Tag Archives: cupcakes

Cookie Dough Cream Cheese Frosting

1174956_10101750050397004_1085739443_nOh Pinterest… how I simultaneously love and loathe thee.

Love because I’ve found countless inspirations for my baking (among other things). Loathe because I can’t believe the countless hours I’ve wasted on that damn website. But in all honesty, should I even say it’s a waste?

Not with THIS pin that I found only a week ago, and have since made twice. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough frosting. Dear lord, how it’s even made it out of the mixing bowl and onto the cupcake without first being completely devoured by my face is beyond me. It tastes pretty much exactly like raw, gooey, delicious cookie dough, only it’s very safe to eat as there are no raw eggs!

Because I don’t like anything that’s overly sweet, I made quite a few adjustments to the recipe. But feel free to try both versions! I can guarantee you will be making this more than once… this week.

Cookie Dough Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Chef in Training)

-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
-2/3 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 packet Dream Whip
-2 tbsp milk
-1 cup AP flour
-2 cups powdered sugar
-2/3 cup chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl or bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.

2. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and Dream Whip and beat evenly together.

3. Add the milk, flour and powdered sugar (I like to add the flour and powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and mix before adding another 1/2 cup, just so it doesn’t go flying EVERYWHERE). If you’d like to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, add a little more milk, 1 tbsp at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. I piped it the first time and I think ended up with 4-5 tbsp milk total. Tonight I just plopped it on top of the cupcakes with a cookie dough scoop (derp) and personally, I think it looks better when you just scoop it on like it’s actually cookie dough.

4. Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Devour (cupcakes not necessary).


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Peach Cupcakes with Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

yumFor those who reside in the midwest, such as myself, you are probably aware of a grocery store chain called Giant Eagle. They have begun launching their Market District stores, which is basically Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and Giant Eagle rolled into one and on steroids/crack. On Thursday the Cleveland area Market District opened – with a special appearance by Michael Symon! – and you would have thought the entire city of Solon shut down. The store, parking lot, and surrounding areas were packed. I was crazy enough to attempt to stop by on opening day (I missed Chef Symon, of course) but barely managed to navigate the labyrinthine store for more than 10 minutes. Seriously though; the crowd was crazier than the pit at Ozzfest, and a lot hungrier.

So today, my mother and I decided that after 3 days enough time had elapsed since the grand opening to tackle Market District again. It was still busy, but at least we were able to enjoy ourselves. They had enough food samples, wine samples, and cooking demonstrations to keep us occupied for over an hour. It was basically a side-show at a culinary circus.

Finally as we were about to leave, we headed over to the dairy section and stocked up on our favorite Chobani greek yogurt. There are these things called Chobani Flips that we are both totally obsessed with; flavors like Key Lime Crumble, Almond Coco Loco, and Peachy Pistachio, which served as an inspiration (knock off?) for the cupcakes I made today.

bri2Today we celebrated my little sister’s 22nd birthday, so I thought it was a perfect occasion to try out a new cupcake flavor. They were a big success! The sweet/tartness of the peach went very nicely with the saltiness of the pistachios and the rich dark chocolate. I paired these with a crisp sauvignon blanc to offset the sweetness of the dessert.

usMy sister blows out her candles, while I try not to drop the glass layer tray full of flaming, peachy goodness. Notice how the last-minute baker is still totally scrubbing it in her bum clothes? That’s what I get for procrastinating.

cupcake1Peach Cupcakes with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting, Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

For the cupcakes (yields 18 standard cupcakes)

-2 cups AP flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 stick unsalted butter
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1/2 – 3/4 cup peach purée (recipe follows)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your cupcake trays with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until just combined, followed by the buttermilk. Add another 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/2 cup of the peach purée. Add the final 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat to combine. Taste (yum!) and add more of the purée if you like a stronger peach flavor (like me).

3. Spoon batter into the prepared liners about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, but with soft crumbs. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the peach purée

-1 1/2 – 2 peaches, peeled and chopped, with pits removed
-1 tbsp of lemon juice
-1 tsp granulated sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

For the frosting and toppings

-1 8-oz package cream cheese
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
-3-4 cups powdered sugar
-3-4 tbsp peach purée
-1/4 cup chopping pistachios (salted or unsalted, but I used salted)
-1 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium high until fluffy. Added powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and beat until fluffy and you reach a good piping texture. Add peach purée and additional powdered sugar, if needed.

2. Fill a piping bag with your desired tip, and pipe a delicious peachy swirl onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dark chocolate. Take a bite of your cupcake, take a sip of your wine, sit back and savor.

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Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

February is a busy month for Cupcakes on the Vine– I have 2 baby showers and 1 bridal shower order, all on consecutive weekends. But I’m definitely not complaining; yes the extra cash is great, but occasions like these are why I started my side cupcake business in the first place. As an artist, who works full time and happens to love food, cupcakes have been a great creative outlet. So February is turning out to be a wealthy month, both financially and creatively.

February also means… Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day has always been a pointless occasion to me. And nooooo, I know what you’re probably thinking, “this stupid bitch is probably just single and bitter.” And while that may be true, it’s not the reason for my meh attitude towards the “holiday.” I just think it’s pointless, plain and simple (and don’t even get me started on “Sweetest Day,” which is a load of crap and just Valentine’s Day 2.0. As if you didn’t give your sweetheart enough chocolate, roses, champagne and/or sex on February 14th OR your anniversary).


HOWEVER, as a baker, I still get inspired by the colors and motifs surrounding the day that makes us single ladies (and gents) look like fools.

Enter Pinterest– another single woman’s nightmare as half of my feed is filled to the brim with wedding-related pins. Sort of like my relationships with Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media extravaganzas, I initially avoided Pinterest like the plague. But as my cupcake business started booming I realized that perhaps it would be a good resource. And it was. But I became hooked. I now have like 5 or 6 different boards for my various interests.

One awesome pin that I found, that I now cannot seem to find, had to do with the dreaded V-word. Heart shaped cupcakes in all their saccharine-sweet, ridiculously trite glory!

But I would be lying if I said they weren’t totally fucking cute.
batterThe technique is incredibly simple, even for all you non-domestics who still regard the kitchen as foreign, unfriendly territory. You line your cupcake pans with your baking cups, and then place a marble in between the liner and the pan, as shown above. Then using your favorite cupcake recipe (or boxed cake mix), fill the baking cups and bake as normal. Be sure to only fill the cups halfway, as an overflow of the batter will not only make the hearts look retarded, but you’ll have quite a mess.

To be honest I was skeptical, as the cupcakes themselves, once baked, looked like either a fat, angry Pacman or a fortune cookie. It really comes down to the decorating- I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe and piped a heart shape onto the cupcakes using my Wilton #12 tip. And voila! Heart-shaped cupcakes to share with your sweetheart (or to stuff your own face with as you watch old rom-coms and cry over your loneliness).

If you’re still confused by my vague, non-recipe post, do yourself a favor and head on over to Youtube and watch this step-by-step video of the heartcake making process!


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“The Dude” White Russian Cupcakes


Happy New Year’s Eve! Tonight I’m going to a house party, and I was charged with providing the dessert- cupcakes, of course. And I knew I wanted to make boozey, knock-you-on-your-ass cupcakes.
479929_10101243847376914_138255558_nBeing a baker, specifically cupcakes, naturally I’ve been drawn to Cupcake Vineyards wine, particularly their Red Velvet. So when I heard they were coming out with their own brand of vodka, I knew I had to incorporate this into a cupcake somehow. On impulse I bought the Frosting flavored vodka- cupcakes… frosting… makes sense right?


Now, I’m a big wine drinker, but I’ve never been much of an anything-else drinker, so when it came time to decide on what flavor profile I wanted for this cupcake I drew a blank. And then it hit me- White Russian cupcakes!

I pulled from a few different recipes for the cupcakes and frosting, and decided on White Russian cupcakes baked with vodka and kahlúa, filled with vodka whipped cream and topped with a kahlúa cream cheese frosting. The original frosting recipe called for mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese, but I forgot to pick some up and did not feel like going back out to the store when regular cream cheese would suffice. I’m sure these would have tasted great with mascarpone but the tang of the cream cheese suited the kahlúa perfectly. I also added butter and more powdered sugar than the recipe calls for because I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough frosting for all 12 cupcakes. And I was right!

Definitely Big Lebowski- appropriate. These babies are boozey!

The Dude’s White Russian Cupcakes: (loosely adapted by/ inspired by C&C Cakery)

For the cupcakes

– 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened
– 3/4 c sugar
– 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
– 1/4 c vegetable or canola oil
– 1/3 c sour cream
– 2 tsp vanilla extract (try to obtain Madagascar bourbon vanilla, you won’t be sorry)
– 2 c cake flour, sifted
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/3 c vodka
– 1/3 c kahlúa

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg whites, oil, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until combined.

2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until just combined, followed by the vodka. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, followed by the kahlúa. Mix until just combined.

3. Spoon batter into your cupcake liners, about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before filling and frosting.


For the filling

– 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
– powdered sugar, to taste (about 6 tsp)
– vodka, to taste (I used 3 tsp)

1. In your stand mixer, whip up your heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until just beginning to firm. Add your vodka, one teaspoon at a time, with your mixer on high. Continue beating until soft peaks start to form and your whipped cream is done. Fill each cooled cupcake with about a tablespoon of whipped cream (I use the cone method, but feel free to use an apple corer- however you normally hollow out your cupcakes for fillings).

