Peanut Butter Layer Cake for Our 4th Anniversary!!

I made another layer cake! I liked the Funfetti cake so much I couldn’t help myself.

That’s only part true… what really happened is that The.Mr. and I celebrated our 4th Anniversary this week! He loveloveloves chocolate and peanut butter and I wanted to make him something special.

Most of the recipes I found online used a chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting. When I told my super special husband what I was making this week he “casually” mentioned that he’d rather have peanut butter cake and chocolate frosting.

I used the same basic cake recipe as the Boozy PB&J II Cupcakes (w/o booze and pb chips) and the Peanut Butter Cupcakes. It did rise a little bit in the oven, so after the cakes cooled I trimmed the tops off w/ a long knife… I think I got them pretty flat.

The ganache filling is adapted from Chow.com and its freaking awesome! I made sure it was all the way cooled before I spread it on one of the cakes. Then when I put the other cake on top, I made sure the trimmed side was facing the ganache to cut the amount of crumbs I’d have to deal with. Ya know?

The chocolate buttercream is the same one I always use, and I’m 99% positive it came from Savory Sweet Life.  It’s my favorite. The recipe makes just enough for this cake.

This cake is super moist (*shudder* I hate that word). Between that and the ganache it’s a little messy at room temperature… but it’s totally worth it.

Overall this cake is a winner! We devoured it. I’m not going to tell you how quickly because that would be horribly embarrassing.

Check out my Peanut Butter (and Chocolate) Layer Cake recipe!

Happy Baking!

-Holly

Basic Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

One day last week one of my friends from Virginia emailed me asking for a plain yellow cake recipe with chocolate frosting. Would you believe me if I told you I didn’t have one?! Seriously. I’m positive I’ve baked a simple (booze free) yellow cake… haven’t I?! And I KNOW I’ve made plain chocolate buttercream. Riiiiiight!?

Apparently not. Well… there was the one I used for the S’more cupcakes, but my notes specifically commented that it was DRY. Boo. I was embarrassed to email her back and tell her no.

Thus, this was born. Thus?! I don’t think I used that right, but it sounded cool, so whatevs.

I’ve had this shoved in my recipe binder forever. I assume that I’ve used it before… but I have no idea when.

Overall these cupcakes are good. The cake is nice and moist and the frosting has the perfect amount of chocolate flavor.

However, I had two problems with this recipe… the first is that it only made 21 cupcakes. That’s a really irritating number for me. It’s not 1 ½ dozen or 2 dozen… it’s annoying. If I had filled the liners less full of batter they wouldn’t have risen enough, so I guess I’m just going to have to deal with it. The second problem I have w/ this recipe is… well, it’s kind of boring. I’m not a plain cake kinda girl anymore. The whole time I was making these all I wanted to do was add a bunch of junk to them. Like jellybeans in the batter. That wouldv’e been seriously awesome. Assuming the jellybeans didn’t melt…

If you’re ever in the mood for a (slightly boring) yellow cake with chocolate frosting this is a good choice.

Happy Baking!

-Holly

Click here for the recipe!

Dark Chocolate & Cayenne Cupcakes, with a smidge of Bailey’s!!

I have no idea why it took me so long to make these cupcakes! They’ve been on my “To Bake” list for months! Honestly… it’s probably because I never thought cayenne & chocolate would go together. But apparently it’s actually a real thing, and pretty common! My internet browsing brought up a ton of different recipes for that combination! There was even a few hot chocolate recipes!
 
So… I used the ingredient list from bitchin’ kitchin, but modified the way I put them together (a little bit). I had just enough batter to make 24 cupcakes, but it was cutting it real close. It has a great texture, and is really moist.
 
The buttercream is adapted from my standard recipe.
 
Overall I was really surprised by how well these came out. They might be my favorite. Seriously. I thought they would be too “spicy”, but they’re not. The cayenne is almost an aftertaste. It starts off with a really great chocolate flavor, and by the time you’re done with the cupcake, there’s just a hint of spicy from the cayenne. It’s pretty freaking awesome. Not that I’m bragging or anything.
 
You should go make these. Right. Now. Click here to see my recipe!
 
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!!

A Monkeybread Mishap & Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Cupcakes

I didn’t get a chance to bake last Sunday, as we spent Labor Day Weekend with some of my family in MD. Yay. I haven’t seen my Nana or my Aunt R in years, and it was so glorious to spend some much needed time with my fabulous family. Not to mention I got to see my mom (who I haven’t seen in over a year), and my Aunt J! Went to the Civil War Medicine Museum and learned a lot. AND I did some outlet shopping… HELLO 50% off Nike running jacket, and 40% off Yankee Candles! Ee gads, if I had my way I also would have bought half of the place that sold kitchen gadgets, several pairs of new shoes, and…
 
Shit, I went a bit off topic there, huh? Back to it…
 
On the way back to PA on Monday, Hubs jokingly reminded me that he needed goodies to take into work on Tuesday! I do love a challenge, and any excuse to make some junk food sounds good to me. I’ve been dying to try making a Monkey Bread (pull apart cinnamon/ sugar “bread”) recipe that I found on AllRecipes.com… so I went with that and some Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddy, Moose Knuckles… you know, Chex, chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar). The Puppy Chow went off with out a hitch, maybe ’cause I’ve made it a million times. The same could NOT be said for the Monkey Bread. The recipe was originally for an 8-9 inch bundt pan (another kitchen thing I don’t own) so while I was out I got a set of those really cheap aluminum ones, but they were only 5 inchs. NBD, right? I figured I’d just use both of them… Long story short, I followed the prep directions, made the sticky sauce and poured it over the top. As the “bread” expanded the sugary sauce dripped over the edge of the pan, and proceeded to burn on the bottom of my oven. And that’s just the beginning…
After (what I thought was) the right amount of time, and opening half the windows in the apartment I took the bundt pans out of the oven, and allowed them to cool for about 15 minutes. After that I flipped them out of the cheap bundt pan, and realized that they were still RAW on the inside! Eeeeeff meeeeee. Well, since the oven was off I figured I’d get some of that sauce off the bottom of my oven, apparently 15 minutes isn’t enough time for the coils (I’ve got an electric oven) to cool off and I managed to burn my hand 2x while I tried to scrub the oven… Then I preheated it (again), and dumped the Monkey Bread chunks onto a cookie sheet, and ended up baking them for another 20 minutes. I think.
Needless to say… There’s no recipe page (or pictures) for the Monkey Bread. Not yet. It needs some work, and a boozy icing.
 
Now that September is over, I decided to get back to the Cupcakery. So… I’ve seen these ridiculously yummy looking commercials for some restaurant that serves Jack Daniel’s Cake, maybe TGI Fridays, and have had JD on the brain for a while. I browsed some recipes online. It seemed like all the JD cakes online are loaf cakes, dense, or bready. Not what I was looking for. Eventually I stumbled on a few JD chocolate cupcake recipes. Why didn’t I think of that!? I mixed and matched pieces from other recipes. AKA the same chocolate cake I always use (thanks to Restless Chipotle), the ONLY chocolate ganache recipe I’ve ever used (S’more cupcakes, Irish CarBomb cupcakes… ), and the boozy chocolate buttercream from the PB cookie cups!
Nothing exciting or interesting happened while I was making the cake batter, except I realized I didn’t have enough vanilla or JD for either of the other components. Luckly, Hubs is AWESOME (yes, I’m totes bragging), and went out to get me more of both! Glad the liquor store’s open on Sunday here. 😉
The ganache was a different story… It was waaaaay too thin, and I have NO IDEA why. I literally have no idea what I did wrong. Seriously. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips that I had in the fridge to the ganache. Then I let it sit while I smoked a ciggy, walked the dog, washed the dishes, and made the buttercream. It thickened nicely after the addition of the chocolate chips and some time to “set”. The only place I went off recipe was melting the butter into the cream (while it simmered) instead of adding it at the same time as the JD… That’s the way I wrote it originally, but not the way my posted recipe says (which is how I actually made it)… hmph. I also had a lot left over, so I drizzled it over the top of the buttercream frosting.
As for the buttercream… I actually added the liquid ingredients and salt after about 3/4 of the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. It was getting to clumpy, and my poor hand mixer pretty much gave its last breath today. (Insert Moment Of Silence here in memory of my first kitchen gadget, the only mixer I’ve ever owned, and the one tool that’s been with me since my first cupcake) This recipe makes a lot of frosting… it’s possible that you might only need to make half of the recipe. But I love frosting, so I over frost my cupcake like an addict searching for a sugar high.
Don’t judge, just enjoy.
 
Happy Sunday Cupcakery,
-Hey Waitress!!
 
Click here for the RECIPE!!
 
(update 9/10/12) Umm… I’m not a huge fan of these. More specifically, If you don’t LOVE JD, you won’t like these. The cupcakes actually made my face hot. Like when you take a shot, you can feel it spread. You know what I mean? At any rate, this is def not a “subtle” flavor, and I don’t particularly like JD. I’m thinking less JD in the ganache will make it better… Just figured a warning would be right. 😉
-Hey Waitress!!