Category Archives: Cakes

Baby Bunnies! In Mini Cupcake Form. Enough Said!

 

Baby bunnies! OMG sooooo fluffffy!

Baby bunnies! OMG sooooo fluffffy!

I’ve been seeing a lot of bunny type cupcakes on some of the cupcake and cake FB groups that I belong to, and I decided I’d like to make up my own version of them. So yesterday I whipped up 40 of these babies to send to work with the DH this morning.

The recipe is a modification of one that a number of cupcake bakers use, at least according to the afore-mentioned FB groups, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t change up a whole bunch of things, just because. Like the lack of eggs. And the presence of ground flax seed. But there’s a connection! I was planning on making these cupcakes for a while, but last night at the 11th hour (technically at the 10th hour, as it was 10 pm), I realized I was out of eggs. However, I have a huuuuge amount of flax seeds just sitting in my fridge (I bought an even huuuuuuger amount from a bakery outlet a while back), so…a flax seed egg it was, or rather two flax seed eggs!

HOW TO MAKE A FLAX SEED EGG (replaces raw egg)

One makes a flax seed egg by mixing a tbsp. of ground flax with 3 tbsp. of water and letting it sit for 10 minutes until the mixture gets all gummy and gooey and takes on a raw egg white texture. It’s basically working as a binder, and it will definitely make your ingredients stick together.

HOW TO MAKE SOUR MILK (replaces buttermilk)

I also made up some sour milk to replace the buttermilk called for in the recipe. I just added a large splash of vinegar (about a 1/2 tsbp.) to a half cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes, until chunky. Deeeelicious! (Not really, but good for baking.)

But enough with the chitter-chatter, on to the recipe!

VANILLA COCONUT MINI BUNNY CUPCAKES

You will need:

Make the Vanilla Cupcakes:

(adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen)

  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 flax seed eggs (see recipe above)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1/2 sour milk (see recipe above)
  • 1/2 c. water

Mix everything together until just mixed. It should a very un-thick batter, which is good. And fyi, the combo of baking soda and baking powder is what makes them so light and fluffy. Fill the cups of the mini cupcake tray halfway and bake at 350 degrees until golden on top, about 10 minutes.

Ice and cover in flaked coconut. Try not to eat them all.

Ice and cover in flaked coconut. Try not to eat them all.

Once the mini cupcakes are cooked, ice them thinly with the buttercream icing, using a knife. I talk about buttercream icing more here, but a really nice basic one is just a mixture of equal amounts of butter and shortening, with a dash of vanilla extract, a splash of milk, and a whole bunch of icing sugar, whipped for a long period of time until fluffy. So, ice the cupcakes, then dunk them upside down into a bowl of the shredded coconut.

Using a dab of buttercream frosting, press two bunny ears into the top of the cupcake. And voila, done! Want to know how to make those bunny ears? Couldn’t be easier!

BABY BUNNY EARS

Take a mini marshmallow, and cut it in half diagonally using a pair of scissors. Dip the sticky middles of those two cut pieces into a bowl of the sanding sugar. The sugar will stick only to the inside of the marshmallow, resulting in a pink inner ear. Aren’t they adorable? Too cute!

A bowlful of bunny ears! Squeeee!

A bowlful of bunny ears! Squeeee!

The finished product is too cute as well! The DH took them to work this morning, and apparently everyone loved them! If you like coconut, you could even use coconut oil in place of the shortening in the buttercream, and it would be a coconut buttercream. I’ve done that before and it’s also delish! And just think — between the coconut oil and the flax seed, why these are practically healthy, right? At the very least, the health benefits of the healthy oils balance out the sugar, wouldn’t you say?

These cupcakes would make great bonbons to place at place-settings at Easter dinner, or to make with kids as an Easter weekend crafternoon. If you make some, let me know — I’d love to see pics! I mean, cupcakes and bunnies — what could be cuter?

Next Post: More Dinner Roll Odyssey? Or the Parmesan and Paprika Potato Wedges that I made recently? We shall see!  

Oreo ‘Surprise Inside’ Mini Cupcakes: Deliciousness in an Indulgent Bite!

Can't talk, too busy eating Oreos.

Can’t talk, too busy eating Oreos.

