Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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So, like everyone, I am a little obsessed with Pinterest.   I found this delicious seeming chocolate zucchini bread and needed to make it immediately.

The recipe can be found here – http://www.sliceoffeist.com/2010/08/very-grateful/

I decided to make them in a whole loaf form to keep at home, and mini cupcakes to take to work.

ImageThese little minis were adorable.  I made a cinnamon cream cheese frosting to top them off

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing:

4oz cream cheese, softened

1tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients until the icing is a thick spreadable consistency.  This won’t be like regular cupcake frosting, but would more resemble melted cream cheese.  It should be like that, its ok.  You can add more sugar if you want a sweeter more frosting-like texture.  I really wanted something more tangy and like a glaze so this was perfect for me.

I used the icing to glaze the whole loaf of bread.  Yum. Image

be mindful of the bake times.  If this goes even a minute too long, the bread will be very very dry.  Enjoy!

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Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

So… it was my boss’s birthday.  I don’t know how old she is, old enough that she didn’t want to tell anyone.  So I made her some birthday cupcakes.   Its not kiss-assing per se… more like I dunno, an excuse to make cupcakes.  Apparently she likes chocolate dipped strawberries – at least according to my other coworker who has worked for her a lot longer than I have.  So since that coworker is also allergic to chocolate, I decided that strawberry shortcake cupcakes were the way to go.

Makes: 24 cupcakes

Cupcakes:

1 box butter yellow cake mix

1 can diet cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix diet soda and cake mix.  Bake at 350 for 16 minutes.  The batter was really runny, so adjust baking times as needed.

Let cool

Filling  (optional)

1/2 can of strawberry pie filling.

Once cool, cut out a portion of the middle of the cupcakes. I tried to make the cuts in a ‘cone’ or v shape.  Make sure not to cut all the way down to the bottom of cupcake.

Icing:

1 stick of butter, softened

8oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup strawberry preserves (I used seedless)

1 tsp vanilla

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy.  Add preserves and vanilla and beat until fluffy and creamy.   Stir in powdered sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency and sweetness.  It is very important, in the heat of summer, to make sure you are making your frosting in a cool room.  My apartment gets stupid hot, despite my air conditioning, and my icing was melty and soupy.  I tried putting it in the fridge for a while to harden it, but really, once it gets that bad there is no going back.  I piped it onto the cupcakes in the 1M rose technique, which I will not describe here.  Go to youtube, you lazy asshole, and look it up.

I topped 1/2 of them off with white chocolate dipped strawberries and the other half I left plain and topped with sprinkles.  Only because I didn’t have a full 24 strawberries to dip.   They were really delicious and everyone loved them at the office.  The butter flavor of the cake is insane good with the strawberry filling and the frosting is super creamy.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

So.. Father’s Day… right?  I don’t really have a dad.  I mean, obviously I do but he lives in Mexico and I don’t really ever see him so usually Father’s Day is just another Sunday but everyone else has to buy presents and cards and I get to smugly do nothing while all those chumps spend $2.79 on a card.

Anyway, my boyfriend has a real dad so my years of not-having-a-dad are over and I have to celebrate.  No one asks more questions about my cupcakes than my bf’s dad, so I had to make him cupcakes or he’d think I don’t like him.   So I made these delicious cupcakes!

They’re dark chocolate cupcakes with a raspberry cheesecake filling and a raspberry creamcheese buttercream.  And they’re so good.  Way better than I imagined – I don’t really like chocolate cake so I kind of thought the’d be ‘meh’.    I was happily mistaken, though sadly all the cupcakes were eaten and I don’t have any leftovers to pig out on.

Recipe – Makes 24 cupcakes.

Raspberry Cheesecake Filling:
8oz cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp raspberry preserves

Beat cream cheese and sugar together until well combined about 3- 5 minutes until creamy.  Beat in egg and vanilla for an additional 1 -2 minutes.  Stir in raspberry preserves, but don’t mix in totally.  You want swirls and pockets of raspberry in the cheesecake filling.  Refrigerate for about an hour or more so its firm enough to handle.  I put mine in over night.

Chocolate Cake:

Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix

10 oz (1 can) diet cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat the cake mix and soda together until there are no lumps.  Refrain from eating all the batter.  Pour into lined cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way full.   Scoop a heaping spoon full of the cream cheese batter into the cake batter.  Bake for 15 mins at 350.

In the picture I put a washed and dried fresh raspberry to bake into the center of the cupcake.  They were really good that way, but its optional.  I made half with a raspberry and half without and they were equally delicious.  The fruit will release a lot of water so if you’re not planning on eating the cupcakes the same day or the next day, I’d go without the raspberry in the middle.  It will get too soggy and wet to be delicious longer than the day after.

Raspberry Buttercream

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tsp raspberry extract

1/3 cup raspberry preserves

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

dark chocolate melting candy for drizzle

24 raspberries for garnish, washed and dried to remove extra moisture

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.  Add preserves and 1/2 of the raspberry extract.   The extract can make the frosting taste really artificial and gross.  You want to add the extract a little at a time so it doesn’t turn overwhelming and disgusting and you have to start over.  Taste the frosting and make sure its raspberry enough for you.  If not, stir in the second teaspoon.  I used the full 2 teaspoons if you were wondering.   Add the sugar until you reach the desired sweetness and texture.  Mine was a little thin, because I like it that way.  Pipe onto cool cupcakes.   Melt your chocolate and put into a piping bag to drizzle over your cupcakes.  Or, if you were lazy like me and didn’t want to wash a piping bag and tips, cut a tiny corner off the end of a sandwich bag and drizzle onto the cupcakes with that.  Top with a raspberry and eat.

Rolo Cupcakes

I love you mommy!

OK, so Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday.  Since I’m probably the best daughter of all time, and clearly my mother’s favorite I have to keep that up by buying her an awesome gift, taking her to a nice dinner, and baking her delicious cupcakes.  She’s a chocolate fiend, so I had to make her chocolate cakes.  I already made oreo cake for her birthday, so I went rolo.  Logical next step, of course. So, behold, my Chocolate Rolo Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting.

They’rsuper adorable and I have a freezer full of rolos.  Someone come eat those – I’m on a diet.

Makes: 24 Cupcakes

1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix (I used dark chocolate fudge cake, yum)

1 can diet cream soda

24 rolos – frozen for at least 2 hours

Frosting:
2 sticks of butter, softened

2.5 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup caramel sauce

2 bags of mini rolos, or 24 additional rolos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix and diet soda and beat for about 5 minutes with hand mixer.  When the batter is smooth scoop into a lined cupcake tin.   Unwrap 24 rolos and put the rolo in the center of the cupcake.  Push a little until just level with the top of the batter.  Bake for 15 minutes.

In another bowl mix butter with hand mixer until smooth and fluffy.  Add caramel sauce and beat for another minute.  Mix in powdered sugar a portion at a time until the frosting reaches the sweetness and thickness that you like.  Its all about you.  Add more caramel until the frosting doesn’t just taste like butter.

Pipe on frosting and smoosh a rolo on top.  Wah, la!  Fancy.

I hope my mom loves me for all of this.

Peanut Butter and Banana Cake

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So my little brother turned 27 on Friday.  27.  Ugh.  Anyway, he’s 27 and a father and all of these things blow me away constantly because I still picture him as a bratty 7 year old.  We took him out to a family dinner and of course I baked him a cake. What kind of cake would a bratty 7 year old boy want for his birthday?  A banana cake with peanut butter frosting, of course.  Because my brother is obsessed with our Mexican heritage I decorated the cake with a sombrero and a bandito-mustache.  Its kind of racist, so you don’t get a picture of that.  

Banana Cake – 

1 box of banana cake mix

1 ripe banana

1 1/3 cup water

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs 

 

I added a banana to the cake mix to add some real flavor, since banana cake mix kind of tastes fake.  I also added the banana to make the cake more moist since I find that cake made from the box is kind of dry. It worked!  Pour all ingredients into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for about five minutes until the batter is really smooth.  Bake according to the box directions.

Peanut Butter icing

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

2/3 cup peanut butter

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

3 tsp water

Beat butter until smooth.  Stir in peanut butter and beat for an additional 2 minutes until well blended and smooth.  Slowly add the powdered sugar until the icing reaches a thin consistency.  It should be smooth and taste delicious. 

I baked the cake with the original intention of making it a layer cake by putting some chocolate fudge icing in the middle. Unfortunately I made some kind of ridiculous baking mistake that made the cake too dense and overly moist.  I mean, it was still delicious, but I was all ‘WTF, cake”  Turns out I forgot to put eggs in the cake.  Oops.  But anyway, I couldn’t cut this cake into layers so I needed a chocolate option.  I frosted the entire cake with the peanut butter frosting and then took one of those weird meat-mallet-hammer things and broke up some chocolate chips and pushed them on the sides of the cake.  It looked super cute and like it came from a grocery store bakery – so you know, really professional.   Then i piped on some racist decorations and it was done. 

The cake was seriously delicious, even with my no-egg mistake.  The flavor combination is something that everyone should try.  I didn’t think that banana and peanut butter would be good, but it seriously is.  My boyfriend has decided that despite a previous request for his favorite cake flavor for his birthday, he needs this cake again next week.  So I will get to continue to make and eat this delicious cake again next week.  Holy yum.