Day 356 – Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes

22 Jul

These Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes (recipe below from Happy Homemaker Me) look like simple, sweet strawberry cupcakes.  And, as we near the rich, indulgent ending of this year of cupcakes, I thought sweet and simple could be lovely.

Strawberry-Vanilla-Cupcake     Mini-Strawberry-Vanilla

The cupcakes are dense. They aren’t particularly moist, but they aren’t dry either. They have a sweet initial taste. Then the strawberry kicks in. It’s almost an aftertaste. And it tastes a lot like a strawberry candy.

Strawberry-Buttercream

The frosting is soft and smooth. It’s a really pretty shade of pink, with little red flecks. It has a very sweet flavor, with a strong hint of strawberry.

Strawberry-Cupcake     Mini-Strawberry-Cupcake

Together, I still get sugar first, and strawberry second. The firm cupcake stands nicely with the very soft frosting. But they don’t bring out the strawberry in each other, which is what I was hoping for. Perhaps a little filling or something would make this a stronger strawberry-flavored cupcake.

Strawberry-Cupcake-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 17

Mini-Strawberry-top

RECIPE

Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes (recipe from Happy Homemaker Me)

Strawberry Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg whites

Strawberry Frosting:

  • 3 T strawberry puree
  • 2 sticks (one cup) butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For directions visit Happy Homemaker Me.

*Tomorrow: Vanilla Very Berry Cupcakes*

Day 355 – Reese’s Cupcakes

21 Jul

I love chocolate and peanut butter.  I love Reese’s.  Alone.  On ice cream.  In cupcakes.  In cookies.  In milk shakes.  Ok…you get the point.  And these Reese’s Cupcakes (recipe below from Cooking Classy) looked too yummy to miss!

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are extremely squishy. They’re extremely moist and fudgy too. They have a darker chocolate flavor. Not sweet and milk chocolate like some other moist, squishy chocolate cupcakes.

Peanut-Butter-Frosting

The frosting is smooth and fluffy. It has a nice, sweet peanut butter flavor, without being too sugary. It’s similar to plain peanut butter, not too sweet, not too salty. Just whipped and fluffy.

Reeses-Cupcake     Mini-Reeses-Cupcake

This is a rich, indulgent cupcake. Obviously meant to be a Reese’s. The chocolate and the peanut butter make a pretty spot-on flavor. Then you add the little chunks of peanut butter cup mixed into the cupcake…forget it! Reese’s Heaven!

Reeses-Cupcake-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4.5
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 20

Mini-Reeses-top

RECIPE

Reese’s Cupcakes (recipe from Cooking Classy)

Chocolate Reese’s Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 12 Snack Size Reese’s, 6 chopped into halves and 6 chopped into small pieces (not minis)
Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp heavy cream

For directions visit Cooking Classy.

*Tomorrow: Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes*

Day 354 – Lemoncino Raspberry Cupcakes

20 Jul

With so few cupcakes left in the year (11 to be exact) I wanted to do one with a lemon liquor.  It’s summer, right?  Now, since these Lemoncino Raspberry Cupcakes (recipe below from Java Cupcake) are clearly alcoholic, these are tasted and judged by my favorite guest judge, my hubby, Ken.

Lemoncino-Cupcake     Mini-Lemoncino-Cupcake

The cupcakes are smooth and have a good thickness.  The lemon is very delicious and had a delightful acidity.

Note: The minis don’t pack enough of a lemon punch. The full-sized have a lot more flavor.

Raspberry-Frosting

The frosting is soft and fluffy. It’s too buttery though and the raspberry flavor just gets lost on the butter.

Lemoncino-Raspberry-Cupcake     Mini-Lemoncino-Raspberry

The frosting doesn’t stand up to the lemon intensity of the cupcake.  Together the frosting just gets lost. It needs more raspberry or more lemon flavor. They are really cute to look at though.  Very spring-like and fun.

Lemoncino-Raspberry-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 2.5
  • Overall Taste: 3
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 17.5

Mini-Lemon-Rasp-top

RECIPE

Lemoncino Raspberry Cupcakes (recipe from Java Cupcake)

Lemoncino Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup flour + 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Lemoncino liquor (Lemoncello works too or any lemon liquor you have)
Raspberry Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
Raspberry Buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • Raspberry syrup
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream

For directions visit Java Cupcake.

*Tomorrow: Reese’s Cupcakes*

Day 353 – Cotton Candy Cupcakes

19 Jul

Some days just require a cupcake to make you smile.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing frivolous.  Just happiness in cupcake form.  And these Cotton Candy Cupcakes (recipe below from Becoming Lola) look like just that!

Vanilla-Bean-Cupcake     Mini-Vanilla-Bean-Cupcake

The cupcakes are dense. A little sticky, but not overly sticky or overly moist. They have a nice, sweet vanilla flavor. And really pretty vanilla bean flecks.

Note: There are 2 cupcake options on the blog.  I used recipe #2.

Pink-Candy-Frosting     Blue-Candy-Frosting

The frosting is almost like a glaze. It’s a little on the thin side, and crisps once it sets, like a glaze does. It is very, very sweet. Like, pure sugar kinda sweet. Not getting a lot of anything else. Just sugar.

Cotton-Candy-Cupcake     Mini-Cotton-Candy-Cupcake

The cupcake balances the sweetness of the frosting nicely. It’s still quite sweet, but you do get that vanilla taste loud and clear when they’re together. I’m not sure this would be an adult favorite. Though, odds are, you weren’t making cotton candy cupcakes for a room-full of grownups…

Note: Serve them immediately after putting the cotton candy on top. It (very quickly) melts into the frosting.

Cotton-Candy-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5

  • Frosting Taste: 3

  • Overall Taste: 3.5

  • Appearance: 3.5

  • Ease of Making: 4

  • TOTAL: 17.5

Mini-Cotton-Candy-top

RECIPE

Cotton Candy Cupcakes (recipe from Becoming Lola)

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Cotton Candy Buttercream:
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • pink food coloring (or 1 drop of red)
  • Tiffany blue food coloring (or two blue drops, one green drop)
  • cotton candy, pulled into small pieces
For directions visit Becoming Lola.

*Tomorrow: Lemoncino Raspberry Cupcakes*

Day 352 – Peaches Melba Cupcakes

18 Jul

Doesn’t that just sound light and fluffy and summery?  Then top them with whipped cream?  Yes, please!  Peaches Melba Cupcakes (recipe below from Recipes from a Pantry).

Peaches-Cupcake     Mini-Peaches-Cupcake

The cupcakes are moist and sticky. They’re chewy, but still very light, not dense at all. They are very, very sweet. Not a strong peach flavor, just mostly sweet vanilla.

Raspberry-Whipped-Cream

The frosting is very fluffy. Cause it’s whipped cream. With raspberries folded in. Seriously. There’s nothing else to say. It’s dangerously yummy! Just fresh fruit and whipped cream. Yum, yum, yum!

Peaches-Melba-Cupcake     Mini-Peaches-Melba-Cupcake

The raspberries are actually the strongest flavor, which is surprising. The cupcakes are very sweet, with the little tart bites. These would be great summer cupcakes. Light and breezy. You could easily eat more than one, cause they’re not heavy or rich.

Peaches-Melba-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4 (the easy frosting makes up for the dicing)
  • TOTAL: 19.5

Mini-Melba-top

RECIPE

Peaches Melba Cupcakes (recipe from Recipes from a Pantry)

Cupcakes:

  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 113g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 192g + 16g (1½ cup + 2 tbsp) flour, divided
  • 1¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 peaches, peeled, pitted & chopped

Frosting:

  • 480ml (2 cups) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 32g (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
  • 300g (2 cups) fresh raspberries
  • 2 peaches sliced, for garnish

For directions visit Recipes from a Pantry.

*Tomorrow: Cotton Candy Cupcakes*

Day 351 – Blackberry Lemonade Cupcakes

17 Jul

I have made some seriously indulgent cupcakes this week…this month…well, okay…this year.  Sometimes you just need a little break.  Something lighter and refreshing.  Like these Blackberry Lemonade Cupcakes (recipe below from Lou Lou Girls).

Lemonade-Cupcake     Mini-Lemonade-Cupcake

The cupcakes are moist and chewy. They have a sweet lemon taste. Not overly tart, like past lemon cupcakes have been. There’s a tart little bite, but mostly sweet with lemon flavor.

Lemon-Glaze

The glaze is thick, not watery at all. It’s got a tart, but sugary, lemon flavor.

Blackberry-Frosting

The frosting is soft and fluffy. It has a strong buttercream flavor with just a hint of blackberry. I was kind of expecting a stronger blackberry flavor. It’s really more of an aftertaste to a plain buttercream.

Blackberry-Lemonade-Cupcake     Mini-Blackberry-Lemonade

This cupcake adds up to be very tasty. Not as bitter as some citrus cupcakes. The sweetness of the frosting, with just that hint of blackberry, cuts through the tartness of the lemon cupcake and lemon glaze. All the parts balance each other really well.

Blackberry-Lemonade-top

Scoring Sheet:

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

Mini-Blackberry-Lemon-top

RECIPE

Blackberry Lemonade Cupcakes (recipe from Lou Lou Girls)

Lemonade Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups of cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 C. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. sour cream

Lemon Glaze:

  • zest of a lemon
  • 1/4 C. lemon juice
  • 1 2/3 C. powdered sugar

Blackberry Buttercream:

  • 3 sticks of butter, softened
  • 5-6 C. powdered sugar until desired consistency
  • 3/4 C. blackberry puree

For directions visit Lou Lou Girls.

*Tomorrow: Peaches Melba Cupcakes*

Day 350 – Best Oreo Cupcakes

16 Jul

For the first day of the 2nd to last week (yes, that was a little confusing, but go with it) I thought we needed a nice, classic-flavored cupcake.  And what’s more classic that an Oreo?  Chocolate.  Creme.  Yum.  Best Oreo Cupcakes (recipe below from No. 2 Pencil).

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are very squishy and sticky. Almost gooey. They are very similar to Devil’s Food cupcakes. Very moist and very chocolatey. It’s sweet and not at all bitter.

Oreo-Buttercream

The frosting is thick and smooth. It has a very strong Oreo filling taste. Just like licking the inside of the Oreo. But even creamier. Very, very sweet. Not surprising.

Oreo-Cupcake     Mini-Oreo-Cupcake

The sweetness of the frosting overshadows the cupcake at first, but then it makes an appearance at the end. You get sweet creaminess followed by ooey gooey chocolate. They’re not “wow” cupcakes, but they are simple and tasty. They’re so easy to throw together too, they’d be a great option for a party or get-together!

Oreo-top

Scoring Sheet:

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

Mini-Oreo-top

RECIPE

Best Oreo Cupcakes (recipe from No. 2 Pencil)

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of Hershey’s Cocoa (unsweetened cocoa)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of hot coffee

Oreo Creme Frosting:

  • Creme centers from one package of Double Stuf Oreos; set aside or discard the chocolate cookie pieces
  • 1 cup of room temperature butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 pound box of powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk

For directions visit No. 2 Pencil.

*Tomorrow: Blackberry Lemonade Cupcakes*

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