Cocoa Banana Cupcakes

P1010826

The best milkshake that can be made by human hands is the cocoa banana milkshake. Not chocolate and banana, oh no… cocoa! It’s the real deal. It’s not dumbed down with milk or any bad sugars. It’s healthy; some call it a “super-food.” But even if you’re not a health fanatic, you could always mix cocoa into a milkshake or cupcake as a source of (no, not antioxidants, though it does contain a lot of them) tastiness. The milkshake combo gave me the idea to use cocoa and bananas in a cupcake. Oooh, this is good. The cake is similar to banana bread, but with a bit of cocoa added; and the cocoa frosting is rich and delectable.

P1010830

Cocoa Banana Cupcakes

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 40 minutes plus cooling
Yield Makes 12
INGREDIENTS

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3 teaspoons cocoa
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Cocoa Frosting

INGREDIENTS

2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
powder
DIRECTIONS
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.
Click here to find out more!
Advertisements

St. Valentine’s Day Cheesecakes

P1000557

I altered an old but yummy recipe to yield these sweet, addicting cupcakes. A while back, I made some little cheesecakes topped with apricot jam. They were, oh, so good!  Today, needing something rich and red, I made those same cheesecakes, but they had the same fate as the good Saint himself. They’re bleeding….. Just kidding y’all! It’s raspberry sauce. Well, they were tasty. For the crust, since I didn’t have any chocolate cookies, I used vanilla wafers and added a generous tablespoon of cocoa. That worked out nicely. In case I don’t get back before then, have a happy V-day!

Raspberry Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a slight bit of a cheater’s version (cake mix out of a box!), but unfortunately they worked perfectly. I say unfortunately because I now may become a lazy baker and use a mix more often. I might say that a homemade mix would taste a little better. But if you’re in a time crunch, these are just the thing. The reason I made these is because I was craving a cupcake, but definitely not something that would sit heavy in my tummy. These meet both  criteria: #1- Cupcake and #2- Light. They are beautiful cupcakes except for the fact that they are blue. I wish I could made the raspberries stay a little more separated from the batter, but at least it didn’t mess up the taste! I’m sorry I can’t advertise how many fingerfuls of icing I had. Giada’s recipe that I used calls for almond extract which I did use, but I might recommend leaving that out. I adapted the recipe slightly by adding raspberries into the batter as well as the icing. So you can try hers (below), or use some of my pointers, or go all natural and make your own mix instead of using the boxed kind.

Here’s the batter before it turned blue!

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 large eggs whites
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, cut in half or 1 (16-ounce) container fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

Directions

Line 18 muffin cups with muffin papers. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for each cupcake, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely on a cooling rack.

Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 1/2 containers of raspberries in a medium bowl. Beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.

Generously dollop a spoonful of icing onto each of the cupcakes and eat immediately.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

I generally cannot tolerate the mint/chocolate combination. But these cupcakes are sensational. I will admit they can’t be healthy. The icing is a mint  buttercream… emphasis on butter. The cake part of it is so easy to make, but the icing is the most complicated icing I’ve ever made. That’s not an exaggeration. You really can’t make these cupcakes and leave off the chocolate mint leaves. They just top it off (literally!). So if you have some time on your hands and some pounds to gain, these are the cupcakes for you. If you don’t, make ’em anyways! The recipe is here.

Here’s the chocolate mint leaves in the making:

Apricot cup-cheese-cakes

I had an urge to bake cupcakes today. So I was flipping through my Martha Stewart cupcake book, trying to decide if I wanted something new, or one of the oldies. I came across this one which I have refused to make for years because its picture is similar to that of a raw egg. But today, it caught my eye, because my mom just canned a whole batch of apricot jam which I am always looking for an opportunity to eat. The chocolate, cheesecake, and apricot flavors seemed like odd amigos, but they complement eachother better than you would imagine. I love them! They were pretty quick and easy; and no icing is involved, an encouragement to me! If you don’t happen to be an apricot fan (you’re crazy if you’re not ; ), I think it would be good with raspberry or cherry jam, too.

Makes 18

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup crumbled chocolate-wafer cookies (about 18 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Mix cookies and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture in bottom of each cup. Bake until set, about 7 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then vanilla. With mixer running, add eggs slowly, scraping down side of bowl. Add sour cream and salt. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the tops.
  3. Bake until sides are set but centers are wobbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Wrap tins tightly with plastic, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Warm jam in a small saucepan until liquidy. Strain through a sieve. Spoon 1 teaspoon jam on top of each cake.

 

Mexican chocolate cupcakes

I actually may have posted a very similar cupcake recipe before, but I’m pretty sure they couldn’t have been as good as these are. They are so delicious. They’re a moist, rich cake with a slightly spicy, cinnamon, essentially Mexican icing. In case y’all haven’t caught on yet, I’m in love with all things Mexican: Mexican hot chocolate, molcajetes (mortar and pestles), Mexican blankets, hot sauce,  Mexican doors, tacos, turquoise and brown; you get the idea. As a side note, the cayenne pepper does not really make it spicy; it just adds a nice Mexican flavor ;)

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes: makes 24

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until moist and well blended.
  2. Put in cupcake cups and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Mexican frosting
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, or more as needed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, or to taste

Directions:

In a bowl, sift 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and the cinnamon with the confectioners’ sugar. Beat in the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until the frosting is smooth; mix in the vanilla extract.

