Recipe: Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

I whipped up some birthday cupcakes for my friend's very, very and I mean very belated birthday dinner (her birthday was in early November, oops). I wanted to attempt to recreate these cupcakes she raved about that my sister made several years ago: white cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting. This dessert had me at butter-cream, so I was up for the challenge. I ended up going with a vanilla cupcake recipe I found on and a raspberry frosting recipe on These were easy as pie to make (sidenote: pie isn't that easy to make phrase coiner!) You basically throw all the cupcake ingredients in a bowl, blend, done, and same thing for the frosting. Even a lightly trained monkey can make these.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Makes 12 servings

Ingredients – Cupcakes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients – Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 -8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
milk (if needed)

Directions – Cupcakes
1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
2.  Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain. Pro Tip: Just use a regular mixer, no need to get fancy with this.
3.  Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Pro Tip: Always start with the lower time range to avoid overcooking. Mine took 20 mins on the nose.
4.  Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

Directions – Frosting
1.  Cream butter and jam until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
3.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. Note: I used about 4 cups.
4.  If frosting gets too thick you can add a little milk to thin it out.

Recipe: Irish Whiskey Chocolate Cake

image courtesy of

As a ode to St. Patrick and my ginger hair, I made an Irish Whiskey Chocolate Cake yesterday. It was fairly easy to make and I was pretty happy with the outcome. The cake was majorly moist and the whiskey gave it a nice "wang" <insert joke here>. If I were to make this cake all over again, I would add 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips for a nice crunch and I'd make a side of whip cream to offset the richness (hint: you should do the same if you are wise). Here is the recipe lowdown, found on Epicurious.

Irish Whiskey Chocolate Cake
Makes 12 to 14 servings

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup Irish whiskey (or any whiskey that isn't too peaty)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Place oven rack in the middle and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 10-inch bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess. Note: I only used 1 heaping tablespoon.
2.  Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
3.  While chocolate mixture cools, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be delightfully bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Note: mine took 43 mins and the toothpick came out mostly clean.
4.  Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack. Pro Tip: I garnished mine with confectioners sugar for flair.

Cheers to my fellow Irish lassies!

Recipe: THE Cake

One of my sister's makes a dessert so delicious that there can only be one name for it: THE Cake. It's actually a pretty simple recipe, but it hits on all the right things: Chocolate? Check! Toffee? You betcha! Whip cream? Of course!

Luckily, I get to eat this at least once a year, due to the fact that someone in my family requests it for their Birthday cake (it's usually me). She was hesitant to share this recipe, but we agreed that true dessert lovers would be worthy enough. That said, here is the recipe in all it's glory. Note: full credit for this recipe goes to her mom who also knows a good dessert when she sees/eats it.

THE Cake
Makes 12 hefty servings, 15 wimpy servings

1 pint whipping cream
add sugar to taste (about 1/2 cup)
10 crushed Heath bars
1 box German chocolate cake mix

1.  Make cake according to recipe in greased 2, 8" round pans, let cool
2.  Crush Heath bars (leave 1 crushed bar aside). Pro Tip: my sister's technique is putting them in a plastic bag and hitting them with a hammer, but any kind of mallet will do
3.  Whip whipping cream until firm
4.  Fold all but the 1 crushed bar into whipping cream
5.  Once cake has fully cooled, frost first layer of cake with whipping cream/Heath bar mixture
6.  Place second cake layer on, frost
7.  Sprinkle remaining crushed Heath bar on top
8.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve
9.  Cut a large and in charge slice for yourself and enjoy
10.  Contemplate eating another piece