Spice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream #Canadaday

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream #Canadaday

Happy Canada Day! 

Even though I’m not Canadian, I’ve had a lot of friends from Canada in my short life, especially while living abroad in Taiwan. In fact, one of the most awesome events we attended while living there was a Canada Day celebration. This is back in the days of the guerrilla back sale. I used to bake things in my tiny kitchen and then sneak them into special events and sell them to foreigners desperate for Western-style desserts. It worked like a charm.

These spice cupcakes were one of the things I made for that event, and they were a huge hit, though not as popular as Mini Oreo Cheesecakes. I suppose I should post those soon. People are still talking about them two years later.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream #Canadaday

When I saw Canada Day on my calendar, I thought it was the perfect excuse to make, share, and eat these cupcakes again. I assume it’s always at least jacket weather in most of the country, so a warmly spiced, light and fluffy cupcake sounded just perfect. The ginger warms the back of your throat, and the aroma makes you swoon. And then there’s the frosting. Holy monkey, the frosting! It’s your standard buttercream until you put pure maple syrup in it, then it’s heaven. Is there anything maple Syrup can’t improve? It’s adapted from the delightful Bakingdom! I’m a ridiculously huge fan of hers.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream #CanadadaySpice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream #Canadaday

Did you know that Canada is the garter snake capital of the world and that they have their own UFO landing pad? Yeah, me neither. Hug a Canadian and eat a cupcake, eh! Happy Canada Day!!! 

Spice Cupcakes
Yields 12
A light fluffy cupcake with warm wonderful spices
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cake flour
  2. 3/4 cup white sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  8. 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  9. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  11. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  12. 2 eggs
  13. Maple buttercream (recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and add 12 papers to your cupcake pan.
  2. Add all dry ingredients, everything from flour to salt, into your mixing bowl and mix on low speed to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Add butter and buttermilk and mix on medium until thick and incorporated.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake pans, filling two third full. This batter will rise quite a bit.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  8. Pile on the maple buttercream, and try out your best Canadian accent, eh.
Adapted from The Hungry Mouse
Adapted from The Hungry Mouse
http://awesomeon20.com/
Maple Buttercream Frosting
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  2. 250 grams (2-1/2 cups) powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/6 cup pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Beat butter and powdered sugar together until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Dollop onto the nearest cupcake and dance with joy.
Adapted from Bakingdom
Adapted from Bakingdom
http://awesomeon20.com/

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Dill Potato Salad by Awesome on 20
lilikoi curd

Passion Fruit Curd

Passion Fruit Curd Recipe

I have a love hate relationship with our lilikoi (passion fruit) vines. They’re lovely and have the most amazing flowers, followed by fat fruits full of sweet, tart, delicious goodness. They provide shade for part of the backyard, perfect for visiting with chickens. What’s not to love?

lilikoi flower

The lilikoi vine has pretty much taken over my clothes lines. We’re poor and don’t have a dryer, which means that I have no choice but to hang my clothes out to dry. Don’t try to tell me how romantic it is. Only people with dryers think that. It’s bad enough having to stand out in the hot sun (when it’s not trying to rain on my laundry) to hang up clothes. The last thing I want to do is battle with an ever encroaching vine winding it’s way around the clothes line and growing into my clothes pins. Enough already.

lilikoi vine

The vine growing through the clotheslines has also formed a mini-canopy in our backyard, forcing the other plants to grow freakishly tall to find the sunlight. I might have the world’s tallest pink hibiscus. Nothing happens for the first five feet, and then there are three blossoms peeking out above the vines. It’s like my own private jungle in the middle of the city.

hibiscus

But then when I really start to hate that stupid vine, it allows me to make something delicious, like this passion fruit curd. I used it in my Passion Fruit Victoria Sponge Cake, and it was tasty. I think passion fruit pulp looks a bit like frog spawn with the seeds in, but it tastes so tart and lovely that I’ll forgive it.

lilikoi pulp and eggs

You could use this passion fruit curd as much more than a cake filling. I think it would be a lovely topping for pavlova or pound cake, or even frozen yogurt. I haven’t tried it, but it might also be awesome stirred into some oatmeal in the morning. It takes a bit of time to accomplish, but stirring is a good time to meditate on life and how, in the end, nature is way better than laundry.

  lilikoi curd

Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Curd
Yields 12
Sweet and tart tropical topping
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup lilikoi (passion fruit) pulp and seeds, 8-10 lilikoi
  2. 2 whole eggs
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 150 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
  5. 100 grams (1/2 cup) butter, cubed
Instructions
  1. Cut open your lilikoi and scoop out the guts with a spoon until you get a cup worth.
  2. Add pulp, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar to a large, heat-proof mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the butter and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. You only need about an inch of water. Don't let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Stir continuously as the butter melts. It will look odd for a while, but eventually it will smooth out and thicken up. It took about 20 minutes on my stove.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean jar for storage. It will keep for at least two weeks, giving you plenty of time to experiment.
Adapted from Simply Delicius
Adapted from Simply Delicius
http://awesomeon20.com/
Check us out at Inside BruCrew's link party
Check us out at Inside BruCrew’s link party
Chocolate Cake

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

I am, quite possibly, the world’s worst daughter. See, it’s my dad’s birthday on Saturday, and I said I’d make him a chocolate cake with caramel frosting like his mom used to make. Well, I got sick yesterday, and I’m still feeling rather awful. And to make matters worse, I don’t actually have that caramel frosting recipe. My dad and all his brothers received a homemade recipe book from my grandmother one year for Christmas. It’s full of typed up family recipes. Sadly, I don’t have one. I wish I did. I’d make everything in it. I think this might be a tragedy.

So, I didn’t make a chocolate cake with caramel frosting, but I do have something just as good to share with you that actually reminds me a lot of the kind of cake my dad would make. It’s super simple, ridiculously chocolaty, and blow your mind delicious. My dad would have a big slice of it with some melting vanilla ice cream and call it breakfast.

In addition to all the other awesome stuff my dad taught me, I also learned to appreciate good, simple, down home food. I remember my dad coming home from work and sitting on the couch with a block of Tillamook cheddar and a paring knife. He’d pass ’round slices of cheese to everybody for half an hour. That was how we snacked in my house.

Chocolate cake2

There are actually two secret ingredients in this chocolate cake which starts with a box mix, but you don’t have to tell anybody about that either. The first is mayonnaise. Mayo is basically eggs and oil anyway, so it’s not that big of a stretch. It doesn’t make your cake taste like a ham sandwich. On the contrary, it makes it incredibly moist.

The second secret ingredient is a bit of cinnamon. I love the warmth it adds to the chocolate. I’m not sure I’d be able to identify it as cinnamon if I didn’t know it was there. It just makes everything richer and more interesting. 

And obviously you have to cover the whole thing in chocolate frosting. This one reminds me of the chocolate frosting my dad used to make using Nestle’s Quik. It was awesome! Who cares? I’ve been doing this no money thing my whole life. 

Chocolate cake3

Happy birthday, dad! I owe you a cake.

Photos by Monica Szczupider

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake
Serves 10
A moist chocolate cake with a hint of cinnamon, covered in chocolate frosting to make it extra awesome
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the cake
  1. 1 box chocolate cake mix
  2. 1 cup mayonnaise
  3. 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1 cup water
For the frosting
  1. 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  3. 2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together all the cake ingredients until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Evenly pour batter into your two pans and bake according to time on the box. If you hoard the cake batter left behind in the bowl, I won't judge you.
  4. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes, then turn out to cool on a wire rack. Allow the layers to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it's smooth and creamy.
  2. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and beat on medium speed.
  3. Slowly add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if needed to reach a spreadable consistency.
  4. Place your first cake layer on it's final destination and spread about a third of the frosting on top.
  5. Carefully place the second layer on top. Frost the side and top of the cake. You can swirl it, stripe it, spike it. Whatever you like. Just don't skimp.
  6. Don't wait for someone's birthday to put this in your face.
Notes
  1. This can also be made in a 13x9 inch pan, which is what my dad would do.
Adapted from 1001 Fast Easy Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
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lilikoi curd
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