Filtering by Tag: cupcakes

With A Cherry On Top

As a Pinterest addict I can admit that every pin doesn't always turn out the best.  PLEASE tell me you've seen the Pinterest Fail site??  It makes me laugh so hard, but this is not one of those times.  This is a grand success and the timing couldn't have been better.  I made these for an awesome coworker's birthday.  His parents were with him on his birthday and came to see where he works so this turned out to be an extra special treat! 

Take a look at the inspiration... Pretty dead on right?  I could NOT find cherries with stems though.  If anyone has any ideas please do share. 

To make these birthday treats I stuck with my most favorite vanilla cake recipe and vanilla frosting.  As a slight cheat for the "sundae's" chocolate sauce I used chocolate melts (which I purchased at Michael's) instead of your traditional chocolate chips from the grocery store.  After you've melted the chocolate into a sauce I would recommend letting it cool slightly and it gives you the ability to mold that drippy, sauce look.

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the racks in the center position. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, sour cream, and egg whites. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer (I got a better dome with the hand mixer). Add the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste to the bowl and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light. Scrape the sides as necessary.

Add the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture while beating on medium speed, again scraping the sides as needed. Beat in half of the sour cream mixture. Alternately add the remaining flour mixture and sour cream until all the wet and dry ingredients have added, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth.

Use a large ice cream scoop, evenly divide the batter between 22 lined muffin tins filling each about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool pan on wire rack for less than 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to the rack to finish cooling.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (to maintain the bright white color)
  • 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-6 tablespoons heavy cream

Preparation

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and vanilla bean paste. Beat until fluffy. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the confectioners' sugar while continuing to beat.  I add one cup of powdered sugar at a time.

Once well blended, add in the vanilla and 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk. Mix on low speed until well combined and moist. If desired, an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until your desired consistency is reached. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

{Please note that if you're using the vanilla bean paste, the frosting won't be a bright white as mentioned in the ingredients.  I didn't use the paste for these cupcakes.}

The Sweetest Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

The Sweetest Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes #thegirlkyle

You know you're a geeky baker when you're excited about purchasing a kitchen sieve.  I was most excited about making raspberry puree because trying to remove the seeds any other way turned out to be a big huge FAIL.

The Sweetest Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes #thegirlkyle

You may also be thinking that this recipe isn't really appropriate for this time of year.  For most of you it's winter.  Time for spice cakes and hot cocoa, but in California it's been in the 60's or even low 70's.  The other day I was sweating in my faux fur vest!  Totally not cool.

The Sweetest Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes #thegirlkyle

For us Californians it seems natural to whip up these sweet little cakes.  Raspberry lemon is one of my favorite flavor combinations.  After mint chocolate.   So I had a new sieve and I was ready to get to work on the lightest, most delicious raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

For the Lemon Cake:

{Adapted From Anne Eats}

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1¼ cups (8 oz.) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

For the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup raspberry puree 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest.  Mix for about 1 minute on low speed to infuse the sugar with the lemon scent.  The sugar should have the appearance of wet sand.  Add in the butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the sour cream, milk, lemon juice and extracts.  Whisk to blend.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners filling each about ¾-full.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the puree, combine the raspberries, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Once the berries and their juices begin to bubble, stir in the cornstarch mixture.  Bring to a boil and let boil until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.  This is where I get to use my new sieve - YAY!  Strain to remove the raspberry seeds.

{The Girl Kyle Bakes} Pomegranate + Lime Cupcakes

Pomegranate + Lime Cupcakes #thegirlkyle

Sometimes I get into a baking rut.  Either I'm baking the same things over and over for customers or I'm just not interested in baking at all.  When I started baking I was really adventurous with the flavor combinations.  I was open to trying just about anything that sounded yummy - even Nerd cupcakes with Nerd candies in them!  Now, not so much.  I stick with the classics - constantly trying to improve the delicious vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. 

Pomegranate + Lime Cupcakes #thegirlkyle

This was a big jump out of my comfort zone even though I like both pomegranate and lime.  It sounds like it would make a delicious cocktail!  Unfortunately I wasn't too impressed with how it translated into a baked good.  My biggest complaint is that the cake was much too dense; the texture was more like a muffin.  The recipe had called for olive oil and I thought in the moment that the use of olive oil instead of canola or vegetable oil was a little odd.  Of course when I bit into one of the cupcakes I thought they tasted like olive oil.  Gross!  My girl friends who I shared these with said they didn't even notice.  They liked them!  I guess we're all our own worst critics.

Pomegranate + Lime Cupcakes #thegirlkyle

{Recipe Via} 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (low or full fat)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar 
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350º F. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, olive oil, sugar, the zest from one lime, and 1/4 cup of lime juice. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Sift the flour mixture into the yogurt bowl. Stir until the flour is just combined. Scoop the batter into 14 cupcake liners to fill 2/3 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes depending on your oven. Remove from oven and cool completely before topping with buttercream and syrup.

 

Pomegranate Buttercream Frosting

• 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
• 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, reduce the pomegranate juice by half over medium heat. Set aside to cool.

Mix together the butter and 2 1/2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy. Stir in the vanilla. Slowly add the reduced pomegranate juice. Add more sugar if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.


Pomegranate Honey Syrup

• 1 cup pomegranate juice
• 1/4 cup light-flavored raw honey

In a medium saucepan combine the pomegranate juice and the honey. Heat over medium heat until the mixture boils, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook until the liquid has been reduced by half. Allow to cool slightly. Mixture will thicken as it cools.

Pomegranate + Lime Cupcakes #thegirlkyle

My biggest takeaway from this recipe was the DELICIOUS pomegranate honey.  It was simple to make, tasted great and made my cupcakes look especially tantalizing!  I have even made it since with raspberry puree and put in a batch of swiss meringue buttercream.  So.  Good. 

Don't shy away this recipe, just rework it a little with one of your favorite cupcake recipes. :) 

 

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