Category Archives: Cupcakes

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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Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Mini Cupcakes

dark chocolate salted caramel mini cupcakes | pale yellowThe snow is pretty intense.  It started snowing at 9 am yesterday and never really stopped.  The drive home was not great.  I went to the grocery store to stock up on baking essentials (and wine, obvi)  just in case a magical snow day presented itself.  Somehow I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

dark chocolate salted caramel mini cupcakes | pale yellowPeople were stuck on the roads for HOURS and there isn’t a snow day called in the evening press conference.  What gives?  If I was in charge (and I should really be in charge), I would call snow days all. the. time.  It’s really about the safety of the kids; they shouldn’t be subjected to the dangers of icy, treacherous conditions.  Safety first.  Plus, they need to learn how to shovel sidewalks and make snowmen.  Kids are subjected to too many tests and not enough fun days.

dark chocolate salted caramel mini cupcakes | pale yellowRant over.  I don’t even get snow days anymore, but I believe in them strongly!  Clearly I could never live in a warm climate without the possibly of inclement weather days.  There is something so lovely about stocking the kitchen with good food and nestling in for the day – I love it!

dark chocolate salted caramel mini cupcakes | pale yellowAccording to my dad, this was the best thing he ate during my December/Michigan baking spree.  But I shouldn’t mention him on the blog, apparently it’s “not right to write about people on the internet.”  Trust me, things got intense around the house.  Luckily he doesn’t read the blog or even understand what a blog really is; no worries, I can hold my own when sparring with my father.  He may complain but he still eats ALL the treats!

dark chocolate salted caramel mini cupcakes | pale yellowI’ve had many chocolate/salted caramel combinations on this blog, but this recipe is one of the greats.  The tininess makes each bite perfect.  There is a chocolate cake that is moist and tender filled with a salted caramel sauce.  A salted, caramel, swiss meringue buttercream is a perfect topping for the cake.  This recipe is a keeper; make it happen!dark chocolate salted caramel mini cupcakes | pale yellow

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Yield – 33 mini cupcakes

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sour cream

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

  1. Salted Caramel Sauce – Do the day before:  Add the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a medium saucepan and heat until it reaches a nice amber color.
  2. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and salt.  Stir in the sour cream until the mixture is smooth.  Store in a glass container.
  3. Dark Chocolate Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F and line mini cupcake tins with paper liners.
  4. Melt the butter, chocolate, and cocoa together in a medium bowl in the microwave in 20-second intervals.  Stir in between intervals and heat until just melted.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Sift together the flour, soda, and powder on wax paper and set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs.  Beat in the sugar, vanilla, and salt until the mix is light and fluffy.
  7. Gently stir the flour mixture into the eggs in three additions with the sour cream in between.  Mix until just combined.
  8. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the batter into the cupcake liners.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream – Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Whisk the eggs until frothy and no longer gritty.
  10. Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until they reach stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch; about 10 minutes.
  11. With the mixer running on medium-high speed, beat in the butter one tablespoon at a time.  The frosting will look like its breaking or separating, but just keep beating.  Beat in the vanilla and salted caramel sauce.  The frosting will be very thick and smooth.
  12. Assembly – Use a paring knife to cut a cone out of each cupcake; set aside, don’t eat!  Spoon about 1 teaspoon of salted caramel sauce into each cupcake, place the cone over the top.
  13. Add the frosting to a piping bag with a star tip and pipe a swirl on each.
  14. Store in a cool place, but bring to room temperature before eating for the tastiest results!dark chocolate salted caramel mini cupcakes | pale yellow

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Dark Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

dark chocolate pretzel cookies | pale yellowMore cookies this week!  I really want some cookies, but I’m trying hold my sh!t together and show some restraint.  However, if I wasn’t showing restraint, I’d be all over these cookies!  This recipe is not a leftover, I made these cookies over my Christmas Break for our annual Ice Arena Girls’ Get-together.  None of us are girls anymore but we love getting together for drinks, food, and company.

dark chocolate pretzel cookies | pale yellowConsidering I haven’t lived in Michigan in almost seven years and haven’t lived in my hometown in almost twelve, it’s pretty amazing I can still go home and meet up with friends.  We spent so much time in our younger days chatting between handing out skates, taking phone calls, and dealing with skating moms and/or hockey dads.

dark chocolate pretzel cookies | pale yellowLike many Michigan friends, they only get to view and read about the recipes I make and not taste.  It was high time I brought a little treat to  our dinner.  After all the holiday baking, I wanted to bake something that was fast & easy and used the ingredients I had on hand; like the dark chocolate pretzels that were in my stocking!

dark chocolate pretzel cookies | pale yellowI think I’ll start putting pretzels in all my cookies!  I love the crunchy bites mixed in with the soft, gooey cookies.  A little salt balances out the cookie perfectly and some extra caramel sauce never hurt anything.  These cookies were so good my dad snatched up two before I could stop him.  It’s cookie time!

dark chocolate pretzel cookies | pale yellowOne Year Ago – 2012 – A Year in Review

