Category Archives: Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

I know I know I know I know I know I know I know I know — long time no see, huh? Man, I really am the worst. A entire season and a half went by and I didn’t update this blog ONCE. I’m sure you’ve all been refreshing this page every day, in the vain hope that a new delicious treat would be posted. “Why won’t she update her blog????” you would cry to the heavens. “DOESN’T SHE KNOW THIS IS ALL I HAVE TO LIVE FOR???????????”

Well, I’m very sorry. Really. I’ve just been way, way too busy to bake. Or, at least, bake something new and take pictures of it and blabber about it on the Internet. So, yes, I have been baking, but not very often, and nothing I haven’t posted about already.

BUT! It’s Christmas! And I decided, you know, it’s time for something new. It’s time to dust off Jackie Ruins the Cake and place a cupcake on the… desk… that is this website… that I’ve just dusted… um?

Anyway, on to the important part: the cupcakes!

And what would a Jackie Ruins the Cake post be without me fucking things up in some fashion? I’m pretty rusty, especially when it comes to meringue buttercreams, and so while the cupcakes themselves came out rather tasty (how could they not? It’s coffee and chocolate and mint, three great and perfect things), even though I forgot the brown sugar. However, the buttercream…

Okay, so I was attempting to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream — something I have already made — but something happened, and no matter how much I mixed and mixed, the goddamn meringue would not form stiff peaks. I added the butter anyway in hopes that it would form anyway, aaaaaaand it didn’t. It was just soupy and liquidy and curdled and ugh. Some yolk must have gotten in the egg whites somehow. So, on the verge of tears once again because of frosting, I dumped it the useless frosting down the toilet and ventured out into the cold to buy two cans of storemade frosting.

I felt like a dismal failure, but was determined to finish these cupcakes anyway, so I put the one can of plain buttercream in the pastry bag, and the other can I dyed red (well, I tried to dye it red, but it came out pink) and added a random amount of mint extract. Then I placed that on top of the plain buttercream already in the pastry bag, and mixed it all up as best as I could, in order to get a stripe effect.

It didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to, but they still looked pretty cool anyway.

(yeah, they look a lot pinker in this photo than they do in real life for some reason?)

I brought them into work today, and was told they were awesome and that I should open my own bakery, so at least they were liked!

I’m going to try to update this blog more often in 2013. I won’t be posting once a week like I did when I first opened this site, but I’ll try to post something at least once every month or two.

Try being the operative word here.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes (from Annie’s Eats)


2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 tsp. espresso powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs


6 large egg whites
1¾ plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. peppermint extract
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cupcake pan with liner. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and the milk, coffee, and extract in another bowl. Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, then blend in the eggs one at a time. Alternatively add the dry and wet ingredients until all have been incorporated, ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes.

For the frosting, combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until the sugar has dissolved and it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk frequently. Then remove the bowl off of the stove and using a stand mixer (preferably, unless you only have a hand mixer, in which case be prepared to stand there mixing for a whiiile) with a whisk attachment, beat at a medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Then lower the speed to medium and add the butter two tablespoons at a time. Stir in the extracts and beat until incorporated.

Pink Rainbow Cupcakes

The Avengers came out today, and while I’m not going to get to see it until Sunday, I was going to make a cool Captain America pull-apart cupcake in the shape of his shield. Alas, it was not meant to be. In order to make that I was going to need a metal off-set spatula, but my boyfriend was unable to drive me to the craft store yesterday so I couldn’t get it. But! I did still make cupcakes! They’re not Avengers-themed at all, but let’s pretend they are. Though now that I think of it, I could’ve made actual rainbow cupcakes, for the rainbow bridge in Thor, but too late now.

Anyway! Last month I was actually going to participate in the Daring Bakers’ challenge for once, but I’ve just been so busy with work, and I typically only have one day off a week now, and I don’t always want to spend that day baking. It’ll have to wait for another time, I suppose. And since my Captain America cupcakes fell through, I decided to pick something from a cupcake recipe book my friend Anna got for me for Christmas (or my birthday, I can’t remember which).

