Sunday, August 30, 2009

Single serving sunshine (in cupcake form)

I just made some awesome cupcakes.

I love lemon. And, in this case, I may have gone a bit overboard. This cupcake consists of a base cake with a tiny hint of lemon, lemon curd filling, and lemon cream cheese icing. Anyone playing along at home could easily leave out either of the last two elements and they would still be incredible!
So first comes the cake. I tweaked a recipe (which I originally found at the blog Schweet N Savory) that has become one of the all-time greatest recipes ever and my go-to white cake recipe. All I did was add a little lemon zest and fresh lemon juice cause I wanted just a hint of lemon. And the result was so good that Not-So-Ex ate 2 (or 3?) before I could fill or frost them.

And here is the recipe:

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
3 egg whites
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make these deliciously scrumptious cupcakes, begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour 14 muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla.

Spoon the batter into cupcake pan and bake for 20-22 minutes.

Now the only reason I started on these cupcakes is cause I had some lemon curd that had been opened and needed used. If anyone ever wants to make their own curd, I'm sure it would be incredible but, as of yet, I have only used the stuff from the jar. But anyway, that is what they are filled with.
The frosting is an old favorite of mine from, but I'll post it again, just for fun!
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
4 drops yellow food coloring
1.Beat cream cheese and butter in a bowl until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and lemon juice.
2.Beat in 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups more of powdered sugar till frosting is of spreading consistency. Stir in a few drops of yellow food coloring.

They were totally awesome and, to my dear friend G, look for me in the morning and I'll share!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Yummy New Recipe

So I tried another recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes and I must say I was impressed. Even though I liked them, I made a few little changes as well to make them Brown Sugar/Apple Butter Cupcakes and they were a hit with everyone, even Not-So-Ex who whined that he wasn't a fan of brown sugar.

So here's the cupcake recipe, which came straight from Martha (although I did half it because it makes a slew):


Makes 29

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Make cupcakes as directed in Basic Cupcake How-To, using buttermilk for wet ingredient. Fill each cup 3/4 full, and bake for 25 minutes.
  2. Set rack with cupcakes over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon glaze over tops, and let stand until set. Serve glazed cupcakes immediately.
Once the cupcakes were done, I put a teaspoon or two of apple butter in the middle. This isn't an absolute necessity, but it made them even more moist and worked well with the frosting.

Now for the frosting, which also was a Martha recipe, with a little addition from me:

Brown Sugar/Apple Butter Frosting
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temp
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c apple butter

Beat butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar. Add the apple butter.

They were really good and light. I would think they would also be perfect for fall when the weather is all apple buttery... LOL

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well I'm definitely not Martha...

So it's been an interesting weekend, to say the least.

On the more personal side, I went to my very first Yoga class early yesterday morning. During the week, a good friend was talking about yoga and how it might be good for me. I checked out the classes at the local Y and picked the one least likely to draw a crowd, early Saturday morning. I managed to get there (shocking) and made it through the class. While I was probably incredibly amusing to watch, I still enjoyed it. But I'm sore as hell today! LOL

On the baking front, a friend was coming in to town so I did some hardcore cupcaking. I made the margarita and chocolate cherry cupcakes that are always wonderful and then I decided to try some recipes from my new (although dog chewed courtesy of the Jakester) Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book.

The first recipe I tried was for Meyer Lemon Cupcakes. Now I was kinda off from the start on this one since I had never heard of nor had any clue where to find Meyer Lemons. Apparently, they are a kinda cross between lemons and oranges. So after fussing with Not-So-Ex over whether or not they even existed, he presented me with a bag of lemons from Krogers. LOL

After baking all the actual cupcakes on Friday night, I just had Saturday to make the frosting and finish them all up. Well the Meyer Lemon Cupcakes aren't frosted, but are filled with meyer lemon curd with a bit spilling out on top. Once I started reading about the curd, I knew I didn't have the time or patience to make it so Not-So-Ex was kind enough to run back to Krogers and pick up some already made lemon curd. In the end, I loved the cupcakes, even if they were just plain lemon.

