Pumpkin Cake with Maple Buttercream

Maple Buttercream

Book Update:  I finished my freezer meal presentation for one MOPS group and it was a huge hit.  I can’t wait to finish the book.  Here are the sections so far:  Preface, Introduction, What foods you can freeze, what foods you cannot freeze, how to freeze (almost) everything methods, A chart of all cuts of meat I found at the grocery store and how to cook eat one, A chart of all kinds of vegetables and fruits and how to freeze each one, and lots of recipes!  Some recipes from the website and some very old ones from mom and grandma that I haven’t posted.

We had a “reverse freezer meal” party and the 16 ladies made 32 meals in about 20 minutes!  How crazy is that?!  So much fun though.  What I mean by “reverse freezer meal” is that instead of having everyone bring meat or providing meat (which may run into issues keeping it cold, etc.), I had bags ready with label and ingredients to put in.  The meal was all ready – you just had to add the meat!  We made BBQ Pulled Pork and Hickory Smoked Chicken.

Recipe Update: Again, I’m including homemade and box mix recipes.  Pumpkin cake is soooo tasty this time of year. Since refrigeration is essential when working with cream cheese frosting, I made up a maple buttercream instead.  Fantastic!  It’s something a little unexpected and I could seriously just put that frosting on just about anything.  So good.  For the flavoring, I used Durkee brand maple flavoring.  I’ve used Mapeleine in the past.  Maybe because mine was old… but it just never tasted right.  I really liked the Durkee – a little goes a long way!

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Want something different?  Try pumpkin cake pops!

Maple Buttercream
yield 2 – 9×13 pans

1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, unsalted and softened
1 lb. 8 oz. powdered sugar (sifted if you need the frosting smooth)
1 tablespoon mereingue powder (optional; used for stability)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
2-4 tablespoons cream, half and half or milk or real maple syrup

1.  Cream the butter until fluffy on MEDIUM speed.
2.  Add powdered sugar little by little on LOW speed.
3.  Add salt, meringue powder if using, and maple flavoring.
4.  Beat on medium until incorporated.
5.  Add 2 tablespoons of cream and mix.  Continue to add another 1-2 tablespoons until the frosting is spreadable.
6.  Taste test your frosting.  Does it need more maple flavoring?  Try another 1/4 teaspoon – this is a more assertive maple flavor and very tasty.
7.  Once you have the color and flavor, beat the frosting on medium-high for 2 minutes

Pumpkin Cake
yield 1 – 9×13

1 box (about 18 oz.) Spice cake mix
1 cup canned/pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees (that is probably what the box suggests).  Beat  together the mix, pumpkin, water, oil and eggs per instructions on the box.  This is usually mixing on low for 30 seconds and then medium for 2 minutes.  Bake in a greased and floured or sprayed with Baker’s Joy 13×9 pan.  Use a toothpick to ensure the cake is thoroughly cooked in the middle.  Cool completely.

Pumpkin Cake from Scratch
yields 1 -9×13

1/2 cup (2 sticks; 8 oz.) butter, unsalted and softened
1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (200 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt!
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup buttermilk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour or spray a 9×13 pan.
2.  Beat the sugar and butter together on medium to  medium high speed until light and fluffy.
3.  Add eggs one at a time.  Scrape the bowl.  Add the pumpkin and vanilla.  mix.
4.  Whisk together you dry stuff in a medium bowl:  cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
5.  Alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour into the cake batter.  Start and end with the flour.
6.  Mix until combined.
7.  Bake a 9×13 about 35-40 minutes.  Bake 2- 8″ rounds about 25-30 minutes.  Bake cupcakes about 22 minutes.

Recipe from joyofbaking.com

TONS of cupcakes!  I had 13 boxes of these puppies!

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Margarita Cupcakes!

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Soooooo…. I really wanted to publish this recipe before Cinco de Mayo.  Then, I had it in my crazy head that I could be in a show called “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers and Hammerstein which included 9 runnings of the show last week!  Plus chair our non-profit organization’s meeting on Saturday morning before a show at 2 and 6pm.  Plus, get my homework done for Positive Psychology.  The two kids are still alive though – no worries.

So, instead I will post it now and you can still make them because they are still a great summery treat with the citrus flavor.

PLUS   – get this – the topping is NOT Cool Whip.  Nope.  No polysorbate 60 or hydrogenated oils.  I know.  We’re all crying inside, too.  This recipe includes a stabilized whipped cream topping that you could use anywhere that you use Cool Whip.  It rocks: it’s easy, it needs just a handful of ingredients, and it tastes divine.  If you don’t care for lime flavored things, at least read and try the topping.

