Spring Cupcakes: Three Sweet Recipes and Flavors

Spring Cupcakes

There are so many occasions in spring and early summer to bake. Whether it be garden parties, backyard BBQs, or even just casual park days with family and friends, elegant sweet treats are always among everyone’s favorite. Here is our attempt at a few unique and deliciously flavored cupcake recipes that are sure to grab people’s attention. Our team taste tested all of these spring cupcakes, and we are sure that they will be worth your baking efforts.

Lavendar-Vanilla

LAVENDER VANILLA BEAN SPRING CUPCAKES

Cake Ingredients

1/2 cup whole milk

1 TBSP dried edible lavender

1 1/3 cups cake flour

1 ¼ TSP baking powder

¼ TSB salt

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup + 2 TBSP granulated sugar

3 TBSP honey

2 large eggs

1 TSP vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Frosting Ingredients

1/2 cup salted butter

½ cup unsalted butter

Seeds of 1 Vanilla Bean

3 cups powdered sugar

2 TBSP heavy cream

1 TSP vanilla extract

Lavender Cupcakes Instructions:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend the milk and lavender in a food processor or blender by pulsing for 1-2 minutes or until the lavender is well minced.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cake flower, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment to combine butter and sugar for 4 minutes on medium speed or until the mixture is white and fluffy. You will need to occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl. Add honey, and mix until combined. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined after each egg. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Add 1/3 of lavender with milk combination to the egg, sugar, and butter mixture, and combine well. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture. Continue alternating additions of the rest of the dry ingredient and milk mixture, ending with the dry ingredient mixture.
  6. Line muffin tin with paper cups, and fill each cup until 2/3 of the way full.
  7. Bake for 19-21 minutes or until you can insert a tooth pick that comes back out without crumbs.
  8. Allow to cool in tin before frosting.

 Vanilla Bean Frosting Instructions:

  1. Mix butter and vanilla bean seeds with electric mixer paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 6 to 7 minutes or until white and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape sides of mixing bowl as needed while mixing.
  2. Add in heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract. Blend in on low speed. Increase speed to medium for 5-6 minutes until whipped to a fluffy consistency. Scrape sides of mixing bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
  3. Pipe frosting on cupcakes with a piping bag. If you realize you do not have a piping bag, you can also use a plastic freezer bag with the corner trimmed off.
  4. Garnish the top of the frosted cupcake with edible lavender.

champagne-blackberry

CHAMPAGNE BLACKBERRY SPRING CUPCAKES

Cake Ingredients

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 TSP vanilla

1-3/4 cups flour

1/2 TSP baking soda

1/4 TSP baking powder

1/4 TSP salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup Champagne, Prosecco, or your choice of sparkling wine

Pastry Cream Ingredients

1/2 cup heavy cream, divided

1/2 cup champagne or prosecco

2 TBSP cornstarch

5 TBSP granulated sugar

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

2 TBSP unsalted butter

1 TSP vanilla

1.5 containers of blackberries

2 TBSP lemon juice

Frosting Ingredients

1 cup  + 1 tablespoon champagne or prosecco

2 sticks of softened butter

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Reduced blackberry solids divided from liquids

 Cake Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees.
  2. Use electric mixer with paddle attachment to mix together butter and sugar until it has a light and fluffy consistency.
  3. Add eggs one at a time until mixture is well combined after each egg.
  4. Mix in vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. In another separate bowl, mix together champagne and sour cream.
  7. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and champagne mixture to the butter mixture. Begin and end with the flour until a thick batter is formed.
  8. Fill cupcake papers two-thirds of the way full.
  9. Bake for 18-22 minutes.

Filling Instructions:

  1. Add one and a half containers of blackberries and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to a sauce pan. Heat on medium, stirring frequently until the berries reduce and form a liquid.
  2. In a separate saucepan while berries are reducing, combine 1/4 cup of heavy cream heavy cream, 1/2 cup of champagne, and 5 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Strain the liquid from the reduced berries into a bowl and set aside. Reserve the remaining berry solids for the frosting that goes on top of the cupcakes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of heavy cream with cornstarch. Beat 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks into this mixture. Add 1/3 of the champagne mixture from the stove while whisking so that the eggs to not begin to cook. Bring the remaining champagne mixture back to a boil and add the egg mixture to the boiling pan slowly while whisking. Whisk in reserved berry liquid to this mixture as well and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and two tablespoons of butter.
  6. To fill the cupcakes, cut out a small portion of the center about three-fourths of the way down. Fill a piping bag, freezer, or sandwich bag with blackberry filling. If using a freezer or sandwich bag, cut off a small amount of the corner of the bag (1/4-1/2 inch up).  Squeeze filling through the bag into the center of the cupcake. If you would like to create a lid for the cupcake center, you can trim the center piece that was cut out of the cupcake to make a lid.

Frosting Instructions:

  1. Reduce 1 cup of champagne in a saucepan until it is only 2 tablespoons and remove from pan to cool.
  2. Use an electric mixer with whisk attachment to beat together 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 2 sticks softened butter until thick and fluffy. Add the reduced champagne and 1 tablespoon of champagne straight from the bottle. Combine well.
  3. Spread or pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.
  4. Garnish cupcake with the remaining container of blackberries. Place one whole blackberry on top of the frosted cupcake. If there are not enough whole blackberries remaining, cut blackberries in half lengthwise.

tangerine-white-chocolate

WHITE CHOCOLATE TANGERINE SPRING CUPCAKES

Tangerine Cake Recipe

1 3/4 cups of cake flour

2 TSP baking powder

2/3 cups of whole milk

1 TSP vanilla

4 egg whites

6 TBSP softened butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

Zest of 2 tangerines

Juice of 1 tangerine

White Chocolate Tangerine Frosting 

1 bar or 6 oz of chopped white chocolate

1 package of softened cream cheese

¼ cup softened butter

1 TSP  vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

Juice of 1 tangerine

Cupcake Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Stir flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until peaks form.
  4. Combine milk and vanilla in a glass measuring cup or any other easy pour container.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until a fluffy consistency has formed. Beat in the sour cream until well combined and smooth.
  6. Alternate the addition of the milk and dry ingredient mixture in 3 parts.
  7. Whisk one-third of the fluffed egg whites into this mixture. Fold the remaining egg whites.
  8. Zest 2 tangerines and juice 1 tangerine. Add zest and juice to the batter and stir to combine well.
  9. Fill cupcake papers two-thirds of the way full.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out with no crumbs on it.

Frosting Instructions:

  1. Place white chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals for 1-1.5 minutes. Stir every 30 seconds. Let stand for a few minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together vanilla, cream cheese, white chocolate, and butter using an electric mixer with beater attachments on medium speed. Once this mixture is well blended, beat in the powdered sugar in small increments at a time.
  3. Mix in juice of one tangerine and combine well.
  4. Add Frosting to a piping bag or ziplock bag to pipe onto the top of the cupcakes. You can also spread frosting on top of the cupcakes with a butter knife.
  5. Garnish each cupcake with a tangerine wedge.

Share these delicious spring cupcakes with your family and friends! Which one is your favorite? Comment below!

Microwave Peppermint Bark

The holiday season is here, and so are the tasty treats it brings. A classic Christmas flavor combo, chocolate peppermint bark is an easy, no-bake sweet treat that’s great for gifting–and even better for snacking!  With a simple ingredient list, a little prep, and a microwave, you can transform basic chocolate and peppermint into a quintessentially Christmassy peppermint bark everyone will love! 
peppermint-bark1
Ingredients: 

12 ounces of white chocolate
16 ounces of semisweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
Topping: 1/4 cup of chopped peppermint candy or candy canes

Utensils:

Measuring spoons and cups
Parchment paper
Baking sheet
2Microwave-friendly sized glass bowl for each flavor of chocolate
Spatula

How to make your own bark:

  1. Line your baking sheet with parchment
  2. Add white chocolate to a bowl and semisweet chocolate to the other
  3. Add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to each chocolate. for less peppermint, add to only one type of chocolate..
  4. Microwave the semisweet chocolate at 50% power for 90 seconds.
  5. Stir, and heat for another 30 seconds at 50%, stir until smooth. Repeat on 50% power as needed. DO NOT HEAT AT FULL POWER
  6. Pour melted semisweet chocolate onto baking sheet, smooth out.
  7. Repeat steps 2-5 with the white chocolate
  8. With a fork or a toothpick, swirl the two layers. Swirling allows the layers to combine, and makes the bark easier to cut later.
  9. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint topping
  10. Cool or chill for 30 minutes to one hour
  11. Cut, serve and enjoy!