So here's the recipe (which I halved since it makes a crapload):

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 1 to 2 Meyer lemons)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
7 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Lemon Curd (made with Meyer lemons; see recipe below for ingredients and directions)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

4. To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners’ sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a medium round tip (#8) with curd. Insert tip into top of each cupcake, and squeeze some curd below top to fill the inside, then lift the tip and squeeze more curd in a pool on top. Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour (or refrigerated a few hours more) before serving.
Lemon Curd
Martha says: "A high proportion of lemon juice gives curd its intense flavor. As an acid, the juice also prevents the yolks from curdling when heated (unlike when making pastry cream, which requires the extra step of tempering). You can substitute an equal amount of juice from other citrus, such as lime, grapefruit, or blood orange."


2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
(Makes about 2 cups)


1. Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

In addition to the lemon cupcakes, I also tried the peanut butter chocolate ones from the Martha cookbook. In the cookbook, the cupcakes don't have any frosting but I intended to put peanut butter frosting on mine. But, alas, I ran out of time so they were frosting-less. They were still ok. Not anything spectacular, but good.

Now this recipe only makes 12, so I didn't adjust it at all.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Peanut Butter Filling (recipe below)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted.

2. Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.

3. Spoon 2 tablespoons chocolate batter into each lined cup, followed by 1 tablespoon peanut butter filling. Repeat with another tablespoon batter and top with one tablespoon filling. Swirl top of cupcake batter and filling with a toothpick.

4. Bake, rotating tin halfway through, for about 35 minutes.

Peanut Butter Filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 c peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Stir it all together until smooth.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yummy stuff

Not my pic since mine was anything but pretty.

My aunt used to make this all the time and I never heard a name that suited it. The recipe I used calls it Pretzel Salad, which I think is a completely crappy name since the word "salad" invokes green things and dressing rather than cream cheese and strawberries. Anyway, here's the recipe and it's awesome.
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 1/2 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen (sliced)strawberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix crushed pretzels, margarine and sugar.
  3. Press crushed pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Blend together the cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped topping and spread evenly over cooled pretzel mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, dissolve the strawberry flavored gelatin in boiling water. Mix in strawberries and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. (make sure and wait the 15 min cause I didn't and the jello sunk into all the little holes and made the pretzel part all jello-y)
  6. Pour gelatin mixture over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.


My bloggy and real-world friend April sent me this today:
Considering all the damage I've been able to do with recipes from various blogs, my own disturbed little mind, and the internet in general, can you even imagine the multitudes of happy co-workers that will come about thanks to this one bakebook (made that word up)!!!!!!!

Woo Hoo again!

Friday, August 7, 2009

This is so incredibly wrong...

This is occurring on my birthday.

If I weren't trapped in WV, I could spend my 33rd b-day eating cupcakes.

12 hrs of cupcakes... eating them, not baking them... can you imagine? It would definitely trump my last birthday but, then again, that wouldn't be difficult.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I bake when I'm worried...

So you get another recipe... Blueberry Cupcakes, which came from my ever-so-awesome friend April (who you can find here or here).
Blueberry Cupcakes (from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella)
Makes 14-16 cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Insert liners into a regular muffin pan.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs (one at a time) to the creamed mixture and beat well.
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat portions of the dry ingredients into the cream mixture alternating with the milk. With a spatula, fold in the vanilla and blueberries.
Fill cupcake liners 1/2 to 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine were done at 18) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

I used a different frosting than she did. I used my old fave:
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 c butter
1 c powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons blueberry guts (I smushed blueberries through a strainer)
2-3 c more powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese and butter till light and fluffy. Mix in 1 c powdered sugar. Add blueberry guts and then the rest of the powdered sugar. Top cooled cupcakes.

Now for something a little brighter... Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.
I got the recipe for the cupcakes from Cast Sugar:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/3 c. thawed frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
1/4 c. buttermilk
2 or more drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with liners.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth. Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light shade of pink.

Scoop batter into liners (fill about three-fourths full). Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting (see below).

In some of the comments it was mentioned that the frosting she used was incredibly sweet so I decided to use my old favorite:
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 c butter
1 c powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons pink lemonade concentrate
2-3 c more powdered sugar
Yellow food coloring (if desired)

Mix cream cheese and butter till light and fluffy. Mix in 1 c powdered sugar. Add concentrate and then the rest of the powdered sugar and food coloring (if desired). Top cooled cupcakes.

Anyway, they were super good!