The Ultimate Breakfast Cake

One of my favorite things about the East Coast is diners! There are tons of old-school diners, complete with bottomless coffee and a 15 page menu. It has become one of my favorite weekend activities, and is also the inspiration for this cake. It’s made with maple cake layers, a maple buttercream, and even has a maple caramel drizzle! To decorate the top, I also added real mini pancakes, candied bacon, and some fondant fried eggs. You can watch a full tutorial showing how to decorate this cake here:

The recipes can be found below:

Recipes:

1 batch vanilla cake batter + 1 Tbsp maple extract (I get mine at Whole Foods)

1.5 batches buttercream frosting + 1 Tbsp maple extract

1 batch caramel + 1 tsp maple extract

Decorations:

  • 2 fondant fried eggs (made out of yellow and white fondant, with edges painted brown using gel food coloring and vodka)
  • candied bacon (8-10 strips of bacon, sprinkled with brown sugar and tiny bit of cayenne pepper; baked at 400 degree F for about 20 minutes)
  • 5 mini pancakes (about 2.5 inches in diameter, made with pancake mix)
  • 1 pat of butter
  • chocolate ganache

Use the cake recipe to make four, 8-inch cake layers. Chill the layers in the freezer once baked and cooled, to make them easier to frost (I wrap my layers in saran wrap, and freeze them overnight, then allow them the sit out for about 20 minutes before frosting). Once the buttercream and caramel are prepared,  assemble the cake. Spread an even layer of buttercream onto each cake layer, and drizzle maple caramel over the entire layer on top of the frosting. Stack and repeat using remaining layers, flipping the top cake layer upside down (makes it easier to frost).  Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake (crumb coat), and chill the cake for about 5 minutes in the fridge or freezer. Once the frosting is firm to the touch, apply a second, thicker layer of frosting and smooth using a bench scraper. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

Once frosted, begin decorating the cake by adding the hash brown boarder. Coat the sides of a frosting bag with chocolate ganache, and then fill with leftover buttercream.

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Cut a small opening at the tip (1/4 inch), and pipe 1 inch lines in various directions around the base of the cake. The frosting should be streaked with the ganache giving it the look of browned hash browns.

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Next, stack the mini pancakes on top of each other, and secure using a small skewer. Slice the candied bacon strips in half, and pile next to the pancakes. Add the fondant eggs to the remaining space on top of the cake.

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Drizzle caramel over pancake stack and down the sides of the cake. Top the pancake stack with a pat of butter, then slice in and enjoy!!!

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Easy Smash Cake Ideas

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Smash cakes seem to be a rite of passage for many of today’s children, and I wanted to share a few easy ways to decorate them! These smash cakes are inspired by Baked by Melissa’s (Melissa Ben-Ishay) new cake book! It includes a banana smash cake with a straight peanut butter filling, which she used to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday. This helps keep the sugar levels low in the cake…or at least lower than a normal cake! If you’re interested in ordering her book, you can click here.

I was able to make 3 smash cakes out of one batch of a banana cake recipe, which I baked in two half sheet pan! I built each smash cake using 4 inch circle cut outs. Each cake was built with three layers (total of 12 cut outs). You could definitely make larger cut outs if desired, or bake the layers in cake pans as opposed to doing cut outs.

I made three different designs; one was covered covered in sprinkles (easiest), one was decorated with buttercream flowers (more difficult), and another was decorated like a monster (moderate difficulty). Below is a full video tutorial showing how each smash cake is decorated:

The tools and recipes you need to make these cakes can be found below:

Recipes:

  • 1 batch of your favorite banana cake (this is mine)
  • 1 cup of your favorite frosting (here’s mine)
  • 1 small jar of your favorite smooth peanut butter (I used Skippy’s)

Sprinkle Smash Cake Decoration:

  • one jar of rainbow jimmies

Pink Flower Smash Cake Decoration:

  • pink food coloring (I use americolor gel food coloring)
  • green food coloring
  • frosting piping bags (or ziploc bags)
  • Wilton 1M tip (open star)
  • Wilton 103 tip (petal tip) – optional

Blue and Green Monster Smash Cake Decoration:

  • blue food coloring (I use americolor gel food coloring)
  • green food coloring
  • frosting piping bags (or ziploc bags)
  • grass frosting tip (wilton 233)
  • black and white fondant

Once the cake batter is baked and cooled, cut out circles of desired size.

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Stack the layers, applying an even layer of peanut butter between each layer. Chill cake in freeze for roughly 10 minutes. This will make them much easier to frost.

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Once chilled, apply a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) using an offset spatula or butter knife. Be sure to cover the entire cake, so that all the crumbs from the cake layers will be locked in place. Chill the cake in the fridge or freezer until the frosting is firm to the touch (5-15 minutes), then add a second, thicker layer of frosting. Smooth using an offset spatula, and a bench scraper.

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For the sprinkle version, take a handful of sprinkles, and very gently press them into the frosting. You want to press just firmly enough to stick them into the frosting, but not hard enough to cause an indentation in the smooth frosting.

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To make the pink flower version, color 5/6 of the left over frosting pink, and color 1/6 of it green. Add dabs of pink frosting around the cake, and smooth around the cake to create a watercolor effect. Place some pink frosting into a piping bag with a wilton 1M tip, and pipe buttercream rosettes on top of the cake. If you have a wilton 103 or 104 tip, pipe roses onto parchment squares, and freeze until they’re firm to the touch (as seen here). Gently peel them off the parchment paper, and place on top of the cake. Add small dabs of green frosting between the flowers, to look like leaves.

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To make the monster-inspired cake, divide the remaining frosting evenly between two bowls, and color blue and green. Place colored frosting into two separate bags with a grass tip. Starting at the base of the cake, pipe horizontal stripes of blue and green around the cake, until it is fully covered. Make fondant horns and eyes (could also use an oreo cookie for the eye, and macadamia nuts or almonds for the horns), and gently press into buttercream.

And then it’s time to place the smash cake in front of your adorable baby and see what happens!! Most kids get pretty into it, and tend to make a mess! Be sure to have a camera ready to capture the moment 🙂

Honey Lavender Buttercream Cake

I’ve wanted to make another buttercream flower cake for a while now, and decided to make one for this week’s livestream for the Food Network! I love matching my decorations with the flavor of my cakes, so I decided to make a honey lavender cake!! Lavender is such a delicate ingredient, you need just the right amount to give the cake a bright floral taste. If you add too much, you can wind up feeling like you’re eating perfume! I use dried lavender from whole foods to incorporate the flavor into the cake layers and frosting.

Honey Lavender Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup (416 grams) flour
  • 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp (13 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 grams) salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or 2 sticks (226 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. (9 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (244 grams) – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
  • 1  cups (240 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 whole milk
  • 1 tbsp dried lavender
  • 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
  • purple gel food coloring (optional)

Honey Lavender Buttercream:

  • 6 sticks or 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, warmed and steeped with dried lavender
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 8” round pans, or three 9″ round pans.

Begin by placing dried lavender into a coffee filter or tea bag, secure the top with a rubber band. Heat the whole milk until it is warm to the touch, and steep the lavender bag in the milk.  Set aside, and steep for at least 10 minutes. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk, on a low speed. Remove lavender bag from milk, and add in lavender infused whole milk, vanilla, and oil into the batter. Mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Add in a couple squirts of purple gel food coloring. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

While the cake layers bake and cool, prepare the honey lavender buttercream (click here for tutorial). Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the lavender steeped cream (same process as used for the cake layers, but with cream) half way through.  Once fully mixed, add in the honey, vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Leave 3/4 of the frosting uncolored. With the remaining frosting, color half a few shades of green, and the half different shades of purple using gel food coloring. Place green frosting into piping bags and cut the tip to have a 1 cm opening. Place the purple frosting into piping bags with different frosting tips (Wilton 103, Wilton 104)

NOTE: If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Next, prepare buttercream flowers of your choice! I made a few shades of purple buttercream, and used a Wilton 1M tip, Wilton 103, and Wilton 104 tip to pipe buttercream rosettes and buttercream roses. Once the flowers are piped, place them in the freezer until they are firm to the touch (only takes about 10 minutes).

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To assemble cake, stack layers and spread an even layer of buttercream. Add a thick drizzle of honey, and repeat with remaining layers. Add a thin crumb coat, and freeze for roughly 5 minutes, or until the frosting is firm to the touch. Apply a second, thicker layer of frosting, and smooth with a bench scraper. To see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides, click here. Using the green frosting, pipe tapering vertical lines of green buttercream around the base of the cake. Pipe a semicircle of purple frosting on top of the cake, and secure frozen buttercream flowers into this frosting. Start with the largest flowers in the center, then fill in the remainder of the semi circle with the smaller flowers.

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Fill in empty spaces by piping flower buds and leaves. I also used an Ateco 352 tip to pipe leaves between the flowers. Then slice, and enjoy!!

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Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

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As fun as summer has been, I am so ready for Fall! By time August rolls around, I’m usually over the humidity, heat waves, and constant “glistening” whenever I step outside. Fall brings so many great things, including boots season, beautiful foliage, and yes, PSL! I might be getting a bit ahead of myself, but I couldn’t resist making these Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes. And yes, that is a pumpkin spice caramel drizzle. The full recipe is included below:

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake Batter:

  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp  vanilla

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Recipe:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin spice

Bake time: 17 minutes

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Place the flour, sugar, dark brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice into a large bowl. Gently stir to combine. Add in the oil and pumpkin, and stir until incorporated. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the espresso, and stir until the batter in smooth. Another option is to swirl this batter with my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe! I decided to combine the two batters, to give these cupcakes a more exciting look. I alternated scoops of each batter, then used a knife to create a swirled pattern. This doubles the yield of the recipe.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake for 17 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool. To speed up the cooling process, you can also place the cupcakes in the freezer for 15 minutes.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the pumpkin spice caramel! Turn stove onto medium heat, and place a  pot over element. Pour in sugar. Using a heat proof stirring utensil (I use an old-fashioned wooden spoon), stir until sugar begins to melt into a clear liquid. Continue to stir, until clumps of sugar begin to form. Slowly the color of the sugar clump will deepen from white to amber. Keep stirring until all the clump of sugar have dissolved, and then turn off the heat. Mix in butter slowly, then stir in cream, salt, and pumpkin spice. Place in fridge to cool for 20 minutes, then pour into desired container. I put mine in a squirt bottle (for drizzling over cakes), but a mason jar or Tupperware container would work great too! The caramel will keep for several weeks in the fridge. You can see a full tutorial on how to make this caramel here.

Next, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time). To watch a full tutorial on how I make my frosting, you can click here.

Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, frost them with a Wilton 1M (open star) tip. Drizzle with Pumpkin Spice Caramel. Be sure the caramel is fully cooled, or else it will melt the frosting! Lightly dust the cupcakes with pumpkin spice.

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To take the decoration of these one step further, you can place them into the short cups from Starbucks (I filled the base with pumpkin candies, to make sure the cupcakes were elevated enough, and add a trimmed green straw!

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By swirling the batters together, you get the below look!

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Pink Lemonade Cake

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I felt compelled to make a pink lemonade cake before summer comes to an end! I’ve always wanted to make a strawberry cake, but really struggled getting a strong strawberry flavor in my cake layers! Most strawberry cake recipes use strawberry jello, and while I was extremely hesitant to try it, it truly is the best way to incorporate a bright, vibrant strawberry flavor into cake. You have to try it to believe it!!

I made this cake using two strawberry cake layers, and two lemon cake layers. I frosted it with a lemon buttercream, and used dehydrated lemons and fresh berries to decorate this cake.

Strawberry Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jello mix (1/2 package)
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 large egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree (I blended frozen strawberries)
  • 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil

Lemon Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 large egg whites)
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 drops yellow gel food coloring

Lemon Buttercream:

  • 6 sticks (3 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • pink and yellow gel food coloring
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • zest of 1 large lemon

Decorations:

  • dehydrated lemon slices
  • fresh strawberries
  • fresh raspberries
  • pink sprinkles

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 7″ round pans.

First, make the lemon cake better. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Mix chunks of butter slowly into the dry mix on a low speed. Continue to mix until no chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in lemon extract, lemon zest, and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Next, make the lemon cake better. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, strawberry jello mix, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Mix chunks of butter slowly into the dry mix on a low speed. Continue to mix until no chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in strawberry puree and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, pouring half of each batter into a pan. Bake for 35-38 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

While the layers bake, prepare the frosting. Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with cream, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. Once fully mixed, add in the lemon extract, lemon zest, and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.  If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time). Divide the frosting, place 3/4 in one bowl, and 1/4 in another. Color the bowl with 3/4 yellow using a few drops of yellow gel food coloring, and color the other bowl with pink gel food coloring.

To assemble the cake, frost each cake layer with buttercream. You can also add some of the fresh berries between each layer. Alternate yellow and pink layers, then apply a crumb coat.

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Freeze cake for 5 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set, then use remaining frosting to add a second layer of frosting using piping bags. I cut my bags to have an opening of about 1.5 cm.

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Smooth with a bench scrapper. Add fresh berries, citrus accents, and sprinkles in a semicircle around the top of the cake.

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Rice Krispie Burger Cake

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@Mister_Krisp and I made this rice krispie burger cake to celebrate the launch of her book, Treat Yourself! You can order a copy of it here: https://www.amazon.com/Treat-Yourself-Ridiculously-No-Bake-Crispy/dp/0761189807

Treat Yourself! is the perfect answer for any cook, crafty food lover, or creative parent looking to make crowd-pleasing and personalized treats for birthdays, holidays, school events, and virtually every other occasion. With no baking required, these playful, visually dazzling sweets are simple enough for anyone to whip up.

The full recipe can be found below:

Burger Buns:

  • 2 1/2 cups (324g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (424g) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 cup (240ml) water

Rice Krispie Burger Patty:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 cups rice krispies

Vanilla American Buttercream Frosting:

  • 4 sticks (2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Additional Decorations:

  • 8 half circle cutouts of red fondant (tomatoes)
  • 4 large yellow triangles of fondant (cheese)
  • white sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease and line 2 8 inch round baking pans.

Begin by making the burger buns. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and gently mix. Add the buttermilk, and gently stir until just combined. Next, add in the water, vanilla, and  vegetable oil, and mix until the batter comes together. Next, mix in the eggs (one at a time) until well combined.

Pour into lined pans, and bake for roughly 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let layers cool in pan for 10 minutes, then place in freezer to cool fully.

To make the rice krispie burger patty, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add 3 cups mini marshmallows and stir until coated and 75% melted, add brown food coloring. Turn off burner and add 4 cups Rice Krispies, stir until coated and pour the mixture into greased 7″ cake ring, press to edges.

While the cake and krispie layers cool, prepare the vanilla frosting. Beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the heavy cream half way through. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Color 2/3 of the frosting tan using a couple drops of brown and yellow food coloring. Divide the remaining frosting between three bowls , coloring one green (lettuce), one red (ketchup), and one yellow (mustard).

To assemble the cake, first trim one cake layer to make it;s shape resemble a dome. Place the bottom cake but on a cake round, and place the top bun onto a flat surface. Smooth the tan frosting onto the two cake layers using an offset spatula, and an acetate sheet. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto to top, rounded bun.

Place the burger patty onto the bottom bun, then drape the yellow fondant triangles over the sides of the patty. Place green frosting into a piping bag with petal tip (Wilton 402), and pipe ruffles around the perimeter of the patty.

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Place red fondant semicircles on top of the lettuce, and fill the center with the red and yellow buttercream. Gently lift the top burger bun up using a larger offset spatula, and place on top of the cake.

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Then it’s time to slice in and enjoy!! I’m always amazed at how delicious cake and rice krispies are together!!

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The Best Dark Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

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I’m starting a cupcake series on my YouTube channel, and plan to use this recipe as my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe! After testing out several different recipes, it’s by far my favorite! It’s a modified version of the Brown Eyed Baker’s chocolate cupcake recipe. I am a huge fan of one-bowl recipes, and have done my best to make this cupcake recipe as easy as possible!

I replaced the dutch-processed cocoa with black cocoa powder, to really give these a beautiful color, and to intensify the taste! The best comparison is to think of the bittersweet, chocolaty taste of an Oreo cookie!

I only recently discovered black cocoa, and I’m obsessed. Black cocoa has a slightly higher pH than dutch-processed cocoa (8 vs.7), and is much less acidic than natural baking cocoa (5-6). However, this is optional, and you could also use regular cocoa if that’s what you have on hand.

I always frost my cupcakes with a half batch of my American buttercream, and usually use a Wilton 1m tip (open star) or a Wilton 2D tip (closed star).

Chocolate Cupcake Batter:

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup (28 grams) black  cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup (177 ml) hot water + 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • ¾ cup (117 grams) flour
  • ¾ cup (149 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate American Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup black cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional Filling: Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 14 cupcakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 18 minutes

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and place cupcake liners in baking pans.

Fill measuring cup with very hot water, and add in espresso powder. Stir until combined, then pour into a bowl. Add the chocolate chips and black cocoa powder. Let this sit for 2 minutes to melt the chocolate, then stir until no chunks remain.

Add the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and gently mix. Pour in chocolate espresso mixture, and stir until just combined, being sure to scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl while mixing. Next, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Then add the oil, vinegar, and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth.

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Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and back for about 18 minutes. Once a toothpick comes out clean (or with minimal crumbs), remove from oven. Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and place in the freezer for 15 minutes (to accelerate the cooling process).

While the cupcakes bake and cool, prepare the chocolate frosting. Beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the cocoa powder half way through, along with the heavy cream. Once all the powdered sugar is added, mix in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

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Once  the cupcakes are fully cooled, it’s time to fill them! Remove the center of the cupcakes using the wide end of a frosting tip, and add chocolate ganache to the center of each cupcake. Pipe on a large swirl of frosting, using a Wilton 2D tip. If you don’t have any frosting tips, you can always use a zip lock bag and just trim the tip to have a 2 cm opening.

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To make these a bit more fun, I also added drizzle some warmed up ganache over the frosting, and grated some dark chocolate over the top of the cupcake!

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A little bit Chelsey, a whole lot of sweet!

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