Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

20180309_182917Although we are well into the second week of March, I want to rewind for a moment to last month. February is traditionally dedicated to heart health and love and in honor of that theme I created this delicious, sweet treat that is healthier for your heart. I initially served these to my family for Valentine’s Day but have recently made them again as a high protein treat for post workouts. No matter if you add protein powder or just want a healthier treat, these cupcakes are perfect for serving yourself and your loved ones long after the 14th of February.

20180309_182958To make these cupcakes “skinny”, I replaced the traditional use of butter with mashed banana. To sneak in some whole-grains, I swapped whole-wheat flour for the typically used all-purpose. Before baking, each cupcake received a natural pop of red color from a few raspberries placed on top of the batter. This recipe makeover results in a delicious 88 calorie cupcake with no saturated fat, 2 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. A sweet treat to share without any of the guilt!

20180309_182110Note: If you want to make these into protein cupcakes, add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla protein powder. This will result in each cupcake containing approximately 91 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 4 grams protein, and 2 grams fiber, depending on the brand of powder. This recipe will produce approximately 24 cupcakes.

20180309_182724

Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Cane Sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup Mashed Banana (about 1 Medium)
  • ½ cup Warm Water
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Light Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ¼ cups Raspberries (about 72)
  • 1 scoop Chocolate or Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 regular size muffin cups with paper liners. Spray each paper liner with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and protein powder (if using). In a different bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk, oil, and vanilla. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup ¾ full. Drop 3 raspberries in the batter of each cup. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JESSIE SHAFER
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

 

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Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

20161212_113728The temperatures have officially dropped for the year and much of the country has a dusting (or few feet) of snow on the ground. We may not have snow here in Florida but the temps have dropped enough that I still get the instinct to stay inside bundled up in blankets and make something warm to keep me cozy. This time of year I usually start making cookies as part of my Christmas cookies series with the hopes of helping those looking for ways to add a new type of cookie to the traditional holiday offerings. I promise those recipes are coming soon but I had to fulfill a wish from my 3-year-old who kept asking for cake.

20161212_113623Anyone with a toddler or preschooler knows a slice of cake is extremely messy so I typically offer cupcakes instead. This typically cuts down on the mess minus a few crumbs here and there. I chose to keep with the holiday spirit and select a cake that combines all of the aromas associated with this time of year. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit more than cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves permeating the air with their wonderful aroma as the cake bakes. Throw on some Christmas music and voila you have holiday cheer in your house without having to make the dreaded (at least in my house) sugar cookies.

20161212_113521What takes this cake to the next level is the frosting. I will warn you this frosting is not the easiest to work with but it is totally worth the effort. The maple adds the perfect complement to the spice cake and makes it feel as if you purchased them from a fancy pastry shop. If the frosting starts to set up on you too quick add a few drops of cream or water until it reaches a spreadable consistency once more. A toasted whole pecan on top adds the finishing touch and a delightful crunch!

Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Spice Flavored Cake Mix (or your favorite spice cake recipe)
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 18 Whole Pecans; toasted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Fill a 12-cup and a 6-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to box (or recipe) directions. Once batter is prepared, gently fold in the chopped pecans until just combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each liner ¾ full with batter. Bake cupcakes until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  3. While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting. In a saucepan place brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, butter, and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Cook mixture for 3 minutes without stirring. Remove mixture from the heat and scrape into a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar and beat with a hand mixer on high-speed for 2 minutes (or until mixture has cooled slightly and thickened). Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Using an offset spatula, move quickly to frost each cupcake. If the frosting sets before you have completed all of the cupcakes add a few drops of cream or water until the frosting is back to a spreadable consistency (the frosting will set faster if your cupcakes have completely cooled). Place a whole pecan on the center of each frosted cupcake. Serve.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: KATHY FARRELL-KINGSLEY
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Halloween Spooky Spiderweb Cupcakes

20161027_142714Halloween is upon us and this year the holiday has more emphasis than ever for my family. We already have the tradition of going to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and then carving them the day before Halloween. We also take our daughters to one of the area theme parks for safe trick or treating. However, this year Halloween happens to be my oldest daughter’s current obsession (she is 3). Everything has to be Halloween related and if it isn’t she wants nothing to do with it. She only wants to watch Halloween themed cartoons, listen to Halloween music, read Halloween themed books, and wear Halloween themed clothes. She is so obsessed that she even refused to change out of her dirty pumpkin shirt and candy corn pants even after she took a bath. They had to magically disappear into the laundry, which was preceded by about 10 minutes of a meltdown until she finally accepted wearing her seahorse pajamas.

20161027_142657Needless to say once this Halloween is over I am either going to be relieved or more stressed out if she doesn’t move on and replace the Halloween obsession with Thanksgiving and Christmas excitement. Every year I usually make a themed dessert but with our usual traditions and the fact that there is a new addition to the family this year, it is more and more difficult to complete them. That is why I came up with this easy Halloween themed cupcake. You can use any flavor cupcake you would like and you can elect to use a box mix or make your own from scratch. I chose a lighter based cupcake to provide contrast for the dark chocolate frosting. I recommend using only chocolate for the frosting and not using a different flavor because the dark color provides a good contrast for the spider rings and white web. However, if you can only find black spider rings, you could easily use a dark cupcake base, white frosting, and make the spider webs black. The combination is up to you as the recipe is rather versatile for your preferences. I do recommend using your own recipes as the quality of the product will come out better but if you are in a pinch you can always use box cake mix and prepared frosting. If you do prepare your own cake mix and frosting just make sure that it is enough to yield 24 cupcakes. I also recommend locating a spiderweb design through an online search to use as a guide when piping the spider webs onto the parchment paper. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

20161027_143228Halloween Spooky Spiderweb Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Pillsbury Halloween Funfetti Cake Mix (or your favorite cake batter recipe)
  • 1 container Duncan Hines Whipped Chocolate Frosting (or your favorite frosting recipe)
  • 24 Orange Plastic Toy Spider Rings
  • 1 box Wilton’s Royal Icing Mix
  • Parchment Paper
  • Piping Bags
  • Star & Round Decorator Tips

Preparation:

  1. Prepare royal icing mix according to package directions. Fill a small piping bottle or bag fitted with a small round piping tip with icing. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Draw at least 24 spider webs on parchment paper, either freehand or following an image found online. I suggest making a few extra spiderwebs in case some break as the webs are extremely fragile. Once piped, set pan aside to dry overnight.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions or prepare your own cake mix from scratch to make 24 cupcakes. Fill cupcake liners half full and bake according to box/recipe instructions, usually about 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Once cupcakes have cooled, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with frosting. Pipe rosettes on the top of each cupcake. Carefully place the spiderweb into the frosting near the back of the cupcake. Place a toy spider ring into the frosting below the spiderweb to look as if the spider is moving towards the web. Repeat for each cupcake. Serve

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

 

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

2016-05-15-15.42Spring is a time when the heartier flavor profiles of fall and winter (namely spices and chocolate) are replaced with lighter desserts more fitting of the season. The spring and summer months typically cause us to crave lighter flavor profiles such as citrus and berry based desserts. We also tend to crave colder items since the days are hotter and we do not want to be warmed up by our sweets in the same way we do during fall and winter. Many turn to ice cream to keep them cool and satisfy a sweet tooth. Despite the many flavor possibilities of ice cream, it can quickly become tiresome.

20160515_152257-1To keep things simple in the kitchen I try to make desserts that bake up quick, like cookies or cupcakes. Coconut always reminds me of warmer weather but many recipes fail to deliver on intense coconut flavor. The ones that do deliver are often more extensive in preparation than I care to take on this time of year. Therefore, I designed this simplistic recipe with the light flavors and textures of spring that can be whipped up quickly, leaving plenty of hours for some fun in the sun.

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 box White Cake Mix
  • 1 1/3 cups Coconut Milk
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • ½ cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) container Frozen Whipped Topping (such as Cool Whip); thawed (or you can substitute an equal amount of homemade whipped cream)
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (such as Jello Brand)
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Extract
  • ½ cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut; toasted

Preparation:

  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Spray bottoms of two 12-count cupcake tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, coconut milk, water, and egg whites. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the coconut by hand until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins, filling each cup half full. Bake cupcakes until light golden brown, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. For the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the pudding mix, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping/whipped cream until no streaks remain. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while the cupcakes cool, at least one hour.
  5. Assembly: Once the cupcakes have cooled completely you can frost the cupcakes. Remove the frosting from the refrigerator and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle frosting with toasted coconut and serve. Cupcakes may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Skinny Cranberry Cupcakes

2Fall is traditionally marked with recipes that incorporate the seasons abundant squash and apple harvests. There is, however, another harvest that takes place this time of year that often gets overlooked by the masses…the cranberry. In fact, unlike apple and squash harvests, the cranberry has a very short harvesting season, which happens to fall conveniently right around the holidays. A fantastic way to incorporate the season’s underdog without doing too much damage to a healthy lifestyle is through a cupcake. A cupcake is small enough to keep fat, calories, and sugar in check and simple enough to allow the cranberries to star in their own show.

1Do not let their appearance fool you, as these skinny cupcakes are bursting with flavor. Every bite is laced with cranberries that provide a tangy burst of flavor and present touches of crimson, setting the tone of the season for any holiday table. Taking a hint from traditional upside-down cakes, I added a layer of butterscotch to the bottom of these cupcakes to tone down the cranberries. The great thing about them though is there is no need to flip the cupcakes after they are finished baking. Having the crispy butterscotch layer on the bottom adds a unique texture, as if there is a crust for the moist cake layer above it. With each bite the tartness of the cranberries hits the palette, followed by the crisp butterscotch layer. The butterscotch layer quickly candies the tart flavor to keep it from becoming overwhelming.

5I love these cupcakes for how quick, easy, and presentable they are to both the eyes and taste buds. This recipe will produce 12 cupcakes, however you can easily double the recipe to make more. As always, keep in mind that a skinny recipe is not necessarily a “good for you” recipe, but it is lighter than its counterparts. A traditional cranberry cupcake will typically have over 400 calories, almost 20 grams of fat, 400 mg of sodium, and over 30 grams of sugar. This recipe cuts calories and fat in half and sodium is over 3 times less. They are still high in sugars because after all they are a sweet, but I always make sure to use organic, natural sugars that are not refined (such as Wholesome’s Brand) to make a healthier product. If you are following Weight Watchers, one cupcake is equal to 6 Points or 7 Points Plus.

4Skinny Cranberry Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  •  Cooking Spray
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed (preferably Organic)
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 6 oz. Fresh or Frozen Cranberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 6.75 oz. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (approximately 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar (preferably natural cane but you can sub granulated)
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 Large Eggs; yolks & whites separated
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup 1% Low-Fat Milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 12-cup Muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and 2 tbsp. butter. Cook mixture until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves (approximately 2 minutes), stirring occasionally. Distribute the sugar mixture equally among the muffin tin’s 12 cups. Coat the bottom of each cup evenly. Arrange cranberries evenly over the sugar mixture (approximately 5 cranberries for each muffin cup).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk until uniformly mixed. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and softened butter. Beat with the mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, alternating with the milk (be sure to begin and end with the flour mixture).
  4. Clean the bowl and beaters of the stand mixer, making sure it is free of any food particles and completely dry. Beat the egg whites with the mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the resulting meringue (egg whites) into the prepared batter. Distribute the batter evenly amongst the 12 cups, spreading evenly over the cranberries. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack  for 15 minutes. Loosen the cupcakes from the sides of the pan with a narrow knife and remove. Serve immediately or move to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Cupcake)

cranberrycupcakelabel

Weight Watchers: 6 Points or 7 Points Plus

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2015

Skinny Almond Apple Streusel Muffins

4If you were to poll a large group of people as to what their favorite fall flavor is you would likely receive one of two answers…pumpkin or apple. Apples not only have a sense of warmth and comfort that equates to fall but they are also in abundance this time of year. Personally, I love both flavors and if polled I would not be able to choose a favorite. Although I could never choose one over the other I will admit that I have been indulging my love of pumpkin more as of late. Almost every day I have been enjoying a pumpkin spice latte with breakfast so when I saw apples on sale at the market it was time to take a pumpkin break. Typically when I think of apples I lean towards my go-to pie and cobbler recipes but this time I sought something different. Being as busy as I am, muffins are a quick and simple way to snack on the go. Keeping that in mind I decided to develop a skinnier version of a typical apple muffin.

