Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Miracles happen.

I’m back to blogging, and you’re going to hate me.  I made cupcakes.

chocolatecupcakes1

I know cupcakes are so 2008.

Since I’ve been wedding planning, (Side note: we’re 4 months away. Where did time go? We have a wedding website.  This means it’s happening) I’ve become acutely aware of wedding trends.  Cupcakes are no longer cool.  Layer cakes are in (which I’ve loved probably since 2008).

BUT cupcakes are so handy for outdoor events.  The weather up here in the Bay Area has been hit or miss recently, but today we’re heading outdoors for a bubble soccer birthday celebration.  I’m always the person who volunteers to bring a cake, but sometimes don’t you just want a dang cupcake?

chocolatecupcakes2

They’re cute. They’re simple. They’re delicious.

Eat a cupcake.  Feel free to listen to the Buena Vista Social Club station on Pandora while you make and eat them.  That’s what I’m doing and it’s amazing.

These cupcakes have become by go to recipe. They’re a crowdpleaser and the frosting isn’t sickeningly sweet.

chocolatecupcakes4

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

cupcakes from Hershey’s, Buttercream from Me?

For cupcakes:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup  Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used almond milk and it was a-okay!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For Vanilla Buttercream:

3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3 sticks of butter (I know… seriously 3), softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Make your cupcakes.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract and beat until combined.  Lastly beat in boiling water.  The batter is really runny but trust me, it’s delicious.

Line cupcake pan with liners of choice (the cuter the better).  Fill each liner with 1/4 cup of batter.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test (note: 15 minutes is the perfect amount for me).  Repeat until all batter is gone.  I usually get 24-26 cupcakes out of this recipe.

Allow to cool completely.  Then make frosting.

Whisk together egg whites and sugar in your stand mixer bowl.  Place over a pot of boiling water (make sure water isn’t touching the bowl), stir it every so often until the egg whites become hot and you can no longer feel the sugar granules.  There’s probably an appropriate temperature that it needs to reach but I have no idea what that is.  I just touch it.

Transfer to the mixer and whip using the whisk attachment until they’ve formed stiff peaks.

Remove the whisk attachment and change to the paddle attachment for your mixer.  Add vanilla. Then start to beat in butter until the butter is incorporated and it’s smooth.  If you want here you can add any flavoring.

I’ve done peanut butter, dulce de leche, caramel, strawberry  jam.  They’re all magic.  Or you can just stick with vanilla and be a happy camper.

I like to chill my frosting a little bit before frosting because I find it easier to work with. Just about 10 minutes.  Give it a try.

Frost your cupcakes and decorate as you like. Sprinkles are encouraged.

chocolatecupcakes3

Take them to a party and feed them to your friends.

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re enjoying the day Game of Thrones returns! (<—- ok read

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

I’ve been a little bit out of control with my sugar intake this week.  But that’s totally ok.  Monday will start a new week and we’ll be good to go with some more clean eating.  But before that, let’s talk cupcakes.

BananaCupcakeswchochazelnutfrosting2

A few weeks ago, Nocciolata sent me some samples of their tasty chocolate hazelnut spread to try. It’s seriously amazing and is certified organic, which cool! I really like that this has actual recognizable ingredients in it. Now, you might remember that I loooooove chocolate hazelnut spread (aka I went crazy with Nutella when I lived in Rome and gained 15lbs, no joke) and my favorite combo by far is chocolate/hazelnut + banana.

So with these samples sitting in my house, I tested out a few recipes for chocolate hazelnut frosting.  I failed 3 times and finally went back to the basics: buttercream.  Buttercream is delicious and always pleasing.  And I knew that the frosting I created would go perfectly with banana cupcakes.  So that brings us to these guys:

BananaCupcakeswchochazelnutfrosting1

Lately, the world has gotten ridiculous on the cupcake frosting front (myself included), but sometimes you just want to have a cupcake that looks homemade.  You know, like spread with a knife.  No fancy piping bags necessary.

Something familiar, comforting and tasty (like chocolate hazelnut spread).  Let’s concentrate on flavor, not on looks, because that’s really what this spread is all about: Great Taste.

