Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve mentioned before how my mother loves my carrot cake recipe.  So she shows up at my house in a whirlwind and asks me to bake them for her church’s Thanksgiving potluck dinner.  I decided to make them as cupcakes to make it easier for everyone and they just look so cute, don’t you think?

We’re pressed for time because she needs to get home, so I get them all frosted and packaged up for her to take and then she’s off.  After all the hulabaloo, I return to my kitchen where it smells like warm carrot cake, but I have nothing to show for it but this picture and a sink full of dirty dishes.  Now, if that’s not love, I don’t know what is!

The only redeeming part of all this work is that my loving mother bought me a pair of cute shoes in return.  I can see using this baking thing to my advantage *wink, wink*!

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Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting

 

I know that when you hear what I’m about to tell you, you’ll think it’s totally un-American.  Well, you’d be right. I make my kids go to school on Saturdays……….technically it’s Chinese school. Our Chinese school has an annual carnival and food fair with lots of homemade Chinese food and desserts.

If you know Chinese cuisine at all, you’ll know that we aren’t known for our desserts. Most Americans probably think the only Chinese dessert we eat are fortune cookies (which aren’t even Chinese). So at this food fair, there are hardly any Chinese desserts, or at least ones the kids will eat.  So, I decided I would break from tradition this time and bring a very American dessert that I knew the kids would LOVE! I made these chocolate cupcakes and of course they were a hit.

This recipe is the same as my chocolate cake with fresh strawberry filling. One thing that really impressed me about these cupcakes is that the frosting held up very well outdoors.  They held their shape and flavor beautifully for hours. And, of course the cupcake was as decadent and rich as I expected.

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting

from Hershey’s Kitchens

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Chocolate frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you always thought that a red velvet cupcake was just a chocolate cupcake with red food coloring, I’m right there with you. I just learned the difference this year.  It took me a while to understand that red velvet really does have a distinct taste of its own. There is some cocoa powder in here, but not enough to call it a chocolate cupcake.

I think the flavor really comes from the smooth cream cheese frosting.  The sour tang from the cheese combined with the sweet cake is just to die for!  The name Sprinknolia pays homage to both Sprinkles of Beverly Hills and Magnolia Bakery of New York and their famed cupcakes.  Now, it’s famous in my house!

Sprinknolia’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

from sporkandfoon.com

3½ cups flour
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tbsp (3 oz) red food coloring
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups buttermilk
1½ tsp cider vinegar
1½ tsp baking soda

Frosting:
12 ounces cold cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, firm but not cold
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds (6 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans (24 cupcakes).

To make the batter: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. To ice, mound about ¼ cup of frosting on top of each cupcake and use an icing spatula to make a swirl on top. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles.

Frosting:
Combine butter, salt, and cream cheese in mixer and beat on medium speed 2-3 minutes.
Add sugar until just incorporated. Don’t over mix. It should be thick but not fluffy.
Add vanilla. If necessary, add milk to thin.

Coconut Cupcake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

My husband: “This is the best cupcake I’ve ever eaten!”

Me: “Good, because you know I don’t like coconut and I made them for you anyway.”

Aren’t I a good wife to go through the trouble to make these time-intensive cupcakes, all the while knowing I probably wasn’t even going to eat one?!  I think so…………

Well, as you may have guessed, I didn’t eat one.  I think I ate two or three.

Wow, they had an intense coconut flavor, both from the cake, frosting and of course all those crunchy toasted flakes on top.  It was an amazing contrast of texture and flavor in my mouth, from just one bite.

If you are a coconut lover, you will L-O-V-E this recipe!

Yes, I spelled out love.  You know that means it’s gotta be good!

 

 

Mix together the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.

 

 

Coconut milk and vanilla.  This is where the flavor’s at!

 

 

Fold in the coconut flakes gently and by golly please don’t overdo it either.  Overbeating will give you tough cupcakes.

 

 

Nice silky coconut cream cheese frosting.  Resist the urge to eat this straight with a spoon.

Okay, just one spoonful!

 

 

Here they are, some unassuming yellow cupcakes………until

 

 

BAM!!

The frosting and toasted coconut flakes take this cupcake to the next level!

I’m not sure what the next level is, but I’m assuming it’s waaaaay better than this level.

 

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from simplyrecipes.com

Cupcake Ingredients

3/4 cup of butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cup of sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1 cup of canned coconut milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 cup of sweetened coconut flakes

Frosting Ingredients

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature

8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature

1 ½ cup of powdered sugar

2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes, toasted to golden brown

2 T coconut milk

Cupcake

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and cream until light and fluffy again, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each to ensure mixing. Be sure to scrape down the sides after each egg to ensure even mixing.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In another add 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Stop mixing once just as the ingredients become incorporated; do not overbeat.

Fold in the coconut. Scoop into cupcake papers about one half to three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 to ensure even baking. Be sure to check with a toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean, then they’re ready. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a minute or two in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom.

Slowly add the coconut milk and powdered sugar, taste as you go adding more sugar until you have reached the desired sweetness.  Spread onto cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle toasted coconut on top and serve.

Makes 20 cupcakes.