Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love is in the air

With Valentine's Day approaching, I've been thinking a lot lately about love, romance, and fairy-tale stories. I realized that I haven't talked much about our wedding here, and that makes me sad! It was one of the most beautiful days of my life, where my Business Man and I committed our lives to each other FOREVER! (Ha... now he's stuck with this loony.) 

Please ignore the spot on my Business Man's shirt. I had a little too much fun with the "Eliminating Red-eye" tool, and couldn't figure out how to get rid of it.

And of course, looking back on that special day, the first thing that comes to my mind is CUPCAKES (Obviously...)!!  I haven't shared any of the recipes of the cupcakes we had on our big day! 

Now, for those of you who might not have been in attendance at the wedding, let me explain. I am a cupcake-lover. Some even call me the "cupcake queen." The students at school know me as the "teacher who makes awesome cupcakes," and they ask me all the time to bring some in. I have set up a deal with them. If the class averages a 90%A or higher on the test, I will bring in cupcakes. First test of the semester is Friday... we'll see what happens.

Anyways, for our wedding, I was convinced that I would make my own cupcakes. All the months before the wedding, people had told me, "You don't want to do that! It'll be so stressful. Too much work! Why would you put yourself through that?" 

I didn't listen to a word of it. The day of our rehearsal, my bridesmaids, my mom, and a few other helpers and I knocked out 501 cupcakes in a measly 4 hours. Yes, that's right. 501 cupcakes. (We might have over-baked a bit, considering we only had 270 guests. Better to have too many than not enough!) We had also purchased a top tier cake so that we could have a cake to cut and feed each other.

The set-up. We ordered the cardboard stand online and I covered it in paper and ribbons. Anybody getting married and need a cupcake stand? I'm willing to share. :-)

We had five flavors, as follows:
     *Cappuccino Chip with Mocha Buttercream
     *Cookies'n'Cream with Chocolate Buttercream
     *Strawberry with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
     *Cream Cheese-filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
     *Key Lime Pie with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

And it was so much fun! I love baking (as you can probably tell), and to be able to spend the morning before my wedding baking with all my best friends was the ultimate dream for me.

I believe I had a severe hand cramp at this point. I didn't allow anyone else to frost the cupcakes... type A much?
So, I figured, in honor of Valentine's Day, I should share one of my wedding cupcake recipes with you all! 

Today I will share Cappuccino Chip, and I promise to share the rest as time goes on. 

This is not a picture from the wedding, but from a time I made these in college. I've been making them for awhile!

These cupcakes have a yellow cake base, a light coffee flavor, and mini chocolate chips scattered throughout the batter. Topped with a sweet mocha buttercream, they are absolutely delish!

The recipe comes from Anne Byrn's Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor. This is probably my most used cookbook out of my 2-shelf collection. I have tried dozens of the recipes and all are fabulous. (And easy, too!) Is it sad that my most-used cookbook is a cupcake cookbook? I guess that shows what we really eat around here... So, my suggestion is you should buy this book if you have any interest in gourmet, easy-to-make cupcakes.

Here's the recipe!

Cappuccino Chip Cupcakes

  •  cup water
  • 4 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 18.25-oz. package yellow cake mix
  • 3.4-oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Mocha Buttercream
    • ¼ cup milk
    • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
    • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
    • 2 oz. German's sweet chocolate, grated
    • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 tbsp. water, if necessary


Preheat oven to 350*F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.

For cupcakes, place the water and instant coffee in a small microwaveable dish and microwave for 40 seconds. Remove and stir until coffee is dissolved. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.

In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and coffee. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides as needed. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Scoop about 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it about 3/4-full.

Bake cupcakes in preheated oven until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, about 18-20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then remove from pans.

For buttercream, place the milk and instant coffee in a small microwaveable dish and microwave for 40 seconds to dissolve coffee. Set aside to cool. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and add the cooled coffee and grated chocolate. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture has softened, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium once all sugar has been added and beat until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Blend in up to 1 tbsp. water if the frosting seems to stiff.

Use the Mocha Buttercream to frost the Cappuccino Chip Cupcakes when they cool.

Happy Valentine's Day! I am hoping to share a few more romantic recipes this week. Stay tuned!


Kristin said...

Share the key lime pie one next! That one is my favorite, plus anything key lime reminds me of going to Alabama with you and your family.

Sara said...

I'm actually planning on that one next! You are a mind-reader. Maybe it's my craving for all things tropical in the dead of winter. Miss you!

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