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cupcakes

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Pecans

October 3, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins | Espresso and Cream

After a little bit of a hiatus from sharing recipes on E&C, I’m finally back with something new and ultra tasty to share. Although I have a deep and long-standing love for all things pumpkin, I feel like apples really get overlooked during the fall months because of the popularity of pumpkin. Anyone else feel that way, too? It’s really a shame since apples are one of my favorite foods, and don’t even get me started with apple pie, crisp and cobbler. The best!

While I was at Influence Conference, I got a lot of questions about Espresso and Cream and what type of blog category it falls into. If you would have asked me a year or more ago, it would have been an easy answer: it’s a food blog! But over the past year or so, I’ve been shifting this little site into something that would probably be categorized more accurately as a “lifestyle” than anything else.

Regular readers have probably noticed this shift over the months. Perhaps some of you have liked it, while others have thought it’s been a shift from the original intent and purpose of the site. Since I spend every day at work developing recipes and food content, I’ve found that being able to talk about topics broader than the narrow focus of food has been necessary for me as a person and writer. Although I love food, thinking about it all day and then blogging all about food at night leaves me drained and less passionate than I really am. Having recipes in the mix of content for E&C instead of the sole focus has been incredibly refreshing and given me more excitement for blogging

So for those of you who have been wondering, I figured I would explain a bit about what type of content you will see on E&C going forward. Recipes will never disappear from the site, but my goal these days is to provide you with higher quality recipes (which means fewer recipes!) and more variety in my posts, sharing about life, fitness, pregnancy, family and faith. Thanks for continuing to follow along on this journey and my ever-evolving blog.

Now, back to the recipe at hand. These muffins are really easy to pull together and stay incredibly moist thanks to the chopped apple in the batter. I used a Granny Smith, but feel free to use whatever apple you like baking with best or have on hand! They aren’t ultra sweet, but just sweet enough to feel a little indulgent on a weekend morning. Joe likes them with plenty of melted butter, while I prefer my muffin with a thin spread of peanut butter. But that’s just me, and I’m probably a little strange that way.

Feel free to experiment with the type of nuts used in the recipe as well. I could see walnuts being a really natural fit as well! An added bonus? I’ve found they make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack and are really great in lunches for hungry husbands (or kiddos!)

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins (1) | Espresso and Cream

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Pecans
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking liners; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugars and butter 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy and well-combined. Add in the cinnamon, eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add half the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Beat in the milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the chopped apple and pecans by hand until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin liners. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan. Transfer to wire cooling rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

 

Uncategorized

4th of July Sour Cream Cupcakes

June 30, 2014

Sour Cream Cupcakes 1 | Espresso and Cream

Lately I’ve been trying to see my husband’s golf hobby as a blessing in disguise. Sure, he’s gone for a large chunk of each weekend, but that means I have plenty of time to spend on the things I love to do, like blogging, getting together with girlfriends for a walk or coffee, and laying outside in the sunshine while reading magazines.

I think sometimes I’m too quick to underestimate the importance of  having individual interests and hobbies in a marriage. Because I love Joe and love spending time with him, it’s easy to default to spending most of our time together, and while quality time is certainly important, it’s amazing how much richer and fuller our conversations and time together ends up being when we devote time to interests apart from things we do together.

This extra time on the weekends has meant that I have a little better grasp on editorial plans for this little blog and the upcoming holidays. It’s also why you happen to see me posting a real, actual Fourth of July recipe almost an entire week before the actual holiday, which pretty much never happens.

Sour Cream Cupcakes 2 | Espresso and Cream

 

Since I’m not a huge fan of “cute” food, I kept these cupcakes pretty simple with just the slightest nod to the red, white and blue. The real special part about these cupcakes is how great they taste and how easy they are to make. I started with a box of white cake mix, then added all sorts of good stuff to the batter like sour cream, an extra egg, some vanilla and a box of vanilla pudding mix.

The cupcakes are light and airy and totally delicious, especially when topped with a vanilla sour cream frosting. The sour cream adds just the slightest tang to the frosting and prevents it from tasting too sweet. For a frosting lover like myself, that just means you can enjoy extra frosting! If you’re looking for a dessert that is a little more in-your-face Fourth of July, I would suggest topping the cupcakes with a mix of blueberries, raspberries/strawberries and shredded coconut.

4th of July Sour Cream Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 18
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CUPCAKES
  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
  • 1 box (3.9 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • FOR THE FROSTING
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Milk (to thin if necessary)
  • GARNISH
  • Fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard-sized muffin tins with paper baking liners in red, white and blue colors, if desired.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the cake ingredients. Mix 2 minutes on medium speed until well combined and batter is smooth. Divide batter between cupcake liners. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire cooling rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sour cream and butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk to thin the frosting as needed.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting. Top with fresh blueberries. Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator loosely covered with plastic wrap.

