Tag Archives: homemade cupcakes

Candy Apple Cupcakes

29 Aug

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend filled with yummy sweets and lots of relaxing. My weekend was packed with lots of baking, birthday parties, and puppy love. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you will know that I recently got a new pup. His name is Hugo and he is such a love. I’m a new dog mom, so if any of you have advice, don’t be shy. Fill me in!

Let’s get to the sweet stuff though. I’ve been busy in the kitchen getting ready to launch all of my fall flavors on my Etsy shop. In doing so, I have come up with some awesome recipes that are sure to be huge hits at your office parties, family dinners, holiday get-togethers, and more.

I really love the flavor combination that a candy apple provides. With the start of school, it seemed like the perfect time to make candy apple cupcakes. A little sweet, a little tart, a lot of yummy! Almost a year ago, a friend of mine sent me a recipe for Caramel Apple Cupcakes. This recipes is very similar, but with a twist in the frosting.

Enjoy the recipe. Xoxo

Candy Apple Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs

1 Tbs of lemon juice
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup applesauce
1 cup shredded or finely chopped, Granny Smith apples

Directions:

1.       Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a cupcake pan with liners.

2.       In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3.       In a mixer, stir the eggs, butter, and applesauce and lemon juice. Mix until combined. Carefully add the dry ingredients.

4.       Peel and slice the apple. Then using a grater, grate the apple into fine shreds, like cheese. You can also chop it finely which works just as well. Now stir the shredded apples into the batter mixture.

5.       Bake for 15-20 mins, I find that 18 minutes works best. You don’t want the inside of the cupcake to be mushy.

Photo from Just Jenn Recipes

Candy Flavored Frosting

I used a vanilla frosting base and drizzle red candy syrup over the top. I have seen people forgo the frosting and just dip the cupcake into the candy syrup (photo below). Either way will work and either way will be delicious!

For the frosting:

2 sticks of butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup butter (salted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1tsp cinnamon
1Tbs of Apple Juice
½ Tbs of lemon juice

1.      In a mixer, beat 2 sticks of butter until light and fluffy. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix for 1 minute. Let sit

2.      In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. When they are melted and bubbly, add the milk. Carefully raise the heat and bring the mixture to a quick boil. Careful – you don’t want to burn it. Once it foams up and turns that lovely caramel color, take it off the heat immediately.

3.      Remove pan from heat and stir in the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar and vanilla, cinnamon and both apple and lemon juice, mixing until frosting is smooth.

4.      Let cool completely

5.      Once cool, slowly pour into your mixer and combine with the butter and sugar you previously prepared. Mix until light and fluffy. If your frosting is to thin, add more powdered sugar.

Mini Cupcakes dipped in Candy Apple Topping. Photo by HonestFare.com

Candy Drizzle

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  1. Bring water, sugar, corn syrup to a boil in a small pot, add food coloring and reduce heat to a simmer. Watch the pot carefully cook it this way for about 20 minutes. After 12 minutes, check the temp using a candy thermometer .You need the candy to reach 310°F                                            (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, use the water test. Drip a few drops of the hot candy into a small bowl of room temp water. When the candy holds its form or makes ribbons, it is done.)
  2.  When candy is done, drizzle it over each cupcake. It will harden and make a very delicious topping for y our Candy Apple Cupcakes.

Stay Sweet and have a great week! xoxo

Cupcake Fillings

22 Mar

I cannot tell you how many frustrated evenings I have spent trying to fill cupcakes with various creams, jams, and candies. I think every cupcake baker – at one time or another has felt this same irritation. If you cut a hole in each cupcake, it takes forever , if you just jam your filling tip into the cupcake, you don’t have enough room for the filling, and if you use an apple corer you end up taking too much cake out….oh the perils of  filling a cupcake – haha.

Cupcake Corer!

Not to worry, my dear cupcake lovers – I have found a solution!! Williams-Sonoma sells a “Cupcake- Corer” – perfect for all your cupcake filling needs. The best part about this product is that it only costs $5.00 – what a deal!! You simply push the corer into your cupcake and pull up. There you have it, a perfectly hollowed cupcake! The corer does all the work for you! I have read the reviews and they all seem positive. I wish I could give you my own review, but sadly enough I do not have this wonderful cupcake corer yet. I tried to order it online but it was “temporarily out of stock”. It is available in their store though – which is where I’ll be purchasing mine soon!

