Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes

These babies are a labor of love, I tell ya. The end result is so fun looking and delicious, but these are definitely not in the “throw something together quickly” camp. A standard white cake with 3(!) icing flavors to mimic a scoop of Neopolitan ice cream, and of course, the fixin’s… sprinkles, hot fudge drizzle, and a cherry on top. I brought these to work and was told this flavor quickly propelled to the top of several coworkers’ fave flavor list! I think they would be adorable for an ice cream themed party 😊🍦 I might try making them in ice cream cones next time! 

Ingredients (makes 2 dozen cupcakes):

For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • 2¾ cups (11 oz.) flour
  • 1½ cups (10.5 oz) sugar
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. (¾ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the frostings

  • 1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup finely diced strawberries 

For garnish

  • Sprinkles
  • Hot fudge sauce
  • Maraschino cherries

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degreees Fahrenheit and line muffin tins with liners. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of milk, the egg whites, and extracts. Whisk to combine, then set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix gently for 30 seconds, then add butter. Mix until reaches the texture of wet sand. Add the other 3/4 cup of milk and mix just until combined. Finally, add the egg white mixture in 3 parts, mixing for about 20 seconds between additions. Divide batter equally among wells. Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. 


While your cupcakes are cooling, start on your icings. Place butter in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium with the whisk attachment until smooth, ~1 minute. Turn mixer down to slow speed and slowly add confectioner’s sugar. Gradually increase speed, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Slow speed again and add salt, heavy cream, and vanilla. Gradually increase speed to medium high and beat until lift and fluffy, ~4-5 minutes. Take half of the icing out and place either in a small bowl or directly into pastry bag. Divide what’s left in the bowl into two, leaving one portion in the bowl. Melt chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring between. Once melted, allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then add on low speed to vanilla icing already in mixing bowl. Beat until fully combined. In a new, clean bowl, place the second smaller portion of vanilla icing and your strawberries. Again, beat until fully combined. 

Begin by piping vanilla icing onto the top of each cupcake, then smoothing down flat across top and sides. 

Pour some sprinkles on a plate, then slowly roll the edges of the cupcakes in the sprinkles until you have a sprinkle border all the way around. 

Next, squeeze a dollop of vanilla icing on top of each cupcake. If you have a small scoop, like a melon baller or small dough scoop, that would be perfect too! Repeat with the chocolate and strawberry icings. *Note: this batch my colors did not turn out as vibrant in the past because I’d subbed cocoa powder for the chocolate in a pinch and leftover strawberry cream cheese icing. Normally the chocolate and strawberry are much more vibrant; I’ve just not photographed the good ones. 😂* 

Next, drizzle a small amount of hot fudge sauce in the center of each cupcake. 

And last but not least, the cherry! 

There you have it! Like I said, SUPER cute and fun, just a few more steps than my average cupcake. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! 

Original idea, cake and vanilla icing recipe adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

Y’all know I love my chocolate. When I started noticing my pumping supply taking a hit, I thought it was finally time to try my hand at lactation cookies. A friend gifted me a mix to try out and while they were delicious, I couldn’t fathom spending $25 on a cookie mix for 2 dozen cookies! A quick Google search returned this recipe and after ordering some brewer’s yeast on Amazon, I was off. This recipe makes 4.5 dozen cookies and it’s recommended to eat 2 per day to help increase supply… Good luck with that 😜 I have yet to eat less than 3 in 1 sitting and I’ve definitely noticed a slight bump in my milk production. Let me know how they work for you! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 tbsps water
  • 2 tbsps flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 -4 tbsps brewer’s yeast (I used 4)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a couple of cookie sheets with parchment. Gather your ingredients, particularly your star milk-making players:  


In a small bowl, mix together flaxseed meal and water, then set aside for 3-5 minutes. It’ll gradually turn into a thick, almost paste-like mixture. 


In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the flour, brewer’s yeast, baking soda, and salt and set aside.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs completely, then add vanilla and flaxseed meal/water mixture. On low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet. Fold in the oats and chocolate chips with a spatula. 


Scoop dough in tablespoon-sized drops onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes (depending on your oven- I think mine’s been running hot!). Allow to cool in sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to a baking rack. Store in an airtight container.  

