Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


I can’t believe it is almost the end of October and I haven’t shared any pumpkin recipes! But I will change that right now.

Today also happens to be the 5th week of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats. It is so insane to think that Christmas is that close!

So back to all things pumpkin: I always buy several cans of pumpkin puree because of all the ideas I have to use it with. And how any of those ideas are executed? Only a small fraction, which is sad because fall is the best time of all to bake. If it were acceptable to make things with pumpkin, maple, and molasses all year round I would be a very happy girl.

So for the 5th week of Christmas Treats I’m sharing these lovely pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting (two seasonal flavors wrapped into one!

I wasn’t too excited about these cupcakes when I took my first bite, but that all changed the second day. I think the flavors just needed time to soak in and deepen. The cupcake because super moist and perfectly spiced. One of my favorite things about nutmeg is the little specks is leaves in the batter it is added to. It promises and delivers great things every time.

The frosting was so creamy. I love a good cream cheese frosting; if I were only allowed to have one type of frosting for the rest of my life, it would be of the cream cheese variety. Although with this recipe I think I should have added a tad more powdered sugar to stiffen it up a bit and a little more maple syrup to make it taste more mapley.

Once again, thank you Brenda for hosting such a wonderful bloghop.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Slightly adapted from Diethood
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. pure maple syrup
¼ pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a standard 12 cup cupcake tray with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil until smooth. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Mix in the pumpkin puree and stir until combined. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold the batter until just combined.

Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared cupcake tray. Bake on the center rack for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gently add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla until completely incorporated. Frost cupcakes as desired.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cake Slice Bakers - October 2013: Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

It’s October 20th (where did the time go?!) and you know what that means! Well if you re new here I’ll tell you, it means the lovely ladies from the Cake Slice Bakers are posting the 12th and final cake from the most wonderful cookbook ever: Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson.

I don’t think we have ever had a more successful cake book than this one.

I can still taste this Red Velvet Cake we made back in February, my god it was so smooth and delectable, and this Honey Bee Cake was definitely a huge hit for my roommates and me. The honey syrup was so sticky and sweet and just paired perfectly with the cake. Oh and don’t get me started on the Lemon and Almond Streamliner Cake. That is probably my absolute favorite out of all the cakes we made this year. So lemony, tangy, yet sweet too. And the frosting for this cake was amazing! I could eat that out of a bowl with a spoon if my goal was to gain 10 pounds in an hour.

So it has been a tradition for the past couple of years that on the last cake everyone makes a cake of their choice and keeps it a secret from everyone (including the members of the group) until the big reveal.

I ended up making this lovely beauty!

You would think an all-chocolate cake would be really heavy and dense, but not this one. It has 7 egg whites to make it light and fluffy and the whipped cream frosting keeps the whole thing light and pleasant.

I took this to my parents during fall break and by the end of my long weekend (only 4 days mind you) all by this slice you see here was gone. I had to salvage it because I didn’t have time to take pictures.

My mom says this is the best cake I have ever made. I think it has to do with it tasting very similar to this cake my grandma who passed away a few years ago; it was a tough time for my mom. But I’m glad I unintentionally made a make my mom had in her childhood frequently. The only difference between the two cakes was that my grandma put a burnt sugar toffee thing on the top. I really do think that would make this cake extra awesome!

(By the way please excuse all the terrible photos. I didn't have proper light for about a week and since this was the last slice I didn't want to get rid of it so it looks a little mangled.)

Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream
Slightly adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

Whipped Cream
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
1 ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Dash of salt

½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
½ cup boiling water
½ cup canola oil
½ cup buttermilk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 ¾ cup cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
7 large egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
½ cup sugar

Whipped Cream: place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a slight simmer. Take off the heat and pour over the chocolate, swirling the bowl to coat all of the chocolate in heavy cream. Let the mixture sit for a little bit to allow the chocolate to melt. Whisk the cream and chocolate until combined. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until cold, about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Take out your 10-inch tube pan, do not grease or line the pan. Just get it out in preparation for the batter.

Cake: In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Whisk in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and yolks.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt. Whisk in the brown sugar until the big lumps are gone. Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula. Stir briskly until smooth. Do not over-mix.

In a clean glass bowl, whip the eggs whites on medium until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high until the whites reach soft peaks. Decrease the speed to medium and gradually pour in the sugar. Increase the speed to high and whip until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter using as few strokes as possible. Fold in the reaming egg whites until fully incorporated.

Pour batter into the UNgreased tube pan. Place the pan on the lower third oven rack and bake for 45-55 minutes. Do not invert the cake, but place it on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature. To unmold the cooled cake run a thin knife around the edges to release the sides. Invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Assembly: Place the bowl of the chocolate whipped cream in the freezer for 5 minutes. Whip cream until it reaches a thick and spreadable consistency. Cut the cake into three horizontal sections. Spread 1/3 of the whipped cream onto the top (cut side up) of the bottom third of the cake. Place the middle section of the cake on top of the cream. Spread another ½ of the whipped cream on top of the middle section of the cake. Place the final piece of the cake on top of the whipped cream. Cover the top with the remaining whipped cream.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Baked Powdered Donuts

Face it: we all have our guilty pleasures. Most of the time those pleasures have to do with food. I actually have a set of foods that I cannot buy at all unless I want to eat the entire bag/box in one sitting for instance, doughnuts. I cannot buy any kind of doughnut whether it be glazed, powdered, or chocolate coated because I seriously will start off with only eating one and 10 minutes later I’m left with an empty box of doughnuts.

