Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes & Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

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“Pumpkin spice and everything nice”

Hello all! Hope you’ve been enjoying your Fall time. Here is another Fall recipe before all the Winter-y holiday baking fun ensues. If your family is not a fan of pumpkin pie, but you still want some sweet pumpkin at your Thanksgiving dessert table, try these cute mini pumpkin cupcakes, topped with a delicious pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting! They’re so small and fluffy – they go fast – so you might need to make extra!

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Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes

2.5 cups  flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
 pinch of salt
1 and 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup champagne
3/4 cup buttercream
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cupcake liners in pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine vegetable oil, champagne, pumpkin puree, buttermilk, and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients. In 4 parts, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing in between.  Now pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake 10-14 mins (depending on your oven), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
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Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
8 oz. cream cheese, cold
 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tbsp. pumpkin puree
4.5 cups powdered sugar ( depending on desired frosting consistency)
Place butter in stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, and powdered sugar and blend until combined. Add more sugar for a stiffer frosting. Mine was still pretty soft, but stiff enough to pipe. It hardened a bit after setting in the refrigerator for an hour, which made it easy to serve.
Enjoy!
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Pomegranate Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

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“We go together, like Avocado and…literally everything”

…including pomegranate! You guys…I think you will love these cupcakes! Pomegranate is in season right now and not only is it delicious, but it also has a ton of health benefits. I used to be one of those people that was iffy about eating the whole seed, but it turns out there is a good amount of fiber in the seeds, so you can totally enjoy the whole thing and feel good about it. Plus, once it’s in a cupcake, what’s not to like? The slightly sour flavor of the seeds adds a fun burst to your bite!

And lets just take a minute to revel in the beauty that is an avocado. I don’t know about you, but I just eat these with a spoon, with nothing added. Sooo imagine adding some sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and maybe cream cheese to an avocado, and you have yourself an amazing butter-free frosting that tastes sooo good! Also, did you know that avocados, among the many vitamins that you always hear about them having, also have a component called lutein in them – which contributes to eye health and helps fight diseases like Macular Degeneration?!? It’s a win-win with this cupcake!

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Pomegranate Cupcakes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 pomegranate, seeds removed and all loose peel taken off

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Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 16 mini cupcake liners (Double the recipe for about 16 regular size cupcakes – I prefer mini). In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the oil, buttermilk, egg, and extracts and mix until just combined. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (except for pomegranate seeds) and whisk together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts, mixing in between adding. Next you’ll want to toss the pomegranate seeds in a little bit of leftover flour in your bowl – this will help the seeds stay suspended throughout the cupcakes instead of sinking to the bottom. Add about 3/4 of the seeds from a whole pomegranate to the stand mixer bowl and mix in by hand. Reserve the rest of the seeds to decorate the tops of the cupcakes. Fill mini cupcakes liners about 2/3 full and place in oven for about 12 minutes (about 16-18 minutes for regular size) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove and let cool before frosting.

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Avocado frosting

1 large, ripe avocado

2 tsp lemon juice

3-4 cups of powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

8-oz cream cheese (optional)

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Remove pit and peel from avocado. Place avocado in stand mixer and beat until as smooth as possible – this may take a few minutes and you may still have a few chunks – that’s okay. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat. Now begin adding the sugar. The more sugar you add, the stiffer it will get. The frosting is very soft at this point, and you won’t be able to pipe it. This is because there is no butter in it, and avocado is your only fat at this point (albeit an all natural one 🙂 ) . I frosted a few cupcakes like this – and they were tasty, but a bit runny. If you would like the frosting a little stiffer and easier to work with/more presentable, you can add the cream cheese and continue beating in the stand mixer until smooth. The end result also tastes amazing! Once you’ve frosted the cooled cupcakes, garnish with 5-6 pomegranate seeds on top and enjoy!

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes (dairy free)

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“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall”

It’s Fall! It’s Fall! And I have some great Fall recipes coming your way! This one doesn’t have any pumpkins or apples, but it does have the fall spice flavors, and carrots – and those are orange and good for you – so they basically count 🙂 This one’s also dairy free, because everyone should be able to enjoy a cupcake, even if you can’t have dairy!

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

3 large carrots, grated

1 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

4 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

pinch of salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves

Pulse carrots in blender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 48 mini cupcake liners in cupcake pans.

Mix oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs in stand mixer. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mixing well. Then add carrots and mix until combined. Fill cupcakes liners about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

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Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

4 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp vanilla extract

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I know everyone is used to cream cheese frosting with carrot cake, but trust me – this is an awesome flavor pairing too! Try it and you’ll see for yourself!