Double Lemon Cupcakes

I refreshed myself with these silky delicacies after a day of weeding and raking in the hot outdoors. These were some of my favorites; they topped most others with their smooth cake and tart frosting. Yum!

Double Lemon Cupcakes

  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 30 cupcake pan cups with paper liners.
  2. Sift the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the unsalted butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  3. Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first 2 additions of flour. Beat until just combined; do not over mix.
  4. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.

Lemon Icing

  1. Add lemon rind to butter; cream well.
  2. Add part of sugar gradually, blending after each addition.
  3. Combine lemon juice and water; add to creamed mixture, alternately with remaining sugar, until of right consistency to spread.
  4. Beat after each addition until smooth.
  5. Add salt.

My curious weed: I uprooted it, and it was rooted in a hot wheels car! I couldn't keep this hilariousity to myself =D

Tiny Cherry and Almond Tea Cakes

While licking cupcake batter off my sweatpants, I commence to post the recipe for these sweet cherry and almond morsels.  Out of all my cupcake ventures, these are the winners. The seven silly eaters would say: It cannot be beat, since all our cherries make it sweet. As for its crunch, the almonds make it swell to munch. =D I doubled the recipe this time, because it always seems that telling each member of my family, “Every one can eat 3,” takes a little of their enjoyment away from them. We all usually want to eat at least 7, so I made more this time. The recipe calls for fresh cherries, but I have always used frozen dark cherries. The ones with the fresh cherries probably look cuter with the stem popping out of the cupcake, but there’s no way they taste better. And if you make the fresh ones, you have to eat around the seed and pluck out the stem, which would slightly interfere with my way of scarfing the whole thing down in a bite ;)
Ingredients (yields 30 mini)
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for tin
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground unblanched almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons vanilla
  • 30 sweet (Bing) cherries
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 30 cups of 2 mini-muffin tins with butter, and dust lightly with flour.
  2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to sputter, reduce heat to medium. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter has lightly browned. Skim foam from top, and remove skillet from heat.
  3. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add egg whites, and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour in butter, leaving any dark-brown sediment in skillet, and whisk to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Ladle 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered muffin cup, filling about halfway. Push a cherry into each, keeping stem end up. With a small spoon, smooth batter over cherries to cover. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold. Cakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature overnight.

My cupcake of tea

Yesterday, I made these chai tea cupcakes with condensed milk glaze. I am a chai tea fanatic and a cupcake connoisseur (not really, I just like to say that, but I really do cook cupcakes rather often), so these moist bites are perfection. Since I was making them for a birthday party and there turned out to be fewer than we planned on, I made a batch of mini cheesecakes too. I adore these. They took only about 15 minutes to make, plus baking time, and are so tasty.

Chai tea cupcakes (makes 48 mini or about 20 normal)

3/4 cup Milk

2 bags Black tea (such as Ceylon)

1 cup All purpose flour

1 cup Cake flour (not self raising) sifted

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Coarse salt

1/4 tsp Freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

1/4 tsp ground Cardamom

Pinch of ground Cloves

Pinch of freshly Grated nutmeg

4 tbsp Unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed Dark brown sugar

2 large Eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line mini muffin tins with paper liners.

Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from heat; add tea bags, and let steep, covered, 15 minutes.  Remove tea bags, squeezing the bags over the pan, and discard.  Allow milk to cool completely.  Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, pepper and spices.

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches alternating with two additions of tea-infused milk, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops spring back when lightly touched and are pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.  cupcakes can be frozen up to 1 month in airtight containers.

To finish, dip top of each cupcake in icing then turn over quickly to let set.  Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Condensed Milk Icing

4 tbsp Unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp Sweetened condensed milk

Pinch of coarse salt

3/4 cup Confectioners’ sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, whisk together butter, condensed milk, and salt until smooth.  Whisk in confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until combined, then whisk on high speed until thick and smooth.  Use immediately.

Mini Cheesecakes

 Original Recipe Yield 48 mini cheesecakes

 Ingredients
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line miniature muffin tins (tassie pans) with miniature paper liners.
  2. Crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Top with a teaspoonful of cherry pie filling.

Roasted banana cupcakes

I’ve been longing to make cupcakes the past week or so, so I finally did today. Cupcakes are kind of my specialty, but I tried a new one today. It was Martha Stewart’s roasted banana cupcakes with honey-cinnamon frosting (I guess I should actually call it icing since it was piped=) They taste amazing. I could say that over and over. BUT, if you make them, wait for the cupcakes to completely (and I mean completely) cool before icing them. For some reason, I was dumb enough to not do that and the icing slid right off the cake. This is funny because about 1 month ago my dad and I were laughing at a girl on Cupcake Wars who did this very thing. But hers tasted so good that she didn’t lose, so I think mine would have done the same. I don’t have any pictures because of the technical difficulties. They taste amazing!

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 40 minutes plus cooling
  • Yield Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast the bananas in the oven with the peeling still on, until they are soft (about 15 minutes).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired.