Category Archives: Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes | Pale YellowBIRTHDAY CUPCAKES!!!!  Another year, another round of cupcakes. I saw this recipe a few years ago on Joy the Baker when she made these cupcakes for her thirtieth birthday.  I was saving the recipe for a special occasion and here is the special occasion – it’s my birthday, my 3oth birthday!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes | Pale YellowWell, tomorrow is my actual birthday and I have a full post dedicated to that, but I celebrated (I should really say I had my first birthday celebration) Friday with cupcakes and champagne on Jackie’s deck before leaving for Costa Rica.  I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak, but I do like to be in control, so making making, planning, and celebrating my birthday is my favorite thing.  “You can sing to me now.”

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes | Pale YellowA moist, tender, and surprisingly vegan chocolate cake with a peanut butter cookie dough filling.  Those are my favorite things.  Why make a plain vanilla or chocolate cupcake when you can make a cupcake with different fillings and flavors?!?!  Plus, the marshmallow topping gave me an excuse to break out my mini blow torch, mini blow torches are the MOST fun you can have in the kitchen! If you don’t have a mini blow torch, you could probably use the broiler, but that’s not as fun and I’m not good with broilers.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes | Pale Yellow4Old birthday cupcakes include these from 29 and these loveys from 28.  Life is good! I am so very blessed/fortunate/lucky to live a life with a lovely kitchen suited to my baking needs and great friends & family to share said goodies with. These are fantastic cupcakes my friends! You should definitely whip yourself up a batch!!!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 12

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, special dark
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup cold water

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Marshmallow Frosting
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extractChocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda, and salt onto parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla and vinegar. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the dough evenly between the twelve cupcake tins.  Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.
  6. Cookie Dough – Cream the butter and sugars together until light and creamy.  You can use a mixer, but I just used a bowl and wooden spoon.  Cream in the peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir in the flour, soda, and salt.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Use a teaspoon scoop to portion the cookie dough into 12 balls.  Roll the dough into balls and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
  8. Frosting – Add a little water to a small saucepan.  Place the egg whites, sugar, and corn syrup into the bowl of your stand mixer.  Whisk together and place the bowl over the simmering water.
  9. Heat and whisk until the the mixture is no longer gritty.  Remove from the heat and whip with the whisk attachment until your reach stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
  10. Beat in the salt and vanilla.
  11. Assembly – Cut a cone out each cupcake, place a cookie dough ball in the indent.  Add the frosting to a piping bag with a star tip and pipe a generous swirl on each cupcake.
  12. Use a small blow torch to brown the frosting.Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes | Pale Yellow
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Mudslide Cupcakes

mudslide cupcakes | pale yellowThe healthy eating challenge is officially over; the last two days were a complete disaster and I essentially gave up.  The only part of the cleanse I have stuck to with some determination is the complete lack of alcohol.  This maybe the longest period I can remember going out without booze,  I suspect my tolerance is going to go down real low.

mudslide cupcakes | pale yellowI’m disappointed in the healthy eating challenge/cleanse.  I expected to have an enormous burst of energy to get me on the right track for grad school and to clean out my internal works.  Those two goals were not reached; I feel bloated and all backed up.  Plus, I’ve been lackluster for two weeks and have been completely exhausted.

mudslide cupcakes | pale yellowHopefully the juice cleanse I started Sunday will take care of the bloat.  This weekend, when my mom, aunts, and cousin are visiting, it will be the start of the month of excess.   Some of the major events include their visit, end-of-the-school-year celebrations, Costa Rica, my birthday, four days of intensive grad school, and finally Aruba.  And yes, I’ll definitely be ready for a second cleanse after that!

mudslide cupcakes | pale yellowEnough cleansing talk.  Let’s talk about something that is the complete opposite of a cleanse – BOOZY CUPCAKES!  These were made for the SSS potluck and final meeting for the year.  Another member, and soon to be bride, requested Irish car bomb cupcakes, but I’m over them, so I made a different version of tiny, boozy cupcakes.  The chocolate cupcake portion is moist, tender, and has the slightest hint of Baileys and Kahlua.  A little mudslide flavored ganache adds more chocolate goodness and extra richness!  Finally, you can’t go wrong with a double dose of Swiss meringue buttercream, half Kahlua & chocolate and the other half Baileys.  As always, cupcakes like these are my favorite thing to make and a complete labor of love.mudslide cupcakes | pale yellow

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Mudslide Cupcakes
Yield – 48 mini cupcakes
Adapted from Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes & Chocolate & Vanilla Twist Cupcakes

Cupcakes
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon espresso powder

Mudslide Ganache
scant 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate (a 10 ounce bag of chocolate chips minus 1/2 a cup saved for the frosting)
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 tablespoons vodka

Mudslide Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 tablespoons Kahlua

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line the cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
  3. Beat together the eggs, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.  Beat in the Kahlua and Irish Cream.
  4. Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.
  5. Add the espresso powder to the water and stir to combine.  Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners using a 1-tablespoon scoop.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Ganache – Build a double boiler and add all the ingredients.  Heat and stir until the chocolate is melted.  Let cool slightly.
  9. Assemble a piping bag with an injection tip.  Inject about 1/2 teaspoon into each cupcake. Save the extra ganache.
  10. Frosting – Set up a double boiler by adding a small amount of water to a small saucepan.
  11. Place the bowl of a stand mixer on the small saucepan and add the egg whites, sugar, and salt to the bowl.  Heat and whisk until the mixture is no longer gritty.
  12. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and the bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.
  13. Beat in the butter at medium-high speed one tablespoon at a time until everything is incorporated.  Scrape the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.
  14. Remove half the frosting.
  15. To the remaining frosting, add the Baileys and beat until well incorporated.  Remove from the mixing bowl and set aside.
  16. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals until just melted, let cool slightly. Beat into the rest of the frosting with the Kahlua.
  17. Add a star tip to a piping bag and place the Bailey’s frosting on one side and the Kahlua frosting on the other side.
  18. Pipe a swirl on each cupcake.
  19. Use the remaining ganache to pipe swirls of chocolate on top.mudslide cupcakes | pale yellow

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Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes | Pale YellowThis is my second recipe for lemon blueberry cupcakes.  Here is the first.  Sometimes it’s hard to think of a recipe that isn’t chocolate or vanilla, crazy and complicated, and/or boozy.  I was looking for cupcakes to bring to my group of hydroponic students to celebrate their last day.  It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I’ve baked students, I miss it!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes | Pale YellowWhen baking for students, recipes need to be kept simple and booze-free.  Kids seem to have more straight-forward tastes than adults.  My original was idea was to put spinach or cabbage or lettuce in cupcakes since that’s what they grew, but it sounded a little gross.  So I went for something bright, fresh, and springy.  Boom, lemon + blueberry it is.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes | Pale YellowI spent so much of my childhood avoiding blueberries and other foods, even cream cheese frosting.  Yes, at one point in my life I was so picky I wouldn’t even eat cream cheese frosting.  Luckily, I got over myself because there was so much goodness in the world I was missing out on!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes | Pale YellowThe cupcakes are moist, tender, and light.  Whenever I eat something with lemon, I sort of assume it’s healthier for me to consume.  The blueberries provide moisture and pockets of juicy goodness.  Adding a dreamy, lemon cream cheese frosting is the perfect choice to balance the sweetness and the tartness from the sugar and the lemons.  These should be your go-to treat whenever you’re looking for a delightful, springy dessert!Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Adapted from Budding Baketress
Yield – 18 cupcakes

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup blueberries, fresh
3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 lemon
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice, from 1 lemon
Blueberries + sugar for garnishing

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Toss the blueberries with 2 tablespoons of flour and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flours, powder and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, massage the sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar because soft and fragrant.  Add the butter and beat until pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the vanilla.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  5. Turn the mixer to low and add half the flour mixture.  Add the milk and then the remaining flour.  Mix until just combined.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  7. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter into the cupcake liners, they should be about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Frosting – In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments and beat to combine in between additions.
  10. Beat in the zest and lemon juice until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  11. Add the frosting to a piping bag with a large star tip.  Pipe a swirl on each cupcake.
  12. Toss the remaining blueberries in granulated sugar.  Place a few on each cupcake for garnish.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Samoa Cupcakes

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowAre you ready for the longest recipe I’ve ever published?  Seriously, this thing has 29 steps.  Every step is absolutely worth it and I would definitely make these again.  The word “would” was chosen carefully.  Normally, someone would say, “I will definitely make these again,” but as we all know, I try not to make the same recipe twice!

