Toffee Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Toffee Cupcakes | Revamperate Brown Sugar Toffee Cupcakes | RevamperateThese toffee cupcakes are extra sweet and sticky, and they’re perfect for any occasion (although they do remind me of a late fall/early winter dessert). Honestly, I think toffee is good ANY time of year. The brown sugar and toffee flavors pair so well together that it was hard to resist eating just one of these! 

I wanted to make these cupcakes somewhat decadent, and the toffee sauce in the frosting does just that. You can also fill them with toffee if you really want to take them over the top. Then I topped it with a chunk of homemade walnut toffee!

As you probably expect, these cupcakes are sweet but not the “too sweet” kind. It’s difficult to balance caramel or toffee flavors because they’re so sweet to begin with (I mean, it’s entirely sugar and butter), but this recipe actually manages to keep the toffee subtle enough that it doesn’t give you a headache. Because only a small amount of toffee is used in the frosting and because I used a little less powdered sugar in the frosting, the sweetness is definitely toned down. I added nuts in the toffee topping to give it that tiny bit of bitter flavor too. 

Give ’em a try! I think you’ll really love how everything comes together. 

Brown Sugar Toffee Cupcakes | Revamperate Brown Sugar Toffee Cupcakes | RevamperateFor the brown sugar cupcakes (makes 12-15 cupcakes):

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with liners. 

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together. Then add each egg, beating well between each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk until just combined. 

Distribute the batter among prepared liners and bake for 20-22 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan. 

For the toffee sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

In a saucepan on the stove, combine the butter, cream and sugar on medium heat. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to a simmer, whisking often, until it turns a deep brown color and turns into a caramel-like sauce. Let cool completely before adding to the frosting (or filling the cupcakes). It will thicken as it cools.

Brown Sugar Toffee Cupcakes | Revamperate Brown Sugar Toffee Cupcakes | RevamperateFor the toffee frosting:

  • 1 cup cup butter, room temperature 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup toffee sauce (above)

For the hard toffee topping, follow my chocolate covered toffee recipe but replace toppings with chopped walnuts.

Beat the butter for about 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until well-mixed. Mix in the vanilla and cooled toffee mixture, and beat for additional 2 minutes until smooth. 

Pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with extra toffee sauce and walnuts and/or a piece of hard toffee! 

Strawberry Funfetti Cake

Strawberry Funfetti Cake | Revamperate Strawberry Funfetti Cake | RevamperateIn my effort to work on more layer cakes, I was really excited to try a new take on a funfetti cake by turning it into a strawberry funfetti cake! Although lighter on the strawberry flavor (since I wanted to use real strawberries, not extracts or Jello mix) the cake is very moist and perfectly sweet and tart. With layers of strawberry funfetti cake filled with strawberry French buttercream and covered in classic vanilla buttercream, this was a really fun cake to make. 

I learned to make the French buttercream in my online class by Erica Obrien. It’s actually very easy, and more foolproof than meringue buttercream. French buttercream makes a very good cake filling because it’s thinner and custard-like, but it’s not ideal for icing a cake (unlike an American buttercream or meringue buttercream). Basically, don’t be intimidated because it’s easier than you think. Personally, any dessert with French in the title intimidates me…is that weird? 

Make sure you use very fresh strawberries if possible because I find that they just taste better. If you must use frozen, you’ll still have to defrost the berries before you can puree them. Now, let’s make a cake! 

Strawberry Funfetti Cake | RevamperateFor the strawberry funfetti cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup strawberry puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs  
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with  whisk attachment, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Turn the speed to low and mix in the vegetable oil, strawberry puree, vanilla and lemon juice until just combined. Add each egg and mix. Stir in the sprinkles until just combined. 

Divide the batter among the greased pans and bake for about 25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pans before removing.

For the French buttercream filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 10 strawberries, purred and reduced
  • Dash of lemon juice 

First, puree approximately 10 strawberries and pour into a small saucepan. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and a dash of lemon juice. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally until the strawberries thicken. Reducing it helps remove access water and make the flavor more concentrated, which is ideal for mixing with frostings and fillings. Let cool once reduced and it appears syrupy. 

Beat the egg yolk in your mixing bowl with a paddle attachment on high speed until they’re lighter in color and resemble a pastry cream (they should no longer look like yolks). 

In a small saucepan on the stove, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium until it reaches about 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally. It should form a syrup.  

Add a little of the sugar syrup to the egg yolks, avoiding the sides of the bowl or the paddle. Beat on high speed for several seconds, stop and add more syrup. Mix again on high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add the butter in batches while mixing on high speed until it forms a smooth but very soft filling. Pour in the cooled strawberry puree and mix to combine. If desired, you can add red or pink food coloring. 

For the icing, I used one large batch of my vanilla buttercream recipe. Then I dyed the frosting light pink and added about 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles. 

Strawberry Funfetti Cake | RevamperateTo assemble the cake, level the 6-inch layers and fill each layer with the strawberry French buttercream. Frost the outsides of the cake with the vanilla buttercream and top with swirls of buttercream and strawberries! Cut into it or move to the fridge until ready to serve (remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes-1 hour before serving so that it has time to soften. 

I will say that the one thing I wish I did differently was dye to cake. Looking at it, it’s not obvious that it’s strawberry, so when I make this again, I will definitely color the cake with some pink food coloring before baking so it looks even better when you cut into it! 

Enjoy! 

Mini Blueberry Pie Cookie Cups

Blueberry Pie Cookie Cups | Revamperate Blueberry Pie Cookie Cups | RevamperateI’m not sure why summer makes me think of pie. Fall also makes me think of pie. Maybe I just like pie?

Since it might as well be summer here in SoCal, I decided to share what I think is a summery recipe for mini blueberry pie cookie cups! Cookie cups are a fun thing to try if you’ve never made them before, and they’re like an escape from traditional cookies that offer so many more opportunities for parings. My caramel apple cookie cups are still one of my favorite recipes, but you can use cookie cups as a base to fill with so many things. In this case, pie! 

I used a sugar cookie cup base (exactly like your usual cookie recipe!) and filled each one with homemade blueberry filling and then topped with a small dollop of homemade whipped cream. If you want to simplify the recipe, you can absolutely swap the filling and whipped cream for store bought. Cookie cups are a great individual dessert perfect for parties, and they’re actually quite simple. If you can make cookies, you can make cookie cups!

Blueberry Pie Cookie Cups | RevamperateFor the sugar cookie cups:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp corn starch 
  • Pinch of salt

To make the cookie cups, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Then add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl and mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until just combined. Use a spoon or cookie scoop or scoop out small balls of dough and place in each mini cavity, pressing each piece in lightly with your fingers. The dough should touch the sides but not be impacted. Each cavity should be about 3/4 full. 

Bake for about 8 minutes until the edges are very lightly brown. Remove from the oven and immediately press a teaspoon or tablespoon into each piece of dough. This will give it the cup look. Look cool in the pan. 

Blueberry Pie Cookie Cups | RevamperateFor the blueberry filling:

  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp corn starch

In a small saucepan on the stove, combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. On low heat, let the blueberries break down and form a syrup, stirring occasionally with a spoon or spatula. Once it’s formed a light syrup and the blueberries remain whole but soft (about 5 minutes), add the corn starch and mix to combine. The corn starch acts as a thickening agent. Set aside or move to the fridge to cool completely. 

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 

To make the whipped cream, whip the heavy cream on high speed with a whisk attachment for several minutes, adding powdered sugar a little at a time until peaks form. 

To assemble the cookie cups, carefully remove the cookie cups from the pan, add a spoonful of cooled blueberry filling and top with a dollop of whipped cream. You can store these for about two days once assembled, but note that the blueberry filling will eat away at the cookies the longer they sit, so I recommend that you assemble them right before serving. You can store the individual parts of the recipe for several days without any problems. 

So, do they taste like summer? Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Mixed Berry Cobbler

As the weather heats up, I’ve got an out for you so that you don’t have to turn on your oven. Sounds awesome, right?! Yeah, it totally is. Our new apartment is like a tiny little oven, so turning my oven on this summer is going to be rough. 

This slow cooker mixed berry cobbler is perfect for your next potluck or summer party and it’s absolutely amazing with some vanilla ice cream on top (especially my fav, vanilla bean). Best of all, it’s all in a slow cooker! Just pour in the batter and berries and let it cook. It comes out wonderfully and you can use any berries you’d like to create your favorite fruit combination. 

Head over to Recipe Chatter for the complete slow cooker mixed berry cobbler recipe! 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Mini Muffins

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Mini Muffins | Revamperate Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Mini Muffins | RevamperateMy friend April recently had a picnic for her birthday and it was the cutest picnic I’ve ever been to! It was a brunch theme, so I made a batch of these gluten free peanut butter banana mini muffins and everyone brought a dish. If you’ve never had a picnic as an adult, you should totally rethink it! 

To account for food allergies, I made sure to keep the muffins gluten free and I made a few without chocolate chips so that they would also be dairy free. Normally I don’t think of gluten free or dairy free baked goods as particularly delicious, but I’ll make an exception for these peanut butter banana mini muffins because they are THAT good. Not only are they super easy to make with very few ingredients and baking supplies, they bake incredibly soft, just like little banana breads. Alongside your morning coffee, these are the perfect little breakfast!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Mini Muffins | RevamperateIngredients (makes 12-15 mini muffins):

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 medium sized banana (ripe is better)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with liners and set aside.

Combine the peanut butter, banana, egg, baking soda, honey and vanilla in a blender and blend on the smoothie setting. If you prefer, you can combine with your mixer.

If you want to use chocolate chips, mix them in now. Divide the batter among the lined muffin cavities (fill almost full) and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips if desired. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. They’ll puff up as they bake but deflate as they cool.

Enjoy!

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits | Revamperate No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits | RevamperateAs it gets hotter and hotter and summer approaches, I’ll be switching to no-bake desserts so that I don’t overheat in my little apartment. As it is, I’ve been using the oven way too much considering how warm it is. But really, I can’t NOT bake. 

Nonetheless, I find ways around the oven most of the summer, and here’s one delicious no-bake recipe I shared on RecipeChatter recently! Head over to their site to make these super simple no-bake blueberry cheesecake parfaits

Not only are they no-bake, they’re a great personal dessert for cookouts and dinner parties so you don’t have to fuss with cutting up cake or pie or even scooping ice cream. Plus, you can adapt the recipe with other types of fruit!

For more no-bake recipe ideas, check out a few others I’ve made:

Visit RecipeChatter for the complete recipe and stay tuned here for more no-bake recipes as I start to MELT here in SoCal!

Starbucks-Inspired Green Tea Latte Bars with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Green Tea Latte Bars | Revamperate Green Tea Latte Bars | RevamperateI’m new to the matcha green tea trend, but I was really excited to share the recipe for these Starbucks-inspired green tea latte bars with cream cheese drizzle over on RecipeChatter! 

Even if you’ve never had matcha before, you’re sure to love these. The matcha flavor remains pretty light and the sugary shortbread and the cream cheese topping add sweetness to balance out all of the flavors. These are as simple as making shortbread, which uses the fewest ingredients of pretty much ANY baked good, so it truly is easy. 

I highly recommend purchasing matcha powder on Amazon – it’s easiest to find that way if you can wait a few days to receive it by mail. 

What should I make with matcha powder next?! Cake maybe?

Head over to RecipeChatter for the full recipe! 

Honey Almond Cake

Honey Almond Cake | Revamperate Honey Almond Cake | RevamperateGood morning! I’ve been taking some time off lately and I think it’s paying off. We’re finally feeling settled (sort of) in our new apartment, and I’ve been using my free time to pump up my creativity again. I was starting to feel really drained and stretched in a few too many directions. That’s why I finally felt ready and excited to bake in my new kitchen! 

I’ve been practicing my layer cake skills more lately, and this honey almond cake my most successful so far. I have a hard time creating even layers and making a straight, smooth cake, but I recently started a new Craftsy class, bought Tessa Huff’s new book Layered and watched a ton of YouTube videos and they’re all really helping me get better. 

This cake shall go down in my personal hall of fame just because it was something totally out of my comfort zone that turned out really well. I can honestly say I’m so proud of this cake, and the flavors of honey and almond pair beautifully with the smooth butteriness of the swiss meringue buttercream to form a light but sweet blend of flavors. 

I’ve made swiss meringue buttercream before, but this is my best batch EVER. Shout out to the Craftsy tutorial by Erica O’Brien! It’s not the most ideal for frosting a cake (better for fillings), but it worked perfectly for me, especially because I only wanted a very light layer on the outside. The honey gave it extra sweetness without being overpowering. Personally, I find swiss meringue buttercream a little too buttery and vanilla extract alone doesn’t balance it out enough, but it’s great for adding other flavors too and it’s less sweet than my usual American buttercream recipe (which I still love). 

Anyway, enough chatter! Here’s how to make the honey almond cake!

Honey Almond Cake | Revamperate Honey Almond Cake | RevamperateFor the almond cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 

Preheat the oven 350 degrees and spray two 8-inch cake pans or 3 6-inch pans with cooking spray and set aside. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and fluffy (about one minute). Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix on low until it forms a crumbly mixture. 

In another bowl or a measuring cup, whisk together the milk, vanilla, almond extract and egg whites until fully combined (about one minute). Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed. Scrape the bowl and continue to mixing for about 30 seconds until batter is smooth. 

Distribute among the greased cake pans and bake for about 20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pans. 

Honey Almond Cake | Revamperate Honey Almond Cake | RevamperateFor the honey buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey

For making swiss meringue buttercream, there are two things to know before you start: all bowls and utensils should be clean and grease-free and your butter should be softened to room temperature. 

In a metal bowl over a simmering pot of water, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Whisk consistently until the sugar dissolves into the egg whites. If you see small white patches forming in the mixture, turn down the heat. Once the temperature reaches 120 degrees (check with a candy thermometer), remove from heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. 

Beat the mixture on high speed for about 5 minutes until it turns a glossy white and forms stiff peaks (just like meringue). Change out the whisk attachment for a paddle attachment and beat again on medium speed. As it mixes, add the softened butter in chunks until it is fully combined into the meringue. If it appears curdled, just keep mixing and it will likely correct itself. 

Once completely mixed, add the honey and vanilla and mix until smooth. 

Fill and frost the cooled cake with frosting. Drizzle with honey or coat with almonds, or both! The almonds are nice because they add a little crunch. I also drizzled some extra honey between the layers because the flavor is so light. 

Also, I have to give a special shoutout to Massey Honey! I bought a few of their honeys at Renegade Craft Fair in December and it’s the best. They’re a local company, and I used an orange blossom honey for this cake. So perfect!

The cake is light and smooth but absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

My Top 3 New Home Resolutions

My Top 3 New Home Resolutions | RevamperateHappy Monday, guys! This weekend was big for us. We got the keys to our new apartment and have about a week to fully move from our old place to our new one. Because of the move, I’ve taken a step back from the blog since I have a million other things to figure out (AHH). Nonetheless, I wanted to take a little time to share what this move has been like and share what my new home resolutions are.

Are new home resolutions a thing? If not, I guess I’m making them a thing.

This is only the second move I’ve ever made (lucky for me!) so I can’t exactly call myself an expert. I’ve only ever lived in two places my whole life, and our current apartment has held so many memories for me because it’s where I moved when I left my parents’ house during college and I’ve lived there for five years with three different people (one of which is my boyfriend and current “roommate”). As with any home, I have some things I can’t wait to get away from (e.i. our lack of dishwasher, loud neighbors and constant motorcycles) but it’s also really hard to leave the memories. I got an incredible deal for this apartment, and it’s very large and gated, something that I’ll be giving up with my new apartment. 

Change is tough. I’m sure everyone can agree with that, but it can also be super exciting! As scary as it is to start a new chapter in a new home, it’s also really exciting to have a fresh start. Like, even though packing can be a pain, it’s helping amp up my excitement for the move and keeping me from feeling too anxious. Plus, we’re getting a dishwasher! I can’t stress that enough! 

Anyway, we’re having to downsize a lot for our new apartment, so as a packrat, it’s been really hard to get rid of the knick-knacks I’ve acquired over the years. I’m making it happen though! You would be amazed how much I’ve managed to get rid of!

My Top 3 New Home Resolutions | RevamperateMy first apartment meant that I was going to make some mistakes (kind of like a first-time homeowner). Going into a new apartment with a fresh start, I made a few “new home resolutions” that I’m going to try my hardest to keep:

1. Decorate with Caution

The most fun part of a new place is the opportunity to decorate it all over again. I don’t even live there yet and I’m going crazy window shopping everywhere I go with a million decor ideas buzzing in my head. BUT I’m trying not to buy anything. With the last apartment, I learned not to make too many snap decisions because when I’m unhappy with them, I’m kind of stuck with them. For example, we made a quick decision on a paint color for our living area and ended up with paint that was WAY too dark, but at that point, there was no turning back and we’ve been stuck with paint we didn’t love for almost two years. So now I’m trying to decorate patiently and cautiously to make sure that investing in any decor pieces is worth it and it’s something that I (and Andrew) really love. 

2. Buy for Now, Not Next Year

As someone who crafts and bakes a lot, I tend to be guilty of overbuying supplies every time I go to Michaels or Target or pretty much anywhere. In general, my shopping philosophy is “it’s on sale, so I need it” and I’m trying to overcome this. We have a storage unit at the current apartment, and as I was cleaning it out, I found so many supplies I purchased on a whim that I didn’t end up using and had to throw away because of lack of space (usually seasonal things). It’s a waste of space and money. I’m spending a lot of time organizing the supplies that I’m keeping to ensure I don’t go overboard, so my resolution is to only buy what I need right now, not for a project I want to make two months from now. After all, I change my mind a lot, and I don’t want to end up with unused supplies taking up the little space that I have. 

3. Don’t Put Off Cleaning

When I moved into our current apartment, my then roommate had already been living there for a while. She was very cleanly and made sure my room and bathroom were clean prior to moving in, but coming in to an already lived-in place meant that it hadn’t been cleaned to death by a professional like when you move in to a brand new place. Over the years, no matter how hard I scrubbed the floors, they never looked clean and this has always driven me crazy. We found great cleaning solutions over the years, but even as I’m moving out and cleaning up, it just doesn’t feel clean enough. Any clean freaks understand what I mean? Our new apartment has been recently renovated, so I’m really excited to come into a new, super clean home with never-before-used appliances and freshly cleaned floors. I’m determined to keep them that way! My strategy is to clean as I go and not wait until it feels “too dirty.” As much as I hate cleaning the bathroom, I’d rather live in a place that feels ultra clean. 

Here’s to hoping that we love the new place, no matter how small it may be! I definitely don’t want to move again for a while!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Brownies

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Brownies | RevamperateWe made it to another Monday, guys! I begin my move in a week, so it’s crunch time in this house. The real tricky part is my cats cannot be trusted around boxes so every time I pack a box, I have to quickly store it somewhere they can’t destroy it. Our office is the moving battleground right now, and honestly, I can’t wait for next week when I can start actually doing the MOVING. Ya know?

Anyway, I wanted to share these awesome slow cooker peanut butter brownies that I made for RecipeChatter! They are incredibly soft and chewy and I guarantee no one will ever believe you made them in a Crock Pot. Head over the RecipeChatter website for the recipe and you’re sure to love them! Bonus: no oven needed.