Cutie Pie Cupcakes

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As a seven year veteran on the cupcake scene, Melanie Abdilla is no stranger to peoples love of desserts. With years of special orders, catering events and wedding season madness under her belt it is no surprise that a store front operation would be next on her list.

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Situated on pedestrian heavy Spadina Avenue, Abdilla has expanded her sweet empire to include hot and cold beverages as well as a showcase for her creative flavour combinations.

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Cupcakes come in bite sized cuties or full sized chubby while the whoopie pies (icing sandwiched between cake)mirror their more traditional cousins in flavours and colours.

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Not sure which taste is for you then splurge on a whoopie kebab.

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It’s the addition of hot and cold drinks that have really brought in the Instagram popular crowd. Greek-style, milk heavy espresso beverages and cold brewed teas help beat the heat alongside the photo popular Unicorn Latte.

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Soft Serve ice cream has rounded out the perfect summer crowd menu; unicorn flavour is also available, as well as steamy morning pick me up, the affogato, soft serve drizzled with a shot of espresso.

As the weather cools down expect even wilder things to come from the kitchens of Cutie Pie Cupcakes.

Cutie Pie Cupcakes

235 Spadina Ave, Toronto

416-992-2882

 

Secret Recipe Club: Chocolate and Hazelnut Cupcakes

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

As time was ticking for me to select my recipe  for this months Secret Recipe Club I was desperately craving something of the chocolate variety.  Which is weird because I usually crave something on the savory side like bread or cheese.  So I was thankful for this hankering when I had to go through the extensive recipe index over at Claire K Creations my assigned blog.  A new mom down in sunny Brisbane, Australia I was intrigued to read a food blog from someone in a totally different part of the world with access to a myriad of unique ingredients. Being able to narrow it down to something starting with the word chocolate should have made my choice easier but when presented with such choices as Chocolate Eclairs, Chocolate Freckle Biscuits and even a Chocolate Key Lime Pie I still had some deep thinking to do.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

It was in her post for Chocolate Hazelnut cupcakes that I found a kindred spirit.  I am equally in love with this wonderful flavor combination and the little chocolate available in stores.  It`s known fact that I can only have them at Christmas time in my stocking otherwise I`ll never stop eating them.  It`s really a sick, sick obsession I have.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

When creating this recipe I made a few small changes.  I changed the measurements to be more Canadian friendly as well as made some adjustments to the amounts so I could have  a deeper chocolate flavor. I added more hazelnut spread for a more concentrated taste and instead of topping them with the chocolates I made them about the same size; in mini form and sprinkled with nuts.  I also did not read the recipe well and added the eggs whole instead of separated but it`s still resulted in a tasty base with a more brownie texture. But when I was all said and done they still were the best flavor combination ever!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

Yields 36

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cupcakes
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 90 ml buttermilk
  • For the Icing
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp hazelnut spread
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • peanuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line mini muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour and cocoa powder. Pour this mixture into the butter mixture and carefully blend.
  4. Mix in the buttermilk.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center. Let cool on wire racks.
  7. In another bowl mix together the butter, icing sugar and hazelnut spread. Slowly add the milk until icing is a consistency you desire.
  8. Ice the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with peanuts.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.8
320

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The Canadian Food Experience Project: Ontario Wild Blueberries

I first discovered wild blueberries when I drove back and forth between Sudbury and Barrie during my college years.  Late summer and early fall meant road side stands offering up baskets upon baskets of the tiny, juicy berries.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the appreciation of regional food as I do now so I never took the time to stop and buy some.

Blueberry cupcakes with Buttercream Icing from The Tasty Gardener Don’t get me wrong blueberries are my all time favorite fruit.  I love raw, baked, in salads, as flavoring for anything.  My favorite breakfast is a bowlful heated in the microwave until just about to burst and then mixed with vanilla yogurt. Did you know heated blueberries taste just like blueberry pie.  I love blueberry pie!

Blueberries can be either highbush or low bush.  High bush blueberries are what you would general find at a pick your own farm.  They are larger, plumper and can generally be harvested by machine.  Lowbush blueberries are much smaller, sweeter tasting and because they tend to grow in unlevel fields in the wild they are hand picked.  While wild blueberry plants are quite small, 6-18`high, they still produce a pile of fruit.  Commercial bakers really love wild blueberries over cultivated because they don`t explode and hold their shape in cooking.

Blueberries are also high in fiber, vitamin C and half a cup is only 43 calories.

Another love of mine are cupcakes.  Simple beautiful vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing.So for this recipe I decided to combine two of my loves.

Blueberry cupcakes with Buttercream Icing from The Tasty Gardener

 

Be extra careful when folding in the blueberries so they don’t burst.  You want a nice vanilla cupcake with beautiful dots of fruit. Not a blue cupcake.Blueberry cupcakes with Buttercream Icing from The Tasty Gardener

 

Yields 18-21

Blueberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • For the Buttercream Icing
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3-4 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter.
  3. Beat in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt then carefully mix into your batter.
  5. Carefully fold in the blueberries.
  6. Fill the cupcakes liners 3/4 full and bake for 10-12 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely before icing.
  8. To make the icing, beat together all ingredients adding more milk or sugar to achieve the consistency you want
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.8
271

 

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us.   I hope you enjoy my experiences and stories with Canadian food and hope you get a chance to check out the other bloggers involved. Please leave a comment below about your own experience based on the monthly theme.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lavender Icing

Lavender is an acquired  flavor however when paired with lemon it is really quite decadent. Great for a bridal or baby shower or for your special someone on Valentine’s Day.

 

Serves per cupcake

Lemon Cupcakes with Lavender Icing
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Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp dried lavender
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat until creamy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Pour in the 1 cup of milk.
  7. Add the lemon zest and juice.
  8. Fill the cup cake liners 2/3 full with the batter.
  9. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center. Remove from heat and let cool on a rack.
  10. While the cupcakes are baking bring the 1/3 cup of milk to a simmer.
  11. Add the the lavender.
  12. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. The longer you let it steep the stronger the lavender flavor.
  13. Strain the milk into a small bowl.
  14. Add the powdered sugar to a large bowl.
  15. Slowly add the lavender milk to the sugar until you get the consistency you want for your icing.
  16. By combining one drop of blue food colouring and 1 drop of red in a small bowl you will get purple. Starting with a tiny tiny drop add the purple to the icing and combine until you get a nice lavender colour.
  17. Spread icing on cooled cupcakes.
7.6.8
171

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  In a large mixing bowl add the butter and sugar.

Beat until creamy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Add the flour, baking soda and salt.

Pour in the 1 cup of milk.

Add the lemon zest and juice.

Fill the cup cake liners 2/3 full with the batter.

Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center. Remove from heat and let cool on a rack.

While the cupcakes are baking bring the 1/3 cup of milk to a simmer.

Add the the lavender.

Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. The longer you let it steep the stronger the lavender flavor.

Strain the milk into a small bowl.

Add the powdered sugar to a large bowl.

Slowly add the lavender milk to the sugar until you get the consistency you want for your icing.

By combining one drop of blue food coloring and 1 drop of red in a small bowl you will get purple. Starting with a tiny tiny drop add the purple to the icing and combine until you get a nice lavender color.

 

Spread icing on cooled cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Serves per cupcake

Vanilla Cupcakes

Who doesn't love cupcakes? Chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, I love them all the same. I'll admit that store bought packages can be super convenient but nothing beats the taste of homemade. I pulled these together one night when my other half got a craving and minus the photo time it didn't take long at all.

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 2/3 cup all purpose
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth, then beat in sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl in between.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  5. Stir the vanilla into the milk in a bowl, set aside.
  6. Mix 1/3 of dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then 1/3 of the vanilla milk, and repeat until all are combined. Pour into 24 cupcake cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.8
34

 

In one bowl cream together butter and sugar.

Vanilla Cupcakes (3)

Add eggs and mix well.  Set aside.

Vanilla Cupcakes (4)

Vanilla Cupcakes (5)

In another bowl combine flour,baking powder and salt.

Vanilla Cupcakes (6)

In a glass measure mix together milk and vanilla.

Vanilla Cupcakes (7)

Add 1/3 flour and 1/3 milk mixtures to butter mixture.

Vanilla Cupcakes (8)

Mix well until batter is smooth.  Add again in thirds until everything is combined.

Vanilla Cupcakes (9)

Pour batter into paper lined muffin pans filling the cups 2/3 full.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle of cupcake.  Let cool completely before icing.

Vanilla Cupcakes (2)

Chocolate Cupcake

Serves per cupcake

Chocolate Cupcake
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cups margarine or butter
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Combine all ingredients into large mixing bowl. Mix well with beater or whisk until all is incorporated remembering to scrap down the bowl as you mix.
  3. Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely before icing.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.8
24

 

In a large bowl combine together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Chocolate Cupcake (2)

Add the melted butter.

Chocolate Cupcake (3)

Add the water, eggs, milk, and vanilla.

Chocolate Cupcake (4)

Mix well.

Chocolate Cupcake (5)

In a medium saucepot simmer water over medium heat.

Chocolate Cupcake (6)

Place  a bowl over the pot and add the chocolate pieces.

Chocolate Cupcake (7)

You want to stir the chocolate to help distribute the heat and fully melt the chocolate.

Chocolate Cupcake (9)

Once completely melted the chocolate has a beautiful, smooth glossy apperenace.

Chocolate Cupcake (10)

Pour the melted chocolate into the first batter.

Chocolate Cupcake (11)

Mix well.

Chocolate Cupcake (12)

Place paper cupcake liners in muffin tin and fill with batter 1/2 to 2/3 full.

Chocolate Cupcake (13)

Bake in 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcake (14)

Remove from oven and let cool completely before icing.

Chocolate Cupcake

 

 

Cupcake Party!

I spent the day with a couple of little people yesterday.  One of them was celebrating their 6th birthday and instead of making a cake for her I decided that we would make and decorate cupcakes together.

They each had their own bowl and whisk.

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The directions called for an electric mixer but they were doing great on their own.

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Pouring the mix into the muffin cups got a little messy. Nothing that couldn’t be cleaned.

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I think they turned out great!!!

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I completely got to see first hand an example of the expression “kid in a candy store”.  A trip to the bulk barn resulted in these many options.

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Icing the cupcakes started out well.

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And ended with a little flavour combinations.

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Both girls had very distinct decorating techniques.

One was very detailed oriented. (a little girl after my heart)

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While the other was more about quantity. (nothing wrong with that)

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The girls had a whole lot of fun decorating 8 different cupcakes each.

How did we know who’s were what?  Quite ingenious really.

One always used a gummy worm.

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The other always had a cookie!

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And did I, The Tasty Gardener, decorate anything.  Absolutely!

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Did you expect anything less?