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Cupcake Happiness

July 6, 2010

I’ve been in love with cupcakes lately. They are fun, friendly and personal because each individual cake is made just for the person who is about to devour it.

When we went to visit baby Kingston I wanted to bring  a strawberry dessert since I know the Kennedys love the delicious fruit.  I settled on a Giada De Laurentiis recipe for Strawberry and Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes. Even though it’s a pretty simple recipe, the addition of mascarpone cheese really elevates the cupcakes to something unique and special. I always love icing that hardens a bit to add a little crunchy texture as this cake’s did. Together with the tangy berries, the moist cake and creamy cheese it made for the perfect summer treat.

Strawberry and Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes - Picture via FoodNetwork.com

The second cupcake I’ve made in the last month or so was for our Father’s Day lunch. I am obsessed with anything that involves marshmallows so I decided to makes s’mores cupcakes. After doing some research online, I quickly figured out that there are a thousand and one recipes for s’mores cupcakes and none exactly the same. I decided, as I often do, to go to the old standby of the kitchen, Martha Stewart’s website. The recipe on her site is actually credited to Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes (which I would die to visit one day). I did vary the recipe a bit by using marshmallow fluff instead of making the marshmallow frosting because I wanted that super sticky, gooeyness of the fluff that is so familiar. This recipe has you creating a mini graham cracker crust on the bottom then layering bits of chocolate, chocolate cake, then more chocolate bits and graham cracker crumbs. The cake is topped off with the fluff (or frosting) and then browned on top to give it that campfire look. Although it was a very tasty cupcake that everyone (including me) seemed to love, all the components didn’t remind me exactly of a real s’more. Next time I would probably use more chocolate pieces to give the cupcakes that super-melty chocolateyness that a s’more gives you.

S'mores Cupcake (sadly, the only one of the three cupcakes I remembered to capture on film)

The last batch of cupcakes I made were some classic red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for my friend Alison’s birthday. I again did a modified Martha Stewart recipe that you can find here. I think red velvet is really difficult because the flavor isn’t easy to describe and it really lives or dies on the quality of the frosting. I personally LOVE super-cream-cheesey frosting and think most canned varieties barely taste of it. To ensure that the cream cheese flavor really stood out, I added about 1/2 cup less of confectioners sugar then what the recipe called for. I also heaped the smooth, rich frosting on each cake to ensure that every bite would have more than enough. If left at room temperature, I think the leftover frosting would make quite a nice dip for fruit as well. These babies seemed to be a crowd-pleaser, but then again, who doesn’t love red velvet cake?

Red Velvet Cupcakes - Picture via MarthaStewart.com

I’m sure as the summer progresses there will be more sweet treats to be shared at any number of barbecues and pool parties. I can’t wait to try out some new recipes with the people I love most.

Update: I may have just found my next project. Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes {knees weak}.

Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes - Picture via BrownEyedBaker.com

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Gary permalink
    July 7, 2010 8:26 am

    The red velvet is definitely the victor of the bunch, with a strong second place to the Strawzcapone. If you keep making cupcakes, I will keep judging cupcakes.

  2. July 7, 2010 9:49 am

    Those look delicious!

  3. July 7, 2010 11:43 am

    I hope you make the Limoncello cupcakes – they are a show-stopper for sure!

  4. July 7, 2010 1:51 pm

    This is making me hungry :) i LOVE cupcakes!

  5. July 8, 2010 8:40 pm

    The strawberry ones we’re so delicious! The perfect cupcake indeed! And although it wasn’t a cupcake so doesn’t really apply to this post, I meant to tell you at the BBQ that the ice cream sandwiches we’re also delicious : )

  6. July 27, 2010 2:33 pm

    omg those smores ones look amazzing. i am very impressed by your cupcake repertoire. :)

  7. January 20, 2013 6:36 am

    Valentine is still 2 weeks away, but I have already received tonnes of requests for Valentine Day recipes, and the one that tops the list is none other than Red Velvet Cupcakes! And why not, these pretty red cupcakes topped with luscious butter-cream or cream-cheese frosting are perfect to express your love to someone, and the bite-sized desserts help enjoy the pleasure without feeling guilty. I have already posted a recipe for Red Velvet Cake before, but this one is for all those out there who wanted the same recipe in a cute cupcake version. I adapted this from Stephanie’s recipe on Joy of Baking . Go ahead and bake these for the love of your life, and don’t blame me for any thing else that happens afterwards:) Images courtesy of April Bern and Shimelle Liane , shared via CC license.

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