So what type of fillings are you going make now that cupcake filling is made simple?? I love a double berry filling but I also really enjoy a creamy Peanut Butter filling inside of a moist chocolate cupcake.

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Peanut-Butter Filling

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla flavoring
  • 2 cups of Peanut Butter
  • 2 tsp of milk

In your mixer, on medium high,  cream together the butter and the peanut butter. This usually take 2-5 minutes to achieve the proper consistency

Add your powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing in between each cup

Continue mixing on medium high for 1 minute

Add your vanilla and your milk – mix for another minute. You’re frosting should be thick and creamy. If it is not the consistency you want, continue mixing for another 2 minutes.

Fill your chocolate cupcakes with this creamy deliciousness and enjoy!! Top with chocolate or peanut butter frosting – nothing is better!

Stay Sweet,

Jill xoxo

Comfort Food Cupcakes

18 Feb

Photo courtesy of weheartit.com

 

Happy Friday my sweets!

Today I decided that I am going to post any green, four-leaf clover, St.Patrick’s day posts until March! Lately I have felt like the department stores, preparing for the next holiday before the previous one is even over. Valentine’s Day just ended and we have a good amount of time before we celebrate with the Irish. So I’m going to take a break on holiday postings. Is that ok with you guys?

Today I want to share with you one of my all time favorite, comfort food cupcake recipes. I don’t know about you, but I have had a pretty long, fairly stressful week. So this cupcake comes just in time – for me at least.

Nothing says homemade better than a carrot cake cupcake with bits of nuts, raisins, and delicious spices. Top it off with rich, tart, cream cheese icing, and this gal is in cupcake heaven. So please enjoy this recipe and remember that when life gets a little hectic, Stay Calm, and Have a cupcake! Xoxo

Carrot Cake Cupcake

(I used Marthat Stewart’s recipe and adapted it just a tad)

Makes 12 cupcakes – 24 minis

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of rasins

 Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs.
  • Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix.
  • Stir in carrots, raisins, and walnuts
  • Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

 Creamy Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 packages of 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs of vanilla extract
  • 2 Sticks of unsalted Butter

Cream together cream cheese and butter – Mix on high speed up soft and well combined

Add the powder sugar one cup at a time – mixing thoroughly after each cup

Add in the vanilla and mix well

Beat on medium high speed until desired consistency is achieved.

ENJOY!!

So Yummy! I'm baking these tonight!

Stay Sweet!

Xoxo, Jill

Left-Over Cupcake Batter

15 Feb

Freeze! Don't throw it away!

I can’t tell you how many times I have made a full bowl of batter just to make 6 little cupcakes! I finally decided that I would try freezing my left-over batter in a glass pyrex container. I didn’t know if it would work or not, but it was better than wasting all the left-overs. The next time I needed to make cupcakes, I took the batter out, let it thaw ahead of time, and made my cupcakes as usual. I anxiously tasted the cupcakes after they had cooled, and to my wonderful surprise, they were fabulous, and still so fresh!! An added perk? When baked,  the thawed batter formed the most beautiful cupcake peaks!

I have saved myself so much time and money with this simple trick. So here are a few pointers for saving your batter:

  1. I have tried saving in both plastic and glass Tupperware. I wasn’t happy with the way the plastic Tupperware preserved my batter. I now use soley glass Tupperware with a very secure lid.
  2. Frozen batter only lasts for 7-10 days in the freezer. Any longer and it doesn’t rise or taste good at all. The sooner you can use it, the better.
  3. Make sure all of the air is released from the Tupperware. The more air you have, the more ice crystals will form. No one like frostbitten cupcake batter!
  4. Don’t use the microwave to thaw your batter. Give your batter a few hours to thaw before you are going to bake.
  5. Make sure you label your batter with the flavor and the date – that way you don’t forget what it is, or when you first made it.

I hope this trick saves you as much time and money as it has saved me! Have a sweet day!

Xoxo, Jill

Mini Party Cupcakes

25 Jan

Miniature Party Bites!

I love these miniature little cupcakes for several reasons:

1) They are so darn easy  to make!!

2) They look beautiful and require little to no decorating skills

3) They add the perfect amount of “pazzaz” to any birthday party!

So let’s get started! For these cupcake you will need a miniature cupcake pan and miniature cupcake liners.

I chose to make a vanilla butter cake as my base – you can use whatever yummy recipe you feel comfortable with.

Vanilla Butter Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla.
  3. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally with a  spatula.
  4. Pour batter into cupcake liners (I usually fill them close to the top of the liner that way they puff up nicely) and bake for about 18-20 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.

 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: 

  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp of orange juice
  • Rainbow colored sanding sugar
  1. With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended.
  2. Continue mixer on medium for another two minutes. 
  3. Add vanilla and whipping cream, beating on medium for another minute.
  4. Now here’s my secret…I add a little bit of lemon and orange juice to this frosting. This gives it a hint of fruity flavor that makes the mini cupcake even more fun! Kids love it too! Omit this step if you want a pure vanilla buttercream
  5. Frosting should be light and fluffy.

Fill a piping bag with your frosting. Cut the tip off so there is a small hole. Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake – leaving only a dollop of frosting on each – do not worry about spreading out or piping in a design.

Pour your multi-colored sanding sugar onto a plate.

Dip each frosted cupcake into the sprinkles – smashing the frosting down around the top of the cupcake.

And there you have it – gorgeous, colorful, and delicious cupcakes that were super easy to make!! You’re cupcakes are going to be a hit at any party you bring them too. I just know it!

Stay sweet xoxo

Stay Calm Cupcake!

** Follow me on Twitter @ StayCalmCupcake – I only need 27 more followers and I will give away 2 free cupcake kits!! **

Strawberry Buttercream

30 Nov

Pretty in Pink!

It should come as no surprise to that I love anything and everything girly! Including the color PINK! I especially love pink around the holidays – aren’t hot pink Christmas trees adorable?? These days it’s “trendy” to decorate with colors other than the traditional red, green, and silver. So today I want to give you a recipe for festive strawberry buttercream cupcakes. These will be a huge hit at any holiday party and are really fun to decorate!

Strawberry Buttercream

 

Pink Holiday Cupcakes - Yum!

  • 2 sticks of softened sweet-cream butter (unsalted)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar (no need to sift)
  • 2 tsp of Vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of Strawberry extract
  • 2 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • Pink food coloring

Directions

  1. In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together powdered sugar and butter on medium high speed. Once combined, whisk for about 3 minutes until light and fluffly
  2. Add the vanilla and strawberry flavoring – mix well
  3. Add the whipping cream and food coloring and whisk for another 3 minutes

Golden Butter Cupcakes

Complete with Snowflake Sprinkles!

  • 2 1/2 cup(s) (plus 2 Tbsp.) flour
  • 1 tablespoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 cup(s) milk
  • 2 teaspoon(s) (pure) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cup(s) sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla.
  3. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally with a  spatula.
  4. Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake for about 20-22 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Til next time, stay sweet!

xoxo, Jill

P.S. Don’t forget you can get 10% off any cupcake purchase if you use the code SCCS10. Visit my shop for some yummy holiday treats. www.etsy.com/shop/staycalmcupcake

Candy-Cane Cupcakes!

18 Nov

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcake

Can  you believe that Thanksgiving is next week?!?! I can’t!
I feel like just last month I was working on a summer inspired  strawberry lemonade cupcake recipe . Boy how time flies! Today my post is another Holiday inspired recipe. It’s a yummy recipe to top your favorite  chocolate, vanilla, or white cake cupcakes with. Peppermint Twist! Yum!
Peppermint Twist butter-cream is a different type of mint then  my Green Mint Frosting (Recipe Here ) Peppermint Twist tastes just like candy canes!!
Enjoy the recipe. Stay Sweet xoxo
Peppermint Twist Buttercream
 

Peppermint Twist Cupcakes

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 stick salted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 pkg. french vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract (maybe a little bit more depending on how much mint flavor you like..I like a lot)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Red food coloring
Set your mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until smooth and silky. Turn the speed to low and add the pudding mix, when it is all incorporated, slowly add the cream, a little at a time. When fully incorporated bring speed up to high and beat for 5-7 minutes. Turn speed back down to low and add peppermint extract and powdered sugar by Tbsp.  Beat again at high speed for a good 5 minutes to ensure creaminess.
If you don’t want red stripes, crunch up some candy canes and sprinkle them on the top of your cupcake!
To get the red stripes in your frosting, draw three (3) red food coloring lines inside your piping bag. Put the frosting in the piping bag and begin to pipe onto your cupcakes. Voila…red and white frosting that is as delicious as it is beautiful!!