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Dark Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
Adapted from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
Yield – 15 cookies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
3/4 cup dark chocolate covered pretzels, cut into pieces
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
sprinkling of sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until pale yellow.
  3. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix on low.  Mix in the caramel, chocolate chips, and pretzels until just combined.
  5. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough.  Sprinkle sea salt on the top of each cookie.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set.
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack.dark chocolate pretzel cookies | pale yellow

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Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes

Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes | Pale YellowI was not joking about making 2014 the year of the mini cheesecakes.  Maybe it’ll be the year of mini things.  That way I can cut all recipes in half and just make a few of everything.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when I live alone and no one to share my treats with…

Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes | Pale YellowThis weekend the roommates and I sorted and divided all of the kitchen stuff; things were a little chaotic as we spread out everything from the kitchen into different piles.  We have a lot of kitchen supplies have been royally spoiled with a giant NYC kitchen these last four years; I do not know where everything is going to go!  Despite the great quantity of kitchen supplies, I have little practical items like non-prop plates and forks.  Luckily Ruth gave me some of her extra mixing bowls!

Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes | Pale YellowOur kitchen seems sad and empty, I already moved out my baking ingredients so there won’t be any baking for the next few weeks.  Luckily I have several recipes saved for this purpose!  I don’t want to leave my regular stranded!

Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes | Pale YellowLet’s talk cheesecakes – second cheesecake home run.  The crust is an appropriate lady finger base with a creamy, Kahula filled cheesecake on top.  A little Kahlua in the whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder makes the perfect topping.  Decadent, but tiny, these little tiramisu cheesecakes make a perfect dessert!

Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield – 36

2/3 cup dried ladyfinger crumbs
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
16 ounces (2 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup whipping cream
splash of Kahlua
dusting of cocoa powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F and line 36 mini cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. Crush the ladyfingers and add 2/3 cup to 2 tablespoons of melted butter with the 4 teaspoons of sugar.  Toss with a fork until the crumbs are well moistened.
  3. Add about 1 teaspoon of crust into each paper liner and press firmly; I used a rolling pin.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the sugar and the eggs one at a time.  Beat in the Kahlua and espresso powder.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  6. Place 2-tablespoons of filling on each crust.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are just set.  Let cool completely on a wire rack and then cool for at least two hours in the fridge.
  7. Make the whipped cream by adding it to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and beating until the cream reaches thick peaks.  Beat in the Kahlua.
  8. Use a piping bag with a plain tip to pipe a dollop on each cheesecake.  Dust the tops with cocoa powder.Mini Tiramisu Cheesecakes | Pale Yellow

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Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowApparently my mom has a lot of ideas about food photo styling!  She was going through the house pulling down sleds and ornaments and other trinkets for me to use in my photographs, it was hard to contain her excitement!  Thanks mom!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowIt’s kind of awkward to have other people watch you to take photographs of food; it’s not natural.  I’m standing on chairs, squatting, and moving around mini marshmallows.  Strange.  My dad mocks me (probably because he’s never viewed the blog before) and my mom tries to help me out.  Being back home with your parents is fantastic!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowEven though I made these little cupcakes for Christmas Eve, they would be perfect for any winter party, especially for children.  Weird tip, but the cupcakes definitely tasted better the next day!  American buttercream (butter + powdered sugar) is not my favorite and I wish it wouldn’t become a little crusty on top.  However, when the cupcakes hang out in a container with the mini marshmallows, the frosting and the marshmallows become softer, sweet!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowThe hot cocoa frosting really tastes likes hot cocoa!  I don’t know what is put into hot chocolate mix, but it has a distinct and wonderful flavor that shines on these cupcakes.  I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe that is moist and tender.  Please don’t skimp on the mini marshmallow bits, they truly make the cupcakes adorable and tasty!

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Christmas Cookie Wrap-up

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Hot Cocoa Cupcakes
Cupcakes adapted from Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Frosting adapted from Cookies and Cups
Yield – 27 mini cupcakes

Cupcakes
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, Hershey’s special dark
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line the mini muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, soda, powder, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low to just combine.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the oil, milk, egg, and vanilla with a fork.  Add to the flour mix and beat on low until just combined.  Scrape the bowl.
  4. Beat in the hot water and mix for 30 seconds on high speed.
  5. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the batter in the cupcake liners.  Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Frosting
1/2 cup dry hot chocolate mix (about 2 1/2 packets)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (small box) powdered sugar
splash of vanilla
mini dried marshmallow bits

  1. In a small saucepan add the hot chocolate mix and the cream.  Stir and heat until all the cocoa is dissolved.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat the butter until pale yellow in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat in the powdered sugar in small batches until well combined.  The mixture will become very dry.
  3. Beat in the cooled cocoa and mix on high for about a minute until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. Pipe on the cupcakes and decorate with the dried marshmallows.Hot Cocoa Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowLast holiday recipe of the season!  Hard to believe the year is almost over.  I feel like I’ve been running around like a maniac since July and I’m still waiting for the fast pace to end.  January is going to be super busy with the move and I’m working every Saturday in February, so it looks like I’ll have to wait until March to relax.  Luckily I’m loading up on Emergen-C to  get through winter.

