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Carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting

17 Mar

So it’s official. Winter’s over. It hit me today, while I was at the park, playing tag with little kids, sitting on a bench and taking in my surroundings. I was kind of hoping winter would make a comeback sometime this March- it always does. Where I live, winter never leaves us without a fight, one last memoir, a terrible snowstorm. But this year, nothing. It hardly snowed this time. And all I could think of this winter, was back to ten years ago, when it snowed so much that we couldn’t even open the front door of our house. When school had to be closed for days in a row. When people’s cars wouldn’t even budge out of their driveways. It feels like my favourite season doesn’t exist anymore.

Anyways, as much as I’d like to postpone it, spring is here. And you know what reminds me of spring? The flowery cupcake liners on the cupcakes I made a few weeks ago. Aren’t they cute? So what hapenned a couple of weeks ago was that my sister came up to me, disappointed because her fourth grade class had a baking session and she’d missed it because she’d been sick. She handed me the recipe of the carrot cake she was supposed to bake with her class. The recipe was from Joy of Baking (I’m obsessed with that website!). So my sister and I decided to make carrot cupcakes at home. Stephanie from Joy of Baking actually has a carrot cupcake recipe but I used her recipe for carrot cake because that’s the one my sister had a printed out copy of.

So, let’s get started! Here are the recipe and the directions I adapted from the Joy of Baking one. I left out the nuts, so if you want the original unmodified recipe, check out their website!

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake:

3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (2 1/2 cups grated)

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) safflower, vegetable or canola oil (or other flavorless oil)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sufted

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in center of oven.

Peel and finely grate the carrots.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). 

Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 – 4 minutes). 

Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. 

Fold in the grated carrots. 

Scoop the batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean (you might want to poke a few cupcakes to make sure they’re all done baking). 

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cupcakes cool before you transfer them to a platter.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed using an electric or hand mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

Make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled before you frost them! I frosted mines using a plastic sandwich bag. I basically scooped the icing into the bag, pushed all the icing towards one corner, removed the air from the bag, then zipped it and cut off the corner of the bag where I had pushed all of the frosting. Then I used the bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. It’s kind of a messy job, but it looks pretty!

And voila! Your cupcakes look beautiful, taste amazing, and you feel pretty accomplished because you made them!

Yeah bro. I made those cupcakes bro.

Le picture time:

According to my brother, the way I frosted the cupcakes makes the icing look like white poop. Haters gonna hate yo.

 Take care and I’ll see you soon my loves!

Red Velvety Velvet Cupcakes!

22 Sep

When I was trying to choose a niche for my blog, I finally chose baking because although I’ve been baking for years, I wanted to try making more complex deserts than before and I thought a baking blog would be the perfect way to motivate myself. Today, I decided to make Red Velvet cupcakes using a recipe given to me by my good friend Khadijha (yes I know she has the same name as me). However, when I actually set out to make the cupcakes, I kind of wished I had picked something simpler to bake. Not only did the list of ingredients look daunting, I had never made Red Velvet cupcakes before, and I didn’t want to screw up. Not when I had to blog about my experience. Surprisingly though, the cupcakes turned out delicious and they weren’t hard to make at all! I totally recommend this recipe to you guys. So if you want to make Red Velvet cupcakes, keep on reading!

Cupcakes Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups of cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar
    *You can make your own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for about 10 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  •  8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

I’ll be honest. The first thing I thought when my friend showed me this recipe was WHAT THE HELL?   

And then, Oh wells. So I picked my lazy butt up and scoured my house, trying to find all the ingredients. Like the recipe says you can, I made my own buttermilk. Also, I just used any old cocoa powder I could find.

Tip: If you don’t have cake flour, you can make your own. For every 1 cup of cake flour you need, use ¾ of a cup (84 grams) of sifter bleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) of cornstarch. I got this tip from The joy of baking.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Since I don’t have an electric mixer, I had to beat that shit by hand *flexes arm.*

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated into the mix. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.

In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.

Now here’s where we get into the really technical stuff. Okay, so you’re going to add 1/4 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/3 of the wet. Continue adding the ingredients in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.

Next, scoop the mixture into the cupcake moulds, filling them ½ to ¾ of the way up. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. I found a crumb on my toothpick after I poked it into one of the cupcakes, so I shoved the pan back into the oven. I’m a little obsessive like that.

If you want, you can rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking of your cupcakes. But we don’t do that. We’re rebels.

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I didn’t have a wire rack so I just put them on a large platter.

Frosting Directions:

Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (if you have one- HMPH!). Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until it’s well combined, which should take you about 2-3 minutes. Keep mixing everything until it’s all nice looking and stuff, and then increase the speed and then beat it some more until it’s all super smooth.

Next, take the icing and frost your cupcakes. You can do this part however you wish. I like to lick my fingers and then dip them in the icing and spread it on the cupcakes. It’s like my personal touch.

Ta-Da! And now you have a batch of royally red, scrumptious and delicious Red Velvet cupcakes. This was my first time making Red Velvet anything, so I’m proud of myself. These babies actually turned out pretty good. Mmmmm. Except, these aren’t exactly working with my diet. Shhhhh…

Pictures (try not to drool all over your keyboard):

Pink sprinkles! And you can see my homework in the background.

This is what I do to cupcakes when they're done modeling for the camera- SMASHHH EM!

And a heart for the lovely readers : ) (I made this on our glass kitchen table, hence it looks like a floating heart)

Take care, and I’ll see you soon my little Cuppycakes!