Dracula’s Favorite Cupckes

October went by in a blur, and I never got a chance to post these fun, Halloween-themed cupcakes. They’re a basic almond cupcake filled with blood-red raspberry filling, topped with a little bat. I like to think Dracula would have enjoyed them.

I initially planned to poke holes in the tops and have some of the filling ooze out vampire-bite-style, but that didn’t quite work. Fortunately, I had some bat sprinkles, so that worked well. To make your raspberry filling appear a bit more bloody, simply add red food coloring once it’s cooled. You could also go with a cherry filling if you wanted to, as cherry and almond are good flavor friends as well.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 recipe raspberry filling
  • Red food coloring

For the frosting

  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • Bat sprinkles

Preparation

Prepare raspberry filling and allow to cool; add several drops of red food coloring, stirring well until you reach your desired color.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until very well-blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond and beat until combined.

Add flour and milk alternatively in two batches, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until completely combined.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into each cupcake well.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Once cupcakes are cool, prepare frosting: in a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes.

Add vanilla extract and almond extract, beating well to combine. Add 1 tablespoon milk and beat well; add additional milk if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency that will be easy to pipe and spread.

To fill and frost: using a melon baller, scoop out the center of each cupcake. From the core, cut away all but the top 1/4 inch, leaving a small disc of cake. Reserve the scraps for a trifle or other treat.

Place raspberry filling in a zip-top bag and carefully snip one corner; pipe filling into each cupcake, then top with cake discs. This will help the raspberry filling from getting into your frosting, although I suppose for a vampire-themed cupcake, that wouldn’t be the worst thing.

Fill a piping bag with frosting and pipe onto each cupcake; using an offset spatula, flatted the swirls just slightly. You can also just frost the cupcakes by hand if you prefer.

Top each cupcake with one bat.

Store at room temperature for up to 3 days; you’ll have some filling left over, which you can combine with the cupcake scraps for a delicious mini trifle.

Makes 12 cupcakes. Below, you’ll see the blood-red raspberry filling.

 

Advertisements

Hot Pink Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling

raspberry filled cupcakesThis weekend’s baking extravaganza included several batches of cookies and a few batches of cupcakes for a friend of a friend’s daughter’s birthday. Inside, these white almond cupcakes have a surprise: a raspberry buttercream filling, with an extra pop of pink.

My first plan for these cupcakes involved raspberry jam filling, but it just didn’t seem right for a whimsical, rock star-themed girl’s party. Because I wanted a pink filling, I tossed together a version of raspberry buttercream that is much more filling-like than frosting-like. You could use a raspberry filling like the one in this lemon raspberry roulade, or even a pastry cream tinted pink, if you prefer.

Ingredients

White Almond Cupcakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk our sour milk*

*To make sour milk, place 1 1/3 tablespoons vinegar in a glass measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 1/3 total cups. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes before using.

Raspberry Buttercream Filling

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • About 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Hot Pink Buttercream

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons almond extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • Magenta gel food coloring

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; this recipe makes about 32 cupcakes, so if you only have two tins like me, you’ll need to let one cool and re-line it for your last batch.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar together until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour mixture and sour milk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour, beating until just combined after each addition.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared tins, filling no more than half-full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops are light golden and a cake tester inserted in the middle of a few cupcakes comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack before filling and frosting.

For the filling: in a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 1 minute. Add raspberry jam; mixture will look clumpy, but that’s fine.

Scrape down the sides of your bowl, then add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter/jam mixture; this will take a few minutes.

Scrape down the bowl well and add almond extract, then beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. The texture of the filling should be yogurt-like. If your consistency is too runny, add a bit more sifted powdered sugar.

Using the small end of a melon baller, scoop out a small amount of each cupcake.

Fit a piping bag with a large plain tip and pipe filling into each cupcake.

For the frosting: in a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 1 minute, then add salt and beat another minute.

Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes. I cover my mixer with a kitchen towel during this process to avoid a powdered sugar mess on my counter.

Add vanilla extract and almond extract, beating well to combine for about 2 minutes. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches a fluffy consistency. Add magenta food coloring to create a bright pink shade.

Fit a piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes in swirls.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Triple Vanilla Cupcakes

triplevanillacupcakesMy grandma Zella made filled cupcakes years before they became trendy. Perhaps she was a baker ahead of her time – or perhaps she saw a recipe in Woman’s Day magazine and thought, like their food editors, that two desserts combined into one was just a great idea. Usually, her cupcakes used Duncan Hines cake mix and packaged pudding mix; not from scratch, but very tasty nonetheless. I remember a particularly tasty yellow cupcake that was filled with lemon pudding, then dusted with powdered sugar. Simple, yet delicious.

Last week’s Boston Cream Cupcakes left me with a back-up batch of pastry cream that used a slightly different recipe, so today I tossed together these triple vanilla cupcakes – a vanilla cupcake with vanilla pastry cream, topped with vanilla buttercream frosting. If you’re a vanilla fan, you’ll love these cupcakes.

Pastry Cream II

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Place a heatproof bowl and fine mesh sieve next to your stove.

In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until warmed and wisps of steam appear; do not allow to simmer or boil.

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Add egg yolks and mix well; mixture will form a thick paste, and it can be crumbly or smooth – the most important thing is for your ingredients to be well-mixed.

Slowly pour heavy cream into egg mixture, whisking constantly, then return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes; mixture will look foamy at first, then will become thick and glossy. Once the mixture becomes thick and glossy, remove it from the heat and whisk in vanilla extract.

Pour the pastry cream through the sieve; you’ll need to stir and press firmly to get it to pass through. Press plastic wrap on the surface and allow to set up overnight.

Old-Fashioned Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; my batch made 20 cupcakes.

Combine milk and vanilla extract; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine cake flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, then reduce mixer speed to low and add butter a few cubes at a time. Continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture looks like coarse sand.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the vanilla milk mixture.

Return to medium speed and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl well.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into prepared cupcake pans, filling about 1/2 to 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from pans immediately and cool completely on a wire rack.

Very Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and salt on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until fully incorporated, about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.

To assemble the cupcakes:

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip pastry cream for 2-3 minutes to lighten.

Using a small knife, cut into the center of each cupcake at a 45-degree angle, about 1/8 inch from the edge, all the way around. Remove the core and cut away all but the top 1/4 inch, leaving a small disc of cake. Reserve the scraps for a trifle or other treat.

Fill the inside with pastry cream and top with the disc of cake.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of frosting onto each cupcake and spread with an offset spatula.

Store in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.