Tag Archives: cupcakes

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

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My coworker has been asking me for months to bake him a Birthday treat so now that the day has finally come he requested strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. I wish I had the time this week to test and create a new Primal recipe for this occasion, but things were jam-packed so I had to stick with a recipe I knew would work the first time around. I have perfected my primal chocolate cupcakes, which I still need to share with all of you, and soon will set out on experimenting with a primal yellow cupcake. For now, you’ll have to settle for this flour-filled version, that I must say was quite tasty!

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Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes (Adapted from Doughmesstic) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Makes a dozen cupcakes)

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 c. organic sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, pods scraped out
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. cake flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temp.
  • 1/2 c., plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk (I made my own non-dairy version by adding 1/2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar to organic coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 large organic strawberries, diced small

For the Frosting/Topping:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 large organic strawberries, quartered

Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 340 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside.

Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl with the butter.  Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 2 more minutes.

Add the sugar to the butter mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat for 1 additional minute.  In a separate bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another minute. Using a spatula fold the diced strawberries into the batter.

Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling around 3/4 full.  Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans.

Make the Frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Assemble the Cupcakes: Using a piping bag and tip, top each cupcake with a healthy amount of the cream cheese frosting.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Add brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs and stir well,  Sprinkle the mixture onto the frosting. Place a quartered strawberry on top of each cupcake.

IMAG0312 IMAG0311 As you can see, my strawberry chunks settled to the bottom, so try to be strategic about spooning your batter in the pan with more strawberries at the top. You could also skip folding them into the batter and place them once you’ve already spooned the batter into the cupcake pan. Nonetheless they still tasted great!

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Kitchen Faerie Primal Carrot Cupcakes

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This post has been a long time coming! Back when I was just thinking of starting my blog and had chosen a name for myself, my dear friend Lauren came to visit me, and as a housewarming gift she brought me the cutest fairy princess baking kit with cupcake liners and little fairy cupcake inserts! She knows me all too well. It was the perfect gift to start my journey as the Kitchen Faerie! So I decided I definitely needed to make a primal cupcake for these magical cupcake liners. Even though carrots are not a staple in the primal diet, I decided to go with a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting since the carrots would add their natural sweetness to the cake making refined sugar unnecessary. And by all means, these cupcakes are not something to eat regularly, but merely a primal treat that is far better for you than traditional cupcakes for those rare indulgent moments.IMAG0182

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But then I got really busy and kept putting this task off. But when I brought my brand new beautiful teal stand mixer home from Christmas, I knew this would be the first thing I’d create in it. And I even got a matching mini chopper and these adorable ceramic measuring spoons. I put all three to use right away with this recipe–this faerie was very happy!IMAG0179IMAG0181-1 (1) IMAG0185-1

Primal Carrot Cupcakes (Adapted by Cupcake Project) (Difficulty-Easy; Makes 12 cupcakes)

Read more at http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2012/03/paleo-diet-carrot-cupcakes-gluten-free.html#UHsEfrkYO0QWREEL.99

  • 1 1/2 c blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 organic free-range eggs, at room temp.
  • 1/4 c organic pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 c organic carrots, grated
  • 1/2 c pureed dates
  • 2/3 c organic dried cranberries or raisins (raisins have less added sugar)
  • 1/3 c pure apple cider
  • 2/3 c coarsely chopped walnuts

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (Difficulty-Easy; Frosts ~12 cupcakes)

  • 8 0z. cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c pure organic maple syrup
 Make the cupcakes:  Preheat oven to 325 F. Using a mini chopper or food processor, puree the dates into a thick paste and set aside. Pour the cranberries or raisins into a small bowl, add the apple cider, and set aside. This helps to reinstate the dried fruit and make it more plump. It also adds a little extra flavor!
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In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, maple syrup, and oil. Fold the carrots and dates into the wet ingredients. IMAG0187

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Strain the cranberries or raisins from the cider, and fold into the batter along with the walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between 12 cupcake liners. Bake at 325 F for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

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Make the Frosting: Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and maple syrup. Spoon frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes or simply spread with a frosting knife and give them their faerie wings!
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Beer Treats! Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Whiskey Ganache and Irish Cream Frosting + Salted Caramel Pretzel Thumbprint Cookies

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I promise this is the last non-primal post for a while! I did a lot of cheating over the holidays and who doesn’t love to indulge every now and then? When I got to LA, the first friends I made were self-proclaimed “beer nerds.” Not to mention they love food too (and whiskey)! Obviously I fit right in with this crowd and was soon invited to one of their beer-tastings, where each person brings 2 or 3 22oz. bottles of delicious, high quality craft beer. Each beer is divided between however many guests there are. Basically it’s like wine tasting for the beer connoisseur. Since then, we have managed to do a tasting roughly once a month. 🙂 In fact, I am hosting this month. Just before we all left town for the holidays, we had a holiday-themed beer tasting. I had been wanting to try a Smitten Kitchen recipe for years for chocolate stout cupcakes with whiskey ganache and irish cream frosting (inspired by a car bomb). And I couldn’t think of a better crowd or setting for it! I also had my eye on the salted caramel pretzel thumbprint cookies from the holiday cookie edition of the Food Network magazine. So I got baking!

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Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Whiskey Ganache and Irish Cream Frosting (slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

(Difficulty-Medium; Makes ~10 cupcakes **I halved the original recipe**)

For the cupcakes:

1/2 c. stout beer (I used my favorite- Young’s Double Chocolate Stout)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp. 
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c.sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temp.
1/3 c. greek yogurt or sour cream

Whiskey Ganache:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 tsp. Irish whiskey (I used Jameson)

Irish Cream Frosting:

1 cup confections sugar (I reduced this from the original recipe as I found it much too sweet when combined with the Baileys)
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3  Tbsp. Baileys

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake cups with liners (I found cute red and green striped ones at Michaels which I had to buy!). Bring stout and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

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Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric or stand mixer, beat eggs and greek yogurt in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

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To make the ganache, chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains.) Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

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Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped,. about 10-20 minutes if you stick it the fridge. Meanwhile, using a serrated knife or 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer (I didn’t have one), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes about 2/3 of the way to the bottom, being careful not to cut all the way through. I ate these pieces to make sure the cupcake was edible. 😉 Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

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For the frosting, whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Pour in the Baileys and whip it until combined. This frosting has a nice thick texture and holds up well when piped. Ice and decorate the cupcakes. I used a star tip and made little stars everywhere (which coincidentally ended up looking a little like snow balls) and used a microplane to shave some dark chocolate on the top.

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Salted Caramel Pretzel Thumbprint Cookies (courtesy of Food Network Magazine)

(Difficulty-Easy; Makes ~2 dozen cookies)

  • 1 1/2 c. broken thin pretzel sticks
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. fine salt
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. fleur de sel or caramel sauce (I loved this one at Trader Joes)
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Put 1/4 cup pretzels in a resealable plastic bag and crush into coarse crumbs with a rolling pin.

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks, honey, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl, then add to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour and pretzel crumbs and beat until just combined.

IMG_3929 Put the remaining 1 1/4 cups pretzels in the resealable bag and roughly crush with the rolling pin; spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough on top and roll into balls, pressing so the pretzels adhere. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

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 Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets; make a deep indentation in each with your thumb. Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Re-indent with the back of a teaspoon, if necessary. Let cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Fill each indentation with dulce de leche and sprinkle with sea salt. This cookie is a perfect combination of salty and sweet. And what goes with beer better than pretzels?!

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