3×3 Food- Homemade Cupcakes

Homemade Cupcakes Grace, Luci and I decided it was only appropriate to kick off our newly remodeled 3×3 group with a virtual celebration. So homemade cupcakes, sequins, glitter, and a bit of bubbly were totally necessary. Now I know what you’re thinking. “How could you guys tempt me with cupcakes? I just started a juice cleanse.” “I’m only eating salad for the next 3 months.” “These look delicious, but I’m on a diet.” Puh-lease. We all know, you’ll be back to your regular eating habits before you can start remembering to write 2014 instead of 2013 in your dates. Besides, these champagne cupcakes have Greek yogurt and strawberries in them….that’s basically like having fruit and yogurt for breakfast. And if you feel really guilty, while obviously that’s why I made you these.

If you want to join in our party (and I know you do!) make yourself one of my champagne cupcakes complete with a delicious balsamic-roasted-strawberry frosting, try one of Grace’s decadent chocolate-coffee cupcakes with Kahlua spiked frosting or, for a twist on a classic PB&J, try one of Luci’s peanut butter cupcakes with jelly frosting.

party cupcakes champagne cupcake with balsamic strawberry frosting champagne cupcakes strawberry frosting champagne cupcakes champagne cupcakes with strawberry frosting

Champagne Cupcakes with Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Frosting
Yields 6
A moist & fluffy champagne cupcake with a balsamic roasted strawberry frosting
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the Cake
  1. 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  5. 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  7. 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder
  8. 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  9. 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt
  10. 1/4 cup of champagne/prosecco/sparkling wine
For the Frosting
  1. 1 cup of strawberries (I used frozen ones that I defrosted first)
  2. 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  5. 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
  6. A splash of heavy cream (half-and-half or milk would also work)
  7. 1 2/3 cups of powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degree. Line a baking sheet with foil, then lay out the strawberries. Sprinkle the berries with the vinegar and teaspoon of sugar. Roast for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until the berries begin to brown and the juices are bubbling. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. While the strawberries are roasting, begin making your cupcake batter. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer) to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next, beat in the egg and vanilla and mix until well-combined. Continue mixing while you add in the baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl mix together the yogurt and champagne. Begin alternately adding the flour and the champagne mixture to the butter, folding all the ingredients together with a spatula. Fill cupcake liners three-quarters of the way full. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake the cupcakes for 17-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  3. To finish making the frosting, begin creaming the 2 tablespoons of butter with the vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour in the strawberries along with all their juices (which should have thickened slightly as they cooled down) and the splash of cream (about 1 tablespoon). Continue mixing for another minute to get the strawberries chopped up. Then begin adding the powdered sugar about 1/3 cup at a time. Continue beating until all the sugar has been adding. To make a thicker frosting, add more sugar and butter. To make a thinner frosting, add more cream. Refrigerate frosting for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Prior to frosting the cupcakes, cut a small portion of cake out of the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with frosting before spreading more frosting over the top of the cupcake. Cupcakes will stay fresh, covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days, although the taste the best and fluffiest on the first day.
Notes
  1. I had some leftover Veuve Cliquot so I used that to make these cupcakes, but normally I would use whatever champagne is cheapest since it is for cooking purposes.
  2. When working with the frosting, if it starts to get too thin (due to the butter) just put it back in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to let it firm up again.
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Recipe Necessities

Coconut Cloud Cupcakes

Coconut Cloud Cupcakes @runwaychef You GUYS. These. These are ridiculous! Like holy cupcake of cupcakes ridiculous! It took some seriously insane self-control not to plant my face smack dab in the middle of that cake platter in all it’s fluffy, cloud-like glory. But I settled for licking the spatula…..and the knife….and the bowl. Oh and I may or may not have eaten a few spoonfuls of frosting straight up. In my defense, these delicious little fluffs (aka coconut cupcakes) had to finish baking, and well, someone needed to make sure the frosting tasted good. Such an unfortunate task….

moist and fluffy coconut cupcakes But seriously….These cupcakes. That frosting. I think we can all agree that this is what dreams are made of. Consequently, I think we can also agree that we should all be doing a lot more dreaming….

fluffy coconut cupcakes

Coconut Cloud Cupcakes
Makes 9

3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Coconut for topping, optional

3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cups water
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 large egg whites

recipe for coconut cupcakes Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin making the cupcakes by adding the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until well-combined and creamy. Mix in the salt, baking powder, vanilla and egg. Next, alternate mixing in the flour and shredded coconut with the coconut milk. Beat just until combined, making sure not to over-mix. Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Reduce the heat of the oven to 325 degrees just before placing the cupcakes in. Bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. DO NOT over-bake these or they will become very dry.

7 Minute Frosting

While the cupcakes bake, make the seven minute frosting. Combine the 3/4 cups of sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until the syrup reaches 230 degrees (use a candy thermometer to test the temperature).

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add the remaining tablespoon of sugar, beating to combine.

As soon as sugar syrup has reached 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the syrup down side of bowl. Immediately raise the speed to medium-high; beat until the mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a knife to spread (or glob, like me) the frosting on. Store any extra frosting the fridge (it will only last 2-3 days, a good excuse to make more cupcakes!).

coconut cupcakes with 7 minute frosting

For a fun, but totally unnecessary, extra touch briefly torch the frosting using a brulee torch. Each cupcake needs only about 2 seconds or the frosting will begin to melt. Also, if you are doing this step, wait to put the coconut on until afterwards as the oils in the coconut don’t mix so well with the brulee flame!

coconut cupcakes made with coconut milk

Sprinkle with coconut and enjoy! If you happen to have any left, they will keep for 3 days if they are covered and refrigerated.

the best coconut cupcakes made with coconut milk Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

Chicken ‘N Waffles Cupcakes

Chicken 'N Waffles Cupcakes You guys, I tried. I really tried. To make you a healthy dessert, that is. Somehow I instead ended up with a maple syrup doused, buttery cream enveloped, fried chicken topped cupcake….about as far from healthy as I could possibly get. I have no idea how this happened….

Chicken 'N Waffles Cupcakes Actually, I do. You see first I tried to make healthy funfetti cupcakes….and they turned purple. Then I attempted quinoa brownies and they were just, welllllll, gross (unless you covered them in chocolate cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips, which kind of defeats the whole quinoa thing). So I gave up and then these happened. Tell your new year’s resolutions I said “What’s up?” & “YOLO!”

Chicken ‘N Waffles Cupcakes
Makes 9

Buttermilk Cinnamon Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk mixed with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or use 1/4 c. buttermilk)

Maple Buttercream:
1/4 cup each of butter and margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of salt

9 Pieces Fried Chicken (I used Popeyes chicken nuggets)
1 Waffle, cut into 9 pieces
9 Toothpicks

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat together, at medium speed, the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, maple syrup and vegetable oil (I used my stand mixer for this part).

Turn the mixer to low and add in the cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Next alternate adding the flour and the milk mixture (or buttermilk) until fully combined.

Line your cupcake pan with liners, then fill each liner 3/4 full. Right before placing the cupcakes in the oven, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees (this is a very crucial step if you want your cupcakes to be fluffy). Bake the cupcakes 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 21 minutes, but everyone has different ovens, so make sure to check yours.

Chicken 'N Waffles Cupcakes While the cupcakes are baking prepare your frosting by first creaming the butter and margarine in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and well-combined. If you prefer a stronger maple flavor, feel free to add more syrup and for thicker frosting, add more sugar.

Once your cupcakes have cooled, pipe on the buttercream.

Chicken 'N Waffles Cupcakes 1 Using toothpicks skewer together a piece of waffle and fried chicken and stick on top of the cupcake.

Chicken 'N Waffles Cupcakes Idea from Formal Fringe, Recipe slightly adapted from The Novice Chef

Olympic Ring Cupcakes with Olympic Torch Frosting

While I tend to be a bigger fan of the winter Olympics (thanks to my young days as a figure skater),  I still enjoy watching the summer events and, let’s be honest, I’ll use any excuse to celebrate (especially when celebrating includes cupcake!).

The idea for this started as cookies, turned cupcakes and accidentally got the “flame” part. I say accidentally, because my attempt at making home-made glitter failed with a capital “F”. In a rare stroke of genius, I realized that this accident actually worked in my favor to top of my rings with an edible “flame”.

To make these, I first whipped up a batch of plain vanilla cupcakes (I used a recipe from The Cupcake but this one is similar and if you’re short on time, use a box mix).

 Next, I divided the batter evenly into 5 different bowls. Each bowl got a different color of the ring- blue, black, red, green and yellow. For the dye, I used a mix of Wilton Cake Dye colors (these are very strong dyes so for most of the colors I used only the tiniest of drops,  but play around with it to achieve the color you want).

Line your cupcake pan with white cupcake lines (so the rings will show through). Then begin layering your batter- first blue, then black, followed by the red, yellow and lastly green.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

The next step is to make the “flames”. In a bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of sugar along with a 1/4 of a teaspoon of yellow food coloring (for this color I used McCormick’s Food Coloring). Stir until the sugar is evenly colored, then spread it out on a foil lined baking sheet. When the cupcakes are done, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool, then break apart into your “flame” pieces.

Meanwhile, prepare your frosting. Again, I used one from The Cupcakebut this is a good option or feel free to use store-bought. Use food coloring to dye your frosting either yellow or orange to achieve the “flame” look.

After everything has cooled, assemble the cupcakes by first frosting the cupcakes (you can use a star tip to pipe on the frosting or just spread it on with a knife) then inserting a couple of  ”flame” pieces.

DIY-Cupcake Bouquet

Everyone loves getting a bouquet, but a bouquet you can eat? That’s a gift I would give myself!

Start by making your cupcakes and frosting and let both cool. I used a recipe for just basic vanilla cupcakes and buttercream (you can try this and this, but remember to only make a 1/4 of a recipe) but feel free to make whatever kind you want. Bake the cupcakes in yellow or green liners (to look like the flower) and dye your buttercream whatever color you want to make it look like the petals. Pipe on the frosting with a star tip. Side note: I used a 6″ pot that held 6 cupcakes.

While your cupcakes are cooling, cut two circles of styrofoam to fit into your pot, one for lower in the pot and one for closer to the top. You can also you use a block of floral foam.

On top of the styrofoam bunch up a sheet of green tissue (to look like the grass/ground).

To assemble the “flowers”, put either 2 large toothpicks or a cake pop stick in the bottom of the cupcake. Gently press it into the foam. Side note: If the green tissue starts to get in the way, you can put the cupcakes in the foam first, then press pieces of the tissue in around the cupcakes.

Wrap the whole flowerpot in colored tissue and tie with a bow.

 

Adapted from a recipe in The Cupcake