Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

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I have never met a cupcake that I didn’t like! Strawberry cakes were my favorite flavor as a kid. However, now I’m not sure I could pick between strawberry and chocolate. Lemon could probably be thrown into that mix too. I love them all! Cupcakes are the perfect dessert for a crowd. I love to serve them without the worry of cutting and serving. They are always eaten too, seldom do I have extra cupcakes left. I like it like that because I do not like to take home food from dinners and get-togethers.

I know, it’s probably crazy. After all, I eat the food at the gatherings. I have this mental thing about taking it back home and eating it, though. I feel like the food that has been setting out at the gathering just isn’t very clean after multiple people have walked past it, looked over it, many may have even touched it. I generally just toss it in the trash if I have extra.

Enough about my pet peeves, though, let’s talk about these wonderful strawberries and cream cupcakes.  They start with a cake mix and couldn’t be easier! The addition of pureed strawberries makes these cupcakes extra special. Topped with the creamy, luscious cream cheese frosting, your friends and family will go wild over these.

 

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 box white cake mix or French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1 (3.4-oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ c. sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • 3 lg. eggs, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. strawberry extract
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) container sliced strawberries in sugar, drained well, reserve juice and puree the berries in a blender
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, water, sour cream, oil, and eggs in the bowl of mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add extract and pureed berries and mix just until blended.
  3. Scoop batter into prepared pan, filling about ¾ full.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back with lightly pressed with finger. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely. Frost with completely cooled.

 
Cream Cheese Frosting for Strawberry Cupcakes
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. strawberry extract
  • 3 to 4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
  • some reserved strawberry juice, optional
Instructions
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until fluffy and completely blended.
  2. Add vanilla and strawberry extracts. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick you can add reserved strawberry juice, adding 1 tbsp. at a time, to reach spreading consistency.
  3. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

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Over the weekend Savannah and I worked on her Halloween costume.  There are so many ideas on Pinterest these days that anyone can get creative.  She is going to be Batman, except her version has a tutu.  Costumes have come a long way since I was a kid.  I can remember the costumes of the 70’s, with the plastic masks that had eye holes and a little slit opening at your mouth.  If you were lucky you would have two holes at the nose but either way the mask was hot and sweaty and the eye holes always slid down to your cheeks so that you could not see.
At the farm we don’t have trick-or-treaters.  Savannah and I plan to spend Halloween night at my friend Sherri’s house.  She lives in a subdivision and will have tons of trick-or-treaters.  We will be giving candy to the subdivision children however I’m making a special treat for us to have that night.  This year I’m making these yummy cupcakes.  This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  You can make 2 layers (8-inch or 9-inch) or 24 cupcakes with this recipe.  These chocolate cupcakes are always moist and this buttercream icing seems to be a favorite of everyone.  This year I have decided to decorate these festive cupcakes like candy corn by coloring a portion of the icing yellow and a portion orange, while leaving a small portion of icing white.  Pipe some of the yellow frosting around the outside edge of the cupcake.  Then pipe orange icing around the inside edge of the yellow.  Top with a little bit of white icing for an adorable candy corn look.  You may notice that I bought the wrong color of yellow for these candy corn cupcakes.  That’s what I get for looking at the sticker on the end of the bottle rather than reading the color.  If you buy yellow instead of gold you should be fine.

Chocolate Cupcakes
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c. cocoa
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. boiling water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners, set aside.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill each cupcake liner with approximately ¼ c. of batter.
  3. Bake in preheated oven, 20 - 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan; remove to wire racks and cool completely. Frost when completely cool.

 
Buttercream Frosting
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 c. vegetable shortening
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. butter flavoring
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • 1 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • ½ tbsp. meringue powder
  • ½ tbsp. milk if needed
Instructions
  1. Mix butter, shortening and salt on low speed for 5 minutes. Add vanilla, butter flavor, and almond extract, beat until well blended. Add meringue powder and ½ confectioners sugar, mixing on lowest speed of mixer until the sugar is mixed in. Add remaining sugar, mixing on lowest speed until sugar is mixed in. Turn mixer to medium speed and beat about 5 minutes, until fluffy and smooth.
  2. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes. Decorate if desired.

