Announcing the semifinalists…

11 Aug

Ok.  The results are in.  The 12 Monthly Champs have been decided.  Starting soon, these 12 semifinalists will compete for the title of “Best Cupcake”.  Let’s review the tasty competition!

August Monthly ChampToffee Crunch Cupcake

Recipe from Bakers Royale

Toffee Crunch Cupcake

September Monthly ChampS’mores Cupcake

Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

Smores-Cupcake

October Monthly ChampBlackout Cupcake

Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Blackout-Cupcake

November Monthly ChampChocolate, Banana, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcake

Recipe from Craftstorming

CBPB-CD-Cupcake

December Monthly ChampChocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcake

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

CB-PP-Cupcake-halved

January Monthly ChampS’more Cupcake

Recipe from The Soul of the Matter

Smores-halved-top

February Monthly ChampSamoas Cupcake

Recipe from Bakers Royale

Samoa-Cupcake

March Monthly ChampChurro Cupcake

Recipe from The Novice Chef

Churro-cupcake

April Monthly ChampChocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcake

Recipe from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Choc-Cherry-Cordial-half

May Monthly ChampTres Leches Cupcake

Recipe from A Few Shortcuts

Tres-Leches-Cupcake

June Monthly Champ –  Ballpark Caramel Cracker Jack Cupcake

Recipe from Suitcases & Sweets

Cracker-Jack-halved2

July Monthly ChampFrench Toast Cupcake

Recipe from The Smart Cookie Cook

French-Toast-Cupcake

Check back soon for the semifinalist competitions!

 

 

 

 

 

July Monthly Competition

31 Jul

Ok.  Last Monthly Competition.  Here are the competitors:

Root Beer Cupcakes

Root-Beer-Float-Cupcake

French Toast Cupcakes

French-Toast-Cupcake

Reese’s Cupcakes

Reeses-Cupcake

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

Check out the video below to see which cupcake wins.  And check back soon for the semi-finals and finale to find out which cupcake is the best cupcake on My Year of Cupcakes!

Day 365 – Stuffed BBQ Cupcakes

31 Jul

It’s the last day.  Last cupcake.  (Let’s just skim right over the fact that this means I’ve eaten about 365 cupcakes, please.)  And this momentous occasion requires a special cupcake.  Something like I’ve never tried before.  Well, after 364 cupcakes, I thought it would be hard to find something insanely unique.  Until my friend, Christy sent me these Stuffed BBQ Cupcakes (recipe below from Snappy Gourmet).  I’ve never seen (or tasted) anything like them.  Perfect for day 365!

Stuffed-Cupcake     Mini-Stuffed-Cupcake

The cupcakes are dense and crumbly. They look a lot like corn bread muffins. They have a slight cornbread flavor, but the meatiness from the pork filling really permeates the flavor of the cake. It’s almost smoky.

Pimento-Cheese-Frosting

The frosting is really thick. It has chunks of pimento in it, so don’t attempt to do any fancy frosting. Just simple round tip or spread it on. It has a strong cream cheese/other cheeses flavor. Very creamy. Strong spice flavors, but no one sticks out.

Stuffed-BBQ-Cupcake     Mini-Stuffed-BBQ-Cupcake

This is a cupcake for the BBQ lovers. For sure! It’s just fun. It’s meaty. It’s cheesy. The flavors work really well together. The bbq sauce, the spices, the cheese, the meat and the corn bread. I mean, they’re all involved in any good BBQ. This just puts it all in one bite. It’s surprisingly easy to eat. You look at the ingredients and think it’ll be messy. But as long as your pork doesn’t have too much sauce on it, you’re good to go. Together, it’s like a complete thought, where the pieces were just parts. It all adds up.

Stuffed-BBQ-halved

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19

Stuffed-BBQ-top

RECIPE

Stuffed BBQ Cupcakes (recipe from Snappy Gourmet)

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup corn meal
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • ½ cup precooked BBQ pulled pork (with or without BBQ sauce)
Pimento Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • dash onion powder
  • dash garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons pimentos, drained
Garnish (optional):
  • BBQ sauce

For directions visit Snappy Gourmet.

 

Weekly Winner #48

30 Jul

So, yes.  There are 52 weeks in a year.  But only 48 weeks in My Year of Cupcakes.  That’s because I fit 4 weeks into every month.  No overlap.  Nonetheless, there are 365 amazing cupcakes that filled this year…or there will be tomorrow.  So, here are this final week’s competitive cupcakes.

Snickers Cupcakes

Snickers-Cupcake-halved

Ginger Ale Cupcakes

Ginger Ale Cupcake

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate-Caramel-Cupcake

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

Funnel Cake Cupcakes

Funnel-Cake-Cupcake

Mudslide Cupcakes

Mudslide-Cupcake

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Strawberry-Lemon-Cupcake

And, with 19.5 points, the winner is…

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

The Banana Cream Cupcakes from Every Day Desserts Blog.  Check out that adorable day here.  And check back tomorrow for the final Monthly Competition, featuring these yummies:

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root-Beer-Float-Cupcake

French Toast Cupcakes

French-Toast-Cupcake

Reese’s Cupcakes

Reeses-Cupcake

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana-Cream-Cupcake

Day 364 – Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

30 Jul

Today is the last competitive cupcake.  Wow.  That’s a lot of cupcakes.  It called for something sweet.  Maybe tart.  And, cause it’s still summer, something refreshing.  Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes (recipe below from The Cake Blog).

Lemonade-Cupcake     Mini-Lemonade-Cupcake

The cupcakes are dense. A very solid cupcake. Nicely moist, but not wet. They are extremely tart. Like, sour lemon candy tart. Wow! Literally pursed my lips with the first bite.

Strawberry-Frosting

The frosting is smooth and creamy and soft. It has a nice pink color with pretty flecks of red. It has a strong buttercream flavor (as in butter and sugar) with a really light strawberry flavor. I want more strawberry to shine through in the end, but it’s nice and light and sweet.

Strawberry-Lemon-Cupcake     Mini-Strawberry-Lemonade

The cupcake is still very, very tart. A lot stronger than the frosting. The frosting does add a little creaminess, but you’d have to pile it on to cut through the tart lemon flavor of the cupcake!

Strawberry-Lemon-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 18

Mini-Strawberry-Lemon-top

RECIPE

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes (recipe from The Cake Blog)

Lemonade Cupcakes:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup lemonade powder mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Strawberry Buttercream:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tbsp strawberry puree
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • lemonheads

For directions visit The Cake Blog.

*Tomorrow: Stuffed BBQ Cupcakes*

Day 363 – Mudslide Cupcakes

29 Jul

Well, only a few more days.  I thought a “toast” was in order.  To the closing of a year of cupcakes.  And to toast this occasion: Mudslide Cupcakes (recipe below from The Curvy Carrot).  (Cupcakes which were, of course, tasted and judged by my alcoholic-cupcake-surrogate taster, my hubby, Ken.)

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are slightly dense and very sticky. The bite of the Kahlua ends almost bitter.  Pretty pointed alone.

Mudslide-Frosting

The frostings are both soft and creamy. They look a little bit like pudding. Delicious intense chocolate-Kahlua and Bailey’s.  Together they get mixed like they should and blends well.  The overall flavor reminds me of gelato with that combo.  Bailey’s frosting is especially nice.

Mudslide-Cupcake     Mini-Mudslide-Cupcake

Works quite well together.  The cupcake requires a healthy amount of frosting to balance.  I would almost like to have a center with additional frosting or chocolate of some sort.  Maybe even a sweet mascarpone.  Put a lot of frosting on top.  To make it more like a mudslide, I’d like to see some chocolate sauce either on top or, even better, in the center.

Mudslide-Cupcake-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4.5
  • Ease of Making: 3 (you wash the mixing bowl 4 times for one cupcake, not hard, but tedious)
  • TOTAL: 18

Mini-Mudslide-top

RECIPE

Mudslide Cupcakes (recipe from The Curvy Carrot)

Cupcakes:

  • 3 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup strong cold coffee
  • 3/4 cup Kahlua

Kahlua Buttercream:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (or more, if needed) powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 3 tablespoons hot coffee

Bailey’s Buttercream:

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, shaved in curls

For directions visit The Curvy Carrot.

*Tomorrow: Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes*

Day 362 – Funnel Cake Cupcakes

28 Jul

It’s summer.  There’s no doubt about it now.  It’s hot.  And humid.  But it’s not all bad.  Summer means fairs and festivals and, of course, fried food.  Anything you want.  Fried.  And at the top of my list: funnel cakes.  So, no way I could finish this year without trying these Funnel Cake Cupcakes (recipe below from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen).

Cinnamon-Cupcake     Mini-Cinnamon-Cupcake

The cupcakes are moderately dense and kinda chewy. Not overly moist, so not sticky, but still chewy. It has a strong cinnamon flavor with a little sweetness. Not as sweet as I would have expected. More spice.

Cinnamon-frosting

The frosting is smooth and creamy. Very, very creamy. It’s got a good balance of cinnamon and sugar. It’s sweet with a little spice, but very understated.

Funnel-Cake

The funnel cakes are surprisingly easy to make. I was hesitant, but it worked perfectly on the first attempt!

Funnel-Cake-Cupcake     Mini-Funnel-Cake

The cupcake feels moister once it’s frosted. The cupcake is still really dense compared to the light, creamy frosting, so frost heavily! The cinnamon is the star, no doubt about that. So again, frost heavily to bring out the sweetness too.

Funnel-Cake-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 3.5 (funnel cakes are surprisingly simple!)
  • TOTAL: 18.5

Mini-Funnel-Cake-top

RECIPE

Funnel Cake Cupcakes (recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)

Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk

Frosting:

  • 2 sticks salted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Funnel Cakes:

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBS white sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • About a cup of powdered sugar

For directions visit Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

*Tomorrow: Mudslide Cupcakes*

 

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