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowThis past week has been a non-stop blast! I was able to catch up with multiple groups of friends and family to share meals and laughter.  At each event I brought a fresh baked good or two.  This year I didn’t mess around and brought my mixer to Michigan with me, it was time for some serious baking!  And yes, my family is spoiled!

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowHowever, between lunches, dinners, family parties, and sleep-overs, my body is feeling run down.  Throw in the drive back and forth between Michigan and New York and I’m done.  Who would have thought it would be raining both ways in December!  It’s time for some salads and couch time.

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowBefore we begin salad time, there are still a few desserts that need to be shown-off.  This dessert was probably my favorite of the holiday season!  There is strong eggnog flavor; I believe the rum extract plus fresh nutmeg really drove the cheesecake to flavor-town.  A Biscoff crust is crispy and tasty, while the lovely dollop of whipped cream sets the whole cheesecake off.  Mini cheesecakes maybe my thing in 2014, they’re awesome!

mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas

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Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Yield – 36 mini cheesecakes

16 Biscoff cookies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup eggnog
1 1/4 cup heavy cream, cold
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
extra nutmeg for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F and line 36 mini muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Crush the Biscoff cookies into fine pieces and mix into the melted butter with a pinch of salt.  Mix with a fork until all the crumbs are moist.
  3. Add about 1 teaspoon of crust into each tin and press down firmly.  I used the end of a rolling pin.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the nutmeg and beat for a few seconds.  Beat in the flour and sugar.
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Scrape the bowl as needed and beat in the extracts.
  7. Beat in the eggnog.  Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the batter on the crusts, fill to the top.  Bake for 13 minutes or until set.
  8. Let cool completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before topping.
  9. To make the topping beat the heavy cream with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until you reach the stiff peak stage.
  10. Pipe or dollop on each cheesecake and sprinkle with more nutmeg.
  11. Store in the fridge.mini eggnog cheesecakes | pale yellow

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Brown butter, banana, bourbon, and bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowYes, this happened; 48 mini cupcakes filled brown butter, banana, bacon, bourbon, and a peanut butter frosting.  All of your wildest dreams have come true in one tiny bite.  These little guys made a special appearance at our second annual (and final) Fall Fest!  Needless to say, they were a hit.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowDo you want to know what I did yesterday?  Regardless of the answer, I’m going to you anyway.  I volunteered at the NYC marathon.  I have watched the marathon for several years and was scheduled to volunteer last year, but due to Super Storm Sandy, I was unable to do so.  Volunteering is 10x better than being a spectator, for real!

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowEven though I was up at 5:30 a.m. and hauling boxes of Gatorade by 6:30, I had a fantastic experience!  I mixed Gatorade, poured Gatorade, handed out Gatorade, cleaned up Gatorade, and absorbed all the spilled Gatorade.  While all this was going on I was able to cheer on the elite men, women, and wheelchair racers.  I was also able to cheer on all the regular runners from New York, the United States, and all over the world.  When I looked down 4th Avenue and saw the thousands of runners coming, I was in awe.  It’s one of those moments when you’re glad to be alive and glad to be apart of your community.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowAs excited as I was to open a new chapter in my life and leave New York this summer, I’m glad I stayed and yesterday cemented that decision for me.  I was so proud to stand on the sidelines as New Yorker; I felt like a true representation of New York City!  It was a great day!

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowIt was also a great day when I ate the cupcakes.  The banana keeps the cake portion super moist and allows the brown butter flavor to shine.  Let me tell you a secret: I cooked the bacon on the stove and then added the butter to the same pan to brown, IN BACON GREASE!  Yep, brown butter bacon grease in cupcakes – it spectacular, make it happen!  Add in a peanut butter frosting, bourbon syrup reduction, and a piece of bacon and you’re golden.  Cupcakes out.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Apple Pie Cheesecakes

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Brown butter, banana, bourbon, and bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting
Adapted from How Sweet it is
Yield – 36 mini cupcakes

Cupcakes
8 ounces bacon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 large bananas, mashed

  1. Cook your bacon until crispy and set aside.
  2. Leave the bacon grease in the pan and add the butter.  Melt the butter and cook until it is browned.  Be sure to scrape off all the lovely bits at the bottom.  Measure out 1/2 cup of this mixture and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your mini muffin tins with papers.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  5. In a larger bowl whisk together the egg and brown sugar.  Whisk in the vanilla, sour cream, and cooled brown butter.
  6. Stir in the the dry ingredients.
  7. Mash the bananas and stir into the batter.  The batter will be thick.
  8. Use a scant 2-tablespoon scoop of batter in each cupcake liner.  Bake for 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
splash of bourbon
splash of cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until well combined.
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small batches, thoroughly mixing between each.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and bourbon.
  4. Add the cream to reach the desired piping consistency.
  5. Use a large star tip to pipe a swirl on each cooled cupcake.

Bourbon drizzle
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 bourbon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
cooked bacon

  1. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat until all the sugar has been dissolved and you have a thick syrup.
  2. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over each cupcake.
  3. Top each cupcake with a piece of cooked bacon.Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale Yellow

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