Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes

So excited to share this post with you today!  A few weeks ago, Kristan and Shelly invited their blog readers to take one of their recipes and put a new spin on it!  It was so much fun brainstorming and daydreaming about delicious recipes and new twists.  So, with that, I am entering these Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes in the Creative Recipe Contest hosted by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups.

Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix ( I prefer Betty Crocker)
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp coconut extract
1 1/4 cup cream of coconut (shake can really well first)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
1 large box (or 1 1/2 small boxes) coconut cream instant pudding mix
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup coconut, toasted (toast in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally)

Preheat oven to 325.  Prepare cupcake baking tin by lining with baking cups.  Mix cake mix, eggs, oil, extract and cream of coconut on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape bowl and continue mixing for 2 minutes.  (Note: cream of coconut comes in a can and is generally found near the alcoholic drink mixes).  The batter will be a bit "stickier" than usual.  Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full as the batter rises a bit more than usual.  Bake at 325 until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Store in an airtight container as they cool to help them stay nice and moist.

Meanwhile prepare filling/frosting by beating softened cream cheese on med-high speed until nice and smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Add in powdered sugar, milk and pudding mix and continue beating until smooth.  By hand, stir in Cool Whip.  Store in refrigerator while cupcakes cool.

Prepare garnish by mixing graham cracker crumbs with sugar.  Stir in melted butter to moisten crumbs. Set aside.

Once cupcakes are cooled assemble as follows:  Using a large piping tip, press the large opening into the cupcake center about 1/3 of the way down and remove it.  A small chunk of the cupcake should come out leaving a uniform hole to fill in a moment.  If you don't have a piping tip, you can always make a little hole with a knife.  (Thanks, Kristan for the tip!).  Place filling/frosting in a large piping bag with a large opening tip (be careful the tip is very large and open, or the coconut from the pudding mix will clog up in the opening-not that I know that from experience or anything!) Pipe filling into the cored cupcake and pile up on top using a circular motion.  Garnish filled/frosted cupcakes with graham cracker crumbs and toasted coconut.  Best stored in refrigerator.  

This recipe is adapted and inspired from the following:
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cupcakes from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
White Chocolate Pudding Frosting from Cookie and Cups

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Swiss Cake Roll (AKA Little Debbie Cake)

I have wanted to make a Swiss Cake Roll for years and just never took the leap until now.  While there were quite a few steps and the process took a bit of time (and lots of dirty dishes!), it was worth it!  It turned out so pretty!  If the thought of rolling the cake is a bit intimidating for you (as it was for me!), don't worry!  It was actually pretty simple and fool proof.  You can find the recipe I used here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a cherry on top

Strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a cherry on top!