Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

cookies & cream cupcakes with cookies & cream whipped cream frosting

I’m a bit behind on my posts, I know. I mean, shoot, this particular post is about three weeks late. I made these for my son’s 3rd birthday party and they received rave reviews.

Last year he had banana cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting (check out that pipe job! ha!)

This year he got these.  YUHHHHUMMMM!

cookies & cream cupcakes with cookies & cream whipped cream frosting

DSC_1045
he is soooo sweaty from running around and playing

I was so busy with making stuff for a baby shower, I didn’t really have time to test out a bunch of recipes.  I wanted something easy that I knew kids would like.  I mean, what child, young or old, doesn’t love Oreos?  Ok, most kids.  Anyway, I looked around for a recipe and found one at How to Eat a Cupcake.  The base is a box cake mix, which worked out just great for me.  I played around with the placement of the cookie, bottom, middle, top, but the bottom really did work out the best.  I ended up using my own whipped cream frosting instead of using the one on Cassie’s blog.  I wanted something that wasn’t too sweet since the cupcake itself was filled with Oreos and the sugar laden box mix. 😉

cookies & cream cupcakes (pre-frost)
pre-frost

I made 4 dozen cupcakes about a week ahead  and stuck them in the overflowing freezer until Sunday morning. I made the whipped cream frosting Saturday night and refrigerated it until I frosted the cupcakes Sunday morning.

cookies & cream cupcakes with cookies & cream whipped cream frosting

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
Yield: 4 dozen
Adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
Approximately 48 Oreos (or similar cookie)
2 boxes (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
2 cups sour cream + 2 tablespoons of milk
1 cup oil
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 4 cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.

Count out 24 Oreos and separate the top and bottom wafers. Make sure each has some of the icing on it. Place one wafer, icing side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Set them aside.

Crush the remaining 24 Oreos – in a food processor or use a storage bag and whack it with a rolling pin. 😉 Chunky is fine.

Place the cake mix, sour cream, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 1 1/2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed.

Measure out about 3 cups of the crushed Oreos and fold into the batter until well incorporated. Reserve any remaining cookies for frosting or other use.

Divide batter evenly among the cupcake tins.

Bake the cupcakes until they are a light golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 20-22 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tin and place them on wire racks to finish cooling. Cool completely before frosting.

Cookies & Cream Whipped Frosting
Yield: enough for approximately 4 dozen cupcakes
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
Approximately 12 Oreos (or similar cookie)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Finely crush the Oreos – in a food processor or use a storage bag and whack it with a rolling pin. 😉

Using a stand (with whisk attachment) or hand-held electric mixer, whisk the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in the crushed Oreos.

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting & Petit Four Icing

Whew, so glad this weekend is over. Not sure what I’m going to do with myself now that the baby shower and birthday party have come and gone. 😛

The baby shower was fun and of course there were lots of cute gifts. The mother and father-to-be are UT grads, so there were a few Longhorn gifts thrown in there. They’ll just put that longhorn on anything! 🙂 She even received a stuffed football that unzips and out pops Bevo!

petit fours

Everyone loved the cupcakes, cookies and petit fours. Hopefully I was able to put the bug in a couple of the ladies ears about calling me for any events they may have coming up. I’d love to be able to get my name out there.

petit fours

I made the icing for the petit fours on Thursday night and covered them. I split the icing up into two batches and tinted one of them pink using a drop or two of red food coloring. I just used a small round cookie cutter to cut the rounds out of the sheet cake I made (in a 12×17 sheet pan using 1 1/2 portions of the Perfect Party Cake). Make sure the cake is cold and/or frozen.  It is much easier to cut out.  I told hubby, when we open our own bakery, these suckers aren’t gonna be cheap.  They are definitely time consuming. 

When I went to “decorate” them on Friday night, I tried out some polka dots, but I couldn’t quite get them right so I ended up doing some quick squigglies.  The baby room colors are pink and green, so the pink ones were squiggled with white or green frosting (from a can and tinted) and the white ones were squiggled with pink frosting. 

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

The cupcakes I made were topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I made the frosting on Friday night and topped them Saturday morning before the shower.  I found the Sprinkles’ frosting recipe on Martha Stewart and just doubled that (I should have just made about 1 1/2, because I still have alot left over), but replaced cream cheese for half of the butter.  It was so yummy.  I probably could have just taken a spoon to it, but I refrained.  😛  I didn’t read carefully and ended up putting the strawberry puree in before the confectioners’s sugar.  Oops.  The consistency wasn’t quite right, but in the end it turned out fine because it covered the cupcakes really well.  It just wasn’t pipe-able.  😛

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

Petit Fours Icing
Yield: Approximately 3-4 dozen
Source: I can’t remember where this one came from
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
9 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (about 2 pounds)
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1-2 drops red food coloring

Combine ingredients in top of double boiler and heat over boiling water just to lukewarm. (do not overheat icing or it will become dull.) Remove from heat, leaving icing over hot water to keep it thin. If desired, tint parts of icing delicate pastel colors with food color. If necessary, add hot water, just a few drops at a time, until of spreading consistency.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: Approximately 4-5 dozen cupcakes
Adapted from Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
¾ – 1 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
½ pound unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
½ pound cream cheese
Pinch of coarse salt
7-8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 6 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended.

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Ice Cream? Cupcake? Both!

ice cream cone cupakes

Ok, technically not both, but it’s a cupcake inside an ice cream cone. 🙂 I’m taking these fun treats to MC’s school for his birthday tomorrow.  His birthday’s Monday, but my family will still be here, so he won’t be going to school.  

If I and MC’s school were able to store them all, I would have put the ice cream on top of the cupcake and then frosted it. But, that wasn’t possible, so I just frosted them instead.  

I thought this was a pretty cute idea, not something you’d normally see.  But, apparently it’s pretty common.  Check out what I found on my box of ice cream cones:

ice cream cone cupakes

I was going for a “funfetti” type cake, but I didn’t want to use a cake mix. I looked around online and found a white cake recipe I could play with. I knew my frosting was going to be sweet, so I cut the amount of sugar in the cake recipe. I also had to use some margarine since I ran out of butter. The only issue I ran into was when I mixed in the sprinkles.  My batter had a blue tinge, but it still had the “confetti” look, whew.

ice cream cone cupakes
I actually cut the tops of the first batch, because I’d overfilled them – see the blueish hue?

I thought I’d try something different with the frosting, because um, remember I ran out of butter, and I didn’t want to go to the store. I used butter flavor shortening. I also thought maybe it’d stand up a little better and keep it’s shape until snack time tomorrow afternoon. 😛 I put sprinkles in the frosting, as well as on top. I think it turned out pretty good…kinda proud of myself.

ice cream cone cupakes

Confetti Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine as found here
Yield: 24 ice cream cone cupcakes
Printable Recipe 

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter + 4 tablespoons margarine , softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites
¾ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup sprinkles

Preheat to 350F. Stand ice cream cones up in muffin tins.
In a mixing bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a measuring cup combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract; set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter, margarine and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beater often. Gently fold in sprinkles.

Fill the cones ½ to 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 25-30, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool before frosting.

Confetti Frosting

Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter flavor shortening
2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup sprinkles

In a stand mixer beat the shortening until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream; beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla until combined. For a stiffer frosting add more confectioners’ sugar. For a thinner frosting add more heavy cream (or milk). Gently fold in the sprinkles and pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 4

Pina Colada Cupcakes
(Coconut Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting)
coconut cupcake w/pineapple cream cheese frosting

Yes I like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food
I am into champagne

Those are the lyrics I hear in my head when anyone ever says Pina Coladas. It’s just so catchy. Did you know the name of this song is Escape, by Rupert Holmes? Who? Yeah, that’s what I said. I’m definitely more familiar with the Jimmy Buffett version? Aren’t you?

