe; once the cupcakes came out of the oven and cooled for about 5 minutes, I poked holes in the tops of the cupcakes and brushed them with the leftover beer =]

To be honest, I couldn’t really taste the beer too much, but that was okay with me because these cupcakes were moist and delicious! You could probably add a 2nd or 3rd coat of beer for a stronger taste! Careful, too much liquid will make them soggy though!


Meringue frosting with fresh squeezed orange juice. So heavenly. Seriously, this is what I imagine the clouds in heaven will be like. =]


I added a couple orange sprinkles to each, you could always use an orange slice to garnish as well! If you do, make sure you serve them immediately, or wait until the last minute to put the orange on. They might get funky and make the frosting watery if not eaten right away!


Happy Birthday Andrew!!


Thank you to my love Dylan for some of the pictures, including this awesome one =]


I’m sorry, I HAD to share this picture. I love my grandma so much, she is amazing and my most dedicated taste-tester!! So silly.


Have a wonderful day!! Drink a Blue Moon and eat a cupcake. Or both =]