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowMaking everything for scratch is deeply satisfying.  All the steps and bowls and challenges – lovely!  At least it’s all lovely until you reach the clean up portion of baking.  Recipes like this really make me miss having a dishwasher, my little dish rack just can’t handle all the bowls.

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowNow that I work with a small staff, there are not many birthdays to celebrate and very few cupcakes to make.  Usually May is my busy month of birthdays with multiple cupcake recipes every week.  Not so much anymore.  I have a few occasions in the next few weeks and I’m pumped.  There will be some good recipes in the next two months!

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowThe cupcakes start with a delightful shortbread crust on the bottom; this is probably the best roll-out cookie recipe I’ve ever made!  It’s perfectly flaky and sweet, I’m glad there are leftover cookies in the freezer…

Samoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowA moist, tender chocolate cupcake is topped with a rich and decadent chocolate ganache.  The chocolate ganache is really just a glue for for the caramel (homemade, obvi) and toasted coconut topping.  To make the cupcakes perfect and just like the actual Samoa cookies, pipe four stripes of extra ganache on top.  For a lady that used to not like Samoa cookies, these cupcakes are fabulous and I could eat them all week!Samoa Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Samoa Cupcakes
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Cookie base from Just a Taste
Yield – 10 cupcakes

Shortbread Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Cupcakes
3 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
3 tablespoons hot water
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

Coconut Caramel Topping
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Chocolate Ganache
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

  1. Shortbread Cookies – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat for several minutes until light and creamy.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.  Add to the butter on the lowest speed and mix until just combined.
  4. Beat in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  6. On a floured surface roll the dough to 1/8” thickness.  Use a round cookie cutter the same size as the bottom of a cupcake liner to cut the dough.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies just begin to brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  There will be extra cookies.
  8. Chocolate Cupcakes – Place cupcake liners in your cupcake tin and place a shortbread cookie in the bottom of each liner.
  9. Add the cocoa and hot water to small bowl and stir together until the chocolate is dissolved and a paste forms, set aside.
  10. Whisk together the flour, soda, powder, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
  11. Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan until all the sugar is dissolved.  Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with a paddle attachment until the bowl is cool to the touch, about 4 minutes.
  12. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and cocoa mixture. Scrap the bowl as needed.
  13. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mix in three additions with the yogurt in in between.  Mix until just combined.
  14. Use a standard cupcake scoop to portion the batter between the cupcake liners.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  15. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  16. Coconut Caramel Topping – Butter a small dish liberally and line with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment paper.
  17. Add the cream, butter, and vanilla to a small saucepan.  Heat until combined and set aside.
  18. Add the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a separate saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook until a light golden color.  Stir in the cream mixture and cook until it reaches 248 ˚F.
  19. Pour into the prepared pan and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  20. Place the coconut on a foil lined cookie sheet at toast in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Check and stir frequently.
  21. Add the cooled caramel to a medium saucepan with the milk and salt.  Stir and and heat until the caramel has melted.
  22. Stir in the toasted coconut.
  23. Chocolate Ganache – Heat the cream until scalding and then pour over the chopped chocolate.  Cover for 5 minutes.
  24. Stir the ganache until all the chocolate is melted.  Stir in the coconut extract.
  25. Assembly – If the cupcake has a dome, cut it off to make a flatter cupcakes.
  26. Smear about one tablespoon of ganache on each cupcake and smooth with an offset spatula.
  27. Place 2 tablespoons of the coconut-caramel mixture on top of the ganache, smash down slightly.
  28. Add the remaining ganache to a baggie and pipe thing stripes over each cupcake.
  29. Store at room temperature.Samoa Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Vegan Key Lime Cheesecakes

vegan key lime cheesecake | pale yellowThis week should be called vegan week; all the recipes just happen to be vegan.  This wasn’t intentional, but fun never the less.  No worries, the recipes become exponentially less healthy as the week progresses.

vegan key lime cheesecake | pale yellowMonday was super healthful and a part of my daily life; Friday’s dessert is full of Oreo’s and vegan butter.  This is my life.  These little cheesecakes were my sweet treat when I was eating dairy free for a few weeks.  I stocked up on raw cashews and coconut oil to vegan bake my heart out.

vegan key lime cheesecake | pale yellowIt’s amazing what you can do with nuts and coconut milk – plant based eating can be quite spectacular!  Even though I’ve returned to dairy, I have visions of these dancing in head!  Vegan cheesecakes are best as a frozen treat to maintain their integrity, they become melty outside the freezer.  Just imagine, something like this on a stick, like a popsicle!

vegan key lime cheesecake | pale yellowI adore the graham cracker crust and the filling is so delightfully creamy.  These babies are tart with capital T!  I ran out of honey, so if I were you, I’d add a bit more honey or agave if that floats your boat.  Definitely taste and adjust.  However tart, vegan key lime cheesecakes are refreshing and lovely.

vegan key lime cheesecake | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Margarita Whoopie Pies

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Vegan Key Lime Cheesecakes
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Yield – 12 mini cheesecakes

1 sleeve of graham crackers
1/4 cup vegan butter (or regular)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 4-6 hours or overnight in water
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk, shaken
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/3 cup honey (agave is you want to be completely vegan)
squirt of electric green food coloring, optional
Coconut whipped cream and lime slices for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F and line 12 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.  Melt the butter and mix the two together.  Divide evenly between the cupcake tins. Use a small glass to press the crust down.  Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Drain the cashews and add to a blender with the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, lime juice, zest, and honey.  Blend until smooth.  Add the food coloring if desired.
  4. Pour evenly over the crusts and freeze for at least four hours.  Pull out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes before serving.  Top with whipped cream if desired.  Store in the freezer.

Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can full fat coconut milk, Thai Kitchens Organic
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
splash of vanilla

  1. Separate the solid coconut cream from the liquid.  Add the coconut cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Add the whipped cream the a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe a dollop on each tart.

vegan key lime cheesecake | pale yellow

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Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo CupcakeHere is a little peak into what I learned this weekend – I am not a party girl.  There were plenty of weekends in my early-mid twenties where I could stay out late for multiple nights in a row and be social for days.  Apparently not anymore and I am feeling it today.

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowNot that my “wild” weekend wasn’t worth it; it was a fantastic weekend.  And by wild I mean an all day spa service and champagne drinking type of situation.  Wild just got classy!  All those weekends of laying around and resting do not work as a banking system I can withdraw from when needed!  Needless to say, this is going to be a lazy week.

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowSometimes, when things are less busy, you want to make a cupcake with a lot of steps.  Lots of steps equals good times in the kitchen.  Sometimes you also need a small batch recipe that only yields six cupcakes.  These cupcakes were so tasty, I could’ve eaten twelve, but my pants can’t handle that situation!  Also, these cupcakes feature a new cooking method!  Those feel rare these days.

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowCaramelized white chocolate is a thing, an awesome thing.  Baking white chocolate until it becomes caramelized is super easy and changes the flavor of white chocolate from lackluster to spectacular.  All of a sudden the white chocolate has depth of flavor, nutty notes, and an amazing richness.  The possibilities for caramelized white chocolate are endless!

Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale YellowI made these cupcakes for Danielle because Jackie told me she liked Oreos and white chocolate; an excellent combination.  Think of this as a fancy-fied cookies and cream cupcakes.  The cake is rich and moist with a crunchy cookie on the bottom.  The frosting is sweet and flavorful.  As an added bonus, you can’t go wrong with caramelized white chocolate in the middle and drizzled on top.  These are definitely a special occasion cupcake or a cupcake to make an average day feel special!Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil
Yield – 6 cupcakes

Cupcakes
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Oreos, divided

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cupcake tins with liners.  Take three oreos and twist them in half, place half at the bottom of each liner, cream side up.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined.  In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.  Mix until just combined.  Chop up the remaining 3 Oreos and fold into the batter.
  4. Portion the batter into each cupcake liner, about 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool completely on a wire wrack.

