Archive for the 'Cupcakes' Category

Carrot Cake, A Reprise: Carrot Almond Flour Muffins

Thus follows the second installment of my carrot cake muffin experience this spring. I thought it wasn’t quite as good as the carrot cake banana muffins, but you can do so many great substitutions in this recipe. It can easily be gluten-free or vegan if you have any dietary restrictions.
And let’s be honest with one another: cream cheese frosting is like the WD-40 of the baking world. It makes anything work.
Carrot banana on the right, carrot almond on the left.
Also pictured: a dairy free cinnamon walnut crumble muffin with delightful berry filling. We were having a little birthday brunner gathering on the patio (this is, brunch dinner). It might also have been called a brunchluck (brunch potluck), because other people brought delicious food items.
Brunching like bosses,
Healthy Carrot Muffins with a GF Option
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
1 egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened
1/2 heaping cup (packed) grated carrot
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond meal
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour (sub in more almond meal if you want this to be GF)
1/8 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin tin with liners or lightly grease them.
Whisk together egg, mashed banana, maple syrup in a medium bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the almond milk, followed by the grated carrots, followed by the oats, almond meal and flour.
Divide evenly among 6 muffin tins, filling them all the way up to the top, and top with chopped pecans.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let set in the pan for 15 minutes. Then flip on their sides still in the pan to let cool completely.

Pipe Dream #331: To Trickle Down Truth – Carrot Cake Banana Muffins with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting


The only other carrot cake recipe on my blog is this one, and it is so good that I thought I would never need another. It is also so huge that after that cake, I didn’t make carrot cake for four years until now.


This spring, I was having a massive craving for carrot cake. Like big time real deal. And I tried to like, not make it, which resulted in me trying every which way to deal with this craving. It led to some highly dissatisfying experiences including:

  • Vegan carrot cake from Whole Foods (like, why even. the frosting was probably silken tofu. i’m shuddering remembering this.)
  • Carrot cake protein powder pancakes (i scraped these into the sink, they were so bad.)
  • Eating plain carrots (this was fine, but it didn’t make me want to shout or anything.)

Eventually, I was able to pull from my “bucket of spiritual truths that trickle down into everyday things” and realized that no carrot cake substitute will fill the hole that I feel for carrot cake, and all your striving to fill that carrot-cake shaped hole with other things is going to be ineffective, dissatisfying and likely damaging.


And it was a good place to process to, because then I just made the carrot cake and stopped wandering into grocery stores buying horrific cake slices, and now I’m good for a few more  years. And here’s what I made.

There are actually carrot cake muffin recipes pictured above, so dial in for a second go later. The one at the bottom of this post is the better of the two. It’s carrot banana cake, so it’s a little bit low fat and a lot bit moist.


Plus, I topped them with this cream cheese silk. It’s like that boiled flour frosting that is so incredible, except I swapped in cream cheese for the butter. It’s a ridiculously creamy, not too sweet version of cream cheese frosting, and I know you’ll love it. A great option if you don’t have powdered sugar lying around.


Best of everything,


Carrot Cake Banana Muffins with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

Muffins adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Frosting is an LH Original

For the muffins:

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1/8 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded carrots
3 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray six muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, quick oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed banana, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined.

Add in the olive oil and almond milk, then fold in carrots. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the pecans.

Divide into the six muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Don’t overbake. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for a few mintues before removing from tin to cool fully.

For the frosting:

12 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, still whisking, and boil until the mixture thickens dramatically. Boil for a minute or so, then remove from the heat. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until cool. You can also put it in the fridge for a while to facilitate cooling. Stil mixing on high speed, drop in the softened cream cheese, about an ounce at a time, and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Spread or pipe onto cooled muffins.

Pipe Dream #309: To Hit the Spot – Cookie Dough Cupcakes


It’s January. Welcome to it. :]

I kept looking at these and saying in my head, “Like, cute, or whatever.” So I hope they are hitting your cuteness spot.


But I was ridiculously pleased that the top of this cupcake looked like a chocolate chip cookie. Because these are chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. I have seen dozens and myriads of cutesy cookie dough recipes for dips and cakes and miniature things over the years, but I never make them, because they all require mini chocolate chips, which I never buy because somehow when I think chocolate, I can only think MEGA. Do you get me?


Not only these really decent eggless vanilla cupcakes filled with an eggless cookie dough frosting that can be eaten with a spoon or scooped up at parties with graham crackers or pretzels, they are topped with an (eggless) brown sugar cookie dough frosting that rocked my world.


Each element essentially includes the same ingredients in different quantities. Even the frosting has flour in it, giving it an authentically doughy flavor. It ended up being a bit of a sugar overload, but that is easily compensated for by a large glass of milk in hand. I’ll post some health food later.


The cupcakes were dense and moist, but lacked a little bit of butter flavor that one looks for in a good cake. Maybe next time I’ll add a bit of butter extract (another extraneous thing I never buy because…just use butter). They are a good solution, however, when you’re out of butter and eggs and want to cupcakes. Or if you have allergy friends. Hey, let’s be allergy friends. It’s a new type of friend.

My roommate said, “I normally go for fruit desserts instead of something like this, but this just hits the spot right now.”




Cookie Dough Cupcakes

For the eggless cupcakes:

Adapted from design. bake. run.

Makes 6.

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake tin with six liners.

Combine milk and vinegar in a measuring glass and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk, oil and vanilla. Whisk until fairly smooth. Divide batter among six lined baking cups (cups should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 16-19 minutes or until lightly golden, and tops spring back when pressed. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

For the eggless cookie dough filling:

Adapted from Amber’s Confections

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) softened butter
scant 1/4 cup sugar
scant 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
scant teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix the butter and sugars as well as you can by hand until well-combined. Beat in the milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Stick the dough in the fridge to firm up while the cupcakes bake.

After cupcakes are cool, cut out the center of each and reserve the top of the cupcake. Fill each hole with the cookie dough filling and replace the reserved top. Frost with the below frosting.

For the frosting:

Adapted from Young Married Chic

6 tablespoons butter
scant 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
scant 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
scant tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together the butter and brown sugar as well as you can by hand until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

How to Make Two Cupcakes with Just One Measuring Tool

single serve cupcake 2

To prevent this post from feeling extremely lonely (see above. poor, sad little upside down cake. name that movie.), I’m going to add a little interest. A little intriguing twist, you might say. Some extra sparkle.

We are talking about a two-cupcake recipe here. Just two. For a few humans, two cupcakes sounds like a weeknight date dessert for two (oh fer cute), but for the rest of the population, a two-cupcake recipe falls under the category of “Single Lady Dessert.” Or single dude. I won’t discriminate.

single serve cupcakes 3

But back to my twist.

Eight ingredients. One measuring tool. That is, a teaspoon. You may recall me waxing on about the most revolutionary baking equivalent I learned: four tablespoons to a 1/4 cup? No, you don’t remember this extremely interesting and personal fact about me that I shared with you in confidence on the Internet?

Well fine whtvr. I learned that, and it was great. Also useful, particularly for this recipe: Three teaspoons to a tablespoon.

single serve cupcake 1

single serve cupcakes 4

If you don’t mise en place your ingredients like I did, you can easily whip these up with only two small bowls and your teaspoon (if you use the teaspoon to stir).

Glaze away (re-using your small bowls, of course), and in 30 minutes flat you’ve got a tasty treat with the added bonus of a sparkly kitchen. I found the cupcakes sturdy but a little eggy. There is a heckuva lotta vanilla in this recipe for just two cupcakes, but go with it. Top with a big swirl of frosting (not my half-thrown attempt at a glaze), and I’m sure you could forgive any egg flavor.

single serve cupcakes 5



One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

By How Sweet Eats

1 egg white

6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) sugar

6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

12 teaspoons (1/4 cup) flour

1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

4 teaspoons (1 1/2 tablespoons) milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.

In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.

Pipe Dream #279: To Chop ‘Em Off – Sparkler Vehicles

cupcakes sparks 5

This post is less about the recipe, and more about creating a cutesy vehicle to get more party in your life. The nut graf of this blog post is: Make more cupcakes so you can light more sparklers. It don’t matter if they’re fancy.

But to sum up:

You can find the recipe for the glazed muffins here. Chocolate peanut butter banana based on my roomie’s no-fail banana bread recipe.

For the cupcakes, I used some leftover batter from a layer cake I made using this recipe. As cupcakes, this batter wasn’t great. While this cake is amaze  as a layer cake (so dense, so moist), the cupcake version didn’t have pretty, domed tops. So I cut them off. The tops.

Haha, so many applications for this strategy of life that I just thought of. Hair frizzing out? Shave it all off. Toenails no longer prettily polished? Chop ’em.  Woops, sorry. A little seck for a Tuesday.

cupcakes sparks 6

The fudge frosting was a small batch of this rich Hershey’s recipe, which I discovered in college.

The peanut butter frosting was from AllRecipes. I swapped in half and half for the milk, and the frosting split. I couldn’t get it to come back together, and I was too lazy to try for very long. It tasted like the best peanut butter frosting you ever had that wasn’t this frosting, which is the actual best peanut butter frosting, though.

cupcakes sparks 7


These cupcakes (or these, remember?) would be perfect for Fourth of July, no? Especially with sprinkles and sparklers. Sprinkles and Sparklers should be the new name of this blog.

Party on. Excellent.


Pipe Dream #276: To Be Chunkless – Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

banana muffins 2

Tip of the day: The key to banana bakes is to use really brown bananas, mashed up fine like…you know–no chunks. Like, the bananas that are no longer peel-able. Better yet, bananas that have been frozen and revived in a microwave. Because bananas can be used as a sort-of replacement for oil and even sugar in recipes, having a smooth puree is key. Until I figured out chunklessness, my banana bread suffered.

This banana bread recipe was passed along by my roommate, pictured below looking like a hot model. She makes it, like, every week, and it is so good that obv I had to try it for myself.

I have a gripe with the original recipe, as it doesn’t specify how to mix in the ingredients. I read it, and was like, “When do I add the butter?” Every muffin recipe with butter I know says to cream the butter and sugar, add the wet ingredients, then mix in the dry. But this one just said to mix the dry and chuck in the wet, so I tried throwing  in the softened butter to the wet ingredients. It left chunks, so next time I’m going to try creaming the butter into the flour mixture first, then adding the wet ingredients. I should really just ask my roomie how she does it.

How do you do it?


Further thoughts, these regarding chocolate: My dream for these was that each would have a huge pocket of chocolate erupting from the middle. I saw this recipe for banana bread a while back that had a massive sunken fudge ripple down the center. It was so beautiful, and if I had a Pinterest account, I would have immediately pinned it. Because I don’t, I can’ find the recipe now, so I tried to recreate as best I could.

banana muffins 3

Unfortunately, I scorched the chocolate a little because I wasn’t watching carefully enough, so I think it turned out a little dry on the actual cupcake. So I turned to the best failsafe mechanism this world has to offer a baker–peanut butter. Because let’s be real: What situation isn’t remedied by a peanut butter glaze? I challenge you to think of one. I thought about it for approximately 10 seconds and couldn’t come up with anything.

banana muffins 1

Chunkless in Seattle,


Banana Muffins with Chocolate Center and Peanut Butter Glaze

Adapted from

3 small bananas, mashed

1 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg

1/2 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, very soft

1/4 cup milk

For the chocolate center:

heaping 1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

1/2 tablespoon butter

For the peanut butter glaze:

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat in the butter, egg, milk and mashed banana until just combined. Divide batter between the muffin cups.

Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave, being careful not to scorch the chocolate. I recommend stirring every 15 seconds or so. Drop even dollops of the chocolate mixture onto the center of each muffin cup.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from tin and let cool. When cool (or almost cool), soften the peanut butter for a few seconds in the microwave, then mix in the powdered sugar and milk to make a glaze. Spoon onto the muffins.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Mash 3 ripe bananas. Mix in mashed bananas, egg, butter and milk to the dry ingredients until smooth. Don’t over mix. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. – See more at:
3 Ripe Chiquita Bananas 1 1/2 Cup Flour 2/3 Cup Sugar 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder 1/4 Tsp Salt 1 Tsp Cinnamon 1 Egg 1/2 Cup Butter 1/4 Cup Milk (or Almond Milk, Goat Milk, etc.) 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips – See more at:

I Got It Right: Sturdy Chocolate Cupcakes with Malted Buttercream

malt cupcakes 2

These cupcakes are like fireworks, and they made my brain explode with wonder. All the best for my bstud frans.

First of all, the cake part is above and beyond exceptional (I expound on this below.).

Second of all, the malted swiss meringue buttercream is the love of my life (Extreme, but I’ve pined for it ever since i saw this magnificence.).

Third of all, they are the prettiest thing I’ve even tried to do in ages (Amidst all the weeknight bars and things, these really were a creative effort.).

malt cupcakes 4

malt cupcakes 3

In case you happen to be turned off by the word ‘sturdy’ in relation to cake, let me be the first to tell you that ‘sturdy’ does not mean ‘dry,’ ‘hard,’ or otherwise ‘inedible.’ These cupcakes, as dreamed up by America’s Test Kitchen are not one-bowl or foolproof, but what you pay for in time and technique is rewarded by a standout cupcake. Somehow, it manages to come cleanly out of it’s liner and hold up while remaining moist and very chocolate-y. The one-bowl cupcakes from Martha that I usually use are flavorful, but very fragile, and I’ve always been annoyed by it.


Fragile Oppression would be a great band name. You can have that for free.

malt cupcakes 1

Good night and good luck,


Sturdy Chocolate Cupcakes

From America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

For the ganache filling:

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

For the cupcakes

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed or regular cocoa

3/4 cup hot coffee

3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) bread flour

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) white sugar

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the filling: Place all three ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20-30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Place the chocolate and cocoa into a medium bowl. Pour the cover over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk together the wet ingredients into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide the batter between the muffin tins. Place a slightly rounded teaspoonful of the filling mixture in each cupcake. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then carefully lift each out and let cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Malted Buttercream

Adapted from Food & Wine

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons malt powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons of hot water

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are just warm to the touch. Return the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the vanilla and beat the egg whites at high speed until firm and glossy, about 5 minutes. With the machine on, whisk in the butter a few tablespoons at a time. If the mixture begins to look curdled, continue to beat until smooth before adding more butter. Beat the dissolved malt powder.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,944 other followers

Lane Cake

Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Spicy Chai Biscotti

Red Wine Pear Trifles

Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peach Cobbler

Clementine Ginger Tequila Sunrise

S’mores Cake with Malted PB Frosting

Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake

Strawberry Shortcake

Nectarine Brown Butter Upside Down Cake

Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake

Cherry Clafoutis

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Banoffee Pie

Blueberry Bourbon Bread Pudding

Pink Sprinkle Cupcakes

Grapefruit Yogurt Loaf

No-Bake Nests

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Black Garlic Herb Bread

Pumpkin Chiffon Torte

Maple Pecan Brown Butter Cupcakes