I’m back! After a long hiatus I have finally graduated college with my BFA in dance and a minor in Education (man that feels so good to say!) and now have some free time to actually bake and document the things I love! Don’t get me wrong, there has been plenty of practice since I have been gone but now I have time to share what I have been creating again and I could not be more excited!
For those of you who don’t know me, I am a recent graduate from the University at Buffalo. I studied Dance and Education and am still figuring out a way that I can totally mesh the two together. In the mean time I have been attending various auditions to try and find a job. No luck yet, but that is the life of a dancer. While I have some free time though I have picked my spatula and whisk back up and have started baking! No worries, in-between cracking eggs and sifting flour I have been attending the gym so the cupcakes don’t all go to my hips!
While at work yesterday I was DYING to be creative and do something fun. Although work can be fun because as some people say “I play with sugar and flour all day” my creativity plug isn’t always satisfied. (Oh, I work in a bakery and also teach dance but not a lot of baking happens in a dance studio) So, I have decided to make chocolate cupcakes with an OREO buttercream and a chocolate dipped OREO on top! I hope you enjoy this recipe adapted from Oh Sweet Day!
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
Heat Oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another smaller bowl whisk together the egg, sour cream, ricotta cheese, olive oil and vanilla extract.
Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients mixing with a wooden spoon. The entire mixture will not be incorporated but mix until the dry ingredients absorb the wet ingredients. At this point carefully add in the boiling water and mix slowly until COMPLETELY combined. The batter starts off looking chunky but should smooth out as you mix.
Fill the muffin cups ¾ of the way with the batter.
Reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees and bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean!
1/2 cup Unsalted butter, softened
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12 OREO (or chocolate sandwich) cookies
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment mix together the butter and powdered sugar. Once combined, add in vanilla. Mix until combined. Crush the 12 cookies into the bowl of the mixer. Mix together on high speed until the cookie pieces are small enough (occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl) and the mixture is completely combined.
Either fill a bag with the buttercream and pipe onto the cupcake OR grab an offset spatula and spread the buttercream onto all of the cupcakes. I choose to use an offset spatula with OREO buttercream because it seems to be easier. With a bag the cookie pieces often get stuck in the tip.
Garnish with a chocolate covered OREO and ENJOY!!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Good Morning everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are all spending this holiday surrounded by the ones you love, whether that is family, friends or both. Since it is Thanksgiving this may be a bit of a longer post than usual. I do have to share everything I am thankful for…
I am so very thankful that I have dance in my life. This past weekend I choreographed for a show called Emerging Choreographers Showcase and it was ridiculously rewarding! (Here, you can watch the video! http://youtu.be/aIXPC52jl_E). I am so lucky I get to do what I love every single day. I can’t imagine my life without art and dance because it is amazing! I am also very thankful for my dysfunctional, yet very loving family. We may be crazy but deep down I think we all love each other! (Even if the crazy is especially prominent on holidays, we still love each other). I am also thankful to have the friends and support system that I have around me because without them I would be checked into a mental institution, I am almost positive! This past semester had 26 credits and almost too much going on! I will be very thankful when I get my 2 months of winter vacation because working part time will be nothing compared to my past semester! But I am glad that I do get so many opportunities through school. Both my internships are amazing learning opportunities and I am so lucky that I get to be a part of them. I think I have told you before that I teach an afterschool dance program at PS 67 in the city of Buffalo and my students are so intelligent and willing to learn, I love it. Along with that, I am the assistant to the directors of Zodiaque Dance Company, which is the resident dance company at UB. Through both I have learned so much! Not to mention I am also thankful that in about 3 weeks I will be on my way to see the Rockettes (whom I idol!) in NYC!!!! And in a little over a month I will be on a plane to Arkansas to see one of my best friends! So much going on and so much to be thankful for this holiday season!
This recipe is one that I made last year around Halloween and I kind of forgot about it until recently! It is full of browned butter (you know how I love that!) and it is DELICOUS!!! I am sorry that I cannot give credit to the original creator of this but when I wrote down the recipe I neglected to write down whom it was by. This of course was before my blog days so I didn’t think I’d need it. Whomever this recipe belongs to, THANK YOU!! I usually do not eat much of what I make for whatever reason and I could devour an entire cake and be okay with it. For Thanksgiving we go to my cousin’s house for dinner and she requested that I makes “one of my delicious desserts”. Her words, not mine! Although this one is delicious so I will accept the compliment! I saw an idea online, probably on Pintrest, of how to make a cake into a pumpkin! I thought that this would be the perfect idea for today! So in order to achieve this I had to double my recipe to fill 2 Bundt pans. So if you just want a 2 layer cake cut the recipe in half otherwise you will have one very tall 4 layer cake, although delicious it will probably be more than you need! So, here you go! Enjoy this recipe and enjoy your families and friends today!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tsp. baking soda
- 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ginger
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1. Heat oven to 350°
2. Grease 2 Bundt pans and set aside (if cutting recipe in half use 2-9 inch pans)
3. Melt butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking occasionally until the butter turns a nutty brown color. The butter will start to look like it is boiling and get frothy before it browns. Continue to whisk so that the butter doesn’t stick (ironic right?). Once the butter is browned (you will know because there is a definite difference in smell and appearance) remove from the heat and set in a bowl to cool for about 15-20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves.
