Coconut, Cupcakes

Coconut Cupcakes

With coconut leftover from last week’s shortbread, it seemed appropriate to finally share my Coconut Cupcake recipe.

Shredded in the cake batter and topping off each cupcake, coconut permeates these tasty treats. If you love coconut, you will love these cupcakes.

In my frosting, I use coconut fat from a can of coconut milk that has been kept in the refrigerator. This allows the fat to sit on top and be easily scooped out. You can use the remaining fat and coconut water however you like or you can omit this ingredient from the frosting altogether (in which case, you’ll have vanilla frosting that is topped with coconut).


Coconut Cupcakes 

yield: 24 cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 six-ounce containers vanilla yogurt (not greek)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two cupcake/muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine the yogurt, butter, sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until it comes together.

Using a 1/4 cup measure or two large tablespoons, fill each cupcake liner and bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Coconut Frosting and Assembly

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 tbsp coconut fat from one can of chilled coconut milk, optional
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut for decoration

Cream the butter and coconut fat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in roughly half of the confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla, creaming for an additional 2 minutes until fluffy. Add in remaining confectioner’s sugar gradually until desired consistency and sweetness is reached. Personally, I mix in about 4 1/2 cups total and whip the frosting to make it light and airy.

Frost the cupcakes  and decorate with additional sweetened coconut.


 

Advertisements
Bourbon, Cake, Caramel, Cupcakes

Bourbon Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a love note to two of my favorite flavors: caramel and bourbon.

The guys over at Probably This have such inventive, tasty recipes, and they’re absolutely perfect the way they are. If you’re after a goat cheese buttercream or cookies with heaps of chocolate and rosemary, then they should be your go to guys for A Better Homo and Garden.

However, I am someone who enjoys riffing on a good idea like their brilliant Crunchy Caramel Popcorn Layer Cake with Rye Whiskey Buttercream:

Rye Whiskey? I prefer Kentucky Bourbon.

Layer cake? Let’s make cupcakes for a crowd instead.

Caramel  Cupcakes

yield: 2 dozen caramel cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 six-ounce containers vanilla yogurt (not greek)
  • 1 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Set aside.

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

 

In another large bowl, combine the yogurt, caramel sauce, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until it comes together.

Honestly, you can mix these cupcakes by hand, and they work wonderfully. Using a 1/4 cup measure or two large tablespoons, fill each cupcake liner a little over halfway full and bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Bourbon Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1/4 cup bourbon*
  • 3-4 tbsp heavy cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for at least 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed, until nearly white in color. Add in 3 cups of the confectioner’s sugar, mixing on low to incorporate. Increase speed and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes longer. Add one cup of confectioner’s sugar, the bourbon and the cream, and mix together, again starting on low before increasing speed to medium.  Add in the remaining cup of sugar gradually, until desired consistency and taste is achieved.

Transfer to a piping bag or spread generously on cupcakes.

*My favorite bourbon that comes in right around the $20 dollar mark is Jim Beam Double Oaked. It offers a hefty flavor that translates well in this frosting and is pleasant to drink on its own (which is always a perk!). Feel free to experiment with your own favorites!

Salted Caramel Sauce

Here’s my recent post to my own Sour Cream Salted Caramel Sauce, or you can always buy a trusted delicious brand. Either way, you’ll need a total of 2 cups to use in the cupcakes and for decoration.

 

 

 

Assembly:

  • Pipe a ring of frosting.
  • Fill the center with caramel.
  • Pipe frosting to cover.
  • Drizzle with a little caramel.
  • Top with caramel popcorn.

Cream Cheese, Cupcakes, Frosting, Pecans, Pumpkin

Fall Harder Than You’ve Ever Falled Before

It’s been pumpkin season for a couple months now, and here is my contribution to the litany of pumpkin recipes and ideas out there. This is a recipe that combines two pumpkin treats in one: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

yield: about 16 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 7.5 oz pumpkin purée, plus two tbsp for the frosting
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with a total of 16 liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the egg, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and buttermilk. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, olive oil, and brown sugar at medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Add the dry goods alternately with the wet in a 3:2 ratio, beginning and ending with the dry goods. Scrape down the bowl as necessary while mixing, and give it a good fold or two after you’ve incorporated the last of the flour.

Fill the cupcake cups 2/3 full with batter and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp reserved pumpkin puree*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz cream cheese

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes at medium speed. Add in the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Mix to combine. With the mixer running at medium speed, add in the cream cheese a bit at a time until incorporated. Mix thoroughly on medium speed until there are no visible cream cheese lumps. Adding an extra tablespoon or two of confectioner’s sugar can help this process along.

Dust with cinnamon or top with the following graham cracker crumble

Graham Cracker Crumble

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker flour (made from 4-5 whole graham crackers)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment

Whisk together the graham flour, brown sugar, and salt. Pour the melted butter over the flour and mix with a fork until the the crumbs are moist. Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, pressing together like you would for a pie crust.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until just beginning to brown. Remove and allow to cool completely before breaking up into pieces. This can be made up to 3 days in advance; keep it covered at room temperature.

*You will use about 3/4 of a 15oz can of pumpkin puree in this recipe, so what can you do with the remainder? Personally, I enjoy pumpkin in my oatmeal or swirled into my yogurt!

Chocolate, Cupcakes, Fruit, Orange

A Classic Flavor Combination: Chocolate and Orange

After a brief hiatus, I figured I’d dive back into my favorite treat: cupcakes. Now, I typically don’t like chocolate and fruit mixed together. Chocolate-covered strawberries? Give them to someone else.

But chocolate and orange? Now that’s a match made in heaven. These cupcakes are super easy to make too: just mix the dry goods together; mix the wet ingredients; mix dry and wet; fold in the chocolate chips. I love recipes like this.

Chocolate and Orange Cupcakes

yield: 24 cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 six-ounce containers vanilla yogurt (not greek)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips, plus more for decorating

Toss 1 tbsp flour with miniature chocolate chips to coat. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, zest, yogurt, and sugar to combine. Add in the eggs and whisk until homogeneous.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix until it comes together; a few lumps are okay, but it should not be overly lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake in an oven preheated to 325 degrees for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting with orange buttercream and topping with chocolate chips.

Orange Buttercream

yield: about 4 cups; enough to frost 24 cupcakes

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • the zest of one orange
  • 3-4 tbsp orange juice

Cream the butter and 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer.

Add in 3 tbsp of orange juice and 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar. Cream until smooth. Adjust frosting according to stiffness and taste with the remaining orange juice and sugar.

Bourbon, Cake, Cupcakes, Pecans, Vanilla

Somedays You Just Need a Win… (Bourbon Baller Cupcakes)

I’ve had some baking failures recently, and those are just no fun to post about: miniature blueberry pies came out with a perfect crust and a charred, congealed filling like dark candle wax; cookies spread; cakes fell; crops died; Trump became president; the world ended.

Okay maybe not all that, but definitely the first and second things. And sadly one of the last ones too.

And so I find myself wanting to bake something I know I can do well; I need a win to rebuild my confidence. And what is confidence in a bottle?

Bourbon.

Bourbon can help anyone rebuild their confidence with a few quick swigs! I present to you, dear reader, Bourbon Baller Cupcakes, adapted from and embellished upon this delicious Whiskey Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe I came across over at the New York Times. This recipe requires Mise-en-place: for everything to be in it’s place before you start creaming and baking.

img_20170126_175221_521

Bourbon Baller Cupcakes

yield: 28-30 cupcakes

  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • ¼ cup instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • boiling water
  • 1 cup bourbon, Four Roses Yellow Label is my preference
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two muffin tins with liners. Personally, I made 24 cupcakes and a dozen miniature cupcakes with this recipe. In the top of a double boiler, melt the unsweetened chocolate. Set aside to cool.

In a 2-cup or larger glass measuring cup, combine the espresso and cocoa powders. Add enough boiling water to reach the 1-cup mark and stir to dissolve the powders. Add the bourbon. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.

On low speed, beat in a third of the cocoa-bourbon mixture. Then mix in half of the flour mixture, a third of the bourbon, the rest of the flour, and the last third of the bourbon mixture. Mix well after each addition, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Despite the liquid content, the batter will not be thin.

Divide batter among muffin tins and bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

img_20170126_175045_422

Toasted Pecans

  • 1 cup chopped pecan
  • 24 pecans halves

Spread the chopped pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake t 350 degrees for abut 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Can be made in advance (or while the oven is preheating for the cupcakes).

Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp bourbon

Chop the chocolate. Add the bourbon. Heat the cream in a microwave-safe measuring cup until it begins to just bubble around the sides. Pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for one minute before stirring to melt. If there are unmelted bits of chocolate, heat in the microwave for 5-10 second intervals until melted.

Dip the tops of the cupcakes into melted chocolate. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the wet ganache. Let sit until the chocolate firms up a bit.

Vanilla-Bourbon Buttercream

  • 1  cup butter
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Cream as needed

Cream butter until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes on medium speed in an electric mixer. Add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, bourbon, and vanilla. Cream until combined. Add 1 tbsp cream and bourbon to taste. The frosting may look thin or even broken. Add remaining confectioner’s sugar until desired texture and sweetness is reached.

Pipe frosting over solid chocolate ganache and pecans. Top each cupcake with a pecan half.

img_20170126_174857_948-1

 

Chocolate, Cupcakes, Orange

A Nip and a Chocolate Chip

img_20161113_143813-1

I love chocolate and orange. Inspired in part by Probably This’ Chocolate Chip Grand Marnier Cake, this is a light, gluten-free chocolate chip and orange cupcake. They are topped with a lighter version of my vanilla buttercream frosting – where I use whole milk in lieu of cream – and a dark chocolate and Grand Marnier ganache.

img_20161113_143638-1-1

Chocolate Chip Orange Cupcake yield: 24 cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I’m using Krusteaz Blend, but your favorite blend, or all-purpose flour would work just fine)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 six-ounce container vanilla yogurt (not greek)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • zest from two oranges
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips + 1 tbsp gluten-free flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Set aside.

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

In another large bowl, combine the yogurt, butter, sugar, zest, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until it comes together. Toss the chocolate chips in 1 tbsp of flour and fold them in.

img_20161113_142525

Using a 1/4 cup measure – or two large spoons, as I’ve recently found helpful – fill each cupcake liner and bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (though some melted chocolate may be attached).

img_20161113_142802

Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

img_20161113_143017

Lighter Vanilla Buttercream Frosting yield: enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4-5 tbsp whole milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for at least 3 minutes on medium-high speed, until nearly white in color. Add in 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, mixing on low to incorporate. Increase speed and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes longer. Add the remaining 1 1/2 – 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the sugar.

Frost the cupcakes and refrigerate them prior to topping them with the chocolate ganache (it helps the ganache cool more quickly)

Dark Chocolate Grand Marnier Ganache yield: more than enough to decorate 12 cupcakes

  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp Grand Marnier orange liqueur
  • 1 tbsp butter

Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the cream until at a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute. Add in the Grand Marnier and butter, stirring until smooth and glossy. Drizzle over the cupcakes.

img_20161113_143237

Cookbook Review, Cupcakes

Prohibition Baking

20160101_101244

Recently, a particularly thoughtful friend gave me a copy of the Prohibition Bakery Cookbook.

81VjEeKThyL

I have used alcohol in baking before — a little bourbon vanilla frosting here, a moist rum cake there — but the Prohibition Bakery Cookbook by Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem doesn’t hold back: the flavors are bold, and the alcohol content of their cupcakes is heroic.

The cookbook is divided into chapters based on alcohol, and the mini-cupcakes found within are based off of cocktails featuring said alcohol. One would find a Dark and Stormy cupcake, for example, under the Rum chapter. The sheer quantity of cocktails that the authors have transformed into cupcakes makes this cookbook an impressive tome filled with brilliant tips for incorporating alcohol into cake batters, frostings, and fillings.

What struck me about this book is that the recipes are surprisingly versatile. I may only make the Old-Fashioned mini-cupcakes a time or two, but I guarantee I will make the bourbon-infused cherry garnish many times over, both for the cherry itself and the delicious cherry-flavored bourbon it creates. The author’s recipes have a life outside of mini-cupcakes, and I think that is part of the treasure found in this cookbook.

FB_IMG_1459980672442

The Prohibition Bakery Cookbook is intently focused on its subject; this is no well-rounded all-encompassing bakery 101 cookbook. It contains only recipes for cocktail-based mini-cupcakes. However, from the ingenious way that alcohol is woven into recipes and from the brilliant use of garnishes and fillings, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys baking. If nothing else, the authors’ creativity will lift your spirits*.

If you’re planning a trip to New York or just curious about their current menu, visit the Prohibition Bakery’s website.

Buy the Prohibition Bakery Cookbook here.

*I had to use that pun at least once, otherwise the University of Kentucky would revoke my English degree.