Tag Archives: vanilla

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

When I was a kid my mom and I used to bake cookies together, and I used to beg her for permission to steal cookie dough, lick the beaters, the bowl… etc. I’m pretty sure it’s a small miracle I didn’t get salmonella.

But let’s get one thing straight: raw cookie dough is, in my opinion, better than the finished product. I mean I love cookies. Especially fresh out of the oven warm, gooey, and delicious chocolate chip cookies, but there’s something about raw cookie dough that is just plain unbeatable.

Something else I love? Cupcakes. I mean they’re just so flipping cute, the options are endless, and they’re already perfectly portioned! What’s not to adore?

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So when I found this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcakes last year, it quickly became a favourite. And when I helped plan a friend’s surprise 30th birthday party last month I knew exactly what kind of cupcakes I was making.

These really taste like cookie dough. The cakes are vanilla and brown sugar, with a hefty dose of chocolate chips.

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The stuffing is a faux-cookie dough, made with sweetened condensed milk which gives it a cookie-dough like texture and a taste that is truly spot-on. So much so that more than once I’ve debated just making this filling so I could eat excessive amounts of ‘cookie-dough’ without worrying about getting sick.

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And the frosting on these. Oh. My. God. The frosting is out of this world. The recipe calls for brown sugar and flour in addition to the traditional components of an American buttercream – butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. The result is a thick yet fluffy frosting that really, really tastes like cookie-dough down to the final details including that slight grittiness created by the flour. This is the kind of frosting where people fight over who gets to lick the bowl and beaters, trust me. For the record – I will fight you for them, and I will win.

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So if you want a show-stopping cupcake that people will talk about for weeks, make these. There are a lot of steps, but they are 100% worth it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (makes 24 cupcakes)

*A few notes – I’d recommend making the filling first, or even the day before as it needs to hang out in the fridge for a little while before you can do anything else. Also, I like to use an apple corer to take out the centres of my cupcakes, but a pairing knife will work. As to what you’re supposed to do with the cupcake centres? Eat them.

For the Filling:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

7 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

2. Add flour, the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla. Beat until combined.

3. Fold in the chocolate chips, transfer into a separate bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge for at least an hour.

For the Cupcakes:

3 sticks unsalted butter, and cut into several chunks, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk (I use whole milk as you always should when baking. Seriously, just do it)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

2. Measure the flour into a medium-sized bowl and remove two tablespoons. Place the removed flour in a bowl with the chocolate chips and toss to coat – this will keep your chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cupcakes. To the bowl containing only flour add the baking powder, baking soda, an salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.

5. Turn the mixer down to low and alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. You should do three additions of the dry ingredients and two of the milk. Beat until incorporated, and add the vanilla.

6. Fold in the chocolate chips and then portion evenly into baking cups, filling about 3/4 full (I like to measure out a scant 1/4 cup per liner, it ensures fairly even cupcakes).

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. After about five minutes transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted. Please take the time to sift your powdered sugar it makes the difference between lumpy frosting and delicious smooth frosting.

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Beat butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamy.

2. Add powdered sugar and beat until incorporated.

3. Add flour and salt and beat until combined. Then beat in milk and vanilla. If you want to thin or thick out the frosting a bit either at more milk or more powdered sugar accordingly, but mine was good with the prescribed amounts.

To Assemble:

Remove the centres of each cupcake. As mentioned above, I like to do this with an apple corer, but a pairing knife works as well. Stuff with a heaping tablespoon of the filling. I generally just roll small balls of it with my hands and press it into the centre of the cupcake. Frost using whatever decorative tip you prefer. I used a plain round one, but anything will work as the frosting is quite thick and should hold a shape nicely.

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Vanilla Bean White Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting

I would apologize for the fact that all the photos for this post come off my iphone camera, but this cake needs to be talked about. Badly. And when I turned on my DSLR this morning as I pulled the eggs and butter out of the fridge, it flashed that terrible ‘low battery’ warning and then died. So I turned to my phone because waiting to bake until the battery charged just wasn’t going to happen.

But enough about cameras, let’s discuss cake.

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This cake is a fluffy, light, yet somehow still moist (yes, I hate the word too) vanilla bean white cake with the smoothest, most delicious whipped vanilla frosting that tastes like ice-cream.

White cakes are interesting. Often they are dry, crumbly, and dense. The batters are temperamental. A high liquid content leaves them prone to curdling and we’ve all accidentally dropped the yolks into the egg whites as we separated them right? Right?? No, just me? Well now you know my secret. I make mistakes too.

But let me assure you that this cake is worth careful egg-separating, and ensuring you don’t add your liquids to the batter too quickly.

This is one of those cakes where you promise yourself you’ll only have a sliver and then the next thing you know, half of it has disappeared. Does that happen to anyone else? Please say yes.

This is one of those cakes people talk about for months. I first served this cake during a dinner party a friend threw in September. Three months later I’m still being reminded that I need to make this very cake for all upcoming birthdays and events. This cake will make you a lot of friends, and isn’t that why everyone bakes? Do me a favour and just agree.

This cake isn’t fancy, and it’s not the most show-stopping of cakes but the flavour and texture are perfect.

The recipe comes from my absolute favourite cake blog – Sweetapolita, and since I made absolutely no changes to her already flawless recipe I’ll let you head over to her blog for the exact details on how to make this cake.

Instead, I want to talk about cake decorating.

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Look, I understand. Really I do. Layer cakes are intimidating. You have to prepare pans with parchment paper, somehow flip out still warm cakes without ripping them in half. Then wait patiently while they cool. Level, mask, frost, pray to the cake gods that you have enough frosting to fill all your layers and cover your entire cake….

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But I’m here to tell you it’s easy. Seriously, if I can do it, you can too. All it takes is a bit of patience, some precision, and the right tools. I like to use a rubber spatula, an offset pallet knife, and a straight pallet knife. A bench scraper is helpful in getting those elusive perfect edges.

It all begins with good pan preparation. I know this seems tedious and a bit excessive, but trust me when I say it makes a world of difference. After you preheat the oven, and before you do anything else you absolutely must, must MUST do the following: generously butter your pans, drop in a tablespoon or so of flour and coat the sides of your pan with flour before tapping out the excess. Now for the fun part. Place the pan on a piece of parchment paper and trace it. Cut out the circle, then place it in the bottom of the pan. This guarantees a perfect release. Every. Single. Time. No more ripped cakes, no more banging, tapping, or prying. Just loosen the edges when they come out of the oven, and then flip them onto a cooling rack.

While your cakes cool, make your frosting.

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Let me take a moment to say, that I love frosting.

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I’m pretty certain I make cake, simply so I can eat frosting. This frosting in particular will change your life. I frequently state that foods will change your life. I know that. But you should know that while I say it often, I don’t say it lightly.

Once your cakes have cooled, grab a turntable (You can find a cheap, ugly, but ultimately functional one at Michael’s for around $20. No it wont last forever, but if you’re like me and cheap, it’ll work), and place a smear of frosting on the turntable. Then plop your cake layer down on top. The frosting keeps it in place, and keeps your cake from sliding off the turntable.

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Then cover the top with a generous layer of frosting, before laying on the second layer. Repeat with any additional layers, though I only used two in this instance.

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Using a rubber spatula, press frosting onto the sides. Then hold the straight pallet knife against the side of the cake and slowly spin the turntable to spread across the sides of the cake. Get a thin layer on there, and then throw the cake into the fridge for about half an hour.

When the frosting has set, pull it out and throw on a thicker layer. This is where I like to hold a bench scraper lightly against the side as I turn the cake to get really smooth edges.

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Decorate as you see fit. Tonight, since this is for a friend’s birthday, I chose sprinkles. You can’t go wrong with sprinkles right?

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Just agree with me. It’ll be easier that way.

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