50th birthday party cupcakes

DSC05375

David requested cupcakes for his 50th birthday party.  I used the request as an excuse for another creative endeavor, to tweak some of my existing recipes and formulate some new ones. They were a hit and many of the party guests wanted the recipes for all three varieties so here they are.  Feel free to share them but I would be very upset if you printed or published them without my permission since they are my originals.  Enjoy!

Coconut Coconut CakeDSC05415

MIX: With an electric mixer on medium/high, beat until very creamy and light colored:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, very softened to room temperature.  In New England winters – & this years spring! – room temp is not warm enough.  I microwaved my sticks additionally for about 15 seconds.  Having very soft butter is important.
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar added bit by bit.

Beat into the mixture one at a time:

  • 4 large egg yolks

Slowly add to the mixer, alternating with each other 1/3 at a time, the following two mixtures.  Blend well after each addition:

  1. Sifted together: 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
  2. Stirred together: 1 cup coconut milk, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Remove completed mixture to a large bowl.  Use the mixer to beat the following until soft peaks form:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar added bit by bit

Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture until no white shows then also fold in:

  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

BAKE: fill batter 2/3 full into paper lined cupcake tins or foils.  350° for 17-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  They should still be moist looking.  Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove each cake to a rack to cool completely. Makes around 30 cupcakes.

FROST: Combine the following in a mixer in the order listed beating after each addition until light and creamy:

  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter; softened like above
  2. 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  3. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  4. 1 tsp vanilla

Spread frosting to cooled cupcakes decorating with toasted coconut sprinkles.  To toast coconut:  spread some sweetened flaked coconut onto a baking sheet and toast in a 350° oven for 15 minutes stirring often to keep browning even.

Carmel Chai Spice Cake, gluten-freeDSC05405

MIX:  With an electric mixer on medium/high, beat until very creamy and light colored:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature. In New England winters – & this years spring! – room temp is not warm enough. I microwaved my sticks additionally for about 15 seconds. Having very soft butter is important.
  • 1 1/2 packed cups of light brown sugar adding bit by bit.

Beat into the mixture one at a time:

  • 4 large egg yolks

Slowly add to the mixer, alternating with each other 1/3 at a time, the following two mixtures. Blend well after each addition:

  1. Sifted together: 2 2/3 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill mix), 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp ground chai spice*
  2. Stirred together: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Remove completed mixture to a large bowl. Use the mixer to beat the following until soft peaks form:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar added bit by bit

Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture until no white shows.

BAKE: fill batter 2/3 full into paper lined cupcake tins or foils. 350° for 17-20 minutes just until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. They should still be moist looking. Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove each cake to a rack to cool completely.  Makes about 30 cupcakes.

FROST: Combine the following in a mixer in the order listed beating after each addition until light and creamy:

  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter; softened like above
  2. 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  3. 1 tsp ground chai spice*
  4. 1/2 cup caramel sauce (recipe following)

Spread frosting to cooled cupcakes and decorate with a caramel sauce drizzle.  I filled a condiments plastic bottle with a tube-nosed cap to drizzle with.

Caramel sauce:  You can use store-bought but I have not found any that is real caramel instead only tasting like brown-colored corn syrup.  This one is amazing!  From Joy of Cooking, in a small heavy sauce pan pour:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water poured over sugar to wet it all.

Heat on medium flame swirling pan until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Turn up heat to med/high, put the lid on the pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove lid and continue cooking until the mixture is deep golden brown swirling the pan as it cooks to keep it mixed.  It will brown at the edges first then begin smoking when done.  Remove from heat and add in:

  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into piece.  Whisk in completely.
  2. 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Whisk in completely.
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  4. a pinch of salt

NOTE: if caramel gets lumpy then simply reheat on low whisking until it smooths out.

*Chai spice is the spice blend that is used in chai tea.  I have a tin of my daughters blend so ground the whole spices in a designated coffee grinder to make my own fresh powdered spice (whole star anise, whole allspice, whole fennel/anise seeds).  However, you can substitute the 5 Spice Blend asian powdered spice available at any supermarket.

Red Velvet Beet Cake, David’s favoriteDSC05403

PREPARE:  put in a small sauce pan then heat on low until melted together:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2oz. broken up unsweetened chocolate (I use Ghirardelli)

Whisk to smooth the mixture out adding in then letting cool completely:

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. red liquid food coloring or 1/2 tsp paste coloring

Drain, then grate, then drain again squishing out all the liquid:

  • two 15oz cans of sliced beets

MIX:  In a mixer add then beat together:

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Add the melted, cooled chocolate mixture plus the grated beets to the egg/sugar mixture blending completely.  Then add, mixing well, the following ingredients that have been sifted together:

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

BAKE: fill batter 2/3 full into paper lined cupcake tins or foils. 350° for 17-20 minutes just until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. They should still be moist looking. Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove each cake to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 30 cupcakes.

FROST: Beat in the mixer the following ingredients adding in the order listed:

  1. 1 stick of unsalted butter very softened to room temperature. In New England winters – & this year’s spring! – room temp is not warm enough. I microwaved my sticks additionally for about 15 seconds. Having very soft butter is important.
  2. 8oz. cream cheese softened the same way.
  3. 3 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla

Frost cooled cupcakes then sprinkle with red sugar and some grated chocolate.

 

 

14 responses to 50th birthday party cupcakes

  1. donnaanddiablo

    OMG, Jane, I’m salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs just reading the recipes and looking at the pictures. They *all* sound divine!! I’m a coconut freak, and Red Velvet is also a favorite of mine. Mmmm….Lori’s in the kitchen this weekend…. 🙂 THANK YOU for sharing!! Hugs, L

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    • janebalshaw Post Author

      Note the slobbers on this reply as I just stole another couple from the left-overs freezer stash. I hope you WILL make them and enjoy!

      Like

  2. L.E.

    Wow, Jane…. you need to teach cooking classes! In your spare time (LOL). I would be first in line for gluten-free classes (in my spare time 🙂 Need to learn to convert recipes so that I can have Coconut and Red Velvet cupcakes too! The party for David looked like loads of fun…. you are a creative dynamo! Can’t wait to try the Caramel Chai Spice cupcakes… mmmmmmmm!
    Lynn

    Like

    • janebalshaw Post Author

      Hey Lynn…making art, cooking – it all seems to be part of the same process. But thank you for the compliments! You can substitute gluten-free baking mixes for the all-purpose flour in the other cupcake recipes. Those replacement flours do seem to have a bit of bitterness to them though which is why I choose the most strong flavored recipe to use it in. Might over-power the delicate coconut. You could try spelt if you can eat that (it is still wheat but some people process it OK). Oat, seed and nut flours are best for crumbles, cobblers or pat-in-the pan crusts but don’t rise well for cakes. Let me know what you come up with! Jane

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      • L.E.

        Thanks, Jane…Could it really be that simple? Have been wanting to try the King Arthur’s Baking Mix, might do that. I think the bean flour in some of the other mixes makes them a tad bitter. If I concoct the perfect cup cake, I’ll name it after you! L.

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      • Danna

        I heard a spot on gluten free (Fresh Air) and America’s test kitchen gave King Arthur gluten free top ranking.

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  3. Danna

    Just made some of the red velvet cupcakes last night, yum. They were brown velvet though ’cause I didnt have any red food coloring, only blue, green and yellow, figured that would be gross!

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    • janebalshaw Post Author

      Thank you Jules! Gosh, you make me feel like a star…I hope you make those coconut ones that you liked so much. See you soon,
      oxoxox Jane

      Like

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