Life, Thoughts, travel

First 24 hours in Spain!

I have been in Spain now for over 24 hours, and what a crazy trip so far!

I left on Friday, March 1st at 12:00pm from Portland, Oregon. My flight was on Alaskan Airlines and was 2 hours to Los Angeles, where I had a layover until I boarded at 7:30pm. I booked my flight from LA to Madrid using Norwegian Air, which is a great airline that connects the US to a lot of European countries for relatively cheap (it was ~$400 for a one way trip).

While waiting to board I had met a few girls that had studied abroad in Spain for a semester, and they reassured me a lot with their experiences. They said that Spain is very safe and I had nothing to worry about, and the only thing that happened to them was that they got their phones stolen at a club (which, they admitted, was probably their fault anyway because they were really drunk while they were there).

My flight from LA to Madrid was about 11 hours long, so I killed the time by watching Crazy Rich Asians and going to sleep. Crazy Rich Asians was an alright movie. I had put off watching it for so long because I thought it would be a sell-out with zero substance in plot, and I was unfortunately right for the most part. I cried with happiness seeing so many fellow Asians cast and starring in the movie, but I was unimpressed by the plot and substance. I felt that it was just another Cinderella story with little character development and predictable scenes. Anyways – back to the trip!

I landed in Madrid at 3:30pm local time. I went through customs with my passport, which was relatively easy as I had my student visa approved and ready to go. Then I went to baggage claim, where I got my bags and followed two other American ladies through another door that led to the arrivals entrance. I realized after I passed through the door that I did to not declare anything in my luggage, and was stopped by an immigration officer who asked me where I was coming from. After telling him I was coming from LA, he let me through. So I’m not entirely sure if I should have gone through the other door to declare the contents of my luggage, or if I was okay by following the other American ladies through the arrivals door. Either way, I made it through with no problems. I met with two members of my host family, Jose Carlos (father) and Maria Angeles (mother) on the other side. They greeted me with open arms and the traditional kiss-kiss-on-the-cheek greeting that they give to women.

The city that I am staying in, Badajoz, is 3 hours west of Madrid. After loading up the car, we made our way to a diner/truck stop on the way to Badajoz and got lunch. I don’t remember the names of the dishes that we ate, but we had potatoes, beef, and cod with tomatoes. It was delicious! During the remainder of the 3 hour drive we talked about various things in English, from the family to what my hobbies were to the history of Spain. Finally we made it to Jose Carlos’ house to unpack and eat dinner before the next part of my night – The Carnival.

Apparently in Spain there are a lot of different festivals that happen, and the Carnival is a festival in Badajoz that happens on the first week of March. They prepared a costume for me beforehand – I was to dress up as the local Spanish police with their eldest son, Jose Carlos Jr. (also known as “Joseka”). The Carnival had lots of different people dressed up in various costumes, from political figures to crossdressers to pop culture references. We left around 10:45pm to go to the downtown area where the Carnival was taking place. Joseka bought rum and coke for us to enjoy at the festival, because drinking on the street in festivals is common and celebrated. We got dropped off right outside the Carnival entrance, where we waited for Joseka to meet up with his brother Alejandro, dressed in a bathrobe, to give him another rum and coke. We then saw their sisters, Irene and Maria, who were dressed up as two devils. Joseka and I walked around until we found his friends, who were dressed up in suits, oreo costumes, and a witch costume. I realized after meeting up with all these various people that I will need to learn Spanish quickly, as the majority of the conversations were spoken in Spanish (with a little English thrown in here and there to include me in the conversation).

The night went very well! Joseka’s friends drank a lot and danced and sang various Spanish songs, and they showed me a good time. The Spanish party hard – I saw many people get very drunk and accidentally break bottles of alcohol. They also party late into the night – Joseka brought me home “early” around 2am, but he went back out to party with his friends until 5 am. When Joseka told his parents he got back at 5am the next day, they responded by saying “Oh, that’s not too early or too late”!