Guess what I made this week? Cupcakes! But not just any ol’ cupcake…I made Oreo ‘Surprise Inside’ Mini Cupcakes! OMG so good! Take a chocolate cupcake, and make some Oreo buttercream to mound on top, then pop a mini Oreo cookie on top of it all. Pausing to visualize and drool? Well, stop drooling and start eating! (News flash: recipe below!)

And…there was a surprise inside of the cupcake! Have you heard of this trend? Basically, you bake a treat into the cupcake. ‘Surprise Inside’ usually doesn’t refer to a filling in a cupcake (although it can), but something more, something a bit unexpected…like a cookie baked into a cupcake!

*M pauses to reminisce silently with her tastebuds* Oh, that Oreo Buttercream Frosting! Tasted like the inside of an Oreo, but instead of in a tiny amount, heaped in frosting form on top of a chocolate cupcake! With another cookie on top AND inside of it! *drooling remembering the deliciousness of it all*

They’re surprisingly easy to make? Shall we? Let’s!

I used this recipe, because it makes the perfect chocolate cake — light, moist, and as fluffy as any packaged cake mix, but without the preservatives. This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe, for sure.

I was making a test batch of this recipe, so I mixed up half a batch of the batter, which made 1 dozen mini Oreo cupcakes, plus enough for another 6-12 minis (I made a mini 3-layer cake instead, because I just got a new mini cake tin that I wanted to try out). You can make 2 dozen mini cupcakes with half of this recipe, is what I’m trying to tell you.

Fill with batter halfway, then top with mini Oreo.

Fill with batter halfway, then top with mini Oreo.

Oreo Surprise Inside Mini Cupcakes

  • 1/2 batch chocolate cake batter
  • 1 batch Oreo Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)
  • 50 mini Oreo cookies (24 cookies for inside the cupcakes, 24 cookies for on top of the cupcakes, plus two for snacking. What, you think your willpower will hold out when faced with Oreos? Yes? Good for you! Me, not going to happen.)

Mix up batter. Place mini cupcake liners in a mini cupcake tray. Fill cupcake liners half full with batter. Place mini Oreo cookie on top of batter. Top up each cupcake liner with more cake batter, until a smidgen below the top of the liner. Cookie may float a bit, but that’s ok. Bake in a 350 degree oven until set and the top of the cupcake bounces back when pressed gently with a finger. Cool. You may notice a slightly differently coloured part on the top of the cupcake if your cookie floated; that’s ok!

Top with more batter, then bake.

Top with more batter, then bake.

Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip, and fill with Oreo buttercream. Make sure you do not use a fine piping tip, because Oreo crumbs will block the tip (ask me how I know) and pipe on cooled cupcakes. Top frosted cupcakes with another mini Oreo cookie. And voila! An impressive mini dessert that tastes as good as it looks!

Oreo Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • about 1 c. icing sugar, or more to taste
  • 20 mini Oreo cookies

Mix butter and shortening together until…mixed. Add in icing sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Whip until super-fluffy and then whip some more (that’s how you get that super-fluffy bakery style frosting; don’t worry if you think it’s too fluffy, as it’ll firm up later, especially if you chill it). Stir in 20 crushed mini Oreo cookies (crush in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin). Taste test but try not to eat the entire thing with a spoon. And voila! Oreo Buttercream Frosting (oh, those sweet, sweet words!) is done!

Kitchen Hack: Use a dollar-store ketchup squirter container for easy filling of the cupcake tin with batter. I have an official cupcake batter pour-er thingy, but really the dollar store version is almost as good. Helps avoid the messy dribbles when dealing with small amounts of batter!

Picture done? Time to eat!

Picture done? Time to eat!

I made this batch of cupcakes as a test to see if I liked the flavourings, and it certainly worked out! I brought them to work and they were eaten, every last one. I’ll be baking another batch (but full-size this time) later on in the month to raise funds on National Cupcake Day. Cupcakes, Oreos, and a good cause…these are a few of my favourite things!

If you make a batch of cupcakes, let me know if you switch up the surprise inside — just imagine how they would be with Golden Oreos! Or Mint ones!

Next Post: I have found the perfect dinner roll…after a trial batch or two. That’s right, it’s time for another Recipe Odyssey! Stay tuned for a fail-proof recipe that will gain you friends and influence people. (Or at least their taste-buds!)

Post-Pub Edit: As I’m ever in search of that viral recipe, I’m taking part in another Meal Plan Monday link-up. Check it out here, on Christy Jordan’s blog!

Mini Reese’s Cupcakes: The Perfect Mouthful of Chocolate & P.B.!

Want. Want ALL the cupcakes!

Want. Want ALL the cupcakes!

Ever since I came across the new Reese’s spread, I’ve been wanting to try it out. As 0ne of my colleagues said, it tastes exactly like the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But more chocolate-y!

So when I found a jar on double-sale (on sale at the store, plus a rebate using a coupon app), you know I HAD to buy some! The DH doesn’t actually like chocolate, so…more for me! Bwahahaha!

Naturally I had to take this delicious spread and turn it into a cupcake. I mean, obviously. What, was I supposed to eat it on bread or something? Pffft.

How to make your own bites of yumminess: Bake up some mini-cupcakes using my favourite chocolate cake recipe, this one. Then mix up a batch of the super-delish Peanut Butter Cup Flavoured Buttercream. Yes, you read that right! Buttercream. In Peanut Butter Cup flavour. *takes a bow*

Peanut Butter Cup Buttercream

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 4 generous tbsp. shortening
  • 1 c. icing sugar
  • 3/4 c. Reese’s spread
  • 1 tbsp. Nutella

Blend butter and shortening together. Add in icing sugar and blend again. Add in Reese’s spread and Nutella and blend a final time. Taste test. Lick fingers.

Using a Wilton 1 M tip for that professional look (or whatever you have lying around the kitchen. An sandwich bag with the tip cut off works too!), pipe the icing on the cupcakes. The recipe I used made about 50 mini cupcakes, and there’s enough icing to pipe a bit on each one. Then pop a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup on top, and you’re done like dinner. Or in this case, dessert!

Close-up of the cupcake action.

Close-up of the cupcake action.

I sometimes send in sweets to the DH’s office, so that the DH and I don’t consume ALL THE THINGS, and I think that as delicious as these cupcakes turned out, I’ll send them along with the DH to work. I did set aside a few for my workplace as well. Plus a few to freeze for portion-controlled midnight cravings; after all, I couldn’t give away ALL my (chocolate-y) baked goods, now could I? *grin*

Next Post: Vegetables. Maybe. Or maybe…homemade Peanut Butter Cups!

Memories of Meals Past: Let Them Eat (Baby Shower Themed) Cake!

Ignore the wobbly letters; focus on the cute animals! #squee #yum #nomnomnom

Ignore the wobbly letters; focus on the cute animals! #squee #yum #nomnomnom

I’m at that age where the invitations one gets for life-stage events tends to be mostly for baby showers. Which is fine by me, because I love babies! And yes, I say that recognizing that I don’t have a baby and therefore am speaking from a non-sleep-deprived viewpoint. But I think babies are always A Good Thing!

And speaking of Good Things, I made a baby shower cake for a friend last weekend, hence this Memories of Meals Past post, using the inimitable Martha’s recipe for a basic vanilla cake. I baked the first layer and prepared the animal themed fondant cake toppers, and then realized that I needed to bake a second layer for the cake. So I was still up and baking at 1 am the night before the shower. Needless to say, I was tired the next day. But also satisfied, because I rather liked my cake. Was kind of cute, I thought!

I made some homemade marshmallow fondant using this recipe from Wilton, but frankly, I’ll try another recipe next time. I found the fondant wasn’t as pliable as I’d like (I like to sub in some cornstarch for some of the icing sugar — I find it easier to mold), even though it was super-fun to play with. It’s basically grown-up playdough, that you eat; what’s not to love? And how did I make the animals? I just googled pictures of animal themed fondant cake toppers and went from there. It’s easier than you think, so I urge you to try it.

I made the fondant on a Thursday, baked the cake on a Friday, and made the cake toppers in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I froze the cakes overnight on Friday (err, Saturday really), and the next morning, whipped up some homemade buttercream frosting (using coconut oil instead of shortening in it, which gave it a fabulously coco-nutty flavour).

As I told my mom, it looks homemade, but homemade with love! And I think that’s really the best kind of cake that there is. Wouldn’t you agree?

Next Post: Veggies. Seriously. (Of course as I type this, I’m snacking on homemade chocolate granola. Now if only I could invent chocolate vegetables….Hmm. Food for foodie thought!)

Memories of Meals Past: Days of Red Wine And Chocolate (Cupcakes)

Drizzle me this...right into my mouth!

Drizzle me this…right into my mouth!

I was chatting with a friend in Thailand on Skype last night (shout out to Henneth! FYI, check out his awesome paintings on flickr — so gorgeous!), and logged off so I could go write a blog post for Throwback Thursday, or as I call it around here, Memories of Meals Past. But I got distracted by a new e-book from one of my favourite authors and then fell asleep to the purrs of the cat that I’m cat-sitting.

So I here’s the post that I meant to write! I starting writing the post yesterday, really! I wrote the title. And then I downloaded the e-book and then I fell asleep. But starting the post means that I feel that I can sneak in a Memories of Meals Past post under the wire, because…my blog, my rules! (Ah, so liberating!)

[Edit: I wrote the entire post and went to post it on Friday night, just before midnight. Under the wire, yes? And then the internet ate my post. Lots of teeth-gnashing commenced. This is why you’re getting the post on Saturday morning, Canadian-time. It may be a tad late for Throwback Thursday, but I wrote this thing several times tonight, so {redacted} I’m a-gonna post it! *takes deep breath. Eats a cupcake.*] 

And this Memory of Meals Past is about the cupcakes that I sent in to work with the DH last Monday. They were (*takes a deep breath because it’s a mouthful of a name*): Red Wine and Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Ganache. They were tasty! I know because I ate a handful before I sent them in with the DH. Even the DH, who doesn’t like chocolate (hard to believe, but es verdad), liked them!

Want to make some yourself? (Which I highly recommend.) Here’s how:

I started with this recipe for the Red Wine and Chocolate Cupcakes. You can really taste the red wine in the cake once they’re made. While I deviated slightly from the recipe in this case (because of course I had to!), I have made them exactly as the recipe says and they are good. A word of advice though, don’t overbake them. Actually, under-bake them. And then cover every exposed surface in frosting, or you’ll end up with tough, dried cake wherever air touches. I generally under-bake and prefer it that way. But you do what you want!

Then I frosted the cooled cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting. Buttercream is easier to make than most people realize, and soooo tasty! Just mix butter, icing sugar, a dollop of vegetable shortening, a dash of vanilla extract, another dash of milk, and you’re good to go! If you’re wondering why I’m not giving you exact amounts, it’s because I generally make it up as I go each time — it’s so easy to customize, and it’s hard to go wrong with sugar and butter. But if you want a little bit more direction, here you go!

Homemade Buttercream Frosting (aka Frosting of the Gods)
  • softened butter
  • icing sugar
  • vegetable shortening
  • vanilla extract
  • milk

Beat your butter and shortening together until fluffy. Add in lots of icing sugar. Taste good? Add in a dash of vanilla extract, and you’re good to go!

  • Too soft? Add in a bunch more icing sugar and/or butter and/or stick the whole thing in the fridge to harden.
  • Too hard? Add in a dollop of milk and/or a dash more shortening. (The shortening is what makes it fluffy; the butter is what makes it tasty!)
I didn’t know until about two years ago that commercial buttercream was so fluffy because of the addition of shortening. I used to ice my cakes and sort of spackle on the buttercream, and wonder why my cakes never had the polish of the ones that I saw in magazines, even if they got lots of compliments on taste. Then came shortening! And voila, fluffiness commenced! But just to show you that there’s no wrong way to frost a cupcake, it turns out that the spackle-like frosting that I used to have, is actually a desired finish: it’s called a “stucco texture“. I was merely ahead of my time — or so I claim!
 
At any rate, once you’ve iced your cooled cupcakes, then you just drizzle them with ganache. With panache! Or a fork. (<– Tee hee! I make myself laugh!) And devour them all. Or nibble them all. To each his/her own, yes?
 
Next Post: my Nutella Rice Krispies squares, maybe? Or my latest creation, Fruit and Nut Chocolate Fudge Clusters? Do you have a preference? Let me know in the comments!