Tag Archives: Icing

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

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Growing up, my family was never big on celebrating Christmas, or any North American holiday for that matter. In fact, I didn’t know who or what Santa was until I started kindergarten. The day I learnt about Santa and his elves in the North Pole was life-changing. Of course, the excitement didn’t last long:

“MOM! DAD!”

“Hey, how was school?”

“There’s an old fat man named Santa who flies around the world in his sleigh giving presents on Christmas eve!!!!”

“Oh honey, Santa’s not real.” 

Then they proceeded by laughing at me for a solid 5 minutes. (Jerks!)

Weird thing is, I’ve always loved anything and everything Christmas related. Probably because I was deprived of it in my early years 😛 

Now that I’m older, I try to make up for it! I listen to Christmas music (Michael Buble to be exact) from October to January, eat EXTRA chocolate, organize a gift exchange with my cousins, and watch A Charlie brown Christmas at least 3 times. 

I’m going to add these peppermint chocolate cupcakes to my growing list of traditions as well. I made my go-to chocolate cake, filled it with ganache then topped it with a hint-of-mint peppermint buttercream. My sister had one and actually liked it – that says A LOT! 

What are some of your favourite Christmas traditions?

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Oh and if you’ve ever wondered how I take my photos… here’s a picture of my setup. I’m very minimalistic when it comes to photo set-up 😛

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Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk* (I used 1 cup skim milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

How To 

1. Heat oven to 350°F. 

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 15-20  minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 35 ccupcakes.

Peppermint Buttercream

Ingredients

2.5 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp vanilla extract 
mint extract (add to taste) 

1. Beat butter and icing sugar together until light in colour. My trick to getting super fluffy buttercream is to whip the heck out of the butter for 15 minutes.

2. Mix in vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract.

3. Add mint extract little by little (a little goes a long way!!!) until you like it. 

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My First Tiered Cake!

For those of you who don’t know already, a friend of mine who is on the undergraduate society committee of my faculty asked me to bake a cake for a dinner party. Without hesitation, I said YES OF COURSE! Then I asked how many people she needs it for and she said “Oh, for about 150 people.”

What? Did you just say one hundred and fifty people?! 

Immediately doubts started running through my mind like where will I even store that much cake and when I will even find the time to bake, but I pushed them all aside and said agreed to it because I was just that excited!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, formerly called Faculty of Agriculture, so this cake was ordered in honour of Aggie Week. 

I made a 4 tiered cake with a farm theme. And because my faculty is full of hippies, I tried to use as little animal products as possible! Most of the cake was vegan! 

For a month, I planned and planned by drawing things out and writing lists. Here is what I intended my cake to look like:

LFS cake plan

Here is how it turned out:

LFS cake completed

Here’s how it looked at the dinner, decked out with farm animals:

a kind person took this pic and tweeted bout it! :)

a kind person took this pic and tweeted bout it! 🙂

Things didn’t go quite as I had planned out but I was happy with it anyway! I honestly could not have finished this cake without my amazing sister. She stayed up with me until 5am!!! If I was her and she was me, I would’ve ditched her and gone to sleep. So glad that she’s not like me, I needed her to keep me sane… and help me cut the rock-hard plastic dowels… and create the anatomically proportioned yellow bull. 

becks carving away

I’m sorry I don’t have anymore photos for you! I was dead-tired by the time I finished the cake and only snapped one quick photo before collapsing onto my bed. 

I didn’t get to attend the dinner because I was busy with other plans, but I’ve been hearing so many kind compliments from everyone! The day after the dinner, my friend texted me in the morning and said that everyone in her class was talking bout my cake! Not everyone knows that I was the one who baked it, but I’ve been approached by so many people just to tell me how good much they enjoyed the cake! So even though I’m still super tired from staying up 2 nights to make the cake, I’ve been beaming from all the support that I’ve received. 

This is why I love baking for others 🙂

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Ninjago Cake

ninjago cake

ninjago cake 2

ninjago cake 3

ninjago cake 4

A-, who ordered the rainbow baby shower cake, was so smitten with it that she placed an order months in advance for her son’s birthday! She asked me back in October and her son’s birthday just happened last week. I was counting down the months til January because I was really excited to make this cake. It’s Lego! Who wouldn’t be excited? 🙂 (If you didn’t grow up playing Lego, I feel heartbroken for you.)

A- pretty much appointed me as her go to baker; she already put in her order for her own birthday cake (May) and daughter’s (June).

Can’t wait to share more pictures and recipes with you guys! Thanks for all your encouraging words 🙂 I couldn’t have done it with you (honestly!).

Note: this recipe makes 4 8in cake rounds

Orange Creamsicle Cake

Cake

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
28 tbsp sugar
8 large eggs, room temp
3 cup self-rising flour 
Zest from 3 oranges
4-6 tbsp milk
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4- 8 in cake pans.
 
2. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in sugar all at once, beat until colour lightens.
 
3. Mix in eggs one at a time, then add in orange zest. 
 
4. Slowly stir in flour until just incorporated. Add 2-3 tbsp of milk to soften consistency of batter. 
 
5. Bake for approx 18-20 mins
 
Orange Creamsicle Icing
 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
16 oz cream cheese, softened (2 sticks)
4-5 cups of powdered sugar
Zest from one orange
 
1. Beat butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
 
2. Gradually add icing sugar 1 cup at a time then mix in zest when desired sweetness level is reached.
 
Source: me (I mix and matched a bunch of vanilla cakes then decided to add orange zest)
 
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