Yesterday was my friend Janel’s 24th birthday. Janel and I met during our freshman year in college and since I’ve moved to Charlotte we’ve gotten even closer. We celebrated with dinner at Maggiano’s at SouthPark Mall. The food and the service were great but the dinner guests were the highlight of my night. I really enjoyed dinner with old friends and new ones.
Photo courtesy of Vince Jacobs Jr.
Janel loves vanilla cupcakes, so for her birthday I made 24 mini vanilla cupcakes for her. I tinted the frosting with her favorite colors. I was extremely pleased with the shades of purple, green and blue that I achieved using the Wilton Gel Icing Colors. Instead of using traditional liners, I used Wilton Nut & Party Cups. It took me a while to figure out how to get the cupcake out of the cup (you have to tug at the sides of cup and it expands) but I loved the finished product.
These cupcakes were so moist!
Oh! I love the boxes and inserts from BRP Box Shop.
I have a serious love affair with grapefruit. It is one of the many reasons that I love the summertime. I stocked up on so much grapefruit that my fruit bowl is overflowing! I love the tangy but slightly sweet taste … it’s just so refreshing.
When I came across a recipe for grapefruit bars I knew that I had to try it. I was a little intimidated by the idea of making my own faux-curd but it was super easy. I’ll definitely be using this recipe with other citrus fruits.
I used ruby red grapefruit that I bought from the grocery store. The shortbread base was infused with grapefruit zest and the curd was really creamy.
Recipe adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
For the base:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Zest from 1/2 a grapefruit (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter
For the filling:
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Zest from 1/2 a grapefruit
- 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (from the zested fruit)
- 3 eggs
- 3 Tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
- Powdered sugar, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Add flour, salt, sugar, grapefruit zest, and butter pieces to the bowl of your food processor and process for ~1 minute, until the butter has been completely distributed into the dry ingredients and there are no traces of powder left.
- Spread mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan and press down firmly.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges brown.
- Let cool for 20 minutes.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the grapefruit zest, juice, eggs, and yogurt until thoroughly combined and lump-free.
- Pour over cookie crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just set – the center should jiggle but not be fluid when you gently shake the pan.
- Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and then run the tip of a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 squares and serving dusted with powdered sugar.
Last week marked the end of my first year of graduate school. I’m just a few months away from getting my Masters of Science in Public Health. To mark the end of our first year I decided to treat my classmates to some cupcakes. One of my classmates suggested coconut cupcakes and this started a class-wide discussion on the amazingness that is coconut cake. Personally, I’m not a fan of coconut but I can’t put my finger on why I don’t like it. Maybe it has to with all the coconuts that used to fall off of our tree and rot when I was younger. Anyway, I decided to give coconut one last shot and started searching for the perfect coconut recipe.
Luckily, I stumbled upon the perfect recipe. These cupcakes were so moist, probably because of the coconut milk. It called for the right about of sweetened dessicated coconut and the cream cheese frosting was amazing. I’m pretty sure the cream cheese frosting that I used for these cupcakes will become my go-to recipe.
Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes
Yield 24 cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes
- 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 cup of sweetened desiccated coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add sugar and cream till light and fluffy again, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each to ensure mixing. Be sure to scrape down the sides after each egg to ensure even mixing.
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl.
- In another bowl add 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Stop mixing once just as the ingredients become incorporated.
- Fold in the coconut.
- Scoop into cupcake papers about one half to three-quarters of the way full. Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes if you are making minis or 18-20 minutes for regular sized cupcakes. Be sure to check with a toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean, then they’re ready. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a minute or two in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
- 1/2-1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup of sweetened desiccated coconut
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scraped down the sides and bottom.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar, taste as you go adding more sugar until you have reached the desired sweetness.
- Fold in the coconut. Spread onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle on a bit of extra shredded coconut on top and serve.