Baking: It's Chemistry You Can Eat!

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Cupcake 11: Apple Pie November 24, 2011

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — kward23 @ 7:25 pm

I love Thanksgiving. There is a seemingly endless supply of turkey and mashed potatoes, two of my favorite foods (even more so now that I’m used to eating campus food). There’s also more dessert than any one person should eat. I’m not a fan of the usual pumpkin pie, but I do have a soft spot for apple pie. The last few years, I’ve been in charge of the apple pie, using a recipe I found in a kid’s cookbook. It’s delicious. But this year, I didn’t really feel like baking a whole pie. I think it’s the constant desire for cupcakes that made me feel that way. So, I made apple pie cupcakes! I found the recipe randomly last year and made them, but they didn’t turn out quite right that time. This year, however, they look and smell spectacular.

The original recipe calls for a vanilla frosting, but by the time I got home yesterday, it was a little late to head to the grocery store to buy more butter (it requires 2 1/2 sticks!). So I decided to shake things up and make the same cinnamon frosting I made for the Snickerdoodle cupcakes. It’s delicious. And it’s even better on top of these cupcakes. I must say that while nothing can ever fully replace a nice warm slice of apple pie, these cupcakes are a pretty decent replacement for those of us that are just too lazy to make a pie.


Apple Pie Cupcakes

Makes 20 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat butter until softened, then add in the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well combined. Add in vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add about 1/4 of the dry mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and beat until well combined. Add about 1/3 of the milk, mixing well. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with dry. Scoop batter in to a lined cupcake tin and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before coring/filling/frosting.


For the filling:

2 large apples (I used Honeycrisp)

2 tbsp butter

2 tsp cinnamon

2-3 tbsp sugar


To make the apple filling, heat the butter a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble.  Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples.  Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

To fill the apples, use a small paring knife to core each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of each cupcake. Once the apple filling is completely cooled, fill the cupcakes.


For the frosting:

1/3 cup butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp milk


In a large bowl, beat the butter until softened. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Mix in vanilla, cinnamon, and 1 tbsp of milk. Continue adding small amounts of milk until desired consistency is reached. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.




Cupcake 10: Peppermint Patty November 13, 2011

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — kward23 @ 3:49 pm

Alright, alright I know I’ve been slacking on updates. Forgive me, I’m a busy college student. But I have been baking and trying to come up with new and fantastic ideas!

I was looking for ideas one day when my roommate offered me her 3 different cupcake books to look at. I was browsing through, not really finding anything that really drew me in. Until the end of the third book when I found something peppermint and I knew I wanted to do peppermint. The only problem was, what could I possibly do with it? It’s too early in the season for candy canes (not until the day after Thanksgiving!). I was on my way to work one day and it hit me. Peppermint patties. I made brownie bites with peppermint patties in them my freshman year and they were delicious. I had already bought peppermint extract, so I was all set. The only problem was how I should properly recreate one of my favorite candies. I settled for a dark chocolate cake with a white chocolate peppermint ganache and then a frosting that included a bit of that ganache. I will admit I took that idea from the butterbeer cupcakes that I absolutely adore. Anyways, these cupcakes turned out fantastically and were adored by everyone. And then I forgot to take a picture, so I apologize!


Peppermint Patty Cupcakes

Makes 18 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 2/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature

2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (I used Hershey’s special dark. yum!)

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat butter until softened, then add in sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add about 1/4 of the dry mixture and beat well. Add about 1/3 of the water and beat until well combined. Continue adding the dry mix and water, ending with dry, mixing each time until well combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. Scoop into a lined cupcake tin and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before filling and frosting.


For the ganache:

1 11-oz. package white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream

Peppermint extract (about 1 teaspoon)

In a double boiler (heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove), combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream and stir until completely combined and smooth. Add peppermint extract a few drops at a time until desired flavor is reached. Cool to room temperature. Set aside 1/3 cup for the frosting. Fill a squeeze bottle with ganache and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow.


For the frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup peppermint ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
Splash of milk or cream (as needed)

Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in ganache, vanilla, peppermint extract, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Add milk or cream by the Tablespoon as needed. Frost cupcakes and top with half of a York peppermint patty (if you want to). You can also melt dark chocolate to drizzle over top of them.


Halloween November 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — kward23 @ 1:45 pm

Halloween is a wonderful holiday. You can get dressed up however you want, there’s tons of candy, and the parties are great. A friend of mine who, by the way, has never had my cupcakes, asked me to bake some for her Halloween party. I agreed and immediately began thinking of potential cupcakes. It’s a good thing I had about a month to think about it because I’m super busy and don’t really have time to constantly think about cupcakes.

I knew off the bat that I should bake something that would be dark in color and still be slightly festive. She asked if it would be possible to have a red filling that would ooze out to look like blood, but I couldn’t think of a good way to do it without a food processor or buying jam. I told her I’d do my best. I ended up choosing a dark chocolate cupcake (see the Oreo cupcakes), filling it with a white chocolate raspberry ganache, and topping it with an orange buttercream.

To make the ganache, I used the recipe for butterscotch ganache from the Butterbeer cupcake recipe, replacing butterscotch chips with white chocolate. I then used raspberry extract to give it the flavor. It was delicious and soaked right into the cake, keeping it very moist and making the raspberry flavor very subtle.

To make the frosting, I made a batch of vanilla buttercream and used a few drops of orange extract to flavor it. I had never used the orange extract before, so I was very careful about how much went in. A few drops of it made it taste as though I had just squeezed a fresh orange into the frosting. I was in heaven. I wanted to eat it all right out of the bowl, but I had to resist so that there would be enough to frost the cupcakes for the party.

The cupcakes were an absolute hit. I brought a cupcake tower with me to display them, only further helping my costume (I went as a housewife). I decorated the empty space on the tower with some candy corn and put adorable eyeball picks in the cupcakes. Unfortunately, some of the frosting started to melt while in transit from my dorm to the party, but party-goers didn’t seem to care.


halloweencupcake                                               halloweentower