Tag Archives: baking

Autumn Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

DSC_1017 DSC_0991Autumn in Southern California isn’t really autumn at all, but the weather gets a little cooler and the leaves begin to fall. Unfortunately, they don’t change colors, but it still feels like autumn to us locals. Most of all, I feel the seasons change when I can finally bake without feeling guilty for heating up the house. With that, here are some autumn-themed sugar cookies to brighten up your day!

To make 18-24 cookies, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 egg

I use this royal icing recipe from Wilton because it’s proven the best for me. You’ll need meringue powder for the recipe. You can also make royal icing with egg whites or other ingredients, but I’ve found that meringue powder makes the icing easiest to work with and hardens quickly. This recipe is for piping the edges – you’ll want to add water for flooding. DSC_0937First, beat together the softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the vanilla and egg and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder, and slowly add to the wet mixture. It will become very thick and difficult to mix. If that happens, pull the dough onto a piece of wax paper and continue to massage with your hands until the flour is completely mixed.

Spread a little bit of flour onto a rolling pin, and roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick if not thicker. Personally, I like my cookies soft, so I try to keep them thicker. Use cookie cutters (like these autumn cookie cutters that I used) to cut shapes out of the dough and move to a foil covered cookie sheet. Continue until all of the dough is cut. Bake on 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, checking them often so they don’t overcook. Remove when they begin the brown on the edges and cool on a cooling rack.DSC_0961 DSC_0935In the meantime, mix your royal frosting. Separate into multiple bowls and mix in your desired food coloring with a spoon. Individually scoop a little of each color into its own piping bag and pipe around the edges of your design. Once done, add a little water, one teaspoon at a time, to the royal icing until it drips easily off of a spoon. Carefully use the spoon (or a squeeze bottle) to flood the area within your piping boundaries. It’s easiest to do this a little at a time because flooding too much icing too quickly can overflow your borders. Set the cookies on the cooling rack to harden before storing in an airtight container. They’ll keep for a few days and still taste like freshly baked sugar cookies!

If you don’t feel like fussing with icing, they also taste great on their own – soft and sweet. I’m looking forward to making lots of themed cookies over the next few months. Enjoy!

 

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Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake to Celebrate 100 Posts

Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | Revamperate Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | Revamperate Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | RevamperateI’m happy to be celebrating a big milestone today! This marks my 100th post on Revamperate, so it’s only appropriate that I celebrate with a cake. A very special one.

In a way, Revamperate is my baby, so I’m very proud to have made it so far with this blog. This milestone comes at a very good time for me because I’m currently stuck working from home due to a pretty bad fall that has left me with consistent lower back pain. My clumsiness really got the best of me this time, and it’s tough to not be able to do what I love – bake and craft (and move in general).

While I maintain a full-time job as a marketing coordinator, I treat Revamperate like my second job. When I come home at night, I spend hours working on projects or planning what to do next. My weekends are occupied with work for the blog, but I love every minute of it. So, here’s to 100 more posts! Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope to continue to share my projects with you.

Without further ado, here’s the cake, as promised. I’m not going to lie to you; this sprinkle cake is WORK. As you probably could have guessed, sprinkles are kind of tough to work with. I used special cake pans to make a thinner but slightly taller cake, which means I only needed one box of cake mix. For a larger cake, you will definitely need more mix.Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | RevamperateTo make the ombre part of the cake, all you’ll need is a box of vanilla cake mix (or more) and its mixing ingredients, gel food coloring, rainbow nonpareils sprinkles, and these Wilton cake pans,* which will allow you to easily make five small layers.

First, mix the cake and separate the batter in five small bowls. Drop in a very small amount of gel coloring into one bowl. When I say small, I mean a freckle of color. It goes a long way! Continue to add a little more color for each bowl, mixing well with a spoon. You should be able to see a clear difference in color between each bowl, but you should also note that the color will change slightly after it’s been baked.

If you do use the smaller pans, bake for about 20-24 minutes, checking often and removing when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool on a cooling rack and begin making the frosting.

You can see my recipe for vanilla buttercream here. I wanted to add a little frosting so there was more for the sprinkles to stick to, so I added another half of this recipe to create the appropriate amount.