1Just as I had imagined, these muffins are to die for. Biting into one is like eating a coffee cake hinted with nutty almond and laced with surprise chunks of sweet apple. Although I have named these muffins they are technically cupcakes. The process in which the batter is prepared is the creaming method used for cakes (butter/sugar creamed, eggs/extracts added, followed by the dry and wet ingredients being added alternately, beginning and finishing with the dry ingredients) versus the traditional muffin method. Even though by definition these are cupcakes, the texture is somewhere between a cake and a muffin. They are not quite as light and airy as a cake but they are certainly no where near as dense as a muffin. Outside of texture they assimilate more with muffins than cupcakes. I ultimately deemed them muffins because they are riddled with fruit, have a streusel topping, and lack a thick coating of sweet frosting (outside of the thin drizzle of glaze) like that of muffins.

2After preparing these muffins I think the only thing I would change about them is the yield size. I would certainly double the recipe next time so that I have 24 instead of only 12 because they disappeared way to fast for all the labor involved. The actual preparation of the batter, streusel, and glaze is not all that laborious but the tall stack of dirty bowls and utensils the recipe leaves behind sure is. Despite the fact that these muffins are designed to be a skinnier option compared to other muffin recipes, you will likely be tempted to eat more than one, which kind of defeats the purpose. If you want to shave a few more calories you could certainly leave off the glaze and the muffins would still taste fine. I don’t recommend it since there is very little glaze that is actually drizzled on each muffin serving to make that much of a reduction but the difference in taste is noticeable. Just a tiny bit of glaze manages to round out all the flavors perfectly.

3Like many of my recent posts, these muffins can be enjoyed as a dessert or at breakfast with coffee or tea. This recipe will produce 12 servings with one muffin being equal to one serving. If you are following Weight Watchers, one muffin is 6 Points or 7 Points Plus.

Skinny Almond Apple Streusel Muffins

Batter Ingredients:

  • 6.75 oz. All-Purpose Flour; unbleached (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 oz. Neufchatel Cheese (1/3-less-fat cream cheese); softened
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • ½ tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup 2% Reduced-fat Milk
  • 1 Large Gala Apple; finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour; unbleached
  • Cooking Spray

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour; unbleached
  • 2 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; chilled
  • 2 tbsp. Sliced Almonds

Glaze Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 2 tsp. 2% Reduced-Fat Milk
  • ¼ tsp. Almond Extract

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine 6.75 ounces flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir with a whisk until just incorporated. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) combine the granulated sugar, cream cheese, and ¼ cup butter. Beat the mixture on high-speed until well blended. Add the almond extract, vanilla, and egg and beat with the mixer on medium speed until just combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt and ¼ cup milk together until incorporated. In another small bowl, toss the apple with 1 tbsp. flour until apple pieces are evenly covered. With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour mixture and yogurt mixture by alternating until combined. Begin by adding 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the yogurt mixture and beat until just combined. Repeat the process of adding the flour mixture and then the remaining yogurt mixture, being sure to end with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Gently fold the apples into the batter. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.
  4. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp. flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender (or fork or 2 knives), cut in the 2 tbsp. of chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the almonds. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter in the muffin tin. Bake the muffins for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the tallest muffin comes out almost clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire cooling rack. After 15 minutes remove the muffins from the tin to cool completely.
  5. While the muffins are cooling prepare the glaze. In a small bowl combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and almond extract. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over each cooled muffin and serve.

Nutritional Information

(1 Muffin)

AlmondAppleMuffinsNutritionLabel

Weight Watchers: 6 Points or 7 Points Plus

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: LORRAINE STEVENSKI
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2015

Homemade Hostess Chocolate Cream Cupcakes

5When I was a kid, each week we would make a trip to the local bread store outlet to get our bread for the week at a much cheaper price than the supermarket. Whenever I went with my dad, I would always get to pick out one treat to bring home along with one of those instant chicken noodle mixes that I would have for dinner that night. Despite the broad selection of goodies, I usually always selected the Hostess Chocolate Cream cupcakes. As much as these were my favorite, I started to steer clear of them as a young adult when I learned the reason they stay good and moist for weeks on end. Seeing as I am trying to eat clean and teach my daughter the same healthy habits I refuse to buy the commercial Hostess brand.

6When Hostess went temporarily out of business awhile back there became a huge demand for their products. Instead of paying the outrageous prices that were being set on auction sites like Ebay, many set to recreate their own at home. Even though the Hostess favorites have since returned to the shelves for purchase, I still wanted to give a homemade version a shot just to revel in the old memories without all the chemical additives. These cupcakes turned out even better than I ever remember and making them not only brought back old memories but created new ones as I baked them with my toddler.

1Now I won’t deny these cupcakes were rather tedious to make and what seems to be a simple mistake that couldn’t do much harm can turn into disaster if you are not careful. For example, most people will fill a cupcake using a piping bag and shoot the filling into the bottom of the cupcake. This method works fine with most cupcakes and have done it myself in the past. Problem is, if you do that with these cupcakes you will cause a blow out that you will notice even with the glaze on top. The reason you can’t fill the cupcakes the “easy way” is because the texture is too delicate. I recommend cutting out a little portion from the top, filling with a spoon, and then placing the top back on to avoid any problems. Another area that can cause a lot of problems is when you go to prepare the filling. The filling may get the perfect flavor from the marshmallow fluff, but it gets the proper texture from gelatin. The gelatin can also make the worst filling if not prepared properly. If you don’t sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow it to dissolve a bit, you will end up with hard pellets in your filling. Gross I know. Another tricky part is when cooling the filling after microwaving it. You only need to cool the filling slightly, not completely before adding the marshmallow fluff. If the filling mixture is too cold when adding the fluff it will turn lumpy and be impossible to pipe curlicues on the top with the piping bag. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the filling is still too hot when you mix in the marshmallow fluff, you will end up with filling that is too loose and runny. If this occurs the filling will mostly absorb into the cupcake and the curlicues won’t hold their shape on top. If you take caution when preparing these particular steps you will surely be successful.

4NOTE: Be sure you purchase Marshmallow Creme, such as Fluff or Kraft Jet-Puffed Creme and not marshmallow sauce used for ice cream. If you make the mistake your filling will not set properly. Be sure to bloom the cocoa with boiling water so that you get depth of chocolate flavor and prevent the chocolate chips from leaving unwanted, unmelted bits to tarnish the desired creamy mixture. The following recipe yields 12 cupcakes.

 

Homemade Hostess Chocolate Cream Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ cup Boiling Water
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Instant Coffee
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

 

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • ¾ tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 4 tbsp. (½ stick) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1¼ cups Marshmallow Creme (Fluff)

 

Glaze Ingredients

  • ½ cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter

 

Formula:

FOR THE CUPCAKE BATTER: Heat the oven to 325°. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the boiling water, cocoa, chocolate chips, and coffee until smooth. Add the sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add in the flour mixture and whisk until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake cupcakes until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 18 to 23 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for about 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

FOR THE FILLING: Combine the water and gelatin in a bowl and allow to sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave the mixture until it bubbles around the edges and gelatin fully dissolves, about 30 seconds. Add the butter, vanilla, and salt and mix until just combined. Allow the mixture to cool until still slightly warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the marshmallow creme until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture until set, approximately 30 minutes. Measure out 1/2 cup of the marshmallow filling and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small, plain round tip. Reserve the remaining marshmallow mix for filling the cupcakes.

CUPCAKE ASSEMBLY: Microwave the chocolate and butter in a small bowl, stirring frequently until smooth, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Cool the glaze to room temperature, approximately 10 minutes. Meanwhile,  cut cones from the top of each cupcake and fill the cupcakes with 1 tbsp. of filling each. To cut the cones, insert the tip of a paring knife into the cupcake top at a 45 degree angle about 1/4 inch from the outer edge of the cupcake. Cut out and remove the cone from all 12 cupcakes. Cut off the bottoms of each cone, leaving a 1/4 inch circle of cake. Discard or eat the bottom portions of all 12 cones. Use a spoon to fill each cupcake with 1 tbsp. of marshmallow mixture. Once all of the cupcakes are filled, top the filling with the reserved circles of cake to plug the center. Once the tops are replaced, frost each cupcake with the cooled glaze using an offset spatula. Allow the glazed cupcakes to sit and harden for approximately 10 minutes. Using the pastry bag filled with the reserved marshmallow mixture, pipe curlicues across the tops of the glazed cupcakes. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: CALI RICH
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2015