Dracula’s Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes

It’s here–it’s officially Halloween! Today’s cupcakes, last in my Halloween series, are so rich in flavor that it has to be a sin.

So what makes them so decadent? Well, for starters, there’s the chocolate cupcake. Followed by a chocolate frosting. Completed with bittersweet chocolate shards. It’s chocolate on top of chocolate on top of chocolate.

The Dracula part? They’re filled with a gooey raspberry filling that just looks like something the OG vampire would serve you.

What You Need
Chocolate Shards

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cups cocoa
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon espresso coffee

Raspberry Filling

  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Frosting

  • 1/2 salted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

How You Do It
Chocolate Shards

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until smooth.
  2. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spread chocolate in a thin layer. Put in freezer until ready to use.20181021_161640.jpg

Cupcake Batter

  1. Preheat over to 350 F and line cupcake tin. Brew coffee and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Add in dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. When combined, add in the cocoa.
  5. Pour in the oil and coffee and blend just until combined, careful not to overmix.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake tin, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting

  1. Combine the butter, milk, and vanilla, and cocoa.
  2. Going a half a cup at a time, add in the powdered sugar.

Filling

  1. Combine the powdered sugar and raspberry jam until no lumps remain.
  2. Core the center of each cupcake, careful not to go all the way down to the bottom. Keep the tops.20181021_152557.jpg
  3. Fill with the raspberry filling and place the tops back on.20181021_153053.jpg20181021_153154.jpg

Decorating

  1. Remove the cookie sheet from the fridge. Lift chocolate and break into desired size.
  2. Using tip of choice, pipe the cupcakes with the frosting.20181021_163745.jpg
  3. Carefully, press 3-4 shards of chocolate into the frosting. If your hands are too warm, the chocolate will begin to soften and bend. If that happens, return shards to freezer for 2-3 minutes.

Look how scrumptious!

20181021_164846.jpg And the raspberry filling? Truly worthy of Dracula himself.

And the chocolate decorations make them look extra fancy.

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! Eat at much chocolate as you can stomach, watch scary movies until you scream, and may the spirits look kindly upon you today. Until next time,

-Danielle

Peanut Butter Bars

Looking for a Halloween treat that’s easy to make, not super scary, and reminiscent of those peanut butter cups that you can get at the store? If that’s the case, these are perfect for you! They look more complicated than they actually are, and the most difficult part is waiting for them to free, and the only thing that difficult about that is that you’ll want want to eat them the moment you start putting them together. Trust me, though–it’ll be worth the wait!

What You Need

  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cupsalted butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 4 graham cracker sheets
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • Chocolate mold to create bars

How You Do It

  1. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until chocolate is smooth.20181027_154246.jpg
  2. Pour melted chocolate into molds, paying special attention to sides. Make sure there are no holes. When finished, stick in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
  3. While chocolate is freezing, crush graham crackers and set aside.
  4. Begin to make the filling by melting butter on the stove.
  5. Once melted, keep pot on stove and add in the peanut butter. Stir until smooth.
  6. Remove pot from stove. Add the sugar and graham cracker crumbs.
  7. Pull mold out of the freezer and fill with peanut butter filling, making sure that edges are filled. When finished, return to freezer for at least 15 minutes.20181027_164225.jpg
  8. While bars are in freezer, melt peanut butter chips.
  9. Pour over bars, making sure to fill all the way. When done, place back in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
  10. When the bars are set, remove from freezer and pop out of mold. Flip over so that the chocolate is on the top and drizzle with the remaining peanut butter.20181027_172654.jpg

That’s it! These are so simple but taste amazing.

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Not to mention, look at how beautiful. I love the contrast of the peanut butter against the chocolate.

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Seriously. If I wasn’t busy eating all of these in one sitting, I’d be busy admiring how nice they look.

