Carrot Walnut Cupcakes

Hey guys. Today I’m going to share with you the third installment of my Food Network Cupcake Challenge. They are the April cupcakes, even though that is the fourth month…remember I skipped January?!? Anyway, these were amazing. They tasted so so good and were incredibly easy. I’m going to try to keep this post short because I should be doing my homework right now, but it is what it is ;). I just got back from Washington DC for a school trip, and it was incredible. I had a lot of fun except for the fact that it was approximately 100 degrees all day.

I found the recipe from Food Network (duh) and I’m now going to casually insert a link. Carrot Cupcakes WOW!!!

1 cup of AP flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

A dash of cinnamon

(I left out nutmeg because who has time for that)

2 eggs

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup of melted butter

1/3 cup of oil

Some vanilla

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

1 3/4 cup of grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners

Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs, sugars, vanilla, oil and butter in another bowl. Pour in the wet ingredients and whisk. Fold in the carrots and walnuts. Scoop into your liners and bake for 20 minutes and let cool.

Now you have to candy some carrots and walnuts. I don’t want to describe this incorrectly, so please just click the link for the recipe. 🙂

To make the cream cheese frosting, 6 tablespoons of butter 1  8 ounce package of cream cheese and a splash of vanilla until creamy. Slowly add 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Pipe dollops of frosting on the cupcakes and place a candied carrot and walnut on each.

That’s it!! Enjoy!

By the way… Next weekend is my birthday, so if you have any suggestions for recipes or anything else, let me know. ❤

Just a quick comparison for y’all.

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Carrot Walnut Cupcakes

April Fools/March Cupcakes

March cupcakes? But it’s April. I really need to get better about this. Seriously. I made these in March, but I’m using the lame “I’ve had NO time to blog” excuse. If you have no idea what I’m talking about (because I have no idea either) check out my previous two posts about my cupcake challenge-ish thing. March’s cupcakes were these rainbow layered looking things that had a fluffy marshmallow frosting. And I’m embarrassed to report that these were not great. The procedure was incredibly difficult and I dirtied about 5 bowls, not to mention the fact that I had to dye 6 different colors. Also, the colors weren’t that great and vibrant like the picture was. I don’t know if it was my food coloring or what but they all sort of blended together into a darkish color. It tasted good but wasn’t the best vanilla cupcake I have ever had. It was a bit too dense and heavy, but not horrible. The frosting was like a cloud. It tasted great and looked so cool piped on the cupcakes. The only problem was, I had used egg whites from a carton which didn’t work at all, so I had to start again with real egg whites. Worth it? Sure, why not.

The second thing I’m blogging about was my strange April fools joke on my brother. I made him “bacon and eggs” except they were made out of frosting and cake. I was inspired by Sweet Ambs April Fools Breakfast. Not to brag or anything, but my “breakfast” looked pretty realistic, but nonetheless, my brother didn’t fall for it. ;(

Anyway, I was proud of it. Keep reading for the recipes and don’t forget to follow my blog. Wow. I sound like a YouTuber.

Rainbow Cupcakes: Original Recipe Here

1 3/4 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup of milk

splash of vanilla

1 1/2 stick of butter

1 cup of sugar

3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients. Stir together the milk with the vanilla. The original recipe called for lemon juice and zest but I didn’t have it. If you are using it, mmix it in with the milk. Beat the butter with 3/4 cup of sugar. Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the milk. Whip the egg whites with the remaining sugar and fold into the batter.

Divide the batter into 6 bowls and dye them red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Scoop the batters into your liners layering each color. Bake for 20 minutes.

Make the frosting:

I am really bad at explaining things and I don’t want to mislead you, so just follow the link to get the recipe. Sorry :))

Comparison!!!!!

Now for the April fools thingy:

Make a batch of cupcakes and let them cool. Vague, right?

Crumble them into a bowl with some frosting and mash it around, and dye it yellowy orange (egg yolk color)

Scoop tablespoons onto your plate, and pipe white frosting around it to look like the white part.

Crumble another cupcake and mix with more frosting. Leave 1/4 plain and dye the other 3/4 bacon colored. I used red, green and yellow to make the color because I don’t have brown. Put streaks of the white through the brown and roll it out to look like strips of bacon. Shape and smooth if necessary.

Here’s what mine looked like:

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That’s it!!

-Abby 🙂

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Comment requests/reviews/whatever you want ❤

 

April Fools/March Cupcakes

February Cupcakes

February Cupcakes? But it’s March?! If you read my last post, you would know that I am making a cupcake for each month this year. I promise that I made the February cupcakes in February, but I just never got around to posting them. But, today I had some free time, so I decided to blog. It’s snowing where I live and I had a snow day today, and so far it has been so relaxing. This month’s cupcake was a chocolate-strawberry cupcake, and let me tell you, It is AMAZING! Here is the link to the original recipe: Chocolate Strawberry Cupcake Recipe. I did make some changes to it, however. Firstly, I skipped the jelly that they said to brush on the cupcakes. Also, I took out the espresso powder because I didn’t have any, and didn’t feel buying and only using only a teaspoon and have the rest of the container unused. The cupcake recipe was really good; it made a very fluffy but rich cupcake. The procedure was very different than anything I had ever seen so I was a bit skeptical, but it was one of the best chocolate cupcakes that I have ever made. It also made my house smell wonderful. The frosting was also really good. I actually had to make two frostings, but both follow the same procedure, so that wasn’t a big deal. If I were to rate it out of 10, I would probably give it about a 9.5 ish. Anyway, I’ll stop blabbering; here’s the recipe:

1 cup of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of espresso powder

3/4 cup of milk

1 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of vegetable oil

1 egg

splash of vanilla (recipe says 1 teaspoon, but whatever)

1/4 cup strawberry jelly

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour with the salt and baking soda, and set aside. Combine the cocoa powder with the espresso powder. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is not quite simmering. Pour the milk over the cocoa mixture, stir well and let it cool down a bit. Add the sugar and let dissolve. Then add in the vegetable oil, egg and vanilla and whisk it together. Finally, add your dry ingredients and whisk the whole thing together.

Scoop your cupcake batter into cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes or until risen and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

If you want, you can mix the jelly with the lemon juice and brush it over the warm cupcakes. (When I say “If you want” I mean, I didn’t, but you can).

In the meantime, dip some strawberries into some dark chocolate and place on wax paper to let them set.

Now for the frosting:

2 ounces of dark chocolate and 2 ounces of white chocolate

6 tablespoons of butter and another 6 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of powdered sugar and another 1 cup of powdered sugar

a splash of milk and… you guessed it another splash of milk

2 pinches of vanilla and salt

That is probably the weirdest way I have ever written a recipe 😉

In a bowl, beat one of the sets of butter and add the dark chocolate when it is all whipped up. Add the powdered sugar and beat again. Add the vanilla and salt, and a splash of milk.

Repeat the same process for the white chocolate frosting, and if that made no sense, head over to the real recipe and use Food Network’s instead. Trust me…it’s much clearer.

Place one of your frostings on one side of the piping bag fitted with a round tip. Put the other one on the other side of the bag. Pipe swirls on your cupcake and top with a chocolate dipped strawberry.

This is what mine came out like vs Food Network’s:

If you can’t tell, mine is on the right and Food Network’s is on the left.

ps: I really regret not using red liners, because I do have them and also, I put the strawberry on the wrong side which bothered me more than it should have.

I was pretty happy with the product. Tell me what you think in the comments. Comment any suggestions/feedback/things you want me to make/if you’ve made my recipes/whatever you want.

