Posts Tagged 'cream cheese frosting'

Pipe Dream #91: To Develop My Manners In Case I Ever Eat With The Queen – Pumpkin Cupcakes

I realize this cupcake looks like a cross between my brain on a Friday and a stylized flower. Unattractive.

I realize that this mount of spice looks rather unlike a mount of spice and instead looks more like a bit of carrot soup with someone’s beard shavings from an electric razor. Unattractive.

I realize that this looks like some puke caught in a bowl with lentils mixed in. Unattractive.

I realize that I love pumpkin a lot and post about it continually, and that I have extremely inadequate manners which I’m sure are the reasons you read my blog. Attractive.

But seriously, I don’t regret these at all. Despite looking awful in a bowl, these babies are gorgeous in a mouth. They are the cupcake version of every wonderful pumpkin cake slash bar you have had. Oh, and if you follow the frosting recipe I put below, yours won’t turn out like the gloppy mess I had. Go Germany!

Please and thank you,

L

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Adapted from SweetandSavorybySarah

4 whole eggs
1-⅔ cup sugar
2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

8 ounces, weight cream cheese, softened
½ cups butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with liners if you are making cupcakes.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Mix for a couple of minutes until it’s well mixed and some air is incorporated. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

By hand, stir the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients just until combined. There will be some lumps.

Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.

In a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese and butter. Mix on high until fluffy.

Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix on low until incorporated. Then turn on high and whip the heck out of it. Add the vanilla and continue to whip. I wanted a light and fluffy frosting so I had mine running on high for a few minutes after the ingredients were all added.

Once the cake is cool, frost the cake (or cupcakes).

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Pipe Dream #53: To Take Real Pictures of the Best Thing EVER, Revisited – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Ok so I told you about this cake before. And I warned you that the description was horribly inadequate. And so it was. I hope this post clears that all up. Yes, it is a repost; no, I don’t mind in the slightest, and neither will you once you make this, eat it and die a blissfully chocolated death.

I made this cake for the students. All the British people make fun of the North Americans for loving peanut butter so much. And it is true. Ever since coming here, all anyone ever talks about is peanut butter and when they can buy another jar at Tesco’s, the small town chain grocery. We spread it on our toast; we spread it on our fruit; we spread it on our fingers so we can lick it off during lecture. We love it more than Nutella, which is the staple sweet spread. That last statement is a considerable one. Think about how good Nutella is!

Point of the story, the kitchen does not make enough with peanut butter. Actually, I don’t know that they have made anything with peanut butter. They just sit back and watch us wallow in peanut butterless misery. Obviously, given my own peanut butterless misery Messiah complex, I decided to remedy the situation with a cake that has proven to be a winner with all nations, classes, and denominations.

Enter, chocolate peanut butter cake with chocolate peanut butter glaze.

I had this sweet idea to make long rectangular layer cakes for 150 people. Despite a bit of difficulty manuevering the unintentionally super thin layers out of the cake pans without parchment paper (read: the dumbest idea of my life), the cakes came together in the end. And the frosting was even better than I remembered.

Smashing,

L

Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen‘s version from Sky-High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes, her notes follow below, and her pictures are better than mine, as per usual :]

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

For the peanut butter frosting:
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

For the chocolate peanut butter glaze:
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Pipe Dream #76: To Be Uncommon(ly Good) – Best Carrot Cake Ever

I like carrot cake as a rule, but this carrot cake is exceptional. Whether it is baked into loaf pans or in cake pans, it always turns out delectably moist and bursting with flavor.  Plus, don’t you feel like carrot cakes are practically healthy? I mean, it is cake, but look at all that grated orange! It’s like a big Vitamin E, 10-calorie mountain in the middle of a vast, brown wasteland of everything that is bad for you. Carrots are the saving grace of carrot cake.

Moist cakes are the best cakes. I practically don’t even like angel food cake because it is too fluffily dry. Plus, I once had a bad experience using angel food cake mix to make muffins. Let the record show that pumpkin spice muffins should not taste lemon-fermented.

I whipped together some cream cheese frosting to further offset the healthy carrots. Ahem. Super simple. Beat together 8 ounces of cream cheese and 8 tablespoons of butter, then add in four cups of powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla. If you want stiffer frosting, just add more powdered sugar. Bam.

And! I added star anise for décor. Pretty, eh? We didn’t actually eat that part, and I felt that there are a bunch of cooler things I could do with it in the future. So expect some anise coming up sometime. We picked of the stars, but the frosting around them had been licorice-infused. An interesting addition.

It’s winter. It’s ok to eat cream cheese frosting. Plus, the carrots.

Tally-ho!

L

Best Carrot Cake Ever

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

6 cups grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins (optional–I didn’t do it)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes, then stir in raisins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 10 inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.

Pipe Dream #46: To Be Super Chill Like My Fictional Antithesis


Ok, this is my new favorite photograph. Isn’t it your new favorite photograph too?

I took it at a wedding. A very lovely, classy wedding. I happened to make the cupcakes for it.

All of the decorations were darling. It made taking pictures so easy. My work was practically done for me.

I was worried that because I was doing four different cupcakes, they would look too eclectic and disorganized. I was wrong. World 2 Lauren 0.

Despite the heavy rain that hit the cardboard carriers, the heat that threatened to dislodge the cream cheese icing and the severe knots in my back that resulted from watching a box of cupcakes flip over when I had to slam on the brakes in the middle of I-94 (so not my fault), everything went off pretty well. The cupcakes in that box got totally smoked by the way. I may not recover. Strike that. I’m recovered, but the knots remain.

Incidentally, I feel that I finally understand Buddy Valastro and the stress of moving cakes. It is legitimately the most worrisome thing. And I even like baking.

It is in times like these that I think of the perfect person. It is the person who is the exact opposite of me. The grass is always greener, eh? Anyway, this fictional antithesis of myself would never get stressed out about things like this. He is super chill. Maybe he just doesn’t care what people think of him. Actually, I know that is true. It means he rarely worries about how things are going to turn out.

Despite the smoking, the remaining cupcakes were just fine. People took them anyway. I know because I was watching the table like a hawk from the corner of my eye. No, of course I wasn’t feeling the pressure. Silly.

For this wedding, I made four different types of cupcakes. I made the most delicious strawberry cupcakes with a strawberry buttercream.

I made a gluten free dark chocolate cherry cupcake with almond buttercream, the recipe for which is soon to come. I particularly appreciated this recipe. The cake was moist and happy! Unlike some other gluten free bricks of cake, which are lame.

There was also an adaption of my honey poached pear cupcakes with a cream cheese cardamom frosting and candied ginger. They were mini and cute. Anything mini is cute. Like mini tea sets. Or mini rose-colored whale pendants that you find at antique stores for two dollars.

And finally, key lime cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting. Marvy.

How happy these people look. They don’t know they are on my blog probably. I particularly like the expression of the guy on the top middle. He seems to be saying, “Whaddya know? A cupcake just did sure show up in my hand.” Smile smile smile.

Thanks forever to David and Becca. What a beautiful story and a beautiful wedding. I am excited to see them use their creative talents together. If you are ever in the neighborhood and are looking for a church, check out Mill City.

Chillaxing like a hippie until the next wedding,

L


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