Dessert Buffet Fun!

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Table with Words

This past weekend, my friend Beryl had a live Q & A with some of the local Momtographers and she asked if I would make some desserts for a dessert buffet. I happily agreed and then it was time to decide on a menu.

First, Beryl requested the Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes we had made for the photo shoot last month in a miniature form. Easy enough, but what kind of frosting? Beryl saw my post about the Marshmallow Buttercream and decided that might be a delicious addition to the cupcakes…I agreed! We also decided upon a bit of a strawberry theme, so I made some of the cupcakes with regular Marshmallow Buttercream and some with a Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream.

To make it strawberry, I took about 5 strawberries, cut them up into tiny pieces, then mashed them a bit in a Ziploc bag. I added this to half of the regular recipe of Marshmallow Buttercream (I had already used the other half to frost half of the mini cupcakes). I did run into a couple of issues with this- the strawberries made the frosting a little bit more runny, which I think could be alleviated by draining out a bit of the strawberry juices before adding them to the buttercream. Some of the cut up strawberries would also get stuck in the piping tip, which would cause a ton to come out at one time. If I had cut up the pieces even smaller, this wouldn’t have been a problem. The Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream turned out to be SO delicious…those little cupcakes became quite addicting!!

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

The next item on the menu? Mini Strawberry Shortcakes! I found some push-up pop like containers at Joann’s that I thought would be perfect for these little cakes! To make the mini Strawberry Shortcakes, you will need:

Angel Food Cake (You can make your own or buy one at the store)
Strawberries, some cut into small pieces, some cut into sixths (I think I used about 2 containers)
Strawberry Syrup
Cool Whip

Directions:
1. Take the Angel Food Cake and cut it into thin pieces. I cut horizontally along the bottom of the cake to get bigger pieces.
2. Use one of the push-up pop containers to cut out 2 round pieces of cake for each container (there were 12 in the box so I cut out 24 pieces).
3. Mix the small pieces of strawberries with strawberry syrup (I think I put in about a half of the bottle of syrup, but it depends on how sweet you’d like the mixture).
4. Put one piece of cake in the bottom of the push-up pop container, then a layer of the strawberry mixture, and finally a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat with another layer of each ingredient.
5. Put one of the strawberry pieces that are cut into sixths on top of the mini Strawberry Shortcakes.
6. Enjoy!

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

For the final item on the menu, I made a fruit platter with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Dip. This simple dip is by far my favorite dip for fruit! To make the dip you will need:

8oz Whipped Cream Cheese
7oz Marshmallow Cream

Stir the two together and serve with your favorite fruit! It’s that easy!

Fluffy Fruit Dip

Everything on the dessert buffet was a hit! I think Beryl’s daughter, Brielle, probably liked the cupcakes the most!

Brielle

Beryl made a couple other items to serve, including a DELICIOUS homemade Strawberry Lemonade that included a fresh strawberry puree, fresh squeezed lemons, simple syrup, and a little sparkling water. Homemade Strawberry Lemonade is definitely the way to go!!

Baking love,
Heather

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

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Cookies and Cream Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

My husband and I had family over for a BBQ this weekend and I needed to make some camera cake pops for my friend, Beryl, so I decided to make Cookies and Cream Cupcakes and Cake Pops. My husband loves them…and I do, too! I decided to use a box mix, but made a few changes using a picture I pinned on Pinterest. (Unfortunately, I’m unable to link to the pin- it is just a picture and doesn’t include the directions for baking the cake!) The pin said that by making a few changes to the box recipe, your cake will taste like homemade.

I bought a Butter Recipe Yellow Cake and, following the suggestions on the pin, I added one more egg to the batter, used milk (I used vanilla flavored coconut milk) instead of water, and since this was already a butter recipe, I didn’t have to change out oil for butter. However, if you use a box mix that calls for oil, switch it out for butter and the directions say to use twice as much butter as the amount of oil the box calls for. I wasn’t sure what would happen with the cupcakes, but was hoping for the best when the batter turned out very thick.

Mixed batter

At this point, I folded in crushed Oreos.

With Oreos

I made 12 cupcakes with the batter and used the rest to make a cake in my 8 x 8 pan to use for the cake pops.

Cupcakes before Oven

I put both in the oven- the cupcakes were done after about 18 minutes and the cake took about 25 minutes.

Baked

While the cupcakes were cooling I used the same recipe for the frosting as I used in my Oreo Cupcakes post, which comes from Lil’ Luna’s website. This super easy Marshmallow Buttercream calls for 4 ingredients and takes all of 5 minutes to make (if that).

To make the frosting you will need:

1 cup butter at room temperature (I ALWAYS forget to take the butter out early enough so I have found that putting it in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds, then 10 second intervals until my finger will leave an indentation works well)
1 7oz jar of marshmallow fluff
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

First, mix the butter and sugar using the mixer until they are creamy. Then, stir in the marshmallow fluff and vanilla by hand. Put the frosting in your piping bag and pipe onto your completely cooled cupcakes! If you try to frost them before they cool, it is likely the frosting will melt- give them at least 30 minutes to cool and I have found putting them on a cooling rack really helps.

After you have piped on the frosting, add some cookie crumbles to the top of the cupcake!
Up Close Cupcake

Enjoy your delicious cupcake!
Cupcake with Packages

I did find that making the few changes to the box recipe did make the cupcakes taste better- everyone LOVED the cupcakes at the BBQ! From what I could tell from my taste-tests, the cake pops were quite delicious as well, although they were a little harder to mold. I either mixed in too much frosting, or the cream from the Oreo cookies made the consistency a little moister. I’m pretty sure that even though they were not up to my standards of perfection in the molding department, the flavor was excellent!

Baking love,
Heather

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Up Close Detail with words

Over the weekend, I met up with my friend Beryl (after her superhero adventures) to bake some gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. I’m taking her Momtographie Online class (which is awesome!) and she wanted to get some video footage baking with a friend for one of the lessons. I was happy to be the friend to help her out with this!

We decided on a Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake from Cupcakes Take the Cake with a Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Savory Sweet Life.

To make the cupcakes, I followed the recipe from Cupcakes Take the Cake, but made a couple of changes. Here is exactly what I did!

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Position rack in center of oven. Place cupcake baking liners in a 12-cupcake baking pan (this recipe really makes the perfect amount for 12 regular sized cupcakes). In a medium sized bowl, stir flour blend, salt, baking powder, and guar gum until mixed. Beat sugar and eggs in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed for one minute. Make sure your mixer is on stir and add the bowl of dry ingredients slowly until mixed. Continue on stir and add oil, vanilla soy milk (I really think this made a huge difference in the vanilla flavor) and vanilla until ingredients are mixed well; beat at medium speed for one minute (the batter will be pretty runny). Pour batter into prepared pan. Place in center of oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until center springs back when touched and cupcakes are very lightly browned. Cool on rack for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan onto rack and cool completely before icing.

DSC_0198

To make the frosting, I did the following:

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (your finger should be able to push into the stick, but the butter should NOT be melted!!)
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. With your mixer on stir, add 3 cups of powdered sugar slowly until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream while still on stir (so they do not splash) and then beat everything for 3 minutes at medium speed. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add more sugar (I would add 1/2 cup at a time until it is the consistency you’d like). If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to your liking.

At first, I was worried that I wasn’t going to have enough frosting for the cupcakes because it didn’t look like much, but it turned out to be way too much for the 12 cupcakes!

Once everything was ready, Beryl and I decorated the cupcakes using some store bought flowers, roses I had made, and sprinkles. What was really great about the whole experience was that since we were making the video for Beryl’s photography class, I got some one-on-one time with Beryl to ask questions about my camera and take some great pictures of our freshly made cupcakes! Here are some of the pictures that I took while learning!
Rose Up

Rose Over

Up Close Detail

Rose Details

And all of the cupcakes together…minus the few we ate before we took the pictures!
All Cupcakes

These cupcakes turned out to be so delicious, none of us (my husband wanted to taste-test too) could tell that they were gluten-free! Like I said before, I think the vanilla soy milk made all the difference! The big test for these cupcakes was how they tasted the next day…and Beryl let me know that they were still moist and delicious two days after we made them!

It was such a fun day of baking, decorating, and photographing with a great friend!
Baking love,
Heather

Baby Shower Cupcakes!

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Finished Cupcakes with words

A good friend is due in April and her baby shower was this weekend. Her sister asked if I would make a little something sweet for everyone and I was happy to do so!

To make the cupcakes, I used a recipe my sister suggested at Glorious Treats‘ website. To make the cupcakes, I followed the recipe exactly. One thing that was a little worrisome was how thin the batter is after putting in the boiling water. This is what mine looked like:

Batter

I used the advice to pour the batter into the cupcake holders using a measuring cup, which worked out very nicely, with the exception that they weren’t as uniform in size as I like. It was hard to determine how much to put in while pouring!

In Oven

The recipe says the batter will be thin and they will turn out fine…and it was right!

Baked

To make the buttercream, I used the recipe found at Savory Sweet Life‘s website. This buttercream was delicious and I highly recommend the recipe!!

To color the icing, I used Wilton’s copper coloring. I actually put WAY too much in the frosting and it turned out a completely orange color. I ended up making another batch of buttercream and added half of it to what I already made, but lightened the color enough to make it more of a peach skin color.

I colored the remaining frosting with black Wilton coloring and I had to use quite a bit to get it to the color it was. It still had a purple-y feel to it, but it was harder to tell in the small quantity that was actually on the cupcakes. I used Wilton tip #3 to pipe on the hair, eyes, and nose.

For the cheeks, I used raspberry flavored pink M & M’s, which were totally a happy accident I came across while at the grocery store. The pacifiers were Wilton’s candy pacifiers, which I found on Amazon.

Finished Cupcakes

These cupcakes were so fun to make and everyone seemed to love them!

At Shower

Baking love!
Heather