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Birthday Trio

Hey folks ;) sorry things have been a little quiet around here from me lately… life has kind of been super busy lately.  Good busy, but still super busy.  I haven’t had much time to write posts, but have no fear I have been baking!

My god-daughter turned 1 a few weeks ago and I had the privilege of making cupcakes for her big day!  I went with a trio of flavors, wanted to keep it kind of simple but still tasty.  Unfortunately the weather was ALL kinds of terrible that day, so it was super cold outside, but the cupcakes were a big hit and they were also fun to make :)

I made 6 dozen total, 2 dozen of each flavor… Vanilla with Dark Chocolate Buttercream, Banana with Caramel Buttercream and Strawberries and Cream.  I don’t think there was a favorite, but I wanted to eat all of the Strawberries and Cream by. myself. no. sharing.  They were pretty delish :) they’ll definitely be a summer staple in my house.

They took a few hours to make, but I was able to get everything done Friday night and ready to go for the party the next day!  My strategy for making so many cupcakes was to bake first and then frost everything last.  I felt like it was easier to make each Cupcake flavor, let it cool, start on a new batch and then by the time they were all done baking I started on the frosting.  Most of the time I prefer to have everything uniform, cause I’m a little crazy like that… but that would have meant washing the piping tip too and that didn’t seem like a fun time! lol… The colors were lime green & hot pink so I went w/ a pattern for 2 and a plain liner for the 3rd.

Banana Cupcakes (Source: Martha Stewart) with Caramel Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

(Yield: 12 cupcakes)

*If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, then you know that I heart heart heart these banana cupcakes like crazy, why fix something if it ain’t broke, right? They’re super easy to make, taste delish and I haven’t found a banana cupcake/frosting combo that I don’t like yet… so, basically what I’m saying is don’t get mad if they keep showing up :) lol

Caramel Buttercream (Source: Joy the Baker)

*Disclaimner #2: I didn’t actually use caramel for these… I used the dulche de leche that I still had in a jar, because *miracle*music* I still had some left over from the last time I baked with it.  But, you can’t really tell the difference AND you don’t have to ask me twice to eat more dulce de leche than is neccessary :)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup dulce de leche, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter & cream cheese together in a standing mixer until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add dulce de leche to the mixture and cream together for 30 seconds.
  3. Add powdered sugar to the mixture, on low speed, and mix until incorporated.
  4. Pipe with a large star tip.

Vanilla Cupcakes (Source: Joy the Baker) with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Yield: 2 dozen

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and vanilla extract.  Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy 3 to 5 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.  The batter may look like it’s curdled, that’s okay (true story, so don’t let it stress you out)
  6. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the vanilla milk mixture in three batches, starting and ending with the flour.  When the batter is almost combined, stop the mixer and finish mixing the batter with a spatula.
  7. Fill liners 3/4 full with batter and bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*I decided not to use the vanilla bean this recipe calls for, because I wanted to save what I had on hand for creme brulee ;)

Dark Chocolate Buttercream (Recipe Source: Bakerella)

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (recommended: Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
  • 1 box (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk (*if needed)
  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer.
  2. Add the cocoa and vanilla.
  3. Add the confectioner’s sugar in small batches and blend on low until combined. Scrape down sides with each addition.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire.

You’ve seen this before here too… it’s such a tasty frosting, nice & rich, the perfect compliment, in my opinion to these cupcakes!

Strawberries and Cream (Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes Book)

  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (not self rising)
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large who eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups finely chopped strawberries (about 20)

Yield: 34 cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.  Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt.
  2. Using a standing bowl mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.  Add whole eggs and white, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low, add flour in 2 batches, alternating with milk and beating until combined.  Fold in chopped strawberries by hand.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling 3/4 way full.  Bake, rotating pans 1/2 way through for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree (I used my blender to puree the strawberries and probably used about 10-15)
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  1. In a standing bowl mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed, about 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 1/2 of the strawberry puree to the mixer and blend until combined (*you may or may not use all of the puree, keep an eye on the consistency of your frosting.)
  3. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and mix until combined.

*I used more strawberry puree than I probably needed, so my frosting wasn’t very stiff, but I liked the consistency and the flavor, so that worked for me.  If you would like to pipe your frosting into a pretty shape, I would suggest using less puree and more powdered sugar.  Ps. This isn’t the frosting from the book, I’m still not quiet brave enough to make a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but one day soon ;)

I know this was a long post, if you’re still with me, then I thank you :) I hope that you’re having a great week… I’ll be back soon with more good stuff!  Can’t stay away too long! *hugs*




Wednesday 18th of May 2011

So many flavors to pick from today... They all look amazing.. I love strawberry frosting.. did my own a couple of weeks ago.. love it! I can't wait to try the banana and caramel ones here.