At least I admit I have a problem. That’s the first step, right?

Anyways because this is the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats I figured I might as well post about one of my all-time guilty pleasures.

These donuts were absolutely fantastic and the nutmeg makes them taste extra Christmassy. And these are baked, not fried, so that makes these a little healthier, right? Oh who am I kidding, I ate them all anyways (no shame)

I found that the moisture in the donut soaked up the powdered sugar pretty quickly, so if you go the powdered sugar route, coat them in powdered sugar right before serving.

As always, many thanks to Brenda from Meal Planning Magic for hosting the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats

Baked Powdered Donuts
Slightly adapted from Salad in a Jar
Makes 8

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a donut pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg, oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until just combined.

Spoon batter into a piping bag or ziplock bag with the tip snipped off. My batter was very runny so plan accordingly. Fill each donut cavity half way with batter. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.

Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. As the donuts cool, place about ½ a cup of powdered sugar into a ziplock bag. Place a completely cooled donut in the bag, close the bag, and shake until the donut is coated in powdered sugar. Repeat with the remaining donuts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Today is the 3rd week out of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats and I’m sharing something scrumptious for an indulgent Christmas breakfast.
I am not a big breakfast person because when I want breakfast I want it right then, which means instant oatmeal and multi-grain Cheerios (don’t give me that look, I love me some oatmeal and some Cheerios!). Anyways most breakfast foods take forever to cook and one of the most dragged out breakfast treats are cinnamon rolls.


Seriously, who has time to wake up at 5 in the morning to have piping hot cinnamon rolls ready by 8:30 am? No one in their right mind, unless you are still five years old ding to see what Santa has brought them, and I highly doubt a five year old will be in the kitchen whipping up some yeasted bread. If you have seen this happen, please send me a picture of this event because that would be way awesome!

Anyways, back to cinnamon rolls. Audra, from The Baker Chick, posted these quite a while ago, and these were the reason I started a cinnamon roll board on my Pinterest account (no shame). They looked so easy and delicious I just had to try them. And boy I’m so glad I did because WOW! These were gone in the blink of an eye.


This is a recipe for instant gratification cinnamon rolls. There is no wait period for letting yeast rise, punch down, roll out, and rise again. You just roll out the tender dough, sprinkle on the filling, cut, bake, and enjoy.

By the way when I say tender dough, I really do mean tender! These cinnamon rolls don’t taste like sugared up biscuits, but they really taste like bread, really good bread at that! And the filling was just sooooo sweet and sticky. I will look forward to making these again Christmas morning!

Thank you Brenda of Meal Planning Magic for hosting such a wonderful event!


Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and egg. Pour in the buttermilk and stir to combine. Gently mix in the flour. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon from the filling ingredients.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for a minute or two. Roll the dough out into a 24x12 inch rectangle. Spread the surface of the dough with the softened butter. Sprinkle the filling on top of the butter. Pat down the mixture to make sure it sticks. Roll dough (length wise) into a log. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place each piece, spiral side up, into each greased muffin cup. Bake for 15 minute or until the dough turns a light golden color.

Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool in the pan for a minute or to before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Drizzle the tops of each cinnamon roll with the glaze. To make the glaze, just stir together the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cake Slice Bakers - September 2013: Butterscotch Cream Roll-up

It is waaaaay past the 20th, but I finally took the time to sit down and write this post.  And I just want to thank to wonderful ladies for being patient with me.

Last month the other members of the Cake Slice Bakers and I made the Butterscotch Cream Roll-up Cake. I actually made this a week before the due date, but school (as always) has kept me from posting. Like just this past week I had two tests, back-to-back. I have been at school from 8am allllll the way to midnight every single day studying for these tests and attending classes. It’s ridiculous!

But luckily all my tests this week are finished and so I’m taking some “me” time and getting my stuff together. This weekend will be filled with studying too, but hopefully not at rigorous.

Anyways I have a small announcement before I get down to the sweet delicious cake part of this post. The Cake Slice Bakers are almost done with Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson, which means we are starting a new book come November. So if you are interested in joining the lovely ladies and I please e-mail Paloma at love(dot)for(dot)coffee(at)gmail(dot)com. Also, please mention my name if you do decide to join because we are having a little contest, and you want me to win, riiiight?  Also if you don't know if you want to join just yet, we have started this new thing that 6 months into the book we will open a small window for people to try out the group, so there is a chance then if you can't make up your mind now.

Ok, so cake time! First off, in order to make my hectic life a little simpler I just made this cake look like a regular jelly-roll cake instead of the elaborate spiral thing.

This cake took me two slices to finally appreciate the amazing flavor. At first I didn’t really like the cake; I thought it was ok, but not the best from the book. I decided to give the cake another chance the next night and oh my gosh my taste buds were in Happyland. The butterscotch whipped cream in the center is so light and soft it was like biting into a cream-colored cloud. The cake itself didn’t have much flavor, but it serves as a good vehicle for the whipped cream filling. The best part was definitely the butterscotch sauce! I only made half of the cream filling, which meant I had over ¾ of the butterscotch left over, so I decided to drizzle some on top of the cake. Let me tell you one thing: BEST DECISION EVER! Seriously. I still have a lot left over and I wish with all my heart I had some vanilla ice cream so I could smother it with this stuff.

Next month will be the last cake from this particular book, but I have a feeling I will be using this book way more in the future for whenever cake sparks my fancy. So please stay tuned in a couple weeks because I will make it my personal goal to have the last cake posted on time!

Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up
Slightly adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

Butterscotch Sauce
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt

1 cup cake flour*
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup canola oil
4 egg yolks, room temperature
¼ cup water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 egg whites, room temperature
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
* or ¾ cup + 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp. cornstarch, sifted multiple times

¾ cup heavy cream, cold
½ cup butterscotch sauce, chilled

Make butterscotch sauce first. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Dump in the brown sugar and stir to combine. Stir frequently. Cook until the mixture begins to simmer and changes from a wet sand consistency to a liquid that looks like taffy. Drizzle about ¼ of the cream into the mixture and stir vigorously to combine. Whisk in the remaining cream. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow sauce to boil. Whisk until the color darkens. Remove pan from the heat and allow sauce to cool for a few minutes. Add vanilla and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 12x16 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray.

To make cake: sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and ¾ cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, yolks, water, and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.

In a clean glass bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue to whip until the whites reach a soft peak. Gradually add in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and whip until the whites hold firm, shiny peaks.

With a clean rubber spatula fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it up. Use as few strokes as possible. Add remaining whites, folding until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the tops. Place cake on the center rack and bake for 16-20 minutes or until the top springs back up when lightly touched. Cool cake on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature.

Make the filling by placing a clean glass bowl and whisk or beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes. Add the cold cream and butterscotch sauce to the chilled bowl and whip until ingredients are blended. Increase the speed of your mixer until the cream holds soft peaks.

To assemble to the cake: turn the cake out of the pan, top facing up. Spread 2/3 of the cream filling over the top. Take the short end of the cake and roll it up. Spread the remaining filling over the top and sides of the cake. Keep the cake well-wrapped in the fridge.

For extra amazing flavor, drizzle the remaining butterscotch sauce all over your slices of cake, you won’t regret it! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Buttercream-filled Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Truffles

Today marks the second week out of twelve for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats. And what else screams Christmas other than sinckerdoodles?
Besides chocolate chips cookies I’m pretty sure snickerdoodles are the favorite cookie to make during the holidays.

What I’m sharing today isn’t really the classic snickerdoodle, not at all! Today is all about vanilla buttercream-filled snickerdoodle cookie dough truffles! Yes it is a mouthful to say, but when has that ever stopped anyone from eating deliciously sweet goodies? It certainly doesn’t happen to me. In fact, the longer the title, the better, because it promises that much flavor.

When I saw these on Darla’s blog, I knew I had to make them. I mean just look at her photos and tell me you aren’t already drooling over the smooth snerckerdoodle balls cloaked in smooth chocolate.
I decided to go with a semi-sweet chocolate coating because white chocolate tends to make my stomach churn, and in all honesty I don’t even miss the white chocolate because these cookie dough truffles re so amazing! Every time I finished one I found myself going back for seconds, sometimes even grabbing two because I knew I would be back for thirds.

Many thanks goes to Brenda, author of Meal Planning Magic, for hosting such a wonderful event!   

Buttercream-filled Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Truffles
From Bakingdom
Makes about 3 dozen

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chilled vanilla buttercream (or use full recipe below)
1 12oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in about 10 oz. of the sweetened condensed milk. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Gradually add in the flour and mix until combined. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add more sweetened condensed milk; if the mixture is too wet, mix in some more flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

While the dough is chilling, roll 1 tsp. sized pieces of buttercream into balls. Chill the buttercream balls.

Once the dough has chilled, use a medium-small cookie scoop to portion out the dough. Roll portioned out dough into balls. Flatten each ball and place one buttercream ball in the middle. Roll the dough around the buttercream. Chill for another 20-30 minutes.

Place a large heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or use a double boiler). Pour the chocolate chips into the bowl and wait for it to melt. Stir occasionally. Once the chocolate has completely melted remove from heat.

Use a toothpick or lollipop stick to dip each cookie dough ball into the chocolate. Tap the stick on the side of the ball to shake off the excess chocolate. Place onto a foil-lined cookie sheet. Chill the chocolate-covered dough balls until the chocolate has hardened.

Vanilla Buttercream
from Bakingdom
makes enough for this particular project

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until sooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the salt, heavy cream, and vanilla until completely incorporated.

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