5. In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and buttermilk until well combined.
6. Fold in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until well combined.
7. Once the butter is cooled, gently whisk it into the rest of the ingredients until completely incorporated.
8. Divide the batter evenly into the 2 pans. (TIP: I cut the recipe in half and made it twice to ensure that each pan was filled evenly. I also only have one Bundt pan so I could only bake one at a time. My grandpa once told me to never double recipes, and although I do, I feel better when I don’t. That being said, you can double this one and I promise it will all work out. This is just how I went about making the recipe.)
9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for 15-20 minutes before taking out of the pan. (IF using 2-9 inch pans bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.)
10. Let cool completely before frosting.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- ½ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 2 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- Brown the butter as you did in the cake recipe. Place in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat and cook until brown and nutty whisking occasionally. Set aside and let cool completely before moving on. This will ensure that your frosting doesn’t get hard and remains a work-able consistency. Once butter is completely, and I mean completely, cooled you can move on to the rest. (Believe me I am impatient but I promise you will be thankful you waited!)
- Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk together until combined.
- Add in the brown sugar and mix until the brown sugar is fully incorporated.
- Slowly add in the confectioners sugar and mix on low until incorporated. Speed up the mixer to medium or medium-high until the frosting is fully mixed. (I added in food coloring to make my pumpkin color at this point but you can call yours done!)
To decorate the cake I proceeded to fill it as if I was just making a layer cake.
Then I frosted the outside like I was frosting a layer cake and I used my cake spatula to create indents to look like a pumpkins. The top has green frosting and then brown vines. Be creative with your cake and see where it can take you!
ENJOY! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Friday Night Party
I am glad that I get to post some delicious cupcake recipes, however I wish it was under different circumstances. Tonight is a farewell party for a family friend of mine. He will be headed to Afghanistan for the second time since joining the military. Although this is not something I wish to be happening, I respect him and all the others that our defendng our country overseas. It is extremely brave and honorable of him. As a result, there is a farewell party tonight for which I volunteered to make cupcakes. I have been wanting to be creative lately and I will unfortunately not be able to make the party because I made a commitment to babysit my baby cousin weeks ago, so I decided to get fancy and make filled cupcakes. The first is a Lemon Meringue Cupcake which turned out great if I do say so myself! I found the recipe on Pintrest of course. The other cupcake is a Chocolate Cupcake filled with ganache and topped with carmel frosting and a Rolo. I made the cupcakes and fillings and let them sit overnight which worked out well. Also each recipe made 13 cupcakes (which was perfect because I wanted to try them before I gave them away!)
Although I will be missing the party, I am excited to spend the evening with one of the cutest 2 year olds I know; and I pray that he comes home safe and sound from Afghanistan! I hope he enjoys the cupcakes and his party!
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cupcake pan with cupcake paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Turn the mixer off, add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the ingredients together until combined on medium speed.
Fill each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes.
While the cupcakes are cooling on a wire rack, make the filling!
- 1 egg and yolk
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
In the top of a double boiler beat egg and egg yolk together. Set over simmering water. Beat in the lemon juice, sugar and butter. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is the consistency of pudding. Allow to cool before putting inside the cupcakes. I made the cupcakes and filling and then let the cool overnight before using them and it worked out well!
While the filling it cooling now it is time to take a small paring knife and cut a hole in the middle of the cupcake. **Make sure not to cut all the way down the cupcake.
Fill a pastry bag with the lemon mixture. I used a round tip for putting the filling inside the cupcake but I don’t see it being necessary since you already have a hole cut.
Once the cupcakes are filled it is time to make the frosting.
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 tbsp water
In the top of a double boiler, whisk together all the ingredients. Over simmering water heat the mixture to 140 degrees.
Remove the mixture from the heat and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on high for about 5-10 minutes or until white and soft peaks form.
Using a small spatula, spread the frosting onto the top of the cupcake. Once each cupcake it topped, place on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the tops turn golden brown.
(I used my trusty Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Cake recipe)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.
While the cupcakes are cooling make the ganache.
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 oz. chocolate, finely chopped
In a sauce pan, heat the heavy cream until hot (NOT boiling). Pour over the chocolate and whisk until melted. Let cool completely (or set in the fridge overnight).
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the ganache on medium speed until lightened in color.
Just like with the Lemon Meringue cupcakes, cut a hole in the cupcake before filling.
In a pastry bag with (or without) a tip, insert the filling into the cupcake.
Now it is time to make the Carmel Frosting for the cupcakes.
Frosting: (adapted from Baking with Blondie)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 C brown sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 6 T milk
- 3-5 C sifted powdered sugar (depending on how thick consistency you want)
In a saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in brown sugar and salt.
Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes (careful not to burn), stir occasionally. Remove from heat and add milk. Stir with a whisk until fully combined.
Return to heat and slowly bring to a boil again. Remove from heat. Bring to room temperature.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add caramel mixture, and slowly add in powdered sugar about a 1/2 cup at a time. If frosting is looking too stiff, stop adding powdered sugar and maybe add in a little milk. If frosting is looking too thin, keep adding powdered sugar to your desired consistency.
Finally, it is time to top the cupcakes with the frosting. I decided to add a rolo to tie the whole chocolate and carmel theme together!