Funfetti Cupcakes for Two

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Pickle dip. Ice cream bread. I bet you know what’s coming next, right? I won’t be cooking for two much longer – we’re expecting our first child this summer! We’re over-the-moon excited.

We found out last week that the baby is a boy, so it seemed appropriate to whip up something special to celebrate. I had blue and white sprinkles on hand already so funfetti was the obvious choice. There was lots of kicking going on after eating mine, so I’m sure baby boy liked them too.

I’m planning to continue blogging, although posts may be a little less frequent as we make the transition to a family of three. I’m also planning to share how we’ll stock the freezer pre-baby, keep ourselves fed post-baby and (eventually) how we’ll make our own baby food. I’m excited to continue sharing our cooking journey and hope you’ll be along for the ride!

Funfetti Cupcakes for Two
(from Chocolate and Carrots)
Makes 2 cupcakes

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. milk
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Beat the canola oil, egg, milk, vanilla extract and sugar together. Add in the flour and baking powder. Fold in the sprinkles, being careful not to over mix. Pour into two prepared muffin liners in a muffin pan.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool and then ice as desired.


Ice Cream Bread

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This is a really great recipe to have in your arsenal. It’s quick and uses ingredients that I always have around. It’s perfect for a quick after school snack or oops-I-forgot-I-was-supposed-to-make-dessert occasions.

The flavor of the bread comes from the ice cream, so you can use any flavor you want. I went with a basic vanilla ice cream and mixed in chocolate chips – it was great. I think mint chocolate chip ice cream with crushed Oreos would be really fun, too.

Ice Cream Bread
(from Stephanie Cooks)
Makes 1 loaf

2 cups softened ice cream (I used vanilla)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix ins of your choice, optional (chocolate chips, sprinkles, fruit, crushed Oreos, etc.)

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in softened ice cream until well combined. Fold in mix ins. Place in a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, until top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan.


Black Forest Stuffed Cupcakes

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When I was taking a picture of these, my husband was like, “You haven’t blogged these yet?!”

I’ve been making them since we were in college. It’s one of those quick and easy desserts that everyone seems to like, so I keep going back to them. They look like standard cupcakes, but when you bite into them, you find a fun center of cheesecake and cherries.

They got made, again, as part of this year’s holiday treats binge – and were gobbled up by the end of the family party.

Black Forest Cupcakes
(from Kraft Recipes)
Makes 2 Dozen

1 box chocolate cake mix + ingredients to prepare
1 (8 oz. ) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 (20 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 (8 oz.) pkg. frozen whipped topping

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and set aside.  In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg and sugar until well combined.

In each cupcake cup, spoon in about 2 Tbsp. of the prepared cake mix. Top with 1 Tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture and 1-2 tsp. of cherry pie filling. Use remaining to cake mix to cover fillings evenly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Once cool, top with whipped topping and additional cherry pie filling.


What’s Baking: Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake

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This month’s What’s Baking theme was Chow Ciao Italiano, chosen by Nicole from Seven Ate Nine. We do a lot of Italian baking around here, but instead of sharing something that is a favorite, I wanted to make something that was different from our usual rotation. And I’d had this cake bookmarked forever and needed an excuse to make it.

I love the Italian rainbow cookies. Whenever we get cookies from the local Italian bakery, they’re my first choice – and the first I grab off of cookie platters. The idea of those cookies in a cake was just too exciting to pass up. Much to my delight, this was pretty spot-on. It was delicious and had all the flavors of my beloved cookies. It also looks gorgeous – perfect for a special occasion.

To see what everyone else made for Chow Ciao Italiano, check out Nicole’s blog later this month!

 

Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake
(from Always Order Dessert)
Makes 1 9″ cake

3 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
6 large eggs
12 oz. almond paste, grated with a box grater
1 T. pure almond extract
1 c. milk
3 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
3 t. baking powder
Red, green and yellow food coloring
1/4 c. seedless raspberry jam
1/4 c. apricot preserves
For the ganache:
1 c. heavy cream
12 oz. semisweet chocolate

Butter and flour three 9″ cake pans and place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of each. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat for 3 more minutes. Add the grated almond paste, almond extract and milk, and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the almond paste batter and mix until combined. Separate the mixture evenly into three bowls and dye each bowl a different shade (one green, one yellow, one red). Pour each into individual pans, making sure to smooth out the top.

Bakefor approximately 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache by heating 1 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan just until bubbles start to form around the edge. Turn off the heat and pour over the chocolate in a large bowl. Stir continuously until melted completely and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble the cake, start with the pink layer of the cake  on the bottom and spread the raspberry jam over the top until it nearly reaches the edges of the cake. Top with the yellow cake and spread the top of the yellow cake with the apricot preserves. Top with the final green layer. Use a spoon to pour the ganache over the cake, using an offset spatula to even the sides and make sure the cake is completely covered. Use as much ganache as you need. Let sit at room temperature in a cool spot for 1-2 hours until completely set.


Cute & Easy Minion Cupcakes

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Seriously, how cute are these guys?!

I mean, the minions from Despicable Me are fantastic, but I’d argue that they’re even more adorable in cupcake form.

This isn’t so much a recipe as a decorating tip. I don’t remember where I originally saw this idea, but it’s so cute and easy – and since Twinkies are officially back, it seemed like the best time to share!

For the cupcakes and blue icing, I used a box mix and canned icing. I warmed the icing slightly to get it to pour over smoothly, but you could totally just slather it on.

The minion bodies are Twinkie halves. The eyes are white Smarties. I used black gel icing to attach the eyes to the bodies and to outline the Smarties. The mouths, hair, and goggle bands are black licorice rope – these are all held on by the black gel icing too.

It doesn’t matter if they’re perfect since all of the movie minions are different – the differences give them personality!

If you’re planning a Despicable Me themed party – or just want to make a special post-movie treat – these would be perfect.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

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My Mother-in-law’s birthday is on Wednesday so we did some early celebrating this weekend. Mark definitely gets his please-don’t-make-a-big-deal-over-my-birthday thing from his Mom so we kept things pretty low-key. Cake is a necessity, though, no matter how low-key you’re going.

Mom’s go-to dessert is always blondies, so I thought a chocolate chip cookie cake would be right up her ally. It’s basically one, giant chocolate chip cookie. I used some store-bought icing to dress it up a little. (And hide how lousy a job I did pushing the batter to the edges of the pan!) Regardless of what it looked like, it was delicious – enough so that she and I had seconds before she went home. Perfect.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
(from The Girl Who Ate Everything)
Makes 1 9″ Cake

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t.cornstarch
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient until it forms a cookie-like batter. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 16-20 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown. Let the cookie cool completely before removing it from the pan.

Frost as desired.


Chocolate Sour Cream Doughnuts

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Happy Halloween!
After taking such a hard hit from Sandy, it looks like Halloween will be quiet around here but I couldn’t let the day pass without a little bit of fun. These were such a fun little treat – and a great excuse to break out my Halloween sprinkles.
I feel a little silly tagging these as a “breakfast” because they’re really more of a dessert – but hey, it’s Halloween, right?
Chocolate Sour Cream Doughnuts
(from Love from the Oven)
Makes 6
For the doughnuts:

1 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

For glaze:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 c. milk
1 t. Vanilla

For the frosting:

2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. melted butter
1/4-1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Food coloring

Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees F.

Combine dry ingredients for the doughnuts in medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix well to combine. Add dry ingredient into wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated – be careful not to over-mix.

Using a pastry bag, pipe the patter into a doughnut pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in donut comes out clean and they spring back when lightly touched. Remove the doughnuts to a cooling rack.

While the doughnuts are baking, combine glaze ingredients in a bowl and beat to combine.  It should be pourable - not like a thick frosting – so you’ll need to add enough milk to reach this consistency.  Spoon glaze over the donuts – the doughnuts will absorb the glaze to keep them moist.   Allow to cool completely.

Once donuts have cooled, combine the frosting ingredients, minus the food coloring, and mix well.  Once again, you’ll want to add only enough milk to get the desired consistency – thicker than the glaze, but still thin enough to drizzle over the doughnuts. Divide the frosting into separate bowls and add food coloring.   Spoon over the doughnuts and decorate with sprinkles.


Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

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I always get excited about the opportunity to make a cake. A whole cake is too much for just Mark and me – so when a cake-making occasion comes up, I like to jump at the chance. I made this one to celebrate a friend’s birthday over the weekend. It takes a little bit of work, but it’s absolutely awesome.

Layers of fudgy cake, covered with creamy peanut butter frosting and topped off with a chocolate-peanut butter ganache. So amazing – and obviously a crowd pleaser.

Happy Birthday, Drew! Hope you’re enjoying the leftovers!

Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
(from Smells Like Home)

For the cake:

2 c. flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. water
2 T. distilled white vinegar
1 t. vanilla extract
2 eggs

For the frosting:

2 c. creamy peanut butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. + 2 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 T. plus 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

For the ganache:

8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
3 T. smooth peanut butter
2 T. light corn syrup
1/2 c. half and half

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease three 8″ round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Whisk to make sure they’re well combined. Whisk in the vegetable oil and sour cream. Slowly beat in the water. Stir in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter between the three prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, on the same oven rack if possible - without the pans touching. Let the cakes cool for 20 minutes before removing to cooling racks to cool completely.

Once the cakes are cool, make the frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the peanut butter and butter. Sift the sugar into the bowl, then add the vanilla and salt.  Starting on low, beat together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides as needed. Beat in the heavy cream.

Place one layer, flat side up, on a serving plate. Spread 2/3 c. of the frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and crumb coat the top and sides. Refrigerate the cake for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remaining frosting to make a final coating. Let chill again until firm.

Once the frosting is firm, make the ganache: In a double boiler, combine the chocolate, peanut butter and corn syrup. Whisk continuously until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the half and half, beating until smooth.

Poor the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it spread evenly over the top and just beginning to drip down the sides. Refrigerated, uncovered, until the ganache has set – at least 30 minutes.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving to let ganache soften for cutting.

Linked up with Ingredient Spotlight: Chocolate at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.


Cannoli Cupcakes

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I was recently cleaning up the folder I keep blog pictures in, and ran across this one and realized I’d never blogged it! I’m sorry guys – I’ve been holding out on you.

I whipped these up a while ago for an event at my husband’s office. They were having a potluck, International lunch. You remember in elementary school when they would have heritage day and everyone would bring a dish from their culture to share? It was pretty much that, with adults.

Hubs had originally asked me to make black forest cupcakes, which I’d made before, but my reaction was, “You’re not German!” He is, a little bit. But, he’s more than half Italian so I thought honoring that would be more applicable. These cupcakes were the compromise.

And, they were fantastic. He brought home an empty platter after the lunch – that’s what I call a successful potluck dish!

Cannoli Cupcakes
(from Sugarcrafter)
Makes 2 dozen

For the cake:
2 1/2 c. flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. Marsala wine
1 c. milk
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 t. orange zest
2 T. powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

For the frosting:
1 and 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
6 c. powdered sugar
3 T. milk

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line two cupcake pans with liners.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, eggs, vanilla, Marsala wine and milk. Once well blended stir in the ricotta cheese, orange zest, and
powdered sugar.

Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter and bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cool, cream together the butter and shortening in a stand mixer. Add in the vanilla. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, beating until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in the milk to reach desired consistency.
vanilla bean.

Frost cooled cupcakes and top with additional chocolate chips.

Linked up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen’s Ingredient Spotlight: Cottage Cheese/Ricotta Cheese


Firecracker Bundt Cake

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I think holidays on Wednesdays are the worst. On Mondays or Fridays, they’re an instant long weekend. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you just need to take one day off to make a long weekend. But Wednesday holidays? They’re stuck in the middle of a busy week and end up just being awkward.

But still, today’s a holiday and I want to make something special to celebrate. This cake was the perfect option – it’s a dressed up box mix so it’s quick and easy. When you cut into it, the cake is layered red, white and blue so it’s really fun and festive. It looks like a lot more work than it actually is.

Impressive without a lot of effort – perfect for a Wednesday holiday!

Firecracker Bundt Cake
(from Cooking with Sugar)

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring
1 (12 oz.) can Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Frosting
Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup tube cake pan.

Make cake batter as directed on box. Pour 1 cup of batter into a bowl and add the red food coloring, mix well. Pour another cup of the batter into a bowl and add the blue food coloring, mix well.

Pour the red cake mix into the bottom of the greased pan. Carefully pour the white batter over the red batter in pan.  Then carefully pour the blue batter over the white batter.

Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack that is placed over a cookie sheet. Cool cake completely, about 30 minutes.

Once cake is cool, equally divide the frosting into 3 bowls. Microwave the white frosting for a few seconds on high until it is smooth enough to drizzle over the cake (about 8-10 seconds). With a spoon, drizzle the white frosting back and forth around the whole ring in a striping pattern until you use it all.

Then microwave one of the other bowls. Before drizzling, mix in a few drops of blue food coloring. Then drizzle over the cake, scattering back and forth. Repeat with the red food coloring, making sure you can see the red, white and blue colors. Top with sprinkles. Set cake aside to dry.

Store loosely covered and unrefrigerated.