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Category Archives: Cake & Frosting

Raspberry Zinger Poke Cake

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So I’ve turned into a food blogger rebel.  I don’t cook or bake, and when I do its favorites I’ve already posted recipes for.  Also, I’ve been eating a lot of Taco Bell.  Bad food blogger!

Speaking of Taco Bell, I can’t believe I’ve managed to keep it under wraps for so long, but I think I might have ITBES.  I may or may not drink the sauce packets to get me through to my next Taco Bell fix.  I even put the sauce on my hard boiled eggs and I can almost pretend I’m eating real Taco Bell when I’m snacking at work.  I feel a Taco Bell intervention coming my way, so I’m packing my bags, ready to flee to the nearest Taco Bell to set up permanent residence.  Pretty sure the employees will protect me from you crazy non-ITBES people.   YOU CAN’T MAKE ME QUIT TACO BELL!

So while I’m totally out of control when it comes to doing all the things a good food blogger should do, I at least have a few photos saved from the days when I was a good girl and taking photos of things I’d baked and cooked.  Such as this Raspberry Zinger Poke Cake.

I made this for Den’s birthday last December, right about the time the last Raspberry Zingers were disappearing off store shelves.  Sad times for Raspberry Zinger lovers.  Well cry no more, for you can still get your fix with an easy poke cake!  It’s not exactly the same, but it’s good stuff, nonetheless.

I created this with help from Suzie’s recipe and Renee’s recipe, and it couldn’t be easier.  Poke cakes are especially good for warmer weather (if you are fortunate enough to be enjoying some right now) because they are served cold, and are really refreshing on a warm day!  Or, let’s be honest, it’s also quite nice on a cold December day as well.  At least we thought so. :)

Raspberry Zinger Poke Cake

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 white or yellow cake mix* (also water, vegetable oil and eggs/eggs whites as instructed on box)
1 box (3 oz.) raspberry-flavored gelatin
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. cold water
1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut

Bake cake according to package directions and cool completely. Pierce cooled cake all over with a fork. In a small bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cold water. Pour over cake, cover, and refrigerate 2 or more hours (overnight is fine).  Frost with whipped cream and sprinkle coconut over the top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve cold and refrigerate any leftovers.

*Pillsbury brand not recommended.

Recipe source: adapted from Two Dogs In The Kitchen,  with inspiration from My Kitchen Adventures.

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Blueberry-Lemon Pound Cake

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Secret Recipe Club

I’m so happy to return today with my recipe for the Secret Recipe Club! I was assigned to a beautiful blog called NY City Eats and wow, Lacy is so gourmet.  She’s a professionally trained chef who graduated from The Institute of Culinary Education in 2010.  Impressive!  As are her recipes, and I was pretty much in awe of all the fancy ingredients she incorporates into them.  (Check out this pizza video-it is so professional! And even her “simple” pizzas sound and look so fancy.)  Being less of a cook, especially not a gourmet one, and more of a baker, I felt more at home when I looked through her dessert recipes, which happily were plentiful.

I happened to inherit 16 pints of blueberries and a crate full of lemons from my Grandpa (long story, will tell it later), so I searched for something I could use them in from Lacy’s blog.  I first ruined her recipe for Low Calorie Banana Blueberry Muffins by making it sugar-free (was testing out Swerve’s sweetener) and under-baking them.  They were awful and I won’t share my adapted recipe, just visit the link for hers, which looks much better.

Again on the hunt for blueberry-filled recipes, I found her Mixed Berry Bundt Cake and made my own blueberry-lemon version almost as soon as the muffins were trashed.  After clicking back through all the “adapted from” links to find where the recipe originated (a difficult feat in this age of food blogs, and I gave up after five clicks), I discovered this was a lower fat version of the Elvis Presley Pound Cake I’d been wanting to try for years.  It has less sugar than the original recipe I’d saved to my computer back in 2009, but I made it with the smaller amount and found it to be perfectly sweet.  I did, however, use the whipping cream called for in the original recipe, rather than yogurt as I was out of yogurt and didn’t want to go to the store.

The cake was buttery and dense, as a proper pound cake should be, and I loved the taste of the lemon and blueberries in it.  I believe the cake would be best eaten the same day it’s baked, as it was a little dry on day two.  Eating it fresh also helps the appearance, as the blueberries will be more whole (the juices get absorbed as time goes on, making them shrivel up inside the cake as in the pictures.