This morning was very pleasant as well. Jose Carlo’s mother gave me a tour of Jose Carlos’ house in Spanish, where I saw the 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, kitchen, washing room, exercise room, backyard with two dogs, and pool. I can safely say that I’ll be living a pretty good life while staying and studying in Spain! We had breakfast around 11am, where they served the traditional dish “Migas”, a peasant dish made of bread and various proteins and vegetables. Once we finished breakfast we went to the nearby countryside to visit their 6 horses. Jose Carlos, Joseka, and Alejandro all ride horses competitively and have won various awards and ribbons. After visiting the boys and the horses, we went to Maria Angeles’ townhouse nearby to pick up food.IMG_5684.JPGIMG_5702.JPG

Maria Angeles and Jose Carlos are each other’s second marriages, with children from different spouses. They are a combined household, which is similar to mine at home. Maria Angeles and her daughter Irene live in a townhouse for 4 days out of the week (Mon-Thu). I will be staying with them in this townhouse as well Mon-Thu, and will stay at Jose Carlos’ house during the weekends. This townhouse is relatively close to the other house, about 5 min driving distance and 15-20 min walking distance. Maria Angeles told me that she had moved into Jose Carlos’ house for 5 years before, but after a while she realized she needed her own space and moved back into her old townhouse. Moving from house to house will be no problem for me, as I am used to this kind of arrangement. Since I grew up between four different households at any given time, I’m familiar with packing things for trips back and forth.

We grabbed the food from the townhouse and made our way back to Jose Carlos’ house, where we had lunch. Jose Carlos made a kind of paella with octopus for lunch, which was served with wine, roast beef, and roast chicken. Our meal ended with ice cream and a shot of liquor to “digest the meat”. I’m starting to think that drinking is a lot more common throughout the day than in the United States! Now it is time for the siesta, which I have used to write this diary entry. At around 5:30pm local time we will walk around the city, stop by the river and then make our way back home.

So far Spain and my host family have been wonderful and hospitable! There is definitely a language barrier, but nothing I am unfamiliar with. When I visited the Philippines with my mom, my relatives over there had the same amount of exposure to English as my friends and host family I’ve met here. I can understand what they are saying even though their English is not perfect, and we are able to communicate and hold conversations. I am very happy with everything that has happened so far, and am excited to continue my travels and experiences here! Adios, until next time!

DIY, Recipes

The Internet’s Most Unique Cupcake Recipes

I have scoured the internet for the most delicious, most unique cupcake recipes. Instead of having a bunch of links and sending you to a million different places, you can find all of the recipes below. Some of the links don’t work anymore, but all the recipes are still written down in the post.
(Tip: use the keys Command+F and type in the recipe name to quickly find what you’re looking for)

Here is a list of cupcakes in the order that they are on this post:

  1. Banana Split Cupcakes
  2. Rainbow Mason Jar Cupcakes
  3. Mojito Cupcakes
  4. Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
  5. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Lava Cupcakes
  6. Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes
  7. Cannoli Cupcakes
  8. Hot Cross Buns Cupcakes
  9. Huckleberry Raspberry Marshmallow Cupcakes
  10. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  11. Caramel Apple Cupcakes
  12. Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
  13. Chocolate, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue Frosting
  14. Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache
  15. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Buttercream Frosting
  16. Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
  17. Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
  18. Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
  19. Black Bottom Cupcakes
  20. Peach Cupcakes with Peach Buttercream
  21. White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

 


1. Banana Split Cupcakes

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.21.30 PM

Ingredients:
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix, divided
1 cup water
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3 eggs
1 cup chopped drained maraschino cherries
1 1/2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 cups prepared vanilla frosting
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon shortening
30 whole maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 30 standard (2-1/2-inch) muffin pan cups with paper baking cups.
2. Reserve 2 tablespoons cake mix. Combine remaining cake mix, water, bananas and eggs in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at low speed about 30 seconds or until moistened. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Combine chopped cherries and reserved cake mix in small bowl. Stir chopped cherry mixture and 1 cup chocolate chips into batter.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes to racks; cool completely.4. Combine frosting and marshmallow creme in medium bowl until well blended. Frost cupcakes.
5. Combine remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and shortening in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30 to 45 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds, or until smooth. Drizzle chocolate mixture over cupcakes. Place one whole cherry on each cupcake.
(If desired, omit chocolate drizzle and top cupcakes with colored sprinkles.)

Source: HowStuffWorks


2. Rainbow Mason Jar CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.24.55 PM

Ingredients:
1 White cake mix (or your favorite white cake recipe)
Food coloring
4 small bowls
Spoon
4-oz mason jars
White frosting
Pretty sprinkles

Directions:
1. Mix up your white cake mix according to directions.
2. Pour in to your separate bowls and add 1-2 drops of food coloring in each. stir well to mix the color.
3. Pour about 3 -4 tablespoons of each color in to your mason jars, layering each color as you move up towards the top. leave about 1/4 cup of space towards the top of the jar to leave room for the cake to rise.
4. Cook as directed, using a “water bath” as we did with the s’mores cupcakes
5. Remove from oven and let cool off, then frost each cupcake and add sprinkles to your liking.
6. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe: lovely little DIY: rainbow mason jar cupcakes {wedding favor recipe idea} | Lovely Little Details
Picture: Tablespoon


3. Mojito CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.32.54 PM

Ingredients (Cake):
1 cup milk (I used whole)
1/2 cup fresh mint, bruised and coarsely chopped
Zest of 2 limes
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoon dark rum
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients (Frosting):
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (that’s 1 stick), unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 tsp dark rum
1 Tbsp lime juice (about 1 medium-size lime)
1 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
Green food coloring (A drop of gel)

Directions for Cake:
1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and chopped mint. Heat to just a gentle simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let the mint steep in the warm milk for about 15 minutes.
2. Press the milk through a strainer (try to squeeze out as much milk as possible). Discard the mint leaves, and set the minted milk aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lime zest and sugar. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar until it becomes moist and aromatic; Set aside.
5. Add the lime juice to the cooled milk. Whisk vigorously until foamy.
6. Add the foamy milk mixture to the lime-infused sugar, as well as the oil and rum. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand-held, beat on medium speed-high speed until well combined.
7. Sift in the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed until just combined. (Try not to over-mix.)
8. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners.
9. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched, and a thin knife inserted into a center cupcake comes clean.
10. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cupcakes to rest for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pan and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Directions for Frosting and Assembly:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or any large mixing bowl if using a hand-held), beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the salt, rum, and lime juice; beat till incorporated.
2. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating well after each addition. If the frosting is too thin after adding 1 1/2 cups, slowly add more sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Add a drop of food colouring (or gel), and beat until evenly distributed.
3. Frost the cupcakes as desired!

Yields 12 cupcakes

Recipe via: Buttercream Mojito Cupcakes, Hot To Cupcakes, Cupcake Recipes, Adult Beverage Cupcakes, How To Cupcakes, Cupcake Recipes, Chocolate Cupcakes, Amazing Cupcakes, Unique, Decorating, Cupcakes.
Picture: BrownEyedBaker


4. Chunky Monkey CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.38.10 PM

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in bananas, then eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add vanilla.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt and add alternately with buttermilk to mixture. Beat just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Divide batter evenly among 24 paper lined muffin cups.
5. In a small bowl, combine walnuts, cinnamon and 2 T brown sugar and sprinkle over tops of cupcakes.
6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe: HowToCupcakes
Picture: 2Sisters2Cities


5. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Lava CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.39.59 PM

Ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp (dark chocolate) cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup (about half a bag) Andes creme de menthe baking chips
(or use chocolate and creme de menthe)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
3. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.
4. Add wet ingredients, including chocolate and butter to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated and batter is smooth. You can most certainly just start eating here. No shame.
5. Grease ramekins (if you intend to remove them), or use a cupcake pan with liners. Ramekins will make bigger cakes; fill until batter almost reaches the top of the rim.
6. Bake on 350 for 10 minutes (oven times may vary). You want to wait until the tops just set. Much longer and you will have regular chocolate cakes (also delicious), and any less and you will end up with gooey sink holes (still delicious).

Recipe: Makizavelli


6. Caramel Macchiato CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.45.05 PM.png

Ingredients (Coffee Cupcake)
2 1/2 (313g) cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 (180ml) cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled to warm
1/4 (60ml) cup milk
1 tbsp Kahlua
12 tbsp (170g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) sugar
3 eggs
1 rounded tsp instant espresso
Cacao nibs, for sprinkling
Whipped Cream Topping Ingredients
200g (around 1 cup) whipping cream
3 tbsp (40g) sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp Kahlua (Optional. Don’t put too much, or the cream will be too soft for piping)

Ingredients (Caramel Sauce)
(Note: this makes more than needed, use remaining as an ice-cream topper or a mix-in for coffee)
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
3 tbsp (43g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 tbsp (60g) heavy cream

Directions for Coffee Cupcakes:
1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F/175 C.Place paper liners in muffin tin.
2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Combine coffee, milk, and Kahlua in a cup and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) or large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat eggs in one at a time.
4. Reduce speed to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the liquid mixture. Scrape down sides, then beat in another third of flour mixture, then the rest of the liquid, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix in the instant espresso.
5. Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full. Sprinkle on some cacao nibs if using.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before removing them to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Directions for Caramel Sauce:
1. Warm the cream up in a small microwaveable bowl in the microwave. Set aside.
2. Spread sugar evenly across the bottom of a heavy bottomed saucepan and put over medium-high flame. Try not to touch the sugar but watch carefully as it melts.
3. As soon as it is browning, you can start to stir. When it looks like all of it has browned lightly, remove the pot from heat and stir in butter. Be careful because it will bubble up.
4. Bring it back to the flame and stir for a few seconds until smooth. Remove from the heat again and add the warmed heavy cream, again careful of violent bubbling. Stir rapidly until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to lukewarm.

Directions for Whipped Cream Topping and Assembly
(Do not make this until the cupcakes are thoroughly cooled)
1. Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Add in vanilla and Kahlua and whip until medium peaks form.
2. Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip and pipe on top of each cupcake.
3. Drizzle the cool caramel sauce over the cupcakes with a spoon, or for a neater pattern, transfer to a squeeze bottle and pipe over. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to one day.

(Makes around 14 cupcakes)

Recipe: Perfect Cupcake Recipes
Picture: BromaBakery


7. Cannoli CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.47.15 PM

Ingredients (Cake):
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Ingredients (Cannoli Topping):
2/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup Ricotta cheese, strained slightly*
5 Tbsp powdered sugar

Ingredients (Sweetened Chocalate Whipped Cream):
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, for garnish

Directions for cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes, occasionally scrapping down the sides of the bowl.
3. Stir in eggs one at a time mixing until combine after each addition. Mix in sour cream and vanilla.
4. With mixer set at low speed, slowly add dry ingredients and mix just until combine, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
5. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter per each).
6. Bake in preheated oven 21 – 24 minutes until lightly golden and toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool. Cool cupcakes completely.

Directions for the cannoli topping:
1. In a small mixing bowl, using a rubber or silicone spatula, blend together Mascarpone and Ricotta cheese while running and pressing mixture along bottom of bowl to create a smooth texture while removing any lumps.
2. Add in 5 Tbsp powdered sugar and mix until well blended.

Directions for sweetened chocolate whipped cream:
1. In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together heavy cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla until combine.
2. Increase mixer to medium-high speed and whip until stiff peaks form.

Directions to assemble cupcakes:
1. Spread about 1 1/2 Tbsp cannoli filling over the top of each cupcake, then pipe sweetened chocolate whipped cream over cupcakes.
2. Garnish with mini chocolate chips.
3. Serve within the next 3 hours (as the whipped cream will begin to break down after that).
4. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

*Measurement taken before straining. To strain, I just placed the ricotta onto a layer of clean paper towels then wrapped it up and squeezed to strain out the liquids, then did this same step once more with a new batch of paper towels. You don’t need all of the liquid removed just some of it. I used part skim Ricotta but whole milk Ricotta works too.

Recipe: Cannoli Cupcakes – Cooking Classy.


8. Hot Cross Buns CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.55.02 PM.png

Yield: 18 cupcakes

Ingredients (Cake):
1 cup warm milk
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
5 large strawberries, finely chopped

Ingredients (Crossing Paste):
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
½ cup whole milk

Directions for Preparing Cupcake:
1. In a small bowl, mix together milk, yeast, one teaspoon of the sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Let stand for five minutes or until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, mix together, flour, salt, and the remaining sugar. Cut butter into small pieces and use your hands or a pastry blender to mix into the dry ingredients until it forms a coarse meal.
3. Add eggs and yeast mixture to the large bowl. Stir until the dough begins to stick together. Place dough on a floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic.
4. Pour oil into a large bowl. Roll the ball of dough in the oil.  Cover and place in a warm place until it doubles in size, about an hour
5. Measure balls of dough about 1.5 ounces (To see if the balls are the correct size for your liners, place a ball in a liner.  It should fill the width of the liner and come about ¾ of the way to the top.) Press the balls into flat circles.
6. Place about 10 chocolate chips and a small handful of strawberries into the center of each circle. Fold each circle’s dough completely around the fillings and be sure to seal on all sides. Form the circles back into round balls and place them in cupcake tins fitted with cupcake liners. Loosely cover cupcake tins and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (about one hour).

Directions for Crossing Paste and Assembly:
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, and sugar.
3. Stir in milk a little bit at a time until the mixture forms a thick paste.
4. Reseal any of the cupcakes that may have opened up during the rise.
5. Pipe crosses on top of the unbaked cupcakes.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden.

Recipe:  Bake Sale: Hot Cross Buns — Pauladeen.com.
Picture: ManusMenu


9. Huckleberry Raspberry Marshmallow CupcakesScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 6.01.56 PM

Ingredients (Marshmallow Frosting)
2 egg whites and 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 Cup light Karo Syrup
Fold in 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla

Ingredients (Silver White Cake):
2 cups all purpose flour or 2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 egg whites

Directions for Silver White Cake:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour 13x9x2 inch cake pan, or 2 round layer pans, or make cupcakes.
3. Beat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and vanilla in large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds.
4. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 2 minutes.
5. Add egg whites; beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 2 minutes.
6. Pour into pan or lined cupcakes.
7. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes for cake pans.  20 minutes or so for cupcakes.  Watch carefully.  Frost.

Directions for Marshmallow Frosting:
1. Beat egg whites and salt together until very very frothy.
2. Slowly add white sugar. Beat until very smooth, thick, and glossy.
3. Slowly add kart syrup. Beat until stiff, stiff, stiff peaks form.
4. Gently fold in vanilla

Directions for Assembly:
1. Frost cupcakes, cake or pipe on.
2. Don’t cover cake tightly.
3. Rest cupcakes in the fridge uncovered.

Will make about 2 dozen cupcakes.

 

 

Recipe: Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake.


10. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingScreen Shot 2018-06-07 at 6.04.03 PM

Ingredients (Cupcakes)
2 cups + 2 tsp All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or Cinnamon)
1 cups, less 2 1/2 Tbs Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/4 cup Canola Oil (or Vegetable Oil)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups Canned Pumpkin
1 cup Egg Substitute (or 4 Large Eggs)
1 cup Walnuts, chopped (optional)

Ingredients (Frosting)
16 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 c Butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8-1/4 tsp Rum Extract (optional)
2 c Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted

Directions for Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 12-cup cupcake pans or line with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugars and oil. Blend in the vanilla and pumpkin, then slowly beat in the egg substitute (or eggs, one at a time).  Gradually add the flour mixture, then stir in walnuts, if using.
3. Fill cupcake pans 1/2-2/3 full and bake 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool, then top with cream cheese frosting and garnish with chopped walnuts or a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon.

Yield: About 24 cupcakes

Directions for Cream Cheese Frosting

In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the vanilla and rum extract (if using) and mix until well-blended. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and beat well.

Note: If the frosting becomes too thick, thin it with milk, one teaspoon at a time.

Yield: Frosts about 24 cupcakes

Recipe: Cupcake High
Picture: BrownEyedBaker


11. Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Ingredients (cupcakes):
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

Ingredients (for apple filling):
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tbsp sugar
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced

Ingredients (for caramel cream cheese frosting):
10 oz store-bought caramels (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
Splash of whole milk
8 oz cream cheese, cold
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Directions for the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 20 muffin tin wells with cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each additional and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
5. With the mixer on low speed, add the applesauce and beat well.
6. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
7. Divide batter evenly among the liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 19-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, or until cake tester comes out clean.
8. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Directions for the apple filling:
1. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture starts to bubble.
2. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples, coating them evenly with the cinnamon/butter mixture. Cook the apples for about 10 minutes, until they are somewhat tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Directions for the caramel cream cheese frosting:
1. Combine the caramels and splash of half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until caramels are completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and cooled caramel and beat well.
3. Slowly add the powdered sugar, and beat until well combined.
4. Load the frosting into a piping bag fit with a coupler tip and set aside.

Directions for assembly:
1. Cut a conical well in the top of each cupcake using a sharp paring knife and fill each cupcake with the apple filling.
2. Attach a flat tip to the coupler (like Wilton #47) and pipe a crisscross pattern over the tops of each cupcake. I didn’t bother making a real lattice pattern for each and I still think they came out great!
3. Then attach a medium round tip and pipe a border around each as the “crust”.
4. Store cupcakes in the fridge and allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.

Recipe: Erica’s Sweet Tooth » Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes.


12. Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients (Dark Chocolate Cupcakes):
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (I used Chobani Greek yogurt)

Ingredients (Raspberry Buttercream Frosting):
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Additional fresh raspberries, for garnish-if desired

Directions for cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
2. Place butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave in 30 second spurts on 50% power, stirring in between, until the butter and chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth. (Alternatively, you could do this step in a double boiler.) Set the mixture aside to cool until it is warm to the touch.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl to combine, then add the sugar, vanilla and salt and continue whisking until fully incorporated. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the bowl and whisk to combine. Sift one-third of the flour mixture into the bowl and whisk gently to combine. Add the Greek yogurt or sour cream and whisk to combine. Finally, sift the the rest of the flour mixture into the bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. The cupcake batter will be thick.
4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

Directions for the Raspberry Buttercream Frosting and Assembly:
1. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the raspberry buttercream frosting. In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries. Pour raspberries through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids, to eliminate the seeds. Place butter, half of the powdered sugar, and raspberry puree into mixing bowl. Beat over low speed until well-blended. Add the other half of the sugar, increase speed to medium. Mix until light and fluffy.
2. Frost cooled cupcakes with the raspberry buttercream and top each cupcake with a fresh raspberry, if desired.

Yield: 12 cupcakes



13. Chocolate, Pumpkin Cupcakes With Toasted Meringue Frosting

chocolate pumkpin cupcakes with meringue frostingIngredients (Chocolate Cupcakes):
100 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cacao (or any bittersweet chocolate)
1-1/2 sticks butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions for Preparing Chocolate Cupcake Batter:
1. Chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. Add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
6. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into the mixture, return to the electric mixer, and mix until blended.

Ingredients (Pumpkin Cupcakes):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Directions for Preparing Pumpkin Cupcake Batter:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, eggs, and pumpkin puree.
3. Add dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth.

 

Ingredients (Meringue Frosting):
5 egg whites
1-1/4 cups sugar

Directions for Meringue Frosting:
1. Combine egg whites and sugar into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and set over a bain marie (water bath)
2. Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved or preferably until the mixture reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Transfer bowl to electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 10 minutes
4. Beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

 

Directions for Baking and Assembly
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Scoop chocolate batter to fill cupcake cups 1/3 full.
3. Cover with the pumpkin batter up to 2/3 full.
4. Transfer to the oven, turn the oven down to 350 F, and bake for ~22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack.
6. Once fully cooled, frost with meringue frosting and toast with a blow torch. Toasting is optional.
7. Top with candy corn, candy pumpkin, or whatever you wish.

via Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit » Chocolate, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue Frosting.


14. Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients (Dark Chocolate Cupcakes)
1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sour cream

Directions for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet mixture. Mix until batter is smooth. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Ingredients (White Chocolate Ganache)
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces white chocolate chips (I used ghiradelli)
1/2 tablespoon butter.

Directions for White Chocolate Ganache and Assembly:
1. Heat a saucepan on low heat and add heavy cream. Add chips to a bowl. Bring to a boil, but keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Immediately remove and pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then mix with a spatula to melt chocolate. Stir in butter.
2. Once melted and thick, lay a piece of plastic wrap over top and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Frost cupcakes as desired. I recommend refrigerating the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes so the ganache can set. Then top with a slice of bacon.

Makes 12 cupcakes

via Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache and Candied Bacon | How Sweet It Is


15. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Buttercream FrostingChocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Ingredients (Cookie Dough):
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Ingredients (Cupcake):
3 sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients (Frosting):
3 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions for Cookie Dough:
1. Combine the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Beat in milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
2. Using a 1.5 tbsp scoop, shape the dough into balls or tubes.
3. Freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet overnight.

Directions for Cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla.
4. Using a 3 tbsp scoop, fill the prepared cupcake liners 2/3 full with the cupcake batter. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.
5. Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins.

Directions for Frosting and Assembly:
1. Combine the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.
2. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips!

Makes 24 cupcakes.

via: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-cupcakes.html#ixzz2IvzjsBT9


16. Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Ingredients:
Lemonadecupcake14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt1 tsp
Instant Pink Lemonade Mix (Crystal Lite)
4 large strawberries, carefully diced
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 10 muffin cups with baking cups and set aside.
2. Cream butter, sugar and lemonade mix until fluffy. Add vanilla, soda, salt and eggs yolks. Mix in buttermilk and gradually add flour.
3. Clean berries and remove the stem. With a very sharp knife slice the berries and then dice into 1/4″ pieces careful to not crush the berries. If the berries are crushed and then added to the cupcakes, there will be too much moisture and your cupcakes will not bake properly.
4. Fill each baking cup with about a tbsp of batter. Then sprinkle in each cup 5-6 pieces of fresh strawberry. Then add more batter per cup filling each to about 2/3 full.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a test straw can be cleanly removed.

Makes 9-10 regular sized cupcakes

Recipe: http://bigblackdogs.net/strawberry-lemonade-cupcakes-so-good/


17. Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Ingredients (Lemon Curd)
8 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Directions for Lemon Curd:
1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine.
2. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes, and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
3. Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
4. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

 

Ingredients (Frosting)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature

Directions for Frosting:
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
3. As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.
Ingredients (Cupcake):
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

 

Directions for Cupcake:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches,
alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until
just combined after each.
4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
5. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Directions for Assembly:
1. To finish, spread 1 tablespoon lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Ateco #828 or Wilton #8B) with frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak.
2. Hold a small kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over. Serve immediately.

Recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/336435/lemon-meringue-cupcakes


18. Dulce De Leche Cupcakes

Ingredients (cupcake):
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup dulce de leche

Directions for Cupcake:
1. Preheat to 325. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Cream butter and sugar about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs on at a time and beat until incorporated, scraping down the bowl at intervals. Beat in Vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.
5. Divide the batter amongst the lined muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
6. With a knife cut a cone shape into the middle of the each cupcakes and fill with dulce de leche.

 

Ingredients (Dulce De Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
(Adapted From Martha Stewart Cupcakes)
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dulce de leche, softened

Directions for Dulce De Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
2. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the dulce de leche. Continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

 

Ingredients (Dark Chocolate Glaze)
4 oz high quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Directions for Dark Chocolate Glaze:
1. Place the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.


19. Black Bottom Cupcake

Black Bottom Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients for Filling:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Topping:
Sugar
Chopped almonds, optional

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt until smooth. Stir in chips; set aside.
2. For cupcakes, in a large bowl, beat the sugar, water, oil, egg, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into egg mixture until blended.
3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full with chocolate batter. Drop a heaping teaspoonful of cheese mixture in center of batter of each cupcake. Sprinkle with sugar and chopped almonds if desired.
4. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 20-24 cupcakes.

Recipe: TasteOfHome


20. Peach Cupcakes with Peach Buttercream

Ingredients (Cupcakes):
2-2 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup sugar
1 cup fresh peach puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar
Ingredients (Buttercream):
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup peach puree
Vanilla, to taste
Directions for Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin, or lightly grease and flour a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into a bowl. In a measuring cup, mix together the peach puree, oil and vanilla.
3. Add the peach mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined. At this point, you may want to add some yellow and food colouring to achieve a peachier colour. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly. The batter will foam slightly where the baking soda and vinegar are reacting. Stir just until the vinegar is
evenly distributed throughout the batter.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 20 minutes if making cupcakes, or 25 to 30 minutes it making cake. Allow to cool before glazing or frosting.
Directions for Peach Buttercream:
1. Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add peach puree and vanilla and beat again until smooth. You may want to add some yellow and red food colouring to achieve a peachier colour.
2. Can be piped or spread onto cakes.

21. White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

cuppiesIngredients (Cake): 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
Directions for Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the white chocolate to a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between each interval, until melted and smooth
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the white chocolate and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and milk (in 2 additions), starting and ending with the flour. Beat just until incorporated.
4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan to cool completely.

Ingredients (Raspberry Filling)
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Directions for Raspberry Filling
1. Add the raspberries to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
2. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan to remove the seeds (this takes a few minutes, just be patient and keep using a rubber spatula to push it through). Add the sugar and cornstarch to the pan, whisking to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking often. When it reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.
3. Chill before filling cupcakes.

Ingredients (Raspberry Buttercream):
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup raspberry filling (seedless raspberry jam works too)
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
Directions for Raspberry Buttercream:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and raspberry filling on medium speed until completely incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
2. Add the confectioners’ sugar (I like to sift as I add to avoid lumps), one cup at a time and beat until you reach your desired consistency.

Directions for Assembly:
Use a paring knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake. Place a few teaspoons of the raspberry filling inside. Cut the tip of the cone off and replace it on top of the cupcake. Place the raspberry buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with your preferred tip, and frost the cupcakes. Garnish with fresh raspberries if desired.

Makes 15-18 cupcakes

Recipe: http://traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com/2011/06/white-chocolate-raspberry-cupcakes.html