Strawberry-Raspberry Poptart Cupcakes

I make my son special cupcakes for his birthday each year. When I asked him what he wanted this year he told me he wanted a Poptart cupcakes and I kind of just stared at him. Frankly it just sounded like a lot of work and there was no guarantee that I could pull it off because who the hell has heard of Poptart cupcakes. At first I was going to blow him off and just “you get what you get what” him.

 

But I started playing with the idea.

 

I went to the Google to see if I was on the right track. I was surprised to find that all of the other recipes I saw were….not like this. So I sat down and worked it out and this is what I came up with. I fully intend on doing these again. There are just so many flavor-filling options!

 

We prefer strawberry Poptarts. I decided to pump up the berry by adding raspberry to the mixture. I matched the tangy raspberry with the tart lemon juice. The jam is bright and tart, so it cuts through the sweetness of the other components. The jam would be amazing on a croissant *drool*.

It may look like a lot of work but just break it up into steps. Some things you can make ahead. This is my suggested order:

  1. Cupcake
  2. Jam
  3. Icing
  4. Decorate

 

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes

For Jam:

1 pint of raspberries

1 cup of roughly chopped strawberries

1/4-1/2  sugar

1/8 c water

1/8 c lemon juice

Tsp lemon zest

 

For Icing:

2 egg whites, room temperature

4+ c confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1 ½ c melted white sugar morsels

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp water, if needed

 

Decorations:

Pieces of poptart

Strawberry jello

Sugar crystals*

 

  1. Prepare the vanilla cupcakes

For the jam:

  1. Combine the liquids and the sugar
  2. Stir until sugar melts
  3. Add berries
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
  5. Simmer covered until the berries start to break down (you can smush to help it along)
  6. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently until the liquid begins to evaporate and the mixture thickens (this is called reducing).
  7. Taste and adjust to your preference.
  8. You want a pretty thick, scoop-able consistency but honestly, you just don’t want it watery. Otherwise your sponge will just sop it up and then your filling won’t be much of a filling.
  9. Set aside to cool. (This is an easily adjustable recipe, this was more than enough for 12 cupcakes and breakfast toast the next day.)

For the icing:

  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, melt the white chocolate over a double boiler
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. In your stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the whites until they’re fluffy
  4. Add vanilla extract
  5. Slowly incorporate some of the powdered sugar
  6. Mix in the white chocolate
  7. Continue adding the sugar
    1. Here is where I hiccupped, my icing was way drippier than I wanted. Add as much sugar as you need to achieve a thick-spread that won’t drip down a bunch.
  8. Prepare your decorations
    1. I could not find crystal sprinkles so I made colored sugar*
  9. Poke your finger or a cylindrical tool deep into the cupcakes to form a divot. You don’t want to poke through the cake
  10. Fill the divots with the cooled jam
  11. Spread the thick icing on top
  12. Stick in poptart pieces
  13. Sprinkle with sprinkles or sugar and strawberry jello

 

Happy 8th Birthday, kid.

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Simple Vanilla Cupcake

This is my go to vanilla cupcake recipe. Because it’s such a perfect vehicle, I use this as the base for 90% of my cupcakes.

I don’t generally like a super sweet sponge because usually I am loading it up with buttercream, chocolate or fillings. So I often opt to use less sugar. If you enjoy a sweeter cupcake then I suggest 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Some recipes call for milk or cream, however, I substitute sour cream. This yields a moister cake. That’s a 1:1 ratio. So if you prefer to use milk or cream or if that’s all you have, just remember it’s a direct conversion

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Simple Vanilla

 

 

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Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1⅓ cups AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup light sour cream

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Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Using your paddle attachment and your stand mixer, cream (beat together) the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Scrape the bowl as necessary.

Add eggs one at a time. Make sure the first is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Turn the mixer down to slow.

Add half of the dry ingredients

Add sour cream

Add remaining dry ingredients

Be careful not to overmix the batter but be sure that everything is well incorporated.

Divide the batter into the tins. This is enough for 12 decent size cupcakes.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, toothpick check and cool on a wire rack.

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Boston Creme Cupcakes

 

I’ve been itching to bake lately. My partner came up with the brilliant idea that I should try my hand at Boston Creme Cupcakes. I will tell you now, this is a labor-intensive cupcake. But they are so damn good, it’s worth it. Prepare your ingredients and your tools so that you can work quickly and efficiently. There are basically four key steps: Pastry cream, cupcake, ganache and fill/dip. Don’t let this intimidate you. Work smarter, not harder. Use your ‘down time’ productively and these will come right together before your eyes.

 

FYI: I did not use a super sweet, moist sponge for this because we’re filling it with sweet pastry cream and topping with a shiny ganache.

 

Ingredients:

 

Pastry cream:

2 egg yolks

6 tbsp granulated sugar

1 ½ tbsp cornstarch

1 c half and half

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Sponge:

1 ½ cup AP flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 stick of butter (unsalted), room temp

½ cup of light sour cream

1 large egg, 2 yolks, room temp

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

 

Ganache:

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 oz milk chocolate chips

½ cup of half and half

1 tbsp of butter

 

Pastry cream:

  1. In a bowl, beat yolksbc
  2. In a sauce pan, add sugar, cornstarch and milk, mix until combined
  3. While cooking, whisk constantly. It will begin to thicken.bc3
  4. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes, take off of the heat
  5. Add a small amount of the hot milk mixture to the eggs and whisk.
    • This is called tempering. You want to ensure that you don’t cook the eggs. So, slowly add some hot liquid to warm up the temp of the yolks.bc2
  6. Add the egg mixture to the hot milk mixture and whisk
  7. Put the saucepan back on the heat and bring to a boil, allow to continue for 1-2 minutes. Whisking constantly.
  8. Take off of the heat and add your butter and vanilla and combinebc4
  9. Set to the side to cool

 

 

Sponge:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line or spray your cupcake tin
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer
  4. Add the butter, the sour cream, the egg (plus yolks) and the vanilla
  5. Beat using the paddle attachment for 20-30 seconds, you don’t want any “pockets” of flour20171118_190204bc5
  6. Fill the tins
  7. Bake until the cupcakes pass the toothpick test (roughly 20-25 minutes)
  8. Again, these aren’t super sweet or super moist. The tops will likely crack some. You’re doing amazing, this is not “wrong”. The sponge is actually almost like a soft scone, a perfect vehicle for filling and topping.

 

Ganache:

 

  1. You’re going to create a double boiler with a pot of boiling water and a glass bowl (my preferred method)
  2. Put the chocolate in the bowl
  3. Add the half and half
  4. Using a whisk or silicone spatula, stir as the chocolate is meltingbc6
  5. Stir in a tab of butter, this adds a super pretty sheen (and well, butter flavor, duh)

 

 

 

 

  • Remove your cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool
  • Using a tool or a knife (if push comes to shove, use your finger) to create a canal for the pastry creambc7
  • Fill the cupcakesbc8
  • Carefully dip the cupcakes in the ganache to coat the topbc9
  • As the ganache cools, it will harden.
  • These are best served warm or room temperature. NOM!

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