Speaking of Jimmy Buffett, all his music makes me think about sitting on a beach somewhere, thinking about nothing except getting tanked. Okay, maybe not tanked, but definitely enjoying a cold adult beverage while lounging in a hammock. Then I start thinking about how I wasn’t able to take a vacation this summer and how it’s so HOT these days that I wish I were somewhere else.

Anywho…I’ve been dreaming about all sorts of tropical locations lately…Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Bahamas. And whenever I think tropical for some reason Pina Coladas always come to mind. Pineapples and coconut, sweet, yet refreshing. Right? Just say yes. 🙂

My version of a Pina Colada cupcake is a coconut cupcake with pineapple cream cheese frosting. I adapted Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake for the cupcake, but I did not like the almond extract in it at all. I love almonds, but apparently I don’t like almond extract. I should have omitted it as soon as I smelled it, but I thought to myself, nah, lots of people like this cake and why would Ina put it in there if it didn’t complement the coconut flavor? Uh, yeah, no. So, next time I’m going to try something with either coconut milk or coconut extract. I really didn’t get much of a coconut flavor out of this cupcake. Oh well. The frosting MORE than made up for it. I thought about just using some pineapple juice, but changed my mind and ended up putting in some crushed pineapple as well. I’m so glad I did but, I think next time I may process the pineapple just a little bit so I can try and pipe the frosting next time.

coconut cupcake w/pineapple cream cheese frosting


This post is being submitted to a bi-weekly baking event hosted by Ben at What’s Cooking. Go check it out and send him your baked goods!

Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
¼ cup oil
3 large eggs
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two regular size cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill the unused ones 1/3 full with warm water.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. On medium speed, add oil then eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut.

Pour the batter into cupcake liners about ½ to 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are browned and cake tester comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes then allow them to finish cooling directly on the rack, before frosting.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained well

Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add butter and cream until smooth. With the mixer on low, add in powdered sugar and blend; add pineapple juice then fold in crushed pineapple.

Previous Posts
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 2
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 3

Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 3

Devil’s Food Cupcakes w/White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
devil's food cupcake w/white chocolate cream cheese frosting

I’ve been on the hunt lately, can you tell? 😉

I’ve never been much of a frosting girl, it just seemed too sweet, too much, too…something. But, I always loved the cake. But then, I met the cream cheese frosting and the whipped cream frosting. I haven’t tried the whipped cream frosting yet. Not sure how to go about it, so I’m doing some research. If anyone has any tips or a good recipe, please let me know!

As for the cream cheese frosting, it’s a no brainer.  I’ve always been a fan of cream cheese – on my bagel, in cheesecake. One thing I’ve noticed about using cream cheese is that the full fat version is easier to handle than the low fat version. What I mean is, It just stiffens (haha) up better. Not that you want the frosting hard (geez), just firm enough to decorate with or so it doesn’t drip.  I found that refrigerating this particular frosting for about 15-20 minutes helped.

devil's food cupcake w/white chocolate cream cheese frosting
You’re thinking to yourself, where did she get those mad decorating skills? Ahahahaha!

In making a cream cheese frosting I’ve always used the butter, cream cheese, vanilla & confectioners’s sugar blend. But, as I was trying to come up with something that incorporated white chocolate, I came across this recipe from Culinate (out of Carole Bloom’s The Essential Baker). 

Being a novice baker I thought to myself, where’s the butter?  Then, I melted the white chocolate.  Ah ha!  I know that the properties of white chocolate are much different than actual chocolate (white chocolate is just sugar, milk and cocoa butter – contains no cocoa solids), but did not actually KNOW the difference until I saw it.  When the white chocolate melted (I ended up using Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips – it’s what I had on hand), it was more of a solid melt than a liquid melt.  I wish I’d taken a picture to portray what I’m not explaining very well.

Exactly what am I trying to say?  MAKE THIS FROSTING!  If you like white chocolate and you like cream cheese, you will LOVE this frosting.  I LOVE this frosting.  It’s yumalicious! Seriously!  Hubby said it’s the best and his fav so far.  Yeah!

I think I may try this frosting with the banana cupcakes.  I think that may be a winning combo.  But don’t worry…I’m still searching for “the ultimate”.  🙂

 devils food cupcake devils food cupcake

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcake Bake Shop
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Printable Recipe

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk 
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular muffin/cupcake tin with paper liners; set aside.

Measure out everything but the egg directly into your mixer’s bowl.
Mix on low speed just until incorporated. 
Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
Add egg; beat on high speed again for 2 minutes.

Measure out batter into cupcake tins (I filled them just over 1/2 full). A 2″ ice cream scoop works great for this (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup). Bake for about 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly in the pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Click here for the recipe – I didn’t modify anything

Previous Posts
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 2

Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 2

banana cupcake

While I was trying to figure out what cupcake to test out next, I started thinking about fruit. Did I want to try strawberry? They’re in season. What other fruit cupcakes are there? What fruit do children eat early on and like? Bananas, duh!

I’ve already posted a banana muffin recipe here, but I knew I wanted a different consistency for the cupcake. I found a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours, a cookbook I’ve heard a lot of good things about, so I thought it’d be perfect. It’s pretty darn close!

The cupcake was really good.  I made some modifications with the fat and dairy (for what I had on hand and for a lower fat cupcake) and left out the chocolate chunks. 

The frosting I went with was way too sweet.  I liked the consistency though, because I was able to dip the cooled cupcakes into the chocolate instead of actually frosting the tops…call me lazy.  😉  Maybe I’ll try it out with bittersweet chocolate, as it was intended. 

banana cupcake

Classic Banana Cake
Yield: 12
Adapted from a recipe by Ellen Einstein in Baking From My Home to Yours, found here
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons margarine, room temperature and 1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a regular-size muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the margarine until creamy. Add the applesauce and sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg, beating for about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t be disturbed if the batter curdles), all the sour cream/buttermilk mixture and then the rest of the flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, about 2/3 full.

Bake the cupcakes for about 28 to 32 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (The cakes will rise above the muffin cups, dome and then spread out and flatten beyond the cups—that’s fine.) Transfer the muffin tin to a rack, cool for 3 minutes, then gently turn the cupcakes out of the tin.  Frost when cooled.

Chocolate Frosting
Yield: Enough to frost 12 cupcakes
Adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I only had semi-sweet)
4 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Take bowl off the heat once melted and sift confectioners’ sugar into bowl.  Stir until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

Dip tops of cupcake into chocolate and twist for a swirled top.

banana cupcake w/chocolate frosting

Previous Posts:
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1

Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1

Vanilla Cupcakes w/Peanut Butter Frosting
vanilla cupcake w peanut butter frosting (250)

MC’s 2nd birthday is coming up next month and I decided that I’d make cupcakes for the party.  Much easier for little toddler fingers. 😉 That means I have 30+ days to test out new cupcake and frosting recipes.

The first test was Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake with Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing.  The cupcake had a very nice buttery flavor, but when it cooled, the tops hardened.  Maybe I left them in the oven too long.

The icing/frosting (is there a difference?) was awesome, but you have to love peanut butter.  I think I’ll keep it in the back of my mind, but won’t be using it for MC’s birthday party…too many issues with allergies.
vanilla cupcake 2
 
Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: Approximately 30 (I ended up with 22 – filled the cups too high) 
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes (mine ended up staying in the oven about 25 minutes with all 22 cupcakes in the oven – may shave off a few minutes next time).

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

vanilla cupcake

Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing
From Barefoot Contessa at Home

Ingredients:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

vanilla cupcake w peanut butter frosting