Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

It seems that I'm on a bit of a lime kick lately. It's so refreshing - it's the perfect flavor for these warm late spring days. However, the real reason I made these was to use up some limeade I had leftover from making the Margarita Cupcakes. I didn't want to make the same flavor twice in the same weekend, so I knew there had to be a good way to use the leftover concentrate up.

CHERRY LIMEADE CUPCAKES (Adapted from Annie's Eats)
Makes 12 cupcakes

Limeade Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup limeade concentrate
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (I do 330F for a dark pan). Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter & sugar on medium-high. Add in the limeade concentrate (this did not mix completely in - don't worry, it'll blend in later). Add the eggs, scraping down the bowl after. Add in the flour mixture in thirds, blending slightly after each addition. Mix ingredients just long enough to incorporate (do not over mix).

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners (approx a scant 1/3 cup in each to fill to 2/3-3/4 full). Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lime Syrup

1/3 cup limeade concentrate
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Whisk limeade & sugar together in a small bowl. Poke holes in the tops of the cooled cupcakes, & brush over the top.

Cherry Buttercream

3 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp. butter, softened
2-3 tbsp. (or more) maraschino cherry juice (or grenadine)
red food coloring (optional)

Mix powdered sugar, butter and maraschino cherry juice (or grenadine) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium-high speed and beat until smooth. Add more maraschino cherry juice (or powdered sugar) as needed to achieve desired texture. Add red food coloring if desired.

Frost & top as desired.

My cupcakes didn't rise very much - but they were still very good. Also, you will not use all of the lime syrup - I poked approx 10-15 holes in the top & brushed the tops of the cupcakes liberally, twice.

The cherry buttercream is VERY sweet - but - when paired with the limeade cupcake & syrup, it is tolerable in small quantities. I used grenadine, and did not use any dye to get the nice pink color.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Margarita Cupcakes

Now that the weather is warming up, it's officially time to start enjoying some margaritas. I broke out my Margaritaville last weekend & have enjoyed some perfectly blended margaritas since. (I know, it seems like the biggest waste of space ever, BUT, it does such a wonderful job at making blended drinks because it shaves the ice before blending... and, I got it at 90% off.)

Anyways, I brought these to one of my friend's birthday BBQs (I brought some carbomb cupcakes last year, so everyone was anxiously awaiting my arrival to see what I would bring this year). I think that everyone enjoyed them - most of the plates had at least 1-2 cupcake wrappers on them by the end of the day, and I brought home an empty dish.

(I apologize in advance for another "cheater" recipe using a box mix - with a new dog in the house, my baking time is often cut short.)

MARGARITA CUPCAKES (Adapted from Recipe Girl)
Makes approx 24 regular cupcakes

3/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate
1/4 cup Tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 box white cake mix (I used French Vanilla because it's what I had)
3 large eggs
2 Tbs melted butter
1-2 Tbs. finely grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 350° F. (For a dark pan, decrease to 325-330) Line two dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, blend all ingredients. Blend on low for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium and blend for two additional minutes. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

Spoon the batter into cupcake liners (about 2/3-3/4 full). Bake for 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cool.


1.5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
green food coloring, if desired ( I used a combination of yellow & leaf green gel coloring)
small lime slices for garnish, if desired

Place butter in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until butter is fluffy. Add powdered sugar, salt, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar (or lime juice) until the frosting is of a good spreading (or piping) consistency.

Mix in a tiny amount of green food coloring or gel paste if you’d like the frosting to have a green tint. Frost as desired.

I used my cool new cupcake pan from Ikea (aren't the cupcakes cute!). It's not as small as a mini cupcake pan, but smaller than a regular pan. (The cupcakes are as tall as regular cupcakes, but the base is the size of mini cupcakes.) If you happen to have this pan, the cupcakes took 13-15 minutes to bake.

I REALLY wanted these to taste like Margaritas, not just lime. While I didn't want them to taste too much like alcohol, I did mix about a shot of tequila with about 1/2 shot of Rose's Lime Syrup, and brushed that on top of the cupcakes prior to frosting.

And while we're speaking of the alcohol - the cake batter will taste & smell strongly of tequila - don't worry, after baking, the flavor is much more subdued.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Creamy Taco Mac, aka Homemade Hamburger Helper

Most of us have eaten a fair share of Hamburger Helper during our lives. I didn't make it often when I lived on my own, because I'm not much of an eater of left overs, and I definitely couldn't eat Hamburger Helper for days on end. I've tried it again as a convenience on a busy night, and it just doesn't taste as good as I used to think it did. (Even my husband, who will eat everything, even if it doesn't taste too good, prefers not to eat it). I ran across this recipe, and decided to give it a try. It's delicious! Just as easy as the boxed stuff, but you know what's going into it. And, it's fairly healthy if you use reduced fat ingredients.

CREAMY TACO MAC (Adapted from Annie's Eats)

1¼ lbs. ground turkey
8-12 oz. dry pasta
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup taco seasoning
3-4 oz. cream cheese (I used the 1/3 less fat version)
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion. Once the turkey is completely cooked, mix in the garlic, and cook for approximately 1 minute. Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese and sour cream, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in a medium sized handful of finely shredded cheese. Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Note: Both the hubby & I think this reheats wonderfully!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

I made these cupcakes as a counterpart to the Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes for our housewarming/birthday/belated-Boston-wedding reception - I wanted something lighter to serve for those non-chocolate lovers. These were very light - the cake was almost the texture of an angel food cake. However, they had a slightly dry texture. I'd recommend taking them out of the oven when they are *almost* done, to hopefully help keep them moist. However, I'm my own worst critic, at at the end of the night, most were gone.

Makes approx 4-5 doz mini cupcakes, or approx 2 doz regular cupcakes)


1 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 1 ½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large whole eggs
3 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 325°

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Whisk together cream of coconut, milk, and extracts in a bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add whole eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until combined well.

On low speed, beat in flour mixture and cream of coconut mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until just combined (do NOT overbeat).

Fill cupcake pans 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake for 18-22 minutes for mini cupcakes. Cupcakes are fairly flat on top. Do NOT overbake - these are on the dry side even when just cooked.


8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
Lime zest from 3-4 limes (to taste)
2 cups confectioners' sugar

5 1/2 ounces sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, optional for topping.

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Beat in butter and lime zest until smooth.

Slowly beat in confectioners' sugar on low speed until smooth for frosting.

Frost as desired. Great when topped with a few strands of toasted coconut!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nutella Cupcakes

I found my second love less than a week after I got married... Nutella. Mmmmm.... It's the European chocolate-hazelnut version of America's peanut butter. It was served at breakfast every morning, sitting next to fresh croissants, waiting to be generously spread on top of their flakey goodness. Who wouldn't enjoy chocolate for breakfast!?!? I enjoyed it so much, that I went through an entire jar of it on snacks while on our honeymoon, and brought another jar home with me - in addition to the single serving containers I put on my pastries in the morning.

Normally, Nutella is expensive in the US (And when we were in Italy, we discovered that PB is expensive there). But, one of my favorite stores, carries it in bulk. That's right - Costco carries two large jars of it at one low price! Perfect, when you are baking & needing large volumes for a single recipe.

Makes 12 Cupcakes

CUPCAKES (Adapted from I Heart Cuppy Cakes)

10 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup (12 tsp)z Nutella

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Cream together butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs on at a time, until fully incorporated. The batter may not look smooth, this is fine. Add vanilla.
Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder until batter is smooth and all flour is blended.

Fill each liner ½- 2/3 full. Top each with about 1 tsp nutella. Add remainder of cake batter so each ends up being approximately ¾ full. Swirl the batter & Nutella with a toothpick.

Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove to wire rack and allow to cool before frosting.


1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4-5 cups confectioners sugar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon chocolate extract
1/3 cup of Nutella (or more to taste), softened

In your stand mixer with flat beater, cream butter. Add 3 cups of the confectioners sugar, then milk and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the remaining confectioners sugar, beating about 1-2 minutes. (You can add more sugar to get a thicker consistency if you want.)

In a microwave safe bowl, soften the Nutella until it has a spreadable consistency, about 15-20 secs. Add the softened Nutella to your buttercream and fold into the frosting until well blended.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Easy Caramel Dip

I've always loved apples. Growing up, my grandparents had 2 huge apple trees in their back yard. Not only was it fun to climb them, they always provided plenty of apples to eat and bake with. While I would eat them plain (and would even eat the skin alone when my grandma would peel it all off in one spiraling piece), it was always a special treat when my mom would make this dip for the apples. It's so easy to make!


1 8oz package cream cheese, softened (I use the 1/3 less fat version)
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar for a richer flavor)
1-2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Store in the fridge - it may need to be stirred again before serving if it's been prepared more than a day in advance.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Whopper Cupcakes

These cupcakes bring me back to my childhood. Not only have Whoppers always been one of my favorite candies, they make the best DQ Blizzards. 20 years ago, all Dairy Queen's had Whopper blizzards, and they were one of my favorites. Now, they are few & far between. Sometimes, it's even hard to find Whoppers.

These were amazing. The malted frosting tastes just like the middle of the Whopper. One of my attendings at the hospital, who usually scrapes the frosting off of cakes, devoured it, so it's gotta be good!

WHOPPER CUPCAKES (From Sugar Cooking)
Makes 32 cupcakes


1 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup cocoa poweder
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2/3 cup of malted milk powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs (room temp)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk

Adjust oven to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard size muffin pan with baking-cup liners.

Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a double boiler over barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

Whisk flour, malt powder, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.

Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of the flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream & milk until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogenous and thick.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing.


1 cup butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup malt powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
6 – 8 cups confectioners sugar

Beat butter on low speed

Add in malt powder, vanilla extract, milk, and 4 cups of sugar. Beat on low speed for 1 minute.

Add in remaining sugar 1 cup at a time and beat on medium speed for a few minutes.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Who doesn't love the chocolate/peanut butter combo? I know that my husband & I both do, along with everyone who helped me eat the cupcakes. From the outside they look delicious, but little do you know when you take your first bite, that they are filled with a peanut butter goodness, kind of like a peanut butter cup. I would highly recommend making these for any PB cup lovers you may know!

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES (Adaped from Proceed With Caution)
Makes 24 cupcakes


1 cup confectioners' sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Combine the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 24) and set aside on a baking sheet.


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated.

Spoon a tablespoon or two of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top with the remaining batter so that all the cups are filled. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 tbsp. butter, room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter (used closer to ¾ cup – adjusted to taste)
3¼ cups confectioners' sugar (used just under 4 cups)
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth and well blended. Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mushroom & Chicken Risotto

My hubby & I LOVE mushrooms - we always buy a big container of them on our twice monthly trips to Costco. For some reason, we didn't finish the container this time, so we decided to make some risotto. While it's not a fast meal to make, it's actually pretty easy. And soooo tasty! We didn't have any onion, but it was still good. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

MUSHROOM & CHICKEN RISOTTO (Adapted from ChowHound - Bayareaberg)

Approx 1 lb Chicken Breast
2 cups rice (original recipe called for Arborio, but I used what I had in the cupboard)
6 cups rich homemade chicken stock or broth, heated to a low simmer
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (we used baby bella)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Dried Parsley (1-2 tsp)
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2++ cup grated Parmesan plus extra for garnish (I used a romano/parmesan mixture)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut chicken breasts into small pieces. Saute lightly in 1T olive oil (do not fully cook - they will finish cooking later). Set chicken aside & drain pain.

Add 2T olive oil to same pan and saute onion on medium-high heat until translucent. Add garlic, then rice and saute for a couple minutes until rice is coated with oil. Add mushrooms and saute briefly.

Ladle hot stock over rice 1 cup at a time to just cover mixture. Stir regularly to avoid sticking to bottom of pan and to create gravy. As the liquid cooks off so that it is almost gone, add more stock, again to just cover the mixture. Repeat this step until appropriate texture of rice.

It’s done when the rice is slightly firm to the bite. Once the rice is mostly cooked, add the chicken back to the pan.

Once the rice is al dente, you may need to add extra stock to form a loose gravy. Once a somewhat loose consistency is achieved, turn off heat and toss in the parsley and the butter. Stir until butter is incorporated. Add Parmesan and stir in once again. Garnish with extra Parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.

Note: This reheats wonderfully! I love it when I have some left over to bring to work for lunch!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chocolate Double Caramel Cupcakes

One of my colleagues, who loves to taste my cupcakes, has been requesting something with chocolate, and maybe some caramel, for quite some time. (My fruit-flavored cupcakes don't seem to satisfy his sweet tooth!) To celebrate one of his last days in clinic before his move out West, I decided to try out a recipe that I hoped would meet his expectations. I'm pretty sure they did - he quickly devoured 2 in a few hours! Even my hubby, who isn't a huge fan of sweets, has eaten more of these than I have. While these have a few steps to complete them, they are actually very easy. (Sorry they use a cake mix - that was actually part of the reason they are so easy! Making the mix with sour cream helps them taste less like a boxed mix)


Easy Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes (From Recipe Rhapsody)

1 dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup water
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Mix the cake ingredients on medium for two minutes, scraping sides of bowl. Fill muffin cups 1/2 – 2/3 full. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of largest cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for five minutes, then remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

Caramel Icing (Adapted from Piece of Cake)

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
5 tablespoons butter, cut into a few chunks
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Put the dark brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan, and melt them together over medium heat, stirring often.

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the milk and vanilla. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dump in the confectioners' sugar all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until the icing is thickened and smooth.

Quickly ice the cupcakes by holding each by the base and dipping the tops in the hot icing, rolling them slightly to coat evenly. Turn them quickly upright so the icing will even out while it's still warm and will set smoothly. (I kept my stove on the very lowest setting - it's a gas stove, and there was barely any flame visible. It was just enough to keep the icing from setting while working with it).

Whipped Caramel Ganache (From Recipe Rhapsody)

1 c sugar
1 ½ c heavy cream
1/8 t salt
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 lb (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened

Make a dry caramel with the cup of sugar by putting it into a large saucepan and setting it over medium heat. When the bottom starts to melt and the sides turn brown, start pulling the melted sugar toward the center. Continue doing this, constantly pulling & stirring, until all the sugar is melted and it has turned a deep amber color. Remove from heat.

While the sugar is melting, take a minute to bring the cream to boiling and then remove from heat.

Immediately pour the hot cream into the burnt sugar as soon as you remove it from the heat. It will bubble like crazy (so be sure to use a large saucepan!), but just keep stirring until all the caramel is dissolved into the cream. If some of the caramel seizes up, put the saucepan back on medium heat and stir, stir, stir, until all the caramel is dissolved and you have a thin, smooth mixture.

Let the mixture sit for five minutes.

Meanwhile, measure your chocolate into a metal or glass bowl. Pour the caramel mixture over the chocolate and allow to sit for a minute before stirring. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Allow to sit until the mixture is room temperature, about fifteen minutes. You can pop it in the fridge to speed the process, stirring every few minutes. (I actually found it works best to put it into the fridge so that the bowl is slightly on the cold side - it whips better that way)

With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter into the caramel ganache on low speed and then increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is thickened and lighter in color, about 3-5 minutes.

(The original author notes that the ganache frosting freezes well in an airtight container - she's kept it up to a year in the freezer!)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I hate to admit this, but the follow recipe uses a cake mix... (GASP!) I was hosting a girls night for a bachelorette celebration, and in addition to making cookies, I wanted to make some beautiful pink cupcakes, but wanted something quick & easy. These have a nice refreshing flavor to enjoy in the summer. These were still amazing, and everyone loved them - helping themselves to seconds later in the night. I think this may be a great starter to an orange creamsicle cupcake...

PINK LEMONADE CUPCAKES (From Confections of a Foodie Bride)

1 1/8 cup (9 oz) frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed
White cake mix
3 egg whites

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Non-stick spray

Food Color (red or pink)

In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, dye and the pink lemonade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for 90 seconds (the batter will still be a bit lumpy; take care not to overmix so you don’t end up with dry cupcakes).

Spray each cupcake liner with the non-stick spray and spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups between 2/3 and 3/4 full).

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.


7 cups confectioners sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup lemon juice

2 tsp lemon extract
Food color

Add the butter, confectioners sugar, salt, lemon juice, and food coloring (if using) to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy and uniformly pink. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip and ice the cupcakes.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

These are another one of the cupcake flavors that got me many marriage proposals (the first were my carbomb cupcakes). Lucky for my hubby, I'm happily married. But, it definitely shows that the way to a person's heart is through their stomach! These are 100% worth all of the effort. One of the most moist & decadent cupcakes I've ever tasted.

Makes 24 cupcakes


1 cup + 2 TBS unsalted butter
1 cup dark chocolate pieces
(I used Hershey’s special dark chips)
2 – 2 ¼ cups raspberry jam, seedless if desired
1 ½ cups caster sugar
pinch of salt

4 large eggs, beaten

2 ½ cups self-raising flour
½ tsp Chocolate flavoring

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place cupcake papers in the muffin tin.

Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on the heat to melt. When nearly completely melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave for a moment to begin softening, then take the pan off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted. Now add the raspberry jam, sugar, salt, eggs & flavoring. Stir with a wooden spoon and when all is pretty well amalgamated stir in the flour.

Scrape and pour into the baking cups, and bake for 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before taking out and cooling completely.

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon white sugar

½-1 cup lightly sweetened raspberry puree, strained if desired

In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat only until soft peaks form. Add the sweetened raspberry puree a little at a time, and beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. Taste and fold in more sugar or puree, if required.

Cut a cone out of each cupcake (like the carbomb cupcakes), and fill with whipped cream, making sure the top is smooth with the surface of the cake.

You will have plenty of whipped cream left - grab a spoon & enjoy!

Makes enough to lightly frost 24 cupcakes

2/3 cup dark chocolate
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream cream

24 fresh raspberries, optional

Place chocolate pieces & cream in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and then whisk – by hand or electrically – till thick and smooth. Cool until thicken enough to stay in place on cupcake, stirring every 20-30 minutes.

Ice the cupcakes, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon, and stand a raspberry in the center of each.