Tag Archives: Cupcake

Owl Cupcakes

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Here’s a fun fall cupcake decorating idea–Owl Cupcakes! There are several different ways you can make owl cupcakes, and you may have already seen other ideas for these on different sites. I thought this idea from Recipe Snobs was one of the cutest and easiest–all you need are cupcakes, Oreos, and M&M’s!

Make sure you generously frost your cupcakes, because the frosting is what holds your Oreo “eyes” and “ears” in place, as you press the cookie halves into the top of the cupcake. Hope you have fun making these!

OWL CUPCAKES adapted from Recipe Snobs

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 12 chocolate cupcakes generously frosted with chocolate frosting (make your favorite recipe or try these yummy Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting–that’s what I used!)
  • 24 Oreo cookies (regular or Double-Stuff Oreos–I’ve used both; since I really like the cream filling, I prefer the Double-Stuff)
  • 36 M&M candies (I like using blue, green, brown, or red for the eyes, and orange for the nose)

Split the Oreo cookies in half crosswise, so the cream is all on one half and the other half is plain (the directions on Recipe Snobs say you can microwave 5 cookies at a time for 3-5 seconds to help keep the cream side solid; I didn’t try this, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re having problems splitting the Oreos. Also, you can use a frosting spatula or knife to help split the cookies. And you may need to use a small knife to scrape off small crumbs from the cream filling side or to smooth down the filling after splitting the cookies).

For the eyes: Press two of the cream filling cookie halves, with sides almost touching, gently into the middle of a frosted cupcake (part of the cookie halves will extend beyond the cupcake). Press the M&M’s, with the M side down, into the cream filling on each cookie half (refer to my photos for where to place the M&M’s).

For the ears: Use the plain Oreo halves for the ears above the eyes (they kind of look like eyebrows, too!). Score the flat smooth cookie sides with a small sharp knife down the center so you get a clean break for your two ears. OR, if you want thinner ears like I made on these cupcakes, score the cookie half on each side not quite to the center; this will leave you with an extra center strip of cookie (which you can eat or discard–I ate mine! 🙂 ). Score and break all your plain cookie halves.

Take two of the “ears” that you’ve made from the plain cookie halves and press them into the frosting right above the “eyes,” slightly slanted downward and almost meeting at the upper center of the cupcake (the bumpy side of the cookie should be showing from the front).

For the “beak,” press an orange M&M (on its side) in the lower center, right below where the cookie “eyes” meet on the cupcake.

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There you have it! Enjoy eating these fun cupcakes!

What’s your favorite way of decorating cupcakes for fall?

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting

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Chocolate cupcakes are a great dessert any time of year, and I was wanting to make something chocolatey. After trying several recipes that I thought were so-so, I went to Martha Stewart’s site and decided to make her Chocolate Cupcakes and Ultimate Chocolate Frosting with a few little changes. I’m so glad I did!

I really like these cupcakes! The batter is thick, smooth, and creamy. And the cupcakes rise and bake up so nicely with rounded tops. Best of all, they have a great chocolatey taste! The frosting is rich, thick, and definitely fudgy–much, much better than using a can of frosting!

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH FUDGY FROSTING by NancyCreative, adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s brand)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or substitute sour cream)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl or mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and blend well. Then add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour (if using a mixer, set the mixer to low speed for this).

Spoon batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean (I baked my cupcakes for 23 minutes).

Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. After cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with the Fudgy Frosting.

FUDGY FROSTING 

Makes about 3 cups

  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half (light cream)–or you can substitute milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium-size bowl. Add butter, Half & Half (or milk), and vanilla. Stir ingredients until smooth.

Note: This is a very thick, fudgy frosting–if you want to frost your cupcakes with a decorator tip, thin frosting out a little by adding an extra 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Half & Half or milk.

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If you’re not big on lots of frosting, these cupcakes are great with a lighter amount, too–if you like to frost lightly, you could halve the frosting recipe.

Hope you enjoy the cupcakes! Do you have a favorite chocolate cupcake recipe?

Cupcakes for the 4th of July

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I’ve been seeing lots of fun patriotic-themed recipes the last few weeks, and here’s one I found at  Midwest Living that’s easy and festive…decorate white-frosted cupcakes with raspberries and blueberries for a yummy red-white-and-blue treat!

Are you making any special recipes for the 4th?

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Cute Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery

You’ll find lots of wonderful baked goods at the Magnolia Bakery in New York City, but they are pretty famous for their cupcakes! 🙂  This well-known bakery opened in 1996 in Greenwich Village and, according to their website, “It was envisioned as a cozy, old-fashioned shop where people could come for coffee and something sweet. With its vintage American desserts and decor, customers often remark that walking into the Bakery is like taking a step back in time.”  They have about six locations now–none by where I live, unfortunately–so I admire their cupcakes from afar on their site (all photos shown in this post are from magnoliabakery.com). Their Vanilla Vanilla cupcake, “a buttery old-fashioned vanilla cupcake with a light crumb and vanilla buttercream,” is their most popular cupcake. I actually found the recipe for these on the web and made them this past Christmas–they were really good! In addition to their Vanilla Vanilla, other cupcakes included in Magnolia’s “classics” collection include these popular flavors…

  • Vanilla Chocolate (vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream)
  •  Chocolate Chocolate (cupcakes with a smooth velvety texture and dark chocolate flavor, chocolate buttercream and assorted sprinkles)
  • Chocolate Vanilla (chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream). 

You just can’t beat classic chocolate and vanilla–and they’re decorated so cute with the sprinkles and edible flowers on top!

Magnolia Bakery also has a Baker’s Choice Specialty Cupcake Assortment…

…which includes red velvet, lemon, caramel, hummingbird, pumpkin, and pistachio cupcakes–yum!

Here are some other ways they decorate cupcakes for various occasions like birthdays, baby showers, holidays, and other special “themed” events…

Magnolia Bakery has special Easter cupcakes and other treats featured on their site now, too…you’ll have to visit magnoliabakery.com and check them out!

Springtime and Easter Cupcake Cuteness

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Take a look at these really cute cupcakes my friend Ann made! She’s the same Ann who made those Decadent Turtle Brownies. She used some fun sprinkles, edible decorative flowers, and some chocolate eggs covered with a speckled coating (you could also use malted milk speckled eggs). I thought these were so adorable…perfect for springtime and Easter!

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The “nest egg” cupcakes have a delicious custard filling and the flower cupcakes have chocolate chips in the batter…how yummy is that? Believe me, these cupcakes taste as wonderful as they look! Ann gave me the recipes and I’ll be posting those in the next few days so you can make your own pretty cupcakes to celebrate Easter and enjoy throughout spring!

Linked to Tasty Tuesday.

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

I had some peaches that were really getting ripe. As I contemplated what to do with them, I came across a recipe from Cupcake Project that sounded really good. I used the batter recipe and changed things up a little by frosting the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Then I topped each cupcake with a fresh peach slice. They are nice and moist, with small chunks of chopped peaches in the batter. You don’t even have to peel the peaches, and since I don’t get too excited about peeling anything, that’s a plus for me! The peaches and the cream cheese frosting make a great combination. This recipe makes 14-16 cupcakes.

PEACHES AND CREAM CUPCAKES (adapted from Cupcake Project)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups finely chopped peaches (at least 2 medium-sized peaches)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan, and part of another muffin pan, with paper liners. With a fork, whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. In large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar for 1 minute until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract until blended. Add the flour mixture to this sugar/egg mixture, mixing well. Fold in the finely chopped peaches and stir until evenly distributed in batter. Fill cupcake liners not quite 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan 5-10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely. While waiting for the cupcakes to cool, you can make the frosting…

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened (half of an 8-oz. block)
  • 1 Tbsp. half & half
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 thinly sliced peaches, for garnish

Blend softened cream cheese and half & half together; then add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time. Blend well. Put a large dollop of frosting on each cupcake and top with a fresh peach slice. If not serving right away, refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve.

Linked to Show and Tell, Strut Your Stuff Thursday, Show Off Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays.