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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Death by Oreo" mini cupcakes

"Death by Oreo"....not a bad way to go, if you ask me!

When I found this recipe, it called for <<gulp!>> cake mix.  But you know me, the only place for cake mix in my kitchen is for cake pops/cake balls.  So I used that one bowl chocolate cake recipe from those mini chocolate cupcakes with nutella frosting, but then followed the directions from the recipe: lay an Oreo on the bottom of the cupcake liner and add chopped Oreos to the cupcake batter.  Oh, and if that isn't enough Oreo to kill you, there are also Oreos in the icing (and for garnish, but that's optional)!  Since I made mini cupcakes, I used a snack sized Oreo in the bottom (but I did made a few full-sized ones just to make sure it worked well in a regular cupcake).

Now I have to admit, I gushed about that nutella frosting, and rightfully so.  But this Oreo frosting.....(also) amazing!  I don't know if I've said it before or not, but I'm really not a huge fan of icing.  To find two amazing icings in the span of a few days, especially for this non-icing lover, is quite impressive!  But take note: file these away forever!  I already have a request for yellow cake cupcakes with this Oreo icing.

Death by Oreo Cupcakes


1 package Oreo Cookies, regular size
1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
1 package chocolate cake mix (mix according to directions on box) - you can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe if you want to make them from scratch.  I used the chocolate cake here.  I wonder if yellow cake would work...
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make chocolate cake: Mix packaged cake mix according to directions (do not bake) or prepare your cake from scratch.
Line cupcake tins with liner, place a regular size Oreo cookie in the bottom of each liner.
Take 1/2 of remaining Oreos and chop them coarsely.
Add chopped Oreos to cake mix.
Fill the cupcake tins.
Bake for 15 minutes (or according to box directions).

Make the icing:
Cream together butter and cream cheese.
Add vanilla.
Add powdered sugar slowly until blended well.
Chop remaining regular-sized Oreos very fine (I pulverized mine in the food processor until they are very fine....but make sure they are ALL fine - I had a bigger piece and it got stuck in my piping tip when I was icing the cupcakes).
Add to frosting.

Allow cupcakes to cool and then frost.  Garnish with a mini Oreo if you so choose.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mini chocolate cupcakes with Nutella frosting

It's hard to believe that my last class of my doctorate is this week!  It didn't seem like it at the time, but it really flew by!  After that, all that will separate me from graduation is a portfolio, a published article, and a residency.

Despite the work I that I have left for this week, I figured I should bake something to celebrate this momentous occasion with my classmates.  After this Wednesday, the next time that I see some of them will be at graduation in May 2013!

I have been wanting to make this recipe frosting for so long.  I have a homemade chocolate cake/cupcake recipe that I use all the time, but when I was looking for this frosting recipe again (on my "Things I want to bake" board on Pinterest), something caught my eye.  One-bowl.  Yes, this recipe is a one bowl cupcake recipe.  The recipe said it made 12 standard sized cupcakes.  I got 24 mini ones (I made them in small paper cups, which are bigger than mini cupcake liners, so if you used those you'd probably get more than 24).  Also, I made a little switch - I thought that I had bittersweet chocolate in the kitchen but in actuality it was semisweet chocolate....good thing they're interchangable!

One-bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Cloud Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark....I wonder if Dutch Press would've worked, too)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup brewed coffee or espresso, hot (Starbucks Via works perfectly - and quickly!)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift all dry ingredients.
Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed and pour into prepared cupcake pan until 2/3 full (or just less).  The batter is liquidy, and it will rise
Bake for 15-17 minutes (my minis took about 12 minutes), or until toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to overbake.
Carefully remove cupcakes from the pan immediately (they're hot!), and place them on a wire rack until completely cool

Nutella Cloud Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened, but cool
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (4 ounces) premium bittersweet chocolate chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup Nutella
1 tablespoon milk
pinch of salt


In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the confectioners' sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.
Add vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add the Nutella, milk, and salt, and beat on med-high speed for another minute.
Frost cupcakes immediately.

*Can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.  That weirded me out a little, so I put them in the fridge.  If the icing doesn't do well in the fridge, I'll let you know*

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day golf ball cake pops and cake balls

The second installment of Father's Day golf-themed treats are golf ball cake balls and cake pops!  I had an idea for these a while ago, but couldn't come up with a way to make the cake balls and pops to look like gold balls.  Simply coating them in white chocolate or vanilla CandiQuik wouldn't give them the textured look of golf balls, and sitting there and indenting them with the end of a lollipop stick did not seem like the way I wanted to spend hours of my weekend.  Then, I came across this idea: use a golf ball lollipop mold, and fill them with cake balls.  Genious!  So I naturally went out and bought two molds (they're also available online).

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day cupcakes

My dad is a (recreational) golfer.  When we were kids, he used to play every weekend, but he plays less often now.  Regardless, when it came time to making treats for Father's Day, I thought a golf theme would be great!  I have a two golf-themed desserts for Father's Day, but the others will be featured in another blog post shortly.

Since I am not going to be home for Father's Day, I made these cupcakes a few days early and delivered them to my parents when I went home on Friday night to take my dad to an early Father's Day dinner.  Since the other treat involved cake pops (which I made from cake mix), the cupcakes and icing are not from scratch - but these would be even better if made with homemade cupcakes and icing!

Check out these adorable labels I made - golfcarts!
The greens and sand and water traps are made out of white fondant that I dyed with gel food coloring.  I cut the "holes" in the greens with a straw.  And the golf balls are large white sprinkles.  The golf club and the flaps on the flags are made from chocolate putty (which I bought months ago and was about to reach it's expiration date).

I think (despite the cake mix and store-bought icing) these came out pretty cute!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Father's Day

So I'm sure you've all been wondering where I've been.  It's been more than a week since I've posted anything and, well, that's just very un-JulieBakes.  Here's the answer: I've been busy.  Uber-busy, actually.  I'm in the midst of a crazy hectic 5-week-but-they're-trying-to-fit-everything-from-a-regular-16-week-semester-in semester.  And this past weekend I was up in Massachusetts for my (gulp!) 10-year college reunion!

But fret not!  Father's Day is just 4 days away and I've got some great golf-themed treats coming your way.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Graduation cupcake toppers

My sister graduates law school today.  With honors!  Magna cum laude, to be exact.  She's one smart cookie.  And I'm one proud big sister.  (She'd probably shoot me if she knew I was writing this blog post).

Since her graduation is occuring a few blocks from my apartment, I offered to have my whole family over for dessert after we go out for lunch.  They declined!  Can you believe it?  As a result, I didn't bake the cupcakes that I wanted to make these cupcake toppers for, but they were so cute that I decided that I had to make them anyway, even without the cupcakes underneath!

Please note, these were not my original ideas, as I had seen several of these "graduation caps" and "diplomas" online.  However, some of the ingredients I used I came up with on my own.

I made the graduation caps with Reese's mini peanut butter cups and Ghirardelli chocolate squares, and attached them with some melted CandiQuik..  Then, I used a fruit roll that I sliced thinly for the tassles.  These diplomas are roll cookies (I used Pepperidge Farm Pirouttes) that I cut into thirds and then wrapped with the same thinly sliced fruit rolls as a "bow."