 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

March 19, 2012

Happy Sunday, friends! How have your weekends gone thus far? Besides watching my March Madness bracket get torn to shreds, our weekend has been pretty relaxing and blissful.

I’m gearing up for a pretty crazy week, which I’ll fill you in about later. So before things get busy, let’s finish the weekend up with cupcakes, shall we? Most of the time I avoid doing any serious baking unless I know that I’ll have a place to bring the baked goods I make. I mean, do two people really need an entire cake sitting around, begging to be eaten? I would argue no.

Thankfully Christina over at Dessert For Two has those of us baking for two covered. Christina has made a wonderful blog based on scaled-back desserts that taste just as delicious as their larger counterparts, so when a craving for cupcakes hit a while back, I knew where to go. Of course, I couldn’t help but tweak the recipe to make it a little healthier – swapping out whole wheat flour for all-purpose and cutting back a bit on the sugar. Since I made the ‘cream cheese’ frosting vegan, I also included an option to make the cupcakes vegan as well. Though in my version (pictured above) real eggs were used.

And while I know that pumpkin desserts don’t exactly go hand in hand with the month of March, I’m guessing a few of you out there have some leftover canned pumpkin that could stand to be used before summer hits. Not that I’m saying you need a reason to eat canned pumpkin. Personally, I could eat it all year round.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cupcakes
Adapted slightly from Dessert for Two
*7 tablespoons whole wheat flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/8 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ginger
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*1 large egg (make this recipe vegan by substituting a flax egg: 1 Tbsp. ground flax and 3 Tbsp. water mixed together)
*1/2 cup pumpkin puree
*2 tablespoons brown sugar
*2 packets stevia
*3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with four paper liners. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
*In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
*In a second bowl, combined the egg, brown sugar, stevia and oil. Stir to combine.
*Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost completely clean (small crumbs are okay). Cool completely. Frost with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting. Makes 4 servings

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
*2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese (I use Trader Joe’s Non-Dairy Spread)
*1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2/3 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar

*In a small bowl, combine all the above ingredients. Stir until well combined and smooth. Add additional powdered sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency (if you aren’t using vegan cream cheese, you may need to add a splash or two of milk). Spread atop cupcakes.

Happy Baking!
Madison

Happy Birthday, Nutmeg!

November 6, 2011

This weekend we celebrated the fifth birthday of our little princess, Nutmeg. She pretty much rules the roost around here and is most definitely our baby, so we had to celebrate in style. She is now sporting a new collar and has a belly full of birthday treats.

This morning before church I whipped up a batch of ‘Pumpkin Pupcakes’ based off this recipe for pumpkin bars. I halved the recipe and scaled back the sugar to 2/3 cup, but aside from that I kept the recipe pretty close to the original. And to top things off I mixed up a batch of peanut butter frosting using a cup of whipped heavy cream, 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

Joey and I were both pretty blown away at how delicious the pupcakes were (yes, we ate one, too). So if you are in the market for a sweet treat that will please dogs and people alike, I would highly suggest giving this recipe a go.

Happy Birthday, Nutmeg! We love you so much little lady!

Madison

Vanilla Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

February 3, 2011

Now that we’ve discussed food politics and the passions surrounding the meat industry, let’s talk about something a little less controversial. It’s like those times in college when you took a really hard test and then celebrated by reading fashion magazines and watching mindless television.

You know you’ve been there.

For years, I’ve been baking and decorating cakes for weddings and special occasions. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized I’ve been doing it all wrong. Sorry, anyone I’ve made a cake for. I should have been using this buttercream. It’s everything it should be: smooth, creamy, lighter-than-air.

It’s slightly more time-intensive than butter and powdered sugar-based icings, but the extra ten minutes is worth it. Instead of causing you to struggle for that smooth, satiny finish atop a cake or cupcake, the process with this buttercream seems almost effortless.

And after your’re done photographing your cupcakes, you can spill them all over your computer, table and floor. Oh wait, that’s just me?

Since my mission was to experiment with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I stuck with a trusted favorite for the cupcake base. I love this recipe for its ease and adaptability. And when decorating larger cakes, I have found it holds up well when stacking and transporting.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Recipe and tutorial courtesy of Whisk Kid 

Ingredients
*5 egg whites
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 sticks butter
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*Blue food coloring (optional)

Instructions

*While I could easily give you the recipe, since I didn’t do anything to change the original that Whisk Kid posted, I would feel wrong not simply directing you to her website. Her tutorial is fantastic, with step by step instructions that walk you through the more dicey parts of making Swiss Meringue Buttercream. You can find the tutorial HERE
Additionally, this summer I made a very similar buttercream recipe to fill my first attempt at macarons. You can find that recipe HERE.
Happy Baking!
Madison
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