Sunday, April 28, 2013

Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut Dream Cupcakes

The first time I baked Coconut Cupcakes for my husband, I used the recipe from this adorable book,
10 Cakes Husband's Like Best (circa 1955)

Absolutely precious, although the cupcakes turned out to be very dry. I believe the missing ingredient is coconut milk (and copious amounts of butter!!!)
This time, I put aside the 1950's housewife dream and turned to the always safe, always moist, always perfect Ms. Stewart for guidance.

Coconut Cupcakes ala Martha
Yield 21 (mine only yielded 14)
350* for 20-22 minutes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

This is Basic Cupcake How-to, according to Martha: Beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs/egg whites 1 at a time and beat. Sift dry ingredients, adding sweetened coconut to dry ingredients. Add coconut milk and vanilla to wet ingredients alternating with the dry ingredients until blended smoothly. Bake on 350 for 20 - 22 minutes (insert toothpick to test doneness.) Cool on wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, mound frosting on top. Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut. Serve immediately.

Seven-Minute Frosting
1 1/3 cups large-flake unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.

I messed the Seven-Minute Frosting up, gentle and kind readers. I got cocky and read the ingredients, then proceeded to beat them all together without cooking anything on the stove. 30 minutes of beating later, the frosting finally stiffened into small peaks. It tasted quite lovely, but was not at all close to the masterpiece of Martha's!!!

This is Martha's Seven-Minute Frosting:

This is my odd little creation!

Still lovely, but missing the gloriously-tall peaks of Martha's that are like a work of art. Never fear!!! I will try this frosting again and persevere until I have nailed it!!!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Paula Deen, quintessential Southern cook and baker extraordinaire, is the Cupcake Queen behind these pinkly scrumptious Pink Lemonade Cupcakes. So sweet, so light, so perfect for a summer porch party or afternoon tea!
My only twinge of misgiving about this delightfully girly recipe is that Paula Dean used a CAKE MIX as the basis for these cupcakes. Yes, gentle readers, a CAKE MIX!!!!! I had to swallow my indignant pride in baking-cupcakes-from-scratch, but the results were so precious I have since moved on :-)

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
Yield 24
Bake 350 for 20 minutes

1 box white cake mix (Duncan Hines) and items needed for cake mix
(1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup water, 1 egg)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (grated lemon peel, but I actually just used pure lemon extract)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sweetened pink lemonade drink powder
Mix cake batter according to directions. Add in lemon zest, vanilla and lemonade powder.
Pour batter into cupcake liners. Bake according to directions on cake box. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

I never follow frosting directions, I find it far more convenient to just dump ingredients together, adding just a bit of each at a time, and make it up as I go along!
1 pound confectioners sugar (I found I needed far less, maybe 1/2 pound at most)
3-5 tablespoons frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed (I used 4)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
Beat butter on medium high for 2-3 minutes or until pale and creamy. Reduce speed to medium and add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition increasing speed to high after all sugar is added. Add in vanilla and lemonade concentrate and beat until buttercream is smooth.

I decorated my cupcakes with Sugar Pearl Sprinkles, which I found to be just about the most precious little items ever!!!!!

Ready for delivery to a birthday girl!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Very Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes

I found these yummy (HEALTHY??!!) cupcakes on the blog Whipped. The author claims these babies will, and I quote, "knock your socks off and make you totally forget about your old bff’s butter and buttermilk…"

and dear readers, she is correct!!!!!!!!!

Very Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes

Yields 14 standard sized cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes! eeeek! 48?!?!

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
For the Vanilla Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening (I just adore shortening!!!!!!! - so old-school :-)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tablespoons unsweetened plain soy milk
*For the Strawberry Frosting variation add 2 tablespoons strawberry puree (drained thoroughly) and omit vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners or 2 (24-cup) mini cupcake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together soy milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake standard sized cupcakes for 15 to 18 minutes (or mini cupcakes for 8-10 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
For the Vanilla Frosting
  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the vegetable shortening until smooth.
  2. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon soy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
  3. Beat on high for another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
*For Strawberry Frosting Variation
Omit vanilla extract. Add 2 tablespoons strawberry puree to vanilla frosting mixture after Step 2 from above (right after you have beat in powdered sugar and soy milk) and continue to beat on high until light and fluffy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

German Chocolate Cupcakes

(Also called "Lucky's Special Favorite Best")

My husband just adores the coconut-y (yes, that's a word!) goodness of German Chocolate Cupcakes and I like to give him everything his heart desires.
I have no earthly idea where this recipe came from, I only know these were the cupcakes I baked for Lucky's birthday the first year we met so they are extra special ;-) Let us assume they came from the Kitchen Goddess herself, my dear friend Martha Stewart. Whenever in doubt, always assume Martha.

German Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield 24
Bake 20 minutes at 350* (rotate 1/2 way through!)

1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 cage-free eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
5 oz semisweet chocolate, melted (I used Nestlé's chocolate chips)

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt in small bowl.
Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beat until blended.
Add vanilla.
Add dry ingredients in 3 portions, alternating with buttermilk.
(At this point I tasted a spoonful of the batter and it was already yummy!!!)
Add melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
The batter should be thick and creamy.

Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.


3 cage-free egg yolks
1can (12oz) evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups coconut (I like sweetened coconut)

Stir on stove on medium high heat until thick the egg yolks, milk, brown sugar, and butter. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, salt, and coconut. I let it sit about 15 minutes to thicken further. Frost and tah dah!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

my dream kitchen

my dream kitchen

oh, please pretty please?!?!
I think I'm in love!!!!

Cupcake Liners So Adorable You will Want to Marry Them!!!

I am giddy this afternoon with Spring love and and warm breezes and birds singing and all things CUPCAKE!!!!! I spent hours looking at the sweetest, most darling, cute-as-a-button cupcake accessories...and these doll-babies are just begging to be shared!
It is my greatest joy to present:
Cupcake Liners So Adorable You will Want to Marry Them!!!
I am starting with my 2 most favoritest, although it is so very hard to choose a favorite!!!

And, of course, the perfectly re-usable silicon liners come in pink hearts, among other things :-) Ohhhhh, happiest Spring!!!!