Please check Lacy’s healthier recipe, which looks very moist and delicious.  Thank you for sharing it, Lacy, I so appreciate you helping me use up some of these blueberries!  And we so enjoyed eating it!

Blueberry-Lemon Pound Cake

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Printable recipe with picture

1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus extra for pan, room temperature
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) cake flour
½ cup quality heavy whipping cream
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with butter and dust with flour, set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for five minutes, until light, creamy and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Mix in the vanilla. Sift in half of the flour, beat on low until blended, then add the cream and blend again until mix. Sift in the remaining flour and mix just until blended. Add the lemon zest and mix on low until incorporated and batter is smooth. Fold in the blueberries and spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cool, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the fresh lemon juice and the powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and let it set for half an hour before serving. Best served same day.

Recipe source: adapted from NY City Eats

Click Mr. Linky below to view the other SRC Group C recipes!

Apple Pie Cupcakes

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The Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned to Cookin’ With Moxie for the Secret Recipe Club.  Jamie is a beautiful Italian girl who loves to cook, and I was tempted by many of her Italian dishes, but circumstances led me to these wonderful cupcakes instead.  I had volunteered to provide the cake for my sister’s boyfriend’s belated birthday gathering in the park, and had already decided to bring cupcakes since they don’t require forks.  And since Jimmy’s favorite pie is apple,  I just had to make these.  Aren’t they so cool?

Vanilla cupcakes filled with homemade apple pie filling, topped with vanilla buttercream that mimics the ice cream you’d use on real apple pie.  Totally delicious.  And I have to tell you, I actually ran out of filling (more on that in a minute) and used some canned filling for about 4 cupcakes and I was nervous that people would like those better than the homemade ones. I didn’t get to taste the ones with canned filling, but another lady tried both and said the homemade version was SO much better.  So there you have it.  If you want to cheat, do it with the cake (using a vanilla or yellow mix) but please do make your own filling and buttercream.

OK, about running out of filling.  This cupcake recipe makes 32 cupcakes if you fill the liners the appropriate amount–1/2-2/3 full.  I don’t know if others have overfilled their cupcakes (don’t do it, they will spread out on the sides and it will not be pretty), didn’t cut their cones as deep, or just made more filling to fill the extra cupcakes, but there was not enough filling for all 32 cupcakes for me.  So I have adapted the recipe to make more filling.  If you use a mix, which makes 24 cupcakes, refer to Jamie’s original recipe for the filling as that will be the perfect amount.

Another strange discovery I had is that the batter that was left out waiting for a pan to be freed up (I didn’t have a third pan for the extra eight cupcakes) actually baked up better than the ones I put in right away.  So weird, right?  They didn’t brown as much and domed more in the middle instead of spreading out on the sides.  They had a much better appearance.  You can do whatever you wish with that information, as the taste will be the same whether it sits or is baked right away.  Just know that if you have to let some of the batter sit and wait for a pan to be freed from the oven, the cupcakes will not suffer.

I want to thank my Group C hostess, Debbi, for all she does, and April who runs the entire club.  They both keep things running so smoothly it’s easy to overlook all their hard work.  And of course Jamie for sharing this fabulous recipe, which I otherwise never would have made. You ladies rock!  And if you’d like to find out more about The Secret Recipe Club, click the link and join sooner rather than later to get a better place on the waiting list.  It’s a popular club and it can take a long time to get in!

Apple Pie Cupcakes

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Printable recipe with picture

Cupcakes
3 cups (12 ¾ oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (14 oz) granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk, room temperature

Apple Filling
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large apples, peeled, cored & diced small (I used Gala & Jonagold)

Vanilla Buttercream
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine. Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

Fill the cupcake liners ½-2/3 full.  You should have several cups of extra batter–set it aside. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely before assembling.  Fill eight cupcake tins with liners and fill with the remaining batter and bake and cool as before.

For the filling, heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples. Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake. Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture.

For the frosting, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined.  Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream; careful not to hide the lovely apples.

Recipe source: adapted from Annie’s Eats, as seen on Cooking with Moxie

Couldn’t resist sharing this photo of my sister eating a cupcake…

To check out all the other great Group C SRC recipes this month, click the linky man below!

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Triple Lemon Cake

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This is my youngest sister, Lacey, blowing out a tealight candle on her birthday in 2009.  We never remember birthday candles for some reason.  My poor nephew (her son, Owen) had to blow out a lighter on his birthday over the weekend-lol.  Also, you can see how old this pic is from the caramels in the corner–they are from one of the batches I made during my caramel-extravaganza.