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Margarita Cupcakes
serves 24

1 box of white cake mix
10 oz. NON- alcoholic frozen Bacardi margarita mix (or 1 and 1/4 cups of any margarita mix), liquid or thawed
2 Tb. lime zest
ingredients for cake per box (usually 3 eggs or egg whites and a little oil)

1.  Make the white cake per the directions on the box EXCEPT add the 10 oz. (1 and 1/4 cups) of margarita mix instead of the water.
2.  Cool cupcakes.

Stabilized Whipped Cream
enough to top 24 cupcakes

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin (I use Knox)
2 Tb. cold water
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla (or any flavor you want, I added some lime zest.  Lime powder would have been great for the cupcakes)
1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar

1.  Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the cold water in a microwave safe dish or small pot.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
2.  Warm up the gelatin on low until dissolved.  Use low/medium setting on stovetop or 50% power for the microwave.
3.  Once dissolved, allow to cool to room temperature.  This part is a little tricky… if it sits a long time it will gel.  That’s okay.  Just heat it up a tiny bit.  No worries.
4.  Beat the heavy cream in a mixer on high.  Do this 1-2 minutes, or until you see streaks in the cream.
5.  Drizzle in the gelatin and vanilla.  Mix in.
6.  Add the powdered sugar.  Mix this on high as well to MEDIUM peaks!!
Voila!  You have your own stabilized whipped cream.  I put it in my pastry bag with my 1M Wilton tip to make the cupcake swirls.  It holds the shape rather well.  I cannot tell you for how long the stabilized whipped cream will hold…. the cupcakes and cakes I have made with it are consumed within 24 hours.  

Whipped Cream Recipe from King Arthur Flour’s “Whole Grain Baking”

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Hostess Cupcake – take 2

I tried doing a hostess cupcake before with the filling, but obviously the top wasn’t quite right.  I made these for church and decided that the curly que top would look pretty with different words.  It would be fun for someone’s birthday or write “I love you” for Valentine’s Day.

I usually can’t find much fault in America’s Test Kitchen recipes, but for the life of me cannot figure out how on earth they got the white icing to work.  In the original recipe, they use the marshmallow filling for the topping.  Obviously, since it is marshmallow creme it spreads all over the place.  And it did even after I tried adding more powdered sugar.  Instead some people purchased Wilton icing pens.  I made a small batch of buttercream – I guess some people are too lazy to do buttercream, well I’m too lazy to run all the way to the store for 50 cents of icing.  I also don’t understand why they used hot water and not coffee, since coffee is much more flavorful.   We can fix that 🙂  Aren’t those cupcakes so pretty though?  Look at that height!

The chocolate cake is very chocolatey and has a nice crumb.  The cake was incredibly moist and if you don’t like coffee, simply omit the espresso powder.  Even when I decreased it from 3 to 2 tsp. you could still taste it faintly.

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country (America’s Test Kitchen)

If you need just a great, simple chocolate cake recipe – this one is still the simplest and my favorite.

CUPCAKES
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon instant espresso (decrease or omit optional)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING:
3 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups marshmallow créme

GLAZE
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Drop cupcake liners in to your 12-cup muffin pan.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dry stuff:  flour, baking soda and salt.  In a large bowl, whisk together water, cocoa, chocolate chips and espresso.  Beat until smooth with the whisk – takes about a minute or two.  Dump in:  sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Whisk that in until smooth.  Add your flour and whisk until smooth again!  Divide evenly among the muffin wells.  It divided nicely between the 12 and got about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake 18-22 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes and remove from the pan to continue to cool.

2.  Filling:  In a large bowl (or rinse out the cake one), mix the water and gelatin and sit 5 minutes.  Nuke this in the microwave about 30 seconds and it will start to bubble.  Add the butter, vanilla and salt and whisk to combine.  Cool about 5 minutes.  Whisk in marshmallow creme in until smooth.  Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3.  Glaze:  Nuke the chocolate and butter in a small bowl and melt.  Stir everyone once in a while and this took about 45 seconds.  Cool 10 minutes.

4.  Buttercream:  Beat the butter on medium until fluffy – about 1 minute.  Add powdered sugar and beat on low.  When incorporated, add a little vanilla and splash of milk.  Beat another 30 seconds.  Put in a piping bag or ziplock bag with a small hole.  I used a Wilton #2 tip and this worked perfect.  #3 might work too.