Caramelized White Chocolate
8 ounces white chocolate, the bar kind, not the chips
1/3 cup coconut milk, full fat
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
extra Oreos for garnishCaramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

  1. Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache – Reduce the oven temperature to 225 ˚F and cover a baking sheet with foil.  Chop up the chocolate and place it on the foil.
  2. Bake for about 15-20 minutes total, removing the chocolate every five minutes to stir the chocolate with rubber spatula.  When the chocolate turns golden brown stop.
  3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just warm.  Add the caramelized white chocolate and stir until well combined.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Frosting – Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and creamy, for about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the powdered sugar and salt and beat until fluffy.  Beat in 1/2 cup of the caramelized white chocolate ganache.
  5. Assembly – Carve a cone in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1 1/2-2 teaspoons of the caramelized white chocolate ganache.  Cut the tip off the cones and place the top back on the cupcake.  
  6. Add the frosting to a piping bag and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.  
  7. Cut Oreos in half and place one half on each cupcake.
  8. Drizzle with the remaining caramelized white chocolate ganache over the top.
  9. Store in the fridge, but bring to room temperature before serving.Caramelized White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou what’s super condescending?  When you’re watching Netflix and after three episodes it asks you if you’re still watching.  Obviously, I’m still watching!  If I wasn’t walking I would walk away or press pause.  Stop judging me Netflix!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou know what’s more annoying than Netflix being condescending?  The rain.  Itt’s been raining for the past 24 hours, and there is really nothing better to do than watch TV.  April showers are certainly roaring along, at least it’s not snowing here like in Michigan…

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou know what is not annoying?  A Song of Ice and Fire!  ** Spoilers ** I’m finally reading book 5; Joffrey is dead, Jon Snow, Bran, & Tyrion are back in the picture, and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that everyone is going to die.  My only wish is that Arya and Sansa would get their names back.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowAnyway, these cupcakes were eaten on a sunny, non-condescending day, a day when Ruth and Chelsea came to visit.  We were able to do my favorite thing and go for a little walk on the beach. There was also a lot of eating.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowChelsea’s birthday was a weeks prior, so it was completely appropriate to celebrate with cupcakes of her choosing.  Root beer float cupcakes have been on my Pinterest board for awhile, so I was excited to make them.  All I needed was a little root beer extract.  I’m thrilled by the way the frosting came out.  The cupcakes are dark like root beer, the root beer flavored-frosting is on the outside to look like foam, and the plain frosting is in the middle to look like whipped cream.  The cupcakes really taste like a root beer float; all creamy, vanilla-y, and root beer-y.  These are a great way to turn your favorite beverage into dessert!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Single Girl Chocolate Cake

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Adapted from Dine and Dash
Frosting from Sweetapolita
Yield – 12 cupcakes

Root Beer Cupcakes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon root beer extract
splash of vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk

Vanilla & Root Beer Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon root beer extract

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat to the oven to 350 ˚F and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.  Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth.  Beat in the sugars for 2-3 minutes until pale yellow.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat in the extracts and applesauce.  Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Whisk together the flour, powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and add the flour in 3 batches with milk in between each addition of flour.  Mix until just combined.
  4. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter into each cupcake liner, they should be about half full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  6. Frosting – Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and place the bowl in a small pot of simmering water.  Whisk the sugars and egg whites until they are no longer gritty to the touch.  Add a pinch of salt.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pot and place in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Beat for about 10 minutes until the meringue is stiff and shiny and the bowl is cool to the touch.
  8. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, just keep beating until the mixture becomes completely creamy.
  9. Beat in the vanilla.  Add half the frosting to a piping bag with a large star tip, set aside.
  10. Beat the root beer extract into the remaining frosting.  Add to a piping bag with a round tip.
  11. Pipe the root beer frosting around the outside of the cupcake.  Pipe the vanilla frosting in the center.
  12. Cut paper straws in half and add to each cupcake.Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Breakfast Cupcakes

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowMy original vision had a perfect sunny-side-up egg in a basket of crisp hash browns.  But then I remembered two things: hash browns burn and I can’t cook eggs.  It’s true, I almost always eat scrabbled eggs because that’s just how things turn out.

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowSo then my second vision was to make hash brown casserole.  You know, the ones with the cream-of-something soup and lots of cheese.  The ones every mid-westerner grew up with.  I’m not going to lie, that’s some good casserole and I wouldn’t mind a scoop or two; it’s been years since I’ve had any, but  I try not cook like that at home.  Throw cream-of-something soups in with boxed mixes and fried foods – just not for me in my kitchen.

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowThrough extensive Pinterest searching, I came across this recipe and it was exactly what I was looking for!  Crispy hash browns, cheesy goodness, lovely eggs, and easiness.  I only added bacon to half because a vegetarian was present, but feel free to up the bacon for your more carnivorous friends.

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowDon’t skip the onions, caramelized onions add sweetness and depth of flavor.  Also, don’t skip the initial browning of the hash browns.  Also, also, use LOTS of baking spray in the cupcake tin, you’ll thank me!  I think that’s all of my tips.  This recipe shows how you can have cupcakes for breakfast in an appropriate manner!  These can be served warm, room temperature, or even cold; plus they heat up nicely for later.  I think breakfast cupcakes would make a marvelous addition to your Easter party, or any brunch!

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Don’t get your panties in a bunch – Decorated Sugar Cookies

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Breakfast Cupcakes
Adapted from Tablespoon
Yield – 24 cupcakes

40 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
salt + pepper
4 pieces bacon, optional (8 slices in you’re adding to all the cupcakes)
14 eggs
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt + pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F and liberally spray 24 muffin tins with olive oil.
  2. Mix the thawed hash browns with oil, salt, and pepper.  Place a heaping 1/4-cup of hash browns in each muffin cup.  Press the hash browns down.
  3. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the hash browns are brown and crispy.
  4. While the hash browns bake, saute the onion slices in olive oil in a small saute pan.  Sprinkle in salt and freshly ground pepper.  Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Transfer the onions to a bowl to cool completely.  Cook the bacon in the same pan until crispy.  Let cool and then crumble.  Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk.  Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Stir in the cheese and the onions.
  7. Use a 1/4 cup to smash down each hash brown.  Add a 1/4 cup of the egg mixture on top of each hash brown patty.
  8. Sprinkle bacon on each cupcake if desired.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set.  Let cool slightly and then remove with a small spatula.breakfast cupcakes | pale yellow

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Vanilla Whiskey Cupcakes

vanilla whiskey cupcakes | pale yellowI think we all know by this time that my favorite holiday is Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day.  Now that I live in Rockaway, things are even better!  Instead of planning a sleepover, I just need to wait until the sound of bagpipes comes through my windows and I can head out to the parade.  And then come home in sleep in my own bed, score!

vanilla whiskey cupcakes | pale yellowEven though these would be PERFECT for St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you dyed the frosting green, these were made for a birthday celebration.  There will be more St. Patrick’s Day treats next week, but if you can’t wait, check out green velvet cupcakes, shamrock shake cupcakes, Bailey’s glazed doughnuts, Irish car bomb brownies, Irish soda bread, whiskey cupcakes, and Irish car bomb cupcakes.

vanilla whiskey cupcakes | pale yellowMichelle wanted to surprise Derrick with a surprise 30th birthday and asked me to bake some treats.  Derrick is a difficult to bake for because he’s not a sweet eater. What???  Truth.  He took a bite and seemed to enjoy it, good enough.  Everyone else thoroughly enjoyed them!

vanilla whiskey cupcakes | pale yellowI took my regular yellow cupcake and added whiskey to the frosting.  There wasn’t enough whiskey flavor so I made a quick whiskey-caramel sauce to glaze the mini cupcakes.  This was the perfect touch and took the cupcakes from good tp spectacular.  The glaze is sweet, full of whiskey flavor, and lovingly sticky.  A mini vanilla cupcake with whiskey is a delightful treat for a birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, or Wednesdays!

vanilla whiskey cupcakes | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Coffee Marshmallows

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Vanilla Whiskey Cupcakes
Adapted from Tie Dye Cupcakes
Yield – 24 mini cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
2/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 + 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg + 1 yolk
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk

Whiskey Frosting
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whiskey
7 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons whiskey

Whiskey-Caramel Sauce
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup whiskey

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line 24 mini cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Add the sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar.  Massage the vanilla into the sugar.  Add the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt to the bowl.  Mix on low speed to combine.  Add the butter to the flour and mix until crumbly.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, yogurt, oil, and vanilla.  Add to the stand mixer and mix until just combined.  Pour in the milk and beat until smooth.
  4. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough into the cupcake liners.
  5. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Frosting – Add the milk, 1/2 cup whiskey, and flour to a small saucepan.  Whisk and heat until the mixture becomes thick like toothpaste.  Whisk in the vanilla.  Let cool completely.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.  Beat in the flour mixture until the frosting is no longer gritty.
  8. Beat in the whiskey.  Set aside.
  9. Whiskey-Caramel Sauce – Add the brown sugar and whiskey to a small saucepan.  Stir and heat until the mixture becomes bubbly and thickens.  Dip each cupcake in the hot sauce.  Allow the sauce to cool on the cupcakes
  10. Assembly – Add the frosting to a piping bag with a star tip and pipe the frosting on to each cupcake.vanilla whiskey cupcakes | pale yellow

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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowHere are some cupcakes, some real cupcakes.  There is a delightful chocolate-bourbon base, a surprising pecan pie filling, and a perfect brown sugar Swiss meringue buttercream with a touch of cinnamon.  Yes, this is for real!  I wasn’t joking on Instagram when I stated this maybe the best cupcake I have ever made.

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowThis recipe has pecan bourbon in every component!  If you’ve never experienced pecan bourbon before, you need to try some ASAP.  Despite my love for bourbon, I have a hard time drinking it straight; there is just too much burn.  Not so with this bourbon from William Wolf.  It is smooth and delicious without burning; all you need is a glass and ice.  And no worries, it’s not too sweet!  If you don’t have access to pecan bourbon, I’m sure regular bourbon will work just as well.

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowI saw this recipe a few weeks ago on Pinterest and was instantly impressed.  So many favorite things in one recipe.  There were only two questions: when was I going to make these cupcakes and who was awesome enough to deserve them?  Thankfully Dean has a birthday in late-January.  I’ve written about my love for Dean here, here, and here!  Check out the Dean love!  Anyway, he (and everyone else at happy hour) enjoyed the cupcakes!

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowLet’s start with the frosting.  The original recipe called for a frosting with powdered sugar and caramelized pecans and a butter pecan type flavor.  The flavor sounded lovely but I’m not a fan of powdered sugar frosting.  A little bit of searching led me to a brown sugar version of Swiss meringue buttercream.  I ADORE Swiss meringue buttercream and this adaptation is delightful.  There is a whole host of ideas and usages I can see for this frosting.

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowI’ve never put a full cup of booze in a cupcake recipe before but this recipe can handle it.  The cake is super moist, tender, and flavorful; you can actually taste the delectable pecan bourbon.  The filling is creamy and pecan-y; fantastic textural contrast in the cupcakes.  And the frosting, I’ve already talked about the frosting, but it’s super!  Find a friend you love and bake them these amazing cupcakes!chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Frosting adapted from Sweetapolita
Yield – 19 cupcakes

Cupcakes
1 cup pecan bourbon
1 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Filling
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons pecan bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons pecan bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pecan halves for garnish

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cupcake tin with liners
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the bourbon, oil, and cocoa powder until smooth.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the eggs and yogurt together.  Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture.  Beat in the sugar; scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda; beat on low speed until just combined.
  5. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter in the cupcake liners.  The liners should be about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.
  7. Filling – Whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil; whisk the entire time.
  8. While whisking, toast the chopped pecans in a dry skillet until they are warm and smell nutty.
  9. Remove the filling from the stove top and stir in the pecans, bourbon, and vanilla.
  10. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
  11. Frosting – Take a small pot and fill it with a small amount of water.  Place the bowl of a stand mixer on top.  Add the egg whites, sugar, and a pinch of salt.  Whisk and heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar is dissolved.  It should feel smooth.
  12. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the bowl is cool to the touch and the meringue has formed stiff peaks.  This takes about 10 minutes.
  13. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until well combined.  Mix in the bourbon, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  14. Assembly – Cut a cone out of each cupcake with a paring knife.  Cut the tip off the cone and set the top aside next to the cupcake.  Scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling in each cupcake; replace with the top.
  15. Add the frosting to a piping bag with a 1M tip and pipe a swirl on each cupcake.
  16. Toast the pecan halves until they are warm and then let cool.  Place one half on top of each cupcake.chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellow

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