For May I made Cherry Dr. Pepper cupcakes (spoiler alert: you can’t taste the cherry or the Dr. P, just the chocolate) and Peanut Butter Swirl cupcakes.
So I know a lot of food posts have tons of photos and lots of writing, but I like to get to the point. These are gluten free and about 95% of what a brownie should be.
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
`1 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8″ X 8″ baking dish. In a blender mix all ingredients, liquids on the bottom, into a blender and liquefy until smooth. You may need to scrap the sides of the blender to make sure all batter is incorporated. Pour batter into greased baking dish and back for 45 min or until it stops giggling when you gently shake the pan. Cool and enjoy!
March has been a busy month, but unfortunately only a couple of resounding successes.
Cherry Cheesecake Cupcake. This had a bottom of a vanilla wafer, which was OK, but honestly I found it weird to have a cookie in the bottom. But the powdered sugar is sure pretty!
This was the unqualified winner of the bunch. Toffee crunch cupcake. It had a chocolate cake base, with toffee pieces mixed in. Then a topping of chocolate gauche that I rolled in more toffee pieces and finally topped it off with caramel Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Yummy!
Always on the look out for gluten free alternatives this Chocolate Orange Garbanzo bean cake was OK. The chocolate gauche topping really improved it. So I would say it is good for gluten free, but peeling each chickpea might not have been worth it.
The last flavor of the month was Dark Chocolate Brownie with caramel frosting. I found the caramel frosting waxy, I could even mold it with my fingers, so I greatly prefer the caramel Swiss meringue buttercream frosting from above. Also, either I over baked the brownies so they were cakey instead of fudgey or that is the way they are supposed to be. I followed the directions. I have decided that if you are going to eat brownies, then eat a brownie.
Unique flavors so far: 28
Total number of cupcakes: 785
ONLY FOUR MONTHS LEFT OF THE YEAR OF THE CUPCAKE.
This month I challenged myself with making orange curd. The chocolate orange recipe is one of my own devising, using a box cake add zest of two oranges, and substitute water for orange juice. Then make a homemade orange curd and fill the cupcakes (cutting out the middles). Finally, make a chocolate orange cream cheese frosting by using zest of two more oranges. I loved it, and work was complementary, but my husband really, really didn’t like it.
Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
These were good, and I put in raisins and crushed pineapple, so it is practically a salad!
This has rum in the cake and in the cream cheese frosting. While it wasn’t enough to become boozy, it was enough to really make the vanilla pop, and if I am FORCED into a plan vanilla cupcake, it will probably be this.
Total unique flavors so far: 24
Total cupcakes made: 659
In case you haven’t added this up, but there are 21 unique flavors, and 566 total cupcakes made so far. That is in 6 months, so an average of 3.5 new flavors a month. It is a good time to be my friend!
Chocolate cake with a cheese cake center. I had never heard of this, but with tons of recipes online, it must be a cultural touch stone for some. To me is it like a cross between a cupcake and a cheese cake.
My husband loves butterfingers, so when I found this recipe, I had to make it! It is one of my favorites. It is a peanut butter cake, with butterfinger crumbs in the batter, a chocolate gauche top layer, and a peanut butter butterfinger frosting.
This was nothing compared to the pumpkin ginger, so I won’t be making again. Plus, I didn’t use foil wrappers and I really, really should have. It did have a nice cinnamon clove cream cheese frosting.
Marshmallow Fluff Filled
This cupcake was also a let down. For the first day it was great, but then the marshmallow fluff dissolved away and left an empty cavern in the middle of the cupcake. However, I did make my first chocolate Swiss Meringue buttercream frosting.
Almond Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
The cupcake was good, but not overly memorable.
This is intentionally gluten free, which means you don’t have substitutions that make it taste funny. This had a piece of chocolate shoved in the middle, and then served warm. It was very tasty.
This is a spicy chili chocolate cupcake with a spicy chili cream cheese frosting. The cream cheese cancelled out the chili, so I would recommend sticking with a traditional buttercream frosting. Also, what does that look like?
It is an apple cake with a cream cheese frosting made into a little nest to hold the apple pie topping- which is delicious.
A cherry almond cake with maraschino cherries in the batter, and a cherry almond Swiss Meringue buttercream frosting. This also, is one that gets talked about.
Chocolate cake with a Nutella filling and chocolate hazelnut cream cheese frosting. Yummy!
This was not a really successful cupcake. The marshmallow dissolves away when it cools after baking and when I switched to marshmallow fluff, that worked for the first day and resembled a ding dong, but it too quickly dissolved away, leaving an empty cavity in the middle of the cupcake.
By now, you might be asking yourself what do I do with all these cupcakes? Fortunately I live in a building where a lot of the cupcakes are eaten, but I also take them into work with me or give them to the school for the teachers. Most people are pretty pleased, even when the cupcakes aren’t the best of the best.
This is another cupcake that gets talked about. People keep bringing this one up and how much they liked it. It also taught me how to make Swiss Meringue Butter Cream frosting. The first batch took me 45 min to cook the syrup, and another 45 min to make the frosting. I have since learned you can cook the syrup in the microwave, cool it, and then make the frosting and it turns out just as good.
This cupcake is yellow cake with homemade salted caramel filling and Swiss Meringue Butter Cream frosting.
These I made for my neighbor Bernie’s first birthday. Mostly because I thought little girl’s first birthday cupcakes should be pink. It is lemon cake with strawberry jam filling and strawberry lemonade Swiss Meringue buttercream frosting. This is where I found out that much jam in a Swiss Meringue makes a weird mouth feel. If I re-make this, I would make a cream cheese frosting base instead.
The Pumpkin Ginger cupcake is another that is talked about. It is a pumpkin cake with crystallized ginger chunks and a cinnamon pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting.
The last one for the month, and yes, if you were counting that is four new flavors, is Triple Chocolate It is chocolate cake with chocolate gauche filling, with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. This is where I learned to make cream cheese frosting chocolate. I think I am in love! I created this recipe on my own as well.
It was in September that I realized my goal of making one flavor of cupcake a month would not be enough. That is when I started to make two, and quickly I have realized I make at least three. The third one comes along sometime mid-month or the month before while I have all other flavors planned out for the rest of the year based on fruit in season, birthdays, and holidays.
Chocolate Mocha Stuffed Cannoli
This is a chocolate mocha cake, with a little bit of cinnamon. The cannoli filling and frosting is on top, and then I used a chocolate ganache drizzle to make it pretty. This recipe is one of my own devising.
Philly Black forest Cheesecake
This recipe I found online and consists of chocolate cake, cheese cake center, cream cheese frosting and cherry pie filling. It was OK, but not that memorable of a cupcake. I can do better with the chocolate/cherry combination.
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
This is a cupcake that is remembered and talked about. It is better without the bourbon though, substituting 1/2 cup coffee and 1/2 cup buttermilk. It is a chocolate cake with pecan pie filling and a butter pecan frosting. This cupcake taught me two new skills, which is kind of the point of this whole exercise: pecan pie filling and butter pecan frosting.