What’s baking? Cupcake Day

It was the last Hot Lunch and Cupcake Day of the year, last week at our daughter’s school.

I volunteered to make cupcakes…

I love making cupcakes! I would bake cupcakes every month for the kiddos if they let me!

They’re not the prettiest cupcakes you’ve ever seen, but they sure tasted good and the kids loved ’em!

Here’s what I made:

Cupcakes

Perfect Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes

courtesy of LifeLoveandSugar.com

Ingredients:
1-2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
3 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.

Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, add egg whites, vanilla, sour cream and milk to and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.

Fill cupcake liners a little more than half way.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

courtesy of addapinch.com

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon espresso powder
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup boiling water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325º F.
Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
Evenly distribute cake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about ¾ths full.
Place in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

courtesy of addapinch.com

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch salt
2-3 tablespoons milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half

Directions:

Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on a medium setting and cream the butter until it is smooth and has lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
Add confectioner’s sugar, ½ a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.
Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and combine until well-incorporated.
Add milk, heavy cream or half-and-half until the frosting has reached the preferred consistency. For a firmer frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar, a ¼ cup at a time. For a softer frosting, add more milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.

Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, spread or pipe the buttercream frosting onto each one and decorate with toppings of your choice or just leave ’em plain.

So AMAZINGLY good!

Snack Attack! Black Bean Brownies

It’s Spring Break for the next couple of weeks and we’ve got our daughter’s friend with us this week.

It’s great having him here…my kids are actually being nice to each other and they’re keeping busy showing him their toys and playing together.

This gives me an opportunity to try some new recipes. Here’s what I made:

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

Courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie

Ingredients:

1 x 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well

2 tbsp cocoa powder 

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup pure maple syrup 

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips

optional: more chips, for presentation

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) 

Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. 

Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight and they will magically firm up! 

Makes 9-12 brownies.

I was completely surprised at how yummy these brownies were! More texture than traditional brownies made with flour, but full-o-fibre 😜

Satisfy your sweet tooth! Best Ever Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

I have a crazy sweet tooth and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I won’t sit with my feet up and eat a box of bon bons, but a little treat in the afternoon when our daughter’s at school and the little dude is down for his nap, gives Mommy that wee bit of energy to get me through until dinner.

I’ve been finding recipes that have little or no sugar added and even ones that don’t have the standard ingredients like butter and flour.

I found this super amazing one that you’d probably agree is pretty AMAZEBALLZ!

Photo credit: Money Saving Mom

Photo credit: Money Saving Mom

Best Ever Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars {Clean Eating}
Courtesy of Money Saving Mom

Ingredients:

1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil (you could also substitute butter)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts, raisins, or dried cranberries
1-1/4 cups dark chocolate chips (or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove. {Watch this closely. You don’t want it to burn!}

Remove from heat once it’s melted together and add in the oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, nuts/raisins, and vanilla. Stir together until the chocolate is completely melted.

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and cool in the fridge. If you’d like thicker bars, you can pour the mixture into a smaller pan.

When the mixture is hardened, cut into bars and eat. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Ingredients

One giant bar

I’ve made these now a few times and even the kiddies love them. Let me know what you think 😃