Spring Fling Cake

Spring Fling CakeSure, it’s still a bit chilly out, but the signs of spring are starting to show. Soon, sunshine, new blossoms, and bright bursts of color will say so-long to winter, and hello to all the fun the season has to offer. To get into the springy spirit, we baked the delicious Spring Fling Cake.  Following the recipe of Denver’s The Market at Larimer Square–the spot responsible for this famously delicious dessert–we whipped up this quintessential spring treat–and got a taste of spring, one slice at a time!

To bake your own Spring Fling Cake, see the recipe below.Spring Fling Cake IngredientsSpring Fling Cake Dry IngredientsSpring Fling Cake FrostingSpring Fling Cake LayersSpring Fling Cake Frosting on CakeSpring Fling Cake Fruit DetailSpring Fling Cake Detail

Photos by Kristie Carney. Recipe from The Market in Larimer Square.

Spring Fling Cake
Serves 12 to 14

  • 2 ½ cups shredded zucchini
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (for frosting)
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

For frosting:

  • ¾ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Fruit for cake:

  • 1 pint strawberries, cleaned, stemmed and sliced
  • 4 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • Apricot glaze, or apricot jelly thinned out with a bit of warm water, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch cake.
  2. To prepare the cake: Shred the zucchini in a food processor. In a large mixing bowl combine shredded zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream and ½ tablespoon vanilla.
  3. When thoroughly mixed, combine all dry ingredients and add to bowl; mix well. Batter should be fairly wet and easy to pour.
  4. Pour in the batter and bake for 50 to 70 minutes, testing with a toothpick in center.
  5. Cool finished cake on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely. (You can make the cake a day ahead and refrigerate.)
  6. To prepare frosting, whip room temperature cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until well combined.
  7. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff, and then fold it and the ½ teaspoon vanilla into the frosting. Do not overmix.
  8. To assemble cake: Cut the cooled cake in half lengthwise, making two layers. (The Market cuts the cake into three layers, which you may do if desired.)
  9. Spread an even layer of frosting over the first layer, and then add a layer of the various fruit pieces (repeat if three layers).
  10. Put on the top layer of cake and evenly frost. The sides of the cake are not frosted; use extra to fill in, as needed.
  11. Arrange the fruit in circles all over the top of cake, slightly overlapping fruit pieces.
  12. To finish: Spread the apricot glaze over fruit on top of the cake with a pastry brush.

Nutritional information per serving: 496 cal., 20 g fat (10 g sat.), 116 mg chol., 73 g carb., 597 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 9 g pro.

Spring Recipe: Pork Steamed Buns with Local Honey Citrus Slaw

PorkSteamedBunsSliderSpring is the season to celebrate the outdoors, and all of the wonderful – and healthful – produce we have access this time of year. This farm-to-table inspired recipe for pork steamed buns is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and is a great opportunity for you to cook with ingredients sourced locally in your area.

For the buns, we used a recipe from David Chang’s Momofuko Noodle Bar, but you can purchase frozen steamed buns at your local Asian market.

For Braised Ginger Pork:

  • 10 lbs pork butt or shoulder
  • 3 onions diced
  • 4 ribs of celery diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed tangelo juice
  • 2 whole tangelos
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 serrano peppers
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 cup white wine
salt and pepper

Liberally season the pork with salt and pepper and sear all sides to golden brown. Add onions, carrots and celery to the pan and caramelize. Deglaze with wine and tangelo juice. Place pork, vegetables and pan juices in a dutch oven or brazing pan. Add remaining ingredients and fill braising pan ¾ of the way full with water. Cover with foil and braise in a low oven (300 degrees) for 4-6 hours until the meat pulls apart easily. Strain the juices and reduce by ½. Add ½ cup sugar. Shred the meat to bite-size pieces when it is cool enough to handle and add the reduced juices.

