Neapolitan Cupcakes

I was feeling particularly cupcake deprived, when I realized that the Oven Mitt hasn’t seen cupcakes for a while! I knew the exact cupcakes I wanted to bake too… well, sort of. I’ve had “Neapolitan Cupcakes” in my head for ages, I just wasn’t sure which route I wanted to go with them. Vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling and chocolate frosting? No, I’ve already made vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling. Strawberry cupcakes? Chocolate cupcakes? I couldn’t decide, when it finally hit me. I was going to put vanilla and chocolate into one cupcake, with strawberry frosting. This recipe made 12 cupcakes.
Neapolitan Cupcakes

Ingredients for vanilla cupcake portion:
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup flour
• 34 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, then add the egg and vanilla extract.
Vanilla portion

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture, pour in the milk and beat until smooth.

Now whip up the chocolate batter!

Ingredients for the chocolate cupcake portion:
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup flour
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into one medium bowl.

One at a time, add the egg, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Beat the batter on medium speed until smooth.

In a small sauce pan, boil the 1/2 cup of water and add the cocoa powder to create a chocolate sauce. Add the chocolate sauce to the cake batter and mix well.

Prepare your cupcake liners in a muffin pan or a regular pan. Pour the vanilla cupcake into the liner about 1/3 of the way, then pour in the chocolate batter another 1/3.
Combine vanilla and chocolate

Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While your cupcakes cool, it’s time to prepare the strawberry frosting!
Slice strawberries

Ingredients for strawberry frosting:
• 1 1/2 cups of sliced strawberries
• 1 cup butter
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 cups powdered sugar

Beat the strawberries in a blender on high for about a minute or until there’s no more large chunks.

Pour the blended strawberries into a sauce pan, bring them to a boil on medium heat.

While stirring often, continue to heat the strawberries in the sauce pan for about 20-25 minutes. The longer they reduce, the more of a fragrant strawberry taste you will have. The puree will end up being about half the amount that you originally poured in.

Once finished, set the strawberry puree aside to cool.

Sift powdered sugar
On medium/high speed, beat the butter in a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar and the vanilla extract to the butter until just blended.

Reduced strawberries
Now pour about a teaspoon of the strawberry puree into the frosting mixture, then alternate with another cup of powdered sugar. Repeat until all ingredients are combined. If you desire a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar.

Frost your cooled cupcakes and you’re all set! I stored my cupcakes in the fridge to keep the strawberry frosting on point. 🙂
Flower-like

Cherry Filled Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Frosting

Remember when red velvet was pretty much impossible to find until the holiday season rolled around? I slightly miss those days because it was always an amazing holiday treat… but then again, I’m pretty stoked that I can easily find red velvet cakes/cupcakes/whoopie pies anywhere at anytime! 🙂
My very first memory of red velvet cake was when my grandma baked it for us. She usually did a 2 or 3 layer cake, each layer had whipped cream and a cherry filling, then she’d top it off with walnuts or almonds. It’s still my favorite way to enjoy red velvet, but I decided to mix a bit of grandma’s way of doing it with the everyday red velvet. I baked one dozen red velvet cupcakes, created a cherry filling and topped them off with cream cheese frosting and walnuts.
Decorating

Ingredients for the cherry filling:
• 1 cup cherries (frozen or fresh, I used frozen)
• 3 tbs. sugar
• 4 tbs. water
• 1 tbs. corn starch
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Use a medium sauce pan to heat the cherries, sugar and 3 tbs. of water (leave the last tbs. for later).
On medium-high heat, bring all of the ingredients to a simmer.
Stir and mash the cherries as much as possible. It will be quite a watery/milky constancy.
In a small cup, stir the remaining tbs. of water and the corn starch together.
Once the cherries begin to bubble, add the water and corn starch mixture and stir until it thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside in a heat safe bowl until it’s ready for use.
Cherry Filling

Ingredients for the red velvet cupcakes:
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 1/4 tsp. baking powder
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 1/2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup buttermilk (or use regular milk w/ a splash of lemon juice, set it aside for about 5 mins before use)
• 1 tbs. red food coloring
• 1/2 tsp. white distilled vinegar
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

So many ingredients… 😐
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla, mix until well incorporated.
In a separate large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together.
Sifting flour
In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and food coloring.
While beating at a low speed, alternate between the flour and buttermilk mixtures into the butter concoction.
Dump it all in
In a small cup, combine the vinegar and baking soda. As soon as it fizzes, pour into the cake batter and quickly(yet gently) fold into the batter.
Ready for the baking soda/vinegar mix
Pour your red velvet batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-22 minutes or when a tooth pick comes out clean.
Once they’re finished (and looking mighty seductive), allow 15-20 minutes for them to cool.
So seductive

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:
• 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

On medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.
Pour in the vanilla until combined.
Slowly add the confectioners’ until the desired consistency is reached.

Now that your cupcakes are cool, it’s time to fill them up with your cherry filling. Make sure that when you scoop the cherries into a piping tool that most of the big cherry chunks are taken out.
Use a knife to poke an “x” in the center of each cupcake, almost down to the bottom of the cupcake.
Fill 'em up
Insert the tip of your piping tool (or ziplock bag with a hole at the end) into the “x” and apply a bit of pressure. You will feel the cherries filling the cupcake and it will literally push your piping tool out the top of the cupcake.
Ice 'em up
Once they’re all complete, it’s time to ice your cupcakes with your freshly created cream cheese! I decided to garnish with some of the leftover filling and walnuts.
Sad cupcake
I hope this is helpful for you all! Have a great day!

Cinnamon Apple Filled Spice Cupcakes with a Vanilla Glaze

I baked these cupcakes for my mum’s birthday. It was a lot of firsts for me and mistakes were made! I wanted to create a crumble to go on top of the cupcakes, that ended up being more like a brittle… but it still tasted good, so it worked out. Surprisingly enough, it was my first time making a glaze as well and as you can see by the photos it looks like a regular frosting. It was also very sweet. So, keep in mind when reading the recipe that this is exactly how I made the cupcakes, but I’ll add my little notes for suggestions to remedy everything. Afterall, the best part about baking is experimenting!
My mum asked for a fruit filled cupcake, her suggestions were apple or peach. I’m a little afraid to jump into using peaches, so apple it is! This would be a great cupcake for a fall occasion. 🙂
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Spice cupcake ingredients:
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 4 egg whites
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cup milk

I have created spice cupcakes before, you can follow along the recipe HERE!.

Oat “crumble” ingredients:
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/2 cup butter

As mentioned above, this created an excellent brittle, but not quite a “crumble.” If you’d prefer more of a crumble, I would suggest adding more flour and brown sugar until you reach a much drier consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix all of your dry ingredients together into a medium sized bowl.
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Slice up pieces of butter into the dry mixture and use your hands to rub the butter into the mixture.
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Lay some parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and spread out your crumble/brittle.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
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Allow to cool. Store any leftovers into an airtight container (it makes great granola for later!).
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Vanilla glaze/frosting ingredients:
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 5 tbs. heavy whipping cream
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract

This one’s nice n’ easy. Just combine all of the ingredients until smooth. To create more of a glaze, just add more heavy whipping cream until it’s a thin glaze… don’t be like me and think “eh, it’ll thin out if I put it on a warm cupcake!” Bad idea.

Apple cinnamon filling:
• 1/2 cup butter
• 2 cups diced apples
• 4 tbs. brown sugar
• 4 tbs. honey
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. lemon juice

The best part… heat 1/4 cup butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
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Once it’s nice and bubbly, add the apples and sauté until the apples are soft.
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Add the remaining ingredients, including the rest of the butter until all is mixed well.
Set aside until it’s ready to be used.
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To assemble the cupcakes:
By now, the cupcakes should be baked and nicely cooled. Use a sharp knife to poke an “x” into the center of each cupcake. Make sure you take the center of the knife almost to the bottom of the cupcake, so there’s plenty of space to fill it with apples.
Place the apple mixture into a piping tool or a plastic bag with a tiny hole at the other end. Place directly into the “x” of each cupcake and allow it to fill with apple deliciousness.
I like them being a little messy, but you can definitely make them a lot nicer and just not squeeze as much into the centers. 🙂
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Once you’ve finished, glaze/frost up the cupcakes and sprinkle some of your homemade crumble/brittle on top!
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Even with the mistakes, everyone in the family seemed to enjoy the cupcakes. I hope the recipe and little tips were helpful, have a yummy day!

Quickie: Homemade Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is one of those things that can top most treats. Luckily, it’s super quick and easy to make and it tastes even better when you make it yourself!
I made some iced coffees the other day and of course, we didn’t have any whipped cream. I quickly noticed I had the whopping three ingredients needed to create my own. It’s super simple to remember, the three “1’s”:
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1 tbs. confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
whipped
I like to beat the heavy whipping cream first. On medium/high speed, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks start to form.
Add the sugar and vanilla extract, continue to beat on medium/high speed until peaks form, usually takes about a minute or two. Make sure you don’t over beat or you’ll end up with some butter textured whipped cream.
Plop that heaven on your pies, smoothies, parfait’s or cakes and it won’t disappoint.

Coffee Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

I’m actually not a big coffee drinker, but I do occasionally indulge in the overly sugary coffee concoctions you find at Starbucks and Coffee Bean. They’re sweet enough to be cupcakes as it is, may as well make a coffee cupcake!
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Ingredients for 2 dozen cupcakes:
• 2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 cup butter
• 3 tbs instant coffee
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.
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Boil about 8oz. of water over medium heat and add the instant coffee.
Mix in the butter and stir until the butter is melted into the coffee.
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Turn off heat and place coffee/butter mixture into a heat safe bowl, set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda.
Pour the coffee/butter into the flour mixture.
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In a separate bowl, toss in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
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Toss the egg mixture into the coffee/flour mixture and blend well.
Fill up the cupcake foils about 3/4 and bake 20-25 minutes.
Once an inserted tooth pick comes out clean, take the cupcakes out and allow them to cool.
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Onward, to the brown sugar frosting!
Ingredients:
• 3 tbs butter
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 3-4 cups powdered sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 3-4 tbs heavy whipping cream

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the brown sugar and salt. Bring to boil, while stirring constantly.
Once the brown sugar seems to be well dissolved and you smell a caramel-like scent, it’s time to remove from heat and cool slightly in a heat-safe bowl.
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Pour the brown sugar butter into a large mixing bowl.
Add the vanilla extract, then alternate beating in the cups of powdered sugar and tbs. of heavy whipping cream until you reach your desired consistency.
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Frost your cupcakes and just to add a little something extra… I pounded up some chocolate covered espresso beans and sprinkled them on top!
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Enjoy!
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Lemon Cupcakes with Kiwi Frosting

It’s finally starting to look like Spring! Southern California has been strangely gloomy and now that the sunshine is taking over… I thought a nice fruity, springy cupcake would be a nice treat. A sour fruit like lemon and a sweet fruit like kiwi would be the perfect combo, let’s get cookin’!
Aaah so refreshing

Ingredients:
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
• 4 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• Lemon zest (2-3 lemons)
• 1/2 cup butter (softened)
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• Lemon juice (1-2 lemons worth)

Preheat the oven to 350F
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together.
Zesty
In a large bowl, put the sugar and lemon zest together. The best way to get the lemon flavor mixed into the sugar is to press the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers. This will make the sugar moist and smelling lemony!
Squish
Add the butter to the sugar/lemon mixture and beat until the mixture is light.
Beat in the vanilla extract and then alternate between adding the flour mixture and the egg mixture into the sugar/lemon bowl.
Cupcake batter
Beat all of the ingredients together for a few minutes until everything is blended nicely.
Place the batter into the cupcake foils and place them into the oven for about 18-20 minutes.

While those babies are baking, let’s get started on the best part… the kiwi frosting.

Frosting Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup butter (softened)
• 1 (8oz.) pack of cream cheese
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1/2 cup freshly diced kiwi’s (about 2-3 kiwi’s)

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until they’re smooth.
Then beat in the kiwi’s and vanilla extract.
Slice n' dice
While still beating the mixture, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
Kiwi frosting
Frost the cupcakes, once they’re cooled and you’re all set!
Fruity

Cupcakery Review: Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen

I’ve recently moved from Orange County California to San Diego County. I must admit, I love San Diego, I love it so much more than Orange County. There’s a lot more options when it comes to going out, restaurants, bars, etc. Most of all, there are tons of bakeries! I’ve discovered quite a few already and thought it would be fun to snack on their goodies and blog about it!
My most recent discovery was Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen in Vista, CA. Wow, what great cupcakes! Apparently they were contestants on Cupcake Wars and won… yeah, they were that good.
I only got 3 cupcakes because I didn’t want to feel like too much of a heffer. After countless minutes of circling the menu and the cupcakes on display, I finally came to my 3 choices(all descriptions courtesy of littlecakeskitchen’s site):

Almond Champagne – Sweet almond cake with champagne buttercream and edible pearls.
Almond Champagne
Chocolate Mint – Chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache, mint buttercream and crispy chocolate pearls.
Chocolate Mint
Strawberry Milkshake – Moist vanilla cake with a generous swirl of strawberry cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with rainbow sugar.
Strawberry Milkshake
I highly recommend these cupcakes, if anyone is ever in North County San Diego, make the trip! They had an amazing variety of unique cupcakes. The buttercreams weren’t stiff and super sugary like most places, they were very creamy, delicious and perfect. It was obvious that their cupcakes are freshly baked every morning. I’ll be back! 🙂
All the nums