The recipe called for cake flour, whiiiiiich I don’t have, and neither does the grocery store. Luckily, it’s easy to make your own cake flour with regular all-purpose flour and a bit of corn starch!

For every cup of flour you need, you take two tablespoons out of the regular flour and add two tablespoons of corn starch, then mix it all together very nicely so it’s all incorporated. You’re supposed to sift it, but I don’t have a sifter, so I just used a fork. Well, I do technically have a sifter, but it’s a hand-cranked deal and it’s annoying to use and to clean.

Every cupcake recipe in the book I was using assumes you have/want to use a 6-cup muffin pan. I don’t have one, nor did I want to use one for these cupcakes. Maybe some other time, but I didn’t want to buy YET ANOTHER pan just for this and any possible muffins I might make in the future. So I thought, if it fills 6 muffin cups, it’ll fit 12 smaller cupcakes, right?

Haha. Wrong.

It barely managed to fit 7. Which is okay, I guess, since I wasn’t really planning on making a ton of cupcakes or anything (since I usually have the opposite problem of having batter left over), but still somewhat annoying. If you plan on making these, and you want more cupcakes, I recommend doubling the recipe — which I’ve actually included for the first time in a while!

Despite the limited amount of batter I had to work with, the cupcakes came out looking pretty good. The pink sprinkles melted into the batter, creating a cool look.

I didn’t feel like waiting ages for the cupcakes to cool, so I moved some stuff around in the fridge and stuck them in there while I got ready to make the frosting. I actually had really good luck today, as far as softened butter went. For a while now, the damn butter hasn’t softened properly, leaving nasty lumps and such in my batters and frostings. That didn’t happen today, though! They sat out for an hour and they were nice and soft by the time I was ready to bake. Thank God. I sooooo did not want to deal with that shit today, let me tell you.

I added a little red dye to my frosting, and then I decided to experiment with color combinations. What other shade of pink could I get? I added more red dye, and then some yellow to see what would happen. Fearing the worst, I cringed as I mixed the colors in, and —

Oh, hey! It actually looks good! I really like the peach color this turned out to be. I’ll have to remember to mix my colors up more often. It’s like the color wheel in art class all over again.

In my job at the grocery store bakery, I’ve basically been moved from night crew to afternoon crew, which means — time permitting — I can put together things like dessert cups, cupcakes, etc. So I’m used to using very large pastry bags that can fit tons of frosting in them. And the tiny 12-inch ones I have at home are just… not cutting it. THEY’RE SO SMALL. I don’t wanna keep adding frosting into them, I want to put a ton in there so I don’t have to re-fill it every time I frost two cupcakes! God, it’s so ridiculous. I need to buy some really big ones next time I go to the craft store. Or maybe order some online.

Still came out looking pretty good, though, despite my frustrations with the tiny-ass pastry bag. I put more sprinkles on top, too. I just wish I had been able to pile on more frosting, but what can ya do. The frosting is very sugar-y, though, so maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t able to do that. I really need to find a good non-meringue buttercream recipe that isn’t so goddamn SUGAR-Y. I always feel like I’m gonna go into a diabetic coma whenever I eat homemade American buttercream.


Pink Rainbow Cupcakes (adapted from Perfect Cupcakes)


3/4 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup assorted pink sprinkles


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Set up a six-cup muffin pan, or a 12-cup cupcake pan (but be prepared to only have about 6-7 cupcakes, unless you double the recipe). In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until blended. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mixing until light. Gradually beat in half of the flour mixture, then add the milk. Add in the remaining flour mixture until blended. Pour in half of the sprinkles and fold into the batter, then divide the batter into the muffin/cupcake liners.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back to the touch. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes, then take the cupcakes out and let them cool completely (or, if you’re pressed for time, stick the pan into the fridge or freezer).

