Posts Tagged ‘Cupcakes’

Banana Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf Cake

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year and a half since I last baked a banana cake. I was six months pregnant at that time and it was a craving that led me to bake one of my favourite cakes. Since that time, many things have changed.

Our family has grown and is complete. We moved to a bigger house to accommodate this- and my growing collection of props. Maryam started school and Hassan learnt many new things. I worried for the longest time when he didn’t sit till nine months. Now he tries to climb into Maryam’s chair and sit, just like his big sister. He crawls and cruises and has the most headstrong personality a fifteen month old could ever have. It is highly amusing to see him throw his head back in anger and then bury it between his legs when he doesn’t get his way. Terrible twos already?

I finally have a garden although it still needs some love and attention. A few more plants and flowers to add colour and perhaps even a herb garden at some point? I’m being rather optimistic I think. But one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for banana cakes. Oh yes, I still have a thing for them.

Here I have taken that same cake I baked whilst pregnant and changed it to suit our current cravings (Oh and I’m definitely not pregnant). Added some chocolate and hazelnut butter and finished it with some chopped toasted hazelnuts. We devoured it together. Me, Maryam and my little Hassan as well. Good thing it makes two loaves so we could share with friends too. 

Banana Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf Cake

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup hazelnut butter (stir if oil has separated)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skin removed and chopped coarsely 

For the ganache:
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup whipping cream

Extra chopped hazelnuts for garnish.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Centigrade. Grease and flour 2 loaf tins. Mash bananas mixed with lemon juice and set aside. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer beat the butters and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the mashed bananas, chopped chocolate and hazelnuts. 

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or so or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Frost when completely cool. 

To make the ganache, bring cream to a boil. Turn the heat off and add the chocolate chips. Let it sit for two minutes. Add butter and with a wooden spoon, mix until smooth. Frost cooled cake immediately and garnish with extra toasted hazelnuts. 

Makes two loaves.

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One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

You may think from my absence on this blog that not much cooking has been happening in our kitchen. Quite the contrary actually. If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen what I’ve been up to in the kitchen.

Correction- what we have been up to. With Maryam off from school, baking and cooking is a great way to entertain and keep her busy- she ALWAYS wants to help. We have made orzo salad with arugula and sweet cherry tomatoes, soft doughy bread rolls, home made pizza with the most flavorful and easy tomato sauce ever. Must share that one soon.

This one bowl chocolate cake has been a favorite. I cannot tell you how many times we have made this cake over the last few months. July and August is a busy month for us when it comes to birthdays and other celebrations. A total of eight I think. Yes, and our anniversary too. Eleven years married.

And so a celebration cake is always sitting on our counter, more than likely chocolate. After all it needs no season right? Moist, easy, no hassle and little clean up. Simple, yet always looks like so much effort went into it.

I like to top it with some chocolate whipped cream for special occassions but it works just as well topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar. Even though I have blogged about this recipe before, it was Maryam who prompted this post.

‘Mamma, why are you not taking a picture of the cake?’ And I thought, why not. Even though this cake has graced the blog, sometimes there is nothing like on old favorite. Something comforting, like a soft old blanket. Weathered, frayed at the ages, used a multitude of times but cocoons like no other.

And that is exactly what this cake does.  

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped Frosting

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee
2 eggs
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Centigrade and grease and flour two 6 inch cake pans. In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Create a well in the centre and add all the rest of the ingredients except coffee. Mix well until combined and then add coffee. Mix once again (the batter will be very runny). Pour into greased pans and bake in the middle rack in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out just clean. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, heat the whipping cream in a pan to a simmer (do NOT boil). Add to it chocolate chips and stir to combine until chips have melted. Regrifgerate until cool and whip until stiff peaks form.

Cream will not whip if boiled or if not completely cold before whipping.

Cake recipe from

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Mini Apple and Cinnamon Bundt Cakes

I was recently asked what I thought was the quintessential fall fruit. My mind instantly turned to apples. Perhaps it was the abundant sea of warm reds and lime greens that welcome me every time I enter the supermarket this time of the year. 

Or perhaps it was the weather. That morning, when I woke up and looked at my clock, it was 8am. I turned to ask Akber to check his watch and I heard a muffled ‘8am.’ But how could it be? There were no rays of bright morning light sneaking past my shutters. Maryam, my dependable alarm clock, had failed me that morning as well. She was fast asleep.

I opened the shutters and the scene that greeted me was one I hadn’t experienced for a while, probably won’t see it again in the forseeable future. Dewy mist, grey skies, hazy views, crisp air, even some rain. Some….not a lot. And not for long. But we savored it whilst we could. Until it makes an appearance again. Some day……

And so to welcome the cooler climes in Dubai, I developed these three fall recipes for BBC Good Food Middle East using apples. Although I instantly think of desserts baking when I imagine apples, I enjoyed experimenting with it versatility by using it in a salad and soup as well.

From the three recipes, this one for apple cinnamon bundt cakes is my favorite, the one that excited me the most. It’s as though cinnamon was created to be used with apples. Almost like you can’t have one without the other. A lasting reunion.

I used some homemade applesauce that Maryam normally eats with her banana and porridge for breakfast. I wished I had added some whole chunks of apple in the batter. Next time. There surely will be a next time. Perhaps I’ll rock that happy marriage of apple and cinnamon by replacing it with some cardamom?

In other news, I have made some minor changes to the way I have laid out blog posts. You might see some pops of colors here and there. The recipes can also be printed out by clicking on the recipe card at the bottom. Color is such an important part of food, of photography and of nurturing creativity and that’s what I am hoping to do.

I was inspired by this post Rosie wrote on art, color and inspiration which introduced me to the beautiful concept of Design Seeds. It is as though color is for the eyes what music is for the ears. You can get lost in both these sites and happily spend hours looking at various color palettes that you may never have imagined. Do you like the new changes here on Sips and Spoonfuls? I would love to hear your opinion.

Click on the recipe card to print.

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A Birthday Weekend in Ras al Khaimah, a New Life and a Banana Cake With Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Frosting

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We have never been big birthday celebrators. In fact, to date I can only remember two birthdays that have stood out for me- the first was in my early teens when my Mum planned a surprise party for and as cliched as it may sound, I have never been so surprised and overwhelmed. The second was fairly recently when I received some shocking news regarding my health on my birthday. 

But this birthday was different. We decided to spend the weekend relaxing, eating and playing- and resting. We’ll definitely be needing the rest in just a few months time. You see, I’ve been wanting to share this news with you all for quite some time. But I waited…..and waited.

Until now I can no longer fit into my regular clothes. I eat at odd times, have unusual cravings. I’m constantly hungry, sometimes irritable, always grateful though- grateful to feel the vibrations of tiny kicks inside me, kicks that make me toss and turn at night, kicks that reassure me everything is OK.

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Me and Akber are so excited to welcome a new little lamb to our family very soon and Maryam can’t wait to become a big sister. She talks to her new sibling everyday but isn’t excited at giving up her crib or high chair just yet.

So since traveling abroad is no longer an option, we decided to load up the car with family and spent a lazy weekend in Ras al Khaimah. We started the day with a pancake cake that I had made the night before. As usual, Maryam assumed it was her birthday and insisted on blowing out the candles. I promise to share that recipe soon but I couldn’t get any good shots with all the commotion in the morning.

On arriving in Ras al Khaimah, the views from our hotel were breathtaking, magnificent. The hotel is perched on a cliff and scenes of endless blue seas beckon at its feet. We headed straight to the beach- sunk our feet into the hot clammy sand, built sandcastles and collected shells. When Maryam wasn’t busy burying herself in the sand, she was splashing in the pool, playing with the gentle break of the waves. We rested lots and played cards.

In between all that, there was lots of eating- we had fresh fish, cheesecakes, paper thin crepes filled with maple syrup, pear and almond tarts and exotic Lebanese platters. All washed down with the freshest juices. And of course ice cream to cool off.

We had a fabulous weekend, a birthday to remember. And of course, my last as a mother of one. Today I’m sharing with you one of my latest cravings- a homely banana cake. It really is the best recipe for banana cake I have ever eaten or baked. Try it- you must!

And be sure, that in the coming few months, many sweet cravings will be shared in this space. Can’t wait for another wee baker to join our family.

Banana Cake With Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/12 cups buttermilk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

For the frosting:
225 gms cream cheese
3 tbs butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
3 tbs passion fruit pulp (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Centigrade. Grease and flour 2 loaf tins or one 9×13 inch pan. Mash bananas mixed with lemon juice and set aside. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the mashed bananas.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or so or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Place the cake into the freezer as soon as it comes out of the oven for 45 minutes. Frost when completely cool.

To make the frosting, mix all the ingredients together and beat on high speed until light and airy.

Banana Cake Recipe minimally adapted from

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Cappuccino Cupcakes With Whipped Cream Frosting

What did you want to be when you grew up? Me….. well, that depended on what age you asked me. When I was around six or eight, my most favorite thing to do was gather all my play china, build a tent out of bed sheets and play families with my neighbor. Funnily enough, I always wanted to be the Mummy who would cook and bake and make exotic things in the play kitchen.

