‘Tis the Season for Cake Orders

It’s been a busy month with lots of cake orders and I thought you might like to see what I’ve been working on. Here are some photos of my recent cake orders as well as a couple from last summer.

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This is what the kids are calling a “naked cake.” This type of cake where there is little or no frosting is becoming more and more popular at weddings. This is a lemon cake with strawberry filling and a whipped cream cheese frosting with white chocolate shavings. Decorated with fresh flowers

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These cupcakes were so much fun to make; a vanilla cupcake tinted blue with blue and white vanilla butercream topped with a white chocolate snowflake. And yes, you guessed it, they were for a Frozen-themed birthday party!

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A lemon cake for 2! This 6 inch cake is filled with a homemade lemon-strawberry curd, frosted with a vanilla buttercream and topped with fresh flowers.

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Another delicious lemon cake filled with strawberry filling and frosted with vanilla buttercream, a very popular flavor this year! Decorated with fresh flowers

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This is my favorite way to decorate cupcakes!

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This 14 inch cake was fun to decorate, I love scroll work.

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For more photos follow Clara’s Cake Shop on Facebook.

If you are local to the Kitsap area and are interested in placing an order you may contact me at: ClarasCakeShop@gmail.com.

Very Angry Cupcakes

This post has been sitting in my draft box for a couple of months, but better late than never! For Joe’s birthday this summer I threw him a surprise Angry Birds party.

The party was complete with a string of Angry Bird balloons I made,

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Stuffed Angry Birds to throw at the birthday boy…

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And of course, the best part, some very angry cupcakes!

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These cupcakes were a lot of fun to make!

I started with cutting up the candy to make the faces of my angry birds. I used licorice bits for the eyebrows and for the center of the eyes, small marshmallows for the whites of the eyes, the pig snouts and ears, and the bellies of the birds. I also used peach gummies for the beaks. I was able to cut everything up pretty easily with kitchen scissors.

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I frosted my cupcakes with colored buttercream frosting; in general I prefer to use gel food coloring rather than liquid because it results in deeper colors without changing the consistency of the frosting.

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I added sprinkles to the tops of the cupcakes to add some texture.

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From there I started to assemble the faces of the birds and pigs.

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The eyebrows are really what make these faces, observe; angry cupcakes,

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Concerned cupcakes.

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For the white chests I flattened marshmallows with the bottom of a cup and for the beaks I cut the peach flavored gummies into triangles.

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For the pigs’ ears and snouts I cut up the marshmallows and pressed the sticky sides into green sprinkles.

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And there you have it, some very angry cupcakes!

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It’s a Lovely Day for a Guinness

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Happy 3-days-’till-St. Patty’s-Day everyone! In celebration of this upcoming holiday I’m sharing my recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes.

This is a recipe I developed last spring when I was getting ready for Cupcake Camp Boston. The cupcakes were a big hit at the event and my co-workers enjoyed testing out the cupcakes as I worked on the recipe.

However, before I get started on this recipe, I want to take a second to talk about my mixer. The stand mixer that I had been using for the last few years died on me a couple of weeks ago. One of my roommates was using it to make pizza dough and it just stopped working and never turned back on. But do not frett, I have a back-up mixer! And no harm came to said roommate, because honestly, I knew the mixer was on it’s way out.

Behold my new-old Sunbeam mixer!

Ah yes, gaze upon it’s retro-lovlieness, it’s creamy avacado color. And check this out, the different mixing levels are labeled.

I got this fabulous new-old mixer from Mary, one of my coworkers from Pearson. Aside from my parents I believe Mary to be my # 1 fan. Thanks again, Mary for this fantastic mixer, I am so happy to have it!

Ok, onwards to the delicious Guinness cupcakes. This is pretty simple recipe, and yields 28 tasty, moist cupcakes. Here’s what you’ll need;

  • 1 bottle of Guinness (12 oz)-room temperature
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c sour cream

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and preparing cupcake pans with liners. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set aside to cool slightly. The butter should be melted completely, but not piping hot. Next, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the Guinness, melted butter, and vanilla extract.

Next add the eggs one at a time.

After the eggs, add the sour cream to the mixture, and mix until the ingriendents are thouroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Finally, add the dry ingredients to the batter 1/3 at a time.

Pour the batter into the lined cup pans and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for another 10-12 minutes. The cupcakes are finished when they are slightly risen and domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. I suggest using your favorite vanilla buttercream or a whipped cream frosting. And enjoy with a tall glass of Guinness. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Guinness (12 oz)-room temperature
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c sour cream

Directions:

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and preparing cupcake pans with liners. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set aside to cool slightly. The butter should be melted completely, but not piping hot.

Next, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the Guinness, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Next add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine.

After the eggs, add the sour cream to the mixture, and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Finally, add the dry ingredients to the batter 1/3 at a time.

Pour the batter into the lined cup pans and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for another 10-12 minutes. The cupcakes are finished when they are slightly risen and domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Ultimate Summer Cupcake: Lemon with Raspberry Buttercream

*This article originally posted to www.Somerville.Patch.com*

These lemon cupcakes with a light raspberry buttercream are a fabulous summer treat!

It’s hot. It’s sticky. It’s summer. In a season of refreshing fruits, like watermelon, and cool deserts, like ice cream, who wants to even think about using the oven? Even someone like me, who’s obsessed with baking, is wary of baking in this heat. However, when I came across this recipe I knew I had to brave the heat, and much to my delight it was well worth it!

This recipe combines two refreshing flavors to create a cupcake that embodies summer and exudes sunshine. I can guarantee this recipe will be a crowd-pleaser at any barbeque, picnic, or staff meeting.

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For the lemon cupcakes:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ c cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ c buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ c sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp lemon extract

Directions:

A quick note about the ingredients and substitutions; when it comes to baking there are some substitutions I am willing to make and others I am not. Cake flour is not one of them, when a recipe calls for cake flour I am not willing to substitute it because cake flour generally results in a lighter cake. These lemon cupcakes are already a bit denser than your average cake, although not quiet as heavy as a pound cake or a muffin. Using all purpose flour as a substitute might make the cupcakes denser and heavier, so I would recommend using cake flour for this one.

To start, preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare your cupcake pan with either cupcake liners or a non-stick cooking spray. This recipe yields about 24 cupcakes.

Next, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites and set aside. Then, in another mixing bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest and using your fingers rub the two together until the mixture is well combined and the sugar is moist.

Cream together the butter and the sugar mixture using a hand mixer or paddle attachment on a stand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Next beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

Now alternate between mixing the dry and wet ingredients. Start with 1/3 of the sifted dry ingredients. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated then add ½ of the milk and egg whites mixture. Continue alternating between the dry ingredients and the milk and egg white mixture. Stop to scrape the side of the bowl as needed. Beat the batter for an additional 2 minutes to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup distribute even amounts of the cupcake batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes until they cupcakes are raised and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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To prepare the frosting you will need;

Ingredients:

  • 1 c fresh raspberries
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 tbsp shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ lbs confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp cold milk

Directions:

Start by rinsing and carefully drying the raspberries. Next using a fine mesh sieve held over a mixing bowl and a fork press the raspberries through the sieve so that the juices fall into the bowl but the seeds are left in the sieve. Set aside the raspberry juice.

In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and shortening with a hand mixer or stand mixer until it is combined. Next add the vanilla extract and the raspberry juice and mix until thoroughly.

Begin to add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Once all the sugar has been incorporated add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached, mixing the frosting at a medium-high speed.

Allow the cupcakes to cool for at least 2 hours before frosting them. If you’re feeling fancy top the cupcakes with a fresh raspberry and candied lemon peel as garnish.

To make the candied lemon peel garnish peel 1 lemon lengthwise with a vegetable peeler and then cut the peel into narrow strips. In a small saucepan bring ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar to a boil. Add the lemon peels to the syrup and boil until the peels become slightly transparent (about 7 minutes). Carefully remove the peels from the syrup with a fork onto wax paper to cool. Once the peels have cooled add them to the top of the cupcakes.