5.  Putting the cupcake together:  ATK warns to not pipe in the filling because the cupcake is too delicate.  So, I cut out a cone using a small paring knife.  Then with a spoon or ziplock bag, pipe in 1 Tb. of filling.  Replace the top and gently push down especially around the crumbs – you don’t want the crumbs in your topping.  Then, take 2 tsp. of the chocolate glaze and spread gently on top.  Finally, pipe the buttercream swirl and you are done!  See why I only made 12??

Pumpkin Cream Cupcakes

These were easy breezy to make.  It has been a year or two since I made them and still love them, so I better post it if I remember the pumpkin cream cupcakes that long!  Serve as a brunch or dessert.  I think some stabilized whipped cream with nutmeg grated on top would be pretty.  This was before I switched to almost all crazy homemade stuff.   Here I dolloped the cream cheese by squeezing it through a ziplock bag with one corner cut off.  Then, I dragged a butter knife through the center in order to create the heart shape.

Of course, I’ve already started making my pumpkin oatmeal again!  Good thing I post these things or I’d never find them sometimes.  I doubled the recipe and put it into my 11×7 pyrex baking dish because my Corningware was dirty from taco chili.  I baked it 25 minutes instead of 15 minutes and it turned out great!

Pumpkin Cream Cupcakes
24 cupcakes

1 spice cake box mix
1 (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup pureed pumpkin
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep your cupcake pans with liners.  Make the cake batter per the directions on the box and add the pudding mix and pumpkin as well.  Divide the batter between the cupcakes.  I use a large cookie scoop for this.
2.  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the sugar and egg.  Dollop a tablespoon of this mixture on top of the cupcake or use a ziplock bag with one corner trimmed off.
3.  Bake for 18-21 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and cool complete on a wire rack.

Recipe from Kraft Recipes

Vegan Tangerine Cupcakes

If you follow this blog, you will remember that I’m not a huge fan of chocolate.  I’ll take a good piece of chocolate cake or cupcake now and then, but given the choice I’ll take fruit dessert any day of the week.  So…. because I love fruit more and because my dear friend who I’m still sad moved to Iowa needs dairy-free recipes, I’m posting this one today.  This recipe is vegan which I don’t mind vegan or non-vegan, but it was full of fruit flavor and that is what I care about.  My next attempt at home I will try substituting some Splenda (maybe half) and applesauce for oil.  This will save on calories, but I know these substitutions don’t always make it as yummy as the real thing.  I like to try the full fat version first before rendering judgement.  This is a food pet peeve of mine – people “reviewing” recipes with poor reviews and then they mention that they substituted half the ingredients for something else.

These cupcakes would be great for breakfast with or without icing, dessert or brunch.  I weighed almost all of the ingredients and would highly recommend doing the same. It has simplified my time and dishes in the kitchen as well as made everything more “picture perfect” because it comes out the exact same every time.  But just in case, I put volume measurements as well.

Tangerine Cupcakes
12 cupcakes

2 and 1/4 cup (10.5 oz)  AP flour
1 cup (7 oz.)  sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup of peeled, diced clementines or tangerines (I used 2 tangerines)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or canola)
1 cup orange juice or tangerine juice

Icing:
2 and 1/4 cup (9 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
3-4 Tb. of freshly squeezed OJ

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin pan or use liners.
2.These are created just like muffins using the muffin method.  So,  in a great, big bowl mix the dry stuff: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3.  In a medium bowl, mix the wet stuff: clementines/tangerines, vanilla, oil and OJ.
4.  Dump the wet stuff into the dry stuff and gently fold and stir until just barely combined.  You may see a few specks of dry flour and that is okay.
5.  Fill each cup until it is to the top and nearly full.  I used my large cookie scoop and did a heaping scoop of it.
6.  Bake for 15- 18 minutes.  They will be just barely browned and wonderfully crowned.  Take them out when they pass the toothpick test with no crumbs.
7.  Cool on wire rack.  After 10 minutes, I usually take any muffin or cupcake out to sit on the rack to cool more.
8.  Once completely cooled, you can add the icing.  Mix the sugar, salt and OJ together.  I topped each one as we ate it.  So the icing stayed separate from the cupcake until consuming.  The icing is spreadable and runs a little, which I liked.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Oh… why not another cupcake??  And after buying all those vanilla beans in order to make those 2Vanilla Bean Gifts, you need to use them up right?  I have a regular vanilla cupcake recipe on here as well.  That one was also delicious.  Very simple and classic.

Method Explanation: All of the cold ingredients are at room temperature.  This is because room temperature/warm ingredients trap air better than cold ingredients.  More air = more fluffy texture.   The milk and flour are added alternately because dumping all that liquid into the batter would make the batter lose air bubbles.  Alternately added the flour with the milk allows the batter to retain more air which = more fluffy texture.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
yield 22 cupcakes

2 and 1/2 cups cake flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/4 cup whole milk, room temp.
4 large egg whites, room temp.
8 Tbs. (1/2 cup or 4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 and 1/2 cups sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
2.  In another bowl, whisk milk and eggs whites.
3.  In a third bowl at the stand mixer, beat your butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds about 2 minutes.  Until the butter is light and fluffy.
4.   Alternate adding the  milk/egg mixture and flour.  Start and end with the flour.  Beat 2 minutes on medium.
5.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners.  I use my 3 Tbs/large cookie scoop and this works perfect every time.  About 2/3 full.
6.  Bake 18-24 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack.  Removing the cupcakes from the pan will help keep them from separating from the cupcake liner due to condensation forming between the cupcake and cupcake pan.

Top with any frosting you like!  Below is my usual buttercream frosting and I simply added another set of vanilla bean seed scrapings to it.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp.  (8 oz. / 16 Tbs.)
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbs. whole milk (or the most fattening you have)

1.  Cream the butter and seeds until light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes).
2.  Slowly add the powdered sugar in small increments.
3.  Add vanilla and milk.  Beat 2 minutes on medium.  Add or subtract the milk depending on the humidity in the room, how stiff you want the frosting etc.

**If you like LOTS of frosting, and some people do, use 3 sticks of butter, 1.5 lbs. of powdered sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 4-6 Tbs of milk.

I decorated the roses and piles of frosting with the Wilton 1M tip.  The frosting you pipe in circles from the outside in.  The roses you pipe in circles from the inside out.

Recipe from Mybakingaddiction.com which was adapted and created from  Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: from my Home to Yours” called the “Perfect Party Cake” (which also looks good!)

Cuppa Coffee Cupcakes

Since I had so many new, wonderful people following Whisk Together, I wanted to share with you my favorite latest item from my kitchen.

Okay, so I ate 3 of these the day I made them…  But they were so tasty and you can have them for breakfast, or as a snack, or dessert – so why not try all 3 ways, right?  Well, after thorough research I can thoroughly recommend that you can eat these for breakfast OR as a snack OR dessert and be totally happy.

The coffeecake part has a wonderful crumb and swirl throughout it.  The topping became crunchier than expected, but that was actually a nice contrast to the soft texture of the coffeecake bottom.

Cuppa Coffee Cupcakes
yield 12

Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans (don’t cry if short on pecans… you can go with 3/4 cup or so and it’ll be fine)
1 Tb. melted butter

Coffeecake:
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (4 oz./8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
1 cup sour cream, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Icing:
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 and 1/2 Tbs.  milk (whole preferred)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  To make the topping: In a small bowl,  mix the dry ingredients together: brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans.  Stir in the butter until the mixture is moistened and set aside.
2.   To make the coffeecake: In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside as well.  (I do this part the night before sometimes.)
3.   Using the paddle of an electric mixer, cream the butter for about 1 minute, or until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the sugar.  Beat another 2-3 minutes.
4.  Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Add sour cream and vanilla extract.
5.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the dry ingredients.  Keep folding just until it is incorporated and then stop.   Don’t keep mixing or you’ll have icky gummy cake.
6.  Using a standard 12-cup muffin pan, line the cups with cupcake liners or spray thoroughly.  Fill each tin about halfway.  I used a 1 Tablespoon scoop.  Then sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of the reserved topping mixture on each muffin.  Next, fill the rest of the cup up with batter.  I used a 2 Tablespoon scoop for this.  Sprinkle another heaping teaspoon or 2 tsp. of topping.  Gently press into batter.
7.  Bake 30-35 minutes or they pass the toothpick test.  Cool completely.
8.  To make the Icing:  Mix all the ingredients and put into a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with one corner cut off.  Drizzle and Done!

Recipe adapted from TastyKitchen.com

Linked to: SkiptomyLou.org and http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2012/01/mop-it-up-mondays-party-1.html

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

It’s carrot cake in a cupcake!  I love carrot cake, but cupcakes are just easier when managing very large groups of people like 50 or more.  These were moist and flavorful.  I loved the cream cheese icing too!  These were so simple and fast to make when using the food processor.   But don’t forget the white sugar.  They turn out like muffins instead!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
yield 24

2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil

For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese (not softened)
7½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 muffin pans with 24 liners.
2.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
3.  Using the food processor, shred the carrots.  Toss your shredded carrots into the flour mixture to coat.
4.  Rinse out your food processor and put the normal blade in there.  Add your granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs.  Process for about 20-30 seconds.  Drizzle the oil through the feeding tube while the machine is running.  Whip that up for about 30 seconds until light colored and frothy.   Add this to your carrot/flour mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated.
5.  Divide batter between cupcake liners.  I use my 3 Tbs. cookie scoop (large cookie scoop) for this.
6.  Bake 20-22 minutes.  After 10 minutes out of the oven, remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool on wire racks.  Cool completely before adding frosting.

Frosting:
1.  Beat cream cheese and butter on medium with the paddle attachment.  About 2-3 minutes later it should be creamy and smooth.
2.   Switch to low speed.  Add powdered sugar a little at a time.  Fully incorporate and then add the next installment.  When it is all in, add the vanilla and beat on medium until fluffy and smooth.  Make sure to beat the cream cheese in like crazy especially if you are piping it through a pastry bag or you’ll get lumps and the piping will not come out of the bag.

Recipe from Annies-eats.net

**I’ve read several other carrot cake recipes that cut down the vegetable oil to 1 cup from 1 1/2 cups.  Just an idea to try.  Many reviews said that the cake was just as moist.  Now these were not reviews on THIS recipe, but just other carrot cake recipes I’ve come across.**

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

If you want something that tastes delicious and is a little “different” then this is for you!  LOVE these cupcakes.  Easy to put together, taste delicious and you have the option of making 12 or 24 of them.  It’s also not from a box, so no nasty weird chemicals.  Like it says on the front of ‘Nilla wafers “Simple Goodness.”  “Simple Goodness” is their slogan yet the ingredient list is NOT simple and definitely not good.    High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed oil.  Artificial Flavor… whatever that entails.

Back to the cupcakes.  I love how the filling comes from the frosting, so you don’t have to make a whole separate batch.  The cupcakes are chocolate with just a hint of root beer.  They aren’t overpowering, but moist and tasty.

Happy Baking!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes
yield 12 cupcakes

1 1/8 cups AP flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I found Hershey’s Dark in the baking aisle)
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbs. sour cream
2 tsp. root beer concentrate (McCormick makes it and it is with the spices and extracts at the grocery store, even walmart had it.)
1/3 cup root beer

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 1 muffin pan with 12 liners.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and brown sugar until smooth.  Stir in the cream, butter and vanilla.  Add sour cream and stir everything until smooth.
3.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
4.  Pour the root beer and root beer concentrate into the batter.  mix until incorporated.
5.  Divide the batter between the liners.  I use a 3 Tbs. cookie scoop.   Bake 15-18 minutes.
6.  Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes and then remove them from the pan to continue cooling on the cooling rack.

Vanilla Frosting and Root Beer Filling

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (6 oz.), soft
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. milk
1/4 tsp. root beer extract

1.  On medium-low speed, cream butter in electric mixer with paddle attachment until smooth – about 2 minutes.
2.  On low speed, add powdered sugar a little at a time.   Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, increase speed to medium for 1 minutes to make fluffier.
3.  Add vanilla and milk.
4.  Remove all of the frosting except for 1/3-1/2 cup in the mixer.  Add root beer concentrate and beat on medium for about 1 minute, or until fully incorporated.

Putting Them Together

1.  There are 2 ways to fill your cupcake.  You can use your tip and pastry bag to squeeze it into the cupcake.  This method doesn’t usually work well for me.  But it works great if you are in a hurry or don’t need super fancy cupcakes.  Method #2: use an apple corer to remove a small portion out of the middle of the cupcake.  Fill void in the cupcake and it will get covered with frosting later.

2.  Fill your pastry bag with the root beer filling.  Pipe it into your cupcake.

3.  Cover your cupcake with vanilla frosting.  I use a 1M Wilton tip, but you could make it cute with a mini scoop of vanilla frosting like vanilla ice cream.  Or pipe with a plastic bag with a corner snipped off.

Top with maraschino cherry, chocolate syrup or – what I wanted to do – a little candy soda bottle!

Recipe from www.howsweeteats.com

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