Bye guys,

Abby ❤

 

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February Cupcakes

12 Months of Cupcakes??

You may not know this but I am sooooo obsessed with Food Network-like I’m not kidding, I think I know everything there is to know about my favorite shows. Every month or so, I get the magazine and this January’s edition included a cupcake recipe for each month, so I promised myself that I would make each one. But… of course, the January cupcake was champagne and being a 13 year old, non champagne drinker, I decided to replace it with a kid friendly beverage. A couple days ago, I made my own recipe: mini peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes, and they were really good. Basically, they were chocolate cupcakes with ermine frosting, crushed candy canes, mini mini mini marshmallows, and chocolate shavings. (Mini mini mini means that I cut each marshmallow into quarters…. that’s dedication for ya) Back to the monthly cupcakes. The other 11 cupcakes look amazing, so my plan is to make all of them, and blog about them. Each month, I will include the recipes so you can make them too. If you make them, post them on Instagram and tag me @baking_by_abby so I can see what you make. The January recipe is on Foodnetwork.com. If you want to make them, click this link. Champagne Vanilla Cupcakes, Food Network. Wait what? Did I finally find out how to insert a link?? Finally, after two years I figured out to use wordpress. You can read about my struggles trying to insert a link on pretty much any of my old posts.

This weekend I made a vanilla birthday cake for a family friend, and it is being eaten as I am writing this. Also, earlier this week I made oatmeal raisin cookies which were actually good, to my surprise because I HATE raisins… a lot. Anyway, I am going to share my new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, which is probably the fourth “new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe” on this blog. But this one’s vegan, so that’s a plus. So let’s get to it.

1 1/2 cups dairy free milk: almond, coconut, soy etc.

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 1/4 cups of flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup of canola oil or vegetable oil

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the milk and the lemon juice. It might curdle a bit, but it’s okay. Whisk all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the oil to the milk and lemon juice along with the vanilla extract. Pour the wet into the dry and whisk until combined.

Scoop the batter into a lined cupcake tin, and bake for 15-2o minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I got this recipe from Vegan Cupcake recipe.

And by the way, the cupcakes won’t taste like lemon even though there is lemon juice in it. This recipe will make about 16 cupcakes and it is easy to half or double. Enjoy 🙂

If you are looking for vegan frosting, ganache usually works, you just have to use almond milk and dairy free chocolate. Here is an overwhelming amount of pictures of the various times I have used this recipe:

Byeeee!!!

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12 Months of Cupcakes??

My Grandma’s Birthday Cake 2.0

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Wowowowow! Hello everyone and welcome to my dying…I mean dynamite blog known as bakingbyabby. It’s almost the New Year and that means it’s time for resolutions! And I’m guessing that you guys know what mine are. Well first of all, I need to blog more. I was thinking maybe a new recipe once a month, but I might do some other posts more frequently. Also, I want to eat healthier in 2017, as well as going to the gym a lot more. But aside from resolutions, the new year also means no more 2016 (which is probably for the better) and another blog-aversary 🙂 January 5th to be exact. This year I want to do something special but I’m not exactly sure how to “celebrate,” so please comment any ideas you have. This year was filled with great bakes and a lot of fun. I made all kinds of fun desserts and even got into the savory world a bit. In addition, I tried out for an abundance of cooking/baking shows, and didn’t make it on any, but hey it’s all okay! So, I just got back from Maine a couple of hours ago after days of awesome skiing at possibly my favorite place in the world. It was incredibly, amazingly, awesome; the weather was perfect and the trails were great. Anyway today’s recipe, upon request, is my grandma’s birthday cake that I made a couple of weeks ago. You may remember her cake last year, which you can check out on my blog, and is an incredibly cringy post by the way. I choose not to read my old blog posts. I would link to it but I still have NO IDEA HOW! So please, please, please if you are an experienced wordpresser, let me know how to link to another website/post in the comments. Thank you! This year, I tackled her other interest, which is needlepointing, and made her a needlepoint cake.

I used the same chocolate cake recipe I have always used, because it is her absolute favorite, and the rest of my family loves it too. We are just a bunch of chocolate fanatics. But not white chocolate. No way. (Go to my Mocha Birthday Cake post for the recipe.)

For the frosting recipe, I used a classic buttercream, and added some melted chocolate chips to some, and green food coloring to the other part.

I baked the cake in two 7 inch cake pans which is not even close to the amount in that blog post, so you should use 3/4 of that recipe. After they were baked, I let them cool in the pans and leveled the tops, and put them in the fridge overnight.

Decoration time! I filled the cakes with the chocolate buttercream, and frosted them in an attempted crumb coat. I was going to do a crumb coat and then a final layer of frosting, but the crumb coat was good enough and I couldn’t even see any of the crumbs, so I didn’t bother with another layer. I chilled the cake and then started working on the decorations. I made a chocolate needle out of tempered semi sweet chocolate. I just piped the general shape of a needle which is actually pretty hard. To learn how to temper, DON’T ASK ME! I’m really bad at it, and it is definitely something I need to work on. Basically, it is just bringing chocolate up to the right temperature to get a good snap on it.

I then made chocolate ganache out of milk (because I didn’t have cream) and chocolate. All you do is pour a bit of hot cream over chocolate and stir it until it is melted. Then I piped     H  ppy Birthday. (Yes that was intentional…I do proofread.) I did the A in green buttercream as a needlepoint stitch.screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-10-30-42-pm

To make the A, put the green frosting in a piping bag and pipe a lot of lines up and down to make a needlepoint stitch. Then pipe the “thread” and connect put the chocolate needle on the cake, and connect the thread to the needle.

Shoutout to my grandma!

That’s about it! You can add any other decorations to your cake, but I kept mine fairly simple. Happy baking 🙂

xoxox Abby

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My Grandma’s Birthday Cake 2.0

Fruit Tart, Macarons and Biscotti!!

Hello. It’s been a while since I blogged. This blog post is going to be a lot of different recipes including a fruit tart, French macaroons, and more. Plus my blog is now over a year old! It has been a great year blogging and I’ve learned so many new baking techniques. I have become a much better baker and I’ve made so many new recipes. I want to get right to the recipes, so first up is fruit tart.

For the tart shell, you will need…

1 1/2 cups of flour

1/2 cup of butter

1/4 cup of sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

Beat the butter until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, and continue beating until it is fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift the flour. Add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the flour all at once, and mix until it forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes, or until firm.

Next up is the pastry cream

1 1/4 cups of milk

1 vanilla bean, or vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of flour

2 tablespoons of corn starch

Any flavoring of your choice

Heat the milk and vanilla over medium heat until it is hot, but not boiling. While that is heating up, whisk the eggs, sugar, corn starch and flour. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, and whisk immediately. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan, and continue whisking until the mixture thickens into a paste. Add your flavoring if you want to. Transfer back into a bowl, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap to cool completely. Make sure to press the plastic over the pastry cream so it doesn’t form a skin.

Lightly butter and flour your tart pan. I used an 8 inch pan with a removable bottom, and it worked really well. Roll out the dough, and press into the tart pan. Cover and chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the pastry is done chilling, prick it with a fork so it doesn’t rise up in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for 15 more minutes. Let cool.

Once it it completely cooled, fill it with the pastry cream, and top with you fruit. I used kiwi, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, but you can use whatever you can find. The more colorful, the better. And that’s it!

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This is what my finished tart looked like. I served it for a New Year’s party and everyone enjoyed it.

You can use this crust recipe for basically any tart or even pie recipe. Also, the pastry cream can be used to fill cream puffs or eclairs.

Next recipe: French macaroons

2 egg whites, don’t use the kind from a carton, those won’t work at all

35 grams of sugar

115 grams of powdered sugar

60 grams of almond meal

Preheat the oven to 150 Celsius.* Pulse the powdered sugar and the almond meal in a food processor until you have fine pieces. Then sift into a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites and sugar until you have stiff peaks. You should (hypothetically) be able to turn the bowl upside down on your head without it falling out. Whip for an extra 1-2 minutes. Fold the dry mixture into the egg whites. Fold very gently; about 30-50 times or until smooth. Do not over mix!