If needed, cut the tops off of the cakes and layer them with frosting in between, starting with the darkest layer on the bottom (or vie versa if you prefer). Leave a crumb layer on the cake and chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Set aside about 1/2 cup of frosting to use as decoration on the top of the cake, and use the rest to frost the rest of the cake. Let sit in the fridge for just a few minutes. Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | Revamperate Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | RevamperateNow, there are a couple different ways you can sprinkle a cake. One way is to pour the sprinkles into a deep baking sheet, only frost the sides of the cake, place cardboard circles on the top and bottom of the cake, and carefully roll the chilled cake in the sprinkles until it is entirely covered. Then you frost the top and continue covering with sprinkles.

I’m clumsy, as you know, so I didn’t want to do it that way. Instead, I put the cake inside of a deep pan and used my hands to press handfuls of sprinkles onto the sides of the cake. Is this the harder way? Probably. But it defeats the risk of ruining the sides of the cake with the rolling technique. Weigh the pros and cons and decide what works best for you. This way just happened to work best for me, but it does take some time. One way to make it a little easier is to make the palm of your hands sticky with a little frosting so that the sprinkles stick to hands before transferring to the cake. It sounds weird, but it totally works. Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | Revamperate Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | Revamperate Purple Ombre Layered Sprinkle Cake | RevamperateOnce done with the sprinkles, add color to the frosting you set aside and move it to a piping bag or tool. Pipe small tufts of frosting around the rim of the top of the cake, and your cake is ready to be cut!

It can be quite a bit of work, but sprinkle cakes are really fun for parties and birthdays, and the ombre cake makes for a fun surprise when cut. Go ahead, cut it. It’s pretty awesome! Now, excuse me while I do my little happy dance for making it this far in my blogging journey. Thanks again for reading. Enjoy!

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Espresso Frosting on Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Despite never really liking coffee, it has become part of my daily routine. When I get up in the morning, I turn on the coffee maker, and Andrew and I sit together at our breakfast bar every morning drinking our coffee with different flavored creamers and preparing for the day. But let me tell you – I would so much rather start my day off with cupcake. An espresso cupcake to be exact.

Using my recent recipe for chocolate coffee cake, which I last paired with a caramel glaze, I made these espresso topped cupcakes that are made with real ground espresso powder, which is actually quite tough to find, so your best bet is to order it online ahead of time. With just a little added powder, this topping becomes delicious espresso frosting that pairs well with just about any cake, but my first choice is chocolate with some added coffee.

For this frosting, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder

First, beat together the softened butter and powdered sugar, adding a little at a time until it is completely mixed. In a very small bowl, combine the vanilla and espresso powder and stir until the powder has blended into the vanilla (it won’t completely dissolve). Then add this mixture to the whipped butter and sugar, and continue to mix until it has evenly dispersed throughout the frosting. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of water.  Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Espresso Frosting | RevamperateThen pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve. They are wonderful with a cup of coffee (hot or iced) or milk. Enjoy!

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate I’ve never really thought of myself as a great baker, but recently I’ve found food to be the most inspiring thing around me. Although my blog is about so much more than recipes, you can see that I’ve picked up my baking game lately. I also never had a knack for homemade cakes – I’m all about boxed cake mix, but I’ve definitely hit a turning point in my baking. With this chocolate coffee bundt cake with carmel glaze, topped with butterscotch candy, I learned that I truly can make cake that beats up your average boxed cake mix. That’s not to say it’s not tough to make a good cake, but this cake is chocolate, coffee and caramel heaven.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 baking cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Butterscotch candy, chopped (optional, for topping)

For the caramel glaze:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cream together the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, milk, coffee and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and continue to beat until completely mixed. Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Slowly add the brown sugar and milk, and turn up the heat to medium-to-high until the mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly with a spatula. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let the mixture sit for several minutes before adding the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Continue to stir until the powdered sugar has completely dissolved. If it’s too thick, add milk one teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Let the cake cool on a cooling rack until you can remove it from the pan. Bundt cakes can be difficult to remove cleanly, but there are some tips here. Otherwise, you can certainly try this recipe with other pans. As you can see above, I also made several cupcakes out of this batch because I use a smaller than average bundt pan. Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | RevamperateWhen the frosting reaches a glaze consistency, drizzle it over the cake and sprinkle butterscotch candy on the top. For best results, serve warm and with a side of coffee or milk. I made this for Andrew’s coworkers, and it was quite a hit. Despite not having a lot of experience with from-scratch cakes, this chocolate coffee cake came out perfectly moist and rich, just the way it should be. Enjoy!

Mini Banana Bread Loaves

DSC_1032 DSC_1007One of my favorite things my mom used to make when I was a kid was banana bread. She always made it so soft, and I could have eaten the entire loaf in one sitting if she’d have let me. I figured it was about time I finally perfect my own recipe, so here it is in miniature form.

I bought these cute little miniature loaf pans a while back, and I’ve been waiting for the right recipe for them. This banana bread turned out to be the perfect fit, so this recipe makes two miniature loafs, but you could easily double it if you wanted to or use a larger pan!

Your ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • 1/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Mash up the bananas and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the egg, bananas, lemon juice and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and continue to mix until everything is well-combined.

Spray each pan with cooking spray, and pour the batter between the two. Bake on 350 degrees for 32-36 minutes until the edges begin to brown, and use a toothpick to check if the bread has cooked through. Let cool on a cooling rack until you can remove the loafs from the pans.DSC_1014 DSC_1028My favorite thing about banana bread is the middle – the part that is least cooked and always moist and soft. There is nothing worse that hard or dry banana bread, and with this recipe, you shouldn’t have that problem. Now, get baking and enjoy! This bread is delicious with a little bit of Nutella on top!

Reese’s Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

DSC_0948 DSC_0958You know what’s better than brownies? Brownies with frosting. And what’s even better than that? Brownies with Reese’s peanut butter cups melted in and peanut butter frosting on top! These are peanut butter heaven in a cupcake mold.

I’m still perfecting my from-scratch cake baking, so this one uses boxed brownie mix, which makes the process much simpler and just as delicious. For more on baking from scratch, stay tuned! I’m practicing to get them just right.

Your brownie cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 box of brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cuvegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped

Your frosting ingredients:

  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk (optional)

First, mix your brownies according to the package’s directions. Mix in your cut-up Reese’s and divide the batter into your lined cupcake pan until the cups are 2/3 full.DSC_0937Bake according to the package’s instruction. I baked mine on 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to determine if they’ve baked all the way through.

While the brownies bake, begin mixing your frosting. Mix together the softened butter and the packed creamy peanut butter until they are completely blended. Beat in the vanilla extract and slowly add in the sugar. Continue beating for several minutes until the frosting becomes smooth no longer grainy. Only add the milk if it needs a little more moisture to change the texture.DSC_0951 DSC_0949Once the cupcakes have completely cooled on the cooling rack, top them with this deliciously sweet and creamy peanut butter frosting and garnish with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingHomemade Cream Cheese FrostingGuys, it’s finally getting cold around here. I can sleep with a blanket at night, which means life is GOOD. It also means I can bake more often without turning my entire apartment into an oven.

Tuesday was my manager’s birthday, so I brought in these cupcakes Monday to celebrate. We embarrassed her by singing her Happy Birthday, but that’s a birthday pain we all have to endure, right?

I brought in these red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for everyone to celebrate because, honestly, who wouldn’t love homemade cream cheese frosting? In my opinion, cream cheese frosting (or frosting in general) is always better when it’s homemade, but the red velvet cake is from a box (I took is easy this time around).

Cupcake ingredients (24 cupcakes):

  • 1 box of Red Velvet cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

Frosting ingredients:

  • 2 packages of 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

First, mix your cake according to the instructions on the box. (easy peezy, right?) Pop the batter into your cupcake tins (2/3 full) for about 15-18 mins, depending on your mix instructions.Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingWhile they bake, mix your frosting. Mix together your softened cream cheese and butter until well mixed. Add in vanilla and sift in the sugar as you continue to mix for several minutes. This will keep help you achieve the right texture. Pop the frosting in fridge until your cupcakes are cooled enough to pipe the frosting. You’ll want to use a wide frosting tip for these.Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingHomemade Cream Cheese FrostingTake it slow with your frosting and when you’re finished, keep the cupcakes in the fridge until they’re ready to eat. These combinations will make the perfect cupcake-to-frosting ratio. Enjoy!