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

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

Icing Sugar Cookies 101

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I just love sugar cookies. The first time I made them was when I made these Phineas & Ferb themed cookies for a friend’s birthday. They were a lot of fun to make; it’s like a coloring book but on a cookie instead. After my first try I was down for round two: a bridal shower! A quick glance at the cutest dress and cake shaped cookies on Pinterest was more than enough to convince me to order the wedding shaped cookie cutters from Amazon. Thank god for prime shipping, because they came right in time, a few days before the bridal shower. It took me about two days to make the sugar cookies and ice them. I started the cookies the day before the event with a friend, cutting and baking about 60 of them. It took us a few hours as we also made a New York style cheesecake to accompany the cookies. I iced the outline and flood-iced the base for the cookies that night, which had to dry for a couple hours. The next day, I piped on the details and decor successfully completing the bridal themed sugar cookies. Honestly, I was a bit unsure as to how they would turn out, because it was my first time trying them out. They turned out great, although the cookies probably took me longer than they should have. I learned quite a few tips along the way that will greatly assist me for next time. Read on to find out how you can make these sugar cookies too!

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Phineas & Ferb Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 sticks of butter, room temp
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Beat the softened butter until it is creamy and add the powdered sugar until incorporated
  2. Add in the flour, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and salt and mix until no lumps are visible
  3. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour until dough is firm
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F
  5. Roll dough and cut out respective shapes
  6. Place baking tray in freezer for 5 minutes so the cookies can retain their shape while baking
  7. Bake for about 7-8 minutes

Tips & Recommendations

*You can always substitute an ingredient or baking tool if missing. In my case, we could not find the rolling pin and so to roll the cookies we ended up using a pestle mortar. The cookies could have been made a little more even as some were slightly lopsided, but it worked out in the end.

*Make sure the butter is at room temperature as to avoid a lumpy dough, you want it to be well incorporated.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs meringue powder
  • food coloring (optional)

Basic Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix for 7 minutes until smooth
  2. Divide icing into the number of colors you are using and add food coloring
  3. Add about a teaspoon of water so the icing will be a piping consistency. If still too stiff, add more water.
  4. Outline all of the cookies
  5. Add more water to the icing so you can “flood” your cookies (filling in the outlines)
  6. After you flood the cookies, let them dry for a couple hours and add details after

Detailed Directions:

1. Preparation

-Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix for about 7 minutes until smooth.

2. Coloring

-Divide icing into the amount of colors needed. I colored half of the icing that I made purple, leaving the other half plain white.

3. Piping the Outlines

-Add about a teaspoon of water to the icing until it is a consistency that can be piped. Be careful not to add too much water, so add it in very small amounts. You don’t want it too runny nor too stiff.

-Place the icing into a piping bag now. If you have a disposable bag, a trick I learned was to get some seran wrap and place about 2-3 spoons of icing onto it. Wrap the seran wrap like you are wrapping a tortilla roll, and then snip the end of it with scissors. Place your seran-wrapped icing into the piping bag now, keeping it clean and easy to wash. Click here for step by step pictures to see how this is specifically done.

-Using a #2 tip, pipe thin seamless lines lining all of your cookies.

4. Flooding The Cookies

-When you finish outlining, you need to then flood your cookies. This is done by adding more water to your icing, about 1/2 a teaspoon at a time until it is a consistency that can be spread easily onto the cookies. Use a toothpick to help spread the icing around and get it into tight spots.

-Let the cookies dry for about a couple hours before you put any of the detailing onto them.

Tips & Recommendations

*Meringue powder can be found at craft and baking stores such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby

*Be VERY careful when adding water to your icing to make it into a piping consistency. Add it 1/4-1/2 teaspoon at a time. You want it to easily come out of your tip, but not too runny or stiff.

*When flooding your cookies, make sure the icing is runnier than when you piped the outlines. I made the mistake of adding not enough water which prolonged the amount of time it took me to flood the cookies. The icing should be able to cover the whole cookie without you having to spread it.

*If you are time crunched and for whatever reason can’t wait for the base flood icing to dry, there is an alternative as always. Turn on your oven to 250 F and then turn it off. Put your wet cookies onto a baking sheet and place into the still warm oven for about 5 minutes or longer until you see them dry.

Sugar Cookies Step by Step Pictures

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Outlining the Sugar Cookies

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More Outlining of Sugar Cookies

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Flood Icing the Outlines

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And the decorating begins…

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Cake, Cake, Cake

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The Bridal Shower Dessert Table

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Finished Look

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Cheesecake to Top it All Off

Leave any suggestions or unanswered questions below!

Pumpkin Spice Feast: Homemade Cupcakes & Ice Cream

The best part about this season has definitely got to be all the pumpkin spiced desserts and drinks out. Most commonly known are probably the famous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes or those Sprinkles Pumpkin Spice cupcakes. Even grocery stores are swimming with this unique flavor in generic cakes, cupcakes, pies, etc. It was crazy, but I actually found a cream cheese that was pumpkin flavored. It tasted pretty normal, just with the pumpkin spice flavor added in. The best though was the Pumpkin Pecan creamer, which was just perfect with my morning coffee. I know… I’m on a pumpkin flow here haha.

Of course it’s nice seeing all these delicious desserts at stores where you can conveniently buy them. What’s even better though is when you can make them freshly without that commercial taste. Check below for a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe as well a Pumpkin Ice-cream recipe :)

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Cupcakes: recipe from a previous post found here.

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Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Printable Recipe: Here

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Whisk the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract together and refrigerate for about 3-8 hours
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes, till bubbles form around the edges of the pan
  4. Whisk the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of heavy cream until combined in a separate bowl
  5. Remove the heavy cream mixture from the saucepan and whisk about 1/2 cup of it into the egg yolk mixture
  6. Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it thickens (do not let it boil)
  7. Strain through a sieve into a bowl
  8. Place this bowl in another bowl full of ice-water
  9. Whisk the pumpkin puree into this custard like mixture and refrigerate for 3-24 hours
  10. Cover it with a plastic wrap pressed on the surface to prevent a skin from forming
  11. Transfer your custard to an ice-cream maker and freeze it according to the ice-cream maker’s instructions

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!

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Happiness in A Cupcake

Spontaneous baking… Haha that’s what this was. That & it was the perfect opportunity to use those edible silver pearls I just bought! I really wanted to make something with bananas so I was about to make my 4-ingredient banana bread, but…… There was the fact that I couldn’t remember the last time I made cupcakes. Cupcakes it was :)

*Why do I say “Happiness in A Cupcake”?? Well, as it turns out- Bananas have been known to cheer people up. They are the only fruit that contain high levels of tryptophan that is later converted to serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that lowers depression. Sadly….. I discovered during my research that this is a myth -__- Yes, bananas contain serotonin. BUT there remains the fact that this serotonin is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier and so can’t get to where it needs to be. I still believe there is a lot of happiness to be found in bananas. Seriously, with almost no fat, low calories, and a plentiful of vitamins who could deny this bountiful fruit?

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Get a large mixing bowl and beat the butter for a few minutes until creamy 
  2. Add the sugar and then the eggs & vanilla extract while beating at a low speed
  3. Add the 2 mashed bananas & coconut and continue to beat
  4. Mix in the flour and buttermilk in small intervals
  5. Fill the cupcake pan about 2/3 full each and bake for about 18 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and butter
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small intervals
  3. Pour in the vanilla extract and beat until fluffy for a couple minutes

 

Adapted from BlissfullyDelicious

Simple Pleasures of Life

Yes, I know. This is probably my millionth post about cupcakes on my blog, but they are just so much fun to make (and eat)! Trust me, it’s hard to stop once you develop an obsession with food. My previous obsessions include fondant cake and cakeballs, but after I watched a couple episodes of DC Cupcakes, it is now cupcakes. Who ever knew cupcakes could be so much fun?

Red velvet cupcakes + buttercream homemade icing = perfection <3

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