Vanilla Cupcakes, Part 2: Redemption is Sweet

Hi there, Readers!

After the disappointing results of my first attempt at baking vanilla cupcakes, I searched and found a second recipe to test. I love vanilla cupcakes, and I really wanted to bake again.  So, after getting all of my ingredients together, I made my second attempt at making these cupcakes, and hopefully, they were tasty ones, too.

Here is the recipe I found at Canadian Living.com for vanilla cupcakes:

  • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

1.   In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2.   Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix in butter, milk, eggs and vanilla; beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

3.   Spoon into 12 paper-lined or greased muffin cups, filling about three-quarters full.

4.   Bake in the centre of 375°F (190°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 18 minutes.

5.   Transfer to rack; let cool completely.

After mixing together the wet and dry ingredients together, I had to taste the batter to gauge whether I was on the right track with this recipe. Let me tell you, Readers, tasting that batter was the highlight of my night! It tasted great!

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I then quickly scooped the batter into my cupcake tin and placed them in the oven to bake.

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It took about 14 minutes for them to bake, and I was on pins and needles waiting for them to cool.

I decided to kick these cupcakes up a notch by whipping together frosting from scratch.  I found this recipe at Food.com for Basic Vanilla Frosting. I had to get arm going to whip together these ingredients (use a hand mixer if you have one):

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

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I had to add a bit more milk and butter than the recipe suggested, but it looked and tasted so good!  It  only took about 5 minutes to make, so I’m going to keep this recipe in my back pocket and use it again!

After icing these cupcakes,

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it was finally the moment of truth: I had to find out if it was the previous recipe, or if it was just me, that couldn’t bake vanilla cupcakes.  I first took a bite out of the bottom of the cupcake, so I could taste the cake part of the cupcake without having the flavour of the icing interfere with the flavour of the cupcake. You can see that one of the cupcakes also had gold sprinkles on it.  I made these cupcakes for the gold medal men’s hockey game between Canada (YAY!!!) and Sweden.  It was my way to cheer the Canadians on early in the morning from my couch from the other side of the world.  The yellow was not as “golden” as I would have liked, so only a select few donned this extra hit of sugar.

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I am happy to tell you, Readers, that these cupcakes were delicious! They had a lightly sweet taste, moist, and fluffy.  They tasted even better with the vanilla frosting on them.  This latest recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes and the Basic  Vanilla Frosting recipe were a success!  Here is  a side-by-side picture of my previous attempt and this most recent attempt:

Cupcake Collage

My eldest daughter, who doesn’t like cake ate a few of these cupcakes!  My boyfriend/partner fell in love with the icing.  With the success of this cupcake recipe, I can truly say that redemption is sweet!

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Second Avenue Sweets: A Satisfying Pleasure for Your Sweet Tooth

It’s been a long time coming for this review, but this one was one worth waiting for!  The focus of this review is on Second Avenue Sweets, a family-owned and operated bakery and cupcakerie that is nestled near the corner of Second Street and Bank Street in the Glebe within Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario. They …

Reese’s Lemon Cranberry Muffin Adventure

Hey Readers!

I am a self-proclaimed Christmasolic.  I love this time of the year.  In my neck of the woods, we’re pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas every year, and this year was a spectacular one.  All the snow, along with the bombardment of Christmas commercialism, just got me into the Christmas spirit even more.  All of these Christmas-like feelings got me to want to try and do something a little bit different this year where my sweet tooth was concerned.  Usually, we just make easy two-step snacks and have a ton of store-bought chocolate around to nibble on.  I decided to go out on a limb, and try to do some actual baking, something I’m not too good at.  One of the treats I tried creating was a batch of lemon cranberry muffins.

I know, lemon cranberry muffins are not very festive, but they are my favourites.  I crave them, but I never had the guts to try to make them.  I figured, no guts, no glory!  So I went online to find a recipe, went to the supermarket to get my ingredients, got my eldest daughter on board to help, turned on some Christmas specials, rolled up our sleeves and started baking.  Below, you’ll see how we went from chaos to creativity making our lemon cranberry muffins:

