Cupcake ATM?!?!

I officially need to make a trip to Beverly Hills now that I discovered the existence of a cupcake ATM!!!Apparently Sprinkles Bakery has come up with the best idea.  An ATM that dispenses fresh baked cupcakes 27/7 in different flavors.  You can even get doggie cupcakes…or as I like to call them, pupcakes.  I’m a little jealous that I can’t think of a new and exciting cupcake dispensary idea.  Can you?
xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake

Daring Bakers: Filled Pate a Choux Swans

I’m officially a daring baker!  Daring Bakers is a challenge to bake new and challenging recipes.  Once a month a challenge is posted on their website and everyone makes it and posts it to their blog and posts pictures on the Daring Bakers website so that you can see what worked, what didn’t, what was pretty, what might not be.

August’s challenge was filled pate a choux.  The original recipe was for swans but you could make any filled shaped you wanted.  I decided to go with the actual swan since they looked so pretty and kind of challenging.

I’ve gotta say, I’ve seen people on Top Chef mess up choux dough and I’m surprised because it was a lot easier than I thought.  It’s basically a cooked dough with butter, flour, and egg yolks.  Easy peasy!  All you have to do is fill it with something delicious and people are going to be super impressed.  I used a vanilla pastry cream with whipped cream folded into it.  The classic cream puff filling.  I can’t wait to find out what the next Daring Baker’s challenge is going to be!
xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

What better way to suck up…ahem…I mean make friends with your new coworkers than to bring in cupcakes?  When I was interviewing for my job, they asked about what I like to do in my free time.  So I thought this was the perfect time to tell them about my cupcakes, especially since it was something different than the standard reading, travel, whatever answers.  But since I bragged about making all of these cupcakes, I had to follow through and bring them in some.

The perfect opportunity arose since one of my coworkers was leaving to move to Washington state.  I just had to decide what kind of cupcakes would be good to make her.  After browsing around Pinterest and asking a few people, a classic carrot cake was settled on.  How can you not like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?  It’s a great combination and I could make the cupcakes a day or two ahead of time because these ones always stay moist.  And the best part about this recipe was that I did the whole thing in my food processor which made for easy clean up!

[Inspired by Martha Stewart]

For Cupcakes

Makes 12

  • 5 medium carrots, washed with ends cut off
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp.baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground all spice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with 12 liners
  2. Cut carrots into thirds and process in food processor until finely grated
  3. Add eggs and sugar to the carrots and pulse until just combined.
  4. Slowly stream in oil into the food processor until combined with the carrot and sugar mixture
  5. Add in baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 of the flour and pulse to combine
  6. Pour in 1/2 the milk and pulse to combine, scraping down the edges as needed
  7. Add in spices and remaining flour and pulse to just combine
  8. Pour in remaining milk and combine until just smooth
  9. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 23-27 minutes.  Cool before frosting

For Frosting

  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz. of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Mix together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer
  2. Add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed
  3. Mix in vanilla extract until smooth

My first cupcakes for my new coworkers got great reviews!  These are super simple to make but everyone seems to be impressed with my baking skills when I make them.  They’re super moist and the sweet cream cheese frosting is a great compliment.  And they couldn’t have been easier since I pretty much just did it all in my food processor.  I love recipes that are easy to clean up!

The only problem was that I brought them in and they put them out before lunch so I was on a sugar high before I had any real lunch food in me.  People were bouncing off the walls with eating lots of sugar.  But I’m totally okay with that, it definitely makes for an interesting work day!

xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake

S’mores…the Perfect Camping Cupcake!

For almost 2 years now, I’ve been dying to get my hands on a kitchen torch so that I could make some kind of s’more cupcake.  I briefly got one for Christmas in 2010 but then it gotten taken back because I couldn’t figure out how to use.  Maybe my family thought I was going to be too dangerous with the thing.

Well when Boy Cupcake’s friend said she wanted to go camping for her 30th birthday, I started to think about what kind of cupcakes I could bring.  And then he suggested s’more cupcakes!  Duh, why didn’t I think about that?  That’s why I keep him around.  This was going to be the prefect time to get a torch and make these off of my cupcake wishlist!

[Inspired by Annie Eats]

For Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers crushed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. (1 small container) 0% Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork.
  3. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom. (Pressing them with my thumb worked best for me)
  4. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder. hot water, and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.
  6. In another medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to blend.
  7. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and the butter is completely melted.
  8. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 6-8 minutes.
  9. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the cocoa mixture until smooth.
  10. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the Greek yogurt,just until incorporated.
  11. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾-full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22  minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let cool in the pan about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For Frosting

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the bowl of your electric mixer and set over a pan of a few inches of simmering water.
  2. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with a candy thermometer.
  3. Transfer the mixing bowl to your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined.
  4. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip.
  5. Brown with a kitchen torch.

There were a lot of steps to these cupcakes with the baking of the graham cracker crust first but actually getting to use the kitchen torch (which ended up not being a kitchen torch but a mini welding torch I bought from Home Depot) was by far the best part.  It was a lot of fun to watch them amazingly brown up and the frosting definitely tasted like marshmallow.

I will say though that the cake was a little dry, which I wasn’t a super fan of.  People thought I was crazy when I said that but we’re our worst critics, right?  Plus Boy Cupcake told me they were a little dry too, I’m glad he was honest about it.  But maybe they were like that because they were sitting in the car for a day so the little animals couldn’t get to them.  And I think using the fat free yogurt may have cut some needed fat out.  Regardless they were very s’more like.  If I was going to do them again, I might add a chocolate ganache center to get that melty chocolate taste.

xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake

Lemon-Blueberry Cupcakes

I’ve had lemon-blueberry cupcakes on my cupcake wishlist for a while even though I’m not a huge fan of blueberries.  I do like them cooked into muffins and things but I’m not really a fan of eating them fresh.  There’s something about the weird color of their insides that freaks me out.


A few weeks ago (okay almost 2 months ago, so you really have to forgive me for that), I decided to head down to CT for my dad’s birthday and figured I’d bring some cupcakes with me.  I decided to do something off of the wishlist because selfishly, I could then write about it.  But it was also super hot and them lemon and blueberry combination sounded a little more light and refreshing than a heavy chocolate cupcake.

[Inspired by Annie Eats]

For Cupcakes

Makes about 16 cupcakes

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¾ cup cake flour 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of  1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. milk, at room temperature
  • 1.5  cups fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup all-purpose flour, the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Blend in the milk. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.
  6. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Using a spatula gently fold the berries into the cake batter.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Juice of about 1/2 a lemon
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Additional fresh blueberries, for garnish
  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated (start with 3 cupcakes and add more sugar if needed), increase the speed and then beat until smooth.
  3. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

These cupcakes are great warm weather summer cupcakes.  They aren’t too heavy with lots of chocolate or anything and the combination of the lemon and blueberries is actually pretty refreshing for a cupcake.

I think the best part about these is that the blueberries really keep the cake extra moist, so you could keep them for a few days and they won’t really dry out too much.  I brought some extra into work on Monday morning and told everyone I was calling them breakfast cupcakes since they had fruit and cream cheese frosting.  Any excuse to eat a cupcake before 9am works for people.  And maybe I do need to come up with some real kind of breakfast cupcake.  Pancake/bacon cupcake anyone?

xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake