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Entries in cupcakes (63)

Saturday
Aug132011

Seeking Sweetness: Daily Sweet, Allergy-Free Funfetti Cupcakes

Photo: Elizabeth GordonIf you follow my site, you probably know a few things about me, including: I love butter, sugar, cream, flour, unicorns, and rainbows. And if there is a cake that can put all of these things together (OK, maybe not the unicorns), it is Funfetti. This cake might just be my muse, inspiring pancakes, sandwich cookies, cakelets in the toaster oven, and more.

But as it turns out, my muse-cake has also provided some inspiration for someone unexpected: Elizabeth Gordon, owner of Betsy & Claude Baking Co., a baker specializing in allergy-free treats. As she said of CakeSpy on her site in an entry that made me blush,

Mostly... I read her posts and chuckle because they are so funny and witty, drool over whatever she’s put up on Serious Eats that week and then go about my day.  It never occurred to me that one of her wheaty, eggy and dairy-ful ideas would become one of my greatest gluten, dairy, soy, nut and egg-free inspirations.  And then, over Memorial Day weekend, my kids wanted to bake, and I just didn’t feel like making something from scratch, so I let them make a Funfetti cake from a box (we were in someone else’s kitchen). 

Well, looks like this desire led to some delicious creativity, because Elizabeth dreamed up a downright delicious-looking allergy-free variation on the world's most festive cake; even though it is devoid of butter, eggs, and wheat, I'd totally hit this cake. And by that, I mean eat it.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Elizabeth Gordon's website!

Friday
Jul012011

Sweet Dilemma: CakeSpy Acts as Tie-Breaker in Ice Cream Cupcake Contest

Hey, remember how I got to judge (along with the lovely and amazing Nicole of Baking Bites and Naomi of Bakers Royale) an Ice Cream Cupcake Contest? You know, that one curated and put together by Scoopalicious and the Cupcake Project?

Well. We all made our declarations of our three favorites, but there was no clear winner (too many awesome entries!).

However, there were two finalists, per Stef:

As a testament to how incredible our entries were this year (check them all out if you haven't yet), there was no entry that was unanimously selected by all three judges.  However, you'll notice that the S’mores Cupcake Ice Cream Sandwiches by Stephanie of 52 Kitchen Adventures as well as the Honey Hazelnut Cupcake with Gianduja Gelato by Vivian of Vivian Macaron each received votes from Nicole (Baking Bites) and Naomi (Bakers Royale) - making them the strongest contenders.  Since Jessie (Cakespy) didn't choose either of them, we decided that she should have the tie-breaking vote to determine the contest winner. 

Now, it was a tough decision, but ultimately I had to go with the Honey Hazelnut Cupcakes with Gianduja Gelato. But I really want you to know that this was like Sophie's Choice (OK, that is excessive, but I just want you to know it was really hard). 

Congratulations to both of the finalists for bringing extreme deliciousness to all of our lives!

For the full roster of entries click here.

Monday
Jun272011

CakeSpy Undercover: Cako Bakery, San Francisco

If you are a bakery, and you tell me to come visit, I probably will. 

So when I was in San Francisco recently and Cako Bakery said (via twitter, natch!) “you should visit our bakery” I was all “OK”.

I hit it up with friends Phil and Matt before we went to see Tales of The City, the musical (no, really). The bakery is in an unlikely spot, sort of downtown leaning into the Tenderloin, but there it is, with a pink neon sign and cupcakes in the window. (I later learned they have a second location, too, in Japantown)

When we visited, it was about 7.30 pm but they still had a prettily stocked display. There was a big tattoed fella behind the counter who seemed slightly incongruous with his cupcake setting, but when he asked what we'd like and I said “Well, tell me, what's the best flavor?” he didn't hesitate for a moment: “Strawberry cheesecake.” And he smiled while he said it, like he had been friends with that cupcake before.

Matt had the pleasure of devouring this beauty, which had a strawberry cream cheese frosting, vanilla cake and a cheesecake filling. Like, cheesecake inside! Like whoa. Bake it in a Cake would faint.

Matt is an expert (he is friends with me, after all) and reports that the cream cheese frosting is lighter than usual, which is kind of nice; it is more whipped. The cupcake itself is dense and flavorful, a nice contrast to the light frosting. His overall thoughts: “a different kind of cupcake. I like it”.

That's enough for me to add it to my next return trip!

Cako Bakery, 211 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco; online at cakobakery.com; follow them on Twitter here.

Cako on Urbanspoon

Monday
May092011

Magic in the Middle: Truffle-Stuffed Cupcakes Recipe for Serious Eats

Chocolate cupcakes are pretty great. But there's a way to make them even better: stuff 'em with truffles. We originally got the idea from Reddit.

It's an easy and quick addition: simply drop a chocolate truffle in each treat before baking. The rewards are many. The gooey little chocolate center not only adds a decadent richness to the cake, but also keeps it deliciously moist.

Note: What kind of truffles? I used Godiva Gems; while I haven't tried this recipe with other truffles, I feel as if it would work well with most truffles containing a more solid filling such as ganache, coconut, or caramel (avoid liqueurs and soft or oozing fillings).

Note: With half of the batch, I took care to ensure each truffle was fully covered with batter; with the other half, I simply dropped the truffles in the center of the cup before baking. The outcome was the same with all of the cakes: the truffles would sink to the lower center of the cupcake either way.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
May042011

Cake Byte: Dozen Bake Shop and Burgatory Bar Collaborate on Cupcake Shakes

In Pittsburgh, a small miracle has taken place.

A deep, dark, secret love between a cupcake shop (Dozen Bake Shop) and a burger bar (Burgatory Bar) has resulted in the sweetest baby you'll ever meet: the Cupcake Shake!

Now, the cake shake isn't necessarily a new thing. The CupShake in Utah inspired CakeSpy's own CupShake recipe on Serious Eats a while back. But this is not to take away from the awesomeness of another CupShake entering the world of sweet treats. In fact, this is news to be celebrated.

And with flavor combinations like the Chocolate Stout Cupcake Shake, it is strong motivation to get your sweet self to Pittsburgh, STAT!

Cupcake Milkshakes, available at Burgatory Bar, Pittsburgh.

Tuesday
May032011

Cake Byte: Full Sweetness ahead at Trophy Cupcakes in May

Talk about a totally sweet lineup! Seattle's Trophy Cupcakes has plenty of delicious to offer this month:

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcake (one day only, on Cinco de Mayo!): Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, our Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcake is back for its third year! The perfect blend of cinnamon and cayenne pepper warms up this bittersweet Chocolate on Chocolate Cupcake. Available May 5th. 

Margarita Cupcakes: By popular demand, we will be featuring Margarita Cupcakes every day through the month of May! Our Fresh Lime Cupcake is full of tangy lime zest, fresh lime juice and delicious lime oil topped with Tequila and Lime Buttercream…of course it is finished with candied lime zest and sea salt! Oh my, it is good (if we do say so ourselves!). Available everyday in May.

Lemon Raspberry (one day only, on Mother's Day!): Especially for Mother's day we are featuring Lemon Raspberry…our Fresh Lemon Cupcake is topped with our luscious Raspberry Buttercream and a fresh raspberry. So yummy and so pretty and definitely mom approved! Please order by Friday at 3pm for Sunday pick up.

Available at all three Trophy Cupcakes locations; for availability, directions and hours, visit their website.

Thursday
Apr072011

Push It: PushCakes by Meringue Bake Shop, Orange County CA

Photo: Meringue Bake ShopWhen push pop meets cupcake, you get something awesome to shove in your gullet: PushCakes!

And I was the very lucky recipient of a sample package of these sweeties, made with love by Meringue Bakeshop in So-cal, which arrived on SpyStep (that's my doorstep) this morning.

Aside from some minor frosting sticking-to-the-top, the cakes arrived in fine form (and really, if you must know, I just licked it off the lid, and am pretty certain you'd do the same if nobody was looking). Also, a small circle of parchment paper would probably do the trick in keeping it from sticking.

While the push pop mechanism doesn't change the taste of cake at all, it does make it fun to eat, and if you ate it in front of someone else, it would probably make them jealous. And Kristin Ausk, the baker behind Meringue Bake Shop, makes a mean PushCake: cake layers kept moist between generous, almost mini trifle-esque layers of buttercream. Favorite flavor so far? The strawberry cheesecake, which tastes a little bit like both flavors, all at once, in a good way.

Here are the flavors that Mr. Spy and I devoured:

  • Queen of Hearts (aka red velvet)
  • German Chocolate
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Sweet & Salty (salted caramel) 

...and yes, they were freaking delicious.

Want more? You'd do yourself a favor if you bought some PushCakes--do it here. And follow the baker online here.

Tuesday
Apr052011

Sugar and Spice: Chocolate Chipotle Caramel Filled Cupcakes by Fields of Cake, Maine

I think that right now would be a good time to tell you about something delicious I ate. 

The item in question? The "Vinny" (same Vinny served as inspiration for these cakes as for this art, btw), a masterpiece baked up by Carrie Fields, who you may know better by her stage name, Fields of Cake. When asked what these ambrosial morsels actually consisted of, her response was as follows:

Those yummy morsels were chocolate chipotle cake filled with Hot Damn caramel (cinnamon schnapps and chipotle homemade caramel) and toasted almonds topped with cinnamon sugar buttercream. 

The proper reaction to that, of course, is OMG. If you're in the Portland, Maine area, I suggest you look her up immediately to commission a batch; if not, she also posted the recipe on her blog.

You can find the recipe here!

For more Fields of Cake goodness, visit her site or her facebook page.

Wednesday
Mar232011

Not Tai Chi: Chai Tea Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Frosting Recipe from Betty Crocker Wannabe

Image and recipe c/o Betty Crocker WannabeCakeSpy Note: You know what's totally sweet? Receiving great recipes from readers. This recipe, dreamed up by Tiff of Betty Crocker Wannabe, is possibly the most delicious-sounding use of chai spice I've ever heard of: chai cupcakes with pumpkin spice frosting. As the French would say, "le nom nom nom". Here's her intro:

When I went to Nevada in December, my best friend’s daughter made me a fabulous hot drink.  It was Chai tea with pumpkin spice creamer.  I had never tried Chai before and fell in love with it!  As I was brainstorming cupcake flavors to invent, I instantly thought of a Chai cupcake with pumpkin spice frosting.  Here’s what I came up with.   Let me know what you think! (the frosting is a twist on the Perfect Cupcake Frosting recipe from Our Best Bites).

CHAI CUPCAKES & WHIPPED PUMPKIN SPICE FROSTING

CAKE:

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. instant Chai mix (I used Spiced Mystic Chai from Sam’s)
  • 1 cup real butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temp
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup liquid Chai tea concentrate (I used Oregon brand from Wal-Mart)
  • 1/4 cup milk, at room temp

Procedure

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and dry Chai mix in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In separate bowl, or measuring cup, mix together milk and liquid Chai concentrate.  Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, preferably a bowl to an electric mixer, beat together butter, sour cream, and sugar until smooth.  Add one egg at a time, beating until well incorporated.
  4. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture.  Be sure to start and end with the flour mixture.   Do not over beat!
  5. Divide the batter among paper lined muffin tins.  Fill each paper 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cupcakes.

FROSTING: (doubled from OOB)

  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin spice coffee creamer
  • 1 cup real butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (THIS is what makes this frosting fabulous!)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Procedure

  1. Whisk together the flour, creamer, and  milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
  2. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place the mixture in a mesh strainer and stir with a rubber spatula to push it through.
  4. You should end up with a nice, smooth mixture. It’s almost like pudding before it’s set.
  5. Put this mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. When it is chilled, you can move on to the following step.
  6. In an electric stand mixer, beat the butter,  sugar, and pumpkin pie spice for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides.
  7. Beat on med-high for 7-8 minutes. ENJOY!

For more of Tiff's work, visit bettycrockerwannabe.com.

Tuesday
Feb222011

Baked, Not Stirred: Fresa Breeze Margarita Cupcakes Recipe from Robicelli's

Who knew? February 22 is National Margarita Day. But how to celebrate? Well, naturally, you should indulge in a margarita or seven. But you'll need something to soak up all of that blissful booze, so may I suggest a Margarita Cupcake? Here's a recipe sent on care of Partida Tequila, developed specially for them by Robicelli's (who you know I have a cake crush on!).

Margarita Cupcakes

Cake
3/4 stick butter, melted & cooled
3 eggs
1/4 heavy cream
1/4 cup Partida Blanco tequila
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Zests of 2 limes

Cream cheese frosting
1 tsp Partida Blanco Tequila
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 package cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar

Strawberry salsa
1 large container strawberries, stems removed and chopped 
1/4 cup seedless cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Partida Tequila
One Lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Strawberry Salsa:
1.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Beat eggs until well mixed, then add butter, cream, tequila & salt.  Mix until combined.
3. Sift together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Add to wet mixture and stir until smooth.
4. Divide amongst 12 cupcake tins and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops just spring back when touched.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1.  Beat together tequila, softened butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy.
2.  Add powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
3.  Once all sugar is added, beat for an additional 3 minutes to incorporate air.

To assemble:
1.  Strain salsa, reserving liquid.  Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each cupcake with the liquid.
2.  Frost cupcakes with the cream cheese & tequila icing.  Using a teaspoon, scoop out an indentation in the middle of each cupcake.
3. Place a heaping spoonful of the strawberry salsa in each indentation.
4.  Garnish with a sliver or lime.

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