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.

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Rainy Day Lemon Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

So Friday it was around 75 degrees and sunny and wonderful.  Saturday, slightly cooler and rainy.  Sunday, its frigid and dreary and drizzling.  Tomorrow its supposed to snow.  WTF, weather.

The only thing to do on days like this is to insist that spring and summer continue to arrive.  In order to do this I made some peach iced tea and lemon cookies.  Peach and lemon remind me of the childhood growing up with a southern grandmother and solving mysteries in the holler that I never actually had.  But I’ve seen them on Country Time Lemonade commercials.

Anyway, on to the cookie recipe:

1 box lemon cake mix

2 tsp lemon juice

1/3 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

raspberry preserves (Ok, so I don’t know exactly how many cookies this recipe makes.  Since I don’t know that, I will just tell you that you need about 1 tsp of raspberry preserves per each cookie.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, lemon juice, canola oil, and eggs.  Fold in white chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto a baking sheet using a cookie dough scoop.  Flatten out the dough balls a teeny bit, then spread the raspberry preserves on to half the dough and fold the other half on top.  You won’t be able to cover the entire thing, thats ok.  It will seep out the sides and bubble and be delicious.

Bake for about 8 minutes until the tops of the cookies are golden brown.

Eat while enjoying a rainy lazy day in your sweat pants!

Butterfly Cupcakes

Ok, so I’m a little late posting these, but whatever.  Suck it, fools.

So I made these little cupcakes for my niece’s first birthday party.  They turned out both adorable and delicious.  I mean, not to brag or anything but these were probably the best cupcakes in the entire world at that party.  My sweet chubby niece’s birthday is at the end of dreary horrible January.  What little girl wants a slush covered dull January grey birthday party?  Probably none.  Well, what 1 year old wants any kind of birthday party.  None.  One year olds can’t even not shit in their own pants, so you know, I think planning a birthday party is a little over their heads.

So… the party.  It was a super girly pink/pastel butterfly themed party.  I wanted everything colorful and bright and sweet and spring time.  I couldn’t think of a more light spring time cupcake than a lemony cream cake with raspberry icing.

mmmm lemony!

Cakes:
Lemon Supreme Cake

12oz cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine soda and cake mix and scoop into cupcake liners.  Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Icing:
1.5 small boxes of raspberry jello, unprepared

2 sticks of butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Whip butter, jello, and vanilla until fluffy.  Seriously, do I need to say it.  About 3-5 minutes.  Stir in raspberry jello until combined.  I needed a lot of raspberry jello to get the flavor that I wanted, you can add more or less.  Or you can add some raspberry preserves or jelly instead of the jello powder.  My mom is kind of a baby about the seeds in raspberries so I had to add the flavor without putting seeds in.  The jello powder worked perfectly and it made the icing the most perfect vibrant pink color.

I piped the icing on the cupcakes once they were cool using a 1M tip.  Then I topped with some confetti sprinkles and a white chocolate butterfly.  I made a ton of those chocolate butterflies as candy for the party so I just stuck them on the cakes too.  They were an adorable addition.  Cute decorations with like, no effort.  I used a microwave and a freezer.  So easy, a baby could do it.  But they don’t because babies are notoriously lazy.