Blueberry Cupcakes

Blueberry Cupcakes
I rarely make boxed cupcakes but sometimes I just don’t have time to dedicate hours to dessert. I will never take credit for a boxed cake but I do still feel like you need to put your own personal twist. This cupcake recipe allows you to take a simple box cake and dress it up into something beautifully delicious! Plus you can use those yummy farmers market blueberries that you want so bad to buy but don’t know what to do with them.
Blueberry Cupcakes
What you need:
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried blueberries
  • 1 pkg. white cake mix
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

How it comes to life:

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24-well cupcake pan with paper liners. In a Ninja food processor, pulse freeze-dried blueberries until finely ground powder forms; set aside.

 

Dried Blueberries

 

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, adding 1/2 fresh blueberries. Divide batter evenly among liners in prepared pan. Bake 15 min. or until done. Let cool.

 

White Cake

 

Using mixer on medium, beat cream cheese and butter 3 min. or until light and fluffy. Add sugar, vanilla extract and ground blueberry powder. Beat 1 min. or until smooth.

 

Blueberry Icing blueberry-cupcake©2013MWB-dashoflovely (4 of 7)

 

Ice the cooled cupcakes and then top with  blueberries.


 

blueberry-cupcake©2013MWB-dashoflovely (7 of 7)

 

Recipe adapted from First for Woman Magazine

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

 

 

Pink Lemonade Cupcake

 

It has been a while since I last posted. To be honest we have just been running crazy. Miles has a rare weekend off and boy are we taking advantage of it. We spent the morning at the farmers market in downtown Bentonville. I purchase the most beautiful cherry tomatoes and some fresh green beans. Really there is nothing better than a home grown tomato in the summertime. After that we went down to the splash park. Living in Bentonville never leaves you without something active to do with the family. If you are ever downtown you really should try Yeyo’s Mexican Grill. I have been wanting to try it out for months now and finally had it for lunch. Well worth the wait. I am not one for food trucks but Yeyo’s and Crepes Paulette are two worth trying out!

 

The weather has been unusually comfortable for it being July so we are headed over to our best friends house tonight to meet up with some couples and to let the kiddos run wild. I hate showing up empty handed so of course I immediately went to pinterest for a fun summer dessert. I will admit that I am not one for making up recipes. If it is already pretty and perfect why change it? I do sometimes adapt the decorations to fit the limited time I have to spend though.

 

A summer cookout deserves a pretty Pink Lemonade Cupcake. I did taste test these beauties and the cupcake itself was soft and spongy. The icing had a hint of that refreshing summertime pink lemonade which compliments the cake perfectly. I am extremely satisfied with how they turned out.

 

Cupcakes
PINKCUPCAKES-3 PINKCUPCAKES-4 PINKCUPCAKES-5 PINKCUPCAKES-6

 

I will list the recipe below with the few tweaks I made but you can see the original  recipe and post HERE.

What you need:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Buttercream:
1 ½ sticks, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons pink lemonade concentrate, from frozen concentrate – The powered sugar made my icing a little thick so I used  8 TBSP.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar
milk or half and half, as needed

How it comes to life:

For Cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 muffin/cupcake tins with paper or foil liners. Mine actually made 15 cupcakes so I had to use two pans.
Put flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. I usually use an ice cream scoop for ease. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

For buttercream:
Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and add the pink lemonade concentrate, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat on lowest speed until all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 more minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. If the icing is too thick add a bit of milk or half and half, if too thin add a bit more powdered sugar. I added a few drops of pink food coloring to make the pink a little brighter.

Sea Salt Caramel Cake

Sea Salt Caramel Cake

I can’t believe I am just now blogging about this cake. Not my most lovely attempt at a cake but keep in mind I was likely sleep deprived and completely distracted as it was coming to life. Gavin was a little over a year at this point and we were still iffy on sleep and definitely iffy on sanity as all new parents are. He NEVER slept and seemed to catch every germ that daycare would throw at him.  In an attempt to find some “ME” time, I agreed to bring a dessert to our family Christmas day lunch. Christmas with my family is always very sentimental to me. I love the tradition that comes to life year after year and love the significance of that very special day. Because of that I had to find the perfect recipe, the perfect ingredients, and the perfect entry back into the world of baking. As you can see from the photo below, apparently we had waffles that morning and I was wearing a beautiful miss match outfit accompanied by some less than perfect hair. Not to mention my child felt the need for some mom time in the middle of it all. Standard.

WARNING: this cake is WORK

What you need & how it comes to life:

Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup  sweet ground chocolate & cocoa powder (Ghirardelli)
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened – I generally use the off brand and don’t notice a difference
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Ghirardelli Powder

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Butter three 8″ round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment and butter the parchment. **I generally trace one of the pans and cut out a stencil of parchment paper to use for the other two. Lightly dust each pan with flour tapping the sides and rotating the pan until it is lightly coated. For easy clean up, I do this step over the trash can as it can get a little messy sometimes.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, hot water and sour cream. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the butter and shortening about five minutes on medium speed until they are combined and ribbon-like.

Add the sugars and beat another five minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Finally, add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.

Next add the flour mixture alternating with the cocoa mixture starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Chocolate Cake Batter

Divide the batter between the three cake pans and smooth the tops. **I use my pampered chef spatula for smoothing. Nothing else seems to do the trick like that thing does.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

Place the three pans on a wire rack and cool for about 20 minutes. **I usually use a cutting board on top to flip the cakes and then flip them back over on the racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper.

Sea Salt Caramel Layer

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

In a small sauce pan combine the heavy whipping cream and the sea salt. Very slowly bring to a simmer until the salt is dissolved then remove from the heat.

In a medium sauce pan combine the water, sugar and corn syrup. Stir together carefully making sure not to splash up the sides of your pan. Cook over high heat until your candy thermometer reads 350F or until the mixture is a dark amber color. On my stove this took about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 1 minute.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel come to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.

Caramel Ganache Frosting:

  • 1 pound dark chocolate chopped (at least 60-70% cacao) – again, I used Ghirardelli squares
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 cup unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ pieces

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

Ghirardelli Chocolate

In a small sauce pan slowly bring the cream to a simmer. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn.

Meanwhile,  in a medium saucepan combine the water, sugar and corn syrup. Once again, stir to combine carefully making sure not to splash any up the sides. Cook over high heat until your candy thermometer reads 350F. It should take about 8-10 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and let it cool one minute.

Add the cream to the caramel and stir until combined, about two minutes. Pour the caramel over the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a minute or two then stir the mixture together until the chocolate is fully melted. Let the mixture cool for a while then transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with your paddle attachment. Oh how I live my Kitchenaid mixer!

Mix on low speed until the bowl is cool to touch (this could take a while). Once cool, increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the butter. Once it’s all added beat on high speed until fluffy.

Build your masterpiece (another place your sea salt will come in handy)

Sea Salt

Place one cake layer of the cake on a serving dish. **Make sure you choose wisely because once it is assembled you won’t want to move it. Spread 1/4 cup of the caramel over the first layer of cake. Let it soak in a bit and then spread 3/4 cup of the ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 tsp of your sea salt over the frosting. Repeat using the second cake layer. For the third layer you can do one of two things: ONE – spread with caramel then crumb coat the cake and put the cake in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes. This will firm up your crumb layer of frosting making it easier to have a smooth finish on your finished product. After 15 minutes, remove from the fridge and final coat with the ganache frosting. TWO (my choice) – put a little extra caramel on layer one and two and don’t put any of the caramel layer on the top. Still cover the top and sides with the ganache. Work from the top down.

Layers

raspberrychocolatecake©2013MWB-dashoflovely (11 of 13)

I decorated the base with some milk chocolate chips but you could use anything you want.

I made the cake the day before so I stored it in the refrigerator the night before. If you don’t want to serve it cool just make sure you take it out of the fridge early the next day.

Sea Salt Caramel CakeThe inspiration for this cake came from Miss Lemonie

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