Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Milano Melts Cupcakes

Chocolate.....just saying the word invokes a euphoria....although I have many favorite cookies, milanos have been on my list for a very long time.  Sooooo when Pepperidge Farm came out with Milano Melts....I thought I'd died.  Crunchy yummy cookie with melted chocolate inside....I find myself licking the inside more than just eating the cookie sometimes.

So of course I couldn't resist a Milano Melts Cupcake.
This is a simple vanilla cupcake, with a chocolate ganache center and a swirled chocolate and vanilla buttercream topped with a milano melt cookie.

The recipe is below!  Have fun!

Milano Melts Cupcakes
makes 2 dozen

Cupcake Ingredients

3 cups cake flour
1  1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2  1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1  1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2  1/4 cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temp
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
24 milano melts cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 cupcake tins with liners.


1. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium.  Add whole eggs, one at a time.  Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.  Add yolks and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beat until combined.  Add vanilla.

3. Divid batter into cupcake liners.  Fill each about 2/3 full.  Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean - about  15 - 20 minutes.  Let cool before adding ganache and buttercream.

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients  (Do this first as it needs to sit in fridge)

6oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (I use Bakers Chocolate)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup


1. Over medium heat, cook heavy cream and corn syrup.

2. Place chocolate in heat proof bowl.  Once heavy cream comes to a boil, remove from stove and slowly pour over chocolate.  Stir until well incorporated and ganache starts to thicken.  Place in refridgerator until thick but stirrable.

3. Once the ganache has thickened and cupcakes are cool.  Cut a coned shape piece out of the center of each cupcake and spoon a tablespoon (or more, up to you) of the ganache in the middle.  Replace the piece that was cut out.

Swirled Swiss Meringue Buttercream Ingredients

5 egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1.  Place sugar and egg whites into a heat proof mixing bowl.  Set over a pan of simmiering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Mixture will be smooth when rubbed between fingers.

2.  Whisk with whisk attachment on medium speed until egg whites form stiff but not dry peaks.  Add butter a little bit at a time until well incorporated.  Add vanilla.

3.  Replace with paddle attachment and mix on medium high.  Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing until frosting is smooth.  Takes about 5 minutes.

4.  Remove about 1/2 cup of buttercream from mixer and set aside.  Add 2 tablespoons of the chocolate ganache to the buttercream still in the mixing bowl and swirl with spoon.  Do not mix.  Add more buttercream if it starts to turn too chocolatey.  Add more chocolate by teaspoons if you need more swirl.

5. Place in piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcake. 

Decorate cupcakes by placing a whole or half of a Milano Melts on top.  Variation:  chocolate cupcake, with chocolate buttercream and chocolate Milano Melts.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or a nice glass of milk! :)

>> Short Cut - Box<<
1 box yellow cake or french vanilla cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil

Mix together and pour into liners.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coming Up!

I am still working on the Snickers Cupcake recipe....why?  Because I don't exactly measure (and I'm in the middle of college finals).....I do it all by sight so I have to go back and work out what I did!  LOL  So I promise by the time the Cinco De Mayo cupcakes are up later this week, yes I know a week early, I'll have the Snickers up too.

Coming up are a few things......

Cinco De Mayo Cupcakes - adults only
Kit Kat Cupcakes - gimme a break
Milano Melts Cupcakes - my new fav cookie
Mother's Day Chocolate Robed Cupcakes - enveloped in love like MOM
Harvey Wallbanger Cupcakes - fully liquored 
Pixie Sticks Cupcakes - for the kid in all of us

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Phineas and Ferb Cupcakes

This was my first REAL party request!   YAY!  Very simple chocolate cake with blue and green icing.  The icing is decorated with rainbow disco dust and candy coated mini chocolate chips.  One of the reasons I am sharing this on the blog is because the woman who made the wrappers is amazing!!  They came out SOOOO cute!  You can find her Etsy shop here iParty .  I will definitely be back for more.  There were 4 dozen cupcakes and as I'm told everyone loved them!  YAY!

The photos were taken by the mom who ordered the cupcakes.  She's an amazing photographer and person!  You can check her website out here too LisaGPhotography .

I'm glad everyone enjoyed them!  I had a great time making them! I'm starting to think for my daughter's birthday in October!!  ROFL!

Lots of things coming soon!  Easter Cake Pops will be up by Friday.  Something I wanted to try :)

Have a Happy Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Snickers Cupcakes

This one was a doozy.  Since it took some time to make all the components that make up the cupcake.  But OMG did they come out gooood!

As you can see my sister enjoyed them.  There wasn't a crumb left.

 The cupcake is a devil foods cupcake with a peanut nougat (handmade) and caramel cream center topped with a caramel cream buttercream and garnished with a nougat piece dipped in chocolate and crushed peanuts.  The taste a lot like a snickers bar I'll tell you!  I would, however, like to find a softer nougat.  So if anyone has any recipe recommendations I'm open!

This is my first candy bar cupcake.  I still want to make a Kit Kat, Milky Way (will reuse this caramel cream recipe it was awesome) and Rice Krispies Treat cupcakes.

Please share if you like!  These were although time consuming, fun to make!!

I'll have the recipe and instructions soon.  So join my blog and stay tuned!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cherry Dr Pepper Cupcakes

Ok so this was on a wimb.  A friend on Facebook posted a status about needing to drink Dr Pepper to keep herself awake and I thought....hmmmm....cupcake.  But of course I couldn't do JUST Dr Pepper so I bought the cherry Dr Pepper. I am not a huge fan of Dr Pepper but I like the cherry one.

The cake is a dark chocolate cake infused with cherry Dr Pepper and topped with a cherry Dr Pepper buttercream and a cherry soaked in cherry Dr Pepper (overnight) and dipped in chocolate garnished with shaved dark chocolate.  Wow that's a mouthful.  The cake came out nice and airy and Dr Peppery.

The casualties of being OH SO YUMMY!

Below is the recipe for anyone who would like to make it.  I added the box short cut too.  The buttercream is a true swiss meringue (I make all my cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream.  I very rarely deviate.) so if you want a simple confectioner's buttercream - I added that at the bottom too.   Enjoy!

BTW - the from scratch and meringue buttercream are very time consuming.  So if you want to make them quickly, use the box version and confectioner's sugar buttercream below.

Cherry Dr Pepper Cupcakes

Box version ingredients

1 box dark chocolate / fudge cake mix
1 box chocolate pudding (4oz)
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil  
1/2 cup cherry Dr Pepper

Mix all until well incorporated.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way and cook for 12 - 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Makes 18 cupcakes.

From scratch ingredients

1 cup unsweetend dark chocolate Dutch processed cocoa power
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn baking powder
1 1/4 tspn coarse salt
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cherry Dr Pepper
4 large eggs
1 tblspn plus 1 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  This recipe makes about 28 cupcakes.  Place cupcake liners in their tins.

Whisk cocoa and hot water together until smooth.  In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside. 

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir to combine.  Remove from heat and pour into your mixing bowl.  On medium-low speed, beat the mixture until it is cool - about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time and until well incorporated.  Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.  Add vanilla, Dr Pepper and then the cocoa mix.  Beat until well combined.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in two batches alternating with the sour cream.  Beat until combined.

Divide batter and fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.  Bake 15 - 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely before adding buttercream.

Dr Pepper Buttercream (Swiss Meringue)


5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tblspn sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature but still firm
1 tspn pure vanilla extract 
1/2 cup cherry Dr Pepper 

** Confectioner's Sugar Buttercream Ingredients
3 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
between 1/4 & 1/2 cup Dr Pepper (more if you want but don't make the mixture too liquidy - add more confectioner's sugar if you over do it)   **

fresh or marischino cherries for garnish (as many as there are cupcakes)
8 oz dark chocolate for dipping
1 chocolate bar for curling chocolate pieces

Take cherries and place them in a container filled with Dr Pepper.  Leave them overnight to soak.

When ready, take the cherries out of the Dr Pepper soak and pat dry.  Take a small tray and line with wax paper.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave a little at a time (about 20 sec each) and stir until chocolate is dippable.  Using a fork, dip the cherries in chocolate and place on waxed lined tray.  Put in refrigerator until ready.

Place the bar of dark chocolate into the refrigerator as it will be easier to curl later.

Combine egg whites and sugar in mixing bowl.  Place over boiling water and whisk until the sugar dissolves.  The egg white and sugar mixture will be smooth and silky when rubbed between the fingers.  Add vanilla and Dr Pepper.

Place on mixer with whisk attachment at medium speed.  Mix until bottom of bowl is cool to the touch.  Add vanilla and Dr Pepper.  Add the butter in cubes until it is well incorporated.

Remove the whisk attachment and add the paddle attachment.  Mix on high for about 5 minutes or until mixture turns to buttercream (it will be liquidy for a moment but eventually will begin to look more like buttercream). Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

** Confectioner's Sugar - cream butter until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time alternating with Dr Pepper.  After each addition of confectioner's sugar - raise the mixer to high speed for 10 seconds, then reduce to low and continue.  Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Pipe or spread on cupcakes.**

Take the cherries and the bar of chocolate out of the refrigerator.  Using a vegetable peeler, scrape or curl the chocolate and then sprinkle on top of the cupcake.  Garnish with one chocolate covered cherry.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

I had a bit of fun with this and realized I can make a whole lot of different ones (chocolate covered cherries and blueberries and raspberries OH MY!).  The cupcakes is a strawberry cheesecake with a whipped cream buttercream topped with a chocolate covered strawberry.  I am not happy nor fond of the whipped cream buttercream.  In Florida it is not a good idea as it melts fast.  It wasn't stiff enough for what I was looking for in presentation.  So will either go back to a regular meringue buttercream or just a fondant disk on top with the strawberry.

This is my first time piping chocolate like this, well at least in this manner.  I think the heart came out nicely!  I definitely want to play with piping chocolate some more.

I let my daughter decorate the bottom two.  LOL she didn't do badly with the small bag.  She calls the one in the lower right the "spaghetti" design.

The cupcake also has a graham cracker / almond crust which I have to say really tastes well together.  If it weren't for the fact I lost power, the crust would have held together better so needless to say there are no photos of the crust but I promise it was yummy.  Oh I also added a little bit of Disaronno to the pink chocolate....mmmm...I think I will be adding it to the milk chocolate next time too.  LOL!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What's on the to do list.....

I have a few things I want to try.  I've been ordered to make a Snickers cupcake so that one is definitely on the list (look for it around April 16th).  Currently it's a deep chocolate cake with a peanut nougat filling topped with a caramel nougat buttercream and sprinkled with peanuts and caramel drizzle.

This week I am planning a strawberry cheesecake cupcake with a graham cracker and almond crust and a chocolate covered strawberry on top.  I haven't had cheesecake in a while and this seemed like a good excuse.

I am not a fudge person but I always wondered what fudge would be like in a cupcake.  So I have two planned.  A penuche (panucci) fudge and chocolate ganache filled chocolate cupcake with a brown sugar buttercream.  Also a white fudge cupcake - an almond vanilla cupcake filled with white fudge topped with white chocolate buttercream and white chocolate curls.

Also need to do the special Easter cupcake (pysanka, pysanky) and the not so cupcake Easter cake pops.  They looked cute so thought I'd try them.

And yes, the bridal cupcakes.  I have to find some quiet time to be able to mold fondant.  Then I can get started on that!

Have a great week!  Look for the cheesecake cupcakes maybe Tuesday.