Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

A few weeks ago, Bakerella posted about all of her travels to various cupcakeries and bakeries around the country. Of course, L. A. is all about Sprinkles Cupcakes, arguably the cupcakery that started the craze. With the demands of my internship and my part-time job, I haven’t been to Sprinkles in a long while. When the opportunity to bake for a collegue’s last couple of days in the department came up, I was glad to have Candace Nelson’s strawberry cupcake recipe on hand.

Though the cupcakes lack the signature strawberry frosting, I think chocolate ganache is a more refined, bold topping. Since I was transporting my creations via public transportation, I also did not want to risk any frosting mishaps.

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2011 LA Cupcake Challenge

Last November, I posted about Cupcake Camp, an event all about eating cupcakes and supporting a good cause. LA Cupcake Challenge is like camp, but on steroids. Yes, each cupcake was mini-sized, but there were nearly 40 different cupcakes. Because my boyfriend and I both went, we left with nearly 80 cupcakes. When they say challenge, they mean it. Though tickets were expensive (a little over $40/person), we both felt that we got our money’s worth and we appreciated the larger space the hotel venue allowed us. We ended up trying only about 20 of the cupcakes while there, but we brought the rest home and froze them for eating later.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I bet lots of people have New Year’s Resolutions to eat more healthy foods, like fruit. Let me tell you that it would be so much easier to eat fruit if it always came in cupcake form! These cupcakes, though they don’t look all puffy and perfect (likely due to my choice to use baking powder instead of baking soda… oops!), they are packed with all the right flavors. The key is the pairing of the mellow sweetness of banana and the rich, chocolatey punch of the fudge-like frosting.

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Golden Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

Sometimes we just need a reliable cupcake recipe. One that just works, without fussing and worrying. I’m thinking that this recipe from Crazy about Cupcakes just might be the go-to cupcake recipe for me. She calls them golden cupcakes, but taste just like good, traditional yellow cake cupcakes. They are deserving of their elevated name though, because they just puff up so nicely and uniformly and are a breeze to make. These cupcakes taste a bit like lemonade and birthday cake, totally inappropriate considering this season of spicy, festive flavors. But sometimes you just want a private little celebration in the kitchen, without involving Santa and the Christmas sprinkles. And that’s okay!

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How to Decorate Cupcakes Using a Plastic Bottle

The final look of a cupcake is just as important as the taste. This much is obvious. Why else would Cupcake Wars have an entire round dedicated to presentation? (And yes, Cupcake Wars is law.) I’ve bought many a star tip to achieve that beautiful swirled look, and unfortunately, I am not all that adept at wielding an offset spatula. But I’ve always liked that puffy, bulbous, St. Basil’s Cathedral at Russia-type frosting too. One day, I had an epiphany. I could decorate cupcakes with a plastic bottle. And it would look amazing.

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Cupcake Project’s Cupcake French Toast

Cupcake Project, one of my favorite sites, posted the following on her Facebook page. Inspired, I knew immediately that it had to be translated into visual form.

Cupcake Camp Los Angeles 2010

Prior to this year, I had never heard of Cupcake Camp. After attending the one in my city, I am so happy that I went! Finally a camp that I can get excited about! Though it felt chaotic at times and the parking fee was an atrocious $20/car (thanks, Los Angeles) my boyfriend and I had a great time shopping around for cupcakes and seeing all the yummy creations everyone brought! Some of the cupcakes were absolute stand-outs, so if you get the chance to check them out in LA, please do so!

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Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

Coffee is one of those flavors that translates well into various baked goods. Cupcakes are no exception. This recipe is from Krystina Castella’s book Crazy About Cupcakes that my boyfriend got me as a part of our 2-year anniversary celebration. While the photography is a little lacking in her book, it has countless recipes that I can’t wait to try. I haven’t made anything coffee flavored yet, so I thought her recipe for mocha cupcakes would be a good place to start. Per her recommendation (and admittedly a safe flavor combination), I paired the mocha cake with mocha frosting. The flavor is dense and very coffee-y, so people that like their coffee on the milky side, this may not be for you.

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Green Tea Infused Vanilla Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the most exotic thing I’ve tried to date and it was an interesting journey. I usually stick to tried and true flavors, but I really wanted to try the Cupcake Project’s method of baking with tea. I’ve always loved green tea, so of course it would be a brilliant addition to the reliably delicious vanilla cupcake!

I am convinced the flavors of this cupcake work, but I think I may have to go with a less costly tea if I want to infuse more tea flavors into my bake goods. The amount of green tea I used to give this cupcake that green tea flavor was ridiculous.

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