Lime Cupcakes and International Freezer Meal Plan

Lime Cupcakes_6 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  Here is a list of books I’ve read so far this summer.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger: Ever wonder why certain youtube videos go viral?  Or why some companies make the choices they do?  This book explains a lot and explains how things that are contagious belong to one or more categories:  social currency, triggers, emotion, practicality, public and stories.  I would recommend reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point first.
Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs: I’ve loved reading AJ Jacobs since his first book about reading the entire encyclopedia.  Nothing new for me in this book, but some great stories.  I would recommend it for anyone who does not enjoy non-fiction exercise or nutrition books, but wants to learn more.

The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs:  This is his most popular and best rated book on Amazon.  I can see why – he goes through a year trying to live his life exactly by the bible.  That includes all those rules from the Old Testament that we just glance over and never really quote.  I mean who puts “Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. If you touch her during that time, you will be defiled until evening” from Leviticus on their Facebook page or frame it in their hallway?

Superfreakonomics by Steven Levitt: Fun read for the inner economist in all of us.

The Bigs by Ben Carpenter:  Every person under the age of 25 should read this book!  It should be mandatory for every senior in high school – a wealth of knowledge of getting through the working world, the differences between the school world and the working world – and some great stories to boot.

Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo:  Great for anyone in public speaking or will ever need to make a presentation.

The Apple Experience by Carmine Gallo:  He refers to the Apple company so much that I just had to read this one next.  It outlines how Apple turned their corporation around and got a huge customer following/base.

Before Happiness by Shawn Achor:  This book was written after The Happiness Advantage but should really be read first.  He takes what he learned from outside the classroom and uses that to finding the keys to success, finding happiness and making lasting positive change.

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor:  7 ways to fuel performance and success at work or school.  I think Before Happiness was better, but this has its merits.

…Well, that’s all I can remember so far!  🙂

 wildtree-everyday-freezer-meal-workshop_11-on-whisk-together

*****************International Freezer Meal Plan***************

I have been requested you contact myself, or another Wildtree representative, for information on purchasing the bundles with their recipes, meals, shopping list and labels.  Thank you!

Lime Cupcakes_19 at Whisk Together

Recipe:  As you know I’m a sucker for citrus.  We made lime sherbet this summer and for white bear’s 8th birthday, the kids and I made lime cupcakes.  White bear is 8 years old because my 7 year old son figures that is about how old he must be since I received him at a baby shower before he was born.  Per his calculations, and the desire for a new lego set, he created a birthday for his stuffed animal on August 1st.  So, every year we celebrate his stuffed animal’s birthday with a toy and some cake.  Granted, my son’s real birthday is Christmas Eve and kinda gets mixed in with the Christmas week, we can’t really have a party that week because everyone is busy, etc. etc.  So, hey, why not?

Feel free to make these into lemon-lime or lemon cupcakes just by mixing up the zest.  They are whatever you want them to be – but in the end they will be delicious!  The texture reminds me more of a muffin than a cupcake perhaps.  I still really liked them and ate too many.  They whip up in a jiffy and have a great flavor for any time of year.  Something light.

Lime Cupcakes_4 at Whisk Together

Lime Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar (5.25 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (6.25 ounces) cake flour or AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • For the Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 teaspoons water
  • grated lime

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line muffin pan with liners.
  3. In a great big bowl: mix oil, sugar, salt and lime zest. On medium high, mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Add lime juice. Add eggs. Mix another 2 minutes on medium high.
  5. In a not so big bowl: mix flour and baking powder.
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in 3 increments. Always start and finish with flour and mix on low. So, add 1/3 the flour, then half the milk. Add another 1/3 the flour and the rest of the milk. Add the rest of the flour.
  7. Divide batter among the muffin pan. I like to use a large cookie scoop. Bake 16-20 minutes.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes on rack. Remove from pan and cool completely.
  9. For Glaze:
  10. Mix it all up!! Add a little water if it is too thick. Using a spoon, gently pour the glaze onto the cupcake. Or, dip the cupcake into the glaze. Sprinkle with lime zest for garnish to make it pretty!
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/09/08/lime-cupcakes-and-international-freezer-meal-plan/

