Happy birthday… to me!

Wow. It has been months. I mean, months, since I’ve posted! It even feels weird to be typing this up!

Quick catch up… I got my first teaching job! I graduated last June, and was hired in August to be a half day Kindergarten teacher. MAN. Half day Kinder is tough. But, at the same time it is rewarding and fun! And because of the craziness, it is safe to say that my life has been taken over! All I do is teach, plan for teaching, organize for teaching, talk about teaching. I LOVE IT! And, I have an amazing husband who is supportive and listens as I ramble on, and on about my days. However, life is good!

The other day I was reading up on a friend’s blog. She is blogging to keep family and friends in communication about her pregnancy. She made my bagels recipe, and shared it on her blog. I realized how long it has truly been since I blogged and how much I enjoy it! So, here I am! It was perfect timing because… today… is… my… birthday!! Yes. I am 27 today. Weird. And, I was already planning on baking up some birthday happiness, so it was a perfect time to share with you all!! {If anyone is still even subscribed/reading my blog that is! ;)}

For my birthday I couldn’t choose between a lemon cupcake with lemon curd filling, or a mocha inspired cupcake. Alas, the chocolate and coffee lover in me won!

I thought it was fitting that I take a pic to mark my enthusiasm to get back into blogging… CHEESE!

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Yep. 27 year old cheesy smile. It still feels weird to say I’m 27. :-\

Anyhow – these cupcakes were fun to make. I must admit I wasn’t thrilled with the texture, and they weren’t chocolaty enough for my tastes, but all in all they are good! The frosting is smooth and airy and delicious! The frosting is definitely a remake!

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Yummm. These will be delish tonight for a birthday treat.

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Eeek. All my cute little cupcake soldiers lined up! Ready to be devoured!

ONTO the recipe!!!

Mocha Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 5 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

For the cupcakes:

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder and espresso powder. Set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together cooled coffee and buttermilk. Set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, beating in one at a time.
  5. Slowly add in dry ingredients, alternating with milk mixture {about 3 additions of each}.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake liners, no more than half full {seriously – the rise up fast, and don’t dome over like most cupcakes… don’t over fill!}
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. For the frosting, warm cream for about 30 seconds in microwave. Whisk in espresso powder and chocolate syrup. Set aside {I threw mine into the freeze for 5-10 minutes to cool down the mixture, so as to not melt my thick airy frosting!}.
  2. Beat butter, powdered sugar together, until fluffy. About 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add cooled cream & espresso mixture slowly until desired consistency. If desired, whip an additional 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with chocolate covered espresso bean, or in my case a chocolate covered nut or chocolate ball {Chocolate covered espresso beans are non-existent where I live!}.

Source & Recipe {very slightly adapted} from: Shugary Sweets

I hope y’all have a great weekend and a safe St. Patty’s!! 🙂

CIAO!

xoxo

Birthday mission: Creamsicle Cupcakes!

Today is my birthday! Woo hoo! 🙂

I have done tons of research the past few weeks to find the *perfect* birthday treat. I decided a while ago that I need a tropical vacation, life is so busy right now I want to scream at times, and our weather is disgusting! So, I figured, what better way to get a vacation than through a dreamy cupcake?! 😉 I was torn between these creamsicle cupcakes and a pina colada cupcake. I fell in love with this creamsicle cupcake because it is filled with a creamy vanilla mousse. It sounded so good!

And you know what?

IT IS.

🙂

Well, off to birthday dinner. Enjoy the cupcakes!

Creamsicle Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, best if not refrigerator cold
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk, best if not refrigerator cold

Vanilla Mousse Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (4 serving) package vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (not Cook & Serve)

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • orange sprinkles or sanding sugar, if desired

Directions:
*Note: This recipe makes twice as much mousse as you need for filling the cupcakes. If you want to use half the pudding pack and save the rest for later, just measure it out and do so. Or use the extra mousse for another project (you know, like eating it with a spoon).

  1. Make cupcakes: Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate, medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light, fluffy, and pale yellow. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating after each, and then beat in the vanilla and orange extract. Add the dry ingredients in, alternating with the milk, in three additions. Begin and end by adding the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
    Fill the paper liners about 2/3 full of batter and bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove cupcakes from the oven and let cool completely.
  2. Make mousse: To make the vanilla mousse, combine milk, cream, and pudding mix in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer until you reach soft peaks, or a thick whipped cream consistency (this takes a few minutes). Refrigerate mousse until you’re ready to use it.
  3. Make frosting: To make the frosting, cream butter and cream cheese together until fluffy in a large bowl. Add extracts and mix. Add sugar gradually, mixing as you go, and then beat the frosting until smooth and creamy. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  4. Assemble cupcakes:  To fill the cupcakes, use the Cone Method: cut an upside-down cone out of the top of each one. Cut off the tip of the cone (and eat it, if you wish) leaving just the “lid.” Fill the cavity with mousse using a piping bag or zip-top bag with the corner cut off, and then replace the “lid” to give you a relatively smooth surface to frost. Use a piping bag or zip-top bag to pipe on the frosting. Sprinkle on orange sanding sugar, if desired.

Source & Recipe: Willow Bird Baking, originally adapted from My Baking Addiction