BananaCupcakeswchochazelnutfrosting4

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

For Cupcakes:
1 cup + 1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup sugar, heaping
1 egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Make cupcakes.  Pre-heat oven to 350F.  In a bowl combine flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).  Add egg and beat for another minute. Add mashed bananas and beat for another minute.  Add remaining wet ingredients then start to add dry ingredients.  Beat until combined.

Fill lined cupcake pan with 1/4 cup of batter each (or until each cupcake slot is about 3/4 the way full).  Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely. This recipe will yield about 13-14 cupcakes.

Next make the frosting.  Beat together butter and chocolate hazelnut spread.  Gradually add powered sugar until it gets a thick spreadable consistency.  If it’s too thick, thin out with a bit of milk.  Spread frosting on cupcakes.  Top with sprinkles if you like, then serve!  (P.S. You can totally add more Chocolate Hazelnut spread to this frosting have it be even more flavorful, you just might have to adjust the powdered sugar amount.  I would have added more but I ran out of samples with my many fails).

BananaCupcakeswchochazelnutfrosting3

I’m definitely a fan of the chocolate-hazelnut + banana combo!  What’s your favorite thing to combine with chocolate-hazelnut spread? 

Thanks to Nocciolata for the samples!  Be sure to check them out.

Easy Marshmallow Frosting

I’m going to ask you to brace yourself, because I can already tell that what I recently discovered is going to cause a whirlwind over here at Foodologie.

Marshmallow Frosting

MarshmallowFrosting3



Why hadn’t I tried making this before? Oh I know why… it seemed too complicated and not worth my time.

Well, let me just tell you.  It’s totally worth it and not nearly as difficult or time consuming as I thought it would be.  All the recipes I read required 8-10 egg whites, too much cracking… corn syrup, um no.  But finally I found one without corn syrup that was easily to scale down and gave it a try.  Thank you, Martha Stewart, for introducing me to marshmallow frosting.

MarshmallowFrosting4

Easy Marshmallow Frosting

from Martha Stewart

2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 big pinch of cream of tartar*
1 pinch of salt

Place a glass bowl over a sauce pan that has about 1 inch of water in it, make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl (aka build a double boiler).  Add egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract, cream of tartar and salt.  Mix together.  Heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites are warm when you touch them.

Transfer egg white mixture to a stand mixer and attach whisk attachment.  Stir on low and turn up the speed every 15 seconds or so until it’s on high speed.  Beat 5-7 minutes or until glossy, stiff peaks form.

MarshmallowFrosting1



Frost cupcakes and serve! Refrigerate if you’re not using it right away.  This recipe will make enough to frost about 8-10 cupcakes using a lot of frosting per cupcake (as I did in this photo), or 1 small 6 inch cake.   I would probably double the recipe if you are doing a larger cake or 2 dozen cupcakes. *Note: the original recipe called for 8 egg whites, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar, so when I scaled it down I just did a big pinch.  If you double this recipe, use 1/4 tsp cream of tartar. marshmallfrosting

I’m seriously amazed at how delicious and easy it was to make this marshmallow frosting.  I already have a million ideas for variations on this type of frosting.   What I really loved about it is that it’s super light and NOT sickeningly sweet like other frostings I’ve had.  I almost want to say I’d add more sugar next time, but I think this would be the perfect frosting for an already sweet cake.

MarshmallowFrosting2


So be prepared for lots of cupcakes to come!

What’s your favorite type of frosting?   I usually love chocolate ganache or just plain whipped cream, but this marshmallow frosting is going to be on the top of my list now.

P.S. Two days left to enter the Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Giveaway!  Head over to Facebook to enter! Click the Giveaway tab! Make sure to tell your friends and get extra entries daily by tweeting about the giveaway.

Mocha Protein Cupcakes

Yesterday, I took Jesse to the airport.  He’s off to New York for almost 3 weeks for a training course.  I hate to be that girl, but I miss him already.  So in the meantime, I plan on baking a lot.  Because baking makes the world a little bit better.

After I did my search for the best protein powder, Garden of Life sent me some more of their flavors to try: Garden of Life RAW Protein Marley Coffee and Raw Fit.

photo-3

I automatically fell in love with the Raw Fit, because it kept me so full for so long, but I had a hard time with the Marley Coffee flavor.