While you wait for the cupcakes to cool, begin your buttercream. Cream the butter and sugar together, then add in the vanilla. Add the heavy cream until a suitable piping consistency is achieved. Dye the buttercream pink, either by using a very small amount of red dye, or doing like I did and mixing red and yellow until you get a shade you like. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and frost the cupcakes. Add the rest of the sprinkles, and you’re done!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

Ah, Nutella. My old friend. Nutella is the sensation that is sweeping the nation/world/Internet/universe, and while I do enjoy its chocolate-y hazelnut-ness, I’m not as big of a fan of it as everyone else seems to be. I can never have more than a spoonful of it at a time, and I don’t like it spread on my toast or on anything else.

Which brought me to a dilemma. I had purchased a can of Nutella a few months ago, and after eating small amounts for about a week, I lost interest, and it sat in the cupboard, alone, unwanted, and suffering ever since. I know. It’s practically a war crime, you say. So I had to come up with something to use it for.

As it happened, my friend Beth’s birthday was coming up, and I usually bake her something for such occasions. After asking her if she enjoys Nutella (she does), I decided to bake her a thing with Nutella in it, so I could hopefully use up the rest of the can and finally get rid of it.

Flipping through the chocolate recipes book Sophie got me, I came across a cupcake recipe that required no special frosting to be made — you would just frost it with Nutella. And I knew I’d found The One.

And best of all, I wouldn’t need to buy any ingredients except sour cream.

For those of you not familiar with making cakes, you might be wondering what the hell sour cream is doing in a cupcake recipe. Believe me, I thought that myself the first time I came across a cake recipe that included sour cream. I mean, you wouldn’t smell and look at sour cream and immediately think, “Oh boy, I should put this in some pastry!” But the fact of the matter is, a little sour cream will make your cake nice and moist and delicious. It adds a special kind of flavor as well.

This recipe was simple enough, although it required bittersweet chocolate and all I had on hand was unsweetened. I could’ve just bought some bittersweet chocolate, but I’d been trying to get rid of this unsweetened chocolate for ages, just like the Nutella. So, when I melted the chocolate in the microwave, I added some powdered sugar to make it sweeter. Unfortunately, this made the chocolate thick like a frosting (yeah, I know, obvious), so I tried melting it a little more to make it thinner. It… worked a little.

Doesn’t that look appetizing? But don’t worry, it’ll look less like an oil spill after it’s been mixed in.

I added my dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream, until —


I always seems to have problems with the lighting when taking these photos, though. I keep having to change it in order to make the photos look decent. But I guess that’s what happens when you don’t really know what you’re doing…

Anyway, the dough was very sticky, so it was difficult getting it into the cupcake liners, but it all turned out alright in the end.

OMNOMNOMNOM. Don’t they look delicious? And they were. I think the unsweetened chocolate gave it more of a kick than the bittersweet chocolate would have, since it wasn’t a lot to begin with anyway.

I was torn between putting the Nutella in a pastry bag and making it all fancy, and just spreading it on with a knife. So I made a compromise and the cupcakes that were for Beth were frosted fancifully, and the leftover ones I just slapped it on. Except, um, I accidentally used a smaller star tip than I’d intended, but it gave it a more interesting look, I think.

The Nutella doesn’t really overpower these, which is good for people like me who like Nutella but not in excess. And it works pretty perfectly as a frosting, although it’s a fucking pain in the ass to clean. But on the way to Manhattan for Beth’s party, I accidentally flipped the container over and the Nutella stuck to the top and ruined the prettiness of the cupcakes. But I’m sure it still tasted good.

Happy 22nd Birthday, Beth! I hope you liked the cupcakes and the playlist.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Hazelnut Topping (from The Golden Book of Chocolate)

The Cupcakes

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup of butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

The Topping

1 cup of Nutella, or another hazelnut spread (but why would you use anything besides Nutella, what is wrong with you)

Toasted walnuts for decoration, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, then set aside. Melt the chocolate (whether in the microwave or in a double boiler) and let it cool while you beat the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in an electric mixer at high speed. Mix until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Beat in the chocolate and vanilla, and with the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Divide the batter into muffins tins with liner, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool, then frost with the Nutella.


Cupcake Cones

For many people, summertime is the time for ice cream. Personally, I think all of the time is ice cream time, but I will admit it is a very awesome treat when it’s hot out and you’re sitting at home or walking around your neighborhood. And the ice cream trucks! There’s something special about ice cream from the truck. Even if it’s the kind of you can just buy at the store and keep in your freezer, it somehow tastes better after chasing down the ice cream man for blocks and blocks.

I recently came across a picture of what appeared to be ice cream, but was actually a cupcake in a cone with buttercream frosting on top, designed to look like an ice cream cone. “Holy shit, that’s really cool!” I thought to myself, and hunted down a recipe. I was sure it was going to be complicated, but every recipe I found was your basic “use a cake mix and put it in the cones and put the cones in the oven and yay you’re done!”.

Surely it couldn’t be that simple, though! Wouldn’t the cones tip over, or break, or burn? Wouldn’t the cupcake burst forth through the fragile sugar cone like the Hulk?

Surprisingly… no!

All of the recipes for Cupcake Cones said to use a cake mix, but I decided to actually make it from scratch this time! This recipe used boiling water, which made the batter more… well, water-y, as opposed to your usual thick cake batter.

A good tip that someone posted on a website was to put the batter into a Ziploc bag and pipe it into the cones. This worked very well, even though it was still a bit messy. Just… expect mess. A lot of mess. Chocolate everywhere.

I was still very nervous about the cones falling over, even as I gingerly placed the first batch into the oven. I checked them every few minutes or so, expecting to see broken cones and cupcake splattered everywhere, but it never happened. The cupcakes came out great, actually! They had nice little domes and it was really cool to eat through the cone to reveal more cake.

I used Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the icing, and it came out pretty good, although I realized after I had already piped the frosting on that I had forgotten to add the vanilla extract. But it still tasted okay.

Also, for some reason my stand mixer wasn’t turning the bowl, so I had to stand there and twirl the bowl around so it wasn’t just mixing the same spot over and over. Then, randomly it started working again, so I was like, “Okay”, but then when I came back a minute later it had stopped again. What the hell, man. What the hell.

Doesn’t it look nifty?! As you can see, the frosting has a slight pink tinge to it, because I finally used that Wilton Color Mist I got for my birthday last year. Be careful with those things, if you ever use them, because the spray gets everywhere. Cover everything in your surroundings if you don’t want to be wiping pink off of your toaster oven days later.

I didn’t have time to add more decorations, but I suggest going crazy with these things! You can add sprinkles, dip the top in chocolate, anything you want to make it look more like ice cream. These are super cute and really fun to eat and look at.

The only problem is transporting them. If you have to bring these somewhere besides your house you might run into some problems. I’m lucky enough to work in a bakery so I took a cake board and a plastic container from work and stuck the cones onto the board with frosting, but even then they tipped over a couple times on the way. I would recommend making these wherever it is you plan to serve them. A lot easier.

Cupcake Cones

For the cake: Use this chocolate cake recipe from Hershey’s.

Place the cones on a baking sheet or in a muffin tray. Pour the cake batter into a pastry or Ziploc bag and fill the cones a little more than half-way full. Carefully place inside the oven and let cook for about twenty minutes. Let cool.

For the frosting: Use the swiss buttercream recipe from Annie’s Eats.

Put the frosting into a pastry bag and, using a star tip, swirl onto the cupcakes so it looks like soft-serve ice cream. Decorate as you wish, and enjoy!

Cookie Cupcakes

Jesus, it’s dusty in here. *wipes away cobwebs*  Hello! Long time no see, huh? Hope you didn’t miss me too much. Things have been a little crazy here at HQ for the past couple of months. …Well, okay, that’s not strictly speaking true. Most of it has just been sheer laziness. I’ve still been baking, of course (not every week, but still), but for a long time now I just have not been able to force myself to write a new post. Why? I don’t really know. But here I am now! 😀

Of course, there’s a recent problem. I’ve lost my digital camera. *cue sad violin music* I seriously have no goddamn idea where it is, and I don’t really have the funds to purchase a new one, so the last two things I baked I do not have pictures for (red velvet cookies and coconut brownies). I could just use my phone, but it’s not the same. It doesn’t have that neato macro feature. But I shall try to figure something out.

But anyway! Onto the cookie cupcakes. My friend Beth gave me a cookie recipe book for Christmas, and this was the first thing in it that I baked. It combines two of the things I seem to bake the most — cookies and cupcakes — so obviously it would make sense for me to try it!

Yeah, well, it kind of, sort of, didn’t really work.

Basically, the batter is cookie dough. And you put it in cupcake liners.

Seems simple enough, no? Problem is, mine didn’t come out looking so pretty.

They were brown around the edges and spilled over the sides. I don’t know if they were supposed to look like that or what.

In addition to this, I originally was going to make mini-cookies as well, to place on top for decoration, but that didn’t really work out the way I had wanted it to. I did the little cookies before the cupcakes, and when I took them out of the oven they were… well, they were strange and flat and weird looking. And I realized I’d forgotten the salt.

So, I decided to try to put just a dash of salt in the remaining batter. But I accidentally spilled much more salt than I’d intended — I’d say about two teaspoons worth, probably. So the cookie cupcakes came out a little too salty. And maybe that’s why they spilled over? I don’t really know. There’s probably some science-y reason.

There was some fancy kind of cookie buttercream I was supposed to frost these with, but I was kind of tired at this point so I just made regular American buttercream and dyed it yellow and tried to frost it. A bunch of the cupcakes had huge craters in the middle so the frosting was a good way to disguise it, I guess.

Yeah, you can see some of the holes in these anyway.

I would type up the recipe for you here, but there’s no real point, since it’s basically just your standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, but in a cupcake liner instead. People at work seemed to like it, but I wasn’t really a fan. I’ll just take my cookie as a cookie next time, rather than as a cupcake.

Lemon Cupcakes

“Hey, you know what we should do sometime?” my friend Anna said to me during my birthday “party” (if by “party” you mean me and my friends making red velvet cake balls) in August.


“We should make lemon cupcakes.”

Cut to four months later, and we’re both standing in the kitchen, spooning lemon curd into cupcakes and cleaning up the huge mess (me and Anna, respectively).

It’s a shame that the two of us don’t hang out more often, because we have fun when we do! She brought her boyfriend along to this particular shindig, along with a zester and the store-bought lemon curd, because there wouldn’t have been time to make it from scratch, as I had to go to work that night.

For once, the cupcakes were not made from a mix! We actually made the cupcakes themselves from scratch, and they turned out pretty good. Maybe not as ~pretty~ as the ones from a mix can be, but still. Very lemon-y and what not.

Also, notice the pretty, pretty baking cups. These had been a present for my birthday but I hadn’t used them until this because I had been saving them for a special occasion. And… okay, this wasn’t really a special occasion, per se, but Anna is awesome and she thought they were nice, so I was like, “What the hell, let’s just use them.” And these are cool because you don’t use a muffin tin for these; you just put them on a baking sheet and plop the batter in.

Although, we probably should have put more in because the cupcakes barely came above the surface, but close enough.

Since I had no idea how to zest and juice a lemon (and I still don’t know, really), Anna was assigned this task while I… did something else. What? It’s been over a month since this happened; I can’t remember all the details, okay!


After the cupcakes were done and cooled, and while we watched Pulp Fiction, which Anna’s boyfriend had never seen before, I cut little holes into the cupcakes and spooned in the lemon curd. And good God, was it ever lemon-y! And the cupcake itself tasted like lemon, too. I think if I ever make these again I won’t put in the curd, because it was just too much lemon to handle. Unless you really, really like lemons.

It was time to make the whipped cream! Now, at this point I had run out of vanilla extract, but I happened to have lemon extract that I never got to use for some other thing that I can’t remember, so I substituted, even though I knew the lemon flavor would now just be totally overpowering.

I’m sure a few of you remember the Swiss meringue debacle, where the hand mixer was just. Taking. Forever. The whipped cream took some time, too, and looking back on it I probably should have kept mixing, but at the time I really just did not want to, so instead I spooned the cream into the pastry bag and swirled it on.

Anna wanted to put lemon slices on top of a few of the cupcakes, like in the photos on the website we got the recipe from. It looked cool, but when I brought the cupcakes to work everyone was just like, “What?”. But it makes for a nifty picture, anyway.

So! Good times! I like baking with friends. I need to do it more often. Especially with Anna. She does such a great job cleaning up. 😉

Get the recipe here at Joy of Baking. Although once again, I recommend skipping the lemon curd unless you are just really gung-ho about lemons.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Let me begin by apologizing. I know it’s been weeks since I’ve posted on here, but somehow I have just been too damn lazy to do so. But! I have still been baking! …Well, last week I didn’t, but still.

So, I post today, on this merry Christmas — a Christmas where I got a stand mixer!

It’s not a Kitchenaid, but I can’t wait to try it out. Although I really, really wish I’d had this yesterday, when I was making Swiss meringue buttercream.

I’m sure some of you remember my last attempt with Italian Buttercream. Needless to say, it was a spectacular failure wherein I weeped over my inability to make fancy frosting. But this week, I decided it was worth another try. It’s Christmas, after all!

I figured it would probably not be a good idea to try Italian Buttercream again, even with my handy dandy Egg Separator for Idiots. I remember the main problem with that particular experiment was the sugar caramelizing inside the bowl. Looking through buttercream recipes, I saw the Swiss Meringue one, and decided — hey! This doesn’t look so difficult! Because I can separate eggs now!

I was a little worried when I had to heat the sugar and egg whites over the stovetop. I wasn’t entirely sure that I was doing it correctly, since it was a glass bowl and everything, and also there is this huge oven-microwave thing over the oven and I couldn’t really see what I was doing. But, it seemed to work.

This is where it got tricky.

The recipe said it would take about 8 minutes to whip into stiff peaks. I whipped it for ten minutes, aaaaaand it was just a soopy liquid.

Oh, well, I thought, turning my hand-mixer back on, It’ll probably just take another few minutes.

I whipped for five more minutes. Nope.

Ten more minutes. Nope.

My arm was starting to get incredibly tired at this point, and I was wondering if it was ever going to form those goddamn stiff peaks. Finally, about half an hour of whipping later, it was done!

Well, sort of.

You see, the recipe called for four sticks of butter, and I only had three. I thought it would be all right, but, of course, it wasn’t. The frosting was all curdled and terrible. Luckily, though, I suddenly remembered that I still had a stick of butter-flavored Crisco left over from the Dairy-Free Black and White Cookies, so I cut it up and dropped it in there.

And it worked!

I felt most triumphant. Ha! Take that fancy buttercreams! I can so totally make you!

These were Christmas cupcakes, and I wanted to make red and green frosting. I guess I didn’t use enough of the dye, though, because the green was more of a light green, and the red was more of a salmon pink.

Oh, well. They looked pretty and the frosting tasted great. It’s so much smoother and nicer than the American buttercream I usually make. I think I’ll be making all of my frosting this way now, since I have the stand mixer.

Get the recipe here at Annie’s Eats!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of cupcakes at this point. It’s a lot of work, and most of the time my cupcakes come out looking like crap. Especially today! But I went ahead with it anyway, because hey, mint chocolate chip is the best ice cream flavor, and I needed to try it as a cupcake.

I actually didn’t use a recipe this time — I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t Italian Meringue or Swiss Meringue or French Meringue or *insert nationality here* Meringue, and I was not about to attempt to separate eggs again. So I just decided to substitute vanilla extract with mint extract, and sprinkle semi-sweet chips on top.

Now, I know it’s ~OMG THE WORST SACRILEGE~ to use cake mixes, but you know, I don’t really know what I’m doing and the last time I made cupcakes entirely from scratch, the cake itself was crumbly and a little odd-tasting, and also I have a limited amount of time on my hands, and also I am very impatient, so for now I am using mixes for my cupcakes. I know, I know — HOW DARE I — but if you don’t like it… well, I don’t really care.

I used a Devil’s Food cake mix this time, but to be honest, I’m not really a fan of chocolate cake all by itself. I need frosting, or something moist inside it. So, since I had heavy cream leftover from last week’s Ganache Sandwich Cookies, obviously I had to put in a ganache filling. Because ganache is fucking delicious and I would put ganache on everything if I could. CHOCOLATE…. CHOCOLATE….

So I made the cake mix cupcakes, blah blah blah. I always hate putting the batter in the tin. There’s always a huge mess whenever I do it. I don’t understand how there are people out there who manage to be so neat whenever they cook while I wind up with cupcake batter on the cabinets. Oh, well. The cupcakes came out pretty good, so I set them off to the side to cool while I made the ~~ganache~~.

This is sort of where I went wrong. I probably should have melted the chocolate chips a little bit before I poured the heavy cream onto them, because it came out sort of clumpy. Still absolutely delicious, of course (seriously, I could eat ganache entirely by itself with little no shame), but when I tried to fill the cupcakes, there was a clump at the end of the decorating tip, and none of the ganache actually, um. Got out. Okay, some of it did, but I suspect that at least half of the cupcakes have no ganache in them whatsoever. But that’s okay.

It was time to make the frosting! My butter was nice and soft, my powdered sugar was nicely sifted… okay, not all of it was sifted because I got bored with squeezing the thingy (yeah, this is why I could never be an actual baker), but close enough. I put in 1/2 teaspoon of the mint extract, and it tasted good! A little like toothpaste, but hey, that’s mint for ya.

Only… there was barely enough frosting for four cupcakes. And there were air bubbles or something, I guess, and the frosting didn’t go on very smoothly. I had cleaned up everything about two times by this point, and really did not want to clean the bowl, make more frosting, clean it again, make more frosting again, etc, so I just went “fuck this shit”, and I’m going to frost the rest tomorrow because I am tired of cupcakes today.

(this may look like a normal cupcake, but I shot it from the good side)

I cleaned up once again, and oh my God you guys, I hate cleaning up so much. It is so fucking annoying; I absolutely cannot stand it. And I do my best and I still get lectured by my parents about properly cleaning up after myself because there’s, like, one drop of something on the counter. If you had only seen the kitchen before I cleaned it.

After that, I finally tasted one of the damn cupcakes. And it was — pretty good. Nothing amazing. But it wasn’t a total failure. The chocolate chips saved it from being kind of boring, though.

And if you know me at all, you know that I never, ever sing in public. Ever. My singing voice is absolutely horrible and I would never willingly subject it to human ears. But for some reason, whenever I’m baking, and I’ve got my iTunes shuffle blasting, I find myself singing along merrily. Probably to the bleeding ears of the people living upstairs.

