Tag Archives: cupcake

Vanilla Bean & Nutella Cupcakes


There’s a photo of my parents on the magnetic board that’s propped on my desk. My dad’s got his hands in the air, mid clap, his mouth wide open, cheering. Mom’s got the biggest smile on, the kind that gives mega-watt a run for her money. This was taken at my sister’s wedding. I must’ve done something right, because that photo was taken right after I gave my bridesmaid speech.

Sitting right above that photo is a gingerbread plushie magnet, you know, the slightly loopy one from Shrek. It was a gift from a very proud boy who congratulated me on riding the roller coaster twice, and even managed to put my hands up in the air. I whined, and begged to turn around, but we all knew I wanted to ride on it. And conquer it twice I did!

Right at the bottom of the board is a piece of paper I’ve been diligently checking off the boxes on. See, I’m on a shopping ban (no shoes, bags, clothes & accessories) and every day I come home without a shopping bag, I get to tick off a box. I’ve got 2 more months on it and I’m still going strong. Let me tell you though, I’m not sure how creative I can get with my wardrobe much longer.

I feel like I need to add a photo of these cupcakes on the board. I’m rather proud of them, especially since vanilla cupcakes haven’t always been particularly cooperative. Sure I’ve had some luck with them, but it’s the one things I bake with trepidation each time. Will they leave the cake liners? Will they be soggy on the bottom? Will they taste like flour?

Buttery, dense but still tender, perfumed with vanilla with a dash of chocolate from the Nutella; they’re actually less scary than I thought they’d be!

And the frosting reminds me of the smoothest vanilla bean ice cream.

Eat and be happy that the weekend is upon us!

Vanilla & Nutella Cupcakes (adapted from the Butch Bakery Cookbook)

2 cups GF flour blend
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temp
12 tbsp Nutella, room temp

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper liners.

2) Mix flour, baking power, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in 3 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Beat on high for 30 seconds.

4) Divide evenly between prepared cupcake tin and dollop one tablespoon of Nutella into each cupcake.Bake for 22 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

5) To frost, fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with the vanilla bean buttercream, and pipe rosettes on top of each cupcake!

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

1 x Swiss Meringue Buttercream, without the white chocolate
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped. Use the pods for vanilla sugar

1) Beat the buttercream together with the vanilla seeds until mixed through. Use immediately.

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[Do it like a Dude] Chocolate Beer Cupcakes, Ganache & Beer Frosting

Sometimes you forget that it’s important to make a cupcake that involves three procedures. You don’t realise that it’s probably what you needed to get your head screwed on right. To know that whatever happens, stirring warm cream and dark chocolate will work better than any other form of therapy.

There are cupcakes, the sort that lay it all out for you; cake and frosting. Then there are cupcakes; the ones that hold dark secrets. Maybe they’re more like people; we all have secrets, stories we haven’t told, things we can’t share, the very ones that make us who we are. They don’t define us, they merely shape the way we operate. Much like us, these cupcakes aren’t about to bare all. It’s a dark chocolate cake, filled with ganache and topped with beer frosting. Yeah, it looks like chocolate and vanilla; but the beer gives the cake such an edge, it’s worth trekking to your local store for a gluten-free beer just so you can experience this all for yourself.

Things have happened since I last wrote, and with all that’s said and done, I’m glad I’m returning with these cupcakes; familiar, yet different.

Am I starting to trail off? Are we even talking about cake anymore?

Probably. Most definitely.

Cake makes my heart sing. I hope it does the same to yours too.

Happy New Year, a little late, but better than never! :)

I used Guinness for my cupcakes since the lucky guy who’s receiving them isn’t gluten intolerant. Please, PLEASE find a gluten-free version if you’re allergic to it. I’ve seen sorghum beers around and I’d like to suggest that beer/root beer may work as well!

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes (Adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook, makes 12 standard)

1 1/2 sticks butter (180g)
1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder (or any natural cocoa)
3/4 cup dark stout (Guiness or try a cola or root beer; poured and settled before you measure)
2 large eggs, broken
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup + 1 tbsp GF flour blend
1/4 cup GF oat flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2) In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Stir in the cocoa powder and stout. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

3) Whisk the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a separate bowl.

4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sour cream together. Add in the chocolate-stout mixer and mix well. Add in the flour mixture and mix until no white streaks remain. Divide evenly between the cupcake liners. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

5) Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from tin to cool completely.

6) To fill, use a small sharp knife to cut a ‘cone’ out of the tops of the cupcakes. Using a melon baller or a small teaspoon, hollow out the hole a little more so it can hold more ganache. Using another teaspoon, fill each cavity with ganache. Top the cupcakes with the cone you just cut out. Press gently so it’s almost flat.

7) Using a palette knife, spread two tablespoons of frosting over the cupcake. Dust with cocoa powder. ENJOY!

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup 55% chocolate chips

1) Place the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.

2) Heat the cream in a microwave-proof bowl in 30 second bursts until it starts to bubble. Pour over the chocolate.

3) Using a spatula, slowly stir until all chocolate has melted and combined happily with the cream. Allow to stand until it’s of a spreadable consistency.

Beer Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, softened (120g)
2 2/3 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp stout
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 2 cups of icing sugar together until well combined.

2) Add in the stout, vanilla and salt. Mix well.

3) If icing isn’t stiff enough, add in the icing sugar, 1/3 cup at a time until you get your desired consistency.

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Hummingbird Cupcakes

I like Katy Perry and all the electric bubblegum pop magic she does. She makes me want to boogie.

Okay, she probably won’t say the word boogie. Maybe something a little more down like…party. Yes, that’s it. She makes me wish every night was Friday night.

I like Ke$ha too. Or as the principal in Glee says…. “K dollar sign HA”. Love.

Fred has basically lumped my song choices into the category of trashy pop. He’s just jealous I get to admit I’m the biggest Top 40 freak, grooving to Britney and Christina. Once, I even made a tee that said I heart Britney and Christina. Trust me, when you grow up having to pick a side, it was a big deal to blatantly say hot damn, I love ’em both.

I’m applying this to cream cheese frosting. You need to pick sides; sweet or sour. But do we really need to argue about this? Can’t we all just get along? I’m in Camp Sweet when it comes to my red velvets (no vanilla buttercream for me!) and then hop over to Camp Sour for carrot cake. Then, I’m definitely in Camp Sweet & Sour for banana cake and hummingbird cake. Are you as dead-set on this as I am?

So, two days ago, I was craving cream cheese frosting. And I needed a cake to go along with it. So I made Hummingbird Cupcakes. Only thing is that I think I should’ve added more pineapple because it’s more like a banana cupcake with pineapple. Hummingbird cake is essentially that but, the ratio was a little off. Bottomline: add more pineapple if you’re wanting more hummingbird than banana.

Hummingbird Cupcakes (adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

2 cups GF flour blend
1/2 cup GF oat flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup caster sugar
270g banana, mashed
100g pineapple rings, chopped into small chunks (add more if desired)
3 eggs
300ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 18 muffin holes with paper liners.

2) In a bowl, mix the flours and baking soda together.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar on medium-high until it’s thick and tripled in volume. Slowly add in the oil and vanilla extract, beat until emulsified.

4) Change the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment and beat in the flour in 3 additions. Add in the mashed banana and mix well. Add in the pineapple chunks, mix to combine.

5) Divide the batter between the muffin holes and bake for 20-23 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened slightly
80g butter, softened slightly
2-3 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 2 cups icing sugar together until creamy. Add in the cream cheese and lemon juice. Beat well. Keep adding in the icing sugar if the frosting is too soft. Frost cupcakes!

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Carrot Cupcakes with Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

Sorry, I’ve been a bad friend haven’t I. Abandoning you without any cake for such a long while. Things have been happening; I finally got my act together and cleared out the pig-sty of a room I live in and re-painted it a fresh white. I also managed to get myself an eye infection. It’s ugly; I forgot the name of the problem. It’s just…a big swollen eye, blocking half my vision. And I tear involuntarily. It’s bad. I don’t even bother dressing up – I want to blend in with the crowd so no one will notice me… I am invisible.

I did make it out of the house for Harry Potter though! Have you seen it? You should even if you’re not a huge fan (which I probably won’t be able to fathom why). It’s such a milestone!  Make sure you have popcorn! If you’re bringing your own, try this recipe out!

I had some trouble dealing with the fact that this is the last Harry Potter movie and was highly appreciative to have some some Carrot Cupcakes. But I was even happier to have them around after watching an episode of DC Cupcakes and then really, really having issues dealing with not being in the States anymore. I obviously have a hard time letting go of… things. I am a hoarder which I have also discovered through the amount of things I have collected in my room whilst clearing it out. Is this a sign that I’m turning into one of those women? I’m preparing for life with a mountain stack high of Tupperware.

Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from Miette Bakery Cookbook, which is gorgeous and scalloped-edged)

1 cup GF Flour blend (I would add 2 tbsp more if you’re in a humid country)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup peeled and finely grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins

1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 9 cupcake holes with paper liners.

2) Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon together in a bowl.

3) In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together until lighter in colour. Add in the oil and whisk until emulsified.

4)  Add in the flour mix, and mix until almost completely combined. Add in the carrots and raisins. Mix well and divide evenly into prepared tins.

5) Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely, remove from baking tin and frost.

Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened
100g butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp limoncello liquor
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1) Beat the cream cheese, butter, 3 cups of icing sugar, limoncello, lemon zest and juice together. If icing if not thick enough, add in more icing sugar and beat until you reach your desired consistency.

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Whimsy Peach Cupcakes

My dad can’t do many things like take me through my Science homework or endure hours of shopping. He’s often out of town, so chauffeuring us from classes was mom’s department. And, let’s not even get started on dressing advice; it goes a little like the lower the heels the better (seeing that I’m already a head taller than him). But my dad is a pretty cool dude.

I remember when I wanted to catch Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty Tour whilst we were holidaying in Brisbane. Don’t know what he did, but he scored 3 tickets to a sold out concert. Then there was teaching me to ride a bike and giving me boy advice. “I’ve been a boy once, I know what they’re like. Don’t be stupid’. Good stuff.

But my dad’s really my best salesperson. He’s always there, at any party, ready to sell my baking to anyone who’ll listen. He’ll eat anything I bake, usually at any time of the day. And you know what’s awesome? He’s usually happy about it. So though I’m like a bazillion miles away, here’s a whole tray of peach cupcakes, food for the soul, and it’s got fruit too!

On a side note, I was at Red Hook yesterday and picked up a very interesting potion. It’s by a little company called Royal Rose and it’s a Lavender and Lemon simple syrup. It smells floral and critusy, and totally fresh. I didn’t have vanilla extract on hand so I used this to flavour my cake instead and it managed to impart a light floral sweetness without being overly anything (not too lemony or lavender-y). I liked it, perhaps not something I’d resort to for a high impact lavender flavour, but it’s really just pretty.

Also, this will be my entry to Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free! for the month of June. It’s all about dads this time around. I can’t wait to see what all the dads out there are being spoilt with this month!

Scented Vanilla Cupcakes (makes 24)

2 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup GF oat flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch flour
1/4 sweet rice flour
1 tablespoon + 2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavouring; I used a lavender-lemon syrup)
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
5 eggs, room temperature
2 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup caster sugar

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time.

3) Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together. Add the flavouring syrup to the milk.

4) Add in the flour and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Beat on high for 30 seconds. Divide evenly into cupcake tins. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

5) Leave to cool for 10 minutes in tray before removing to cool completely.

Peach Buttercream

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp Lavender-Lemon syrup or any other flavouring of choice (I’d go for lemon or vanilla)
1 large, very ripe peach

1) Cut the peach up into segments and crush with your hands. Strain the juice from the peach. Also, set aside some of the flesh and the pink skin.

2) In a bowl, beat the butter and 3 cups of icing sugar together. Add in the Lavender-Lemon syrup and 2 tbsp of the peach juice. Beat well. If icing is too soft, keep adding the icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time until the desired consistency.

3) Mix in the peach flesh and skin. This will impart some colour and bite. Frost cupcakes.

To Assemble

Place a heaping tablespoon of the frosting on each cupcake. Swirl with a palette knife and top with extra peaches if desired.

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Vegan Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting [The Elvis]

In the next 24 hours, the following things would’ve happened.

I’d be wearing leggings and a massive over-sized shirt, trying to get as comfy as I can on a plane. I’d have seen Narita Airport and eaten sushi in Japan. I’d have brushed my teeth in a tiny cubicle kazillion of feet in the air. I’d have hopefully finished indulging myself in the mindless drama of Gossip Girl. I’d have eaten vegan Elvis cupcakes. I’d finally get to meet my extended family in the States. New York, here I come!!!

Please understand that what’s fueling my 3-days-straight of 5.5hr sleep nights is pure adrenaline and a healthy dose of sugar. Hopefully this puts me to sleep like a baby tonight on the plane and no crying babies keep me awake. But I’m sure with the amount of excitement running through my veins, even that might be less annoying than it usually is. Am I even making coherent sentences?

Next time I blog I’ll be in an entirely different land, so please excuse me if the posts are few and far between. But I’ll try my best, and be sure there’ll be an update the moment I get my hands-a-typing again! Looks like 3 weeks til my next post, til then, you can head to the archives for a list of all the things to keep your sweet tooth at bay. Big love!

This is also my submission to the wonderful Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free round up. This month’s theme is Garden Tea Party, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with!

Vegan Elvis Cupcakes by Sweets by Vicky

2 cups GF flour blend
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup golden caster sugar
1/2 cup oil
4 large, ripe bananas
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup soy/coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips

1) Line a 12-capacity muffin tin with cupcakes liners. Preheat oven to 175°C.

2) In medium bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the honey, vanilla and milk.

3) In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and sugar together. Make a well in the centre and add in the oil and banana mix. Mix well, mixture shouldn’t be too runny but not stiff either. If it’s stiff, add in 1-2 tbsp of soy/coconut milk.

4) Pour batter into prepared tins. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup creamy smooth peanut butter
2/3-1 cup unrefined icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup dairy-free tablespread

1) In a bowl of a standmixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. If it’s very stiff, add 2 tsp of water or milk and beat. Add more if needed.

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Chocolate Fudge Sundae Cupcakes

One of my favourite memories of Melbourne is of Fred and I braving the blistery winter winds and running to McDonalds to get a hot fudge sundae and a large packet of fries. Then, making our way back to the car, undoing scarf knots and removing gloves before tucking into the piping hot fries dunked generously in chocolate covered soft serve ice cream. Sometimes I feel that having this treat with anyone else is like cheating on him. So I rarely share my fudge sundaes unless of course, you promise to be my best friend forever.

The problem with fudge sundaes is that they melt too fast causing us to scramble to finish it so the happiness is most definitely SHORT LIVED. No fear though, I translated all the goodness that is hot fudge sundae into a cupcake.

The cupcake itself is an adaptation from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s white velvet cake topped with a Swiss meringue vanilla buttercream and a glossy sticky fudge topping. Fries are optional but advisable.

White Velvet Butter Cupcakes (adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, half recipe makes 6 cupcakes)

45g egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup GF Flour Blend
1/2 cup caster sugar (divided)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 6 cupcake tins with paper liners.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Add in the butter and mix on low until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

3) Add in the milk in 2 additions, mixing well after each time. In a separate bowl, either by hand or using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Divide amongst the paper liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

4) Let cakes cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Frost and enjoy!

Glossy, Stick, Chewy Chocolate Ganache

60g couverture chocolate (at least 55%)
45g cream (I used whipping cream)
1 tsp glucose

1) Place the chocolate in a medium sized bowl.

2) Heat the cream and glucose in the microwave, checking every 20 seconds. Make sure cream doesn’t boil or it will split. Once hot, pour over the chocolate in two additions, stirring well after each. If chocolate won’t melt completely, place the medium bowl over another bowl of hot water and constantly stir until chocolate and cream has homogenized. Let cool completely.

To Frost:

Pipe a swirl of buttercream on the top of each cupcake before dolloping a heaping teaspoon of ganache over the top. Sprinkle with colourful nonpareils or nuts.

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