Day 266 – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

23 Apr

I don’t know about you, but on Wednesdays, sometimes, I just need a little pick-me-up.  Ya know, something light.  Fluffy.  Creamy.  Ya know.  Sweet and simple.  And these Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below from Food Network).

Coconut-Cupcakes     Mini-Coconut-Cupcakes

The cupcakes are dense, but springy, and a little sticky. They have a sweet, almond flavor, reminiscent of Angel Food Cake, but it’s a totally different texture. The coconut adds a nice texture and flavor. Kinda reminds me of a coconut macaroon.

Cream-Cheese-Frosting

The frosting is fluffy and smooth. It has a strong cream cheese flavor. I’d like more vanilla or almond, or maybe both. I’m getting mostly sweet cream cheese. Which isn’t bad, just not terribly interesting.

Coconut-Cream-Cheese     Mini-Coconut-Cream-Cheese

Together it’s almost like eating a frosted macaroon. The almond in the cupcake definitely makes up for the lack in the frosting. And the sweetness of the frosting brings out the coconut in the cupcake. Very complementary to one another.

Coconut-Cream cheese top

Scoring Sheet:

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

Mini-Coconut-Cream cheese-top

RECIPE

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe from Food Network)

Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 oz sweetened, shredded coconut

Frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For directions visit Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

*Tomorrow: Pink Lemonade Cupcakes*

Weekly Winner #35

23 Apr

Wow!  It has been such a crazy week.  Hence the better-late-than-never Weekly Winner!!  That doesn’t make the cupcakes any less tasty though…

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon-Meringue-cupcake

Coconut & Peach Cupcakes

Coconut-and-Peach-Cupcake

Vanilla Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade Buttercream

Vanilla-Lemonade-Cupcake

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Brown-Sugar-Cookie-Cupcake

Cadbury Egg Easter Cupcakes

Cadbury-Halved1

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot-Cupcake-Frosted

Clementine Cupcakes

Clementine-Cupcake

And, with 20 points, the winner is…

Lemon-Meringue-cupcake

The Lemon Meringue Cupcakes from Martha Stewart.  Check out that yummy day here.  And see how it does in the Monthly Competition on April 30th.

Day 265 – Clementine Cupcakes

22 Apr

I have fully embraced Spring at this point.  Fully.  Embraced.  Whether or not the weather agrees with me, Spring is here!  And that means lots of fruits and fluffy, yummy things.  Like these Clementine Cupcakes (recipe below from Chef Julie Yoon).

Clementine-Cake     Mini-Clementine-cake

The cupcakes are dense and sticky. A lot like a pound cake. They have a delicate, sweet clementine flavor. Very light.

Clementine-frosting

The frosting is mix between a glaze and a cream cheese frosting, smooth and almost runny, with beautiful flecks of clementine zest. It has a very sweet, very strong clementine flavor. Much stronger than the cupcakes.

Clementine-Cupcake     Mini-Clementine-Cupcake

This is a nice, sweet, delicate cupcake. Very Spring-y or Summer-y. The strong frosting is countered nicely by the simple cupcake. As well as the textures – the dense cupcake is lightened by the creamy frosting.

Clementine-Cupcake-top

Scoring Sheet:

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

Mini-Clementine-top

RECIPE

Clementine Cupcakes (recipe from Chef Julie Yoon)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • zest of 3 clementines
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • juice of 3 clementines (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 clementines
  • juice of 2 clementines
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • Zest of 3 clementines
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Juice of 3 clementines (or enough to make ¼ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 clementines
  • Juice of 2 clementines

- See more at: http://chefjulieyoon.com/2014/02/clementine-cupcakes/#sthash.qOBcbIub.dpuf

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • Zest of 3 clementines
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Juice of 3 clementines (or enough to make ¼ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 clementines
  • Juice of 2 clementines

- See more at: http://chefjulieyoon.com/2014/02/clementine-cupcakes/#sthash.qOBcbIub.dpuf

For directions visit Chef Julie Yoon.

*Tomorrow: Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting*

 

Day 264 – Carrot Cupcakes

21 Apr

Yes, yes, yes.  Easter was yesterday.  But, let’s be real.  Is carrot cake ever NOT a good option?  NO!  So, I thought these Carrot Cupcakes (recipe below from Annie’s Eats) might be a good post-holiday option.

Carrot-Cupcake     Mini-Carrot-Cupcake

The cupcakes are sticky and wet, almost a little oily. They have a mostly spicy flavor, with a little sweet thrown in. Not dark, just not sugary.

Cream-Cheese-Frosting

The frosting is smooth and creamy and very soft. It tastes like a typical cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. A classic.

Note: My frosting was quite thin, so it didn’t pipe as beautifully as I’d hoped….next time I might just spread it on.

Carrot-Cupcake-Frosted     Mini-Carrot-Cupcake-frosted

Together it’s a classic combination. A soft, crumbly carrot cake with a smooth, creamy cream cheese frosting. Sweet and spicy. A good mix. Nothing to write home about, but classically good.