Here is my "Baking Elf" slicing up the cranberries for these delectable muffins.  Yes, she still has all of her fingers intact!
Here is my “Baking Elf” slicing up the cranberries for these delectable muffins. Yes, she still has all of her fingers intact!
Can you tell I really put my girl to work?  I'm so glad she was helping, as this would have taken me FOREVER to do!
Can you tell I really put my girl to work? I’m so glad she was helping, as this would have taken me FOREVER to do!
This is what all of the dry ingredients looked like before I mixed them together.  Yeah, I know, you can't make any of them out because they're all the same colour.
This is what all of the dry ingredients looked like before I mixed them together. Yeah, I know, you can’t make any of them out because they’re all the same colour.
I had to borrow a line from Homere Simpson, as I was an idiot when it came to this part of recipe.  For some reason, I freaked out, thinking I put in too much lemon juice into the souring mix with the milk.  I had to run out to the store and buy some more.  At least I didn't add the rest of the wet ingredients to it yet!
I had to borrow a line from Homere Simpson, as I was an idiot when it came to this part of recipe. For some reason, I freaked out, thinking I put in too much lemon juice into the souring mix with the milk. I had to run out to the store and buy some more. At least I didn’t add the rest of the wet ingredients to it yet!
This is what all of the wet ingredients look like mixed together.  I know, it's not a proper mixing bowl, so I had to improvise.
This is what all of the wet ingredients look like mixed together. I know, it’s not a proper mixing bowl, so I had to improvise.
I have all of the ingredients in the bowl.  The cranberries were not cooperating, as usual, but I got them under control.
I have all of the ingredients in the bowl. The cranberries were not cooperating, as usual, but I got them under control.
Into the paper cups my mixture went.  I was so anxious as to how they were going to turn out.
Into the paper cups my mixture went. I was so anxious as to how they were going to turn out.
Here they are!  My lemon cranberry muffins, fresh out the oven.  I had extra batter left over, so I made a thin cake that the stack of muffins are piled up on.  Good work, me!
Here they are! My lemon cranberry muffins, fresh out the oven. I had extra batter left over, so I made a thin cake that the stack of muffins are piled up on. Good work, me!

As you can tell, Readers, we had a lot of fun baking up these sweet and sour treats!  I think the only thing I would change about the recipe would be to use actual lemon juice.  I think it would make them sing!  I have placed the recipe and the All Recipes site below if you would like to try making these muffins yourself.  If you liked this post, you should see my sort of Part 2 of my Adventures in Baking where I made Easy Chocolate Squares the next day.  They were addictive!

Original recipe makes 12 muffins Change Servings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cranberries, halved
  • 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix lemon juice and milk in a measuring cup, to sour milk; beat eggs, oil, and milk mixture in a bowl. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened; fold in cranberries. Fill prepared muffin cups two-thirds full; sprinkle with almonds.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Kitchen-Friendly View

  • PREP 10 mins
  • COOK 20 mins
  • READY IN 35 mins

All Recipes Site: allrecipes.com.

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

My Take on Easy Chocolate Snacking Cake! #Recipe

Hey, Readers!

I did it! I went back into the kitchen, this time in the spirit of Christmas.  As some of may know, it is one of my absolute favourite times of the year.  I love having plenty of treats around the house so that family and friends can fill their faces while celebrating the season.  I decided to try this recipe for Chocolate Snacking Squares after watching Canadian Living: Best Recipes Ever this holiday season, and now it is one of my family’s favourite treats to eat throughout the year!

After gathering all of the my ingredients (some of them were wrong like the sweetened cocoa powder and the demerara sugar), my eldest daughter and I threw on the Christmas specials on TV (you know, to add to our Christmas euphoria), and started baking up these little delights!

 

Here they are!  All cut into 36 mini cubes of snacking fun.  Yeah, I know, They're a bit crumbly, but highly addictive! I'm glad they were around this past holiday season.  I needed mini shots of chocolate every now and then.  Next time, I'll use icing or icing sugar to top them off.

 

These little squares of delight were really good!  I was so shocked as to how they came out. This recipe was a good one, and I plan on using again, and again, and again! Try it out for yourself, tweak it, and enjoy! Thanks, Canadian Living: Best Recipes Ever for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cups
  • (325 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL)
  • salt 1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
  • Icing sugar, (optional)
*NOTE – I leave out the baking soda whenever I make this recipe. The squares are a bit more dense, but so much more chocolaty! I also use the milk I have on hand from time to time when I cannot run out to the store to fetch some buttermilk.

Instructions:

In large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Press brown sugar through sieve; combine with dry ingredients.
Huh?
Add buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla; whisk until smooth.
Pour the mixture into greased 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan.
Ready for Baking?
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 35 minutes or until the centre is completely baked through after testing with a toothpick or a knife.Let cool.
Fresh Out of The Oven!
Dust with icing sugar (this step is optional).
Cut into squares.

The Finished Product!

Serves 36 small square pieces.

I hope that you enjoy these little chocolaty delights as much as we do, especially with a dollop of French Vanilla Ice Cream on the side!

Dish with me: What is your favourite treat to eat during the holidays?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese