Tag Archives: buttercream

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Cake

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National grilled cheese day is April 12th, and it only seemed fitting that I make a grilled cheese sandwich CAKE! I had to test out a few different techniques in the process, but believe I’ve found the easiest way to do it! I made mine with two, 8 inch square cake layers, and filled them with a yellowish-orange buttercream! I added some triangles of modeling chocolate to look like melting cheese around the edge of the cake, and I caramelized some sugar on the top of the cake to make it look toasted. The recipes I used can be found below.

Vanilla 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. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 large egg whites)
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 2 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • yellow and orange gel food coloring

Modeling Chocolate:

  • 16 oz. white chocolate
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • yellow and orange gel food coloring

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and two 8″ square pans.

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. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (vanilla extract, egg whites, buttermilk, and vegetable oil), and whisk to combine. On low speed, add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients to the dry/butter mixture. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.Mix in the remaining wet ingredients in two installments, on a medium-high speed until fully incorporated.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. The edges need to be fairly brown, so that they look similar to the crust of bread! Allow the layers 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.

As the cake layers bake and cool, prepare the frosting. Beat the butter on high 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). Mix in a few drops of yellow gel food coloring, and one or two drops of orange gel food coloring. I wanted my frosting to be the same color as slices of cheddar cheese, but if you want your frosting to be more yellow, you can omit the orange.

To make the modeling chocolate, place white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat at 50% power for thirty second intervals, slowly stirring between each interval. Repeat until fully melted. Let chocolate cool to about 90 degrees, or until it isn’t warm to the touch when you test with your finger. Gently stir in the corn syrup with a spatula. The mixture will seize up quickly. Once the mixture has firmed up, let it sit for about 10 minutes to allow it cool. Then begin to knead the mixture with flexible bowl scraper, until smooth and glossy. Wrap the chocolate in plastic wrap, and place in a Ziploc bag. Allow to rest overnight at room temperature. The following day, cut out triangles to be the overhanging cheese for the edges of the cake.

To assembly the cake, trim the tops of the cake layers, and place one layer on cake board. Add buttercream, and spread evenly.

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Add modeling chocolate triangles around the perimeter of the cake. Spread a thin layer of sugar on top of the second cake layer, and broil until browned and caramelized.

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Let layer cool for about 15 minutes in the fridge, then place on top of cake. Cut diagonally for the full, grilled cheese effect 🙂

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Nutella-Filled Cookie Cake

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This cake has everything a person could want…a Nutella filling, thick, chewy cookie layers, and an ice cream cone topper!! It’s definitely an indulgent cake, but sometimes you need to treat yourself 🙂 If you’re a visual learner,  you can watch me make this cake here.

Chewy Cookie Layers:

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (preferably dark brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 large jar of Nutella + 1/2 cup heavy cream (filling)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Place a 2 inch metal circle cookie cutter in the center of each of the pans. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the egg, vanilla, then the egg yolk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Evenly divide the dough between the cake pans, filling the pans around the cookie cutter while leaving the center unfilled. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked through.

If you don’t have metal cookie cutters, you can bake normal cookie layers, and cut out the centers once baked.

Allow both cookie layers to cool fully. While these cool, prepare the frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 waffle cone (decoration)
  • sprinkles (decoration)
  • green and blue gel food coloring (optional)

Beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar, in 4 installments, until it has all been incorporated. Mix in a VERY small amount of the blue and green gel food coloring (I mean a drop at a time), until desired color is reached. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another minute. Once you’ve made the buttercream, you can move onto the last aspect of this cake, the chocolate ganache! We’ve saved the best for last.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Place the cream into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for about 45 seconds (until its just beginning to bubble). Gently pour chocolate chips into the cream, and let sit for two minutes. After this, stir until the mixture is fully incorporate. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once the cakes are fully cooled, assemble the cake. place a small dab of frosting onto the surface you will be using to serve the cake, to secure the cake. I always use cardboard cake centers, but this can be done on a cake stand or plate as well. Place down one cookie layer, and frost the top with buttercream. Place a cookie layer on top of this, and frost the top of the layer again. Also frost the center cut out of the cake. Cover the exterior of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, and smooth with an offset spatula and/or cake bench. Heat up Nutella and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl for 30 seconds in the microwave. Mix until fully combined, then pour into the center of the cake, filling fully to the top.

Place in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to allow the frosting to set. While chilling, scoop some buttercream into the ice cream, and shape into large ball. I find doing this in stages, and putting the cone into the freezer between additions of buttercream allows me to get perfect ice cream scoop shape.

Remove from fridge/freezer, and apply a thick coat of frosting (about 1 cm). Smooth, and place in the freezer again. Once fully shaped, use a dab of buttercream to secure the cone to the cake, upside-down.

While the second layer of frosting cools, pour the room temperature ganache into a squirt bottle of some sort (I use a cheap diner-esque clear ketchup bottle from Amazon). Take the cake out of the freezer, and place the ice cream cone upside down in the center of the cake. Squirt ganache over the frosting “ice cream scoop”, and allow it run down, until the entire scoop is covered. Then squirt ganache over the entire top of the cake, leaving about an inch of frosting uncovered. Spread the ganache evenly with a smooth utensil (knife, frosting spatula, etc.), and work it out to the edges of the cake, so that the entire top of the cake is covered. Next, gently drop ganache down the edges of the cake. Start slowly, as you can always make bigger/longer drops as you go, but you can’t take back an epic stream of ganache (trust me, I’ve learned the hard way).

The finishing touch is sprinkling the ice cream cone with sprinkles of your choice.

Five Layer Brownie Oreo Cake

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My brother -in-law, Isaac, is currently training for an ironman, and requested a cake with brownie layers and oreo buttercream. His lucky number is 5, and he jokingly said he’d like a five layer cake. Little did he know, his comment would result in a 25 lb, monstrosity of a cake 🙂

I baked the brownie layers first, the cake layers second, and while they cooled, I whipped up the Oreo buttercream. The recipe can be found below:

Double Chocolate Brownies

  • 1.5 cups melted butter (3 sticks butter)
  • 4.5 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

White Cake Base

  • 1.5 cup (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Oreo Buttercream:
  • 4 sticks butter
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 20 oreos, chopped finely (reserve the rest of the pack for decorations)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Chocolate Ganache:
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare five 8-inch round cake pans, and one 9 inch square baking dish with a lining of parchment paper, and nonstick baking spray.
Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread the 1/3 of the batter evenly into 2 of the 8 inch baking pans, and pour the rest into the 9 inch square baking pan. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.
While the brownies bake, prepare the white cake batter. Cream the butter until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the buttermilk and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl, making sure that all ingredients have fully mixed. Pour equal amounts of cake batter into the remaining 3 cake pans, and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cakes bake and cool, prepare the frosting. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Alternate installments of powdered sugar with heavy cream, and continue mixing until the frosting has reached desired consistency. Add salt and vanilla, and continue mixing until fully incorporated. Then stir in the crushed Oreos. Continue to mix at a high speed until the Oreos are fully incorporated throughout the frosting.
Once the cakes and brownies are fully cooled, assemble the cake. To make the cake, alternate vanilla cake layers with brownie layers, slathering an even layer of frosting between the cake and brownie levels. I also chose to sprinkle chopped up oreos between the the layers. Once all the cake and brownie layers are stacked, coat the exterior of the cake with a thin crumb coat. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, until the crumb coat is firm.
While waiting, prepare the ganache. Heat the cream in a microwave-safe bowl for about 45 seconds, until it is just beginning to bubble. Pour in the chocolate chips, and wiggle the bowl until the chips are completed covered. Let sit for two minutes. Stir gentle, until the chocolate in fully melted and incorporated in the cream. Place in the fridge to  allow the ganache to cool too room temperature.
Remove the cake from the freezer, and apply another layer of buttercream. Frost until smooth using an offset spatula or cake bench. Push some additional crushed around the base of the cake. Place in the freezer again to allow the frosting to set.
Pour the cooled ganache into a plastic squirt bottle or a Ziploc bag (snip the corner of the bag when ready to drizzle). Drizzle the the chocolate ganache over the edges of the cake, and completely cover the top of the cake. Slice square pan of brownies into squares, and assemble an Oreo and Brownie pyramid on top of the cake. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the brownies and Oreos, to fill in any open spaces between the brownies. And five hours later…..the cake is complete!!!! 😛

 

Grumpy Cat Cake (10 layer funfetti cake)

I received a unique order for a grumpy cat cake, and decided to document the process 🙂

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To make this cake, you will need 8 inch, 6 inch, and 5 inch round cake pans, a mixer, an offset spatula, black gel food coloring, wooden dowels and skewers (to secure the cat ears, and the cat head to the cat body, and a piping bag with grass frosting tip. You also will need about 6 hours to bake and fully assemble.

I used my favorite funfetti cake recipe, listed below:

Funfetti Cake Batter:

  • 1.5 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups sprinkles
Vanilla Buttercream:
  • 6 sticks butter
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • black food coloring (to be added later in the process)
Baking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare one 8 inch cake pan, six 6 inch round cake pans, and three 5 inch cake pans with a lining of parchment paper, and nonstick baking spray. If you don’t have that many six inch pans, bake the layers in waves. Cream the butter until light and fluffy with an electric mixer (about a minute). Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add room temperature eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the buttermilk and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl, making sure that all ingredients have fully mixed. Gently fold in the sprinkles, until they have been evenly distributed throughout the batter. Pour equal amounts of cake batter into each cake pan (about 3/4 inch deep), and place pans into oven.
Bake for 20-30 minutes (20-25 minutes for the 5 and 6 inch pans, 30 minutes for the 8 inch pan), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula or knife around the rim of the cake pans to remove the cakes. Place them on a wire rack to cool completely. If you want to speed up the process, you can pop the layers into the freezer for about 30 minutes!
While the cakes bake and cool, prepare the vanilla buttercream frosting. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Alternate installments of powdered sugar with heavy cream, and continue mixing until the frosting has reached desired consistency. Add salt and vanilla, and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
Assembly Instructions:
Once the cakes are fully cooled, remove the parchment paper and begin the assembly. Place a dab of frosting on the surface you will be building the cake on (I used a 10 inch cardboard cake round), and place the 8 inch cake layer onto it. This secures the cake to the base and prevents shifting as you build/transport the cake. Add a thin layer of frosting evenly using an offset spatula (about 1/2 centimeter – enough to cover the layer and secure the next layer, but not enough to be squished out as you add on the weight of additional cake layers), and toss some sprinkles on top of the frosting. Repeat with three six inch layers, and then add one of the five inch layers. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
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Remove from freezer, and shave the top half of the cake from the top 5 inch cake layer to the bottom 8 inch cake layer, so that the cake gradually tapers from top to bottom. This give the cat body a better shape (and allows you to eat cake scraps with frosting :P) Apply a thin crumb coat around the cake.
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Cut two rectangles out of one half of one of the 6 inch cake layers (1 inch x 3 inch, with a 1 cm width), and place them against the front of the cake body, where the cat legs should go.  Cut the remaining cake half, and position these two pieces on the sides of the front legs, where the back legs should sit.cover all the legs with frosting, adding additional frosting as needed to shape the legs, and a little extra for the tail!
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Place the cat body back in the freezer for about 15 minutes, to allow the frosting to firm up. After 15 minutes, remove from the freezer and set aside.
While the cat body firms up in the freezer, build the cat head. On a separate cake round, place one of the 5 inch cake rounds, and apply an even layer of frosting and sprinkles. Next, stack and frost the two remaining 6 inch cake layers on top of the 5 inch cake layer. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Once the frosting has firmed up to hold the layers together, shave the edges of the cat head to make a sphere. Apply a thin crumb coat, the use four triangle shaped  pieces of cake to make the grumpy cat ears. Position them on top of the cat head, and secure the with wooden skewers. Frost the ears, then add addition white frosting to make the cat muzzle.
Place about 3/4 of a cup of the white frosting into the piping bag fitted with a grass tip, and pipe white fur onto the grumpy cat’s front paws and chest. Place about 1/2 cups worth of frosting in a separate bowl, and add two generous squirts of black gel good coloring to tint the frosting black. Using a clean piping bag and grass tip, pipe this black fur onto the cats ears and eye area.
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Using a small squirt of black food coloring, dye the remaining frosting a dark grey color. Pipe the rest of the cat body and head with this frosting. Save a little bit of frosting for touch ups once you’ve fully assembled the cake. I also made a fondant nose and fondant eyes for my grumpy cat, by tinting small pieces of white fondant pink and blue. Once the head is fully decorated, set aside and get the cat body cake.
Measure three thick wooden dowels, and cut them (using garden sheers or a strong pair of scissors) so that they are about 2 inches longer than the top of the body. Insert in the center of the body in a triangle shape.
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Gently lift the cat head off of it’s board, and apply slight pressure to push it onto the skewers. Note that the photo above is from a different cat cake, but used the same technique. Continue to push until the head is fully secured on the body. During this process, the heat and pressure from my thumbs smudged the fur on the sides of the cat head. Use the remaining frosting to cover any spots like this, and to fill in the fur around the neck gap.
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And six hours later, you have yourself a very grumpy cat cake!
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Candy Land Birthday Cake

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Black Tap’s over the top milkshakes were recently featured by buzzfeed, and have become a social media sensation. To celebrate hitting 100k followers on instagram, they asked if I could make them a milkshake inspired.

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(Photograph: Courtesy of Black Tap: Craft Burgers & Beer)

I decided to make a malted chocolate cake, and decorate with brightly colored ganache and lollipops, using the above photo as my inspiration. The recipe I used can be found below:

Chocolate Cake Batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup ovaltine chocolate malt powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Malted Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup ovaltine chocolate malt powder
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Colored White Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • desired gel food coloring (I used pink, blue, and yellow)

Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans by laying down parchment rounds and spraying with baking spray.

Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter. Distribute cake batter evenly between the the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.

While the cake layers cool, prepare the chocolate malt frosting. Beat together the butter and on medium-high speed for a minute. Pour in the vanilla and salt, and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Add in the cocoa powder, and beat thoroughly. Once the cocoa powder is fully mixed in, add in the ovaline and beat for another minute. Add heavy cream as needed. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two minutes, until light and fluffy.

Top each cake layer with a thick, even smear of frosting, and stack the layers. Apply a crumb coat to exterior of the cake. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to let the frosting firm up.

While the frosting sets, prepare the white chocolate ganache. Place the  cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 45 seconds, until the cream has just begun to bubble. Pour the chopped white chocolate into the cream making sure the chocolate is fully submerged, and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin stirring the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Split the mixture evenly between three bowls, and stir in the gel food coloring. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, but is still a pourable consistency. Pour each colored ganache into a thick ziploc bag.

Apply the remaining frosting to cake, smoothing it as much as possible. I applied a coat of black frosting, to match the black tap logo and color theme. I then pressed candy drops into the side of the cake.

Snip the corner of each bag and drizzle down the sides of the cake, and swirling it on top of the cake. The last step is to stick the lollipops onto the cake, and layer cotton candy beneath them.  Luckily I live next to Dylan’s Candy Bar, and was able to find lollipops in the exact color scheme I wanted. Party city also has a great selection of lollis!

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Gluten Free Almond Cupcakes

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Another cupcake flavor I’m testing out for my friend’s wedding is a Gluten Free Almond cupcake. The bride has Celiac Disease, and I really wanted her to be able to eat her wedding cupcakes! So we decided to make these almond cupcakes gluten-free.

Almond Cupcake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp baking soda
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Almond Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Serving: 14 cupcakes

Prep Time: 1 hour

Bake Time: 13-14 minutes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius), and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Whisk together the dry ingredient in one bowl, and mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing between additions. Stir until fully combined. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until the tops are just beginning to brown, and tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pans, and let them cool fully on a wire rack.

As the cupcakes cool, prepare the almond buttercream. Beat the butter until fluffy, then slowly mix in the powdered sugar. Mix in the almond extract, and salt. Add cream as needed, until desired consistency is reached. Pipe the frosting onto the fully cooled cupcakes with a large round tip, and garnish with slivered almonds.

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Patriotic Cupcakes

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With fourth of July just around the corner, I wanted to make some patriotic cupcakes! I used my favorite red/blue velvet cupcake base, filled them with patriotic-colored compotes (blueberry and raspberry), and topped them with a vanilla buttercream, and Fourth of July sprinkles (as I like to call them). I don’t think I could make these cupcakes more patriotic if I tried 😀

Red and Blue Velvet Cake Batter:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • red and blue gel food coloring
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 Tbsp boiling water

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • dash salt

Bake time: 12-14 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tins. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring. Stir in the coffee, and white vinegar. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, until just,combined. Divide the batter between two bowls, and add blue gel food coloring to one, and red gel food coloring to the other. Mix until desired color is reached. Remember, a little food coloring goes a long way 😉 Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. I decided to mix the colors in some of the cupcakes, by layering the batters on top of each other. I also made some mini cupcakes. Bake for 12-14 minutes (mini cupcakes bake for 6-8 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove cupcakes from tin, and let cool fully on a wire rack.

Combine the softened butter, shortening, vanilla, salt, and powdered  sugar in a large bowl. gently mix by hand, then finish combining with a hand mixer. Whip until the frosting is fluffy. Color 1/4 of the frosting red, and 1/4 of the frosting blue.

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I used a star tip, and swirled red, white and blue frosting for some of the cupcakes. To do a colored-swirl frosting, streak the sides of your piping bag with red frosting on one side, and blue frosting on the other. Fill the center of the bag with the white frosting, and pipe swirls onto the top of each cupcake.For the miniature cupcakes I made, I frosted them with a plain vanilla buttercream, and added patriotic sprinkles to the tops!

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