Lime Cupcakes
yield 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar (5.25 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 eggs, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups (6.25 ounces) cake flour or AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk, room temperature

Glaze:
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 and 1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 teaspoons water
grated lime

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Line muffin pan with liners.
3.  In a great big bowl:  mix oil, sugar, salt and lime zest.  On medium high, mix for 2 minutes.
4.  Add lime juice.  Add eggs.  Mix another 2 minutes on medium high.
5.  In a not so big bowl:  mix flour and baking powder.
6.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in 3 increments.  Always start and finish with flour and mix on low.  So, add 1/3 the flour, then half the milk.  Add another 1/3 the flour and the rest of the milk.  Add the rest of the flour.
7.  Divide batter among the muffin pan.  I like to use a large cookie scoop.  Bake 16-20 minutes.
8.  Cool for 10 minutes on rack.  Remove from pan and cool completely.

For Glaze:
1.  Mix it all up!!  Add a little water if it is too thick.  Using a spoon, gently pour the glaze onto the cupcake.  Or, dip the cupcake into the glaze.  Sprinkle with lime zest for garnish to make it pretty!

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

King Cake Cupcakes – Great base recipe

King Cake Cupcakes_1CR

We made these King Cake Cupcakes for Mardi Gras, but they would be great as a regular addition to a cupcake collection.  The icing was great and easy to work with.  The cake part had a great flavor and though on the dense side of cake, was still light and had a fine crumb.

I was able to cut the recipe in half to make just 6 cupcakes for our small family and this worked successfully.

Cupcakes
yield 12 cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1 and 2/3 cup flour
1 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T butter, soft
2/3 cup milk, room temp.
1/4 tsp. Fiori di Sicilia, or 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/8 tsp. lemon extract
2 large eggs

Icing
3 Tb. butter, room temp.
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. lemon extract
2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tb. milk
sprinkles or added color

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.
3.  In large bowl, mix dry stuff:  sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
4.  On low speed (so it doesn’t fly everywhere), add the butter and mix until it is crumbly and sandy.
5.  Add milk and flavoring.  Mix on low 30 seconds.  Mix on medium 30 seconds.
6.  Scrape the bowl and add an egg.  Beat on medium 30 seconds.  Add the second egg.  Beat 30 seconds.
7.  Scrape the sides and beat until smooth.
8.  Scoop into your cupcake pan.  I used my large scooper.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes and remove from the pan.  Cool on a wire rack.
9.  Icing:  In a large bowl beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and lemon extract.
10.  Add the sugar little by little.  Mix until combined.
11.  Add the milk a little at a time.  You can always add more milk!  It is hard to add more sugar.  Spread and eat!

King Cake Cupcakes_2cr

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes

My friend, Bethany, really likes red velvet cheesecake.  I have made one before, but this was for the baby shower and I was doing a mini theme.  This time I made a totally baked version based on Dorothy’s (not my cousin Dorothy) Crazy for Crust blog.  She has some really cool stuff on her website  – you should check it out.

In the meantime, I may warn you that the top of the cupcake will look funny.  I was scared at first, but after covering it up with the frosting, you can’t see the different cake and cheesecake parts showing through.  All you see from the side is the pretty layers!

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes
yield 15 (double for a larger crowd)

Cake:
1 and 1/4 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 Tb. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 Tb. vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 oz. red food coloring (or 1/4 tsp. red gel food paste, I find this method harder though)

Cheesecake:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, room temperature

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, soft
1/4 cup butter, soft
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
2.  With electric mixer on medium, or by hand, mix together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vinegar until well incorporated.  Then, mix in vanilla and red food color.
3.  With mixer on low, or simply add by hand the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture and mix until just combined.
4.  Dollop 2 Tb. of the red velvet cake mixture into 15 cupcake liners.  A medium cookie scoop works well here.
5.  In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the sugar and vanilla on low until incorporated.  Again, on low speed at the egg until mixed thoroughly.  Slow is key with cheesecake.
6.  Dollop 1 Tb. of the cheesecake mixture on top of the cake mixture.  A small cookie scoop works well here.
7.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Mine were more towards 18 minutes.  Some may sink while they cool.
8.  Cool on a wire rack and remove from the tins about 10 minutes after taking them out of the oven.
9.  To make the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed.  On low, slowly add the powdered sugar.  Then, add the vanilla and whip on medium high for a minute.
10.  Frost cooled cupcakes

**For these cupcakes, I used pink food gel to tint the frosting.  I used a Wilton 1M tip and bag to pipe onto the top of the cupcake.  For the letter “B”, I melted some leftover white chocolate coating and put it in my Wilton candy bottle and drew lots and lots of B’s onto my silicone cookie mat.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling (Like Hostess)

Our church had a community worship service and a dinner before.  BJ asked for some desserts and here is one of three I made.  It is my husband’s favorite chocolate cake recipe, a dark chocolate buttercream and cream filling.  This cream filling is awesome and I can’t wait to do more applications with it.  Not only could you stuff cupcakes like a Hostess cupcake, but you could simply inject the cream filling into any 13×9, or round cake, or make some homemade Twinkies!  I’ll have to work on a recipe for the Twinkies’ spongecake and add that to my list.

I have listed the cake and frosting recipes in a previous post, but I hate post hopping so I’ll put it down at the bottom.  Here is the Cream Filling for the Cupcakes.  As stated in the past, I try many recipes before finding one good enough to post.  After several so-so cupcake recipes, this one really takes the… “cake”.  Okay, sorry I had to say it.

Cream Filling
filling for at least 26 cupcakes (I had some leftover after filling them)

1 and 1/2 tsp. hot water
1/4 tsp. salt (not coarse/kosher)
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco is now trans fat free)
1- 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  In a small bowl, combine the hot water and salt.  Dissolve and allow to cool.
2.  In a medium bowl, combine the shortening, creme, sugar and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer on low (so sugar doesn’t fly) and increase speed to medium-high until fluffy.
3.  Add water/salt mixture.  Beat more until light and fluffy
4.  To inject into cupcakes I tried two methods and both worked well but one is easier.  I took a #22 Wilton tip on a pastry bag and injected about 1 tablespoon of cream filling into the cupcakes.  This was fast and worked well.  I also tried coring the cupcake with my apple corer like I do for other fillings.  This worked well too but created more mess.

Recipe from http://www.evilshenanigans.com/2009/02/cream-filling-for-cupcakes/


 As promised here are my recipes for chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream.  The buttercream one I adapted from Wilton.  Each recipe can also be cut in half successfully.

Chocolate Cake
yield 16-20 servings  (26-28 cupcakes, or 2- 8×4 loaves, 2 – 8″ or 9″ round pans)

** If you are doing a cake about 3 layers or more (or heavy frostings/candy in between), you can add 3 eggs instead of 2 successfully to this recipe.  The added protein will add more structure to the cake **

2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 Tbs. lemon juice and 1 cup 2% milk)
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In one big bowl, add the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt.  Stir together with a whisk or beat on low in the mixer.
2.  Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, vegetable oil, and vanilla.  Beat on medium for 2 minutes.  It will be watery and that is just fine.
3.  As cupcakes:  using a large scoop (3 Tbs), spoon the batter into the cupcakes and bake 14-16 minutes
As 13×9″ cake: bake 35-40 min.
As 2- 4″x8″ loaves: bake 22-25 minutes
As 2 round pans: bake 22-25 minutes

As always: check with a toothpick for doneness.  Cool for 10 minutes then invert the cake/cupcakes out of the pan to cool on the wire rack.  To freeze, cool mostly and wrap in saran wrap twice.  Then wrap in aluminum foil.  Freeze in the original pan if possible.


Dark Chocolate Buttercream

yield: about 3 cups

2 sticks (1 cup or 8oz.) of unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 cup dark cocoa, sifted  (Hershey makes this one commercially available.)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbs. milk

1.  Cream the butter until light and whipped – about 1 minute on medium.
2.  On LOW speed, slowly add the  cocoa and powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time.
3.  Scrape the bowl to make sure all the sugar is in there.  Add vanilla and milk.  Beat on medium/medium high speed for 2 minutes.
Use immediately or store in the fridge until later use.

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