Guinness Cupcakes

Photo by LG Patterson

The Irish love cupcakes because, well, everyone loves cupcakes. This stout beer adds a rich, smooth flavor for this chocolate dessert. The dark, stout Guinness adds a rich texture when combined with the dark cocoa, making it a smooth, rich dessert cupcake that makes my taste buds sing an Irish drinking song. And you can only purchase Guinness Extra Stout in six bottle packs, so you have five bottles left after this recipe that you must drink while you bake — obviously. And look how cute the bottle cap looks on top as a garnish.

The best part of this cupcake? It’s deceptively easy, with the rich chocolate flavors smoothly cooled by the vanilla bean buttercream icing. Yes, it is rich, but this is the type of cupcake that you would bake on a day when calories don’t count. And if you don’t like a strong chocolate flavor, I wouldn’t recommend it as a recipe for a very vanilla person; the chocolate is almost overwhelmingly rich. But for your Oktoberfest celebrations, I give you the perfect Irish compliment for a very German holiday.

Guinness Cupcakes

  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing

  • 1 stick salted butter – room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 tablespoons very cold milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 24 liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat in eggs gradually, adding one at a time. Mix in the sour cream gently. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture. Fill tins 2/3 full, and bake for 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and springy to the touch. Cool 10 minutes before removing from tins. For the icing, cream the butter and shortening in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mix thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been well combined, begin adding the very, very cold milk one tablespoon at a time. Combine well after each addition until you reach your desired consistency.

[Originally posted here]

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Georgia peach muffins

Well, if you don’t know by now that I’m a Mizzou fan, I really don’t know what you’ve been reading all this time. The boyfriend and I attended a marvelous tailgate for the first game of the season, which was Mizzou versus Southeastern Louisiana State. I was under the impression that this was a burgers, brats, chips and Bud Light kind of tailgate, but as soon as I arrived I was handed a delicious Hurricane cocktail and escorted to crab dip and shrimp fry being prepared in the parking lot. My brownies seemed very inadequate in comparison.

So, for the Mizzou versus Georgia game last weekend, I had to break out the big baking guns. The night before, the boyfriend and I peeled, pitted and sliced 7 large peaches for two peach recipes for the next day, but the peach muffin recipe is a keeper. Based on a recipe from AllRecipes.com, I give you the greatest peach muffin recipe ever.

Georgia Peach Muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 16 muffin cups, or place 16 cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and sugar. Stir the oil mixture into the flour mixture just until moist. Fold in the peaches. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle cinnamon and chopped pecans over top of batter. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Note: I also made a quick vanilla glaze to drizzle over the top of the muffins when still warm. With the glaze, it made it more of a dessert and less of a muffin, if that is your desired effect with this muffins.

Apple Cupcakes

Image

Photo by LG Patterson

For a lighter, gentler cupcake, ditch the heavy frosting and cream cheese and indulge with this sweet and satisfying apple cupcake.

The boyfriend loves this recipe, and it’s the type of cupcake that you can eat and not feel guilty about afterwards. It’s a light, airy, springy cupcake that is easily eaten but still has a strong apple flavor. I attempted grating the apples, but it just didn’t work as I had planned. So roll up your sleeves and peel, core, slice and dice three Granny Smith apples for a cupcake worth the wait and prep time.

Talk about apples to apples for Inside Columbia magazine’s September issue.

Apple Cupcakes

Yield 1 dozen

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 9 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • Optional: ½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave for one minute. Allow to cool slightly while you peel and coarsely grate apples. When melted, add the flour and sugar into the bowl. Blend together the eggs, vanilla and milk with a fork before adding to the bowl. Using a wire whisk, lightly whisk everything together until barely combined. Add in the diced apple and gently combine. Fill the tins ¾ full. Bake for 12 minutes, or until firm but springy to the touch. Sprinkled powered sugar over top when warm for a sweeter treat.

[Originally posted here]

Meryl’s Carrot Cupcakes

One of my best friends has a tad bit of an obsession I’ve observed during the four years that I’ve known her with carrot cake. Today is her birthday, and I decided to make for the first time homemade carrot cake using a recipe recommended by my Uncle Steve from AllRecipes. It was a process, definitely, but when I had one this afternoon it was all totally worth it. Needless to say, this recipe is sort-of life changing. Just a tad.

Meryl’s Carrot Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Sugar Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, putting liners in two cupcake tins (the recipe yields about 28). In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans if wanted. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 19-21 minutes (19 minutes is the magic number for most ovens), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then let cool for 30 minutes before icing.

To Make Frosting:

In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans if wanted. Frost the cooled cake, sprinkle with cinnamon on top before the icing dries.

Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin Cupcakes

I know it’s been a while, but in my defense I’ve been in Europe with a tiny, unreliable oven and a busy internship. After a summer away from my Ozarks kitchen, I was happy and ready to break out my sugar and flour after my jetlag subsided. After stumbling in my pantry that hadn’t been stocked in two and a half months (due to my mother’s lack of interest in, well, cooking), I found a can of Libby’s pumpkin and got to work on one of my favorite year-round recipes. Yeah, I promise this pumpkin cake recipe is still delicious when it’s 100 degrees outside.

Just trust me, pumpkin isn’t just for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake liners. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift gently by stirring with a fork. Add eggs, oil and pumpkin; mix well. Fill each tin 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until well mixed. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. I sprinkled a combination of nutmeg and cinnamon on top as a seasonal garnish.

Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe was created using two allrecipes recipes that I love, combining them, and eating them as quickly as possible. What really makes this recipe, though? The fluffy peanut butter frosting is decadent and to die for. I literally had to hold myself back from eating the whole bowl of it, so delicious. It definitely has the rich taste and texture of peanut butter but is still light and fluffy. Such a good combination, and so easy.

Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 32 cupcake tins with cupcake liners. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Fill each tin 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing.

Fluffy Peanut Butter Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk, as needed
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.

Butter Pecan Cupcakes

I’ve had the afternoon off from work and am gearing up for my second bake-off at MU, so what do I do? Bake, of course. I stumbled upon this recipe somewhere and am in love with them – creamy, yummy and scrumptiously southern. Delicious.

Butter Pecan Cupcakes

  • 2 cups cake flour, stirred before measuring
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 20 muffin cups. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.In a mixing bowl, beat 6 tablespoons butter and 1 cup brown sugar until light. Beat in the egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until well blended. Add about half of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, slowly beating until blended. Blend in the remaining flour mixture and milk, then fold in pecans. Fill paper liners 2/3 way full and bake for the magical 21 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 package powdered sugar (16 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Frost and enjoy. I sprinkled Betty Crocker golden cupcake gems to make them sparkle; you do what you like, but you can never go wrong with sprinkles and sugar.