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!

Bourbon Ball Stuffed Cupcakes

Yes, you read that right.
 
This weeks Sunday Cupcakery was inspired by my cousin. I’ve been suffering from a lack of imagination… and he suggested these. I was a little wary after I made the Jack Daniels cupcakes. But, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge.
 
Firstly I had to find a recipe for bourbon balls, which wasn’t really a problem. Apparently they’re a pretty common “treat” for the holidays? The problem I ran into was finding a bourbon. Seriously… Bourbon/ Whisk(e)y, Scotch, TN Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey, Rye… It was all sort of confusing. I spent a whole afternoon doing “research” online, and asked a few friends.
Eventually I picked the WT, went to the liquor store and then let my husband convince me to try the American Honey. It seems sweeter then the regular WT (Duh, from the honey), and pretty smooth. AND to be totally honest… I didn’t want to use regular Wild Turkey, as it has some interesting college memories attached to it (Thanks KS). I used to gag when I had to serve it to customers. Not this time!
 
Ooops… before I get to distracted I’ll get to the point…
 
The bourbon balls are from The Joy of Baking. I used Walnut instead of Pecans, and American Honey instead of plain bourbon. I also made my balls bigger (I guess), because the recipe said you should get 36! This is one of those recipes when you REALLY want a food processor. My walnuts and Nila wafer definitely weren’t chopped as fine as they could have been, and I’m guessing that’s part of the reason I had trouble getting my bourbon balls to stick together. It wasn’t a big deal, I ended up damping my hands, and rolling the balls between my palms. This is the point where you would cover them in melted chocolate, powdered sugar, or more chopped nuts… but because I was going to stuff them into cupcakes, I left them plain. Store them in the fridge over night … the bourbon flavor will really come out…
 
The cupcake batter is based on of this yellow cake from All Recipes. It’s yummy! I just subbed out half of the milk for Wild Turkey American Honey. You can taste just a hint of it in the cake. For once, I got exactly 24 cupcakes! Tah-Dah!
 
The frosting… is interesting. It’s definitely too sweet, and it’s not fluffy like a buttercream, or liquidey (I know that’s not a word) like a glaze… It needs work. Other than that I really like these cupcakes. The flavors aren’t overwhelming and the cake is fluffy. What more could a girl ask for?
 
One last thing before I go. A few weeks ago, my precious hand mixer, finally decided to go to Small Kitchen Appliance Heaven. Or at least she made her wishes known. Sadly, I’m cheap, and I continued to use and abuse her until last weekend. We had gone up to my mom’s house in MA to pick up a few things (namely a Valet Chair that used to belong to my grandfather), and she surprised me with an early Christmas present! Guess what it was… GUESS!! It was a super duper awesome fantastic KitchenAid stand mixer! WOOT! It’s going to take some getting used to, the speeds and such… but I’m very excited to continue using Paula (yes, I named my stand mixer) as much as possible!
 
Now, I’m going to eat another cupcake, or find something to blend/ mix/ stir!
 
Happy Sunday Cupcakery!
-Hey Waitress!!
 
CUPCAKE recipe here! Bourbon Ball recipe here!!

S’mores Cupcakes

One of my favorite things about Summertime is S’mores. I mean, what’s not to love about gooey marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers?! It doesn’t hurt that usually I’m making them over a fire while imbibing on some sort of booze and surrounded by family (or friends). unfortunately, we’re not allowed a grill here, and I don’t think the apartment complex owners would appreciate me building a fire on the lawn. So… here’s my new take on an old favorite.

I used a standard/ common recipe for the graham cracker “crust”, but substituted cinnamon instead of regular graham crackers. I like the sweetness from the cinnamon flavored grahams compared to the regular ones. To each her own, I guess. I also made mine last night, and left it in the fridge overnight… mostly because I didn’t want to make it this morning. I think making it the night before and leaving it in the fridge helps prevent the graham crackers  from burning. Maybe? The downside to that was the melted butter hardened, and it was a bitch to break it all apart again.
 
The cake was also a standard yellow cake recipe (i got this one from Betty Crocker’s Big Book of Cupcakes), I just added the chocolate chips and marshmallows! It’s a very thick and fluffy batter that is originally supposed to make 24 cupcakes. With the addition of the CC & MM i ended up with 30.  You can probably fill the cupcake tins 3/4 full, as they didn’t rise really well.
Oh! some of my cupcakes got stuck to the tin (melted gooey marshmallows), so I used a plastic knife around the edge to push them apart.
 
I’m not sure if this chocolate ganache is really ganache… there are like a million different chocolate ganache recipes online. I forgot to bookmark the website that I got this one from. Sorry!! Make sure you let it cool all the way before you start putting the Fluff Frosting on, or else you’re going to get streaks and spots on the tops.
 
I used Rachael Ray’s Fluff Frosting recipe. I had a few problems… nothing serious, though. First was the massive amount of butter!! 4 STICKS, aka ONE POUND, aka 2 CUPS! Yikes. This was the only recipe I found that didn’t use egg whites ( I despise separating eggs), so I went with it, despite the massive amounts of buttah (that was my hometown accented butter). The next problem was how much trouble I had stirring the Fluff in. I swear I almost pulled a muscle. Maybe I should have used the hand mixer? Thirdly, I used a little under 3/4 of the frosting, and I over-frost my cupcakes like it’s nobody’s business. The frosting was a little hard to get on the cupcakes… I ended up dropping a heaping tablespoon on top, and then flattening it out toward the edges. It got a nice “melted” gooey marshmallow look, which I liked.
 
And If you want to make them a bit easier: Use a box yellow cake mix. Instead of the ganache I imagine you could use that chocolate shell topping (for ice cream), but I’m not sure if it would actually work…  Or, you could use chocolate cake mix and skip the ganache.
 
Happy Sunday Cupcakery!
-Hey Waitress!!
 RECIPE!
*UPDATE 5/1/12*
Ummm… as much as I hate to say it… these cupcakes were SUPER dry. I won’t use that yellow cake recipe again! And I totally didn’t realize that all the mini marshmallows would melt! Sooooo sad. I’ve got plans for another S’mores cupcake, though, so don’t you worry!