5.09.2011

Birthday Party Pics and Cupcakes!


Hello, Loves! Do I sound another year older? Yesterday (Mother's Day) was also my birthday. I had a party on Saturday night at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills, and then celebrated yesterday with The Boyfriend and his family.

I was spoiled rotten with presents, friends and cupcakes I made (recipes below!) and had the best time. I wish you all could have been there!

I baked my own cupcakes for the party, and settled on Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes and Banana Coco-Nut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.



They were a hit! No one could believe I baked them myself. I'd love to prove it to you by showing you the step-by-step process, but I was in such a hurry to bake them, get ready, and make it to my party before my first guests arrived that I had no time to photograph more than the finished product. I didn't even feed myself on Saturday, except for if you count the cup or so of cream cheese frosting I licked of the bowls, spoons and spatulas in my kitchen. Actually, I didn't even get to try a cupcake myself! The recipes make 12 each, and my cute little cupcake stand from Crate & Barrel held exactly 24 cupcakes. I was sure they looked pretty, but had to wait for one of my guests to take the first bite to ensure they actually tasted good!

The party was amazing; the views from the rooftop bar at the Thompson are incredible. I had friends from so many different times in my life come to help me celebrate. Friends from high school, friends from college, friends from the last 7 years in L.A. and friends from every job I've had in the industry. I felt so lucky to have so many people there with me to celebrate.






The sweets continued on the next day, with a Red Velvet Birthday Cake from Sweet Lady Jane. The Boyfriend's beautiful sister picked up the cake for me the day before, and it could not have been yummier! More cream cheese frosting!




Now I'm all sugared out. It's back to my usual dairy-free diet and diet in general, because friends did I tell you? Next week I am on vacation!!! But back to those cupcakes and the recipes!


Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes (Gluten free!)
Modified from the "Black Bottom Cupcakes" recipe in Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor


Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cake batter:
1 1/2 C. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 C. Packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Granulated White Sugar
1/4 C. Navita's Naturals Cacao Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch Salt
1 C. Boiling Water
1/3 C. Vegetable Oil
1 Tbs. Bragg's Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

For the filling:
8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 egg
Pinch of salt
1 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 C. Chopped Dried Cherries

For the frosting:
I used store-bought Rich Dark Chocolate Frosting from Fresh & Easy, and piped it with a #12 Round Wilton Decorating Tip

Garnishes:
Chocolate Sprinkles
Fresh Cherries with Stems

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil liners.
Make the filling by creaming together the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, egg and pinch of salt. Stir in the chocolate chips and cherries. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cacao powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix together boiling water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients. Stir together until smooth.
Pour about 2 Tbs. of the cake batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Top each with a heaping tablespoon of the filling. Cover with the remaining cake batter, filling each to about 1/4" of the top edge.
Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely, and then pipe the frosting on top in a circular motion. Top with chocolate sprinkles and a cherry.



Banana Coco-Nut Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cake batter:
1 C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Stick Softened Butter
1/2 C. Granulated White Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 C. Mashed Over-ripe Banana
3/4 C. Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 C. Chopped Raw Walnuts

For the frosting:
2 - 8 oz. Packages Cream Cheese
1 Stick Softened Butter
2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla

Garnishes:
Wilton's White Cake Sparkles
Shredded Coconut
Dried Banana Chips

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Mix in banana.
Slowly add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, beating slowly and adding dry ingredients only 1/4-1/2 C. at a time. Once fully incorporated, fold in the coconut and walnuts.
Divide all of the batter evenly into the paper liners. Batter will be within 1/2" of top of liner. Bake for exactly 23 minutes.
Cool completely.
Wash and dry the electric mixing bowl, and add the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat until creamy and well-mixed. Slowly add in powdered sugar, 1/4 C. at a time until it is all incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the frosting, after inserting a #22 Star-Shaped Decorating Tip. Pipe the frosting in a circular motion around the cupcake. Sprinkle with the cake sparkles and the coconut, and top with a sweetened, dried banana chip.

Enjoy!


6 comments :

  1. Happy birthday! Seems like it was a lot of fun!
    Wow, those cupcakes look amazing. And cream cheese frosting? Probably one of the best things ever.

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  2. Happy belated birthday!!! Your cupcakes look divine....:)

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  3. I was thinking of you girl, but couldn't write! Happy very belated Birthday to you Erin! :) Sounds like you had an amazing birthday.

    Hugs!

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  4. Happy belated birthday!

    And I would swim in cream cheese frosting if I could. lol!

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Thanks for your comments! Hope you stop by again soon! XO!