The Mad Cake Batter

sweet treats and savory deets


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Chocolate PB Cupcakes

Naturally, this began with Pinterest. I found a post that had a mini Reese’s cup in the middle of a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting. I followed the image to a blog, but it only provided the recipe for the frosting, which is amazeballs!! However, it did not advise how it got the Reese’s cup so perfectly in the middle of the cake. Sadly for me, every time I have made these, the Reese’s cup sank to the bottom. Not only did they sink, they stuck to the liner! I tried coating them with flour, I tried a heavier batter; nothing worked. If anyone knows the secret, PLEASE help a sister out!

Undeterred, I changed them slightly to a peanut butter, confectionary sugar combo, and though they still sank to the bottom, it didn’t stick to the liners like the Reese’s cups.

For the Chocolate Cake:

I use the recipe from Georgetown Cupcakes’ Book, THE CUPCAKE DIARIES

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda2012-06-10 18.05.37
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 TBS European style butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temp
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard cupcake pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Place the butter in a standard mixer and beat on medium until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar, then beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the eggs on at a time, mixing slowly after each egg. Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a measuring cup.

Reduce the mixer’s speed to low. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then gradually add one-third of the mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour, followed by the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, following the milk mixture, mix slowly until just combined. Add the cocoa powder, on low speed, mix until just incorporated.

Fill each liner until 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 min. Check with a toothpick and take cupcakes out of the oven if it comes out clean. (Mine usually cook for about 25 min with my oven)

For the filling I got the recipe from AnniesEats:

2012-04-25 06.14.331 cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients together. When combined it will look like a crumbly mixture. Roll out 1 inch balls onto parchment paper and set aside.

For the frosting I pulled from StopLookinGetCookin:

• 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
• 3/4 cup salted butter – softened
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter (more if you want a stronger peanut butter flavor)
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla
• 6 – 8 cups (approx. 1 ½ – 2 lb.) powdered sugar
• 6 – 8 tablespoons milk

Cream the butter and shortening for a few minutes on med-high speed until well combined. Mix in the peanut butter, vanilla, and milk. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until frosting-like texture. Place into a piping bag to frost the cupcakes.

 


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Veggie Casserole with Polenta

For a change of pace, I am setting aside my baking tools for a dinner meal I had to share. I went a little crazy at my local health food store and spent over $100 on things I didn’t need; one of them being pre-cooked polenta with quinoa.  I am not saying I had buyer’s remorse but I definitely did not have a recipe in mind when I bought it..

So, I was on the hunt for a good dinner recipe.  I had found a lot of recipes of  snacks or appetizers, but not anything that would be considered a “meal.” Then I found this recipe off of Two Peas and their Pod. It was perfect: a casserole with polenta, roasted veggies, and cheese.

Ingredients:2014-03-19 08.37.41

  • pre-cooked polenta (with quinoa)
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • olive oil
  • tomato sauce
  • shredded mozzarella
  • parmesan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2014-03-22 13.29.292. Place zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables are done roasting, set aside to cool and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

3. Slice the polenta and I  crumbled the polenta to cover the bottom of a greased two-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top the polenta.

4. Evenly spread the roasted vegetables on top of the polenta. Spread the tomato sauce over the vegetables and top with grated mozzarella cheese. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.


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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

Its springtime…almost. The snow has finally melted away, and I don’t know about you, but I am ready to pull out my spring wardrobe and tell my winter one, peace out, see you next year!

I was in mood to make a breakfast treat with my favorite fruit, blueberries, and was between either muffins or pound cake . I had found two great recipes and though I really wanted to make the pound cake (it required a lot of flour and I was too lazy to go to the grocery store). I settled for muffins.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbs sugar
  • 5.3 oz plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg

Above, is what I used, the originally recipe can be found here: It’s Always Autumn

Directions:

Preheat over to 375F. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Toss in blueberries. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Pour in wet ingredients into the mixture and gently mix until just combined. Scoop into greased or lined muffin tray. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar if desired. Bake 18-22 min or until lightly browned.

Silly me, I didn’t take any pictures of these. I will have to next time, but they were so delicious and a semi-healthy breakfast meal. Enjoy!


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Guinness Cake

2014-03-16 16.21.39-1Cheers! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

True to fashion, we will be feasting on corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, rye and irish bread, and for dessert… Guinness Cake.

I also learned a thing or two today, but more on that later. The recipe is from Design Sponge,and below is what I used:

  • 1 cup and 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 3/4 cup Dark Cocoa powder
  • 2 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract

I didn’t care for the frosting posted so I chose to use a Bailey’s frosting:

  • 4 Tbs butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese2014-03-15 16.10.41
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s
  • 4 cups confectionary sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Cake Directions

Preheat over to 350F. In a saucepan warm the coconut oil, Guinness and cocoa powder over medium heat and stir until completely melted. Set aside for 5-1o minutes. Add the flour, baking soda and sugar in a mixer and mix until well combined. Add the Guinness mixture and mix lightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, vanilla, and sour cream. If mixing with coconut oil, it will be a bit soupy which is fine.

Pour into a greased angel food pan/bundt cake pan. Cook for an hour to hour and fifteen minutes. Start to check after an hour with a tester to see if it comes out clean.

The cake was cooling and I flipped it over to transfer it to a plate. It refused to come out; so, I took a knife and went around the pan. When that didn’t work, I flipped over the pan and smacked it with a pot. It would not budge, even though, I sprayed it thoroughly. I left it and let gravity do its thing. When it finally decided to come out, half of the cake stayed in the pan!2014-03-15 19.05.19

Seriously? That just happened…It’s moments like this you just have to laugh at yourself.

I couldn’t do anything else but scoop up as much as I could, and placed it on the cake. Did it look like a disaster? Absolutely. Luckily, I knew I could cover up all the mishaps with the frosting.

Mom and I were taste-testing the remaining cake in the pan and discussing what went wrong. I go into how I sprayed the crap out of the pan and she looks at me and goes, “Well that’s your problem right there. You have Crisco. You should have used that…” What?! In my mind, the spray would cover all the crevices, but apparently I was wrong.

Once the cake had finally cooled, I was able to make the frosting…

2014-03-16 19.39.58Frosting:

Cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the Bailey’s  and vanilla, mix slightly, and then add the confectionary sugar 1/2 cup at a time.

The frosting was ready to go and it covered the mishaps, and you know what… no one knew the difference 🙂


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Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

I have made these countless of times: showers, birthdays, graduations, you name it. These cupcakes are an elegant, springtime treat with a touch of strawberry that is not overpowering, and the champagne frosting is super yummy. Enjoy!

My sister's graduation

My sister’s graduation

Cupcakes:
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Champagne (I have used rose and brut)
  • 2 tsp strawberry extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

    For a friend's bridal shower

    For a friend’s bridal shower

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup champagne
  • 1/2 tps vanilla extract

Directions:

Cream the sugar and butter until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, on a slow speed, until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. In an additional bowl, combine the puree, extracts and champagne. Starting with a third of the dry mixture, add it to the butter mixture. Then half of the wet mixture, adding again dry and wet mixtures, ending with the dry mixture. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full, and bake for about 18-20 min.

Frosting: Be Careful! It can be finicky. If there is too much champagne and not enough powered sugar it will have a weird consistency, and it will get soupy when trying to ice. Cream the butter for a couple of minutes on high speed. Lower the speed and add the powered sugar, one cup at a time. End with the mixing the extract and champagne until well combined.