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That’s all for now. As I mentioned in my previous post, this isn’t going be my last Halloween/fall inspired treat. One more post is coming your way tomorrow, and, hint, it involves cupcakes. Until then,

Danielle

Caramel Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Did you ever want chocolate chip cookies but wanted to make something a little different than plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies? If so, this recipe is perfect for you! Taking the base of original chocolate chip cookies, this caramel chocolate chip skillet cookie combines a thin ribbon of caramel sauce and is so much harder to burn (I’m not the only one who routinely burns chocolate chip cookies, right?).

What You Need

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce + extra to drizzle

How You Do It

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. While oven is heating, combine the butter, sugars, and vanilla
  3. Add in the egg.
  4. Going 1/3 cup at a time, add the flour and baking soda.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips. If you’ve been using a hand or stand mixer a up until the point, stir in the chocolate chips by hand to prevent them from breaking.
  6. Separate the dough in half. Press one half into the bottom of an ungreased, 10-inch cast iron skillet. It’s okay if the bottom isn’t completely covered; the dough will expand as it bakes. Pressing the dough into a 6 or 7-inch disk will work
  7. Avoiding the edges, pour over the caramel sauce.
  8. Heavily flour your hands and shape the second half into a disk (saving a little). When it’s roughly the same diameter as the first half, place it on top and press together the edged.20180826_140409.jpg20180826_140816.jpg
  9. If there are any cracks, or caramel seeping through, fix them with any dough that you’ve saved.20180826_140606.jpg
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Note: it’s incredibly easy to overtake this. Because there might be air pockets inside, the cookie might jiggle a little, making it seem like it’s undercooked. If you’re unsure, simply take it out, wait five minutes, and cut open slightly.
  11. When done, drizzle over as much caramel sauce as you’d like, slice, and enjoy!

I wanted the caramel sauce to harden slightly so I popped it back in the oven for 5 minutes, but totally not mandatory.

These are perfect for dunking in milk. Maybe put some whipped cream on them. Absolutely delicious.

Plus, they’re absolutely stuffed with chocolate chips–no skimping here.

Give these a try and let me know how they turn out. If you haven’t already, make sure to follow me on Instagram. Until next time,

-Danielle

Mix It Up: Prefer butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chips? Feel free to substitute those!

S’mores Cupcakes

Picture it: it’s a warm summer night, you’re gathered around the campfire, you have nowhere to be the next morning, and you’ve spend a full day relaxing. The only thing that can make it better? S’mores, of course!

But how do you create s’mores without the campfire? And how do you make it a cupcake? Actually, its really easy! This recipe comes together with minimal effort, you can decorate it however you want, and there’s marshmallow fluff in the frosting to really amp up the flavor and texture. You know how a roasted marshmallow is gooey? Same concept here.

A quick note: this post is NOT sponsored by Hershey’s. I know their product is featured heavily in some of the photos, and while you’re more than welcome to use any chocolate you want, when I think of s’mores, I automatically think of Hershey’s. Yes, their branding is that strong.

What You Need

20180715_084101.jpgGraham Cracker Crust

  • 8 graham crackers (approximately 1 ¼ cup)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Blog Cake Batter IngredientsCupcake Batter

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coffee

Marshmallow Frosting

  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Decorations

  • Graham crackers crumbs
  • Chocolate bars

 

How You Do It
Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and place liners in cupcake pan.
  2. Using a rolling pin, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
  3. Add in the sugar and butter until fully mixed. Mixture should be slightly crumbly.20180715_085538.jpg
  4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each liner, pressing down lightly.20180715_085828
  5. Bake for no more than five minutes. Because the crusts are prone to burning, check halfway through.
  6. When done, remove from oven and let cool. Keep oven at 350 F.

Cupcake Batter

  1. Mix together sugar and butter until combined.Blog Sugar Eggs
  2. Add in milk, oil, and vanilla. Mixture will become slightly foamy and might not fully combine. To avoid splatters, mix on low (speed 2 on stand mixer).Blog Wet Ingredients
  3. Add in flour, baking soda, and baking powder.Blog Flour
  4. When combined, add cocoa. The consistency should be that of brownie batter.Blog Cocoa
  5. Finally, stir in water and coffee.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake pan. Because the batter is fairly thin, it would rise too much during baking, so you can just about fill up the liners.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When done, place on cooling rack until ready to frost

Frosting & Decorations

  1. Combine all ingredients. Mixture should be sticky and not overly firm. Soft peaks should form.Blog Finished Frosting
  2. Place in decorating bag and begin to pipe the cupcakes. Because frosting isn’t firm, it will level out slightly.Blog Piping
  3. After the frosting flattens out, crush graham crackers and sprinkle over cupcakes.Blog Decorate 1
  4. Lightly press pieces of chocolate into the middle of the top of the cupcake.20180715_105607.jpg

That’s it! A delicious cupcake with a no-stress decoration. These are amazing both warm and cold, but should we take a second to just admire them?

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And that graham cracker crust? Gorgeous!20180715_112851.jpg

I know I should share these, but I absolutely don’t want to.

Blog Finished 3

What do you think? Are you a huge fan of s’mores? What’s your favorite summer dessert? Let me know below. Until next time,

Danielle

Mix It Up: Don’t want to use chunks of chocolate to decorate? Try chocolate syrup instead! You can even use bigger pieces of graham crackers–it’s entirely up to you!

Red, White, and Blue Brownie Pops

Happy 4th of July! If you’re looking for something last-minute that has a huge wow factor, this recipe’s for you!

Cake pops (in this case, brownie pops!) do take some time and there’s a bit of technique involved with dipping them in the chocolate, but, overall, these are a lot easier than you think. Not only are we using an easy-peasy brownie recipe, but because all of these are hand-dipped, you don’t have to worry about uniformity, meaning there’s no stress if they don’t all look the same. After all, that’s part of their charm!

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg
Brownie Batter

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (2 bars)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup flour

Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

White Chocolate Coating

  • 4-5 cups white chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup blue chocolate (pre-colored)
  • 1 cup red chocolate (pre-colored)


How You Do It
Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9×13 inch or 8×8 inch pan.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter on medium-lowBlog Butter
  3. Add water and sugar to butter. Stirring occasionally, cook until mixture starts to bubble.Blog Sugar Water
  4. Turn stove to low and add chocolate and vanilla. Stirring frequently, cook until chocolate melts. When mixture is similar in consistency to frosting, remove from stove and let cool. Note: cooling time is important. Otherwise, the eggs will begin to cook if added immediately.
  5. When cooled, add in the eggs and stir. At this point, the consistency will be similar to pudding.Blog Egg
  6. Going 1/3 a cup at a time, add in the flour and baking soda.Blog Batter
  7. Spread evenly over the pan and bake. If you used a 9×13 pan, cook time will be 10-12 minutes; if 8×8, it’ll be 25-30.Blog Unbaked

Frosting

  1. Combine butter and vanilla.Blog Butter Vanilla (2)
  2. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. If the mixture is dry and clumpy, that’s okay!Blog Frosting 1
  3. Mix in 2 tablespoons and milk. At this point, the frosting will he on the thinner side, but still hold its shape.
  4. Add in the remaining sugar. Frosting will be thick.Blog Frosting 3
  5. Add in the rest of the milk. Depending on your desired consistency, add in either 1/2 or 1 tablespoon.Blog Frosting 4

Cake Pop Balls

  1. Using a fork, crumble the brownies. Break down as many as large chunks as possible, and pour into a large bowl.Blog CrumbleBrownie Crumbles
  2. Add in 3 dollops of frosting (there might be leftovers) and mix with a spoon. Roll some between your hands. The mixture should be moist, but not overly wet. If too dry, add in more frosting.Blog Brownie Frosting
  3. Begin to shape into balls. Roll into desired size, placing on a plate. When finished, cover, and stick in fridge until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Coating

  1. When ready to assemble, melt chocolate in separate bowls.  If you’re using a microwave, melt for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring between each.Blog Chocolate Colors
  2. To add sticks to brownie balls, dip into white chocolate, scraping edges.
  3. Slowly push stick into the brownie balls. This will act as a glue, keeping the stick firmly in place.Blog Stick
  4. Combine colors. Using either piping bags or plastic baggies, but the red chocolate in one bag and the blue in another.
  5. Alternating between colors, drizzle over white chocolate.Blog Drizzle
  6. Swirling as you go, dip the cake pop into the chocolate. Continue to swirl as you pull up.Blog Dip
  7. If you don’t have full coverage on the first dip, use a knife to spoon out a small amount of chocolate and spread over and part that isn’t covered in chocolate.Blog Knife
  8. Stick in freezer until hardened, then move to fridge. When ready to eat, remove from fridge, wait five minutes, and enjoy!20180701_181958

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love how no two are alike.20180703_122903.jpg

Some even remind me of planets.20180703_122814.jpg

They’re absolutely perfect for lounging poolside.

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So what are you waiting for? Give these a go, and let me know how it goes! Until next time,

♥Danielle

Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

With my birthday coming up in a few short days, I wanted to make a classic: a yellow birthday cake. Both easy and delicious, there’s no wrong way to decorate a classic yellow birthday cake. It’s an “all about the taste” cake, so don’t feel like you have to do something extravagant. Keep it in the pan and just frost the top, have several layers with frosting in the middle… The choice is up to you. With something so delicious, it doesn’t matter how it looks.

What You Need

CakeBlog Cake Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) salted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

FrostingBlog Fristing Ingredients

  • 3 ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) salted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

How You Do it

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare pan. If you’re going to serve in the pan, simply butter and flour. If serving right out of the pan, line with parchment paper. I used a 9’x13’ with the intention of cutting it in half, so if you’re not going to do that, you can use a smaller pan.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter.Blog Butter Sugar
  3. Adding one at a time, mix in eggs and vanilla. The consistency will be similar to that of uncooked pudding.Blog Sugar Butter Eggs Vanilla.jpg
  4. In a separate dish, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternating with the milk, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until all are combined.Blog Cake Batter
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let set as room temperature for at least 20 minutes, then place in freezer until ready to decorate (it’s a lot easier to work with cold!).

Frosting

  1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mixture will not completely combine at this point; there will still be clumps.Blog Frosting Butter Sugar
  2. Add milk. Mixture will be slightly thinner than typical frosting.
  3. Add cocoa powder. This will thicken the mixture, but if you plan to frost your cake instead of piping, add some more milk until desired consistency is reached.Blog Frosting.jpg

Putting it Together

  1. Take cake out of the fridge. If making a layered cake, cut in half and begin to carve cake into desired shaped. If your layers are uneven, use a bread knife and shave off the tops.Blog Cake LayersBlog Carve Cake
  2. Stack the layers on top of one another, frosting in between, and create a crumb coat. If you’re planning on piping, this might be as far as you go–and that’s okay! If you’re interested in piping and adding sprinkles, continue below.Blog Crumb Coat
  3. Staring at the bottom, begin to pipe the cake. I used an open star tip, but which one you use is up to you.Blog Piping
  4. Pipe all the way around the cake. Depending on how you want to decorate the top, either pipe until the cake is completely covered, or leave the top open for sprinkles. If putting on sprinkles, do so carefully and slowly–they have the tendency to bounce around and make a mess! Putting the sprinkles on the dead center of the cake and then pushing them to the desired spot works the best. Pat them down if needed.20180520_131600 (2).jpg
  5. When you’ve finished decorating, that’s it! Cut, serve, and enjoy!Blog Cake Slice.jpg

The sprinkles make it so fun, worthy of any celebration.Blog Complete Cake.jpg

I love layered cake, don’t you?Blog Cake Center

I’m so excited for my birthday this year, and though I made this cake a few days before hand, I’m trying my best to save a slice or two for the big day. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it up: The sprinkles I used are nonpareils, but if you don’t like the “crunch” they produce, you have so many other options. You can even use sanding sugar. Experiment!