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Recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting


Halloween’s only a couple days away so here’s a quick recipe that uses a total of five ingredients. That’s it — nothing to be spooked about when making these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting.

You can decorate them with inedible plastic Halloween decorations or use decorations of the edible variety. These cupcakes don’t set as well as cupcakes made with a traditional batter, but these are easier so it’s a trade-off.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting are perfect for Halloween and all of Fall.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree and yellow cake mix and mix together well. This batter will be thick.
  3. Scoop one heaping TBSP of cake batter for each cupcake into a cupcake liner-lined muffin or cupcake tin.
  4. While cupcakes are baking, mix together vanilla frosting, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Transfer into a pastry bag if desired.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Let cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes then top with frosting.
  7. Repeat until no batter remains.

You’ll probably have some of the Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice frosting let so feel free to use if for other dishes. These cupcakes don’t rise that much so try and fill up the cupcake lines about 3/4 way to the top.

These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting may be light on ingredients, but they’re high on ease and simplicity and taste. They’re perfect to take to a Halloween party when you don’t have time to make something very elaborate. Honestly, no one will ever know how simple they are. Happy Halloween!

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Loaded Carrot Cupcakes

Loaded Carrot Cupcakes

Loaded Carrot Cupcakes

Let’s be honest, carrot cake is some pretty damn good stuff. These cupcakes don’t come from the most traditional carrot cake batter mix, but they’re loaded with goodness. That’s why I’m calling them Loaded Carrot Cupcakes.

I added shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, pecans, walnuts and coconut to the batter to really load them up with a variety of ingredients. The batter is pretty minimal so it’s these ingredients that form the majority of these cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Carrot Cupcake Batter

    Carrot Cupcake Batter

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin or cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and center. Form a hollow center then add oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in carrots, pecans, walnuts, pineapple and shredded coconut.
  4. Carrot Cupcakes in the Oven

    Carrot Cupcakes in the Oven

  5. Pour batter into cupcake liners until each is about 1/2 full (optimist!). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cupcakes will rise while baking then settle some once removed.

This recipe should yield roughly two dozen cupcakes. I whipped up a cream cheese frosting for mine and garnished with some of the remaining shredded coconut.

The pineapple ensures the cupcakes remain moist and the nuts give the cupcakes a nice crunch. I wasn’t sure how these would turn out given my lack of success with baking, but they turned out delicious and (dare I say it) I was proud of the effort.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Boston Cupcake Showdown: Cakeology vs. Sweet

I’m a fiend for cupcakes so while in Boston I sought out two of the best shops: Cakeology and Sweet. Both are in the same vicinity in downtown.

Cakeology operates in a single location on Province Street while Sweet has four locations throughout Boston. During my visit, I went to Sweet’s Downtown location on School Street. Cakeology’s shop has a nice interior seating area and it’s fun to watch the bakers out in the open. Sweet’s location is more boutique and feels like a more refined experience.

But I’m not reviewing the interiors, let’s get down to the cupcakes!

Cakeology's Carrot vs. Sweet's Organic Karat

Cakeology's Carrot vs. Sweet's Organic Karat

Cakeology’s Carrot Cupcake vs. Sweet’s Organic Karat Cupcake

Cakeology’s Carrot Cupcake was moist, but a little loose and I didn’t taste many carrot cake elements that I’m used to. I was hoping for more texture inside with shredded carrot, coconut or walnuts, but it wasn’t there. The frosting, however, was great. It was very light and fluffy and had the perfect cream cheese finish.

Sweet’s Organic Karat Cupcake was a little on the dense side, but it was packed with more carrot cake elements. The diced pineapple really sent it over the top. However, I found Sweet’s frosting on this cupcake a little grittier than I would have liked.

Overall, I have to give this one to Sweet. The carrot cake elements were there and the pineapple was a pleasant surprise and gave the cupcake more texture. That said, if I could put Cakeology’s frosting on the Sweet cupcake, I would have had close to the perfect carrot cake cupcake.

Cakeology's Pumpkin Spice vs. Sweet's Pumpkin Pie

Cakeology's Pumpkin Spice vs. Sweet's Pumpkin Pie

Cakeology’s Pumpkin Spice Cupcake vs. Sweet’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcake

First up, Cakeology. I didn’t get a lot of pumpkin from this cupcake. I know pumpkin is a subtle flavor, but this cupcake was lacking for me. The frosting was also a little loose. I did like the decorative pumpkin candy on top to give it a pop of color. But, I wouldn’t recommend this cupcake.

Unfortunately, Sweet’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcake wasn’t any better. Once again, I didn’t get much pumpkin, but I did pick up on the nutmeg and cinnamon aspects. The frosting was creamy and tasty, but it really overpowered the cupcake itself especially the subtlety of the pumpkin.

I wish I could, but I can’t recommend either of these cupcakes which is a disappointment because it’s Fall and everyone could use more pumpkin in their life. There’s definitely room for improvement for both shops on their pumpkin offerings.

Cakeology's Red Velvet vs. Sweet's Red Velvet

Cakeology's Red Velvet vs. Sweet's Red Velvet

Cakeology’s Red Velvet Cupcake vs. Sweet’s Red Velvet Cupcake

Red Velvet — the golden standard of cupcakes. I’ve always been baffled by how the red coloring seems to add unexpected flavor to a light cocoa cupcake. It’s got to be purely psychological.

Cakeology’s Red Velvet Cupcake was delicious. The cupcake itself was moist with a definite hint of cocoa. The frosting was creamy with just enough cream cheese flavor. Put those two together and you’ll see that Cakeology has a damn good red velvet cupcake.

Sweet’s Red Velvet Cupcake was a letdown. The cake was too dry (I tasted all of these cupcakes the day I bought them) and stuck to the roof of my mouth. Tastewise, it didn’t have the hint of cocoa I was hoping for. Aside from the cupcake, the frosting was gritty (much like the carrot cupcake) and there was too much of it in relation to the cupcake. I like frosting, but it needs to be used in proportion to the cupcake. Otherwise, the frosting can overpower the cupcake — that’s what happened here.

Cakeology’s Red Velvet Cupcake wins this particular battle by a wide margin.

Overall, these are two delicious cupcake places in Boston. Each with its own specialties and approaches to the cupcake world. After tasting both shops’ cupcakes, it’s a tough choice. I can’t really tell you to pick one over the other, but I can recommend Sweet for its Organic Karat Cupcake and Cakeology for its Red Velvet Cupcake. I wish I had more time to evaluate all of the offerings these shops have. Guess I’ll have to head back to both next time I’m in Boston.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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