Place a large metal bowl over a saucepan of just boiling water – not touching the water. (I just used my metal stand mixer bowl so I wouldn’t have to transfer the mixture). In the bowl, add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar and whisk until the sugar dissolves about 4-6 minutes. Transfer this to your stand mixer (or it’s already in your stand mixer 😉 ) and beat with whisk attachment to firm peaks. Add vanilla and beat to stiff peaks. Pipe onto room temperature cupcakes using a large round tip.

To get those nice dollops you’ll want to firmly squeeze the piping bag until you get a spherical marshmallow, then pull up, stop squeezing as you release the bag to get that cute little tip. For the toasting, use a hand- held kitchen torch (great investment!). I toasted just one side (Be sure not to hold the torch too long or too close in one spot at a time, and keep it away from the liners.), and added a few orange sprinkles to the other side as a little homage to the carrots! Mmm, should smell like fall in your kitchen by now!

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Hydrangea Cupcakes

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“There are always flowers for  those who want to see them.”

…or frost them on cupcakes!

Hello Friends! It has been way too long since I’ve posted, and I apologize. Sometimes time just gets away from you! I owe you all many recipes, so let’s get started with this one!

Banana flavored desserts are always a favorite of mine, and these banana-blueberry cupcakes add that perfect banana flavor without too much banana punch – I think the blueberries help give it a fresh kick too! The frosting is super sweet and yummy and goes well with the fruit flavors.

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers, so why not have them in cupcake form? Hope you enjoy!

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Mini Banana-blueberry Cupcakes

2.5 cups  flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

1 and 1/4 cups white sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup champagne

3/4 cup milk +1 tsp. white vinegar (let stand 15 mins) or ¾ cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 over-ripe bananas, mashed

2 handfuls fresh blueberries

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Preheat oven to 350 F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine vegetable oil, champagne, milk+ vinegar mixture or buttermilk, eggs, and bananas – and mix just until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients, except for blueberries. In 4 parts, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing in between. Add lightly floured blueberries (the flour helps them not sink to the bottom) towards the end and mix until evenly combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10-12  minutes (for mini cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before adding the frosting.

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Hydrangea Frosting

1/2 cup butter

8 oz cream cheese

1 tsp clear vanilla extract

4.5 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp heavy cream

pastel pink food coloring

Place butter in stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth.
Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend until combined. Add the heavy cream and beat until fluffy frosting consistency. Place half of frosting in separate bowl and add food coloring until desired pink is achieved.

hydrangeasFill sides of piping bag with pink frosting, and inside with white frosting. Use Wilton 2D tip to pipe out hydrangeas, starting at the edges and filling up the middle of the cupcake. Don’t be afraid to overlap the flowers. To pipe hydrangeas, just squeeze bag firmly, then release and lift bag off quickly. Refrigerate cupcakes overnight so the flowers harden a bit for ease of transport (cream cheese frosting can be a bit soft), or enjoy right away!

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Puppy and Kitten Love: Mini Cupcakes

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“A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart.”

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Aww..so true! Gotta love puppies and kittens. What better way to honor them than cutie mini cupcakes? Here’s a how-to:

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Puppies:

Your favorite mini cupcake recipe (You can try a chocolate one, or even a gluten-free option.)

Wilton candy eyeballs – small

Wilton candy eyeballs – large

Airheads- cherry flavor

Black edible ink pen

Wilton black candy drops

White sparkling sugar

Cream cheese frosting -white

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Kittens:

White chocolate chips

Pink candy sprinkle hearts

White and pink jimmies (sprinkles)

Black wilton rainbow chip crunch sprinkles or mini dark choco chips

White sparkling sugar

Cream cheese frosting –white

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Directions

Place a handful amount of the white sparkling sugar in a shallow bowl. For both cupcakes, once cooled to room temperature, use your round piping tip, I used 1a – to pipe little round blobs of frosting onto the cupcakes. It’s ok if it’s not too neat. Then go ahead and dip them into the sugar and push down lightly so that they are evenly covered. Next, we decorate!

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The puppies: Take the mini eyeball candies and use your edible ink marker to make the black spots larger so you get big puppy dog eyes. Dab some frosting with a toothpick on the backs, and place these on the cupcakes. Next take one big eyeball, place some frosting on the back, and place it in the middle so that it is the snout. Place frosting on the back of two black candy drops and attach them to the sides for floppy looking ears. (By the way, if you can’t get these candies, you can also use little cylindrical black licorice pieces that you can get at a candy store in a licorice assortment.) Next you’ll take a tiny bit of airhead in your hand and shape it into a little tongue, rounded on one side. Dab some frosting on the non-rounded side and place it under the large eyeball (snout), to the side. Now you have a puppy!

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The kittens:  Place some frosting on the back of the black rainbow chip crunch (or mini dark choco chips, tips facing down) and attach to the cupcake as eyes. Dab frosting on one side of the white choc chips and place on the cupcakes as ears, with pointy side facing up as you see here in the photos. Grab the pink sprinkle hearts, dab some frosting on, and place them under the eyes for the little pink nose. Use three white jimmies on either side of the nose as the whiskers. Use three pink jimmies to create the mouth – one coming down from the nose, and two making a little smile as seen here. You have kittens!

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That’s it! Now if you have an animal themed party to go to, you can make these 🙂

Mini Lemon Cupcakes with a toasted Marshmallow Frosting (gluten free)

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“When life gives you lemons…bake cupcakes”.

Actually, that’s not really a quote. You should just always bake cupcakes…because…cupcakes! I don’t have as much experience with gluten free, so I was afraid these would taste different than my normal cupcakes – but, everyone loved them! They are soft, and quite lemon-y, but also sweet. The lemons were picked fresh and smell divine as you work with them in your kitchen!

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Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes

1 cup gluten free flour or ¾ cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

½ cup butter

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup milk

4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx 1.5 lemons)

Zest of 1.5 -2 lemons

½ tsp vanilla

Zest lemons in one bowl, and then juice them in another bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine flour with baking powder and salt until mixed well. Preheat oven to 350F and set out 48 cupcake liners in cupcake tins and set aside. Meanwhile, cream butter and sugar together in stand mixer with paddle attachment. Once smooth, mix in eggs, milk, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. In three parts, mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Fill liners a bit more than ¾ full. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the middle of cupcakes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

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Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

4 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar or ¼ tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp lemon juice for flavor

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Place a large metal bowl over a saucepan of just boiling water. In the bowl, add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Transfer this to your stand mixer and beat with whisk attachment to firm peaks. Add vanilla and lemon juice and beat to stiff peaks. Pipe onto room temperature cupcakes. For the toasting, you can either use a hand- held kitchen torch or you can place in a 450F degree oven for 2 minutes. I actually did both. I did the oven first, which gave the cupcakes a light brown even color. Then I used the torch to get some darker accents so it really looked toasted. (Be sure not to hold the torch too long or too close in one spot at a time, and keep it away from the liners.) Either one looks super pretty and tastes great! Bonus when you use the kitchen torch – it smells like s’mores as you work—yummy!

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Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Mini Mini Cupcakes On Top!

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“When you look at a cupcake, you’ve got to smile.”

True story when it comes to these little cutie-patooties! Every time I walk into the kitchen and see them I break into a little giggle . These are perfect to make for anyone who loves chocolate, cupcakes, mini things, pink, has a birthday, has a baby, is getting married, is sad, is happy, is your valentine, is your best friend – basically anyone – just figure out a reason and bake them!

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

(makes 24 mini cupcakes)

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk +1 tsp. white vinegar (let stand 5 mins)

1 large egg

handful of mini chocolate chips

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cupcake liners in pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine vegetable oil, milk+ vinegar mixture, egg, both sugars, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients, except for chocolate chips. In 3 parts, while mixing, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Add chips towards the end and fold in until evenly combined.

Spoon batter into liners until 3/4 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean.

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Pink Vanilla Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, cold

 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

5 cups powdered sugar

pink gel food coloring

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Beat butter in stand mixer until smooth. Add cream cheese and mix. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend until combined. Use a toothpick to add a bit of food coloring to the white frosting (the more you add, the pinker it gets!). I wanted a pastel pink so I just added a couple drops.

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Assemble the Lil Cupcakes On Cupcakes

Wilton 1M tip

Wilton 21 tip

Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (the mini mini “cupcakes”)

Heart sprinkles

Use a Wilton 1M to frost the mini cupcakes. Try to frost a bit to one side so that you will be able to place the mini mini cupcake on the other side. Then use a Wilton 21 to frost the peanut butter cups. Place a small pink sprinkle on top of the mini mini cupcake and a larger pink heart sprinkle on top of the mini cupcake. Now place the assembled mini mini cupcake snugly into the frosting of the mini cupcake.

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Place cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight to allow the frosting to set (and ensure the mini mini cupcakes don’t fall off while transporting if you’re going to be taking these somewhere – which you should)! 🙂

Have a doubly sweet day!

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