And, just for the hell of it, here’s the recipes for the ganache and frosting.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup of heavy cream

2 slices of unsalted butter

8 oz of semi-sweet chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Pour the heavy cream and two chunks of butter into a medium saucepan. Heat ’til just boiling, then pour into a medium-sized bowl of either chopped chocolate or slightly melted chocolate chips. Let sit for thirty seconds, then stir with a whisk until thick. At first it won’t look like anything is happening, but just keep stirring and it will. Chill for 45 minutes – 1 hour, and fill the cupcakes by either using a decorating bag or cutting a hole into the cupcake and plopping it in there.

Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

(I used less sugar and butter than this, so don’t worry, you’ll be able to frost more than four)

4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract

3 drops green food coloring

semi-sweet chocolate chips

Slice the butter into a medium or large bowl, then pour the sifted sugar. Beat with an electric mixer set on low until well blended. Stir in the mint extract, then the food coloring. Pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle on as many chocolate chips as you like.

Italian Buttercream Fail

Original post can be found here.

I should’ve known better than to do something even moderately difficult like Italian Buttercream because I have no idea what I’m doing and I suck. I can’t even separate eggs, for God’s sakes.

It just goes to show, everything I do I am hopelessly mediocre at. I wanted to throw out the cupcakes but my mom won’t let me because she says my dad will eat them, even though I know he won’t because he never eats anything I bake. I don’t want yet another cupcake from a mix with fucking store-bought frosting because I am an incompetent idiot.

Just forget it.

ETA: I calmed down after about a minute and made regular buttercream instead. And I still got to use my cool dessert decorator thing, so yay!

What happened was, I couldn’t separate the egg whites to save my life. The yolk kept falling out. I don’t know if it was the eggs themselves or if it was me, but the yolk was running all over the place and I wound up wasting about 18 eggs trying to get six goddamn egg whites. So I told my mom to please get me some egg whites from the store (I didn’t feel like going) when she got home from work. So I poured the egg whites into the bowl, mixed it, put the sugar and water on the stove… and I think where I might have messed up was letting the sugar cool for a bit because I wasn’t sure if the egg whites were doing what they were supposed to be doing, and then the sugar wound up caramelizing in the bowl and it was RUINED FOREVER.

So I went and cried in my room for a bit and felt like fail before I decided that I wanted to finish my damn cupcakes, even if I had to make regular, sugary buttercream. Luckily I still had some confectioner’s sugar left over from last time, and it wasn’t a ridiculous amount so this instance of buttercream frosting wasn’t as sugary as the last few times.

Cupcakes With Brown Butter Frosting

Original post can be found here. Also featured on Cream Puffs in Venice.

The day after I made my Brownie Sundae Cake with Chocolate Chips, I came upon this challenge at 17 & Baking — to make a dessert involving browned butter in some way. I figured, hell, why not — so I browsed through recipes on the Internet and decided that the easiest one for me to do would be regular ol’ cupcakes with buttercream frosting — only with browned butter instead, obviously.

I watched videos on YouTube and read about a dozen different recipes in the meantime. It looked simple enough, as long as I didn’t burn the butter.

But, knowing me, of course it wasn’t that simple.

I made the cupcakes from a mix first, and they came out pretty good. No problems so far…

But then I had to begin browning the butter. My mom insisted that she provide assistance, although she had never browned butter before either. (“It would never even occur to me.”) So, I chopped up the butter, plopped it in, and….

Well, it fizzed, and we stirred and stirred and stirred like the recipe said, and… it wasn’t turning brown. It didn’t smell nutty like it was supposed to.

It did eventually turn sort of brown, but it didn’t really smell like anything (not to me, at least), and when I put it in the buttercream, the buttercream certainly didn’t taste nutty either. Those videos were totally not helpful. Nor were the various websites. They all made it seem like it wouldn’t take ages for it to brown, so you had to take it out as soon as it turned brown. IDK, we probably did it wrong somehow, but I’m not sure what happened.

It still tasted good, though. BUT SO SUGARY JFC. Seriously, if I had more than one of these I think I might go into a diabetic coma. But it would be a delicious coma.