Friday, August 13, 2010

Baby Shower Cupcakes, Recipes, and a Competition!

As I was baking some cupcakes for a family friend's baby shower last night I realized I have never posted my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe! How is that possible? So today is the day. I am also posting a fairly decent red velvet recipe, though I must admit I do not like red velvet. I am opposed to anything that only puts 1 TBSP of cocoa powder in a recipe. Either make it chocolate or don't, that is my theory.

I must warn all my readers, my brain is on energy conserve mode today. I was up until 4am last night making these cupcakes, so the ole noggin is moving at the break neck speeds of a snail. I was tapped to make 120 mini cupcakes for a woman that works with my Mom to give as favors for her daughters baby shower. Got that? She requested Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream, Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream, and Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. They all turned out pretty darn good, and I got some great pictures of them too, which I am trying to do more of. So with out further ado, here are the pics and recipes:

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

This recipe is from Ina Garten, with a few changes by yours truly in italics.
Double Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup cake flour
3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I use the instant coffee from Starbucks, it has a great taste and the benefit of only making one cup instead of brewing a whole pot)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Line cupcake pans with paper cups and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated. The batter will be very very thin, that is A-OK.

Pour the batter into the prepared cups. Make sure not to fill them more than half way, they will rise A LOT. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, put onto a rack to cool completely.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe comes from the Southern Queen Paula Deen, again my changes are in italics.

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2-3 drops red food coloring gel
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound cream cheese
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

OK here is my big tip on how to make perfect Cream Cheese Frosting. DO NOT soften the cream cheese! The recipe will tell you to soften it or have it at room temp but don't! Take it straight from the fridge to bowl. Trust me. At room temp it gets gloppy and lumpy and kinda gross. Nice a cold from the fridge you will get smoothness every time.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

And finally, it is almost time for Cupcake Cup 2010!!! This is a cupcake competition in the Central Pa area. 2009 was the first year it was held. I made Chocolate Rum Marbled cupcakes and the judges sad they were too simple, so I am going all out this year. Expect a post in about two weeks with the choices for what I will make. I will open up voting to all 29 of my followers and to The Bump girls. Whatever you guys think I should make for the competition is what I will go with.

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