marshmallow

Dirty 30: Mississippi Mud Cupcakes

SAM 3291 Edited Dirty 30: Mississippi Mud Cupcakes

At any one time, I typically have a handful of a recipe ideas for the blog, but I often have no idea what I am going to write about in relation to those recipes until I sit down at my computer.  Yesterday was a bit different.  As I was driving home from work, I was thinking of what to post on the last day of September.

I decided Dirty 30 might be a catchy title, but what food item could I make to match?  Dirt Cake came to mind, but I just wasn’t that into it.  My mind wandered to seeing something about National Mud Pack day on the calendar.  What could I bake that has to do with mud…ah ha, a Mississipi Mud dessert.

I had been driving with the radio off, simply enjoying the hum of the tires on the road and the air whipping across the open windows.  Close to home and after I had decided on a Dirty 30 Misissppi Mud theme, I flipped on the radio.

“Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me”

I kid you not, the Doobie Brothers’ Old Black Water was playing when I turned on the radio.  I smiled.  Have I mentioned how much I love coincidences?  So off to work I went at a Mississippi mud cake.  I followed a Paula Deen recipe to a tee, and I ended up Mississippi mud hole cupcakes.

SAM 3278 Edited Dirty 30: Mississippi Mud Cupcakes

What went wrong?  The recipe called for the cake to be baked in a 9 x 13 pan.  I know you can’t bake a recipe that calls for a tube pan as cupcakes, but does the pan really matter for rectangular cakes and cupcakes?

I didn’t overmix the batter to kill the baking soda action, and I didn’t dilly-dally when moving the batter from the mixing bowl to the cupcake liners to the oven.  Sounds counter-intuitive, but could I have used too much of a leavening agent?  I read Shriley Corriher’s Bake Wise back in June, but clearly, it didn’t sink in (pun intended).

I smack talked September a bit, grabbed a DogFish Punkin (thank you, Lushers, for the reccommendation) and got back to work.  I consulted my Great Grandmother’s red chocolate (red velvet) cupcake recipe, and with a little tweaking, I ended up with pretty mud puffs.

SAM 3287 Edited Dirty 30: Mississippi Mud Cupcakes

While the second round of cupcakes were baking, I sampled Paula’s cupcakes.  They may have looked ugly, but they tasted delicious.  I chopped one up to use as sprinkles on the pretty cupcakes, and I plan to use the rest in cake balls.

My cakes were delicious as well.  I would call them awesome, but they were just a teeny-tiny bit on the dry side.  I do believe this was more an issue with overbaking than with the recipe itself.  And with marshmallow fluff as a topping, I couldn’t taste a hint of dryness in the cake.

At the end of last month, I wrote about how I wanted to get better at food styling so I could take better pictures.  This month I have been thinking a lot about about how to step it up in the icing and frosting department.  I wouldn’t call a dollop of marshmallow fluff stepping it up, but at least it was different than the confectioners’ sugar buttercream I have been using on a regular basis.

I am so happy I chose the marshmallow fluff because they made the cupcakes taste like those Hostess cupcakes with the curly white ribbon of icing across the tops.  The fluff spreads over the cupcake within a few minutes, so a dollop in the center is more than plenty.  If you place fluff over the entire surface of the cupcake, it will run over the sides.

SAM 3293 Edited Dirty 30: Mississippi Mud Cupcakes

With that, I’m putting September to bed and looking forward to my favorite month of the year: October.

Well, I built me a raft and she’s ready for floatin’
Ol’ Mississippi, she’s calling my name 
Catfish are jumpin’
That paddle wheel thumpin’
Black water keeps rollin’ on past just the same
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me
-The Doobie Brothers

 

I wonder what I’ll be up to in my favorite month?  Happy weekend everyone!

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in ½ cup hot water
  • 1 - 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme
Instructions
  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Slowly pour in the baking soda solution.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out with just a crumb or two.
  7. When the cupcakes have cooled, top with the marshmallow creme.
 

Banana and Peanut Butter and Marshmallow…Oh my!

SAM 2769 Edited Banana and Peanut Butter and Marshmallow...Oh my!

Over the weekend, I worked on my creation for the Willow Bird Baking Cupcake Challenge.  The requirements: a cake, a filling and a frosting.

I considered key lime, graham cracker and raspberry, but I settled on banana, peanut butter and marshmallow.  The latter reminded me of the banana boats (a sliced banana topped with peanut butter and mayonnaise) my mom used to make as a before-dinner snack.  Of course instead of mayonnaise, I used marshmallow.

Though a variety of recipes for banana cake can be found across the internet, I’m pretty much going it alone after three months of nearly non-stop baking.  You may have noticed that most of my (cup)cake recipes contain a few base items: one cup of flour to 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and (unsalted) butter, sugar and vanilla.  After that, it’s a matter of tweaking the flavors and the textures.  I am by no means saying this is the best base recipe out there, but it is what works for me right now.

SAM 2765 Edited e1315081988596 Banana and Peanut Butter and Marshmallow...Oh my!

The banana cupcakes were just sweet enough, and the banana flavor really came through.  The plain yogurt gave the cake a bit of a tangy taste, but I liked how it balanced the sweet of the peanut butter filling and marshmallow icing.

After baking the first batch, I decided to throw in some cocoa powder for the remaining cupcakes because chocolate really does make everything better. While I liked these cupcakes, the chocolate seemed to overpower the banana flavor.  On the other hand, it really brought out the peanut butter and marshmallow flavors.

SAM 2737 Edited Banana and Peanut Butter and Marshmallow...Oh my!

SAM 2751 Edited Banana and Peanut Butter and Marshmallow...Oh my!

The filling is  up for debate.  My cupcakes did not contain a lot of filling because I used a filling tip to puncture and then pipe filling into my cupcakes. Other cupcake bakers prefer to use the cone method where a cone is cut from the cake, filling is placed in the resulting cavity, and then the top of the cone is placed back onto the cupcake.

It does strike me as somewhat odd that I prefer more cake than filling given that my donut of choice is a filled stick (long john), and I used to love that cinnamon-flavored gum with the syrupy filling (I don’t remember the brand name of that gum, but they were square pieces that looked almost like Hall’s cough drops).  My point is, I like filling, but I guess I like cake better.

SAM 2766 Edited e1315082087511 Banana and Peanut Butter and Marshmallow...Oh my!

To create the frosting, feel free to use marshmallow fluff in place of melted marshmallows.  I just happened to have marshmallows on hand so I thought it silly to buy fluff.

A good thing about this recipe is that is allows for variations.  You can certainly fill the cupcakes with marshmallow and frost with peanut butter buttercream. However you decide to make your cupcakes, enjoy!

SAM 2787 Edited Banana and Peanut Butter and Marshmallow...Oh my!

 

P.S. – Check out Willow Bird Baking for a look at other great cupcake creations.  And, consider taking part in a Willow Bird Baking challenge sometime!

 

Banana Cupcake with Peanut Butter and Marshmallows Buttercream
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Peanut Butter Filling
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Marshmallow Frosting
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugars together.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Continue to mix on medium speed while adding the bananas, yogurt and vanilla extract.
  5. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and pour batter into liners until approximately ¾ full.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  7. While the cupcakes cool, make the peanut butter filling. Cream the butter and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
  8. Add the peanut butter, milk and vanilla, and beat at high speed two to three minutes until the filling is light and smooth.
  9. Fill a decorating bag fitted with tip 230 with the filling.
  10. Gently press tip into the top of the cupcake and move downward to the bottom of the paper liner. Squeeze the bag while moving tip back toward the top of the cupcake to fill.
  11. For the frosting, melt the marshmallows over low heat. When the marshmallows have puffed to about twice their size, add in the milk and stir until fully melted and smooth.
  12. Cream the butter and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
  13. Add the melted marshmallows and vanilla and beat at high speed two to three minutes until the filling is light and smooth.
  14. Spoon the icing into a decorating bag fitted with a decorating tip 1M.
  15. Gently pipe the icing onto each cupcake by starting at the outermost edge and forming a circle inwards towards the center.
  16. If desired, garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or sliced bananas.
Notes
To make chocolate-banana cupcakes, add ¼ cup cocoa powder to the cupcake powder.
 

I Say Pop, You Say Soda: Coca-Cola Cupcakes

SAM 1192 I Say Pop, You Say Soda: Coca Cola Cupcakes

I had heard about baking a boxed cake mix by adding only a can of soda to the mix in place of all other ingredients, and I had encountered recipes that called for dark soda to make a glaze, but I had never before attempted either of the two.  Since it is nearly the Fourth of July, I thought now would be a good time to use the all-American soda, Coca-Cola, to bake a cake.  I adapted my recipe from Warren Brown’s “United Cakes of America“, though a very similar recipe is available on the Coca-Cola website.

After the first batch of cupcakes, I realized the cakes did not rise as high as I expected.   I suppose this has to do with only the soda acting as a leaving agent in this recipe.  If you opt to make cupcakes with this recipe, I suggest filling the cups nearly to the top rather than the standard 3/4  full.  The cake batter calls for marshmallows, so I opted to ice my cakes with an icing made of marshmallows as well.  The icing sets very quickly, so be ready to move equally quickly when icing to ensure a shiny, smooth finish.  Since the first batch of cupcakes did not rise quite so high, I made double-tiered cupcakes decorated with sprinkles.

SAM 1225 Edited I Say Pop, You Say Soda: Coca Cola Cupcakes

I decorated the remaining cupcakes with some easy-to-make fondant and gum paste daisies.

SAM 1269 I Say Pop, You Say Soda: Coca Cola Cupcakes

I’m not overwhelmingly thrilled with the Wilton cutter’s I have; you can tell from the jagged edges on the flowers that the cutters are not all that sharp. I used a toothpick to outline the daisy cut-outs before removing them from the rolled sheet, but it was a bit tedious and certainly not fool-proof.  Though I wasn’t happy with the cutters, all-in-all, the decorated cupcakes did not look too bad, and the cake itself tasted very light and sweet.

If you are not sure about the marshmallows, I think walnuts would go nicely as an add-in with this chocolatey-tasting cake.  Or, if you like marshmallows and nuts, add in both ingredients.  Need more chocolate?  Add in a few chocolate chips.  While not everyone reading this will agree on the correct way to identify the syrupy, carbonated beverage, used in this cake, I think everyone will agree  these Coca-Cola cupcakes make for a good treat.

Coca-Cola Cupcakes and Marshmallow Icing
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • Marshmallow Icing
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light yellow.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Combine the vanilla, Coca-Cola, and milk in a separate bowl or 2-cup measuring cup.
  5. Slowly alternate adding the Coca-Cola mixture and the flour mixture to the butter, sugar, and eggs.
  6. Stir until well combined, then fold in the mini marshmallows.
  7. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and fill nearly to the top of each.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  9. When cool, pour marshmallow icing over the tops of the cupcakes.
  10. To make the icing, melt the butter, cream and marshmallows in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth.
  11. When all of the ingredients have melted, stir in the vanilla.
  12. Pour the melted ingredients over two cups of the confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl.
  13. Mix on high speed while adding the remaining cup of confectioners’ sugar in ¼ cup increments. Use immediately.