Princess Cupcakes

My friend’s daughter recently had her 5th birthday. She’s into princess stuff… Pink, glamorous, sparkly dresses, shoes and things that 5-year-old girls are very fond of. So for her birthday, I promised her that I would make Princess cupcakes for her. It’s actually vanilla cupcakes but I added a little bit of red food color to make pink butter cream icing. To make it more girly, I used the Wilton Cupcake wraps with Pink Princess theme to wrap the cupcakes in, and added some pastel-colored sprinkles. It sure was fun making these colorful girly cupcakes.

Vanilla ‘Princess’ Cupcakes

adapted from The Martha Stewart Show – Martha Stewart

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Basic vanilla buttercream, recipe follows
  • Colored cupcake sprinkles, for decorating, optional
  • Cupcake wraps, for decorating, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low-speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
To make basic vanilla buttercream:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a few drops of red food color, optional
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low-speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

When I decided to try baking, this is the first cupcake I made. My husband requested this for his co-worker’s birthday. I told him I have never baked from scratch before, and we’ll see how it turns out. So crossing my fingers, I went to the kitchen and started measuring and mixing. Since Ina Garten’s recipes are already tried and tested, I used her recipe. It was such a great first time experience! The cupcakes were moist, and that gorgeous red color! The chocolate-y flavor of the cupcakes jives well with the sweet cream cheese frosting. I will surely make this again!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

modified from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 tbsp liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • Red Velvet Frosting, recipe follows

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute, until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients alternately in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Stir with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter is mixed.
  4. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups with a 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop or large spoon. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans and frost the cupcakes with Red Velvet Frosting.
To make the Red Velvet Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (3/4 pound)
  1. Place the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium speed just until combined. Don’t whip!
  2. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting

Who wants beer for dessert?

Last week was Ryan’s sister Lauren’s birthday, and I wanted to make something special for her. Usually, people always prepare or buy the usual birthday cakes – red velvet, chocolate, black forest… but I wanted something quite unique to the taste and not overly sweet. I wanted to prepare something that she (and her family) has never tried before. So I searched for cupcake recipes, and I came across this recipe from my friend’s blog. This is a perfect match! First of all, who wouldn’t be interested in eating dessert with beer and liquor as two of the main ingredients? I must admit, the Guinness beer made a HUGE difference on the texture of the cupcakes! I have never had the most moist cupcakes with interesting beer flavor! And I also noticed that the beer flavor gets more pronounced when the cupcakes are kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. Actually, my friend’s recipe used Bailey’s Irish Cream as part of the frosting, but I wanted to try a coffee flavor so I decided to use Kahlua instead. They are still good! If you want to make this recipe (and frosting) perfect, put 1 pound of confectioner’s sugar, as stated. I did not want it to be too sweet that’s why I decreased the amount of sugar, but that also made my frosting soft and runny. But hey! It was still oh-so-delicious!

So, who wants beer for dessert?

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting

modified from thedelishdishblog and smitten kitchen

To make the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
  2. Bring 1 cup Guinness & 1 cup butter to simmer over medium heat.  Add cocoa powder & whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  4. In another bowl, beat eggs & sour cream with an electric mixer.
  5. Add Guinness mixture to egg mixture & beat just to combine.
  6. Add flour mixture & beat briefly on slow speed. Use spatula to fold everything in.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 of the way.  (Will end up with 20-24 cupcakes).
  8. Bake about 15-17 minutes (test with toothpick to make sure they are done).
  9. Cool completely the cupcakes before frosting.

To make Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound box confectioners sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Kahlua
  1. With a mixer beat cream cheese on medium speed until light & fluffy. Gradually beat in heavy cream (use a bit less than the 3/4 cup if you want the frosting to come out thicker).
  2. On low speed mix in confectioners sugar till smooth.  Add in the Kahlua.
  3. Refrigerate till it thickens up for prettiest frosting results.  Otherwise it might be a bit soft & runny like mine, but still delicious.