Almond Butter Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Almond Butter Cupcakes | Revamperate Almond Butter Cupcakes | RevamperateI had the worst week last week, and I’m happy to finally be getting back to normal. I started off the week with a really horrible sinus infection and ended it with an ambulance ride to the ER because I fell down the stairs at work. It’s been rough, but I’m back to baking and crafting and glad to finally be feeling better.

These almond butter cupcakes remind me a little of fall (I always feel that way about nutty things) and with a dash of cinnamon, they’re even better. Overall, I’d say this recipe is a fairly easy to make and pairs well with light and creamy vanilla buttercream frosting, but I bet they’d also be fantastic with chocolate or even almond butter frosting (yeah, you’ll see that soon too).Almond Butter Cupcakes | RevamperateNow, to get down to it, this recipe will make you 24 cupcakes and can be easily halved. You need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the vanilla buttercream frosting, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Sliced almonds (for garnish, optional)

Cream together the butter, sugar and almond butter. Then add in the vanilla and eggs, beating well after each egg. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and add 1/3 of it to the wet mixture. Mix well and alternate between adding milk and dry ingredients until the batter is completely mixed. The batter will be kind of thick, but you can add a little more milk if you need to thin it out a little.

Separate the batter into cupcake liners and baking for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center cleanly. In the meantime, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla to mix the frosting. Add more or less sugar to taste.DSC_1149 Almond Butter Cupcakes | RevamperateOnce the cupcakes have cooled, top them with buttercream and some sliced almonds. Just remember the almonds – it’ll make you feel less guilty about eating a cupcake! If you like almonds or almond butter or even peanut butter, you’ll probably really enjoy these cupcakes. They’ll keep a few days, but they’re better kept on the counter unfrosted in order to stay moist. Enjoy!

Espresso Frosting on Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Despite never really liking coffee, it has become part of my daily routine. When I get up in the morning, I turn on the coffee maker, and Andrew and I sit together at our breakfast bar every morning drinking our coffee with different flavored creamers and preparing for the day. But let me tell you – I would so much rather start my day off with cupcake. An espresso cupcake to be exact.

Using my recent recipe for chocolate coffee cake, which I last paired with a caramel glaze, I made these espresso topped cupcakes that are made with real ground espresso powder, which is actually quite tough to find, so your best bet is to order it online ahead of time. With just a little added powder, this topping becomes delicious espresso frosting that pairs well with just about any cake, but my first choice is chocolate with some added coffee.

For this frosting, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder

First, beat together the softened butter and powdered sugar, adding a little at a time until it is completely mixed. In a very small bowl, combine the vanilla and espresso powder and stir until the powder has blended into the vanilla (it won’t completely dissolve). Then add this mixture to the whipped butter and sugar, and continue to mix until it has evenly dispersed throughout the frosting. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of water.  Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Espresso Frosting | RevamperateThen pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve. They are wonderful with a cup of coffee (hot or iced) or milk. Enjoy!

Cookie Butter Frosting

DSC_1007 DSC_1008I’m so excited to share this recipe for a number of reasons, but most importantly, I’m excited because I finally got a KitchenAid standing mixer! It’s absolutely gorgeous and this frosting is the first recipe I’ve used my new toy to make. My old hand mixer completely fried making cookies a couple days ago, so I knew it was time to make the big investment and buy myself an early Christmas present. I’m looking forward to sharing tons of new recipes on the blog with it. Now, to the cupcakes!

I hope you are all aware of the phenomenon of cookie butter. If you’re not, you might want to get down to Trader Joe’s and pick up a jar because it really is the best thing since sliced bread. Cookie butter is exactly what it sounds like – ground up cookies in butter form, like peanut butter but with cookies. Yeah, that’s about it.

But it’s amazing, and while it goes really good with just a spoon and a good TV show, it also goes really well with cupcakes. This cookie butter frosting recipe is as good as it sounds and would pair well with most cupcakes, but my favorite combination is a simple chocolate devils food cake. This recipe makes enough for about 18 cupcakes, depending on how generously you pipe your frosting.

