Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. I made the mistake of being in Chicago yesterday. If you've never had this experience, let me just say don't do it. It was CRAZY. I decided that I really hate drunk green people.

Even though I was away from home, I still found time to make some special treats for the day. For the adults, I made these Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes. I got the recipe from TidyMom and let me just say that they were absolutely amazing.

Here's how I made them:


For the Cupcake:

  • 1 Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (not margarine)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

For the Chocolate-Caramel Ganache:

  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3.5 ounces caramels (about 10-12 candies unwrapped)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For Bailey's Buttercream:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1/4-1/3 heavy whipping cream


For the Bailey's Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large mixing bowl, add cake mix, eggs, butter, Bailey's, and milk. Mix on low until combined. Then mix on high for 2 minutes. Pour batter into paper lined cupcake pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.

For Chocolate Caramel Ganache:
Place chopped chocolate in medium bowl and set aside. Using a medium sauce pan, heat whipping cream and caramels over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels have melted completely. Pour caramel cream over chocolate and stir until melted.

For Bailey's Buttercream
In large mixing bowl, cream shortening and vanilla for 2-4 minutes. Add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Combine Bailey's with cream in measuring cup and slowly add to sugar mixture, using more cream for a creamier consistency and less for a stiff consistency.

To Assemble:
Using a sharp knife, cut out a cone shaped section of the cupcake and set it next to each cupcake. Fill each cupcake hole with ganache. Cut the top off of each cone and cap the ganache hole in each cupcake. Top cupcakes with the buttercream. Garnish with remaining ganache.

I was able to take the cupcakes with me to Chicago. My friends and I enjoyed them on the train ride up and in our hotel. Even though the streets were full of crazy drunk people, I did make my way through them and got to see the green Chicago River.

To quote Marshall Biggs in The Fugitive, "If they can dye the river green today, why can't they dye it blue the other 364 days of the year?"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

I'm just going to come right out and say it ... I LOVE peanut butter. If I ever developed a peanut allergy, you might as well just shoot me. A good snack for me is a jar of peanut butter and a spoon.

I've made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream many times ... and they never disappoint. So this time I thought I'd make a peanut butter cupcake. And what goes better with peanut butter ... other than chocolate ... then jelly.

This is what I came up with ...

I used Martha Stewart's peanut butter cupcake recipe.

Peanut Butter Cupcake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Make cupcakes as directed in Basic Cupcake How-To, adding peanut butter before adding eggs. use sour cream and vanilla as wet ingredients.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp heavy cream

Cream butter and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl, mix on high speed for a minute, then add extract. Mix again before adding the heavy cream. Mix on high speed for 3 minutes.

Put a dollop of jam (I used Smucker's Strawberry jam) on top of each cupcake. Then swirl the peanut butter buttercream around the jam.

These cupcakes were amazing. Nobody in my family could seem to eat more than one ... and then a big glass of milk was needed. I will definitely have to make these again.


My friend Holly has three daughters. Being a mother of two boys, I can't even imagine having three girls. While I'm busy carting my boys to baseball practice and track meets, Holly is busy running her girls to dance competitions. That is such a foreign world to me.

Today, Holly's oldest daughter is having her 11th birthday party and she asked me to make cupcakes for the event. Katie's favorite colors are lime green and blue, and she really likes cows. So, of course, I needed to make cow cupcakes.

Holly requested a vanilla cupcake, so I made my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, which can be found here, and my favorite vanilla buttercream. The tricky part was the cows. Here's how I made them.

I started off with some marshmallow fondant that I had left over from my latest zebra cake. I rolled out the white, and using a round cookie cutter, cut out 30 white disks.

Next, I used a 1M tip to cut out pink disks for the cows' noses. The bottom of a small paint brush was the perfect size to make little nostril indentions. I then cut out cow spots from my black fondant.

I used my fondant letter cutters for some of the spots and for the ears. I used the letter "I" for the ears and the letter "K" for some of the spots. For the big spots, I just tried to cut random shapes. I'm really not good with random ... I have a degree in mathematics - I'm always looking for a pattern ... so the spots really took longer than they needed to. After "glueing" all the parts down,  I used a black food writer to make the eyes. I think the cows look very friendly.

When it came time to assemble these little cuties, I loaded a piping bag fit with a grass tip up with "lime green" frosting. It looked lime green in the piping bag, but not so much on the cupcake.

Cows graze in grass ... right? So covering the cupcakes with "grass" seemed like the right idea.

While the icing was still wet, I carefully placed a cow disk on the top.

To complete the look, I piped a "K" for Katie on top of the non-face cupcakes.

Katie's response to the cupcakes ... "Those are the coolest things ever!"

Happy Birthday Katie!!!!