Kahlúa Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from BakerStreet)

– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 1 stick butter
– 3 c powdered sugar
– 1/4 c kahlúa

1. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the kahlúa and beat at medium speed until fluffy. Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes, plus enough left over to just eat directly from the bowl with a spoon.

47695_10101243861388834_300109643_nCurrently Spinning: Sleigh Bells “Reign of Terror”




A Series of Minor Disasters


Never bake when you are PMS-ing.

TMI. When I am PMS-ing, I am the biggest klutz. Dropping everything, knocking shit over. My Christmas Eve agenda was to make cupcakes, baklava, and this chocolate toffee bark aptly referred to as “Christmas Crack.” Apparently it is that addicting. (Don’t worry, I posted the recipe below).

First were the cupcakes. At first I was going to simply make eggnog cupcakes, but then I decided to be all fancy and make gingerbread and eggnog cupcakes with a vanilla-rum buttercream. The baking started off seamlessly enough, without many problems, until it became time to frost the cupcakes. I realized that I was using a closed-star piping tip as I went to frost my first cupcake, but unfortunately it was after I had already filled my piping bag with the buttercream.

Emily’s f-bomb count: 1


A word of advice: Never use a closed-star tip when piping frosting onto cupcakes, except when making buttercream roses. (And even then, an open-star works better).

So I decided to journey on instead of changing tips, which would have required me to squeeze out all of the buttercream from my piping bag, rinse it out and drop the open-star into the bag (as I had decided to forgo the use of a coupler… never again). And instead of piping the roses I still decided that these cupcakes needed traditional swirls of buttercream on top. So rather than perfect peaks of vanilla-rum yumminess atop my cupcakes, I was left with sloppy, uneven blobs of frosting.

Emily’s f-bomb count: 2

By this point I had also dropped my hand mixer twice, and then proceeded to knock my fresh cup of Starbucks Christmas blend that I had taken 2 sips of into my sink, which just so happened to be full of soapy water with soaking dishes. Bye-bye coffee.

Emily’s f-bomb count: 5


Now onto the godforsaken Christmas Crack, which will from now on be the bane of my baking existence. I assembled the layer of crackers on my baking sheet and covered them with the melted butter-sugar toffee mixture like I was supposed to. After it was done baking it was time to add the chocolate. The recipe calls for 2 cups of chocolate chips, but instead I had all these random half-empty bags of various sized semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips, which I proceeded to just dump all over the toffee. I think I ended up with 3 1/2 – 4 cups of chocolate chips.  They weren’t melting fast enough for my impatient, PMS-y taste so I figured I would let them sit in the oven for a few minutes to soften. As I went to put the pan in the oven, for some reason I absentmindedly decided that the perfect time for me to let go of it was when it was teetering halfway on the oven rack. The pan fell forward and into the hinge of the oven door. This resulted in the entire front half of my oven and the door being covered in half-melted chocolate chips.

Emily’s f-bomb count: 8 or 9 (or maybe 12)

Luckily I still had a couple half-used bags of chocolate chips, so after my minute-long tirade of various expletives I was still able to finish making the chocolate bark.

Would I make this again? Probably, because it is delicious. But never when I am in a stage of klutzy, hormonal insanity.

As for the baklava? Fuck that shit, I’ll just make it at mom’s.

I could really go for that coffee right now.

Christmas Crack (re-posted from Cannella Vita)


1.5 sleeves of crackers (enough to cover a baking sheet) I used Ritz, but you could also use saltines, Townhouse, graham crackers, etc.
1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
Sprinkles, nuts, white chocolate, etc. to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and spraying generously with nonstick cooking spray. (I didn’t use parchment paper, because I was out, and it worked fine, just use a decent amount of cooking spray. I was severely unprepared this morning).

Arrange the crackers in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir while the butter melts and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Once boiling, carefully pour the sugar-butter mixture over the crackers in an even layer.

Bake the toffee crackers for about 5 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling all over. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the hot toffee, and allow them to sit for one minute to soften and melt. (If they aren’t melting quick enough, pop in the oven for a minute and let the residual heat soften them, but DO NOT let go of the pan until it is safely and securely resting in its entirety on the oven rack). Once softened, use an offset spatula or knife to spread the chocolate over the toffee in an even layer. While the chocolate is still soft, decorate how you like.

Cool until set- I popped mine in the freezer for a bit. Once set, break into small uneven pieces by hand, and enjoy!


Currently Spinning: A Very She & Him Christmas