Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cupcakes are the devil. (A to Z)

Like I said. Cupcakes are the freaking devil. Almost as bad as petit fours and that was an astounding disaster. Cue my kitchen in shambles post the petite fours from hell debacle ---->

Total petit fours made....6.  Hours baking/cleaning....oh about 12. 

I can cook. I can bake things like cookies and torts. Hell, I can even make fancy things like Panna Cotta. But put me in a room with anything that has to rise and it's gonna be a bitch. Shameful for a girl whose mother is a baker and can make anything. Ah well. So I've set out to concur the cupcake. They're cute. They're little. 
They're yummy. They're slightly evil and my new nemesis. I set 
out to concur cupcakes and they quickly made me their bitch. 

All of the recipes are after the jump if you'd like to give any of them a try :) 

Sweet Corn Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting
I may suck at baking but Lord knows I'm daring! These were just so freaking bad I don't even know where to start. It's been 2 weeks since I made these and I still just had a full body shudder. Gleck! They looked like a cupcake. They smelled like a cupcake. They tasted like cornbread on a sugar high. And the icing did me in. It was just butter and powdered sugar. Those things all together did not make this girl happy. It was one of those times where if I'd been in public there would have been a panicked look on my face and I'd be thinking "now, how the hell do I get this out of my mouth without causing a whole lotta embarrassment?!" Definitely in the top 10 worst things I've ever had in my mouth. ::shudder::  Maybe even the top 5. 

cupcakes:1, Anna: 0

Mocha Cupcakes with Whipped Cream
Yes, well, oy.There is a difference between baking powder and baking soda. Lesson absofreakinglearned. Gerk. Attempt one...my cupcakes are less than an inch tall. Well, that sucks. Kinda have the muffin top thing going on. They smelled nice and tasted pretty good but more like a fudge/muffin hybrid. That's attempt 2 and attempt 1 down there. 

So. As I'm getting my ass kicked once again by a cupcake and am waiting for attempt 2 to come out of the oven on pops this guy on the radio. No clue what they're selling but the pitch started out like this...."If you want to learn to bake you start with something small and simple! The cupcake! They're easy! Everybody can make them!...." He went on about yoga something but by them I'm glaring daggers at my radio, damn near having a kitten and swearing an oath that if this batch doesn't come out I'm gonna hunt this little man down and pinch the everliving tar outta him. Was the boy's lucky day because the mocha chocolate cupcakes [take 2] actually turned out! And they were pretty good. They don't taste at all like mocha and they're not that sweet but they look, smell, feel and taste like a cupcake. Score one for Anna!!

Cupcakes: 2, Anna: 1

Lasagna Cupcakes
Okay. These were excellent! They're actually called lasagna cupcakes so I'm counting them :) But I know. I didn't really bake. Aaaaannnd, that's why I had no problem making these. They're really kinda cute. You make the lasagna with wanton wrappers instead of noodles and ya know, you really can't tell the difference. I decided to leave the meat out of mine and I'm glad I did. I don't know how they would have fit in the muffin tin if I had added it in. As they were they hit the very top of the pan. I'll definitely be making these again. If you'd like leftovers make at least double the recipe. Yum!

Cupcakes: 2,  Anna:2   

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
These were pretty damn good but for the love of kittens I'm exhausted! There are quite a few steps with these. Make the cupcakes. Cool the cupcakes. Make the ganache. Cool the ganache. Cut holes in the cupcakes. Fill them in with the ganache. Make some icing and top them off. Whoa. And...worth it. And look how cute!! 

They need a little extra shopping. The cupcake itself has a cup of Guinness in it. And the icing a good bit of Bailey's Irish Cream. The cupcake is very moist and the icing not bad. I like the Bailey's flavor. It's a little sweet from so much powdered sugar but still it's not too bad. 

Cupcakes: 2, Anna: 3

decapitating 3 of the cupcakes when taking them out 
of the oven and hitting the top rack....

Cupcakes: 2.3 , Anna:3

getting all the way to the icing and not being able to find the pastry bags....

Cupcakes: 2.4, Anna:3

heading to the store at 11:28pm, not finding any and having to go 
to store 2....

Cupcakes 2.5...2.6...2.7, Anna:3

Pretty damn close. These blasted little things really did me in. And I stand by my original cupcakes are evil stance. Someone else is gonna have to make them for me from now on :)

Sweet Corn Cupcakes with Browned Sugar Frosting

1  1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1  1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
browned butter frosting (see recipe below)

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners
  • Brown the butter for the frosting in a saucepan chill in refrigerator
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set it aside. 
  • Puree the sour cream and fresh corn until smoothish. 
  • Cream the butter and sugar together with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, mix until just incorporated. 
  • Add in the vanilla and the corn mixture. 
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches. Mix only until incorporated (don’t over-mix).
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4th full
  • Bake for about 20-22 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Browned butter frosting
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces browned butter cooled and softened to room temperature (1 stick of butter originally)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1  1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • Using a mixer cream the two butters and the honey until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla and salt, mixing until incorporated. 
  • On low, add the powdered sugar in small batches, until just incorporated. 
  • Turn to high speed and whip until  light and fluffy, ~ 3 minutes.

Mocha Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Cream topping
2Tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
5Tbsp butter
3/8th cup sugar - heaping
1Tbsp honey
1 cup water
1 5/8th cups flour
2Tbsp unsweetened ccoa
1tsp baking soda
3Tbsp milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 cup whipping cream
powdered sugar/vanilla to taste
unsweetened cocoa for dusting

  • Heat oven to 350. Makes 20 cupcakes
  • Line muffin tins with 20 paper cupcake liners
  • Gently heat coffee powder, butter, sugar, honey and water. Stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl and let cool
  • After coffee mixture has cooled sift in flour and cocoa
  • Dissolve baking soda in milk then add into batter, add in slightly beaten egg and mix until smooth
  • Spoon batter into paper liners
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
  • COOL COMPLETELY before adding topping
  • For the topping. Whisk whipping cream until it holds shape. You can keep it plain or add in powdered sugar and vanilla for flavoring
  • Spoon a dollop of topping onto each cupcake and dust lightly with sifted cocoa powder
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve

Lasagna Cupcakes:

1 cup marinara sauce
3/4 pound ground beef
12 wonton wrappers
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
3 ounces Parmesan cheese
4 ounces Ricotta cheese
(optional) basil for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  • Brown beef and season with salt and pepper. Drain.
  • Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes using a biscuit cutter or using the top of a drinking glass. You can cut several at a time.
  • Reserve 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoon mozzarella for the top of you cupcakes. Start layering your lasagna cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, Ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Top with a little meat and marinara sauce. Use around 1-2 teaspoons of all the ingredients depending on your personal preference.
  • Repeat layers ending with marinara sauce. Top with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each lasagna out.
  • Garnish with basil and serve

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

  • Preheat over to 350. Makes 24 cupcakes
  • Bring stout, butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth
  • Cool slightly
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.
  • In separate bowl beat eggs and sour cream. 
  • Add beer mixture to sour cream mixture and beat just until combined
  • Add flour mixture and mix briefly on low speed
  • Then fold batter until completely combined using a spatula
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 full
  • Bake 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 22 minutes
  • Cool completely on wire rack

Ganache Filling 

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)- I left this out since I don't drink it

  • Chop chocolate and place in heat proof bowl
  • Heat cream until it simmers and pour over chopped chocolate. Let stand 1 minute before whisking until smooth
  • Add butter, whiskey if using it and mix
  • Let cool until thickened but can still be piped into cupcakes.
  • You'll remove center of the cupcake using a 1" cookie cutter. I actually used  frosting tip that was a little smaller than 1". This worked better for me. Then use a small knife to pop the cut cupcake bit out. Cut about 2/3rd of the way through cupcake. Fill with ganache using a tip and piping bag. I used a ziplock with a corner cut out and that worked great.

Baileys Frosting 
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Bailey's (I ended up using about 5 tablespoons I think- It's a strong icing but I like it)

  • Whip butter (that is room temp) until light and fluffy. I used med/high speed. Takes a couple minutes
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar. I added this about 1/4 cup at a time. You'll need to drizzle in the Bailey's alternating the liquid and powdered sugar. Otherwise it's too dry and the butter/powder sugar clump. I switched between med and high speeds until fluffy. 
  • Top each cupcake using a pretty decorating tip


  1. Are you so mad at the Sweet Corn Cupcakes with Browned Sugar Frosting that you purposely left out the recipe? I know, you're getting back at them. LOL.

    1. Bwaha. I think it's one of those "it's so bad I don't want to put it back out there in the universe" kinda deals ;) Had to go build up my strength with a lasagna cupcake. Getting the evil cupcake recipe up now :)

  2. Everyone says that corn bread with sugar in it is more like a cake than it is bread so any recipe enhanced with a bit more sugar would work. I admire your perseverance when you could have thrown in the towel and used a cake mix.

    1. Thanks Yvonne. I try to make everything from scratch here. I give in from time to time but I love cooking and baking too even though it makes my eye twitch from time to time.

      The corn cupcakes weren't all that terrible until the frosting got added into the mix. That's what did them in for me.

  3. I tell you it's a conspiracy. I've seen posts about chocolate, cheese, and cupcakes so far today. Heck, I even posted about cakes on one of my own blogs--and here I am trying to cut back on wheat and calories. Sigh.

    Ellie's Blank Book
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  4. I decided a few years ago after several attempts to make homemade cakes that a boxed mix was the way to go. It's a lot cheaper and between the 3 major brands, you can find something decent in any flavor you want. On sale for $1.25 or less they're a lot cheaper too.

    1. That would definitely save a lot of hassle! I love the process though even if it turns out a disaster or ends up costing a little more. From time to time I do grab a boxed mix but I still like homemade :)

  5. It looks like you're well on your way to conquering the cupcake. All of these look delish!


    1. They were pretty good for the most part :) I'm thinking I need a little break from the cupcake though. Next month maybe I'll do a few more :)

  6. Oh cupcakes! Yumm. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  7. AnonymousMay 07, 2012

    Just found you too late from the reflections posts. Doing catchup on so many! These look wonderful. I've baked through most of my cake book and will have a go at these. guiness and bailey's cupcakes, wow! Thank you.

    1. They were pretty darn good. Hope you enjoy them :) I sure did!

  8. LOL, cupcakes are instruments of the devil. It is true. My kitchen is always a complete disaster when I make them and it takes the good part of a day. Now I see why the shoppes nearby charge so freaking much $ for their little masterpieces.

    1. I always see them out at shops and think wow I can make those and save a lot of money. Yeaaaaah. The only worst disaster in the kitchen was those darn petit fours. That was so incredibly bad. I don't see how something so tiny can cause so much destruction.

      And now I want a cupcake. Damn. :)

  9. Gonna have to try one these recipes Anna :0 I'm not much of a cooker and/or baker, but I'm getting there. Damn you tears a kitchen up..lol!


    1. Snort. I know, right? I'm hell on a kitchen :) Every. Time. It's really quite impressive ;) LOL.


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