Pipe onto parchment lined baking trays, and hit the trays really hard on your table. Put them in the oven for 20 minutes. Make sure you check on them every so often to make sure they are not over baked. Let cool.

You can make whatever filling you want. My favorites are ganache, buttercream and whipped cream, but you can honestly use anything. Sandwich two cookies together with the filling and enjoy.

*302 degrees Fahrenheit

Macaroons are extremely difficult, so don’t get upset if they don’t work for you at first. They take tons of practice to perfect.

I’ve made them a couple of times and experimented with different shapes and sizes:

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The final recipe of the day are my biscotti.

2 cups of flour, plus 2 tablespoons

1 cup of light brown sugar

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

sprinkle of cinnamon

1/4 cup cubed, cold butter

3 eggs

1 tablespoon of canola oil

2 tablespoons of instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of warm water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and baking powder. Cut in the butter, until you have fine crumbs. Mix the wet ingredients together, and mix in with a wooden spoon. Knead for about 8-10 minutes.

Divide into 2 loaves, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten to about 1/2 an inch. Bake for 25 minutes and then let cool for 10 minutes. LEAVE THE OVEN ON. Sorry to scream at you. Cut into 1 inch pieces, and return to the oven for 9 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then let cool completely on wire racks.

Melt some dark chocolate, and chop up some almonds. Dip one side of the cookies in the chocolate, and then roll in the almonds. Let the chocolate dry, and then enjoy!

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These are what mine looked like. They were really crunchy but delicious!

Variations: You can dip them in white chocolate or milk chocolate if you like. You can also roll them in whatever you want: other nuts, chocolate pieces, crushed up candy canes. Experiment! Be creative.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Write your recommendations in the comments, and give me feedback on my blog. Please try making one of these recipes, and then tell me how it worked for you. Also, comment any baking questions you have, and I’ll try my best to answer it. Have a good day!

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Fruit Tart, Macarons and Biscotti!!

Mocha Birthday Cake

Screen shot 2015-12-06 at 8.08.01 PMI am incredibly sorry once again for my extreme inactiveness on Baking by Abby. I have had a ton of schoolwork, and it’s been rather overwhelming. I have now found a time to blog.

It is the first day of Chanukah, and is also my Grandma’s birthday. This is definitely my favorite time of the year for so many reasons. Everything is just so festive and incredible. Even though I do not celebrate Christmas, I simply enjoy the time of year!

So this year, being the chocolate lover she is, (I think I get that gene from her) I made my Grandma a chocolate cake with mocha frosting. It was really moist and was a big hit with my family.

The last thing before I get to the recipe, is about my bloggoversary. It is coming up pretty soon, and I wanted to make something delicious, so if anyone has suggestions… just comment!

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Okay. Recipe time:

3 cups of flour

2 1/4 cups of sugar

1 1/4 cups of cocoa powder

3 teaspoons of baking powder (1 tablespoon)

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups of water

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

4 eggs, it will work best if you beat them on their own before adding them into the batter.

3/4 of a cup of hot or cold coffee. It can be caffeinated or decaf if you prefer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 nine inch cake pans with cooking spray. Cut a circle of parchment paper, and then spray over it again.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the water and oil. Stir really well. The “batter” will be unmanageably thick. Just go with it. Add the vanilla, beaten eggs, and coffee. Stir until smooth and thick. Pour the batter evenly between the cake pans, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until no longer jiggly.

To get the cakes out, hold the edges, and shake up and down until the cake is loosened. Let cool completely.

My Grandma really loves crossword puzzles, so I made a mini one out of fondant and edible markers.

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For the frosting:

1 cup of softened butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

1/4 of a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips, melted

A few tablespoons of coffee

Beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually. Add the chocolate, and beat until creamy. Now add the coffee a little bit at a time, until very soft.

Frost the cake however you want! I sprinkled chopped candy canes, and chopped chocolate.

Enjoy.

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Shoutout to my Grandma! 🙂

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Mocha Birthday Cake