Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Baby Cakes – Extra Special Cupcakes


Fudgy Cupcakes

Baby Cakes are cupcakes designed for dessert.  Emphasis is on taste, not design and fancy decorations are not necessary though they should be attractive enough to serve at a dinner party. We first made these from scratch, little chocolate cupcakes with coconut added and served in a caramel sauce.  The recipe follows.  But a mix is quicker and easier.  We used a Fudgy Baby Cakes Mix.  Instead of making the caramel sauce from scratch, we used a buttermilk syrup mix.  My interpretation of buttermilk syrup is “butterscotch and caramel combined.”



Chocolate Coconut Baby Cakes (Mixes)

  1. Mix a Fudgy Baby Cakes mix and      make cupcakes per the package instructions but add 3/4 cup shredded      coconut.  There are chocolate pieces in the mix and the combination      will be a deep chocolate and coconut combination.
  2. Make a batch of buttermilk      syrup.  We added coconut flavor to make a coconut buttermilk syrup but the dessert is      great without doing so. A teaspoon and a half of coconut flavor is about      right.
  3. After the cupcakes are baked,      remove the paper liners and place one cupcake on each dessert plate.       Pour warm buttermilk syrup over the cupcakes and top with dollops of      whipped cream.  Serve while the syrup is still warm and before the      whipped cream melts.


Chocolate Coconut Baby Cakes (Scratch)

This is straightforward to prepare and fancy enough to serve to guests.



For the cakes:

1 cup butter
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut



Prepare baking cups by greasing well and flouring the bottoms or use paper liners.  A jumbo muffin pan works well.  We sell paper liners for jumbo muffins pans.



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a large mixing bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave stirring once or twice.
2. Stir in the sugar until it is dissolved.  Then stir in the eggs one at a time.  Add the milk.
3. Stir in the baking powder and flour.  Finally, fold in the coconut.
4. Spoon the batter in the prepared cups.
5. Bake for 23 to 28 minutes depending on the size of the baking cups.  A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean when done.  Cool on wire racks.

Serve with Caramel Sauce.



Caramel Sauce

1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Mix all the ingredients except the extract in a heavy saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture boils.  Gently boil for eight to ten minutes or until the mixture thickens.  Remove from the heat and stir in the extract.  Cool until the sauce thickens to serving consistency.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Five Reasons Why Cupcakes Are Better Than Big Cakes

Why Cupcakes are better than Cakes

Most of us share this weird inexplicable love-hate relationship with food. This rings more true when it comes to cakes. The rainbows and unicorns part of your soul can never get enough of them, while the grim calorie-counting part make you run in exactly the opposite direction. However, cupcakes come as sweet respite and a whole lot of happiness stuffed into a little package. If you haven’t already tried cupcakes, for whatever unfathomable reasons, we give you five reasons why they’re better than cakes…



1)   Realistically sized!

For all those amateur or lazy bakers, who love the idea of making their own cake but cannot imagine going through the trouble of the whole baking process, cupcakes are the perfect solution! Unlike the big slabs of cakes, cupcakes are less to zero intimidating. Moreover, whether you’re in a hurry or need to treat yourself to a quick-fix, cupcakes barely take about 30 minutes to get ready.



2)   Less messy

Smaller sizes mean lesser portions of individual ingredients and lesser portions of individual ingredients mean lesser chances of the whole thing blowing up in your face. In addition, serving cupcakes is super-easy and clean too. You don’t need extra plates and silverware to gorge on cupcakes. Plus, there are no residues left, either on the napkins or on the utensils, so cleaning up and starting over is an attainable objective.



3)   Less money

Again, small portions, small quantities, small buys, small money. Therefore, by implied logic, you spend far less money even on a batch of dozen cupcakes, than you would on one big cake. Moreover, you can easily shuffle between ingredients and also use more budget-friendly alternatives. You can even cook up something from the ingredients you already have at home, like a hot chocolate cupcake, or a coconut and coffee cupcake. Don’t be afraid to experiment with two completely different flavors. It’s a cupcake; it won’t turn into a nuclear disaster.



4)   More variety

The trouble with big cakes is that you have to maintain consistency with just tried and tested flavors, especially if you’re treating a lot of guests. Experimenting in such a case is quite a bleak possibility, because risking your own stomach’s life is okay, not so much for the guests. This does limit your creativity and experimenting powers. With cupcakes, you get to go small-scale. You can easily mix dark chocolate with cherry coke, lime with coconut or mint with strawberry. This makes the learning process a lot quicker, and it won’t be long before you can officially call yourself a cupcake specialist. Also, if you’re hosting a party or gifting someone, you can easily make personalized cupcakes catering to individual tastes and likes.



5)   Diet-friendly

This is nothing but a respite for all those guilty eaters. The major concept of any diet is, to eat in small portions, whatever it may be. A major concept of most fad-diets, however, is also to stay off the sweets. And let’s face it, no matter how much you convince yourself that you’ll just have a sliver of that big cake, it never quite stays at that. It makes you first go crazy on the cake, then on the treadmill. However, small bite-sized cupcakes allow you to let go for a bit, and savor the heavenly experience that it is, without actually making yourself feel like you just committed a crime. So, you get full satisfaction at the same time eat in control. Now most people may say that calories are calories and you’re still eating them, size irrespective. But hey, at least you feel better at the end. That does count, doesn’t it?

Featured images:

About the Author:

Today’s guest author James Peters is a chef at Smiley Cakes. Amongst the many different cakes that they prepare the Perth cupcake variety is most liked by customers. An affable character, he likes to indulge in his many hobbies during spare time.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easy Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Cupcakes

There aren’t many social occasions that couldn’t be improved with quality baked goods, especially if it’s a tedious meeting or the type of gathering that people feel obligated to attend. Good food can grease the wheels of many get-togethers, smoothing over tensions or reluctance with mouthfuls of tasty goodness. One of the easiest and most delicious of these options is cupcakes.



Over the past few years, cupcakes have had a renaissance. There are famous cupcake eateries in almost every large city, and even traditional events like weddings, have featured towers of the perfect-sized cakes. Maybe they’re slowly sliding out of the pop culture spotlight, but that doesn’t stop me from baking them for all sorts of occasions.



One of the best aspects of cupcakes is creativity. You can decorate them in a myriad of ways based on the theme you choose. They can be filled or iced, topped with powdered sugar designs or elaborate marzipan. With some simple tweaks of a recipe, you can make them healthy with carrots or fruit or stuff them with peanut butter. Truly, cupcakes offer unlimited opportunities for creativity.



I’ve tried a lot of cupcake recipes over the years, from simple to a thirteen-step process that had me biting my nails with the stress of it all. It was only through trial and error that I discovered what worked best with my personal entertaining style. I believe in feeding my guests good food, but I don’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen. Cupcakes are great for this, because I can make them the day before and ice them well in advance of the gathering. I also realized that I like to spend less time on the cake batter and emphasize the decorating aspect. Nothing works better for this than a one-bowl cake recipe.



You read that right!


This particular recipe has been a family favorite for two generations. In fact, it has been my birthday cake for as long as I can remember. The crumb is delicate and moist, and chocolate is my absolute favorite. Some years I slather peanut butter icing on top (homemade, of course!) while other years inspire me to dust it with powdered sugar and tiny violets from the garden.



One word of caution, don’t bring the water to a full boil. After adding the water, mix everything else into the batter then add the eggs last. I always test the temperature of the batter with a finger. Don’t add the eggs when it’s still really warm or you’ll end up with chocolate cake with tiny pieces of scrambled egg in it. I know this because I served a new boyfriend my famous chocolate cake dotted with yellow, cooked egg. Luckily he had a sense of humor about it, and he asked me out again. Enjoy!



2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

¾ cup cocoa

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1 ½ cups boiling water

¾ cup corn oil

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Grease and flour your cake pan, tapping out all the excess flour. Place ingredients in a bowl, mix until smooth. (Add eggs last after batter has cooled slightly to prevent cooking the egg separately.) Bake in a 9×12 pan, in 2 9-inch round cake pans, dozen muffin/cupcake tin (you’ll probably end up with extra batter) or large bread loaf pan. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes for the 9×12 pan. You will need longer baking time if you use the other pans.

Amy L Overley is a freelance writer and editor and explorer of creativity. She’ll try her hand at anything remotely crafty including wedding favors. She blogs regularly about her adventures and the humorous results of her creative exploits.

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