I have a bad habit of forgetting about Cinco de Mayo every year because my birthday is the day before and it is also Star Wars Day (may the fourth be with you). I pretty much have the most amazing birthday ever, right? But when I was contacted by Karla of Truco Enterprises recently, asking if I’d like to try out any On The Border products, I knew it was a sign that I wouldn’t be missing out on posting any recipes for the holiday this year.
Of course, the first thing I was drawn to was the strawberry margarita mix. What’s Cinco de Mayo without a good margarita in hand? As a bonus, On The Border’s margarita mixes are made with all natural flavors and juices, setting them apart from many other manufacturers. After seeing many different margarita cupcake recipes, I knew I had to try making a strawberry margarita cupcake with their mix. And I have to say, they taste fantastic and look brilliant! I even gave them a sugar rim just like the drink itself. Obviously these are not kid friendly cupcakes since they do contain small amounts of tequila, but you can substitute with extra margarita mix if you want a “virgin” cupcake.
These are actually displayed in a huge margarita glass that I own, and will likely need to fill it up with the actual strawberry margarita beverage with the remaining mix on Sunday! Yummy
Just in time for Easter weekend, I present to you this fun and easy cupcake. You all know how much I love stuffing cookies and cupcakes with various truffles and what not, but this time I went with something more natural – a whole strawberry! It is a basic white cupcake that gets a small part of it cored after baking in order to fit the strawberry inside. Then top it off with some fresh strawberry buttercream and you’ve got one heck of a spring-time cupcake.
After celebrating Passover with my brother’s in-laws this past weekend, I don’t have much planned for Easter this weekend. I am working a regular day in the lab today, and am going to a Circa Survive concert tonight. Not exactly festive, but still fun! I will be attending my friend’s annual Easter brunch on Sunday so maybe I can bust out some bunny ears for that ;-).
I have shared quite a few stuffed cupcakes on this blog of mine. Today you get to see what happens when Wilton and I team up because their latest creation is a Two-Tone Cupcake Pan Set, allowing you to create a perfect center of colored batter inside of a cupcake of another color. Imagine all the festive possibilities! With that thought in mind I decided to go all out for a St. Patrick’s Day cupcake, but before I get too excited about those awesome cupcakes let’s talk about this two-tone cupcake pan set (you can also purchase the insert alone in case you already have a fully stocked baking arsenal).
Normally, you would mix up a batch of your favorite cupcake batter. But before coloring, reserve about a cup of the batter in a separate bowl for the cupcake centers. Then color the outside or inside batter however you please. The insert fits right into three cavities of a regular cupcake pan (I even checked with a non-Wilton pan to make sure), and then you either spoon (if you batter is more runny) or pipe (for thicker batter) into the appropriate sections (2/3 full) for how you would like your cupcakes to appear. Once all three are filled, you simply lift it straight up, hold it just slightly off the top of the batter to let it drip and then transfer it to the next row and repeat!
However, I decided to make things more difficult on myself by using a chocolate batter for the outside and yellow on the inside. As you can imagine, it’s a little difficult to dye a brown batter to yellow. As a result I ended up with slightly more batter than needed and filled up my cupcakes 3/4 full (as you can see) instead of the recommended 2/3. They baked perfectly fine but came out with slightly higher domes than normal. Also, the two batters were slightly different in consistency – The yellow was slightly thicker but again this didn’t cause any problems with the end product. That being said, one thing I recommend doing before filling in your cupcakes is to spray the insert with nonstick spray, especially if your batter is thick! Otherwise it will stick and you won’t get your perfectly shaped centers.
Now, can we please talk about how freaking adorable these cupcakes are!? When they existed in my brain they weren’t nearly as cute as they turned out to be in real life. And before I even made them, I had a difficult time deciding on a name for them: “Follow the Rainbow Cupcakes” or “Hidden Pot o’ Gold Cupcakes”? Obviously you can see which one won, and I chose it because I felt it fit the theme of using the two-tone insert. These cupcakes have a chocolate stout outside batter, and a yellow-dyed vanilla inside (hence “hidden” pot of gold). For the clouds, I dotted on a Bailey’s frosting and then dusted with powdered sugar to make it look more puffy and cloud-like. Top it off with a rainbow striped candy and viola! You have a full rainbow cascading over some pretty, delicious clouds.
Thank you Wilton for yet another awesome baking tool! I’m absolutely in love with the cupcakes I made (they’re so cute it hurts) and I definitely see more two-tone cupcakes in my future. But what I am most thankful for is that the insert it is top-rack dishwasher safe because hand washing after getting nonstick spray and batter all over it would be a challenge in order to get it out of all the crevices.
One year ago: Split-Pea Soup
I feel like my baking rate has gone down significantly, which is likely due to trying not have as many sweets lying about to tempt me. But when I saw these skinny cupcakes on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I knew they were destined to be made in my oven. After all, I never miss an opportunity for some peanut butter and chocolate lovin’. However, even thought they are titled as “cupcakes” I actually ate them more often in the morning than as a dessert. So they can either be a treatful breakfast, or a healthier dessert.
