Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Okay, so today I really had no excuse to bake... Except that I wanted these...
It's finals week! A girl can bake and eat her stress away about a Chemistry final, right?

You're going to have to excuse the crappy photography that goes along with this post. I ran out of natural light, and the lights in my kitchen like to make everything look unappetizing- the complete opposite of what should happen in a kitchen- but nothing else could be done. You'll just have to trust me on this one; these were AWESOME. I love to bake, but I don't usually like what I make. Today was an exception.

The best part is that these were super simple! I just used a recipe for the cupcakes from a Betty Crocker cookbook and I found an amazing frosting on Food Gawker (if you haven't seen this website before, go. Now. It's like food porn. Wait, I probably shouldn't say that on my blog. Too late.)

Okay, seriously bad picture. I know. I'll just stop with this madness and get on to the recipe. Cool? Okay, cool.

What you'll need-

For the cupcakes:
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
To make cupcakes: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat all the ingredients in a large bowl on low for 30 seconds, then beat on high for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour into baking liners, then bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Wait until cupcakes are cooled completely before frosting.
What you'll need for the frosting:
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
To make frosting:
  1. In a bowl, beat one stick of butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes.) 
  2. Add sugar and continue to beat on low, then add vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, melt half a stick of butter and the chocolate for about 20 seconds and stir until smooth.
  4. Slowly beat the chocolate mixture into the butter and sugar mixture for two more minutes at medium speed.
  5. Spread on cupcakes and enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Angry Bird Cucpakes

Today is my favorite brother (to be fair, I only have one brother), Cooper's 8th birthday! I remember on this day, what seems so many years ago... My mom came into my room to tell us her water broke, to which I reacted by jumping up so high I hit my head on my bunk bed, while my sleepy sister Morgan simply mumbled "What happened to your sink?" It was a very exciting day and I've loved every minute of having a little brother... Including the moments where I've wanted to tear my hair out when he's being annoying!

Anyways...Since my mom and her boyfriend are jetting off to Mexico (lucky ducks!) on Friday, we celebrated Cooper's birthday on Saturday. Since I'm the baking addict, it was up to me to come up with his cake.

Tada! Cooper is obsessed with the game Angry Birds, that can be found for iPhones, iPads, and you know all those other Mac products. With a little bit of help from Google, I was able to come up with these!

I can tell you right now that I have no future as a cake decorator, but these were sure fun to make.

The best part was that these were pretty easy to make! I started out by simply baking a box of vanilla cupcakes, because Cooper is weird and doesn't like chocolate cake... Well, he is only half-related to me. Something had to be off with him. Once I baked the cupcakes, I grabbed a tub of frosting and split it up into four separate bowls to dye the frosting.

Once I frosted the cupcakes, it was time for sprinkles! My mom had a tough time finding tubs of just one solid color sprinkles, but was luckily able to go up to the bakery at the grocery store and they sold them to us. The sprinkles act as feathers for the birds, and the best way to get the cupcakes "feathered" up was to simply dunk them in the sprinkles.

Next I cut marshallows in half and flattened them, so they could be placed on the red and blue cupcakes to act as the bellies for the birds.
To put together a bird: Place half a flattened marshallow on the bottom of the bird. Cut orange gummies into thirds for the beaks, and place one beak above the belly. Slice mini marshallows in half, and press into frosting for eyes. With a toothpick and frosting, attach mini chocolate chip to eyes. For the angry eyebrows, either slice up black licorice pieces, or go for black licorice rope. I added some other sprinkles and jelly beans above the eyebrow to complete the Angry Bird look.

I also made the pigs! I started by covering  half a marshallow in frosting, and sticking it on the cupcake for the snout, then placing mini chocolate chips for the nostrils. The eyes are the same as the bird's, with half a mini marshmallow and mini chocolate chips. The teeth were created by slicing a mini marshmallow into fourths. Finally the ears are just Sweet Tart jelly beans and I threw some green sprinkles on at the end to complete the piggies!
All in all, I think these were pretty awesome- even with my amateur decorating skills. Oh, but I wasn't alone with this decorating. I must give some of the credit to Noah, who probably didn't expect that I'd post this next picture of him!

Well anyways, Happy Monday and happy birthday to Cooper! I'm going back to bed. Enjoy!