Butter Pecan Cupcakes

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My mom asked me to make her some cupcakes for her birthday recently and loved the sound of a the Butter Pecan Cake from Taste of Home. So, as any daughter would do, I set out to turn the cake recipe into cupcakes! The recipe was easy to put together, but be careful when toasting the pecans. I got sidetracked making the batter and almost burnt the pecans in the oven! So keep an eye on those and stir them regularly.

The above recipe is for a three layered cake and it ended up making about 32 cupcakes. Don’t over cook them either. I wouldn’t cook them any longer than 15 minutes if you’re going to make them into cupcakes. It might even be better to check them at 12 minutes. The cake consistency is almost of a muffin and they aren’t very sweet, which I liked, because they tasted great with the super sweet buttercream frosting I made for them.

The Butter Pecan Cake has a frosting recipe included, but I wasn’t sure if I liked the proportions in it so I opted to use one of my favorite, and easy, buttercream recipes from Savory Sweet Life. Her Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is very good and added a good sweetness factor to the muffin-like cupcakes. I chose not to stir the leftover pecans into the frosting and instead sprinkled some on the top of each one as garnish.

Tip Junkie handmade projects


The Best Chocolate Cake With Mocha Frosting {Recipe}

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I can’t take a lot of credit for the awesome cake that was made at my house this past weekend. That all goes to my mom, a woman who’s taught me pretty much everything I know about baking.

She was looking for a dessert to make for a football party we had last weekend, and her eye caught a picture of a delicious looking cake on the back of an old Cuisine at Home magazine we had lying around.

The cake recipe itself didn’t interest her much, but the recipe for the Glossy Chocolate Frosting sounded interesting. It had a rich dark chocolate taste with a hint of coffee. It’s probably one of the best chocolate frostings I have ever tasted.

For the cake, Mom combined two recipes. One was from a Taste of Home cookbook and the other was from the back of her Hershey’s cocoa powder box. She took the best parts of both recipes and mingled the flavors and amounts effortlessly. She was especially drawn to the use of cinnamon and buttermilk in the Taste of Home recipe but chose to use butter instead of shortening.

The consistency of the cake was amazing. It was moist and dense. Similar to the delicious chocolate bundt cake she makes that I shared with you last year. With the denseness of the cake and the richness of the frosting, it could seriously be a meal on its own. In fact I had a piece of this cake for lunch yesterday, but I wouldn’t recommend that on a regular basis.

The recipes and instructions are below with a few pointers about making it from my mom.

The Best Chocolate Cake With Mocha Frosting {Recipe}

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tbsp.)
  • 1-1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1-1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

    For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease and flour two 9 in. round pans (if you’re going to make a layered cake). Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan bring water, butter, and cocoa to boil, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. Add this to the dry mixture and mix.
  3. In a small mixing bowl beat eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
  4. Pour into prepared pans and bake 30-35 mins, until a toothpick at the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 mins. in pans, then run a small knife around the edges of the pan and turn out onto wire cooling racks. Cool completely, tops down.
  6. Invert one layer onto a cake plate and frost the top with the icing (instructions below). Stack the other layer on top of the icing and ice the top and sides.
  7. For the frosting:
  8. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  9. Stir in sugar, cocoa, and salt. The mixture should be thick and grainy.
  10. Combine the heavy cream, sour cream, and instant coffee granules in a bowl and mix until smooth. If you want, you can ground up the instant coffee in a mortar and pestle first so it will mix in smoothly. This is not required though.
  11. Gradually add the cream mixture to the chocolate mixture until it is blended and smooth.
  12. Cook on the stove until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth and hot to the touch, about 6-8 minutes. Do not let it boil.
  13. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla. Cool the icing at room temperature until is it spreadable, about 2-3 hours. If the frosting is too runny, put it in the fridge for a bit. If you choose to chill it and it gets too hard, warm it in the microwave on high for 20-second intervals or leave it at room temperature for a while to soften it.
http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2012/01/the-best-chocolate-cake-with-mocha-frosting-recipe/

I’m linked up with the sites below. Please check them out for many other great ideas!

Cajun Sugar Pie

 


I Will Be Protesting Internet Censorship Tomorrow

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The Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect IP Act (SOPA/PIPA) are two very dangerous pieces of legislation that are being pushed through Congress right now that could ruin the internet as we know it. If passed many of your favorite websites including Facebook, Youtube, and even WordPress could be shut down because theses bills can shut down any websites that post material that is considered pirated. The problem is that these websites can be blocked for anything that its users post even if the websites take down the offending material.

In protest of these bills, many websites will be going black tomorrow to show what it would be like without these websites if they were shut down. I feel strongly about stopping these bills and will also be participating in the blackout.

To learn more about SOPA/PIPA visit http://americancensorship.org. Also look at this easy to understand infographic as well: http://americancensorship.org/infographic.html

 


Looking for Guest Posters!

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Hey guys! A friend of mine recently showed interest in writing a guest post for Shane’s Killer Cupcakes and I thought that sounded like a great idea. Why not open it up for everyone?

If you are interested in being a guest poster please read all the important information in my Guest Poster Guidelines, and then send me an email about what you want to post about. I’m open to a lot of different ideas, even things I may not have blogged about before, especially things I haven’t blogged about before, actually.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Please read the guidelines before asking any questions because your answer may be in them.

 


5-Minute Valentine Mug Cake {Recipe}

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I’ve been intrigued by all of the mug cake recipes I’ve been coming across on Pintrest. And decided to give one a shot today. I know it’s not even February yet, but I wanted to dress this cake up for Valentines Day anyway. Think of it as getting a head start on a romantic dessert for you and your special someone!

A lot of the recipes I came across ultimately had bad reviews in the comments. So I wasn’t sure I wanted to waste my time on those. Then I came to this recipe on Instructables. It had good reviews for once! And solved a problem that a lot of the other recipes couldn’t. How, for such a small portion, do you get the egg amount right? People complained on those other recipes that one egg was too much and the cake tasted eggy; however, his recipe has you whisk the egg first and then only use a portion of the egg mixture! Brilliant.

So without further ado:

{Recipe}

5-Min. Valentine Mug Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons whisked egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
  • splash of vanilla
  • cooking spray for mug
Optional
  • powdered sugar for garnish

EQUIPMENT

  • a regular sized mug
  • a bowl
  • spatula
  • a whisk

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix the flour, sugar, and cocoa in a bowl and then add the whisked egg, milk, oil, and vanilla.

2. Combine ingredients with a spatula until everything is thoroughly mixed together. I stirred in my chocolate chips at this point but they floated to the bottom while it cooked and got a little crispy, so maybe putting the chocolate chips on top of the batter after you pour it into the mug without stirring them in is a better idea.

3. Spray the mug with cooking spray and then pour the batter into the mug. It should only fill it a little more than halfway.

4. Stick the mug in the microwave for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds on high. The recipe I followed said to do it for 3 minutes but I could smell the chocolate starting to cook too much so I took it out early. It’s better to check it early before you over cook the cake. If you stick a toothpick in and it’s still runny or uncooked after 2 minutes and 15 seconds throw it back into the microwave for a few more seconds. Use your best judgement.

Also, the batter should rise up out of the mug a little while it cooks. This is normal. Even if the batter falls over the side, it might be a little messy, but the cake should still be good.

5. Let it cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar or dollop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

The trick to making this cake taste good comes down to using chocolate chips. I can’t say it’s the best cake I’ve ever made, but it didn’t taste terrible and the chocolate chips definitely upped the richness and chocolaty taste.

The top of the cake was almost a little overcooked but the middle was great, especially when the chocolate chips were still melted. Unfortunately the chocolate chips settled on the bottom while it cooked and the very bottom of the cake was a little crunchy because the chips started to overcook. I don’t know if there is a way to make this cake cook more evenly but for a quick and simple, single serving cake it wasn’t bad.

If you didn’t want so much cake to yourself, you could split the batter between two mugs and make smaller portions. You might not want to cook the cake as long though. If you do it this way, I’d suggest cooking it only for a minute and checking it before you heated it any longer.


Following Up On My Resolutions

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The other day I listed some goals I planned to do or work on this year for the blog. One of them was learning to become a better photographer so that my blog pictures would show my creations at their best. Today I came across a photo challenge from last year called Project 365. Although I don’t plan to take a picture everyday, I do plan to use some of their theme inspirations as a guide to keep me on track and learn some photography techniques in the process.

The lovely Canon PowerShot A3000IS point-and-shoot camera I'll be using

I also think making a light tent will help for close-up shots of my cupcakes. I found a pretty cool tutorial over on the Digital Photography School’s website.

I’m looking forward to sharing better cupcake photos with you soon!

 

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