Local Beer & Baileys.

St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 1

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm pretty excited about this post because I decided to put a different spin on the traditional Guinness & Baileys cupcakes!

A little backstory - Ever since Dylan & I moved to Michigan we try to have date night every Friday. And there are so many awesome restaurant choices, we rarely eat at the same place twice. Except Latitude 42, Portage's first microbrewery.

We first walked in at about 7 o'clock on a Friday night a few weeks ago. It was packed and the wait was over an hour. We were a little surprised, because since we moved out of crowded SoCal, we haven't experienced too many long waits at restaurants. But there were 2 seats open at the bar and I was starving (as usual) so we took them.

One of the first things you notice is the size of the building, about half being the restaurant & half the brewery with large windows inside and out. As well as a long list of house made beers and specialty menu items using them, such as their Beer Cheese Soup & the Dark Chocolate Stout Cake for dessert.

You can also buy Latitude 42's beer to take home, in 32 or 64 ounce growlers. Which is exactly what I did. I decided on All Night Long, a stout beer brewed with Sulawesi (Indonesian coffee beans) and organic Ecuadorian cocao nibs. Sounds perfect for baking with right?

I made these Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with a ganache filling and a Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

St Patty's Day Cupcakes 38

Want some recipes? Here we go...

Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
-made 33 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup DARK cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1/2 cup regular unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup stout beer
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, beer, milk, eggs & vanilla and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Expect batter to be thin.
3. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake cupcakes 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely before frosting. Brush tops of cupcakes with beer, if desired.

Ingredients ready to go.


The dry ingredients.


Add the wet and mix it up. Mr owl is supervising!


While cooling, I brushed the tops of the cupcakes with more beer!


Time for some filling!

Irish Cream Chocolate Ganache

2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips ( I used dark, but you can also use milk chocolate)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liquor

1. Heat milk and butter over medium heat on stove & bring to a light simmer.
2. Pour over chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is melted. Add Baileys & stir until smooth.
3. Refrigerate until ganache is thickened but still fairly soft, about one hour.

I used a piping bag & tip to fill my cupcakes, but you could also cut out cones and fill cupcakes that way as well.


I filled them by counting to 4 and using even pressure for each cupcake.


Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream
-made enough to generously frost 27 cupcakes

5 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liquor

1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla & Baileys, and beat just until combined.
4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes.

Whisking my egg whites and sugar.


Lets frost those cupcakes!


Beautiful Baileys Buttercream.


Now for the drizzle...

Take what is left of the chocolate ganache and microwave for 10-20 seconds, stir to smooth it out.

I used a plastic squeeze bottle but a little ziplock bag with the corner snipped off will work just as well.


Keep a steady hand while drizzling.


Took some of these yummy cupcakes to mine & Dylan's combined birthday dinner at Latitude 42!


St Patty's Day Cupcakes UPDATED 3

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

<3hollicakes

Snowball Cupcakes


Welcome back hollicakes!

After about a year hiatus & some crazy life changes, I am finally back at it!

Over the past few months, I quit my baking job at the Fairmont Hotel and moved to Michigan to be with my boyfriend Dylan. This is my first official post as a Michigan resident!! So far I've only experienced a whole lot of winter. And when I say winter, I mean 100+ inches of snow. Something this CA born and raised girl has never experienced! And it has been amazing. And beautiful. Oh and I can't forget REALLY cold.

I know you're here to see some cupcakes, but let me take a moment to show you a few photos of things that inspired me to make these cupcakes! It may be March but winter is still in full swing over here...

Our new home in Michigan! With my little pup outside...


Cute little deer come hang out in the backyard all the time.


Enjoying our time in the midwest & built our first snowman!


Okay, okay, onto some yummy cupcakes!

So I've been pretty obsessed with the snow, coming from CA, I've never seen this much snow on the ground. I love watching it fall and how the sun shines & makes it sparkle.

That means...

...must make snowball cupcakes!!!

With cute little deer friends too.


Snowball Cupcakes (adapted from Sweetapolia's Fluffy Vanilla Cake)
-made 27 cupcakes

5 large egg whites
1 whole egg
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 24 even pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine and stir the egg whites, whole egg, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter a few pieces at a time with mixer on low speed until the mixture is a fine crumbly texture.
5. Add 3/4 cup milk, and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture a little at a time until batter is smooth. Fold once or twice to ensure the batter at bottom of bowl is incorporated.
6. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake 14-16 minutes, making sure not to over bake.


Whipped Coconut Buttercream

3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional, you can use regular milk instead)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes on medium speed until butter is pale and creamy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
2. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light & fluffy.
3. Pipe 1/2 inch layer of buttercream on each cupcake, smoothing and rounding over with offset spatula. Place shredded coconut in shallow bowl and immediately dip frosted cupcakes in coconut. Gently moving cupcakes in circular motion until coconut sticks to the frosting. Careful not to push too hard and flatten the top of your "snowballs".

Hopefully these cupcakes get you through the rest of this long winter!

Its almost springtime =]


St. Patrick's Thin Mint Cupcakes


Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Since there has been an excess of Girl Scout Cookies around lately, I decided to turn them into cupcakes for St. Patty's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is always an over celebrated holiday at my house, since my birthday is the day after! These cupcakes just might be making an appearance this weekend =]

Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 32-36

12 thin mint cupcakes, ground in food processor
1 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 cup AP flour
2 1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Place finely ground thin mints, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl with paddle attachment.
3. Mix on low speed.
4. In measuring cup mix together eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients with mixer on low speed. Mix until combined.
5. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool & frost!

Mint Buttercream

5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2-4 drops green food coloring

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth with paddle. Add 2-3 cups powdered sugar, depending on sweetness desired.
2. Add vanilla, peppermint extract & food coloring. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Thin mint dust!


The secret ingredient in these cupcakes!


The dry ingredients.


Wet ingredients ready to go.


Scooping time!


Chocolate Glaze

8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter

1. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every 30-45 seconds.
2. Once melted, add corn syrup and stir until smooth.

To Dip Cupcakes: I put my frosted cupcakes in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before dipping them. Helps secure the frosting to the cupcake so it doesn't melt off when dipped into the warm chocolate.

Glaze ready for dipping!



Enjoy the weekend & don't forget to wear green! =]



Blood Orange Valentine Cupcakes!


So I was going to name these cupcakes You-Set-My-Heart-on-Fire Blood Orange Olive Oil Cupcakes, but that seemed like a little much!

PS, Happy Valentine's Day from hollicakes!

Blood oranges are still in season and that means time to take advantage & bake something yummy before they disappear until next winter!


Look at those beautiful red segments!


Another reason I was inspired to make these cupcakes is because I was able to get my hands on some delicious Lucero Chocolate Olive Oil!

Check out their website, HERE. They have tons of yummy olive oil & balsamic vinegars! The Chocolate was sure amazing, next I might have to try baking with some Meyer Lemon Olive Oil.


All of my ingredients ready to go!


Orange-Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes
-makes 26-28 cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup Lucero chocolate olive oil (or regular olive oil will substitute just fine)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons blood orange juice (or regular orange juice, freshly squeezed is better)
zest from 2 oranges
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & set out cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Sift together all dry ingredients; flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together all wet ingredients; oils, buttermilk, orange juice, zest and vanilla.
4. With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients to wet, mixing until combined and smooth.
5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes, or until cupcake tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool then frost!

The batter ready to be scooped!


Cute Valentine's Day liners I found at Target!


Cupcakes ready for their frosting counterpart! It might be true love...


Blood Orange Buttercream
-enough to frost 24-26 cupcakes

6 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (less for subtle flavor, more for stronger!)
zest of 1 orange
red/orange food coloring (optional)

1. Cream butter in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mix until smooth.
3. Add vanilla, orange juice and zest and mix on medium speed 1 minute. Add a few drops red & a few drops orange food coloring if desired.
4. Frost cupcakes as desired! I used a plain round tip and piped in the shape of a heart for some of mine!

Freshly squeezed (Thanks Dylan!) blood orange juice going into the buttercream!


Time to frost some cupcakes!


hello swirls =]


Another shot from the sparkler heart photoshoot! Something about extended exposure shots + fire is so exciting!!


And another! It's hard to pick my favorite shots because each one is so different.


Want the cute little heart sparklers for your next special occasion? You can order them HERE!


So Dylan got a chance with the piping bag and came up with some heart shaped frosting! Love this. Just pipe large heart first, then smaller and smaller ones on top! I usually needed up with 3 or 4 hearts.


I hope everyone has a sweet Valentine's Day!



Happy New Year from hollicakes!

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 9.31.05 PM

Happy New Year everyone!!

Okay so I know I've been the worst blogger ever, being I have not updated since September. It has been an insanely busy & overwhelming holiday season, and I'm secretly happy it's over and new beginnings are upon us!

Before I get to these yummy cupcakes, a few updates about me & hollicakes; I started working full time in the pastry shop at the hotel over the holidays. I thought that it was what I wanted but once I got it all I could think about was how sad it made me that I never have time to bake/blog at home for you guys! So I am in the process of going back to part time so I will have more time to focus on what I really love, hollicakes!

Getting back to regular blog updates is definitely my first new year's resolution!

Speaking of New Years……how about some pink champagne?!


I was inspired to make these cupcakes by a sweet Christmas present I received this year, The Boozy Baker! Such a fun and amazing cookbook!


Lucy Baker has a great recipe for Champagne Layer Cake in her book, but I took it one step further & turned it into Pink Champagne Cupcakes!

Cupcake bakers, it's time to bust out the leftover champagne!


Don't mind my cheap bottle of champagne or the nerdy photo =]


I love making recipes from new cookbooks!


Pink Champagne Cupcakes (Recipe adapted from The Boozy Baker Champagne Cake)
-makes 24 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pink champagne
8 large egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake pans with 24 liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder and salt.
3. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside in new bowl.
4. Next, cream together sugar and butter with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Slowly add flour mixture and champagne, alternating with a little of each at a time.
5. Add a generous spoonful of the egg whites to the bowl, mix on low speed with paddle to lighten the batter. Fold the remaining egg whites into batter with spatula. Divide evenly into 24 cupcake liners. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back when touched.

Champagne Meringue Frosting
-enough to frost 24 cupcakes

3 egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon pink champagne
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup water

1. In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites & champagne until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously. Beat for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
3. Frost cupcakes immediately, frosting will set once cooled. Store cupcakes in refrigerator up to 3 days. Best eaten on same day, or if brought to room temperature first.

Egg whites at stiff peaks!


Champagne meringue ready to frost. I used a star tip for piping!


All dressed up & ready for some glitter.


I used a combination of these fun glitters and candies. I really wanted to capture what pink champagne represents; a girly fun time!


The cupcakes ready to make an appearance at a holiday party!


Time to dig in =]


Enjoy these fabulous & fun cupcakes! It is really good to be back at it baking and blogging again!

Can't wait to share more treats soon!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy & sweet 2013!