Tagged Cupcakes

50th birthday party cupcakes

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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.

 

 

The Pumpkin Harvest Carving Contest

Clemetine 2

“Clementine”…what a gorgeous gal and winner of this year’s 30th annual Balshaw family pumpkin carving contest!  Carved by Joanna Keeley of Cape Cod, her creation featured a cabbage-patch style, stitched and stretched fabric-overlay on the carved out pumpkin.  VERY clever!

This was the first year of our annual contest that we had no children in attendance!  This event inspired the Canterbury Town Center pumpkin carving contest so all our neighbor kids were there, not here – how odd – but most of us are kids at heart so we started new traditions!

We all sported glow-in-the-dark bracelets….glow in the dark bracelets

…and decorated our own cupcakes; recipe at the end…DSC05049DSC05052…and carved our own pumpkins.

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 The awards ceremony….

DSC05012DSC05015DSC05019 DSC05018 DSC05017The grand prize winner, Joanna Keeley!DSC05028DSC04996

pumpkin collageDSC05007 DSC05004 DSC05062 DSC05061Thank you all for coming!

Black Bottom cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put 18 cupcake paper liners in holes of a cupcake pan.  Mix together and have ready for the filling:

  • 8oz. room temperature cream cheese (or vegan substitute)
  • 1 egg (omit for a vegan version)
  • 1/3 cup white cane sugar
  • 6oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whisk together by hand:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free mix)
  • 1 cup white cane sugar
  • 1/4 dark cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1/2tsp salt

Mix all together then pour over dry mix above and mix just until blended:

  • 1 cup water
  • 5T good salad oil
  • 1T. cider vinegar
  • 1tsp vanilla

Immediately pour mixture into cupcake papers until 1/2 full – 18 cupcakes.  Put one heaping tablespoon full of the cream cheese mixture on the top center.  Bake for 22 minutes if using a gluten-free flour or 25 minutes for a standard cake flour.  NOTE: the cream cheese mixture sinks towards the bottom of the cakes as they bake.  Frost if desired but oh-so-good just plain!