mango strawberry cupcakes

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when trying to figure out what kind of cupcakes to make for july birthday treats, i asked one of our july birthdays if he had any preferences. he voted for fruity over chocolate, so i started to think of some ideas. since it’s been very, very hot in dc this past few days i wanted to make a cupcake that was refreshing and light.

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tropical flavors came to mind – how about mango and strawberry! ding ding ding! they would be the perfect flavors for a summertime cupcake.

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so i made a vanilla cupcake with strawberry filling, topped with a mango swiss meringue buttercream, lastly decorated with a mango drizzle and a strawberry slice.

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they were a hit this past week with my coworkers, one even proclaiming it to be his favorite! yay! i’m so glad that these cupcakes were a success.

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no-bake mini cheesecakes

remember a couple days ago how i talked about our summer of wellness.  well i had dinner with those same friends and we were planning on doing a potluck.  so i tried to think of a relatively healthy dessert i could bring.  well i ended up not finding anything that i loved that was particularly healthy, but i did come across a recipe for no-bake cheesecake that wasn’t particularly unhealthy.  that’s a step right?

i found the recipe on one of my favorite blogs, skinnytaste.  gina made a cheesecake/pie but i wanted to make mine into mini cheesecakes.  as you can tell from my love of cupcakes, i love little, individual servings of dessert.  i used my go to graham cracker crust and scaled it down a little.  i could have just halved the recipe but the graham crust is my favorite part of cheesecake so i wanted a thicker crust.  the crust is topped with a reduced fat cream cheese and cool whip free mixture and garnished with a few slices of fresh strawberry…

and there you have it, no-bake mini cheesecakes!  of course they don’t taste exactly like regular, baked cheesecake and but they are a great, low fat cheesecake option for days when you don’t want to turn on the stove and/or you want to be just a little bit more health conscious.  it allows you to have your cake and eat it too!  perfect!

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strawberry chocolate cupcakes

most times when i post cupcake recipes on my blog or post pictures on facebook, i made those cupcakes for my office.  we have monthly birthday treats, holiday parties, end of the semester celebrations, appreciation days, etc.  this equals a lot of cupcakes for my coworkers.  but unfortunately, i don’t bake all that often for chris’ coworkers.  so whenever he askes me to make something, i am quick to say yes.

chris held a training session a few months ago and asked if i could make cupcakes for their volunteers.  he didn’t have a preference on what kind he wanted so i had free range to come up with a flavor combination.  chocolate is chris’ favorite kind of cupcake so i knew i wanted to use that as a base.  since it was summer, i thought something fruity or berry would be nice.  then it came to me, why not make strawberry chocolate cupcakes!  actually, i was surprised i hadn’t already made them before.

i started with my new favorite chocolate cake recipe – you know the one i used for the irish car bomb and elmo cupcakes.

then i whipped up a batch of fresh strawberry swiss meringue buttercream.  this stuff tastes just like strawberry ice cream.  it’s divine.

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peanut butter & jelly cupcakes

i hope you all enjoyed our crockpot/slow cooker series!  just to recap, here are the recipes featured:

also, with the growing amount of crockpot/slow cooker recipes i’ve been making i decided to add a new crockpot/slow cooker page in my recipe index.  check it out for some other great crockpot/slow cooker recipes!  more will be added soon!

but i have been having sweets and treats withdrawals.  can you believe the last 5 posts were savory recipes!  what about sweetsssss!!!!

it was imperative that we remedy this situation as soon as possible, so today i am sharing with you these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes.  they are most definitely the dessert version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  it really is like eating a sweetened up and more decadent version of a pb&j!

the peanut butter and jelly cupcake is a fluffy peanut butter cupcake filled with jam or jelly (i used strawberry preserves and grape jelly), then topped with peanut butter buttercream and another dollop of jelly.

i made these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes for january birthday treats!  everyone loved them and they were actually almost all gone by the end of the day – just 1 left.  not too shabby considering sometimes there are still 12 left by day’s end.  i love that my office does a wonderful job at helping me gauge the success  of a cupcake recipe.

so bring back some childhood memories and make these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes soon!

step 1 – make the peanut butter cupcakes.   the batter comes together fairly easily.

divide them into 24 cupcake cups.  oh and just a quick tip about the liners – i used pink and purple polka dot cupcake liners.  the pink ones were strawberry and the purple ones were grape.  this made it a lot easier to figure out what kind of jelly would go on top of each cupcake once they were frosted.  so if you’re using 2 different kinds of jelly, i would highly recommend using 2 colors of liners.

bake them up and out comes beautifully fluffy peanut butter cupcakes.

allow the cupcakes to cool, then core the cupcakes using the cone method and add a dollop of jelly.  here’s the grape one…

and the strawberry one…

yay all of the cupcakes are filled!

now for the peanut butter buttercream.  this may be my favorite peanut butter buttercream recipe… well actually i take that back.  i really love the peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream, but this one is my favorite peanut butter american buttercream recipe.  it is light and fluffy and has the perfect amount of peanut butter flavor.  plus it’s much easier and simpler to make than swiss meringue buttercream.  win.

i ended up frosting my cupcakes a bit differently than annie did (i got the recipe from annie’s eats).  i think either would be good but i like the fact that this way allows you to put just a little more jelly which helps balance out the decadence of the peanut butter cake and buttercream.  so first, spread a light layer of frosting over the top of each cups.  this will help seal the jelly in the cupcake and will keep the jelly that we are going to put on top from seeping into the cupcake.

then with a large star tip, pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cupcake, like so.

this creates a lovely little pocket or hole for the jelly.  i wanted to be sure that the jelly didn’t get all over the place when trying to spoon it into the little hole so i put a few scoops of jelly into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.  i only have 1 round tip, so i just cut off the top of the piping bag, which worked well too.

  

this allows you to nicely add some jelly to the top of each cupcake without messing up the buttercream.

ta da!!!!  they are done and ready to eat.  now sing with me – peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time!

happy (belated) birthday to our january birthdays!!!

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banana split cupcakes

i first saw these banana split cupcakes on annie’s eats a while ago.  they looked divine and i couldn’t wait to try them out.  but then i pinned them and then just couldn’t figure out the right occasion to make them.  finally a couple months ago i made these banana split cupcakes for our office’s birthday treats.

i  did made a couple changes to the recipe to make it a little easier.  first, i made the cupcake part with cake mix instead of from scratch (you know i love me some cake mix) and then i just used recipes that i already had on hand for the vanilla buttercream and ganache.

so this cupcake is a banana cupcake with strawberry and pineapple filling, topped with vanilla buttercream, ganache, sprinkles and a cherry.  don’t they look like cute little ice cream sundaes?

(now pretend that there is a picture of the inside of the cupcake like i normally post.  haha.  oops!)

all in all they turned out pretty good but i will say that there are a lot of flavors going on in this cupcake and you can’t really taste everything.  but then thinking more about it, there are a lot of flavors going on in a banana split so i supposed this is to be expected.  either way though, definitely give this banana split recipe a try – one of my coworkers said that is her favorite cupcake that i’ve made yet.  yay!

start by mixing up the banana cake batter – it’s just vanilla or white cake mix doctored up with bananas.

then bake the loverly cupcakes…

once they are nice and cool, core each cupcake using the cone method.

now fill it with strawberry filling first…

and then some crushed pineapple.

now frost the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream – just used the fluffy vanilla american buttercream recipe i’ve used before.

then pour a little ganache on each cupcake to make it look like fudge sauce on an ice cream sundae.  also top each with a maraschino cherry.

last but not least, sprinkle each cupcake with some colorful sprinkles.

enjoy!!!!

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