Category Archives: icing

Butter Pecan Caramel Cupcakes

For my birthday I invited all of my friends to toast me at the Bourbon bar in Brooklyn. It took me a long time to think of the type of cupcake would go best with Bourbon but then it became crystal clear. Caramel will match the caramel tones in the Bourbon and butter pecan will pair great with the smoky notes.

Vanilla Cake:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter flavored shortening
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla and turn the mixer on low. Once the flour is combined turn the mixer on high and beat for at least 5 minutes so that the batter gets fluffy.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for at least 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, cut a cone into the top of each cake. Cut off the point of the cone to form a cap for the whole in the cakes. Fill each cake with cooled caramel. Place the cap back on top of the caramel to seal. Cover with a mound of icing and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Caramel:
1 cup sugar
½ cup cream
1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat the sugar in a heavy medium size saucepan on medium heat. Swirl the sugar occasionally until it liquefies and turns golden brown. Quickly add the cream and salt and return the mixture to the heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Let it boil to combine about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Butter Pecan Icing:
½ cup egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons butter flavoring
½ cup chopped pecans

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. Beat with a balloon whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a pot filled with water and heat on medium heat. Keep beating the eggs to dissolve the sugar and the mixture will start to thicken and turn white. When the grit is gone from the eggs, about 20 minutes later, transfer the egg whites to a stand mixer and beat on high to form soft peaks.

Fold the room temperature butter into the eggs and continue to beat on high. Add the salt, vanilla and butter flavoring and beat one last time to combine.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Coconut Butter Cream Icing

Frances’s favorite dessert flavor is coconut and lemon. This was the flavor of her wedding cake so it was only natural to make cupcakes in the same flavor to mark the birth of her new baby. These are very rich. The icing and cake are super sweet, but the very tart curd really balances out the full package. Eat these with a fork!

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Coconut Butter Cream Icing

Lemon Cake:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter flavored shortening
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon extract
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the shortening, eggs, milk and extracts and turn the mixer on low. Once the flour is combined turn the mixer on high and beat for at least 5 minutes so that the batter gets fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for at least 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes then remove them to a wire rack and cool completely.

Lemon Curd Filling:
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 lemons, juiced and zested
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter

Beat the eggs and sugar in a medium size metal bowl until the mixture gets thicker and a lighter lemon color.

Fill a small saucepan one third of the way full with water. Place on medium high heat and wait till the water starts to bubble and steam rises.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the butter, to the egg mixture and stir. Place the metal bowl over the hot water and keep whisking until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove the curd from the heat and slowly mix in the butter. Transfer the curd to a plastic container and press the top with plastic wrap. Cool in the refrigerator until needed.

Coconut Cream Icing:
3/4 cup egg whites
1 cup sugar
4 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons coconut extract
2 tablespoons coconut cream
¼ teaspoon salt
1 7 oz package of organic coconut flakes
2 tablespoons light rum
.1oz vile of gold pearl dust

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. Beat with a balloon whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a pot filled with water and heat on medium heat. Keep beating the eggs to dissolve the sugar and the mixture will start to thicken and turn white. When the grit is gone from the eggs, about 20 minutes later, transfer the egg whites to a stand mixer and beat on high to form soft peaks.

Fold the room temperature butter into the eggs and continue to beat on high. Add the salt, extracts and coconut cream and beat one last time to combine. Refrigerate the icing mixture at least 30 minutes so that it starts to harden but doesn’t fully set.

Sugar High

I didn’t get any chocolates yesterday. This is probably a good thing as I’m feeling really sick today. So I want something sweet to help me feel better and give me energy. I want to taste springtime so I made this cheerful lemon pound cake. It goes great with a cup of soothing tea.

Iced Lemon Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
juice and zest of 3 lemons
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use the wrappers from the butter to butter a loaf pan.

Beat the butter at high speed in a stand mixer till fluffy. Add the sugar and continue creaming the mixture. With the mixer running at low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, the salt and the baking powder.

Fold in the flour and the zest, making sure the scrape down the bown. Beat the mixture on high speed until light and fluffy and fully incorporated. Mix in the juice of one of the lemons.

Bake the loaf for 65 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. In the mean time mix the 1/3 cup of sugar with the juice of 1 ½ of the lemons. Set aside.

Cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes. Remove it and cool on a rack over a pan. Baste the cake with the lemon sugar mixture, until all of the syrup is soaked up, including the syrup that falls off of the cake.

Mix the remaining juice of ½ a lemon with the 2 cups of powdered sugar to form an icing. Drizzle this icing over the top of the cake. Once the cake is fully cooled, slice and serve or store in the refrigerator.