Category Archives: Cupcakes

Owl Cupcakes

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Here’s a fun fall cupcake decorating idea–Owl Cupcakes! There are several different ways you can make owl cupcakes, and you may have already seen other ideas for these on different sites. I thought this idea from Recipe Snobs was one of the cutest and easiest–all you need are cupcakes, Oreos, and M&M’s!

Make sure you generously frost your cupcakes, because the frosting is what holds your Oreo “eyes” and “ears” in place, as you press the cookie halves into the top of the cupcake. Hope you have fun making these!

OWL CUPCAKES adapted from Recipe Snobs

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 12 chocolate cupcakes generously frosted with chocolate frosting (make your favorite recipe or try these yummy Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting–that’s what I used!)
  • 24 Oreo cookies (regular or Double-Stuff Oreos–I’ve used both; since I really like the cream filling, I prefer the Double-Stuff)
  • 36 M&M candies (I like using blue, green, brown, or red for the eyes, and orange for the nose)

Split the Oreo cookies in half crosswise, so the cream is all on one half and the other half is plain (the directions on Recipe Snobs say you can microwave 5 cookies at a time for 3-5 seconds to help keep the cream side solid; I didn’t try this, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re having problems splitting the Oreos. Also, you can use a frosting spatula or knife to help split the cookies. And you may need to use a small knife to scrape off small crumbs from the cream filling side or to smooth down the filling after splitting the cookies).

For the eyes: Press two of the cream filling cookie halves, with sides almost touching, gently into the middle of a frosted cupcake (part of the cookie halves will extend beyond the cupcake). Press the M&M’s, with the M side down, into the cream filling on each cookie half (refer to my photos for where to place the M&M’s).

For the ears: Use the plain Oreo halves for the ears above the eyes (they kind of look like eyebrows, too!). Score the flat smooth cookie sides with a small sharp knife down the center so you get a clean break for your two ears. OR, if you want thinner ears like I made on these cupcakes, score the cookie half on each side not quite to the center; this will leave you with an extra center strip of cookie (which you can eat or discard–I ate mine! 🙂 ). Score and break all your plain cookie halves.

Take two of the “ears” that you’ve made from the plain cookie halves and press them into the frosting right above the “eyes,” slightly slanted downward and almost meeting at the upper center of the cupcake (the bumpy side of the cookie should be showing from the front).

For the “beak,” press an orange M&M (on its side) in the lower center, right below where the cookie “eyes” meet on the cupcake.

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There you have it! Enjoy eating these fun cupcakes!

What’s your favorite way of decorating cupcakes for fall?

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting

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Chocolate cupcakes are a great dessert any time of year, and I was wanting to make something chocolatey. After trying several recipes that I thought were so-so, I went to Martha Stewart’s site and decided to make her Chocolate Cupcakes and Ultimate Chocolate Frosting with a few little changes. I’m so glad I did!

I really like these cupcakes! The batter is thick, smooth, and creamy. And the cupcakes rise and bake up so nicely with rounded tops. Best of all, they have a great chocolatey taste! The frosting is rich, thick, and definitely fudgy–much, much better than using a can of frosting!

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH FUDGY FROSTING by NancyCreative, adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s brand)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or substitute sour cream)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl or mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and blend well. Then add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour (if using a mixer, set the mixer to low speed for this).

Spoon batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean (I baked my cupcakes for 23 minutes).

Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. After cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with the Fudgy Frosting.

FUDGY FROSTING 

Makes about 3 cups

  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half (light cream)–or you can substitute milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium-size bowl. Add butter, Half & Half (or milk), and vanilla. Stir ingredients until smooth.

Note: This is a very thick, fudgy frosting–if you want to frost your cupcakes with a decorator tip, thin frosting out a little by adding an extra 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Half & Half or milk.

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If you’re not big on lots of frosting, these cupcakes are great with a lighter amount, too–if you like to frost lightly, you could halve the frosting recipe.

Hope you enjoy the cupcakes! Do you have a favorite chocolate cupcake recipe?

Cupcakes for the 4th of July

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I’ve been seeing lots of fun patriotic-themed recipes the last few weeks, and here’s one I found at  Midwest Living that’s easy and festive…decorate white-frosted cupcakes with raspberries and blueberries for a yummy red-white-and-blue treat!

Are you making any special recipes for the 4th?

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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This is the time of year I start getting out my pumpkin recipes, like so many of you. But one thing I hadn’t tried making yet was pumpkin cupcakes. Since I’m a big cupcake fan, I thought it was about time to try this out! So I did some experimenting and was very happy with the results! The cupcakes puff up nicely with a rounded top and taste great with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

If you love pumpkin-flavored goodies, you’ll want to make these! This recipe gives you 22 yummy cupcakes. And you’ll have plenty of frosting if you like frosting your cupcakes generously like I do. If you just want to frost them lightly, you can halve the frosting recipe.

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING by NancyC

Makes 22 cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pure pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie filling)
  • Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans (22 cups–you’ll have 2 less in one pan) with paper liners; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, blend canola oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree and blend well. Add the flour mixture into this pumpkin mixture and stir until blended. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans for about 5 minutes, then remove to completely cool on a wire rack.

You can make the frosting while cupcakes are cooling…

CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Makes enough to generously frost all your cupcakes! Halve the recipe if you want to frost your cupcakes more lightly.

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (regular or light), softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 7 1/2 to 8 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Blend softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add in vanilla and cinnamon, blending everything well. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar a cup at a time, blending mixture after each addition. Frost cupcakes when they have completely cooled. If you’re not serving these soon after frosting them, refrigerate until ready to serve (because of the cream cheese in the frosting).

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Have you made any pumpkin recipes yet? What’s your favorite pumpkin treat?

Linked to Meal Plan Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday.

Walnut Brownie Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting from Hello Cupcake!

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When I was asked if I’d like to review Hello Cupcake! by the publisher, I just couldn’t say no because I love cupcakes and cupcake cookbooks! Written by cookbook author and food stylist Leila Lindholm, the book is filled to the brim with sweetness and cuteness! The recipes are so yummy-sounding and the photos so delightful that I couldn’t wait to start baking! Some of the many cupcake recipes include Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes, Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes, Sticky Pecan Upside-Down Cupcakes, and Rocky Road Cupcakes. Not only that, there are also some great whoopie pie recipes sprinkled throughout the book, too…like Ginger Raspberry, Chocolate Mint, and Banoffee whoopie pies. I decided to combine two of Leila’s recipes…I made the Walnut Brownie Cupcakes, but instead of topping them with whipped cream and fresh raspberries (which would definitely be amazing), I decided to try her Nutella Frosting that she had as part of her Easter Cupcakes recipe.

The Walnut Brownie Cupcakes are rich and chocolatey, with chunks of dark chocolate, and the Nutella Frosting is pretty amazing too! The ingredient amounts in the recipe are written in ounces and grams, so I did have to make some conversions into cups and I’ve included my conversions below. The recipe also says it makes 12 cupcakes, but I ended up with 15, which was definitely a good thing, because these are so yummy! 🙂 I also filled my baking cups a little more than the recipe instructed, so my baking time was a little longer, and I’ve noted that below also.

Here’s the recipe…enjoy!

WALNUT BROWNIE CUPCAKES with NUTELLA FROSTING from Hello Cupcake!

Makes 12- 15 cupcakes 

  • 200 g (7 oz) walnuts, or 1 3/4 cup
  • 175 g (6 oz) butter, or 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 150 g (5 oz) granulated sugar, or 3/4 cups
  • 150 g (5 oz) light muscovado or brown sugar, or 3/4 cups, packed
  • 150 g (5 oz) good-quality cocoa powder, or 3/4 cups  (I used Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa powder)
  • 50 ml (1 3/4 fl oz) golden syrup (substitute honey or light corn syrup) or 3 1/2 Tablespoons
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g (5 oz) all-purpose flour, or 1 1/4 cups
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 200 g (3 1/2 oz) good-quality 70% dark chocolate (I used a 4 oz Ghirardelli bar of 60% dark chocolate)

Preheat oven to 175˚C or 345˚F.

Toast the whole walnuts in a hot and dry frying pan (I skipped this step).

Whip the butter, sugar, and brown (or muscovado) sugar until creamy. Add the cocoa, syrup, and salt. Whisk in one egg at a time.

Mix the flour with the baking powder and sift it into the other ingredients. Coarsely chop the chocolate and add it and the whole walnuts to the batter.

Line muffin tin(s) with paper cup liners  and fill the cups 2/3 full with the mixture (I filled mine closer to 3/4 full, and I still ended up with 15 cupcakes instead of 12; if you fill them 2/3 full, you may get 16 or 17).

Bake them in the middle of the oven for about 15-20 minutes (if you fill your cups 3/4 full like I did, your baking time will be 25-28 minutes). Test cupcakes with a toothpick; they should be a little sticky in the middle. Remove from oven and cool completely.

You can either garnish these cupcakes with whipped cream and fresh raspberries or top them with Nutella Frosting (see recipe below)

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NUTELLA FROSTING

  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) Nutella, or 1/3 cup
  • 400 g (14 oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar, or 3 1/2 cups
  • 4 Tablespoons good-quality cocoa (I used Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa powder)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150 g (5 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon coffee

Mix the Nutella, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cream cheese until creamy (I think it works best to blend the Nutella and softened cream cheese first, then add the other ingredients). Add the coffee and whip until fluffy (this is a thick frosting; if you’d like it thinner you can add a little more coffee). I went a little lighter on the frosting and had a good amount left over, so feel free to frost these heavier–you should have plenty to do that!

I love chocolate cupcakes, and these brownie cupcakes are a new favorite of mine! What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?

Linked to Sweets for a Saturday.