Category Archives: Cakes and Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes. I really can’t get enough of them. After several recipes and numerous family reviews (we are all members of a gym, now), this recipe came out on top. The key is to always use the best ingredients possible, especially chocolate. I used Valrhona cocoa in this recipe, but Scharffen Berger works well, too.

Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Cupcake

1 cup cocoa powder, not Dutch-process
½ cup boiling water
1 cup vanilla almond milk with lemon juice, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups unbleached white flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
¼  teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup safflower oil
1 1/3 – 1 ½ cup organic sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350° and position 2 racks in the lower and middle third of the oven. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Whisk in the almond milk mixture until combined. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, add the sugar and oil to the cocoa and almond milk. Beat in eggs. Add the dry ingredients and mix. With an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost.

Frosting

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted

Mix until smooth.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I used to call these cupcakes spice muffins so my children would eat these, but I didn’t need to do that, they loved them anyway. Even though they like what I bake, they think my mom bakes the best carrot cake in the world, and we use the same recipe!

carrot cupcakes

carrot cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

1 ¾ cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup wheat germ
2 cups turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb carrots, peeled
1 ½ cups canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs

Put carrots, oil and eggs in blender; blend until smooth. Pour into mixing bowl. Add sugar, vanilla and dry ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350˚ for 18 -20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool. Makes 24 cupcakes.

carrot cake

carrot cake

Or use two small loaf pans for cake!

Pumpkin Muffins

Happy Pumpkin Day!

In celebration of Pumpkin Day I made some pumpkin muffins. And because there never seems to be enough chocolate in my life, I added chocolate chips to half the batter. I hope you enjoy these moist, flavorful muffins as much as I do.

pumpkin muffin

pumpkin muffin

Pumpkin Muffins

2 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup turbinado and 1 cup white sugar)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
1 bag Sunspire Bittersweet chocolate chips

Note: I used 1 cup of homemade apple butter instead of the applesauce and spices, and it turned out wonderfully.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.
Combine eggs, sugar, applesauce, and pumpkin.
Add to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool on rack.

Banana Cupcakes

Banana cupcakes with boiled icing

Banana cupcakes with boiled icing


Cake or Cupcakes? Always an issue for me. I find recipes for elaborate cakes, because it is just my husband and me, I don’t want an entire cake sitting on the counter (or in the refrigerator) tempting me to gorge myself several times a day. I try to half the recipe which will usually make 12 cupcakes (still more than enough).

These banana cupcakes turn out light and moist every time I make them (except for the time I forgot to put the sugar in, but I don’t want to talk about that).

Banana Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 375°
Stir together, set aside:
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/4 teaspoon Rumford baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream until fluffy:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, softened
Add and beat well:
1 large egg
Stir in:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add, alternately with flour mixture:
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
Pour the batter into a lightly greased muffin tin.
Bake for 13-17 minutes. Cool.

Boiled Frosting

Mix, stir, and boil at high medium high heat until the syrup reaches 238°F (soft-ball stage):
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Beat until soft peaks form:
2 medium egg whites
pinch of salt
Pour hot syrup, very slowly, into egg foam until it forms stiff peaks.
Stir into frosting:
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

To assemble:
Slice 1-2 medium firm bananas. Place several slices of banana on each cupcake; cover banana with frosting. Sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top of frosting. Serve.