Root Beer Cupcakes
with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream

Root Beer Cupcakes topped with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream by

I’m going on vacation next week.  Yup… 6 days away from home with my soldier and our beautiful kids.  We are driving North to Berlin visit the Berlin Zoo, Barbie Dreamhouse,  Starbucks, Hark Rock Cafe, Cupcake Berlin, the Markets plus all the historical sights like the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.

The super duper awesome part of our trip to Berlin… I’m staying with my friend Dawn, owner of Cupcake Berlin… and guess where her apartment is?  ON TOP OF THE CUPCAKE SHOP!  Yeaaaaah!  I’m going to be vacationing above a cupcake bakery! That’s so rad!!  Every morning we wake up, all I have to do is go downstairs for fresh pastries and cupcakes…. oh and coffee! YUM!  I can’t wait!

Root Beer Cupcakes topped with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream by

So yeah… since I’m not going to be around for a little bit, I decided I need to make a cupcake that was really going to WOW everyone… and tide you over until I bake again.  I began researching for this cupcake by doing what I usually do… Pinterest.  Ha!  I saw a few cakes and cupcakes made with reductions and I was intrigued.  One recipe I saw called for a reduction of root beer into a syrup.  Root beer cupcakes?!? Done!

Friday, my husband and I went shopping in Bayreuth and came across a chocolate shop that was selling a Bourbon Vanilla white chocolate.  Oh my god.  Bourbon Vanilla white chocolate?!?!!??!?!!?  I kick myself every day for not buying a bar.  BUT… that gave me the inspiration for the second half of my cupcake.  A bourbon reduction infused with vanilla and cream… oooooooooh yeah!

Root Beer cupcakes with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream was the final product!

Before I get to the recipe though… I need to tell you about this Bourbon Vanilla Cream.  This stuff… you need to just make it to have on hand in your fridge.  It’s AMAZING in coffee, frosting,  mixed into a glaze for a cake… or by the spoonful.  I’m actually making another batch tomorrow to bring to Dawn in Berlin.  This is one of those recipes that I just threw together as I was making it and honestly… it’s AMAZING!  Creamy, sweet and a rich bourbon flavor!  And since all the alcohol cooks out… there isn’t a strong liquor flavor to it.  It’s subtle and so delicious!  Make it!

Root Beer Cupcakes topped with Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream by

PS… I also used my new lightbox for these pictures.  What do you think?  I LOVE how they turned out.  SO much better than the crappy overhead lighting I was dealing with before!  When I get back from my trip, I’ll have a DIY Light Box post for you!

So… until I come back…


Root Beer Cupcakes with Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream
Cook time
Serves: 1 dozen cupcakes
Bourbon Vanilla Cream
  • 1 cup Honey Bourbon (I used Wild Turkey American Honey)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¾ cup (200ml) Heavy Whipping Cream
Root Beer Syrup
  • 3 cups high-quality Root Beer (not diet) (I used 2 12oz bottles of IBC)
Root Beer Cupcakes
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup root beer syrup (see recipe above)
  • ¼ cup milk
Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift before measuring)
  • 1 Tbsp Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon
  • ¼-1/2 cup Bourbon Vanilla Cream
  • ⅛ tsp salt
Bourbon Vanilla Cream
  1. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a boil over medium-high heat. You will immediately smell the alcohol begin to burn off.
  2. Allow the bourbon to to boil/simmer until it has reduced by ⅔ to ⅓ cup.
  3. While the bourbon is simmering, split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out.
  4. After the bourbon has reduced, add the heavy cream and vanilla bean & seeds then whisk together.
  5. Reduce heat to low and bring to a very light simmer for 2 minutes. If the cream bubbles up over the sides, remove from the stove and reduce heat more. You want a very gentle bubble/simmer.
  6. Remove from heat and cool in the pan until it reaches room temperature.
  7. Strain out the vanilla bean pod and store in refrigerator. Use cold.
Root Beer Syrup
  1. In a medium pot, bring the root beer to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Allow to boil/simmer for about 30 minutes or until it reduces by ⅔. Stir occasionally.
  3. You should have about 1 cup of root beer syrup remaining.
  4. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Use immediately after cooled or store in refrigerator until ready to use. If you cooled it, bring to room temperature before using.
Root Beer Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes or until the sugar lightens in color.
  3. While the butter & sugar are creaming, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Measure out the root beer syrup and milk.
  4. Add the egg to the butter/sugar and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the flour mixture in three parts. In between each addition, add the root beer syrup and then the milk.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 liners.
  7. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Once cooled, poke 6-7 holes in the top of each cupcake with a toothpick. Drizzle 1 Tbsp root beer syrup over the top of each cupcake. Allow to soak into the cake before frosting.
Bourbon Vanilla Cream Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until incorporated after each addition.
  3. Add the bourbon and ¼ cup of Bourbon Vanilla Cream. Beat until smooth.
  4. Mix in the salt.
  5. Add up to ¼ cup more Bourbon Vanilla Cream until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until the frosting has become fluffy and light. Let frosting rest for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Frost cupcakes using a large round zip to create one dollop on top of the cake. (You can watch THIS VIDEO to see me deomstrate the technique. Decorate with any brown or chocolate candies or sprinkles.

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey’s Ganache

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey's Ganache by

It’s that time of year again… the time where I stock up on Guinness beer and Bailey’s Irish cream and Jameson whiskey.   And why? you may be wondering… well, it’s St. Patrick’s Day!  The day American’s celebrate their Irish heritage by getting sloshed! HA! I don’t particularly drink too much… so I like to use my liquor in my baking and this year made a chocolate Guinness Irish stout cake filled with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting and covered in white chocolate Bailey’s ganache.

OOooooooooooooooooooooh yeah.

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey's Ganache by

This chocolate cake is seriously one of my all time favorites.   I mean, I could make this cake over and over and over again (and trust me, I already have) and NEVER get tired of it.

At first, I just wanted to make a single layer of cake and cover it in a simple white chocolate Bailey’s ganache.  BUT… I didn’t have a large enough round pan (I wanted a 10in round pan, but I only had an 8in round).   Boo.  So, two 8in rounds it was.   Between the  two layers of cake is a Bailey’s Irish cream & white chocolate ganache that I let set up overnight in the fridge so that I could spread it.  On top is hot ganache poured over the cake and down the sides.  I love that you can see the chocolate layers of this cake too.  Yaahh… this cake is good.

I brought it over to my neighbor Chrissy’s house to share with her family.  I served a big ole slice to her husband with a Guinness… HUGE hit!


Irish Stout Cake with Bailey's Ganache by

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey’s Ganache
Dark chocolate Guinness Stout cake filled with Bailey's cream cheese frosting topped with Bailey's ganache and white chocolate shavings - the perfect St. Patrick's Day dessert!
Serves: 1 2-layer 8-inch cake
Irish Stout Cake
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 12oz bottle of Guinness Stout beer
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 6oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 2¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
Bailey's Ganahe
  • 6oz high quality white chocolate (not white chocolate chips)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • White chocolate shavings (garnish)
Irish Stout Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease and flour 2 8in round cake pans. I also lined mine with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the beer, cocoa powder and espresso powder until smooth. Bring to a simmmer and let bubble 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool 5-10 minutes.
  3. While it's cooling, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the vanilla, eggs and buttermilk.
  5. Once the chocolate mixture has slightly cooled, add 1-2 Tbsp of it to the eggs and milk and whisk until smooth. This is going to temper the eggs so they don't scramble. Slowly pour the remaining chocolate in with the eggs and whisk until incorporated.
  6. Make a well in the flour and pour in the chocolate. Use a spatula to fold together until no more flour can be seen. It will still be clumpy at this point. With your whisk, quickly stir the batter 20 strokes. Do not over mix. The batter may still have a few lumps in it, but that's okay.
  7. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. (I got about 2¾ cup of batter into each pan.)
  8. Bake at 375 F degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 F degrees and cook another 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake in the pans for 10 minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once cooled, trim the tops so that each cake is level and the same height.
  11. Wrap cake layers and freezer for several hours or over night.
Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
  1. Using your stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated.
  3. Add the Bailey's and salt and mix for 1 more minute.
  4. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until firm and easily spreadable without being too soft.
Bailey's Ganache
  1. Run the white chocolate though the food processor until it is in very small, fine pieces. If you don't have a food processor you can just chop the chocolate into very small, fine pieces. Place them in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a medium pot, bring the heavy cream, Bailey's and butter to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL. Pour cream over the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute.
  3. Stir chocolate and cream slowly and smoothly until all the chocolate has melted. Do not over-stir the chocolate... you don't want to create air bubbles.
  4. Place the bowl in a ice bath until it has come to room temperature. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until it has thickened.
  1. Place first layer of cold from the freezer cake on your cake stand, cut side up. Using all the cream cheese frosting, spread an even, flat layer across the top of the cake to the edges. Place the second layer of cake, cut side down on top of the frosting. Press down gently until the top is level. Put cake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove the cake from the freezer and spoon ganache on the top of the cake. Using an offset spatula, GENTLY AND SLOWLY spread the ganache to the sides of the cake. Add more ganache when needed to create an even layer. You'll want the ganache to slightly drip off the sides, but most of it to remain on top. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick.
  3. Garnish the top of the cake with white chocolate shavings.
  4. Store cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. Remove 15-20 minutes before you want to cut the cake.
  5. Store in an air tight container up to 2 days.


Crown Royal Cupcakes

 For the whiskey lover in your life, these Crown Royal Cupcakes are infused with the bold flavor of Crown Royal and filled with chocolate!  Decadent and delicious!

I am in love with my chocolate cake recipe.  It is so versatile.  I mean seriously.   I’ve made this chocolate cake so may different ways now… It’s gone mocha/coffee, dark chocolate, Guinness, cream, and now Crown Royal Reserve.  I love the fact that just replacing this one ingredient, substituting just this one aspect of the cake can change the flavor so drastically.  It’s amazing!

The cupcakes I made today are full of Crown Royal Reserve flavor.  The aroma of the batter was extremely intense and tasted so incredibly delicious.  The whiskey flavor was strong, but not over powering.   It was perfection.

Inside these cupcakes is a spiced chocolate cream I had left over from the pumpkin spice cupcakes I made last week.  I just whipped it up until it was smooth, added a tablespoon of Crown Royal to it and it was silky, smooth and perfect to fill these cupcakes with.

Topping these cupcakes is a cream cheese frosting with nothing but Crown Royal Reserve as the flavoring garnished with a dollop of the same chocolate cream as in the middle of the cake.

My neighbor got to sample one of the “rejects” as I call them and she said it was delish!  (I usually don’t even eat a whole cupcake when I make them for clients.  lol  I’ve made these types of cupcakes so many times that I know what it all tastes like already! I’d be 325lbs again if I ate a cupcake everytime I made them haha)


Crown Royal Reserve Cupcakes
Crown Royal infused dark chocolate cake filled with spiced dark chocolate cream topped with Crown Royal frosting. Perfect for the CR lover in your life!
Serves: 2 dozen cupcakes
Crown Royal Cupcakes
  • ¾ cup Crown Royal
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
Dark Chocolate Cream for the filling
  • Recipe can be found here!
  • NOTE: You'll only need about half of what the recipe makes, so save the rest for later or only make half
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
Crown Royal Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp Crown Royal (more if you want a thinner frosting)
Crown Royal Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Once melted, add the Crown Royal and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Bring just to a boil then remove from the heat to cool slightly.
  4. While cooling, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and milk in a medium bowl.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Slowly pour 2-3 Tbsp of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the rest in and whisk until combined.
  7. Make a well in the flour and pour in the wet mix. Whisk until smooth.
  8. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
Dark Chocolate Cream
  1. Using about half of the frosting from the this recipe, add 1 Tbsp of heavy cream.
  2. Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, whip frosting until light and fluffy.
  3. Core each cupcake and fill with the chocolate cream.
Crown Royal Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on high until smooth. If it becomes too thick to mix, add the Crown Royal to loosen up.
  3. Mix in the salt and beat on high for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and top with a dollop of the dark chocolate cream to garnish.


New Year’s Raspberry Champagne Cupcakes

I’ve been dreaming of doing a special post for New Year’s… but wasn’t sure if I’d make it in time.  Today… well, with nothing really on the agenda today, I decided to spend a few hours in the kitchen and make some cupcakes!

And… what better way to celebrate the New Year than with a big bottle of BUBBLY!  These cupcakes have a very strong champagne flavor but paired with the homemade raspberry filling they sure are a sweet treat!

Of course, these little cupcakes had to be all dressed up to celebrate 2012!  I melted white chocolate and created the cutest toppers for these cupcakes… perfect to ring in the New Year!

Since this will be my final post of 2011… I want to take this time to wish you all a very Happy 2012!  I hope all your dreams and wishes come true in this year year!

Love you all!

Raspberry Champagne Cupcakes
Makes 18-20 cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup of your favorite champagne – I used Cook’s Extra Dry for this recipe

pink food gel coloring

Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners.

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy and smooth… at least 4-5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the vanilla and sour cream.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the flour and champagne, alternating, as well as beginning and ending with the flour.   Mix only until combined.
  5. At this point you can either add the pink food gel coloring or you can leave them white.  I did half white and half pink.  Mix the food gel only until combined… you don’t want to overwork the batter.
  6. Scoop into liners 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once cool, using an apple corer, remove the center of each cupcake and fill with raspberry filling.
Recipe adapted from: Sprinkle Bakes

Raspberry Filling
Makes enough to fill 2+ dozen cupcakes

1 bag of frozen raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
3-4 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp corn starch

  1. In a large pan on the stove, melt the butter.
  2. Add the raspberries, sugar and vanilla and cook for about 5 minutes on med-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  3. Once the sugar melts and the raspberries begin to bubble, in a 1 cup measuring cup, mix together with a fork 4-5 tbsp of the raspberry mixture and the corn starch.  Add this mixture back to the pan with the remaining raspberries and stir until combined.
  4. Bring mixture to a bubble/gentle boil then remove from the heat.  Stir every few minutes as it cools.
  5. Cool completely before filling cupcakes.
  6. To fill cupcakes:  place raspberry mixture into a piping bag and squeeze just enough filling into each cupcake.

Champagne Buttercream
Makes enough to frost 18 cupcakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup butter flavored shortening (you could use all butter if you wanted too)
1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup Champagne (I used the same as what I put in the cupcakes)

  1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of champagne and mix on high until smooth.  Add remaining champagne until you get the consistency you desire.
  5. Mix frosting on high for 1-2 minutes until fluffy and the color brightens.
  6. Pipe frosting onto your cupcakes and decorate!

And here they are all dressed up for a client to enjoy!  Happy 2012!