Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Got a pack of raspberries laying around with no idea what to do with all of them? Don’t worry, SimplyDelicious can help you with this dilemma. It just so happened when I opened the fridge on a fine Sunday afternoon, that I was greeted with a stack of three raspberry packs. Just the previous day, I had discovered this amazing vanilla cupcake recipe. Seriously, it legit made the best vanilla cupcakes that I have ever tasted. So… I thought, why not make this delicious recipe raspberry flavored too? Now, I easily could have eaten all the raspberries too, rather than make cupcakes. I had to control myself though and think of the end product that was so close. That’s what’s so awesome about cupcakes. You make them quick, eat them quick. Done deal. Other desserts, like cheesecakes, make you wait overnight (way to0 long if you want instant pleasure).

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (6 oz) raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
  2. Add in the butter until the mixture resembles wet and crumbly sand
  3. Beat in the eggs until they are well incorporated and you can no longer see the yellow
  4. Put in the remaining wet ingredients (milk, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract) and mix until the texture of your mixture is smooth and fully combined
  5. Hand mix the raspberries into your batter until they are evenly distributed
  6. Fill the cupcake liners half way with the mixture
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or golden brown

Raspberry Buttercream

Printable Recipe here 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor
  2. Pour the processed raspberries through a sieve with small holes to keep the seeds from getting in your frosting
  3. Use a spoon to help you get all the raspberry pulp out and set it aside in a small bowl (throw the seeds away)
  4. Cream the butter with a mixer for about a minute and then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and pureed raspberries
  6. If the buttercream is too runny, add in more powdered sugar until it is to your liking. If too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time.

Recipes adapted from: Tide & Thyme and Baking a Moment

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes    Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

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Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio (n): a lime-green small sized nut perfect for snacking and eating when studying or walking around the neighborhood; a nut that is always on the go; member of the cashew family

Pistachios really go great with anything! It is the atypical flavor to see, but it tastes great in Bluebell icecream and shortbread cookies. And you most likely have seen them all over Instagram in the beautiful colors that they come in. Yes, I am guilty of posting a picture of these vibrant and exquisite desserts every time I visit a bakery, but how could you not?!

Highly recommend anyone reading this to try out this recipe. You’d be surprised at how much you will fall in love the pistachio flavor. If not, then try making macarons in any flavor that you are craving.  I, myself, can’t wait to make these again! You cannot simply just eat one, so I would recommend doubling my recipe which originally makes about 20.

*recipe for the macarons can be found on a previous post of mine here where I made chocolate macarons with a variety of frostings

*changes to this recipe: 60 grams almond flour and 50 grams of ground pistachios instead of the 110 grams of almond flour, I also added a few drops of lime green gel food coloring

 

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Chinese Takeout Anyone??

photo 3  Birthday parties… The hardest thing about them is always the theme!!! For my sister though, that wasn’t the case. She’s been interested in the Chinese culture ever since my dad went there on a business trip haha. So of course, she had a Chinese themed party with everything Chinese you can think of! It was hilarious because half of the people she invited even came dressed in the Chinese cultural clothing. She asked me to make her her cake like last year (which was a rainbow layered cake from inside) so I didn’t mind at all, considering it’s been a while since I baked due to exams and studying. After some research, I decided that I was going to make her a fondant Chinese Takeout Cake! I used a Coconut Cake recipe seen below, covered it with fondant, & drew on it with edible food markers.

Coconut Cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (or 2/3 cup), RT
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Icing Recipe from here
  • Pre-made Fondant (bought from Michaels)

Directions:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients: cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  2. Cut the butter in 2-inch cubes and beat with the dry mixture until it becomes crumbly (1 minute aprox)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg whites, coconut milk, coconut, and vanilla extract
  4. Add half of this liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined
  5. Add the remaining liquid mixture until the batter is consistent and uniform
  6. Pour the batter in the cake pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely

What I did for assembling it was cut it into four pieces, which I then stacked on top of each other with layers of frosting in between. I completely coated the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting after to seal the crumbs (because you need a flat surface when you place the fondant over it). For the fondant, I just measured each side of the cake and cut out each piece a half inch larger so I could seal each side on top of each other. I drew the Chinese symbols & house onto the fondant cut outs before putting them on the cake.

Lastly… It was pretty spontaneous, but to top it off I decided to make her cupcakes to go along with it!

photo 4

Red, White, Green, and Black All Over

Me and some friends decided to make cupcakes for a bakesale to raise awareness and funds for the injustice going on in Syria. It started when me and my food-loving friend were looking at pictures of cupcakes and she showed me one that made a picture of a flag from cupcakes put together. Suddenly, we got the idea to do a bakesale. It was hard deciding how many to make and what design (whether the flag is on each one separately, on them as a whole), etc because there is just so much you can do with cupcakes. In the end, we decided to make 2 of the Syrian flags which can be seen below. We also made about a 100 red velvet and devil’s food cake cakeballs and dipped them all in a white base coat. Then, we dipped one side in green candy coating and the other in brown, topping them with a red dot to represent the stars. We only dipped about 50 due to running out of the white candy coating, which was the base for the cakeballs.

For the icing on the cupcakes, the green and red colors were the easiest to color. We had the toughest time with black though. The result you see below is a combination of blue gel coloring and also some black icing from those small pouches used to decorate cookies. I haven’t tried it yet, but it may be easier if you try chocolate frosting as a base, and then add the gel colorings needed. There are also some black gel colorings you can get from Michaels or cake supply stores.


Since the homemade icing was so good at a previous bake sale, we decided to make it again! But, we forgot one important ingredient: the heavy whipping cream :O Hakuna matata. We found another recipe that didn’t use heavy cream and it turned out better than the last. Instead of the heavy cream, we just used milk. Also, instead of the 1 cup shortening, we divided it into 1/2 shortening and 1/2 cup butter. It does make a stiff icing so we just added more milk (3 tablespoons instead of 2) and also half a can of store bought frosting.

Buttercream Icing #2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
Directions:
  1. Cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla extract
  2. Blend in all 4 cups of sugar
  3. Add the milk and beat with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy

Yum, an assortment of red velvet and devil’s cake cakeballs!

Cupcake decorating set = amazing set of mini cupcakes

A couple days later, I made more because I was still obsessed with making cupcakes, both mini and regular. We had too many for us, so our lucky neighbor got a tray of cupcakes!

This is how our neighbor returned the tray to us, full of delicious chocolate chip brownies. Yummy!

A World of Cupcakes

Im not really sure why but I just never gave much thought to cupcakes. It was always about cakes, cakes, cakes, ever since I started watching Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss which highlighted the potential of a simple cake mix. Just recently though I got hooked onto DC Cupcakes. I know, they’re just cupcakes and you probably think you can’t do much with them. Wrong. The amazing displays they did on that show were as cool as Cake Boss, though I still prefer fondant over icing any day. After watching the first whole season, me and my sister got inspired and decided that we were going to make cupcakes! A search for a cupcake pan failed, so we went and bought a mini cupcake pan as well as the regular 12 piece cupcake pan. We used the recipe for the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake for the cupcakes and a buttercream recipe for the frosting. Our first try at the cupcakes was with a banana nut recipe which was a cooking disaster.. I think we put too much banana in the mix because after an hour, the mini cupcakes were still not cooked! Not to worry though, we had a backup Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe which hasn’t failed us to date. The cupcakes tasted great not to mention the homemade icing too! Can’t wait to buy new icing tips and experiment with different designs :)

Homemade Buttercream Icing 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of shortening
  • 4 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
Directions:
  1. Cream the shortening until fluffy and consistent.
  2. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix well.
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients: salt, vanilla, and heavy cream
Tips:
-You can use butter instead if you don’t have shortening or prefer a sweeter icing. Or an even different combo would be doing half butter and half shortening