Alright folks, the moment has finally arrived. THE Game! Today we finish off our season right with a match up against our rival, M*chigan (no that is not a typo, I am bleeping out a bad word). Since we are ineligible to proceed into the B1G championship game or to a BCS bowl, this will sadly be our last game of the season. Too bad, since we are ranked #4 in the AP Poll and with the implosion that was last weekend we may have advanced even higher (obviously I have high expectations for our game today). Alas, maybe next year…
For this once-a-year event, I had to make something super special for the last Peanut Butter & Chocolate Saturday. Chocolate cupcakes stuffed with buckeye candies, topped with peanut butter frosting and a miniature buckeye candy on top – BOOM! They are outstandingly wonderful and therefore incredibly dangerous. Hopefully I won’t need to take out any emotional trauma, because my already limited self control will be completely lacking in order to prevent me eating more than one, or two, or ten…
One year ago: Apple Blackberry Pie
When I set out to make these cupcakes I had planned to make these s’mores cupcakes, but while searching on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures I wasn’t aware that she had 2 other s’mores cupcake recipes! Don’t even get me started on all the bars, cookies and other s’mores delights she has shared as well. But as a result, I accidentally used a different recipe than originally intended. I didn’t recognize the switch until my plans to cut the recipe in half and only make 12 were ruined by odd values of things (such as 1 egg yolk). Luckily for me (and my friend the-birthday-girl for whom I baked these), the cupcakes were everything I had hoped for and therefore 24 were very much so welcomed.
The giveaway for Tate’s Bake Shop Cookie & Bar Tower has now ended!
Find out if you are a winner HERE.
How is it possible that this is the first time I’ve ever made regular homemade funfetti cupcakes? I say regular because I made a two-serving funfetti cupcake recipe for my birthday earlier this year, but it was stuffed with cake batter and topped with white chocolate peanut butter cream cheese frosting. Absolutely nothing wrong with that cupcake! But I decided it was time for the original funfetti to not come out of a box (even though I stock pile that stuff every time it goes on sale).
First question that came to mind while making these – I want to know how people mix in their sprinkles without the color spreading all over the place and therefore dying the cupcake batter. I fold as little and as delicately as possible, but in order to get them uniformly distributed I end up with streaks of color in the batter. Not that it was all that big of a deal, but seriously what kind of magic sprinkles does Pilsbury use in their boxed Funfetti mix that they don’t streak? I am a scientist and I must know!
But moving on. These cupcakes came out very pretty despite the defiance of the sprinkles. Funfetti just makes me so happy, and it was great to make them myself. I even went so far as to decorate a bit of frosting that accidentally landed on the counter when I was first squeezing the piping bag. Sometimes I make more of a mess before cleaning up, okay?
FYI: This recipe halves well if for some reason you only want 6 cupcakes.
Every holiday comes with it’s own blend of specialty candies. However, it always seems like fall has the best variations. Even though I don’t favor Milky Way candy bars normally, when I saw this season’s caramel apple version I had to pick them up. But it took until now to figure out what to make with these fun treats. Why not stuff them into cinnamon rolls?
I wasn’t fully convinced on the apple flavor of the candies when I tried one by itself, so I went ahead and added in some real apple into the rolls as well. And then topped them off with a caramel glaze. It may still be reaching into 80 degree weather here, but it certainly tastes like fall with these cinnamon roll cupcakes.
While making these, I was almost certain I had killed the yeast with milk that was too hot, because it didn’t look like it was rising much. In the end they came out just fine! I really enjoyed these as individually portioned cupcakes too, but you could easily throw them all into a pan together like traditional cinnamon rolls. Also, I halved these from the original recipe, so feel free to double it back for a larger crowd!
I am very excited to have Tracey from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures guest posting today. She is definitely one of my go-to food bloggers and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t also follow her if you are not already. I remember the first tip Tracey gave me. I was attempting whoopie pies for the first time and couldn’t decide if I should buy the special pan for making them. But she suggested using a medium cookie scoop – and they came out perfect! I fell in love with my cookie scoop that day.
Tracey has also mastered my visual-taste buds on more than one occasion. From Garlic-Rubbed Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes, to Cinnamon Toast Cloudcakes, and even a tutorial on How To: Homemade Gnocchi. Of course for my favorite meal of the day (dessert!) check out her Peanut Butter S’mores Brownies, Thousand-Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies, and this Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart. Yum!
If you’ve been a reader of The Spiffy Cookie for a while, then you probably know there is no bigger fan of peanut butter than Erin. I can’t even begin to tell you how many of her peanut butter desserts I’ve bookmarked – Funfetti-peanut butter layer pie or peanut butter fudge brownie bricks, anyone? In my mind, it wasn’t even an option not to share a recipe that incorporated peanut butter in some way today!
Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes
adapted from Paula Deen (via FoodNetwork.com)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 whole graham crackers)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
12 miniature peanut butter cups
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
To make the crust: Using a fork, stir the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter together in a medium bowl until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in each well, and press into the bottom to form the crust (you can use a shot glass or similar small glass to help if necessary). Place 1 miniature peanut butter cup on the top of each crust (I put the wider end down, but I don’t think it matters).
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (I used a hand mixer, but you could do this in a stand mixer too). Add the sugar, flour and vanilla and beat until well combined and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is completely incorporated. Divide the cheesecake batter evenly among the wells of the muffin pan (about 1/4 cup each). You can fill the wells all the way to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are just barely set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cheesecakes to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve garnished with chopped peanut butter cups, whipped cream and chocolate sauce, if desired
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes