Drink & Dish: Spider Web Cupcakes

Easy & fun spider web cupcakes are the perfect treat to bring to your Halloween party, and they are totally fool-proof!

Spider Web Cupcakes

When I was a little kid, I absolutely LOVED Halloween. Not surprising that this theatre kid loved getting dressed up, right? The best part was that every year my dad would take me trick-or-treating, and we would have themed costumes. I can’t remember everything we did, but I know it included The Lion King and 101 Dalmations. Sometimes he would rent the most elaborate costumes from local costume shops. He always went all-out, and it made the holiday really special to me.

Spider Web Cupcakes

In fact, I’m pretty sure I went trick-or-treating all the way through high school, and even one year in college (with my brother–not alone!!). Oh my brother…one year we went he was riding some scooter around! The epitome of lazy, right? I have never let him get over that one!

Spider Web Cupcakes

I actually haven’t really gotten into Halloween for a long time…until this year! You guys, Nicole and I had such a blast getting dressed into costumes, playing with dry ice and spider webs, and creating fun Halloween concoctions together. It really reminded me what this holiday is about (for me)–having fun.  I’m actually looking forward to it this year also because I work at an arts school, and I just know my students are going to come decked out in super creative costumes.

Spider Web Cupcakes

So let’s chat about these cupcakes. They are ridiculously simple. You can use any chocolate cupcake you’d like. Homemade, box mix, even one you buy from the store. I like chocolate because of the dark color, but anything will work. Red? Orange? Candy corn colors? You name it. Then you just need a white frosting. I used cream cheese because that’s what I like, but you could use butter cream, or even a store bought variety (although, I beg you, don’t buy the ones with the weird hydrogenated oils). You’ll also need some black royal icing. Confession:I bought one at the store. This stuff is totally out of my realm, and I was all about ease and simplicity.

Spider Web Cupcakes

A few tips that will help you:

  • Use a very small tip on your piping bag.  <—Small tip = more control
  • Chill the royal icing. <–chilled icing makes it thicker, less runny, and easier to work with
  • Start conservatively. <–You can always add later, but you can’t take away.
  • Practice on some wax paper or paper towel before trying it out on your cupcakes. <–I did, and I figured out what I liked.

In the latest episode of Drink & Dish, I demonstrate exactly how to make these, so you can see the step-by-step process. Nicole makes a devil’s food cake martini that is not only delicious, but she also shows how to use her awesome fake blood to make your martini look like blood is dripping down it–totally creepy and awesome. Oh, and we definitely wore costumes. It was my favorite episode we’ve ever filmed.

Drink & Dish: Spider Web Cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Drink & Dish: Spider Web Cupcakes

Easy & fun spider web cupcakes are the perfect treat to bring to your Halloween party, and they are totally fool-proof!

Ingredients

  • Chocolate cupcakes
  • Cream cheese frosting (or butter cream, or any white frosting)
  • Black royal icing

Instructions

  1. See instructional video
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Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana Cream Cupcakes

You guys you guys you guys you guys!!!!! I have the best house guest in the whole world right now!

Banana Cream Cupcakes

So I’m going to keep this short so we can commence with cooking, baking, wine drinking, and goat cheese eating. I made banana cupcakes. Then I stuffed them with cream cheese frosting. Then I topped them with salted caramel. I mean, how could that even possibly be bad?

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Did I mention that my “little” brother turned 16? He is also over 6′ tall, and has this deep man voice. When he calls me he just says “Yooooooooo” in this grumbly, ridiculously low-pitched man voice. Like, what IS that? I remember him being born. HOW CAN HE BE A MAN NOW????

Banana Cream Cupcakes

I try to imitate the “Yo” voice, but ummm, I have a high-pitched little girl voice, so it doesn’t work. At all. Everyone laughs at me. So I just let him stick to the man voice, and I stick to what I’m good at, like making him perfect birthday cupcakes. And they are. The banana makes the cupcakes ridiculously soft, and they are totally stuffed with the cream cheese filling, and that salted caramel is just the icing on the cake. Literally.

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 dash salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • fleur de sel caramel for topping, optional
  • For the filling:
  • 8oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 375. Line 2 muffin tins with 18 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together apples, apple sauce and sugar. Slowly, beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Slowly beat in half the dry ingredients, then buttermilk, followed by the last of the dry ingredients.
  3. Evenly divide batter between 18 muffin tins. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. To make the filling, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until well combined. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Insert tip into the center of cooled cupcakes and gently squeeze out 1-2 tbsp of filling.
  5. Drizzle with caramel if desired immediately before serving. Cupcakes are best the same day, but can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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Drink & Dish: DIY Funfetti Cake Mix {with video!}

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST BLOG FRIEND NICOLE!!!!DIY Funfetti Cake Mix #vegan via www.arismenu.com

You guys know how insanely obsessed with birthdays I am, right? I jump on any chance to celebrate, and I consider birthdays the day you celebrate that people you love are in your life. My normal birthday message goes something like “Happy birthday! I’m glad you were born!”

funfetticakemix-660

So okay, it might sounds a little silly and cheesy, but how often to we actually tell people we love that we’re glad they’ve in our lives? It’s nice to have a day where we’re reminded. Or maybe I’m just sentimental…

funfetticakemix-664

The beginning of April is crazy birthday time! Within a week, Steve, Nicole and her husband Lance all have their birthdays. I’m the odd man out, but that’s probably a good thing, because I have a total sharing problem when it comes to my birthday. I reallllllly like attention (in case you haven’t figured that one out yet), and I don’t want to share my thunder with anyone.

DIY Funfetti Cake Mix #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Once my dad told me he was dating someone with the same birthday as me. He thought I would think this was “cool”. I told him he should probably break it off. Some people are bad at sharing books and m&ms (I love you Heath), I’m bad at sharing birthdays.

DIY Funfetti Cake Mix #vegan via www.arismenu.com

So I have some pretty serious character flaws. Sharing, over sharing, and obsessive sprinkle photographing. I’m sorry. I took, like, 100 pictures because…sprinkles, they’re sooooo pretty. It was one of those magic days where I loved shooting from every angle, and of course, I wanted to share every single one of them with you because God forbid I leave out the one that looks the same, but it slightly closer up. I don’t know what my problem is.

DIY Funfetti Cake Mix #vegan via www.arismenu.com

That’s why I made the little collage. I figured it would make this post, maybe not 500 years long. Some people just post, like 2 pictures, say a few words, and then post a recipe, but I have SO MANY things to say and OMG SO MANY things to show you!

DIY Funfetti Cake Mix #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Oh, and I guess I should talk about the cake mix, eh? To put it concisely (because lord knows I’ve talked enough in this post), I can’t believe I ever bought a boxed cake mix! This was so much easier than driving to the store! I know sometimes we like to have a little bit of cake mix on hand for when other recipes call for it–well friends, you just put some together, and have it ready in the pantry. It’s so easy. And when I baked it into cupcakes, all I did was mix everything together in one bowl (all you have to add is applesauce, almond milk and vanilla!), and my cupcakes were done in NO TIME! Not to mention, they domed up so beautifully!

DIY Funfetti Cake Mix #vegan via www.arismenu.com

It was a great excuse to throw some sprinkles around with the birthday girl, and film the latest episode of Drink & Dish! Make sure to check out Nicole’s Boozy Birthday Cake Shake. It is ridiculously, sinfully good.


DIY Funfetti Cake Mix

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 1/24th mix

Easy, homemade, whole grain, vegan funfetti cake mix in less time than it takes to run to the store to buy a box.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • small pinch salt
  • 1 1/3 cups Jimmies sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients in together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

To bake cupcakes, simply add 2/3 cup applesauce, 2 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract to mix. Stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between 2 dozen cupcake tins and bake @ 350 until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. You can also bake into 2 8-9" rounds, or one large sheet cake, just adjust baking times accordingly.

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Lemon Coconut Cupcakes {vegan}

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

Hi. There’s cupcakes. But first, can we please talk about Les Miserables for a hot minute? My poor, sweet, perfect husband got forced volunteered to go with me to see it. When I first saw the trailer, I was convinced it was going to be horrible, but as time went on, the hype got bigger and bigger, and I started to believe I was actually going to love it.

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

And I’m really sorry, because if you saw it, I’m sure you probably loved it too. But we walked out and Steve said “My favorite part was when he jumped off the bridge because that meant he couldn’t sing anymore.” Spoiler alert: Javert jumps off a bridge. Spoiler #2: I kind of agree. I don’t want to talk about everything that was wrong with the movie, because flaws and all, I still enjoyed all 2.5 hours of it. Well maybe like 2 of them, but what was sooooo funny was listening to Steve go on and on and ON about it the whole car ride home. I’ve never seen him hate a movie so much!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

His other finest quote was “No wonder they couldn’t get anything done in that French revolution! They had to sing about everything first!” If you didn’t love the movie, you should really ask him about it, but if you’re one of the people who cried in the theatre, then it’s probably a subject best left untapped. Okay, musical theatre snobbery is over. Let’s talk about cupcakes!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

You guys know how I’m always talking about perfect flavor combinations. I’m not one to just have one flavor. I like variety. I get bored easily, and I need a lot going on in order to stay interested. I hadn’t ever had lemon and coconut together before (that I can remember), but I had a hunch it was going to be pretty great, and it may not be peanut butter and chocolate, but it is definitely a contendor for my secret mental list. ;)

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

The light, citrusy flavor of the lemon complements the rich, creamy coconut flavor in these soft and fluffy cupcakes. They are definitely dessert, but not too sweet, and that slightly tart lemon glaze is the perfect finishing touch. And I promise, the best part is not when they jump off a bridge. Unless the bridge is your hand and they are jumping into your mouth. Worst joke ever?

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

yield 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • zest of 1 extra large lemons
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 2/3 cups canned light coconut milk
  • reduced fat unsweetened shredded coconut and yellow sprinkles for topping (optional)

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • dash lemon extract
  • 1-2 tbs hot water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 18 muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and lemon zest until fragrant. Add applesauce and coconut extract and beat until combined. Slowly pour half of the coconut milk and beat until well incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture, beating until incorporated, followed by remaining coconut milk. Beat until smooth, then add remaining flour mixture, and continue beating until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  4. Evenly divide batter between cupcake tins (they should be about 2/3 full) and bake for 18-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the glaze,  in a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon extract and 1 tbs hot water. Slowly continue to add more water (and I mean very slowly. A little bit of liquid goes a long way with powdered sugar) until desired drippy consistency. Spread onto cooled cupcakes, and top with sprinkles and coconut if desired.

Pumpkin Beer Cakes

This recipe brought to you thanks to my amazing friend Polly.

One day she wrote on my facebook requesting “pumpkin beer pumpkin cupcakes”. You, my friend, are brilliant.

Is there anything that screams fall more than pumpkin cupcakes made with pumpkin freaking beer? And oooooomg. These are not only the softest cupcakes I have ever tasted (yes, EVER), but the pumpkin flavor is so bold, and tasted like absolute perfection. The top even got this incredible texture that I don’t even know how to describe–almost like a cookie with the slightest crunch on the edges and a perfectly gooey center? That’s kind of what happened here.

Obviously I had to make a pumpkin beer glaze to go on top. Duh.

Don’t get me wrong, the glaze is awesome, but I found the cupcakes to actually be perfect on their own. It depends on how sweet you like them. The glaze is reaaalllll sweet. I mean, glaze is essentially powdered sugar so, ya know… Steve loved the glaze (he likes his desserts with a side of insulin), but I preferred mine plain.

I’m telling you, before the season is over and you are totally sick of pumpkin (does that really happen to people!?), do yourself a favor and make these cupcakes. Then drink the rest of the beer because, well, it’s the holidays… ;)

 

Pumpkin Beer Cakes

yield 1 dozen

  • 6 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbs turbinado sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer + more for brushing the tops
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk

For the Pumpkin Beer Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash salt
  • 1-2 tbs pumpkin beer

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together pumpkin and sugar. Combine almond milk, vanilla  and pumpkin beer in a measuring cup or small bowl.  Alternately add flour mixture with beer mixture to the pumpkin and sugar starting and ending with dry ingredients until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl when necessary.
  3. Evenly divide the mixture between the 12 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  4. Let stand for 1-2 minutes, then use a toothpick or thin fork to poke several holes in each cupcakes. Brush each cupcake 2-3 times with extra pumpkin beer and let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. If you would like to add the glaze, combine powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. Very slowly, add in pumpkin beer whisking constantly until it reaches your desired thickness. Careful, a small amount of liquid goes a long way with powdered sugar. Glaze cupcakes and serve.