Tag Archives: cupcakes

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} – Another “Star Trek: First Contact” Party!

6 Apr

Yesterday, we celebrated another First Contact Day! Yep, it’s that time of year again, when we observe the future meeting between humans and the alien race from Vulcan. April 5, 2063 draws ever closer, which of course required another party. Check out this post if you have no idea what I’m talking about – it’s a Star Trek thing 🙂

Chris did a fabulous job setting the apartment to Red Alert; the Tribbles were multiplying out of control; Trek trivia was being thrown about throughout the night; food and drink were enjoyed by all.

We began by watching the two-part The Next Generation two-episode story “All Good Things,” which was a nice way to kick off what was to come of encounters with the Borg. Spoiler: Resistance is Futile!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Picard becomes a Borg and green shots reverse our polarity.

After settling into our seats on the Bridge, we turned on the movie Star Trek: First Contact. Collectively (no, not the Borg Collective), I think we had the movie memorized by now! This was, after all, our 4th annual First Contact Day party.

Aside from actually buying a replicator to make food for the party, we did an excellent job embodying all that is Star Trek for some eats and treats.

Of course the Tribbles made an appearance, in the form of paleo coconut macaroons!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Tribble Coconut Macaroons – I think Kirk would have preferred these to the actual Tribbles!

Odo’s baked Bruschetta was a popular snack. Picard’s cheese board delighted all. Isolinear chips & dip were nice to nibble on. Polarity-Reversing Gravity Bombs were sure to knock us back a lightyear or two. Alvinian Melons provided a fruity side, along with some Vulcan vegetables.

Science and Engineering cupcakes brought some sweetness to our away missions (you’ll notice the red shirts were mysteriously gone…). I made these paleo chocolate cupcakes, which are gluten- and dairy-free, and topped them with mint and orange versions of the frosting from last year’s Cellular Peptide cake!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Science & Engineering cupcakes!

Bajoran Hasperat gave us something spicy to enjoy. Traditionally, “it was made using a specially prepared brine, which if made correctly would cause the eyes to water and sear the tongue.” However, in an effort so spare our eyes and tongues, I simply made pinwheels using low carb tortillas, plain vegan cream cheese, hot sauce and sweet red peppers. Details below!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Bajoran Hasperat makes a delicious pinwheel appetizer!

Finally, I made “Mool,” which is essentially a pot of baked beans, but way better! This is a slow cooker recipe, which makes it perfect for chilly days or busy parties. These beans are vegan, with no added fat. Oh, and they’re made with a bottle of beer, so you know it’s gonna be good 🙂 See below for the recipe!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These beer baked beans are great no matter the occasion!

Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Makes 24 Pinwheels

  • 6 8″ low carb tortillas
  • 6 tbsp plain vegan cream cheese
  • 6 sweet twister peppers
  • 6 tsp hot sauce (more or less, to your liking)

Cut the tops and tips off of the peppers. Remove seeds and slice them thinly, lengthwise.

Spread one tablespoon of cream cheese onto a tortilla. In a line down the middle, drizzle/spread a teaspoon of hot sauce. Lay one pepper’s worth of slices onto the tortilla and roll it up tightly, as you would sushi. Slice off the ends of the rolled tortilla, then cut each tortilla into 4 equal pinwheels.

Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve with toothpicks on the side. You’ll notice that I made half of mine “mild” – I left off the hot sauce because not all of our guests like spicy foods.

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Serves 6-8

  • 1 lb dried Navy beans
  • Water to cover, plus about 2 cups to add halfway through
  • 1 bottle beer (such as a Maple Scotch ale)
  • ¼ C molasses
  • 2 tbsp German mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except* the two extra cups of water, into your crockpot. Turn it on high and let cook for 8-10 hours.

About half way through, add the extra water and stir. This is necessary so your beans don’t burn, and they become cooked through.

*If you will be gone for the duration of cooking time, just add the extra water at the beginning with everything else.

Witbier Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

15 Mar

If yesterday’s cupcakes were for the chocoholics and dark beer lovers, these cupcakes are all about being refreshing, citrusy and bright. Door County’s Little Sister witbier has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s light, drinkable, and so easy to enjoy, regardless the temps outside. And when I needed another cupcake flavor to offset the decadent chocolate porter cakes, this one sprang to mind immediately.

Witbier Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These cupcakes are lightly spiced for a hint of something different – coriander enhances the earthy tones of this witbier, and fresh orange zest deepens the citrus flavor everyone associates with this beer style. To make them creamy and delicious, they’re topped with orange cream cheese frosting.

Witbier Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy of Kelly Planter

And let me tell you, this frosting steals the show. I dare you to not lick up the leftovers, straight off the spoon, or better yet: dip some fresh strawberries into the extra frosting and prepare for sweet happiness. Before frosting the cakes, don’t forget to poke & soak – a spoonful of extra beer on top makes them super moist and irresistible.

Ring in the spring and bake up a batch of these witbier cupcakes soon!

Witbier Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Posing with my creation! Photo courtesy of Kelly Planter.

Witbier Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Makes 24 cupcakes

For the witbier cupcakes:

  • 3/4 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 12 oz bottle witbier, divided
  • 1/4 C milk

Preheat oven to 325 and line two muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, beating after each addition, then add vanilla and zest.

Combine milk and one cup of witbier in a small bowl. A little at a time, add the liquid and flour mixtures to the butter/sugar mixture, on low power.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18 minutes, turning tins halfway through for even baking. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in the tins, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Poke about 4 holes into each cupcake. Use the remaining beer and spoon a little onto the tops, to soak in and make the cupcakes super moist. Allow the cupcakes to soak while you make the frosting.

For the orange cream cheese frosting:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 C powdered sugar

Use the paddle attachment with your stand mixer. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes.Add the citrus juice and zest and gradually add the powdered sugar until well-combined. Beat until smooth for about 2 minutes.

Add the orange juice and zest and add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until combined. Continue to beat the frosting another 2 minutes.

Let the frosting chill in the fridge until you’re ready to pipe onto the cupcakes.

To assemble: 

Fit a piping bag with a wide round decorating tip and fill with the cooled frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Serve and enjoy! Note: if you’re making these ahead, store in the fridge until an hour before serving.

Witbier Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Cupcake towers are my favorite. And how cute are those pink beer cap fondant decorations!? The GPO founder, Maggie, handmade them! Photo courtesy of Kelly Planter.

Barleywine Cupcakes with Barleywine Chocolate Glaze

4 Feb

I have a tendency to buy random and sometimes obscure beers at the liquor store. Half the time, it’s because I became enamored with a beer at my favorite bar, and decided I needed a 6-pack of the very same. Other times, the packaging or clever names entice me to buy spicy hard ciders or bizarre stouts.

That’s exactly what happened with this Barleywine I tried once. Loved it at the bar, found it at the store, and thought I should have 6 bottles of the potion at home. Well, after consuming two of them, it was just too much. You see, barleywine is something you need to be in the mood for. And I just never was. So, after it sat in the liquor cabinet for far too long, I pulled out a bottle for baking 🙂

Barleywine Cupcakes with Barleywine Chocolate Glaze | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These barleywine cupcakes are quite simple, which allows the flavor of the drink to come through in both the cake, and the chocolate glaze on top. To add to the tangy taste of the barleywine, plain Greek yogurt goes into the batter, which also coincidentally cuts down on the amount of fat required.

Impress your friends with these slightly boozy cakes and they’ll surely be pleased!

Barleywine Cupcakes with Barleywine Chocolate Glaze

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C Barleywine beer, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature (or use flax eggs)
  • 3/4 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 C AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Barleywine Chocolate Glaze:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Barleywine beer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line two muffin tins with papers. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or other large bowl, mix together the melted butter, vanilla, and Barleywine. Add in the eggs and mix until incorporated, then add in the yogurt and mix well again.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Scoop batter into prepared tins, filling each liner 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Remove from oven and let cool in the tins 5-10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on cooling racks.

Once cool, make the glaze. In a microwave safe bowl, add the chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave for one minute, stir, and then another 30 seconds. Remove, and stir until all lumps have melted down. Now stir in the powdered sugar and Barleywine.

Dip the top of each cupcake into the glaze and set aside to cool and harden. Repeat with every cupcake.

Let sit for at least an hour before serving, or serve the next day!


Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes

25 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sure you’ve all gathered up the ingredients, laid out the place settings, and prepped the pre-dinner cocktails.

My family’s Thanksgiving dinner has always been a traditional one…until I became a vegetarian. No, they don’t ditch the turkey cooked on the grill, the stuffing made with Italian sausage, or the dinner rolls enveloping crispy bacon. But thankfully, my mom HAS made room for my vegetarian dishes, and always sets aside a bit of meatless stuffing for me (because it’s SO good).

In an effort to broaden my family’s palates, I always try to bring a veggie dish that they’ll at least try. It’s not always easy – I’ll eat almost anything vegetarian now, whereas they still need robust flavors, agreeable textures, and nothing too green. This year, I’m planning on a lentil and chickpea loaf topped with a maple-tomato glaze. If nothing else, I’ll have plenty of leftovers!

One thing that hasn’t changed…dessert. For eight people at the table, it’s imperative we have AT LEAST two pies. Because pie. However, I’ll propose that even dessert can take a lovely turn for the different. These cupcakes combine the traditional flavor of pumpkin sweets, with the exotic creaminess of coconut, in an easy-to-transport cupcake form. So, if you’re assigned to bring a dessert and all the pie flavors have been claimed, try these! They’re sure to please, and super easy to make.


Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes, adapted from Nancy Creative

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1/3 C brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 1 (15oz) can pure pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, blend canola oil and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree and blend well. Add the flour mixture into this pumpkin mixture and stir until blended. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans for about 5 minutes, then remove to completely cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, adapted from Baked by an Introvert:

  • 1 C softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 4-5 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C softened coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 7-10 tbsp coconut milk (from the can)

Use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer to beat the butter until whipped and creamy. Add in the sugar one cup at a time. Next add the extracts and beat to combine. One tablespoon at a time, add in the coconut milk until you reach a consistency that’s perfect for piping.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a piping tip of your choice to frost. Be generous! You’ll have enough frosting, and the flavor combination is one you can’t beat.


PB&J Cupcakes

21 Aug

These cupcakes take the best childhood sandwich combination to the decadent, desserty level. I made these to accompany the sea salted double chocolate cupcakes for this past weekend’s baptism. A light, brown sugar cupcake is filled with sweet strawberry jam, and frosted with a smooth, peanut butter whipped buttercream.

PB&J Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Just look at that! Make these for your next party – kids and adults alike will love the sweet treat.

PB&J Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

PB&J Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 2-1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C skim milk
  • 3/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 C brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 24 tsp smooth strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 325. Line two cupcake pans.

Combine milk and lemon juice; set aside to curdle.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a bigger bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and keep whisking.

Alternate adding flour mixture and curdled milk, whisking well to combine.

Once all mixed together, scoop into cupcake liners, 3/4 full.

Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Whipped Buttercream:

  • 1 C granulated sugar (not powdered!)
  • 4 egg whites (discard yolks or save for another use)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
  • 12 tbsp (1.5 sticks) room temp unsalted butter, cut into small pats
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Bring a saucepan of water to simmer. In a medium metal bowl, whisk together sugar and egg whites. Place over simmering water.

Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until cool and thick, about 5-6 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then peanut butter. With mixer running, add butter a few pieces at a time, beating to blend between additions. Season with salt.

Set frosting aside to cool.

Beat jam in a food processor to give it a smooth, whipped consistency. Remove the middle of the cupcakes and knife or cupcake corer and spoon in whipped jam.

Pipe cupcakes with buttercream. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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