Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

Ultra soft and tender carrot cake cupcakes with light and fluffy cream cheese frosting are the perfect spring dessert. So delicious no one will know they’re lightened up and gluten-free!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

Can we just live in a world where anything that has a vegetable is automatically healthy? Like, can these be the side veggie side dish for my grilled chicken? Or zucchini bread. Or I’d even settle for throwing some spinach in my milkshake. That constitutes a green smoothie, right??

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

Okay, so maybe these aren’t quite as healthy as snacking on baby carrots, but sometimes you just need your veggies in the form of a giant, ridiculously good cupcake. And today is one of those days. I’ve been working an absolutely insane amount (which is so worth it because it’s leading to GREAT things that I can’t wait to share!) and pretty much living off canned soup and cheese toast. I am the model of healthy living over here. I miss vegetables, and at the same time I have the overwhelming urge to stress eat about a dozen cupcakes, so I’m pretty sure carrot cake is the perfect solution.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Perfectly soft and tender with fluffy cream cheese frosting

I’ve always been a huge fan of carrot cake (except when it has nuts–no thank you), and I’ve tried a couple of times to make carrot cake cupcakes, but they always ended up as a bust. Especially the time I tried to stuff them with whipped coconut cream and they ended up a soggy mess. That was fun. Finally, I decided to stick to a more traditional version, and they ended up being everything I wanted and more! So flavorful, so tender, and better than any carrot cake I have ever tasted. I seriously couldn’t get enough of them, and they are hands down one of my all time favorite desserts.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1 dozen

Ultra soft and tender carrot cake cupcakes with light and fluffy cream cheese frosting are the perfect spring dessert. So delicious no one will know they're lightened up and gluten-free!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ pound carrots, grated
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in grated carrot.
  3. Fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter. Bake until edges lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. To make frosting, beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat in powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. Add vanilla and continue to beat until everything is smooth and incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Frost completely cooled cupcakes. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

 

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven. 

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I have been on a serious s’mores kick lately. Pretty soon you’ll see what I’m talking about, but I have become a girl obsessed. It’s probably because of this frosting. The most perfect, decadent and beautiful marshmallow frosting that coming together in minutes. Every time I serve it, my friends and family are suuuuuper impressed. Shhhh….just don’t let them know how simple it is!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I was inspired to make these 2 years ago when I saw this recipe on How Sweet It Is. So pretttttty. So perfect for pumpkin season!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Okay so, to be fair, these take a lot of liberties for being “s’mores”. The graham cracker is replaced by a perfect gingersnap crust, and the regular chocolate is replaced by white chocolate. Have you ever had pumpkin and white chocolate together? It is like match made in heaven.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Even though it seems like there are a lot of components going on, these cupcakes are actually really easy to make. You can prepare the batter while crust is baking, then the ganache and the frosting come together in minutes. Brulee-ing is optional, but I mean….LOOK HOW PRETTY! It definitely will take your dessert to the next level.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

The pumpkin cupcakes are ultra soft and tender and pair perfectly with the spiced gingersnap crust and melty white chocolate. Speaking of that white chocolate…it is so good, you will want more. I tried a batch putting some on top of the crust and on top of the cupcake. It was sad because it seemed like such a good idea, but I was overzealous (shocking) and there was too much, and it stuck to the wrapper. You probably can still get away with adding extra if you you use a small enough amount that it stays perfectly in the little crust cup. Otherwise, just spread it on real thick on top. That’s what I did round 2, and it worked great!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Also, as you can see, I made normal sized and mini cupcakes. I prefer the minis–then you get to eat two cupcakes! But, again, make whatever you like. You’ll love them either way!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 15 standard cupcakes or 36 minis

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven.

Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:
  • 1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (I used gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • For the white chocolate ganache:
  • 4 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • For the marshmallow frosting:
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 15 standard muffin cups or 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners. Spray lightly with nonstick spray if desired (sometimes lower fat baking sticks to cheaper liners). Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, stirring until well combined. Evenly divide crust mixture between prepared cupcake tins--about 1/2 tablespoon each for full sized, and scant teaspoon for minis. Use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a shot glass to press into a crust.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine baking blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, applesauce, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well combined. Mix in half the flour mixture, then almond milk, then remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Fill each prepared muffin tin about 3/4 the way full with cupcake batter. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 18-20 minutes for full size, about 12 minutes for minis. Cool completely.
  5. To make the white chocolate ganache, place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20-30 seconds just to warm the white chocolate. Heat almond milk until almost boiling, then pour immediately over warmed white chocolate. Stir until melty and combined. Spread white chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake.
  6. To make the frosting, either use a double broiler, or create your own by bringing about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium pot and placing a large heatproof bowl on top. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on low and gradually increase speed to high, beating until stiff peaks form. The frosting should stand on the whisk attachment when removed. Frost cupcakes. Use a brulee torch to brown, if desired. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Notes

Recipe inspired by How Sweet It Is Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart

http://arismenu.com/pumpkin-white-chocolate-smores-cupcakes/

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes {vegan + gluten-free}

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

With all the flavor of your favorite fall beverage, these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the perfect treat! Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with 100% of the taste–they are a dessert everyone will love!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

My husband is so weird. Every time I start baking he asks me what I’m making. Lately, the answer starts with pumpkin, then he groans and goes on and on about how he supposedly doesn’t like pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Then as soon as whatever I’m making is ready, he’s digging in, and going on about how good it is! I don’t understand him. I think he just likes to say he hates pumpkin because he knows I’m obsessed with it. Sometimes I make pumpkin muffins in July. True story.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Even in my quest for new pumpkin recipes all year long, I always come back to these cupcakes every fall. I’ve made them over and over, and this year I wanted to make a version that was both vegan and gluten-free so that all of my friends could enjoy them with me. Even my silly pumpkin hating husband (who, btw, ate his fair share!).

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Simple, easy pumpkin cupcakes spiked with a little espresso powder then brushed with coffee create the perfect pumpkin spice latte flavor and ultra soft texture. Topped with freshly whipped coconut cream (or regular whipped cream if you prefer) — they are just like your favorite fall coffee indulgence in cupcake form!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Also, if you want to make them even more dreamy, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your whipped topping. You will thank me later. ;)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes {vegan + gluten-free}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes {vegan + gluten-free}

With all the flavor of your favorite fall beverage, these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the perfect treat! Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with 100% of the taste--they are a dessert everyone will love!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso for brushing
  • whipped coconut cream (or regular whipped cream if not vegan) for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugars, and apple sauce. Add almond milk and dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Fill lined muffin tin 3/4 full with batter and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. You want them to be fully cooked with no crumbs sticking to the toothpick, otherwise they will be mushy. Cool completely.
  5. Pierce each cupcake 2-3 times with a fork, then brush cupcakes with fresh coffee. Top with whipped coconut cream or regular freshly whipped cream (add some cinnamon to it for an even more delicious topping). Keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
http://arismenu.com/pumpkin-spice-latte-cupcakes-vegan-gluten-free/

Drink & Dish: Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes: Ultra soft espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling

Ultra soft gluten-free cafe au lait cupcakes–espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling. A classic cafe au lait re-invented as a fun, festive and delicious cupcake.

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes: Ultra soft espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling

Have any of you guys ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Personally, it sounds about as appealing as being in times square on New Years. Meaning…not…

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Ultra soft espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling

I’ve actually only been to New Orleans once, but I fell so in love with it. Steve and I took an anniversary trip there about a year ago and we had such an amazing time. It is probably one of my favorite vacations of all time, and I can’t wait to go back.

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Ultra soft espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling

In fact, I’m already planning to go back. Next year I turn *gulp* 30, and I’m already planning to meet with this girl to meet up in New Orleans to celebrate both of our birthdays. There is so much to do. Especially if you love food, which…ummmm obviously.

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Ultra soft espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling

As far as Mardi Gras, though? I think I prefer to celebrate from afar. I’ve become that old person that actually rolls their eyes at drunk college kids. I know. I’ve very quickly become one of those crotchety old folk types that goes to bed at 9pm and gets annoyed with people who are sloppy drunk. Who am I kidding? I am pretty sure I’ve always been that person inside.

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Ultra soft espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling

So after a little break, Drink & Dish is back! If you hadn’t noticed, the theme is MARDI GRAS! A cafe au lait is probably the most famous non alcoholic drink in New Orleans, and a must have to go alongside a freshly friend beignet. And you must have the beignets. Covered with so much powdered sugar that your entire outfit ends up in a covered in sugary dust. You can’t leave without that combination, I promise you. Also, you have to have a hurricane! It is pretty much the official drink of New Orleans, and Nicole’s totally lives up to the fame!


I wasn’t sure how the flavor would translate to a cupcake, but these babies exceeded all of my expectations! I’m not usually a cupcake person, but I kept finding myself eating the few I left behind at my house, and regretting (well, only partially…) all the extras I brought to work.

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Ultra soft espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling

The cupcakes are so soft. The texture is so perfect that I even surprised myself, but it’s that filling that really takes them to the next level! Filled cupcakes are great because they seem so difficult, but really it’s easy to do, and I show you exactly how I fill them in the video, so make sure to check it out!

Drink & Dish: Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen regular cupcakes, or approx 60 minis

Serving Size: 1 cupcake, or 2 minis

Drink & Dish: Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes

Ultra soft gluten-free espresso cupcakes with a to die for cream filling. A classic cafe au lait re-invented as a fun, festive and delicious cupcake.

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 2 2/3 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • powdered sugar for dusting, optional
  • For the filling:
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners. Either stand or mini muffin tins will work. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine baking blend, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate large bowl or stand mixer, beat together applesauce, coconut oil, sugars and vanilla until well combined. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
  3. To the applesauce mixture add approximately (eyeball it) 1/3 of your dry mixture, followed by buttermilk. Add an other 1/3 of dry ingredients, then coffee, and finish with remaining third of dry ingredients mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, 20-25 minutes for full size cupcakes; 10-13 minutes for minis. Cool completely.
  5. To make the filling, whip cream in a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer until soft peaks form and it turns into whipped cream. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time beating until well combined. Beat in vanilla. Fold in whipped cream.
  6. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a narrow ended tip. Plunge tip into the center of each cupcake and squeeze filling into the center until the top of the cupcake starts to expand slightly. Remove, and repeat with remaining cupcakes. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-cafe-au-lait-cupcakes/

Drink & Dish: Spider Web Cupcakes

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
http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-spider-web-cupcakes/

Banana Cream Cupcakes

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.
http://arismenu.com/banana-cream-cupcakes/

Drink & Dish: DIY Funfetti Cake Mix {with video!}

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

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.

http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-diy-funfetti-cake-mix-with-video/

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes {vegan}

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

pumpkinbeercakes-12

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.

 

 

Skinnified Sunday: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Skinnified Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes via Ari's Menu

Every day is a pumpkin day in the blog world this time of year. Luckily (for me, maybe not for you), I am obsessed with pumpkin. I buy canned pumpkin year round, and eat it almost every day. Weird? Well, yes….I am, but pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors, plus it has tons of health benefits and is a great substitute for oil in baked goods!

I confess, I’ve already started adding pumpkin to my coffee drinks, and cheating on my beloved Dutch Bros with Starbucks because I know *exactly* how I like my flavor pumps at Starbucks and I prefer their pumpkin syrup…

You know what, though? These cupcakes are, like, 5 billion times better than either version. That’s an exact number based on factual evidence. Like surveys, and stuff. Things that people with grown up jobs do to test things. If it were me, they would each do an audition, which I guess they kinda did. The cupcakes get the lead fair and square.

The pumpkin makes them perfectly fluffy and soft, while also adding the perfect fall flavor. And don’t even get me started on my serious love for ground cloves. Ummm, best spice ever maybe??? I love me some cumin, but lately I cannot get enough of the cloves. In my yogurt, in my cupcakes, straight out of the little shaker…

Combine that with cinnamon and nutmeg, and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Brushing the coffee on after they’ve been cooked makes a huge difference. It keeps them soft, and brings out a bold coffee flavor that usually gets lost during baking. You can also control your coffee intensity. I sit there and brush those things over and over and OVER because I have a mild ridiculous wallet blowing obsession with my little caffeinated friend, but if you feel less in love with coffee, you can use less. Just never, ever tell me about it. I can’t handle it.

This is actually not the first go around for these bad boys. They first made their appearance on the blog about a year ago, and they looked a little like this.

Womp womp.

Oh the things you learn in a year. I’m still not an excellent cupcake froster, not like this girl, but I’ve certainly learned a thing or two.

The original recipe for these muffins (which includes all the smart brushing with the coffee, and all that goodness) comes from one of my very favorite recipe blogs Annie’s Eats.

Original recipe

My Swaps:

  • Half the recipe (-temptation)
  • White whole wheat flour for all purpose flour (+fiber, +protein)
  • Apple sauce for oil (-fat, -calories)
  • Egg substitute (ie: egg beaters, liquid egg whites, flax egg, or corn starch egg) for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Lighter cream cheese frosting for whipped cream (-fat, -calories)
  • Caramel sauce (-fat, -calories, -sugar)

Skinnified Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

yield 1 dozen

  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso for brushing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer if you have one (if not you can use a hand mixer or your muscles!) combine pumpkin, sugars, and applesauce. Add egg substitute, followed by dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
  3. Fill lined muffin tin 3/4 full with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Pierce each cupcake 2-3 times with a fork, then brush with coffee. Wait 2-3 minutes, then brush again.
  5. Cool completely on wire racks and then top with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting.

 

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8oz package reducated fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In an large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in honey and vanilla. Top cupcakes, or store in the refrigerator.

 

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

momcupcakes-3

My mom loves chocolate. She used to tell me that a dessert without chocolate was a total waste.

Most of my life, I was more of a vanilla person. I liked chocolate in things, but I never liked chocolate based desserts–I always thought they were too overwhelming. In fact, at one point in my life, I swore off chocolate thinking it would help with my weight loss. It didn’t. Turns out when you replace your mocha with a caramel macchiato, and make your chocolate chip cookies with butterscotch chips, it actually makes no difference at all. Funny how that works.

When I did the awful carb diets and swore off sweets for entirely too long (if you can imagine me eating no dessert–it’s a scary thought), my tastes entirely changed. Suddenly, the richer, deeper, and more intense the flavor was, the more I loved it! Dark chocolate became more appealing than my once favorite white, and I started craving brownies instead of snickerdoodle cookies.

These days, it depends on my mood, and if you offered me a chocolate and a vanilla cupcake, I would probably want a vanilla one with chocolate frosting. Or a chocolate one with vanilla frosting. But my mother–she will choose all chocolate. Well, to be honest, it probably doesn’t matter what kind of cupcake it is, because all she really wants is the frosting ;)

Frosting is an other thing I used to not like. But I think that’s because I was eating store bought frosting, and that’s gross. In fact, I find most buttercream kind of disgusting. So sickeningly sweet that it makes your mouth feel funny. I look at the amount of sugar in most frosting recipes, and usually end up taking almost a cup of it away! Now don’t get me wrong, this frosting has plenty of sugar, but it isn’t overwhelming. You can taste the cream cheese, and the chocolate, and not just get a mouthful of sugar. Cream cheese and whipped cream frostings are something I can get behind. You can keep your buttercream and fondant.

These were my mom’s birthday cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes made with coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor, filled with white chocolate, and topped with my very favorite chocolate cream cheese frosting. Rich chocolatey flavor, without feeling heavy. That is my kind of cupcake. Especially delicious with a glass of almond milk. Mmmmm.

 

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
yield 1 dozen

Cupcakes inspired by Brown Eyed Baker

  • 1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder (or Hershey’s special dark)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup all natural white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 batch Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners, and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together applesauce, sugar, and egg substitute until well combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, coffee, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Baking for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  5. Cool cupcakes completely on wire racks. Meanwhile, prepare frosting. When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost and enjoy.