For Slaw:

  • 1 head cabbage shredded2 carrots julienned
  • 1 cup pickled red onions
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions chopped
  • 1 cup tangelo juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tbs Sriracha
  • salt to taste

Reduce tangelo juice, honey, and Sriracha in a sauce pan. Cool and toss with remaining ingredients. Serve warm buns with pork, slaw and hoisin sauce, available at your local Asian market.

Winter Recipe: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

DarkChocolatePeppermintBrowniesFeaturedSliderWant to sweeten the season even more? Try this easy recipe for Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies. The combination of rich chocolate, and cool peppermint is sure to be a festive addition to any holiday menu.

INGREDIENTS Yields 30 small brownies

  • 8 oz. (2 sticks) butter, cut into chunks
  • 4 oz. good-quality dark chocolate*, chopped
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 12 peppermint candies, unwrapped and crushed into small bits (optional)

* e.g., Callebaut or Ghiradelli

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 360°F. Lightly grease the pan with vegetable oil or butter, then arrange two overlapping pieces of aluminum foil in opposite directions. Each piece of foil should have an overhang of 1″ to 2″; this will make removing the brownies from the pan very easy.

In a large metal or heatproof glass mixing bowl, combine the butter and both chocolates. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water — the bottom of the bowl should just fit into the rim of the pot. Allow the butter and chocolate to slowly melt together, stirring occasionally.

While the chocolates and butter are melting, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder and set aside.

When the chocolate mixture is fully melted and smooth, remove from heat and cool for 1 minute. Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture, then whisk in the eggs one at a time. Continue whisking until mixture is smooth and glossy. Whisk in both extracts. Add the dry ingredients and use a spatula to incorporate fully. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. If you are using the crushed peppermint candies, evenly sprinkle them over the top of the batter. Bake the brownies for approximately 40 minutes, or until the top feels firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached — it should not be completely clean but there should be no gooey batter on the toothpick. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan, then lift out using the foil “handles” and cut into squares. Stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature, the brownies will keep for 4 days.

DarkChocolatePeppermintBrownies

Chai Latte Cupcakes

One of our favorite drinks in the whole world is the chai latte. It packs enough pep to get you moving, with a creamy, spicy smoothness that’s absolutely refreshing. So when one of our coworkers was having a birthday, we of course noticed that is was the one thing she asks for every time the coffee run requests came around – so we surprised her with a whole batch of our own creation for her birthday! What could be better than getting that same treat in cupcake form! ‘Nothing,’ is what she said too!

Chai Latte Cupcakes Ingredients

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS
  • 1 and ⅓ cups of milk
  • 6 chai tea bags, without added sweetner, such as Tazo
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 and ¾ cups of cake flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 and ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 8 ounces of unsalted butter at room temp

 

CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Line the cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

In a small saucepan bring the milk to a simmer over low med-low heat. Add the tea bags, careful not to let the paper tag fall into the milk. Remove from heat and allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the teabags and squeeze out the milk. Let the chai milk cool completely.

In a medium bowl mix the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and ⅓ cup of the chai milk. Whisk together.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining chai milk, on med-low speed.

Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg mixture in three additions scraping the between additions. Divide the batter evenly among the pans.

Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and let them cool completely.

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FROSTING DIRECTIONS
  • 2 and ½ cups of confectioners sugar
  • 6 ounces of cream cheese at room temp
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temp.
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder

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FROSTING DIRECTIONS

Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to blend together, then scrape the sides of the bowl and pulse until smooth.

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Chai Latte Cupcakes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

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  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups (12-ounce bag) dark chocolate chips, not semisweet
  • Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (Optional for chocolate dipped cookies)

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Cookie Ingredients

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips.

Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

For Chocolate Dipped Cookies
Melt the remaining chocolate chips in either a double boiler or the microwave. Dip one half of each cookie into the chocolate before placing on parchment paper to cool.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies