Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting for 2

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You know what next Monday is? National Cupcake Day! Today, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers to share some awesome cupcake recipes. Consider this your one-week heads up – plenty of time to pick out a recipe and make something special for someone special!

As a general rule, I try not to make things just for the sake of blogging them. I didn’t have any big gatherings coming up to make cupcakes for, and making a whole batch for just the two of us seemed daunting – and then I ran across this recipe in my folder of saved recipes. Just two cupcakes? And chocolate with Nutella frosting? I’m totally on board with that!

These were awesome – dangerously so. I really shouldn’t know how to whip up just two chocolate cupcakes because it totally takes them from a special occasion thing to a, yeah, I can whip these up during naptime for an afternoon snack thing. Dangerous.

But, oh, I love them so!

You can check out all the other awesome cupcakes bloggers made at the links below. Whether you’re looking for something small batch or to feed a crowd, seasonal or birthday-perfect, there’s something for everyone!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
(from 52 Kitchen Adventures)
Makes 2

Cupcakes:
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon + 1/16 tsp. baking soda
1/16 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2-1 teaspoon milk

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with two liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry cupcake ingredients. Whisk in the wet ingredients until all moistened. Divide batter between two cupcake liners.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes cool, beat together the butter and Nutella. Beat in the powdered sugar. Add in the vanilla and milk and beat until thoroughly combined. Add more milk or powered sugar to reach desired consistancy. Frost cupcakes once they’re cooled.


Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

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Yesterday was my husband’s birthday – the official kick off of our “celebrating season”. Within the next few weeks we’ll also celebrate my birthday and our anniversary. And next year we’ll be adding Father’s Day and baby boy’s birthday to this. Of course, this is on top of any graduations and weddings that are prevelant this time of year. It gets busy, to say the least. It also means we end up eating a lot of “celebrating” food.

When I asked Mark what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, he said none. It was just going to be us celebrating and he didn’t want a whole cake for the two of us. I can’t really blame him – but the idea of no birthday cake just didn’t fly with me. The solution was obviously just to make a smaller cake.

This one was chocolate and peanut butter – the birthday boy’s favorite – and sized for two. Perfect!


Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

(adapted from Picky Palate)
Serves 2-4

For the cake:
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocoalte chips

For the icing:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease a large ramikin (or any other bowl/pan you want to use).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda.

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the semi-sweet chocoate chips at half-power for 30 second intervals, until melted.

Add in the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and melted chocolate chips into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Transfer batter to greased ramikin and bake until a knife inserted comes out clean – the time will vary based on your pan, for me it was 45-50 minutes.

Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from ramikin to cool completely.

Slice the cake in half to make two layers.

In a medium bowl, stir together the peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar or milk to get desired consistancy.

Spread about 1/3 cup of the icing on top of one of the laters and then place the other layer on top. Use remaining frosting to cover the cake. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over as decoration, as desired.


What’s Baking: Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

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I got to pick the theme for this month’s What’s Baking and picked cheese. Of all the cheese recipes I have marked to make, I kept coming back to this one. It just looked so good.

And, it was. This is all from scratch – even the jam – so it takes a little bit of time and effort, but it’s so worth it!

Check back later this week to see what other cheese delights got baked up!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
(from Food Wanderings in Asia)
Makes 1 8″ round cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sour cream (not low fat)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1.5 tsp. cornstarch
Chop the strawberries and toss them with sugar. If you want a more jam-like layer, finely chop the berries. I wanted distinguishable berry pieces in mine so I just gave them a rough chop. Heat them in a saucepan until they release their juices – about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Add this to the strawberries and stir to combine. Cook a few minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Using a mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar and egg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Remove 3/4 cup of the crumbs and set aside. To the remaining crumbs, add in the baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir.
In a medium bowl, beat together the sour cream, egg and vanilla until well combined. Add this mixture to the large bowl of crumbs and stir until just combined. It will be lumpy.
Grease or line an 8-9″ springform pan. Press the cake batter evenly into the bottom, letting it rise up 1/2″ on all sides, making a well. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the well. Top with strawberry jam. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown on the sides. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing sides of the pan and letting cool completely.

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.