Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

June 9, 2010

Frosting Recipe

When life gives you leftover lemon twists… make lemon cupcakes?

Keith and I decided to make Coral Reef Coolers this weekend and the recipe calls for lemon twists as a garnish.  Now those of you who have tended bar (in what would have to be a ridiculously pretentious “mixology” throwback lounge), or just love classic drinks, know what a pain in the butt it is to cut a lemon twist — which is essentially a curlicue of lemon peel.

At any rate, I ended up with close to 30 lemon twists, and CLEARLY Keith and I weren’t going to have 30 Tropic Coolers and live to tell about it.  So I did the sensible thing with my leftover garnish… made lemon cupcakes to go with them.

After 3-4 drinks (which are deceptively delicious btw), I wish I could say I was in the mood to make cupcakes from scratch… but I’m just not that good.  I used a Williams & Sonoma lemon cake mix someone gave me as a gift *GASP*… which was actually pretty good.  I like to think I wasn’t totally bad — I did mess a bit with the instructions, adding zest, lemon extract, almond extract, some extra butter and a little sour cream — but I won’t claim the cake recipe.

I did, however, draw the line at canned frosting and made my own lemon buttercream that turned out deliciously, if I do say so myself.


  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened to room temp (6-10 seconds in microwave works nicely
  • 1 1/4 lb of powdered sugar (1 1/4 boxes – the conversions of this are tricky, it’s going to be around 3 1/2 cups if you pour the sugar into the measuring cup and don’t pack)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract (I like mine very lemony… so I use 2)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

What you’ll need to clean up afterward

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon (if you’re going hard core… if not, a hand mixer)
  • Measuring cup, tablespoon and teaspoon

Step One: Cream the butter with a whisk

Step Two: Combine the butter and powdered sugar and one tablespoon of milk in the mixing bowl.  You can continuously stir with a spoon, use a mixer, or use your hands to mash sugar and butter together into one large lump (the quickest method).

Step Three: Start stirring (or mixing on medium speed) and adding the remaining milk and lemon juice  one tablespoon at a time.  If, after adding the remaining 3 tablespoons of liquids, the frosting is too thick, add additional milk or lemon juice (depending on how tart you like your frosting) one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Step Four: Stir in lemon zest for that final lemon “kick.”

Step Five: Apply frosting to your cake, cupcake… or eat with a spoon 🙂

-Eat Hearty!


Help! What to bake for an unusual bride…

May 2, 2010

So I’m preparing for a tasting for a wedding I’m catering in October, and the bride doesn’t like chocolate, white, or lemon cake.  I want to bring three tasting options, suggestions?


-Eat Hearty

Red Velvet Brownie Cupcakes

April 26, 2010

There are two things in life that I know – without a doubt – will cure any case of the blues: brownies and cupcakes. Add in cream cheese frosting and you get downright euphoria.

“Why not combine the two” I asked myself… and so I did.  I remember both my Mom and Grandma used to make a variety of brownie bars that mixed cookie dough and brownie batter together (I believe) resulting in a chewy, buttery deliciousness.  Knowing it was possible, I started experimenting.

Combining some of my own ideas with various recipes from, here’s what I ended up with.

The recipe below is the ridiculously simple method.  You can make both batters from scratch, but having done it both ways… there isn’t much of a taste difference, but purists are purists… so knock yourselves out.


For Cupcakes:

  • 1 (19.5 oz) package brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (18.25 oz) package white cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons dark chocolate extract (optional)

For Frosting:

  • 1 small box confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temp)
  • 1 8oz block cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk

What you’ll have to clean up:

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 regular bowl (for egg whites)
  • 2 cookie scoops
  • 1 frosting knife
  • 1 mixing spoon

Step One: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Step Two: Line 48 muffin cups with paper liners.

Step Three: Whisk together the brownie mix, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl – just until fully incorporated, about 50 strokes do not overmix. Set aside.

Step Four: In regular bowl, beat 3 egg whites until frothy. Set aside.

Step Five: Mix the cake mix, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 1/3 cup water, and 2 teaspoons of dark chocolate extract (if available) in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.  Fold in 3 egg whites and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Step Six: Using cookie scoop, fill each cupcake paper 1/3 full with brownie batter. Add cake batter over the brownie batter, until muffin cups are each 2/3 full.

Step Seven: Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Step Eight: Make frosting: cut the block of cream cheese into smaller pieces (4-6) and place in mixing bowl.  Cut the butter into 1/8 cup pieces and add into bowl.  Cream the butter and cream cheese together — you can add a little milk to facilitate this process.  Add in the vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of milk (you can add more if you like a less firm frosting).  Stir until fully incorporated.

Step Nine: Frost your cupcakes using either a knife or piping bag.

-Eat Hearty!

Will Bailey’s Trump Red Velvet?

April 13, 2010

It would appear that the Red Velvet cupcake has trumped the Carrot Cake, and that’s what we ended up making in the Hamptons this weekend.  More on that later this evening.  What I have to mention now is a chocolate cupcake with Bailey’s and whiskey that I can’t wait to make this week.

Double the Sugar Blog did an amazing job with this, and I’m eager to see if it tastes as good as it looks… you have to read it to believe it.

-Eat Hearty

Red Velvet or Carrot Cake?

April 11, 2010

So I leave tomorrow for a work off-site retreat in the Hamptons (sounds fun right?) and we are cooking/baking for ourselves.  Naturally I’m THRILLED and excited to be planning a menu to cook in a “real house kitchen.”  The only question I have left is Dessert.

Cupcakes: RED VELVET or CARROT CAKE. What are your thoughts?