Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

Strawberry Surprise CupcakesStrawberry Surprise cupcakes.  What’s the surprise, you ask?  I baked a fresh strawberry inside!  Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

I actually only baked half of them with a strawberry because I wasn’t sure how it would work, so the rest were just vanilla buttermilk cupcakes with strawberry buttercream.  It was a success though; the strawberry cooked to a soft, yummy surprise, and didn’t seem to affect tStrawberry Surprise Cupcakes  Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes he way the cupcake baked.  The cupcakes themselves weren’t mind-blowing; they tasted pretty standard vanilla-ish, and were light and fluffy like a box mix would be.  They were a just tad dry for my taste…See, I like my cake super moist and dense…I should have added a package of vanilla pudding to the dry ingredients – oh well!  The buttercream was amazing.  You could really taste that it was made with fresh strawberries, as opposed to using jam or jelly.Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes: (Adapted from

  • 2 1/2 cups  flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt or salt substitute, i used no salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ~24 strawberries with the tops cut off
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line your muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil and vanilla extract.
  4. In a third , larger mixing bowl,  beat the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy (~3 mins).
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  6. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until blended.
  7. Fill cupcake wells two-thirds full.  If you want to bake strawberries in them, fill the well about 1/3 full, place a small strawberry inside, and then continue filling them to 2/3 full.
  8.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove the cupcakes and cool on a wire rack.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

Notes:  Do not overfill, a couple of mine flattened out over the top because they were too full, but the rest domed very nicely!

Strawberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-5 Tbsp strawberry puree
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar.
  3. Add vanilla and 3 Tbsp strawberry puree.  Taste for flavor, and add more as necessary; I used ~4 1/2 Tbsp total.  Depending on the amount of puree you use, you may need to add powdered sugar to maintain the right consistency.
  4. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes

Mudslide Cupcakes

Mudslide Cupcakes via elisebakesChocolate Kahlua cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream, doesn’t get much better than that!  The cupcakes were not as moist as I would have liked for them to be, but they were still very delicious; next time I’ll up the liquid ingredients to make up for it.  The buttercream was just as amazing as it sounds, I was licking the bowl.

Kahlua cupcakesmudslidecupcakes3

  • 1 box Duncan Hines devil’s food cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup Kahlua
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s
  1. Mix cake mix and all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth (beat on low until incorporated then about two minutes on medium).
  2. Spoon batter into greased or lined cupcake tin.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Bailey’s Buttercreammudslidecupcakes4

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp Bailey’s
  1. Cream butter.
  2. Add powdered sugar, gradually, beating between additions.
  3. Add vanilla and Bailey’s and continue to mix.
  4. Adjust texture/consistency by adding powdered sugar or milk by the teaspoon if necessary.

Note: I left a quarter of my buttercream plain vanilla, so you could add an additional Tbsp of Bailey’s for a stronger taste if you are using all of the buttercream this recipe makes.mudslidecupcakes2

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Nutella Buttercream

I had my first attempt at cake decorating last week, and for a first try, I think it went pretty well! I made the cake for my boss’s last day to wish him luck with his new business venture. It was very moist and had a great flavor. The buttercream wasn’t too sweet, which is something I think is very important when it comes to homemade frosting, and the nutella flavor combined very well with the cake and ganache!

Yellow Cake

  • 1 box of Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Butter and flour your cake pans (I used 3 9-in rounds so I would have 3 thinner layers).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, butter and milk and mix on medium speed until combined.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, with mixing well between each addition.
  4. Pour batter into pan(s).
  5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center come out clean.

Note: I then wrapped each layer separately, first with saran wrap, then with tin foil, and froze for a day and a half until I was ready to decorate. I thawed them in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours the day I assembled and decorated the cake.

Tip for Moist Cakes: Combine 2 parts water to 1 part sugar (I used 1 cup water to 1/2 c sugar) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes and remove from heat. When cool, put the sugar water in a small spray bottle. Before assembling your cake, use a fork to poke holes in the cakes surface, then spray several times with the water (I sprayed about 5 times on each layer). Let it sit for a little bit (maybe 10 minutes) before you begin frosting.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 1/4 c chocolate chips (semisweet)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
  1. In a double boiler, mix chocolate chips, half and half, and vanilla over simmering water. [Note: I don’t have a double boiler, so I just placed a heatproof bowl (I used a hard plastic bowl), in a saucepan with water]
  2. When there are no more chocolate chunks, you can remove the top (the bowl for me, but use a hot pad or towel).20121127-112729.jpg
  3. Let it cool for several minutes; I waited until mine was just about room temperature.
  4. Pour a generous amount of ganache onto the bottom two layers of your cake and even out with a spatula.
  5. Stick the layers in the freezer for a few minutes to harden up the ganache before you begin frosting.

Nutella Buttercream (from Sugar and Spice by Celeste)

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 13-ounce jar of Nutella
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar (1 bag)
  • 6-8 Tbsp milk
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and Nutella until combined and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
  3. Add salt, vanilla, and a couple tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.
  4. Add additional tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency.
  5. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  6. Assemble your cake!

Butterfinger Cupcakes

I have a friend whose favorite candy bars are Butterfingers, so when her birthday came, I had to incorporate butterfingers into her birthday treat!  I was short on time the day I baked the cupcakes, so I just doctored up a box mix (I do this a lot).  The cupcakes were very rich and had a great texture!  The ganache was pretty standard as far as ganaches go, but I got a lot of compliments on this buttercream!!  It had a sort of subtle Butterfinger taste, wasn’t too sweet, and had a good texture even with the candy bars in it.  Delicious!

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake
  • 1 package of vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted (melts down to just under a cup)
  • 1 cup water, lukewarm
  1. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix and vanilla pudding with a whisk to mix thoroughly and break up the large clumps.
  3. Add the melted butter and mix on medium.
  4. Add the water and continue to mix.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time; mix inbetween so each is incorporated.  Mix on high for a minute after the last egg is added.
  6. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 12 oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules (I used Starbucks Via Iced Coffee mix)
  1. In a double boiler, mix chocolate chips, half and half, and coffee granules over simmering water. [Note: I don’t have a double boiler, so I just placed a heatproof bowl (I used a microwaveable plastic bowl), in a saucepan with water]
  2. When there are no more chocolate chunks, you can remove the top (the bowl for me, but use a hot pad or towel).
  3. Let it cool for a couple minutes, then dip the top of your cooled cupcakes in the ganache.
  4. Let the dipped cupcakes sit for at least 15 minutes so the ganache can harden.

Butterfinger Buttercream:

  • 4 oz cream cheese (half a package)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 8 fun size butterfingers, crushed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp milk or cream
  1. Cream butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and mix.
  3. Add powdered sugar, slowly, with mixing.
  4. Add the crushed butterfingers.  If the buttercream becomes too stiff, add milk/cream by the teaspoon until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Pipe onto cupcakes!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

It’s fall, so pumpkin desserts seem only essential.  These pumpkin cupcakes were delicious; they had a soft, airy texture and weren’t overly pumpkin flavored.  But, let’s be real: the true champion here is the salted caramel buttercream.  It was out of this world.  I used homemade salted caramel, but you could use store-bought caramel sauce as well.

Pumpkin Cupcakes (from Food and Wine)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  1. Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.
  3. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and eggs at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in the oil, then beat in the pumpkin puree.
  5. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 batches (starting and ending with dry ingredients), beating well between additions.
  6. Pipe/Scoop/Spoon batter into cupcake tins and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup salted caramel
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla and salted caramel and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing between additions, until you reach desired consistency.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Caramel Buttercream

These delicious cupcakes were a hit with everyone.  The cake had a great flavor and texture and the buttercream was delicious, with just a hint of caramel.

Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Your Cup of Cake):

  • 1 Box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used 3/4 tbs vinegar + milk)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp kahlua
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Combine cake mix and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix with a whisk.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, kahlua and sour cream. Do not over mix.
  3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  4. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Caramel Buttercream:

  •  butter (1 + 1/2 stick), softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 container), softened
  • 2 Tbs Coffeemate Vanilla Caramel Creamer
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Gradually mix in 3 cups of powdered sugar until well combined (1/2 – 1 cup at a time).
  3. Add creamer and vanilla and mix.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar to reach desired consistency and taste.
  5. Pipe onto cupcakes.

White Russian Cupcakes

I love white russians! So, naturally when I came across a recipe for white russian cupcakes on pinterest, I couldn’t resist! And guess what? They were amazing! I made several modifications, but they still turned out great. Mhmm Dude-worthy, indeed.

White Russian Cupcakes


  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs and 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar
  • ¾ cup Butter
  • ¼ cup Vodka
  • ½ cup Kahlua
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate, large bowl, cream sugar and butter until smooth.
  3. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  4. Add vanilla, vodka, and kahlua while mixing.
  5. Slowly add flour in three additions, alternate with 2 additions of milk in between.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes.

Kahlua Buttercream:

  • 1 stick (½ cup) Butter
  • 3-4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 tbs Kahlua
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Cream butter until smooth.
  2. Add salt, vanilla and kahlua and mix.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach the consistency you desire.

Kahlua Icing:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs kahlua
  • A few drops of milk
  1. Mix the powdered sugar and kahlua in a small bowl; a whisk works best.
  2. Add a couple drops of milk and continue whisking.
  3. Add milk dropwise if necessary to get the appropriate consistency. It should be smooth and cling to the back of a spoon.
  4. Drizzle onto cupcakes!

Reese’s Pieces Cake

There is no better pair than peanut butter and chocolate.  None.  The cake had a really rich flavor, despite being from a box mix (although this is a trick I use often and I love it).  The consistency of the buttercream was normal, I used a little less powdered sugar so it would be a little more like a frosting.  There wasn’t too strong of a peanut butter taste, so I would consider adding more if I make it again.

Dark Chocolate Cake:

1 box dark chocolate cake mix

2/3 cup melted butter

1 1/4 cup milk

4 eggs

(I don’t have the box in front of me anymore, but I added one egg, substituted milk for water, and doubled the amount of oil and used melted butter).

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease the pan.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  3. Add melted butter, eggs, and milk to the mix and mix with a beater (1 min low, 1 min medium).
  4. Add mix to greased pan and bake for  about 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Buttercream:

8 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup softened butter

1/3 cup peanut butter

3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 pack Reese’s pieces, chopped

  1. Cream butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency/taste is reached.
  4. Sprinkle Reese’s piece on top.