Given that I’m a coffee fiend, I thought I would love the coffee flavor, but I’m going to be honest, I didn’t love the flavor on its own.  So instead of devouring the Marley Coffee flavor like I did the Raw Fit in my usual breakfast smoothies, I’ve been trying to find other delicious ways to use the Marley Coffee Protein and here’s my most recent creation.

mochaproteincupcakestextIt’s no secret I have a ridiculous sweet-tooth, it’s also no secret that I generally try to balance it out with healthy eats.  So I decided to try to combine my love of sweets with a dose of healthiness.  These cupcakes don’t contain any butter or refined sugar and each one has 7g of protein and only 125 calories.  Drizzled with a bit of almond butter, they’re the perfect healthy-ish treat.

mochaproteincupcakes1

 

Mocha Protein Cupcakes

1 medium banana, mashed
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup Garden of Life Marley Coffee Raw Protein
1/2 cup almond meal1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Pre-heat over to 350F.

Mix together mashed banana, almond butter, maple syrup, egg and almond milk.  Add cocoa powder, protein power, almond meal, baking soda, baking power and salt.  Stir to combine.  Pour batter into 11-12 lined cupcake pan.  I got 11 cupcakes out of this.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

mochaproteincupcakes2You can eat them plain, top them with whipped cream or drizzle them with almond butter.  What I really loved about these cupcakes, other than the awesome nutrition stats:

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 5.56.10 PM

Was the texture.  They’re light and crumbly like a good cupcake should be.  The coffee flavor isn’t ultra strong, honestly these taste more like great chocolate cupcakes.  After all, it’s pretty common to add coffee to chocolate baked goods for flavor.  This protein added that perfect hint of coffee flavor that makes chocolate baked good extra delicious.

mochaproteincupcakes3So if you’re looking for a healthy cupcake, this is the one for you.  Be sure to check back later this week, I have some great things planned for you all!

 

**Note: Garden of Life provided me with the Raw Fit and Marley Coffee RAW Protein, but the opinions are my own.

Hot Air Baloon-themed Baby Shower

I totally forgot to tell you all about something.  If you follow me on Instagram, you might notice that I keep posting pictures of a baby.

That’s Graham.  My nephew.  He’s so stinkin’ cute.

photo-9

Sometimes he matches my boyfriends.  They’re both pretty stinkin’ cute.

But before Graham was born, I threw a baby shower for my sister, in anticipation of Graham.  That’s what I forgot to tell you about.

welcomebaby

It was cute and hot air ballooned theme, with lots of ideas from Pinterest.  So in case you’re looking to throw a baby shower, here are some ideas.

hotairballoondecorations

Paper lanterns with cardboard take out containers make great hanging decor.   And obviously, you need a lot of food…

foodtablebabyshower

We had fruit salad, green salad, as well as sandwiches, appetizers, and guava and cheese pastries from Porto’s Bakery, a cake and cupcakes.

IMG_1281

The cake almost looked awesome, but I’ll be honest the bakery we got it from pretty much sucked.  The fondant cracked a bunch and when I called to complain, they didn’t really want to listen to my complaint.  Bad service for an over priced cake.   But aside for them blah cake, there were awesome cupcakes made by me.

OreoPops

And oreo truffle pops.  If anyone’s interested, I can remake these and give a tutorial on how to make them look cute.  Any takers?

In addition to the food, we set up a welcome table

advicetable

which included a guest book and a Fujifilm Instax Mini.  Guests took a picture of themselves, then filled out a card with wishes for the baby (which I got on Etsy in case you’re interested)

IMG_1310

Then they put their photo next to their completed card in the album!

IMG_1394

It worked out well!

The center pieces were simple, candles with red flowers to fit the red and blue theme.

IMG_1324

And of course, the favors were pies in jars made with lots of love from Foodologie.

IMG_1347

Pinterest made planning this baby shower fun, but also a little more stressful.  I think Pinterest raises everyone’s expectations of what an event should be.  What do you think?  Does Pinterest give you unrealistic expectations about parties?

I can’t even imagine what my wedding would be like!

Do you have any events coming up?  Are you using Pinterest to plan?

Bird’s Nest Cupcakes

Easter is right around the corner.  For some reason unknown to me, Easter = eggs.  I’m sure there’s a reason, but I don’t quite get it.  I’ll go with it anyway.

I’m generally a pie girl, but sometimes the occasion calls for cupcakes, and I can think of two good occasions to make a cupcake.  These cupcakes really:

Easter and a Baby Shower.

I made these for a bird’s nest themed baby shower, but now that I was looking at the photos I realized they’d be perfect for Easter as well.

Although I’ll be honest, they’re so tasty that they’re really appropriate at any time of the year.

Egg Nest Cupcakes

1 recipe for your favorite chocolate cupcakes (I like Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake)
1 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
Few cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded coconut
1 package Cadbury Mini Eggs

Bake cupcakes and allow to cool completely.  Make frosting by blending together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar gradually until you get the consistency and sweetness you like (I added about 2 cups).   Using the oven or a toaster oven, toast coconut by placing it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Stir every few minutes and keep a close eye on it, it burns easily.  Allow to cool completely.

Frost cupcakes, press toasted coconut onto top of cupcakes, place a few mini eggs in the center.  Ta da!  That’s it!  Super cute and easy!

They were adorable for the bird’s nest themed shower, I promise they’re so tasty that anyone will love them.

I mean really who doesn’t love cupcakes AND those little chocolate eggs?

What Easter treat are you looking forward to?

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Filling and Raspberry Frosting

We all have oh-shit moments.

You know what I’m talking about.

Oh shit, I just cut an extra inch off my bangs.

You’re on a date, wearing a dress.  All of a sudden you realize… oh shit, I totally didn’t shave my left leg.

Sitting alone in your room with your computer, a spoon and a jar of peanut butter… Oh shit, I totally just ate half a jar of peanut butter.  Don’t say it’s never happened to youYou probably felt a little ill afterward.  Oh shit, I did.

But there are also good oh-shit moments.

Oh shit, I can’t believe a boy left me soup on my doorstep.

or at 6:45am… oh shit, I can’t believe I just ran 4 miles.

and oh shit, these cupcakes are delicious.

It might be my obsession with lemon, but I thought these were great!  Others agreed.  Lemon curd makes everything better.  So imagine a delicious lemon cupcake, filled with lemon curd and then topped with raspberry cream cheese frosting.

I know.  It makes you want to say oh shit, right? I totally get it.  We don’t have to talk about the bad language.  Focus on the cupcakes.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

For cupcakes:

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
zest and juice of three lemons
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
Lemon Curd filling

For Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 stick butter, room temp
1 lb powdered sugar
4 tbsp raspberry preserve

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add lemon zest and lemon juice and sour cream.  In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk.  Mix until just combined.

Pour batter into lined cupcake pan.  Bake 17-20 minutes (depending on your oven).  Mine took 17 minutes.  Also accidentally wayyyy over baked the first 12 and had to throw them away.  Beware!  These might not look done on top but poke them with a toothpick after 16ish minutes to see when they’re ready!

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, then cut holes in the top using a knife and scoop some out.  Then put some lemon curd in a ziploc bag, cut off an end and pipe some lemon curd into each cupcake.

Next make the frosting, throw all the ingredients in a bowl and let your hand/stand mixer do the work.  If it’s too stiff, add some liquid (or more raspberry preserve), if it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar.  Adjust accordingly.

Frost your cupcakes and serve them up.  They don’t have to be perfect or uniform.  They’ll be delicious either way.

Then, wait for your audience to say oh shit.  Listen carefully, they might say it quietly if they’re trying to be polite.

The final oh shit moment of the night… I made a Facebook page for Foodologie.

Oh shit.

Please “like” me.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Filling, Cream Cheese Frosting and Sea Salt Candied Walnuts

Did you see that title?  Yeah, it’s intense.

I have a little bit of a confession though.  I wasn’t going to blog about these.  Not because they aren’t good.  No, no.  They are the most amazing things ever.  But because I wasn’t happy with the photos.  You see, prior to my full time employment, I had time to bake in the morning and take photos in daylight.  Now that I work all day, baking happens at night (unless it’s the weekend of course).

In case you’re not really into taking pictures… pictures look better when taken in natural light.  Truth. I was even tempted to make these again this morning just so I could take pretty pictures in the sunlight! But in the end, laziness (or health consciousness?) prevailed.

That said, nothing is going to change the fact that these are amazing.

Not even a mediocre pictures.

Next time you have a gathering or just really need something sweet, please make these.  They’re wonderful.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Filling, Cheese Cheese Frosting and Sea Salt Candied Walnuts

1 recipe for your favorite chocolate cupcakes (I like Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake)
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 sticks of butter, softened
Few cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 sugar
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Bake cupcakes and allow to cool completely.  While they are baking, you can make the caramel filling.  Place sugar in a deep saucepan on medium heat.  Allow the sugar to melt (about 10 minutes), stir occasionally until the sugar is a golden brown color.  Remove from heat and immediately stir in butter.  Once butter is mixed in, stream in cream while you stir.  Stir until all combined and smooth.  Set aside to cool.  You can make this a day in advance if you like. Once the caramel is completely cooled, place into a ziploc bag (or a piping bag, if you’re fancy) and cut off one corner so you can pipe caramel.

Next, make the cream cheese frosting.  Using a stand or hand mixer, blend together cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla.  I say a few cups of powdered sugar because 1. I never measure and 2. you should use as much as is necessary to get the consistency and amount of sweetness you like.  I’m guessing I used about 6 cups?  Once your cream cheese frosting is ready, put it in the fridge to keep firm until you’re ready to use it.

Next prep the cupcakes.  Scoop out some of the cupcakes to make room for the caramel.  I use a small knife just to make a small hole on top then pull out some of the filling.  Pipe some caramel into the hole.  It doesn’t need to be a ton, but let’s be honest a lot is always delicious.

Now you can make the candied nuts.  First, lay out some wax paper so you’ll have somewhere to place the candied nuts.  This really is an essential first step.  Next in a pan, over medium heat, combine the walnuts and sugar, stir occasionally.  After a few minutes, the sugar will start to melt.  Stir to coat all the nuts.  Once they look golden and candy coated, remove from heat, sprinkle with salt, stir again and then spread them on the wax paper.  Be careful.  At this point they will be very hot.  Give them some time to cool, then go through and separate any pieces and stuck together.

Lastly, now you can finish assembling the cupcakes.  Frost them however you like.  My sister and I went through a different types of frosting styles with different tips, but in the end it doesn’t really matter, since it’ll be covered in delicious candied nuts.  So once you’ve frosted them, lay some salted, candied nuts on there.  Refrigerate so everything gets firmed up together.  Then serve!

(Note: This picture will be infinitely funnier if you’ve read this)

You might be wondering why I decided to bake in the middle of the week.  Well, I suppose it’s not that out of character for me, but I had a reason. It’s my favorite brother-in-law’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Tim!!  I think he liked them 🙂

In fact, I think everyone that’s eaten them has liked them.  I’m pretty sure that means I might have to make these again.

There has to be another birthday coming up soon, not that I really need a reason to bake.

Have a great weekend!

Lemon Curd Obsession

The word curd is not cute.  But it’s 50% of my obsession: lemon curd.  No one’s perfect.  When you really love something, you over look some of its flaws.  I’ll overlook the word “curd,” because I simply adore lemon curd.

If I wasn’t conscious about my health, I would probably eat a bowl of it for breakfast, then have it again as a light afternoon snack.

A few weeks ago, I used it to make Lemon-Blueberry Tartlets.  I’m sorry to report I was holding out on you.  I also used it to make lemon bluberry cupcakes filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon whipped cream.

I know, it’s all sorts of amazing.

Lemon Curd

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (about the juice of 2 lemons)
4 tbsp butter, softened
zest of 2 lemons

Place a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water (make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl).  In the bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice.  Stir over the double boiler until thick.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Carefully remove from heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest.  Set aside and allow to cool completely.  Once it has cooled, you can store it in the fridge for a few days, but chances are it won’t last that long.

You can put it in cupcakes by scooping out some of the cupcake then filling it with lemon curd.

Spread it on pound cake.  Fill sandwich cookies with it.  Place a dollop on a scone.  Use it as tart filling.

Eat it by the spoonful.  That’s more my style.

Either way, it’s the perfect tart, sweet treat.  If that’s not cute, I don’t know what is.