Your ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of cookie butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk (optional)

Beat together the softened butter and cookie butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and then slowly add the powdered sugar. Once completely mixed, add in the milk for an extra creamy texture and you’re ready to begin piping.DSC_1024 DSC_1105Pipe the frosting on your cupcakes and prepare to amaze everyone with the phenomenon of cookie butter. So easy, right? Enjoy!

Reese’s Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

DSC_0948 DSC_0958You know what’s better than brownies? Brownies with frosting. And what’s even better than that? Reese’s brownie cupcakes with peanut butter cupcakes melted in and peanut butter frosting on top! These are peanut butter heaven in a cupcake mold.

I’m still perfecting my from-scratch cake baking, so this one uses boxed brownie mix, which makes the process much simpler and just as delicious. For more on baking from scratch, stay tuned! I’m practicing to get them just right.

Your brownie cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 box of brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cuvegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped

Your frosting ingredients:

  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk (optional)

First, mix your brownies according to the package’s directions. Mix in your cut-up Reese’s and divide the batter into your lined cupcake pan until the cups are 2/3 full.DSC_0937Bake according to the package’s instruction. I baked mine on 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to determine if they’ve baked all the way through.

While the brownies bake, begin mixing your frosting. Mix together the softened butter and the packed creamy peanut butter until they are completely blended. Beat in the vanilla extract and slowly add in the sugar. Continue beating for several minutes until the frosting becomes smooth no longer grainy. Only add the milk if it needs a little more moisture to change the texture.DSC_0951 DSC_0949Once the Reese’s brownie cupcakes have completely cooled on the cooling rack, top them with this deliciously sweet and creamy peanut butter frosting and garnish with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingHomemade Cream Cheese FrostingGuys, it’s finally getting cold around here. I can sleep with a blanket at night, which means life is GOOD. It also means I can bake more often without turning my entire apartment into an oven.

Tuesday was my manager’s birthday, so I brought in these cupcakes Monday to celebrate. We embarrassed her by singing her Happy Birthday, but that’s a birthday pain we all have to endure, right?

I brought in these red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for everyone to celebrate because, honestly, who wouldn’t love homemade cream cheese frosting? In my opinion, cream cheese frosting (or frosting in general) is always better when it’s homemade, but the red velvet cake is from a box (I took is easy this time around).

Cupcake ingredients (24 cupcakes):

  • 1 box of Red Velvet cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

Frosting ingredients:

  • 2 packages of 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

First, mix your cake according to the instructions on the box. (easy peezy, right?) Pop the batter into your cupcake tins (2/3 full) for about 15-18 mins, depending on your mix instructions.Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingWhile they bake, mix your frosting. Mix together your softened cream cheese and butter until well mixed. Add in vanilla and sift in the sugar as you continue to mix for several minutes. This will keep help you achieve the right texture. Pop the frosting in fridge until your cupcakes are cooled enough to pipe the frosting. You’ll want to use a wide frosting tip for these.Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingHomemade Cream Cheese FrostingTake it slow with your frosting and when you’re finished, keep the cupcakes in the fridge until they’re ready to eat. These combinations will make the perfect cupcake-to-frosting ratio. Enjoy!

White Chocolate Cake Bites

DSC_0556DSC_0573The only thing better than cake is cake combined with frosting, amiright? You’re probably familiar with cake pops, but if you’re not, you’ve gotta get on board this delicious cake train. There are lots of ways to make cake pops and lots of fun ways to decorate them, whether you eat them off of a stick or by themselves. My version this time around is a little different than your normal chocolate cake bites because they’re flat. Truthfully, I found this way to be much easier to dip and store than your average balls. Plus, let’s be honest, they taste the same, no matter what shape they are.

Put these ingredients together:

  • Chocolate cake
  • Vanilla frosting (any is fine)
  • 1 bag (2 cups) of white chocolate chips

You’ll also need:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Cooling rack (or cookie sheet covered in foil)

The best way to start out is to, you know, bake a cake. I had leftover cake from a tiered chocolate cake I made a while back as well as some leftover homemade buttercream frosting. Here’s the fun part; combine your cake, crumbled up a bit, and some frosting in a bowl and mash it all together with your hands. The cake-to-frosting ratio isn’t a perfect one, so start with a little frosting and add more as you go. You want everything to stick together but not stick to your hands (or a rolling pin), making it easy to form into shapes. Once it is well-mixed, put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. This will make it easier to roll out afterward.

Roll out your cake mixture with a rolling pin until it is only about a half inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or, in my case, the top of a sprinkles bottle, to cut out shapes in the dough mixture and place them on a cookie sheet. Once all your shapes are cut out, move the tray to the fridge. DSC_0543Next, melt the white chocolate chips in bowl by microwaving them on defrost mode for about one minute. Then stir the chocolate and continue to melt on defrost mode in 15 second intervals until completely melted. I have tried melting chocolate a hundred different ways over the past year and, trust me, this way works. Follow these directions and you’ll be fine as long as you stir well.

Once your chocolate is completely melted, drop your cut cake pieces into the chocolate and use a fork to turn it over, covering it completely, and pull it out with the cake bite sitting on the fork. Gently tap excess chocolate off and carefully place the cake bite on a wire cooling rack to drip and harden. You can also place them on a cookie sheet, but the cooling rack works well for letting excess chocolate drip off instead of pool around it. Once they’ve cooled and hardened, they are complete!DSC_0559You can easily add embellishments to these chocolate cake bites, like sprinkles or colored stripes, but I decided to keep it simple this time around. Take these bite-sized pieces of heaven anywhere you go and you’re sure to make friends.

Enjoy!

Pink Ombre Cake

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My sister makes THE BEST frosting. You don’t know good frosting until you’ve tried it, and lucky for me,  she gave it to me to make a cake for my coworker’s going away celebration. With it, I made chocolate cake with pink ombre vanilla buttercream. I thought this technique seemed intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite easy to do if you take your time.

First off, here’s the recipe I used (keep in mind that this makes a TON of frosting – you might want to half it):

  • 4 sticks of butter (2 cups)
  • Approx 2 pounds of powdered sugar (6-7 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Gel coloring

Leave the butter out until it is soft at room temperature – don’t microwave it. Beat together with vanilla and water. Then slowly add powdered sugar until you reach desired sweetness, and add another tablespoon of water if you feel it is too thick. It should be really smooth because that will make it easier to frosting, as opposed to if you are piping cupcakes, you would want it to be stiffer.

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This made more than enough frosting for the cake. Because it uses butter, you’ll want to keep it in the fridge once the cake is frosted. When using the Crisco version of this recipe, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

For an ombre cake, you’ll need to make a taller cake that is several tiers high in order to show off the design. Use the frosting to stack your tiers – three in my case. Then frost a thin crumb layer all over your cake and put it into the fridge for 10-20 minutes. A crumb layer like this will set your cake, allowing you to add frosting without picking up crumbs.

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Separate the remaining frosting into three bowls. Add a small drop of gel food coloring to the first so that it remains very light colored. You should use gel coloring for frosting to keep it from thinning like it would with regular coloring. Mix well with a spoon until you reach your desired shade. In the second bowl, try two drops or coloring, and in the third, try three drops. You should see a clear difference in color between each bowl of frosting.

Using a spatula, spread the darkest color on the bottom. It doesn’t need to look pretty because you are going to clean it up later, but you’ll want it a little thick because some of it will come off during the clean up. Add the medium shade to the middle and the lightest color to the top, spreading evenly.

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When frosting is applied everywhere, clean off your spatula and grab a small bowl. You’re going to use this to wipe off excess frosting. Use your spatula, starting at the very bottom with light pressure, to smooth the frosting, turning your base as you go and move the spatula up as you go around. This is much easier if you have a spinning cake stand, but you can certainly do without it (I did). As you build up frosting on the spatula, scrape it off on the side of the bowl. By smoothing it out as the cake turns, you are blending the colors into a gradual ombre look.

When you reach the top, you can use your spatula to make somewhat of a spiral pattern on the top of the cake, leaving the frosting smoothed out and matching the look of the frosting. You will probably want to make one more round to smooth out the frosting, but you shouldn’t scrape off much in this round.

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At this point, you’re done and should see a gradual lightening of color in your frosting from bottom to top! I promise it’s the most delicious frosting you’ve ever had. Just ask my coworkers – they devoured it. For an extra pop, sprinkle some colored sugar sprinkles all over the cake. Have fun with it!