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.
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.
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!”
Tomorrow night is my friend L’s 30th birthday at Missouri Lounge in Berkeley. After my Easter brunch with a friend’s family (pumpernickel bagel, egg salad, Kerns pear nectar, and See’s chocolate Easter eggs), I got to work baking cupcakes. It feels good not to have to follow recipes and be able to improvise now. Baking isn’t as rigid/scientific as some people think.
I did my usual Duncan Hines Devil’s Food mix with a box of chocolate pudding mix for the dry ingredients. Four eggs, 1/3 of a cup vegetable oil, 3/4 of a cup buttermilk, and 1/4 cup bourbon got mixed in.
I decided to fill them this time. Filling is fun. You core out little pockets of cake with a pairing knife, pipe in some goo and then pop the little tops back on. After frosting, no one is the wiser until they take a bite. I’d asked my friend P to get me salted caramels to melt at Berkeley Bowl but he was too stressed out by being in that fucking madhouse, he abandoned his mission.
I ended up at Safeway at 9 am buying something trying to fancy next to squeeze bottles of Hershey’s Syrup. It ended up tasting not salty at all, so I added salt. Then it was too salty. I’d say I eventually wrestled that shit into submission.
The frosting was standard buttercream with extra vanilla and some more bourbon. I went to the fancy cupcake store and got snazzy little chocolate vanilla swirl straws to top them off. Very professional looking. I also got 3 and 0 candles because I think everyone should blow out candles on their birthday. I hope they help make a it a special night for her. She deserves it. She’s wonderful.
chocolate cake and Southern Comfort butter cream topped with chocolate and salty caramel corn
I’ve made whiskey, bourbon, and other liqueur cupcakes before but I really liked the Southern Comfort combined with the sweet and salty flavors. I did not like Southern Comfort straight up, however and I welcome suggestions for what to do with the almost full bottle I have left over.
I used a Duncan Hines devil’s food cake mix and souped it up. I added an extra egg, vanilla, a package of instant chocolate pudding mix, and buttermilk in place of water. The frosting is standard buttercream with Southern Comfort substituting for milk. It’s topped with Hershey’s syrup from the can and Pop Secret caramel corn with added Kosher salt and more SoCo.
These cupcakes almost made up for the fact that Peyton Manning’s head looks like a penis.