Nutella Cupcakes

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My Nutella cupcakes are way tastier than Krispy Kreme’s new Nutella donut, not that I’ve visited the Krispy Kreme Nutella donut ATM in London in the last two days. My friends H’s boyfriend is turning 40 and for some reason I’m making cupcakes for friends’ boyfriends’ birthdays now.

The cake is chocolate. I used a box of Duncan Hines’ Devil’s Food cake mix, a small box of instant chocolate pudding mix, 1/3 of a cup oil, a cup of whipping cream (makes them extra fluffy), 4 eggs, and a generous tablespoon of vanilla. I filled the shiny gold cupcake papers using a spring action ice cream scoop so they were mostly the same size and yielded almost 3 dozen little yummies. It’s my friend A’s birthday party on Sunday and she asked for little fanfare. Leftover Nutella cupcakes and kisses for her it is.

The frosting is buttercream, which includes a large sack of powdered sugar, a stick of butter, a stick of butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 of a cup of whipping cream, and another generous tablespoon of vanilla. I spooned about half a small jar of Nutella to beat with the butter and butter like substance as a first step.

I bought a new frosting tip at Spun Sugar to replace the one that went missing last week because I prefer not to use the star tip. The star tip doesn’t look as professional. I used some milk and white chocolate flake things also from Spun Sugar to decorate.

I don’t like Nutella but I was squirting this frosting directly into my mouth from the pastry bag (after I’d already frosted all the cupcakes of course) because I’m a piggy.

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Nutella Cupcakes

Purple Rain Cupcakes

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Free Purple Rain cupcakes to the first 24 Prince party goers tomorrow night

Tomorrow night is the What’s in Prince’s Fridge Memorial Dance Party (wear high heels so you can feel his pain and my pain). I made Purple Rain cupcakes for the occasion.

The Purple Rain cupcakes are simple but delicious. For the chocolate cake I used a box of Duncan Hines’ Devil’s Food cake mix, a small box of instant pudding mix, 1/3 of a cup oil, a cup of whipping cream, 4 eggs, and a generous tablespoon of vanilla. The frosting is buttercream, which includes a large sack of powdered sugar, a stick of butter, a stick of butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 of a cup of whipping cream, and another generous tablespoon of vanilla.

I went to Spun Sugar and got the shiny purple cupcake papers, purple food coloring (there were at least 5 purple choices and I don’t remember which one I chose. I don’t think it matters), and the purple sprinkles. There was much hemming and hawing over what to decorate with.

There were just a few issues. My friend and co party planner D brought champagne with her and I drank a lot of it. I’m pretty sure this enhanced my baking abilities, but I never tried one. My Williams-Sonoma frosting tip was nowhere to be found. I think my friend S might have hid it so as to avoid me leaving sticky spots all over his kitchen. I had to use the star tip. The sprinkles did not want to stick to the frosting. I should have picked lighter ones I think. Sprinkling was D’s job. She made an admirable effort.

Other delicious cupcake/cake ideas:

chocolate cake and Southern Comfort butter cream topped with chocolate and salty caramel corn
chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes
Chocolate cupcake with salted caramel filling and vanilla bourbon buttercream
snicker doodle cupcakes
tequila lime birthday cake

Purple Rain Cupcakes

Snicker Doodle Cupcakes

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I am the program manager for Tech Futures Group. Today is our quarterly team meeting. Our advisors come to WeWork Berkeley from as far away as Santa Cruz. I baked cupcakes last night for the meeting as well as for my blog party tonight.

My coworker E asked for snicker doodle cupcakes. I baked snicker doodle cupcakes. My go to cake recipe is a box of cake mix (in this case Duncan Hines white), 4 eggs, a box of pudding mix (in this case vanilla), 1/3 cup oil, and a splash of vanilla (I don’t think it’s possible to use too much). This time I used a cup of heavy whipping cream in place of water.

When filling the super cute orange with white dots cupcake papers, I alternated a layer of batter with a layer of cinnamon sugar (2 tablespoons of cinnamon mixed with a half a cup of sugar). While the cupcakes were in the oven for about 20 minutes, I made the buttercream frosting (the big bag of powdered sugar, one stick of butter, one stick of butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 of a cup of heavy whipping cream, and the other half of a small bottle of vanilla extract).

I used a pastry bag and my handy frosting tip from Williams-Sonoma to give the cupcakes a professional look. After sprinkling on some more cinnamon sugar, I topped them off with little chocolates (not too sweet) that my boss brought back from his European vacation.

The cupcakes came out delicious, not too cinnamony, they taste exactly like snicker doodle cookies. Lucky Tech Futures Group team. My friend P says, “They’re f-ing great!”

Snicker Doodle Cupcakes

Tequila Lime Birthday Cake

FullSizeRender (64)I’m the girl that brings the spiked baked goods to people’s birthdays. I think that a birthday celebration must have something sweet to stick a candle in. How else can the birthday person make a wish? I didn’t know what kind of cake my friend R would like so I asked him what his favorite candy was. I hoped he say something chocolate but he said, “Skittles.” Skittles cake? Nope. I remembered he liked tequila and that is how the tequila lime cake was born. Yellow Skittles made an appearance.

I used a white cake mix, lemon pudding mix, egg whites, oil, vanilla, fresh squeezed lime juice and a cup of Cazadores tequila blanco. By the way, If you want to impress a bartender and don’t have a pile of money, ridicule Patron and then order Cazadores. The frosting was basic buttercream. Cream butter and butter flavored Crisco (so the frosting will behave) and powdered sugar. Add a tablespoon of vanilla. You’re supposed to put about a third of a cup of milk in the mix but I didn’t have any so I used more tequila and lime juice.

I fucked up this cake pretty badly twice. Don’t fear baking people. I wing it all the time. I thought I was using a one-cup measurer (too many swigs of tequila) when it was a two-cup. A cake mix calls for three eggs but I always use 4. This time I used 8. Whoops! Hmmm, the batter is so runny, what do I do. I ran to the store and grabbed another cake mix. I was a little skeptical so I baked one cupcake just to make sure it was edible. It was.

The next time I fucked up was when frosting. I bought that set of three tinfoil baking pans. It was going to be a three-layer cake but 85% of the way into frosting it I realized that I didn’t have enough and had to cut out a layer and scrape off as much as possible. I bake at a friend’s house and he was very happy to find the reject layer when he got home later. It made up for any sticky spots I may have left behind. I am a messy critter and even after I clean up you’re likely to find buttered handles everywhere I touched.

Frosting a cake is always annoying as fuck. That’s why people use fondant, which gives a cake that perfectly smooth look. Fondant tastes disgusting. I usually put the cake in the freezer for a bit to make it less likely to crumb up the frosting. I also smooth out the frosting with a wet knife. Decorating was super easy because I used the star tip from my Williams-Sonoma tip set. I squeezed and then plopped on the Skittles to make the flowers. I couldn’t find my cake carrier so later it got smooshed during the car ride. It was real pretty before that happened.

I gave R the leftover tequila and Skittles as presents. My friend L and I covered that cake with candles and embarrassed the shit out of the birthday boy and that’s how it should be. I got compliments.

S with the sticky spots said, “Made me think of a piña colada on the beach in cake form. Super good!” R the birthday boy said, “It was the best, no one has done anything like that for me.”

Aww, thanks friends. It was my pleasure even though I burned myself on the oven.

Tequila Lime Birthday Cake

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her II

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Chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes with Oban buttercream

Tonight is my friend M’s running pub-crawl 29th birthday in Oakland and Berkeley. Five pubs, 5 miles, is it a recipe for projectile vomiting? She loves a cocktail at Make Westing with whiskey, ginger, and other stuff. I decided to make chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes. I bake at my ex boyfriend’s (the good one) house because my mixer lives there and my own kitchen has no counter space. I asked him for 4 tablespoons of whiskey and he left some Oban out for me. Holy shit, Oban! M is worth it.

For the cake I added a package of Jello pudding mix, almost a cup of buttermilk, whiskey, half a cup of oil, 4 eggs, and a teaspoon of ground ginger to a box of devil’s food cake mix. I used a cookie dough scooper to try and make the cupcakes even but I always fail miserably at this.

The frosting is the standard cup of butter and 3 cups of powdered sugar with vanilla, whiskey, and a splash of whole milk. I use a little butter flavored Crisco to make the frosting hardier (buttercream melts and doesn’t look so pretty). I like baking with butter flavored Crisco. In fact, my chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from the package. I used to tell my chef friend who loves those cookies that there was a secret ingredient and he would try to guess. Hahaha, he never guessed it was lard.

I decorated the cupcakes with real French chocolate sprinkles instead of that chocolate flavored wax stuff. I got those along with the back foil liners and the plastic carriers at Spun Sugar in Berkeley. The secret to making the frosting look professional is to buy a set of decorating tips from Williams and Sonoma. Use the biggest one and just squeeze the frosting from a pastry bag on top of the cupcake without moving it around.

Check back tomorrow for a post about M’s birthday. I hope nobody pukes up my Oban cupcakes.

For professional looking frosting

Berkeley’s store for bakers

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her I

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her II