All that changed when I was twelve or thirteen. Summers were spent in London with my grandparents and besides strawberries, trips to Alton Towers and Trafalgar Square, there was also the lure of Wimbledon tennis. I got my first crush……..on a tennis player!

I became obsessed with tennis. I bought my first racket, my first white skirt and wanted to be a tennis player. Even a ball girl would have been ok. I spent hours in front of the television and begged and pestered my grandparents to take me to watch a game live.

Then came the modeling years. I was always tall for my age and towered over the rest of my peers at school . My family would tease me that I should become a model and the idea stuck in my head. I spent hours locked in the bathroom trying on my mum’s make up and pinning my hair in different styles. I even cut my own fringe and threw the hair out of the window. That phase ended when I forgot to lock the bathroom door and my mum caught me looking like a drag queen.

Finally came the time to choose my ‘real’ career. I was excelled at English Literature at school and loved looking for hidden meanings and messages behind words. However, my parents weren’t too keen on me studying Literature at university so I finally settled on Optometry.

And so I have had many such phases in life where I’ve constantly felt like reinventing myself, learning new skills, craving new aspirations, discovering new talents and…….just enjoying life. I wrote all this because even though I have never met Emma in real life, I am so proud that she is following her dreams and aspirations- to become a pastry chef.

Emma, I wish you all the best. You have achieved so much in a short space and I can see many wonderful things in your future. I hope you enjoy these coffee cupcakes with a light whipped cream frosting. Airy and spongy…….with just the right amount of kick.

You can find the recipe for these scrumptious cappuccino cupcakes here.  Also the worldwide giveaway for the Braun hand held blender is still running so if you haven’t taken part yet, you can do so here.

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Strawberry Muffins

There are certain foods that I absolutely love- beans, potatoes, bananas. And of course strawberries. Maryam agrees with me here, she relishes all these as well. One of her first words was ‘strawbido’- her way of saying strawberry! This was not the way I planned it- it just happened, a mother communicating to her child even before she is born, the wonders of nature. Or just fluke? I’d like to think it’s the former.

 Perhaps I passed it down to her as that is all I consumed during the first six months I was pregnant. I detested all forms of meat and poultry then. I went through periods where all I ate were certain foods such as apples. Only green apples mind you. Then it was apples but peeled, And of course, I couldn’t bear to peel them myself. Akber willingly obliged. Anything for his princess he said- Princess Maryam that is, not me. I had several such love affairs with different fruits, vegetables and chocolate of course.

When we visited the market last weekend, Maryam spotted the strawberries from afar and squealed, ‘Mummy, look- strawbido.’ She perched over the table that was much higher than her, her head barely peering over the top, balancing like a seasoned ballerina. She quickly grabbed a box before I could even ask how much. The farmer knew her as we had visited his farm just the week before and laughed as she dashed off with her treasure.

 I grabbed two more boxes as the market will only be running for a few more weeks. I find the strawberries so unlike the ones you get at the supermarket. They are much more petite, definitely more ripe and their aroma permeated the car, lingering for days- dainty, just the way nature intended them to be.

We came home hungry and excited to bake. And photograph. And to eat of course. Maryam couldn’t wait for me to bake strawberry muffins so she ate hers plain. She systematically hulled them by biting off the tops and then popping the rest into her mouth in a very orderly fashion. I promised Maryam the strawberries would transform into a magical dessert later that day. I opted to make muffins for us. I had to be a real wizard in the kitchen with only a few hours before Maryam would awake from her afternoon nap.

We enjoyed this as our tea time snack- I took photos as she munched away on the high chair, the muffins keeping her busy and out of trouble. I loved the fact that they were airy and not too sweet. In fact, I’m munching on the last one as I sit here and type this post.
Can you smell the aroma of strawberries yet?

Strawberry Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade and line a muffin tray with paper liners. In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Lastly, fold in the strawberries and whisk until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the muffin liners until 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for 20- 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from muffin tray and cool on a rack.

Makes 16 muffins.

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Frosting For The Cause- Cinnabon Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Glaze

I came across Frosting for the Cause on Twitter and as soon as I read about Paula’s mission. I knew I wanted to be involved. For much of my life, I have been lucky enough not to have had a close brush with cancer. None of my close friends or close family had been affected. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer before I was born but that’s as close as it got.

I lived a carefree and happy life until on my 27th birthday, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I’m a very private person and this is the first time I’m opening up about my fight with cancer. Many of my closest friends don’t know I had it!  And what a shock that it was to hear those words- ‘I’m sorry- the results are in and it’s Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.”

No 27 year old would ever think that they would get affected by this horrible disease and no 27 year old should have to hear those words. I had just had a baby and believe it or not, my first reaction was- I’m going to lose my beautiful long hair! 

I had chemotherapy for four months (and yes, I did lose most of my hair!) and radiation for one month. I’m happy to say I’ve been in remission for over a year. My purpose for writing this post is to tell you that YOU need to be vigilant and be your own advocate. Check your body for lumps regularly and if you suspect anything, then get it checked out. NOW.

I was lucky enough that I was diagnosed at an early stage. The earlier you go, the better your prognosis. And be positive, have hope. Paula put it best in her first post for Frosting For A Cause that cancer patients are draped in a pashmina of hope, right from the time they initially find a lump to …… forever. Hope helped me overcome my fear- my fear of what chemo would be like, my fear of pain and needles, my fear of losing my hair. Hope made me stronger- stronger physically knowing that the pain would end at some point, mentally stronger and more positive so I could beat cancer. Hope made me look forward to the next day-  plan my baby’s first birthday, celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary, make sure I was cured so I could attend my sister’s wedding. Hope brought my family together and I live in hope that this was my last encounter with cancer. And I’m sure we all collectively hope that a cure for cancer is found soon. 

It was because of my brush with cancer that I started this blog and took a keen interest in photography. I needed a distraction and now it’s become a passion. For that, I will forever be grateful. Today, I’m going to share with you a recipe for Cinnabon Cupcakes with a Cream Cheese Glaze. If you like the classic cinnabon rolls, you will love these cupcakes. The cake itself is super moist with a tender crumb and the frosting is basically a clone of the original in my opinion. I have made the frosting slightly runny so it is more like a glaze that you get at Cinnabon, but you can always just use your favourite cream cheese frosting that will stand up to piping.  

You can catch the recipe here. And now onto the the giveaway winner, picked comment # 33 as the winner. Please email me on to claim your prize as your comment or profile does not have your email address. You have until Monday 21st February to do so. Otherwise, another winner will be picked.

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7 Desserts 7 Days- Bounty Chocolate Cupcakes With a Velvety Dark Chocolate Frosting

How could I do a blogathon on Valentine’s Day desserts and NOT include a cupcake. There was no chance of that. The only trouble was deciding on which cupcake recipe to post and the list was endless. Strawberry cupcakes was my first thought. Then I also wanted to post about an amazing white chocolate, almond and raspberry cupcake with mascarpone frosting. But I finally settled on this one because of how easy it is to make and the fact that it is slightly unusual.

Bounty is one of my favourite chocolates so the thought of it in a cupcake form had me excited. If you do a google search on this though, barely any hits will come up with this type of cupcake flavour which really surprises me. What’s their not to love about a gooey coconut centre loving wrapped in silky smooth chocolate?

But I wish I could say that I caame up with this novel idea. A few months back, I did a few cooking lessons in Tanzania with a lovely lady I call Naju Aunty. She has a catering business and teaches one to one classes as well. When I saw this cake on the menu, I was beyond thrilled. I used her filling recipe to a T but changed the chocolate cupcake part as I feel mine is much easier to make and is more moist. The chocolate part of this recipe is actually my Moist One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe. With regards to the filling, the key is to fold in the dessicated coconut into the filling just before it’s time to put it into the muffine tray- or you’ll be left with a soggy deflated mess.

The frosting for this cupcake is smooth and velvety melt in your mouth- and so it should be with the amount of chocolate in it.  Its hard to tell from the photos as I put them in the fridge to set (not a good idea!) but once they were back to room temprature, it has a beautiful sheen to it. A light garnish with coconut flakes would be perfect but I had none left

Tomorrow’s post is going to be full of passion….literally! Stay tuned! And if you haven’t yet taken part in the fabulous worldwide giveaway currently running on the blog, all you have to do is go here.

Bounty Chocolate Cupcakes With a Velvety Dark Chocolate Frosting

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup +2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
1 egg
For the filling:
2 eggs
2 tbs water
6 tbs icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup sweetened dessicated coconut
For the frosting (from Martha Stewart):
1/4 cup + 1/2 tbs Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup + 1/2 tbs boiling water
2 1/4 sticks butter, room temperature
1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
340 gms semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Centigrade and put liners into your muffin tray. In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Create a well in the centre and add all the rest of the ingredients except coffee. Mix well until combined and then add coffee. Mix once again.
To make the filling, beat the eggs and water using the wire whip in your stand mixer until light and foamy. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and baking powder and whip until combined. Add the dessicated coconut just before you want to add the filling to your muffin liners.

Pour the cake batter into your muffin liner until 1/3 full, add 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture followed by a little more of the cake batter. Your liner should be at least 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, mix the cocoa and water until well combined. Beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the cooled chocolate and cocoa mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed. I put the frosting in the fridge for 5 minutes so it hardened enough for me to frost.
This recipe will make 14 cupcakes.

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Apple Pie Cupcakes

Before I start with the details of this divine recipe, let me share some information with you. I, like anyone else placed on this earth, have some heroes in my life. For different aspects of life, I have different heroes. Of course, I have the normal people who I look up to in life. My gorgeous Mommy and my adorable Dad – my kind brothers… But when it comes to food. I have some other kind of heroes. My Mum has always been my go-to for cooking ideas… But there are more. Every single day, I check up on my heroes and make sure they’re sprucing something up in their kitchen to amaze me with. And lo and behold, every single day, I’m taken to heaven and back with what they’ve cooked up in their kitchen. The list of my kitchen heroes are growing. But some of my *top* heroes are: Pioneer Woman, Annies Eats, Bakerella, Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker. Oh, how I love y’all (of course, the food-kinda-love), even if I wanted, I couldn’t count the ways… So most of my recipe ideas are from their sites. I’m a believer in giving credit where it’s due, so I just had to add that most of my recipes will be taken straight outta their kitchen. Do yourself a favor, and all the people living in your house and visit their blogs. You – won’t – regret – it. 

Now on to the real stuff. I love cupcakes. I have a thing for them. A real thing. My husband loves apples. He has a thing for them. A real thing. Anything apple-y. So when I saw this posting for Apple Pie Cupcakes on Annie’s site (I talk like we go way back!) – I had to make them. I was smitten with the texture of the cupcake, and the taste. Be warned though, I got way more than 24 cupcakes with this recipe. I got 24 cupcakes and 6 Texas size muffins. 


Apple Pie Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
For the apple filling:
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp Apple Pie Spice (McCormick)
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp heavy cream  

1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°.  
2. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  
6. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine.  
7. Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.
8. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3-3/4 full.  
9. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
10. If you have any left-over batter, repeat the process of baking. Personally, I chose to make an additional 6 Texas Muffin Size cupcakes. 
11. To make the apple filling, heat the butter a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  
12. Add the cinnamon, Apple Pie spice and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble.  
13. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples.  Mix well.  Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.
14. While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake.  Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture.  To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.
15. To make the frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.  
16. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. 
17. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.
18. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  
19. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.  

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Monday Blues Cured by Red Velvet Love!

In this corner of the world – it’s Monday. And Monday is just one of my WORST days of the week. Note, I said one. THE worst day of the week for me is Sunday. I just hate hate hate Sundays. It’s a reminder, that Monday’s-a-comin’. And I almost ALWAYS bake something decadent, divine, insanely fattening on Sundays, so I can occupy my mind with lining cupcake pans, sifting flour and washing up my lovely kitchen-aid – and not worry about the day that’s dawning upon us! 

The original recipe is from Food Network – by Paula Deen. I’ve made these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting a gazillion times before, and they’re always a winner with kids and adults. The only changes I’ve made are with the frosting – I halved the recipe as the original just makes way too much. But this only applies if you’re going to ice them in a simple manner and be a tad stingy with the frosting (as my picture above). If you want an inch-high 1M gorgeous looking swirl, which I refrain from doing when I want to eat the cupcake, coz it goes straight to my hips, then you may just need the entire batch of icing! I hope you’ll be baking them this upcoming Sunday, to get rid of those Monday blues! Enjoy 🙂 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line cupcake pans with liners (this recipe yields 24 cupcakes).
3. In a bowl: sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Please don’t skip this step – it makes the cuppies extremely airy. 
4. In your fancy shmancy mixer, put the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla extract – beat until combined properly.
5. Add the dry ingredients, mix till smooth and thoroughly combined. 
6. Put batter into liners, until 2/3 full.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or when stick comes out clean. 
8. Remove from oven, let cool; in the meantime prepare your icing. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz) packet of cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Red Wilton Icing Color 
Red sprinkles

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. 
2. Add the vanilla extract, beat a little longer till silky lookin’. 
3. Add sugar in small batches and beat until well incorporated.
4. Add red tint, so that the icing can become pink.  
5. Increase speed to high and mix until very fluffy and light. 
6. Garnish with red sprinkles or anything else that tickles your fancy! 
7. Serve on a hot lookin’ platter… 🙂

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