Early Monday morning my boss sent me a text to ask if I would have time after work to make Minions cupcakes for her. She apparently hadn’t checked her email yet to see that I was using a last minute sick day. Oops! Continue Reading…
I’m never met a jar of Nutella I didn’t like. If you haven’t tried it, please do, and you’ll soon want to eat it by the spoonful. So while nothing about chocolate and Nutella screams “Christmas!” to me, I made these cupcakes for my neighbor’s holiday party. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with chocolate. Words to live by, people.
Why didn’t anyone tell me how awesome strawberry cupcakes are? I had to find out all by myself when I made some last weekend. These cupcakes are made with lots of fresh strawberries and were perfect for our 4th of July BBQ (that we had on the 6th of July).
Ditch the fancy schmancy icing and reach for a bag of mini marshmallows. Who would have guessed mini marshmallows could look so impressive on a cupcake?
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Gotta make the coconut cupcakes first!
For a change I went semi-homemade on this one. I started with a box of store bought white cake and mixed it as directed. White cake is SO BORING, so add in three teaspoons of coconut extract and 1 1/2 cups of chopped sweetened flaked coconut. Trust me, this is going to be super delicious and no one will know you took a shortcut.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners, fill them 1/2 – 2/3 full with cake batter, and bake as directed. Mini or regular sized cupcakes will work for this baking project.
If you’re like me and can’t decide if you want minis or regular size cupcakes, bake both! I’m terrible at making decisions.
Now the fun part: PLAYING WITH MARSHMALLOWS
This is super duper easy. First, fill a small bowl with any color of sprinkles you want. Then, using sharp kitchen shears, cut the mini marshmallows in half at an angle – from top corner, to opposite bottom corner.
The center part that was just cut will be super sticky. Press the sticky halves into your bowl of sprinkles and the sprinkles will stick right to the marshmallow.
You can make your own frosting or keep on with the store bought theme and go with the canned stuff. Confession: I’m not a fan of canned frosting because it’s sooooo sweet. With just a thin layer, though, it’s actually really good on these coconut cupcakes and makes the perfect “glue” for the marshmallows.
Once a few mini cupcakes were decorated, it was time to go super-sized. What’s better than a mini cupcake topped with three mini marshmallows? Oh yeah, a regular sized cupcake topped with 15 marshmallows. Duh.
You can even skip the colored sugar altogether and leave the mini marshmallows as plain as can be. Either way, it still looks pretty damn cool, right?
Coconut & Marshmallow Flower Cupcakes
1 box of white cake mix (plus the water, eggs and oil needed in the directions)
3 tsp coconut extract
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, chopped
1 can of vanilla frosting
1 bag of mini marshmallows
colored sugar sprinkles
Mix the cake mix as directed. Add 3 teaspoons of coconut extract and 1 1/2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut to the mixed cake batter.
Pour the batter into a lined cupcake pan – regular sized cupcakes or mini cupcakes, depending on preference. Bake cake as directed on the box. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
Add color sprinkles to a small bowl and set aside. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut the mini marshmallows in half at an angle – from top corner, to opposite bottom corner. The newly exposed center of the marshmallows will be sticky. Dip and lightly press the cut section of the mini marshmallows into the color sprinkles so the sprinkles stick to the marshmallow.
Lightly frost the cooled cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Place the sugar colored marshmallows (aka, flower petals) onto the frosted cupcake to make your flower.
If it has coconut as a featured ingredient, chances are I’m going to like it. So, from the moment I stumbled upon this recipe, I’ve been daydreaming about it.
The recipe is easy and takes just a few ingredients that many folks will already have: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, milk, and coconut extract. It’s so easy, in fact, that I took some action shots! These resulted in a bunch of sifted flour on the counter, so I don’t recommend you do the same.
I’m a newbie to the world of fondant. While I’ve sort of known what it is and how it looks, I had never even tasted it until recently. I wanted to try my hand at some fondant monogram cupcake decorations I saw, so off to the store I went and found myself some Wilton fondant. I was told by my sister (a fantastic baker!) about it, and her first words were, “Don’t buy the Wilton one. It tastes terrible!” I wasn’t off to a good start. Of course.
I decided to try it out anyway. I already had it at home and how bad could it be, anyway? Turns out: very bad. Like, I actually spit it out kind of bad. Oh well. I didn’t care about the taste. Not yet. I really just wanted to play with it and see if I could even make the monogram decorations work.
I found the fondant fairly easy to work with and I really like the smooth look of it. I know that’s the whole point of using fondant and everyone already knows this, but to have finally discovered it myself is going to be life changing. Oh, the possibilities!
I moved on to making my own marshmallow fondant at my sister’s suggestion. The plan is to add these fondant shapes to my wedding cupcakes and I wanted them to be tasty so people could chow down.
I watched a helpful video to know what to do and used a similar recipe.
What a mess I made! I don’t have any “action” shots because my hands were covered in marshmallow and sugar. It’s been a long time since I’ve kneaded dough and I should probably do it more often – it’s quite a workout.
These things below, plus A LOT of confectioners sugar were used to make my little shapes. The custom letter A and S stamps are about one inch across and the perfect size to fit within the heart and circle shapes I had.
I first stamped the letter into the fondant and then centered either the heart or scalloped edge circle over it.
SO. AWESOME. SAWSOME. And not yucky tasting either.
A few years ago I was introduced to cake pops when my sister JoAnn made Jack Skellington and Sally (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) cake pops for my birthday. I would post a picture here, but all I unfortunately have are crappy cell phone pictures that don’t do them justice.
I’ve tried (and failed miserably every time) to make my own cake pops, just to find that I have much better luck making cupcake bites. Cupcake bites are just like cake pops, but not on sticks.
To get started, bake a cake in your choice of flavor. Easy step one, right? Once the cake is baked and completely cooled, crumble it into a large bowl. It’s easiest to just crumble it with your hands, so don’t be afraid to get a little messy. Then, mix in 2/3 can of frosting into the cake crumbs. Today’s combo was red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Find a combo you like and go with it. I mean, there’s just cake and frosting. Together. You really can’t go wrong with your flavor choices here.
Mix the cake crumbs and frosting with a big ol’ spoon or spatula until it’s completely combined.
Now, roll and roll and roll into little balls. The balls should be about an inch in diameter, or small enough to drop easily into the candy mold you have. Place the rolled bites onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and chill them in the fridge for a bit.
I rolled 55 bites total. Let’s see how many survive to see the end.
Next, melt some chocolate and fill each mold one-half to two-thirds of the way full with the melted chocolate. There might be some trial and error in the amount of chocolate you start with to figure what works best for you here. Place a cake ball into into the chocolate filled candy mold and press it down gently. The chocolate will be pushed up to the top of the candy mold. It should look something like the picture below.
Toss, or gently place, the whole candy mold and bites into the freezer for a few minutes. The chocolate has to just set so the whole thing pops out of the candy mold easily. Now you’re ready to dip the tops!
For the bottom of the bites, any kind of melted chocolate you have on hand should work. For the tops, you’ll definitely want to use a chocolate made specifically for dipping. It will have the slightly thinner consistency you’ll need to make your life easier. If you use regular chips and melt them, you’ll just have done all of the work for nothing because you’ll have a too thick, impossible-to-work-with mess when you try to dip them.
Yes, a giant, messy mound of chocolate, cake, and frosting would be just as tasty, but… you know, it’s just not what we’re going for here.
Add some sprinkles, let the chocolate set, and they’re done!
As you go along, sometimes mistakes happen. Nothing to be sad or mad about, though. Just do what I do and use them as excuses to “taste test” along the way!