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 18.5

RECIPE

Carrot Cupcakes (recipe from Annie’s Eats)

Cupcakes:

  • 2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
  • 1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil

Frosting:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese (not softened)
  • 7½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For directions visit Annie’s Eats.

*Tomorrow: Clementine Cupcakes*

Day 263 – Cadbury Egg Easter Cupcakes

20 Apr

Well, it’s Easter.  Hopefully it’s beautiful outside.  But, if not, hopefully it can be beautiful inside.  And these Cadbury Egg Easter Cupcakes (recipe below from Pizzazzerie) can definitely help with that!

Chocolate-Cadbury-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are dense and moist. They have a very fudgy, chocolate taste. Not too rich, but almost brownie-like.

Blue-Cadbury-Frosting

The frosting is smooth and creamy, a typical buttercream in texture. It has a sweet, light-almond flavor. Not much else to say.

Note: The recipe doesn’t call for blue dye, but the photos on that blog had blue frosting, so I just threw in a few drops for fun.

Cadbury-Cupcake     Mini-Cadbury-Cupcake

The chocolate and the almond frosting go quite well together. It’s sweet and rich but not heavy. Then the little bite of candy in the middle is a nice surprise. The flavors from all 3 parts blend nicely. Nothing stands out as being too aggressive or strong.

Cadbury-Halved2

Note: I used mini Cadbury eggs so that I could put them in the mini cupcakes too. If you’re making full-sized cupcakes, the regular size eggs would work too.

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19.5

Cadbury-Halved1

RECIPE

Cadbury Egg Easter Cupcakes (recipe from Pizzazzerie)

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (or 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour)
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 package Jell-O instant pudding in Chocolate Fudge (3.4 oz)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 24 Cadbury Eggs (frozen)
Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar (more to thicken)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

For directions visit Pizzazzerie.

*Tomorrow: Carrot Cupcakes*

 

Day 262 – Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

19 Apr

Some things are just too good to be true.  Brown sugar…definitely one of those things.  I love it.  I could (and used to) eat it with a spoon.  Then.  There’s cookie dough.  And not just any cookie dough.  Chocolate chip cookie dough.  Forget it!  Too good.  Possibly one of the best things on the planet.  Am I right?  So when I saw these Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting (recipe below from Baked Perfection)…there was no resisting.

Brown-Sugar-Cupcake     Mini-Brown-Sugar-Cupcake

The cupcakes are somewhat dense and very soft. I don’t get a lot of brown sugar flavor. Shockingly, they kinda remind me of a banana muffin, though there are definitely no bananas in them. Maybe a mix of the brown sugar and the melted butter, I’m not sure. Not bad, just not what I was expecting.

Cookie-Dough-Frosting

The frosting is thick and sugary, just like cookie dough ought to be. It’s obvious what it is, but I would prefer a stronger butter and a stronger brown sugar presence. It’s definitely sweet enough, but I’m wondering if some of the powdered sugar couldn’t be replaced by brown sugar, to really drive home the cookie dough flavor.

Brown-Sugar-Cookie-Cupcake     Mini-Brown-Sugar-Cookie

To me, this tastes like a frosted muffin still. Now, again. Don’t get me wrong. I could eat a whole bunch of these muffins. But that’s what they remind me of. They’re sweet, but not cloying. The chocolate chips make for a nice crunch in an otherwise extremely smooth and soft cupcake/frosting combo.

Brown-Sugar-Cookie-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4.5
  • TOTAL: 18.5

Mini Brown-Sugar-Cookie-top

RECIPE

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting (recipe from Baked Perfection)

Brown Sugar Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cookie Dough Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

For directions visit Baked Perfection.

*Tomorrow: Cadbury Egg Easter Cupcakes*

Day 261 – Vanilla Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade Buttercream

18 Apr

Well, the weather may not agree, but it is Spring.  Most of us have only experienced hints of it so far.  But it’s there.  Hidden.  Under the frost, it seems.  But maybe these Vanilla Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade Buttercream (recipe below from That Skinny Chick Can Bake) will bring it out.  At least a little.

Vanilla-Cupcake     Mini-Vanilla-Cupcake

The cupcakes are airy and a little sticky, with a light crunch on top. They have a sugary vanilla flavor, almost like a sugar cookie. Simple and sweet.

Pink-Lemonade-frosting

The frosting is very thick and creamy. It wasn’t as pink as I was expecting, more of a pale baby pink, but it’s pretty. The lemonade flavor is surprisingly strong. It’s got a big, sugary lemon kick.

Vanilla-Lemonade-Cupcake     Mini-Vanilla-Pink-Lemon

Together they have just the right balance. The sweet, simple cupcake really cuts the tartness of the frosting, but they don’t mask one another. They complement each other quite well. This is a great Spring or Summer cupcake. Cute, refreshing and simple.

Vanilla-Pink-Lemon-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4.5
  • TOTAL: 19.5

Mini-Vanilla-Pink-top

RECIPE

Vanilla Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade Buttercream (recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake)

Cupcakes:
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk or sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Buttercream:
  • 1 ½ sticks or 12 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons pink lemonade concentrate, from frozen concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • milk or half and half, as needed

For directions visit That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

*Tomorrow: Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting*

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