Anyway, this cake is another oldie but goodie!  I also made this back in my MySpace days and never got around to posting it because I made it in the winter and wanted to wait until summer to share it.  I’m seasonal like that. (?)  Anyway, three years later and with summer about to fizzle out, I figured I’d better get on it!

I made this for Lacey’s birthday, who is a December baby along with Danielle & Dennis.  December is quite the month for celebration in my family.  Anyway, Lacey loved the Lemony Orange Cake I made for my Dad’s birthday that year, and asked for a lemon cake for her birthday too.  Everyone loved it!  This is a seriously moist, lemony cake and for our lemon-loving family, it was perfect.

Triple Lemon Cake

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cake:
1 box lemon cake mix
1 pkg. lemon jello
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
Glaze:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 325F. Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Bake in greased and floured 9×13 pan for 45 minutes.

As soon as the cake is out of the oven, whisk together the glaze ingredients. While the cake is still hot, prick top of cake all over with fork and spread with the glaze. Cool completely.

Recipe source: Barbara J., a MySpace friend

Since this blog relates to Lacey, I just had to share these two photos of her that I took at Owen’s party (she is his mama, that’s why he’s so cute :)). She’s so purty. :)

She cuts her own hair and did a funky style this time, making it short on one side and long on the other.  She makes it work.  I also love her earrings–it’s hard to tell but nails and skeleton keys are hanging off them.

CW’s Strawberry Shortcake

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If you don’t know about and who CW is, check out Monday’s post: Meet CW.

Growing up, Mom would make a very particular kind of strawberry shortcake at least once every summer.  She would buy a “Family Style Shortcake” from Dillons, like this:

Then she mixed the tar out of sliced strawberries with honey (to help the strawberry juice come out to play with the honey) and poured that on top, put Dream Whip over that, and served it up once a year in summer after picnics in the park.  Don’t know why, but that’s always when we had strawberry shortcake–after picnics in the park.  Anyway, since we very rarely had anything sweet, this was such a lovely treat and I particularly loved the flavor of the ripe berries with the local, raw honey.

Mom’s simple strawberry shortcake was so delicious, and just the idea of it brings back fond and mouth-watering memories.  But I wanted to be able to create it at home because, although we can still find the exact same shortcake at Dillons that Mom bought twenty years ago, who knows how long they’ll continue to make these and when they stop, I still want to be able to enjoy CW’s shortcake.  And I want my grandchildren, or great nephews and nieces at the very least, to be able to enjoy this shortcake.  And their grandchildren after that.  CW’s shortcake must live on!

Since my youngest sister, Lacey, manages a Dillons deli, I first checked with her to see if she could possibly snag the recipe for me.  In a way, I was happy to hear they weren’t baked in house but shipped in.  That meant it was experimentation time!  I’m not always in the mood to create a recipe from scratch, but I was definitely up for this challenge since the shortcake holds a special place in my heart.

So here’s what I had to go off of to recreate the recipe (yes, I totally stood two inches from the ingredients list to take this picture and yes, I might have gotten some strange looks):

Based on the cake’s texture, flavor, and the ingredients, I decided this cake was pretty much a low-fat sponge cake so I Googled a lot of recipes to create my own that reflected these ingredients as closely as possible.  I did omit the buttermilk since it seemed too fussy to have two different kinds of milk, but did add in some vinegar to replace the acidity lost.  I also didn’t mess with any ingredients cooks normally wouldn’t have in their kitchens, like whey and dextrin.  What is dextrin anyway?

I’m happy to report that while I don’t think I got it spot on, it was close enough that when Lacey tasted it, although she claimed to not remember eating CW’s strawberry shortcake growing up, she looked up with big eyes and said, “I totally remember this taste.  I don’t remember eating it, but I remember this taste!”

The cake from Dillons is crusted with sugar so I did that with mine, though it’s not necessary.  It’s just kinda pretty. :)  The cake I created is very spongy and dry, perfect for absorbing the delicious honeyed strawberry juice.  Because of its texture, I really wouldn’t recommend using it in any recipe that doesn’t have a juicy topping–that juice is really needed to soften the cake.  While the cake is very soft and bouncy to the touch, the texture is tough to cut because it’s so spongy, and it’s hard to cut with a fork until the juices have flowed down into the nooks and crannies of the cake.  Once that happens though, you have tender, strawberry cake magic.

I was pretty impressed with the response I got from this cake.  I shared it with my family twice, serving one cake at our Independence Day barbecue, then froze the second cake (the recipe makes two) and broke it out a week and a half later for our dessert after a barbecue at the lake.  I usually have to ask my family what they think to get any feedback but all I had to do this time was sit back and let the accolades rain down.  Adjectives such as amazing, best ever, and incredible were used liberally.  Honestly, I’m pretty sure this cake now beats out THE Mocha Crunch Cake for favorite family cake.  Check out my nephew gobbling it up at the lake (unless you’re averse to messy kid eaters, then you might want to steer clear):

I stuck with CW’s recipe for the strawberry topping, only using the berries and honey, and it’s just so stinkin’ good.  Please try this topping, even if you buy your cake.  Just make sure your honey is local and raw to get the best flavor.  Also, local raw honey can help with allergies!  Bonus!

For the whipped cream, you can use whatever you prefer–Cool Whip, Dream Whip, real whipped cream, or you can use the recipe for stabilized whipped cream I shared yesterday.  I first made it with the stabilized whipped cream and the second time with Cool Whip and it was loved both ways.  The strawberry topping is the star of this cake and I don’t think you can go wrong as long as you’ve got that.  Who would have thought that honey and strawberries could create such magic?

CW’s Strawberry Shortcake

This cake is perfect for making ahead. Prepare each component in advance, then assemble right before serving.
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cake
½ cup whole milk
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Berry Topping
1 lb. fresh strawberries
¼ cup local raw honey
Optional: for a patriotic dessert, add 1 cup fresh blueberries

Garnish
1 recipe stabilized whipped cream or whipped topping of choice

Directions:

For the cake, in small saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form around edge of pan. Remove from heat; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans; set aside.

Sift flour with cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In small bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat eggs and cream of tartar together five minutes on high speed, until light and foamy. Gradually add 1 cup of the sugar, beating for an additional five minutes, or until ribbons form. Add vanilla and vinegar and mix just until combined. Blend in flour mixture on low just until smooth. Add warm milk and beat just until combined.

Immediately pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Turn the cakes out onto cooling racks. Place the racks over the sink and while they are still hot, using the remaining ¼ cup sugar, sprinkle sugar over the tops and rub it along the sides of the cakes. Allow to cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap or putting in gallon-sized Ziploc bags until ready to use. You will only need one cake for this recipe so you can either freeze one for later, or double the berry topping and whipped cream and serve both cakes at once.

For the berry topping, combine the strawberries and honey in a medium bowl and stir for about 2-5 minutes, until the strawberries start to release their juices and the sauce gets thinner and takes on a red color. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. If adding blueberries, stir them in before refrigerating or right before topping the cake.

To assemble the cake for serving, place cake on a plate, then cover with the berry mixture, including the juices so they can seep down into the cake. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes so the juices can soak in, then top with whipped cream, slice, and serve.

Veronica’s note: I originally used nonfat milk since that’s what is used in the Dillon’s cake. The last time I made it, I only had whole milk and it made the cake so much better for it to have a little fat, so I updated the recipe. You can still use nonfat, it’s good that way, but better, more tender, with the whole milk.

Stabilized Whipped Cream

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OK, I’m almost ready to share CW‘s recipe for strawberry shortcake, but the draft started out so long that I’m trying to break up the longer parts into separate blogs, and this stabilized whipped cream recipe certainly deserves its own post.

Dollops of whipped cream top so many summer-time desserts and a recipe for a stabilized version comes in quite handy for me throughout the year.  Since I need it so often, but very rarely have the time to whip it up right before serving dessert, and can’t make it much in advance since it waters out over time, I usually make the other recipe for stabilized whipped cream that I have on my blog.  But then a reader (shout out to Miss Sandi Rose!) shared her own recipe for stabilized whipped cream with me back in March and I tried it out the first chance I got because it was so interesting!  I can tell you that not only was I pleased with the results, but my family was as well.  I left the leftover whipped cream at my parents’ house and when Mom gave me my piping tip back next time I was over, I asked if they ate the leftovers.  She answered, “We ate the h#@& out of it!”  LOL!  I can totally see her squirting the whipped cream straight into her mouth and laughing like a lunatic while dodging Dad as he tries to get it away from her to hog it for himself.  That’s totally Crazy Man and CW.

Anyway, while you can’t tell the other recipe apart from regular whipped cream, this one doesn’t increase in volume very much, if at all, so it’s very thick and creamy and has just a little bit of tang to it, which I happen to love.  The texture reminds me of mousse and it really could be a dessert in and of itself.

I used it to top a strawberry shortcake (bet you figured that out already since you’re smart like that) that I added blueberries to for our Independence Day barbecue.  Check back tomorrow for the shortcake recipe-it was a huge hit and this whipped cream put it over the top!

Stabilized Whipped Cream

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Printable recipe with picture

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
24 miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Mash cream cheese with a fork in a medium metal mixing bowl. Slowly add the whipping cream and stir until blended. Stir in marshmallows and sugar. Chill 4 hours or overnight. (Do not cover the bowl.) Place beaters in freezer to chill while the mixture is in the fridge.  Whip mixture with the chilled beaters until the marshmallows are completely dissolved and mixed in and the mixture is thick and hold stiff peaks.  Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Recipe source: Sandi Rose

Coffee & Cream Cupcakes

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I’m terrible about using recipes from cookbooks.  I own quite a few but hardly ever go to them when I need a recipe, instead I go to blogs and Pinterest and Google searches.  But I vowed I would make at least one recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s Food From My Frontier cookbook.  It’s the only cookbook I own that I paid more than $15 for (I get them used or as gifts) and even though it’s cool to have as a memento since she signed it, it still felt like wasting money if I never used it.

Being a coffee and cake lover, the first thing that called to me was her Coffee Cream Cake.  Two layers of coffee-flavored cake with a cream filling and a coffee frosting.  Yum.  I decided to turn it into cupcakes, putting the cream filling in the center of each.  Her recipe has a drippy frosting that is more like a glaze that thickens as it cools, but I wanted a fluffy buttercream frosting on the cupcakes so I made up my own coffee buttercream recipe for these.

The cupcakes are great, mostly because of the cream filling and frosting.  I could tell from how thin the cake batter was that it would make sturdy cupcakes, not the light and fluffy ones that a thicker batter will make.  While the cake part isn’t my favorite (I’m pretty picky when it comes to cake), it does work well overall.  I always state my honest opinion on recipes so that you’re fully informed, but I want to assure you that you will like these cupcakes as is.  I doubt any one besides a cake connoisseur would notice the crumb.  There isn’t anything really wrong with it because it is nice and moist, but it’s just not as light and tender as I like my cake to be.  The taste is fabulous, so fabulous that my coffee-hating husband couldn’t get enough of them.

So make these, you will love them if you love coffee, and perhaps even if you don’t.  Or, if you’re like me and prefer a lighter cake, you might try a different recipe for the cupcakes.  Personally, I’m either going to use chocolate cake next time, making them into mocha cream cupcakes, or sub really strong coffee for the water in a white or yellow cake mix recipe to get the texture I like.

To get this white streak effect, I used the same piping bag for the frosting that I used for the filling.  The residual white filling lined the bag and made a streaky look when I piped the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

Coffee & Cream Cupcakes

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1 cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream filling
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup heavy cream

Coffee Buttercream
¼ cup Kahlua (here is a recipe to make your own)
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
Dash of salt

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350F. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the instant coffee and boiling water. Let the mixture bubble up for a few seconds, then turn off the heat. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pour the hot butter/coffee mixture over the top and stir to combine. Mix together the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla and add it to the bowl. Whisk until smooth (batter will be very thin). Using a levered ice cream scoop, fill the cupcake tins half full. You will have extra batter, which you can bake more cupcakes with or a small cake if you have a 6” cake pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool for a few minutes in the tins, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes cool, prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the powdered sugar and heavy cream and beat on low until sugar is moistened, then on high until light and fluffy. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (or a squeeze bottle) with the filling. Push the tip or nozzle into each cupcake and squeeze filling into the center, pulling back once the top starts to rise, and stopping when the filling bursts through the top of the cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

For the buttercream, bring the Kahlua to a boil and stir in the coffee crystals. Set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy, then add the sugar, Kahlua mixture, and salt. Beat on low until sugar is moistened, then beat on high until smooth and creamy

To complete cupcakes, pipe swirls of coffee buttercream on top of the filled cupcakes. Serve at room temperature.

Adapted from the Coffee Cream Cake in Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

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