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
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!
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.
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! =]
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
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 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!
Happy almost fall everyone! I'm here with a recipe for some cupcakes that will help ease the transition from summer into fall!
I don't know how I feel about summer ending since it's been so nice out here lately! But at the same time all the cute fall stuff is out in stores and you know I just can't resist =]
I mean, Starbucks already has their pumpkin spice latte out! Oh my, too soon for me! So I went with cinnamon and spices for these cupcakes instead!
What is brown butter you may ask? Simply butter that has been cooked on the stovetop until it is brown. It adds a nutty, more in depth flavor to your cupcakes, pastas, or anything you add it to. Brown butter + chai tea = yummy goodness.
My recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter.
Browned butter! I only lightly browned mine. You can always go darker, but the risk of burning increases if you do. I used medium heat, stirring occasionally.
I picked my three favorite chai teas to use in this recipe! I would recommend using your favorite tea as well.
Steep for 5-10 minutes in your milk.
The dry ingredients. Yum cinnamon!
Mixing it up!
Ready to become cupcakes.
Ready for the recipe? =]
Brown Butter Chai Tea Cupcakes
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and softened
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
3 chai tea bags
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; mix on low speed until combined.
2. Add browned butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
3. Heat milk to a simmer and steep tea bags 5-10 minutes. Remove bags, add instant coffee and vanilla. Add eggs, whisking thoroughly so the warm tea mixture doesn't cook the eggs.
4. With the mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in a slow stream and mix until just combined and smooth.
5. FIll liners 3/4 full and bake 20-22 minutes. Cool, then frost!
Cinnamon Swirl Cream Cheese Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3-6 cups sifted powered sugar, depending on taste desired
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth in electric mixer.
2. Add powered sugar, vanilla, & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat until fluffy.
3. Reserve 1/2 cup of frosting in separate bowl. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon & stir until combined. This will be your cinnamon "swirl".
4. Prepare piping bag with round tip. Using a knife, smear a stripe about an inch wide up the inside of the piping bag with the cinnamon mixture. Fill bag with the rest of the frosting and pipe away!
Happy almost fall everyone!
Honey Apricot Goat Cheese Cupcakes made at the Fairmont Newport Beach!
So as you guys can probably tell, I haven’t been updating as much as I used to. And it’s because I’ve been so busy at my job at The Fairmont Newport Beach as a pastry cook! So many fun events and opportunities! I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a hotel that is involved in amazing projects such as adopting goats and harvesting honey from our own bees!
The adoption of seven goats - Suzy Q, Snickers, Frankie, Lucy, Cali, Trixie and Taffy – is the hotel’s latest culinary initiative. In collaboration with Drake Farms Goat Dairy, where the female goats reside, the animals are cared for by dedicated farmers and staff and receive regular visits from the hotel’s executive chef. The farm uses the goats’ milk to produce organic goat cheese, which the chef brings back to use in dishes for the restaurant and lounge.
Executive Chef Chad Blunston visiting with our goats!
Rob Anderson making friends!
I feel so lucky to be a part of a company that is so involved in the community, as well as cooking amazing food. Organic ingredients make such the difference when cooking and baking.
Also in 2011, Fairmont Newport Beach saved their current hive of honeybees from extermination when they were found “swarming” in the hotel’s ground-level parking lot. The hotel’s beekeeping partner, Backyard Bees, rescued the bees before relocating them to a safer home on the rooftop.
Fun Fact: Citrus and avocado orchards, coastal oak, black sage, eucalyptus, and buckwheat are among the many rich forage plants that keep the hotel’s honeybees thriving.
The bees in their new home!
The keepers at Backyard Bees harvest the honeycombs created by our bees, then bring back the sweet honey for us to use in the kitchen!
And the other day, there was a banquet order for “assorted cupcakes.” Can I even tell you how much I love it when I see this on the prep sheet? I can make any flavor that I want. The freedom and creativity is endless!
Then came a brilliant idea. Why not combine two amazing things? A moist honey cupcake topped with an apricot honey goat cheese frosting and a tiny bit of apricot preserves.
Let’s start with the cupcakes. (This is my first time taking step by step photos somewhere other than my own kitchen!)
-makes about 2 dozen
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with paper liners.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, honey and vanilla.
3. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
4. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
5. Alternating wet and dry ingredients, gradually add and mix on low speed until combined.
6. Scoop batter and fill liners 3/4 full, bake 15-18 minutes for minis, 18-22 for regular cupcakes.
7. Let cupcakes cool, then frost.
The honey bucket. Yum.
Alternate wet and dry ingredients.
I just love our big wooden table in the middle of the bakery. One day I want to have my very own wooden bakers table! =]
Scoop ‘em out. I made minis. Also, we use nonstick silicone molds instead of metal cupcake pans. No need for liners!
They came out a little bit wonky. It happens sometimes. Even to me! Cover it up with frosting and no one will ever know!
Ready for some goat cheese made locally?
Apricot Honey Goat Cheese Frosting
-makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup goat cheese
1-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cream
1. Cream together goat cheese, cream cheese and butter with electric mixer.
2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, to taste. I used about 1 2/3 cups.
3. Add preserves, honey and cream. Beat on medium high until combined and fluffy.
4. Frost cupcakes, leaving a small well in the middle. Fill well with 1/2 teaspoon of apricot preserves.
The butter/cheese mixture for the frosting!
All mixed up.
Frost away, leaving a small well in the center for the apricot preserves.
Ready for taste testing!
Took a couple cupcakes home for my family to try, ended up taking some super cute pictures!
Cupcakes in the garden!