Happy World Breastfeeding Week from me and my milk-lovin’ chunk! 😍 

Recipe from Food.com

Big A$$ Bakery Style Muffins

I don’t know what it is, but my breakfast kryptonite appears to be chocolate chip muffins. Put one in front of me and I. Will. DEVOUR IT. My son seems to have inherited my affinity for them. “Jack, buddy, what do you want for breakfast?” “Uuuuuum, chawcwat chip muffins? *devilish grin on adorable stinker toddler face*” Okaaaay, okay. 😉 He gets to help mix these up too, so it’s a fun kitchen exercise for us both.  

 That being said, you could totally mix other things into this muffin base. But really, chocolate chip is the way to go here!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, room temperature preferred
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil/melted coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups  semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks; or dark chocolate; or milk chocolate- you get the picture.)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a jumbo muffin tin, either with liners or coating lightly with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a medium bowl/large measuring cup, whisk together your eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla.  

 

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until combined. The batter is going to be suuuuuper thick and slightly lumpy- this is good!  

 
Now fold in your chocolate chips, giving the batter just a few good turns.  

 
Divide the batter into your muffin tin, filling almost to the top. I get exactly 6 big ass muffins out of this recipe!  

 
Then pop ’em in the oven at 425 for 5 minutes, then drop the temperature to 375. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes depending on your oven… Just give it the toothpick taste and watch for lightly golden tops, like this!  

 
Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before enjoying. One of these with a big glass of cold milk (or coffee if you’re like me!) is a wonderful treat for breakfast and destined to be repeated many times, at least in our house. 😀 Enjoy! 

Recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Mocha Brownie Cupcakes

Let me preface this by saying these are not your average cupcake. The first time I made these, I had just started out in my baking adventures and thought I’d massively screwed these up. The cupcake’s texture itself is not what you’d expect from a cupcake; it’s more like it’s namesake… denser, richer… In short, more like a brownie. The rich chocolate gets a boost from some espresso powder and even more of a coffee punch from some coffee liqueur, then the delightful cake gets topped with a fluffy, coffee-infused buttercream. Definitely not for those who don’t like that coffee-chocolate flavor combo, but I wouldn’t bother spending time with someone like that. 😜 

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 11 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup coffee liqueur

For the frosting:

  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 2 tsp hot coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth, stirring between.  

 Set aside and allow to cool slightly. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar and beat on medium speed until light. Stir in the chocolate mixture and the coffee liqueur until well combined.  

  

Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until combined and no dry streaks remain. Fill each liner about 2/3 full with batter. . Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs. Allow to cool in the pans about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

 To make the frosting, beat the butter in your stand mixer bowl on medium-high speed until smooth.  Mix in the confectioners’ sugar on low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth and light. Mix in the coffee granules, hot coffee and vanilla extract until completely incorporated.  

  Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and enjoy! 

  
*The only place I’ve found espresso powder locally has been Sur La Table. This is what it looks like in case you’re out hunting for it!  It adds a nice richness to chocolate desserts without necessarily making it taste like coffee. Happy baking! 😀

 

Recipe adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats.

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

Guys, fair warning- these may be the simplest cookies ever. So stinkin easy, and I’d be willing to bet you have everything in your pantry to make them RIGHT NOW. They’re so easy, I made them twice in one week after my mother-in-law posted the recipe. My husband greatly appreciated this as Texas sheet cake is his all-time favorite. 😉 The cookies are soft, almost brownie-like in texture; the icing literally melts in your mouth. Just chocolatey enough without being overwhelming. You’ve been warned. 

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

For the icing:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsps milk
  • 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper (you’ll end up with about 2 dozen cookies). In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Put chocolate chips in a small, microwaveable bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Add melted chocolate to the stand mixer bowl and blend well.  

  

I think the dough ends up looking like chocolate ice cream! 😋

 

Use a measuring tablespoon to scoop dough and roll into small balls. These don’t puff up too much so don’t worry about putting them too close together!  

 

Bake for about 7 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. They make still look shiny and not baked through- this is ok! You don’t want to over-bake them and the baking sheet will finish them nicely while they’re cooling.  

 

While your cookies are cooling, whip up the icing. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, and milk.  

 

Mix together on medium heat until butter is completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar.  

 

Use a spoon to drizzle icing generously on top of the the cookies…  

   

Then attempt to wait a while for the icing to completely set before eating. I don’t think we’ve made it more than 15 minutes without taste testing and they’re fine… Just a bit messy. 😊  

 

Stupid easy, amirite? Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or a cup of coffee, or standing over your kitchen sink before your toddler comes in demanding a cookie for himself… What? 😜 

Recipe adapted slightly from Kylee’s Kitchen.

*I apologize for the abysmal quality of the photos. It was dark, rainy, and generally gross when I made these!

Salted Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

When thinking about flavor profiles that go well together, I don’t know any I don’t automatically go to sweet + salty, . Sweet, yes. Salty, yes. Together? Oh yes. Throw some buttery smooth caramel sauce into the mix and you have one decadent little cupcake. I’ve found several salted chocolate caramel cupcake recipes and they almost always use a caramel buttercream. While I’m sure it’s delicious, I wanted to stick with a chocolate-caramel ganache (inspired by the Flying Cupcake, of course). Have a tall glass of milk or a cup of coffee on hand because ooooo-whee are they rich!

Ingredients:
For the caramel sauce:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
For the ganache:
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups heavy cream, room temperature
For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup plus 3 tbsps vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:
Start by making the caramel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, cooking until it foams and turns an amber color.
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Off the heat, stir in the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Set aside to cool. Now the ganache! I know, I know, this all seems backwards. But you have to give the caramel time to cool and the ganache time to set up… Trust me, I’m doing you a solid here. 😉 Add your chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between. When completely melted and smooth, add your warmed heavy cream and blend well.
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Add some of the caramel sauce (I’d guesstimate about 1/4 cup, more if you’d like more caramel flavor) and blend. Set aside until thick and spreadable. *Note: this can take up to 4 hours…do NOT put in the fridge to speed this up. You’ll end up with lumpy ganache!*
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Now that those are done, let’s make some cuppy cakes! Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare cupcake pans with 24 liners. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add the water, oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Fill 2/3 full of batter and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer to wire rack and let cool. Once cool, put some of your caramel sauce into a pastry bag with a small round tip or a squirt bottle and inject a fair amount into each cupcake. This can get messy!
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Once you’ve got your cupcakes injected with caramel, pipe thickened ganache onto cupcakes. Sprinkle each with sea salt and serve!
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Caramel sauce recipe from Annie’s Eats, ganache recipe from Real Simple, cake recipe from Rachael Ray magazine.

Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Ooo-whee, are these bars GOOD. Like, really, really, ridiculously good. They’re also pretty rich, so slicing them small is a must. Also a must? A hot cup of coffee. Not that I’ve ever eaten these for breakfast…

Anywho. They’re a bit time consuming to make as you have to make the cookie layer, then the caramel, and then the caramel has to set… You get the picture. The end result is soooo worth it though. Buttery shortbread dissolves into sweet vanilla caramel, all topped with a rich chocolate layer that’s sprinkled with sea salt. Are you drooling yet? These have earned the nickname “homemade Twix” amongst my friends and coworkers, which is fairly accurate. The cookie’s just not quite so crunchy. Not a bad thing! I highly recommend these as your next baking project.

Ingredients:
For the shortbread layer:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar

For the caramel layer:
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp light corn syrup
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate layer:
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp light corn syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. To make the shortbread layer, start by whisking together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
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To make the caramel layer, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens slightly (as you can see, I let mine sit a little too long and I got some sticky pieces on the bottom).
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Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely and set. Pop it in the fridge to expedite this part if you please!
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I make the chocolate glaze the lazy microwave way, but you can obviously do it the proper double-boiler way if you choose. Here’s how I do it: combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a microwaveable bowl.
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Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
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Pour evenly over the caramel layer and use a spatula to smooth the top. You get no points for prettiness; it’ll taste just as good either way. 😉
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Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Chill, covered, until ready to slice and serve.
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Recipe adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats.