Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Chai Tea Frosting

Its fall.

Okay, maybe not technically, but, yes, it’s fall. To me it has been since the beginning of August. It’s time to start baking with everything fall related, and, if you ask me, what’s the perfect food for that? Spice cupcakes.

And when I say spice, I mean spice. These cupcakes have ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove–not to mention the cinnamon in the frosting. Speaking of the frosting, it’s just a slight modification of my cream cheese frosting, yet still absolutely easy to make.

So, without further ado, let’s pull out our mixing bowls and get started!

What You Need

Cupcake Batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup; 2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup milk

Frosting

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla chai tea
  • 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tabespoons (1/2 cup; 1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups powered sugar

How You Do It

Cupcake Batter

  1. Preheat over to 350 F and line cupcake tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredient: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Alternating with the milk, add in the dry ingedients: 1/2 cup flour to 1/4 milk until both are fully added.
  6. Fill liners 3/4 full. Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting

  1. Brew a full cup of tea according to instuctions. I reccommend using loose leaf, as you can make it as strong as you would like.
  2. While tea cools, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Along with the tea, add in the cinnamon. Its okay if the tea isn’t fully cool.
  4. One cup at a time, add in the powdered sugar. Blend until no lumps remain.
  5. Decorate cupcakes as desired. You can sprinkle over added cinnamon or keep them plain like I did. If you’re piping, the tip you use is up to you.
  6. When you’re all done, step back and admire your work!

These are absolutely perfect for fall. They make me want crunchy leaves, cool weather, and oversized sweaters.

Added bonus? They smell amazing. Somewhere out there, a candle wishes it could smell this good.

So what do you think? If you’re like me and absolutely love fall, what’s your favorite part about it? Do you love spice cupcakes, or do you have another favorite fall treat? Whatever it is, let me know below! Until next time,

-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!

Maple Bacon Donuts

I’m going to confess something I’ve failed to mention: I’m obsessed with donuts. I’ts true. So much to the point that, when my boyfriend went away for a business trip all the way on the other side of the US, the only thing I asked him to bring me back was some donuts.

I wish I was kidding.

So it was only a matter of time until they made their way onto this blog! And, actually, they’re not that hard to make as long as a) you’ve given the dough enough time to rise, and b) the oil is hot enough. If the dough doesn’t reach the right temp, you’ll end up with soggy donuts instead of nice fluffy ones.

Otherwise, enjoy these fresh–they’re great with a cup of coffee.

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg

Dough

  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • ¾ cup warm milk
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons salted butter, softened
  • 2 ¼ cups flour, plus extra as needed

Glaze & Topping

  • 10 slices of maple bacon
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup maple syrup, plus 1-2 tablespoons

Other

  • Oil for frying

How You Do It
Dough

  1. Microwave milk for 30 seconds.
  2. Pour water into stand mixer or large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over top, avoiding creating tall piles of yeast. Tip: If you’re using a stand mixer, put on the lid and fill with hot water to help keep the bowl warm (good for the yeast), otherwise, drape a warm towel over. Let set for at least 10 minutes undisturbed, until yeast swells and turns foamy.Blog Yeast 1Blog Yeast 2
  3. When yeast and milk are ready, add milk and sugar and stir with a fork.Blog Sugar Milk
  4. Using a dough hook, mix in 1 ½ cup of flour.Blog Flour
  5. Add in the egg, butter, and maple. Do not over mix at this point! If there are still some lumps, that’s okay.Blog Wet Ingredients
  6. Going a ¼ a cup at a time, at in the remaining flour. Blog Flour 2
  7. When dough begin lifting from the side but is still slightly sticky, remove from bowl, oil bowl, place dough back inside, and flip. This will allow the entire ball of dough to be lightly coated in oil. Cover, fill lid as in step 2, and let set for at least an hour, until dough is doubled in size.

Glaze & Topping

  1. Begin to heat oil for frying.
  2. While dough rises, cook bacon according to directions (do not cook until crispy). When done, drain off grease, let cool, and chop into pieces of desired size.
  3. Return bacon to pan, drizzle over 1-2 tablespoons, and cook on medium-low until bacon is slightly crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Pieces will be sticky due to the syrup.Blog Bacon
  4. To make glaze, combine all ingredients. If too thick (or you simply want it sweeter!), feel free to add more maple syrup.Blog Maple GlazeBlog Glaze Completed

Putting it together

  1. When dough has doubled in size, carefully remove from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into ½-inch thickness, being cautious to handle the dough as carefully/ little as possible.
  2. Flour your cutouts. Donut cutouts would be ideal, but I just used two circular cookie cutouts in different sizes.Blog Cookie Cutters
  3. Cut out donuts.Blog Cut outs (2)
  4. When the oil reaches 365F, drop in 3 donuts at a time. Fry for 2 minutes per side. Because you’re going to be adding and taking things out of the oil, the temp will change throughout each round, meaning fry time will vary. As long as they’re a golden brown, you should be good to go. When done, place on cooling rack to let drain.Blog Frying 2
  5. To apply the glaze, either dunk the donuts into the glaze itself, or put glaze into a piping bag and pipe on.Blog Glaze Donut 1 (2)Blog Glaze Donut 2
  6. Put on the bacon, adding more than you think you’ll need. Because there’s maple in every component of this donut (dough, glaze, bacon), it can slightly drown out the saltiness of the bacon, so use more than you think you’ll need!Blog Add Bacon
  7. When you’re done, step back, admire your work… and devour them all!Blog Complete 3

Look at these beauties.Blog Complete 1

I set a high bar for myself, but even I’m impressed.Blog Complete 4

They’re almost too gorgeous to eat. Note: almost.Blog Complete 2

That’s all for now. Give these a try and let me know how it goes. I promise they only look intimidating. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it Up: Keep the leftover dough and make donut holes–you can even sprinkle over some cinnamon sugar if you want to omit the glaze!

Blueberry Muffins

I love muffins; they’re the perfect on the go breakfast. They’re also so easy to make that they’re amazing to make on the weekends, especially if you’re not an early riser but still want something homemade. These muffins are stuffed with blueberries (nothing worse than getting a flavored muffin and it barely being flavored) and go excellent grilled. Plus, with the potential exception of the blueberries, you probably have all of the ingredients already in your kitchen.

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg

Batter

2 cups fresh blueberries
3 cups flour plus 1/4 cup
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (NOT olive oil)
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Topping

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

How you do it

Muffin Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and line cupcake tin. Wash and dry blueberries then coat in 1/4 cup of flour. This will prevent blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter.20180804_090652
  2. Combine flour and baking powder.20180804_085232.jpg
  3. Mix in sugar.20180804_085353
  4. Into the dry ingredients, add wet ingredients: milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Batter will be thick.20180804_090009
  5. Fold in blueberries. Do not use a hand or stand mixer, as these will break the blueberries. Use a spoon. When done, sit batter aside and make the topping.20180804_090949

Topping

  1. Combine the flour, sugars, and cinnamon first.
  2. Once combined, cut in the butter using a fork. Mix until butter is incorporated and a paste is formed. Mixture should not be crumbly.20180804_092303
  3. Fill cupcake liners until they are just about full. Sprinkle a generous amount of topping over each–even more than pictured below!–and cook for 20 minutes.20180804_092328
  4. When they’re done, take them out, let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy! If you have leftover topping, you can cut the muffins in half and spread it over them– it tastes very much like a cinnamon butter. Otherwise, enjoy as is.

I just love how pretty these are–the contrast between the muffins and the topping is gorgeous.20180804_094602

They’re so full of blueberries–no skimping here.20180804_094831(1)

You’ll get about 16 muffins from this recipe, but there’s nothing telling you that you have to share.20180804_095158

Give them a go and let me know what you think. Until next time,

Danielle

Mix It Up: Prefer a sweeter muffin? Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and drizzle over top–it’ll provide a nice glaze!

Coffee Caramel Ice Cream & Cotton Candy Cupcakes

With summer officially here, I think it’s only fitting that we pivot to hot weather recipes. Ice cream isn’t one of those things that I eat often, but when I do, I love it homemade. And the cupcakes? Both fun and delicious. In case you missed June’s recipes, catch up below!

Continue reading “Coffee Caramel Ice Cream & Cotton Candy Cupcakes”

Lemon Blueberry Cookies

Looking for a cookie that’s soft, refreshing, and full of lemon? Then boy do I have a treat for you! Similar in taste to a scone, these lemon blueberry cookies are their lighter, fluffier cousin. Not only that, but they have lemon throughout all three parts: lemon zest in the cookies, fresh lemon juice in the glaze, and lemon sugar. Plus, using fresh blueberries provides a burst of flavor with every bite.

Not a big fan of lemon glaze? Feel free to omit it. I promise they’ll taste just as great.

A quick note about storage: these are best kept in the fridge, or at least stored in a cool room. Otherwise, because they’re so moist, they won’t keep as long.

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg

Cookies

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of 1 lemon (approx. 1 ½ teaspoons)

Glaze

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Lemon sugar (enough to sprinkle–not even a ¼ cup)

 

How You Do It
Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and zest lemon.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Wash and thorough dry blueberries. Coat with cornstarch. This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the cookies.Blog Blueberries.jpg
  4. Mix together the butter and cream cheese.Blog Cream Cheese Butter.jpg
  5. When combined, add in the sugar and eggs.Blog Sugar Eggs
  6. Pour in the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.Blog Milk
  7. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches (1 cup, 1 cup, ¼ cup), making sure to stir between each. Batter will be thick and shouldn’t stick to your finger when touched.Blog Dry Ingredients
  8. Dump the blueberries in, and using a spoon, fold them into the dough. Be as gentle as possible, but if you break a few of them, that’s okay. When done, stick in the fridge for 10 minutes.Blog Adding Blueberries
  9. When ready, remove from fridge and begin shaping. Spooning out one (generous) tablespoon at a time, place cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. You can either roll the dough into a ball or leave it as it is. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.Blog Cooling

Glaze

  1. When cookies have cooked, combine all ingredients. Because powdered sugar dissolves fairly easily, you can mix by hand if you’d like, simply use a fork. Note: try not make this too far ahead of time. If you do, the glaze will harden, making it difficult to dip the cookies.Blog Glaze
  2. Dip the cookies into the glaze, allowing excess to drip off.Blog Dipping
  3. Wait a couple of seconds before sprinkling on the lemon sugar. I like to dip 4 cookies and then put on the sugar. This gives the glaze a just enough time to firm up on the cookies and prevent sliding, but not so long that the sugar won’t adhere.Blog Sprinkle Sugar
  4. Continue to glaze, and, when done, enjoy!

Blog finished 1And look at the centers! Absolutely full of fruit.Blog CenterIf you’d like, you can even omit the glaze–they still look and taste amazing.Blog Unfrosted.jpg

The choice is completely yours.20180707_182954

Until next time,
Danielle