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I would like to begin by remembering everyone affected by the storms over the past couple of days.  Especially remembering a place dear to my heart, Pensacola.  Praying for the safety of all!

Now, on to a lighter note, these delightful Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes.  I have a slight obsession with cupcakes.  When I was a kid a cupcake was something you ate at a birthday party or a class party at school.  These days, not only is there a television show devoted to cupcakes on Food Network but there are cupcake shops everywhere you turn and cupcakes in every flavor you could imagine.  I adore them.  Not only are cupcakes delicious, but I love the fact that it’s one serving, no mess, they are so easy to transport, plus with a piping bag they are easy to decorate.  Most importantly, they make me feel like a kid again.  That saying a lot since I will be the big 5 0 in just a couple of weeks!

I’ve seen recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes on several websites.  After studying several different recipes I finally came up with a combination I wanted to try.  These even knocked the socks off of Wes who tends to be a hard one to please.  He’s not a huge chocolate fan but loved these cupcakes.

I used Savannah’s Perfect Chocolate Cake for the cake part of the cupcake.  It’s a no fail recipe that we love.  The cookie dough ingredients came from www.recipegirl.com, and the frosting is my own creation.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Cookie Dough Filling:
  • 1¾ c. all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 10 tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ c. milk
  • 2¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 1¼ c. mini chips
  • Cupcakes:
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1¾ c. ap flour
  • ¾ c. cocoa
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2ggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c. oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • Frosting:
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c. shortening
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. butter extract
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • ½ tbsp. meringue powder
  • 2½ tbsp milk (or more is needed)
Instructions
  1. To make the cookie dough filling, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix. In another bowl mix the melted butter, milk and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out 24 balls of dough. (My cupcakes were standard muffin size and my scoop is a #40 and measures approximately 1½ tbsp.) Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place dough balls on the pan. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°. Spray the top of your cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with paper liners and spray the bottom or the liners with cooking spray, set aside.
  4. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill each each up cake liner with about ¼ c. of batter or a little less.
  5. Remove dough balls from freezer and place one in the center of each cupcake.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the cake part of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 5 minute; remove to wire racks and cool completely. Frost with completely cool.
  7. To make frosting, mix the brown sugar and 2 tbsp. milk in a bowl and microwave until hot. Remove from microwave and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool completely.
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, shortening, and salt for 5 minutes.
  9. Add vanilla extract and butter extract, mix well.
  10. In another bowl, sift the flour and powdered sugar together. Add half of this mixture to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Add other half of powdered sugar mixture, meringue powder, and 2½ tbsp. milk on low speed. After everything is incorporated turn mixer to medium speed and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  11. Frost cupcakes and decorate as desired.
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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

There are so many buttercream recipes out there that it can get quite confusing when you are trying to decide which recipe to follow.  I’ve tried hundred’s of chocolate buttercream recipes over the years but this is my favorite.  It’s easy to make and it tastes best the day after it’s made.

 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 c. vegetable shortening
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. butter flavoring
  • ½ tbsp. meringue powder
  • 1 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted
  • ½ c. cocoa, sifted
  • 1 tsp. instant espresso coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp. milk
  • Additional milk if needed, add 1 tbsp. at a time
Instructions
  1. Mix butter, shortening, and salt on low speed for 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract and butter flavoring, beating until well blended. Add meringue powder and ½ of the confectioners sugar, mixing on the lowest speed of mixer until the sugar is mixed in. Add remaining sugar, mixing on lowest speed until sugar is mixed in. Add the instant espresso coffee/milk mixture. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat about 5 minutes, until fluffy and smooth.
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Amye’s Favorite Recipes form 2012

Happy New Year!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a very blessed and prosperous new year.
I’m thankful for the time spent with family and friends during the holidays.  We had a great Christmas and then brought the new year in with family and friends in Savannah.
I had several different ideas for my first post in 2013.  My first thought was doing a “2012 Most Popular” post, featuring the posts that were viewed most often.  However, what I’ve ended up doing is my top picks from 2012.  It was harder to narrow the list than I had thought.  I wanted to keep it to 10 or 12, but I just couldn’t leave any of these picks off of my list.  So, here are my top 15 picks from 2012.
  Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Ginger Glaze
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