Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I just finished watching the semi-final of this year’s Great British Bake Off. In case you’re wondering, I’m team Sophie. I absolutely love watching this show, especially since they have the refrigerator of my dreams on set. Every week I’m astonished by how the producers can manage to make baking seem so extremely tense and suspenseful. It just makes me realize there’s no way I ever would or could put myself through that.

I love to bake, but I also love to keep it simple and need to keep it cheap. Most importantly, I need to keep it delicious. I think that’s one thing about Bake Off that makes it superior to other cooking competition shows like Cake Wars and such. They really focus on flavor, so even if your bake doesn’t look completely perfect, you still get credit for how it tastes, and sometimes, great flavors even win out over beautiful spectacle.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

All I’ve got for you are some humble Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, and while they might not win any beauty contests, I assure you, the flavor is on point. Tons of spice comes through, heavy on the ginger and almost hot. And the cake itself is so tender. Then the maple frosting on top is sweet and deep and dreamy.

You could pipe your frosting to make them extra fancy, but I went with a scoop and swirl action, then added a hint of gold sprinkles for a bit of whimsy. It’s not a show stopper, but it’s absolutely awesome.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are going to make all your Fall flavor dreams come true. 

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Yields 15
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are full of gorgeous flavor and perfectly sweet.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the cupcakes
  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
For the frosting
  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. 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and add 15 papers to your cupcake pan. You may yield a couple more or less. Be flexible.
  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 half full. This batter will rise quite a bit so don't overfill.
  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.
For the frosting
  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 How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Breakfast Pot Pie

Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love breakfast, but I’m not a morning person. During the week. my husband graciously makes tea while I stumble around pretending to be human. Breakfast is usually a granola bar or a bowl of instant oatmeal at my desk once I’m properly awake. 

But I absolutely adore breakfast foods, which is why I think I’m going to have to start throwing weekend brunch parties. There are so many great recipes to share. Plus is just so relaxing to be able to start your day laughing with friends. I think I’m going to invite everyone to come over in their pajamas some Sunday soon. Who’s up for it? Is this a terrible idea? I think it might be brilliant.

Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve got a lovely little breakfast casserole for you today that’s a semi-homemade, two pan wonder to make your friends and family smile in the morning. I mean, obviously, you could also eat this for dinner. That’s what I did. It’s dang good all the time

This Breakfast Pot Pie starts with a layer of hash browns. Here in the UK, you can basically only get pre-formed, triangular hash browns from the freezer section, so that’s what I used. I loosely fitted as many as I needed into the pan I was going to build my casserole in before cooking them to tell how many I needed. Once they’re cooked, you can give them a bit of a squish to make a more solid crust.

You’ll also want to be careful not to overcook your eggs, but don’t undercook them either, or your top crust will be perfectly golden brown before your eggs are set. I making it sound complicated, but it’s really not. Basically, when your eggs look like they’re about halfway to scrambled, starting to set but still quite loose overall, it’s time to turn the heat off and transfer them to the casserole dish. 

Finally, if you’re making this in the UK, I used a tube of croissant dough, but of course, in America, go for crescent rolls. And don’t overthink the geometry when you’re adding them to the top. Get everything covered and leave yourself a nice edge that will get golden and puffy and buttery and amazing.

Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When was the last time you made breakfast for some friends. With this Breakfast Pot Pie, you’re out of excuses. Get on it, kids.

Breakfast Pot Pie
Serves 6
Breakfast Pot Pie is a delicious casserole layering hash browns, cheese, eggs, and buttery pastry that's totally awesome.
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 10-12 frozen hashbrowns (however many it takes to cover the bottom of your casserole dish
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 cup shredded cheese (I have used cheddar and swiss, but most anything that melts well would work)
  4. 8 eggs
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1-1/2 cups chopped deli ham
  9. 3 ounces cream cheese
  10. 1 tube croissant dough
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and grease a rectangular casserole or baking dish.
  2. Warm your oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook your hash browns until crispy on each side. You may have to do two batches. Once your hash browns are crisped, arrange them in your baking dish. You can give them a bit of a squish to make sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
  3. Spread the cheese evenly over the hash browns.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, chives, salt, and pepper. Add ham and cream cheese.
  5. In the same skillet that you cooked your hash browns in, add your egg mixture over low heat. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go to scramble your eggs. When about half of your egg mixture is set, turn the heat off, and transfer the eggs to your baking dish. Spread them evenly over your hash browns and cheese.
  6. Finally, arrange your croissant dough over your casserole by placing the point of the triangle in the center, and rolling up any portion that would hang over the edge. My roll of dough had six croissants, but I only needed five to cover my casserole.
  7. Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the eggs are fully set. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Savory Pie Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Sunday Brunch: TriBeCa Bar & Grill

Sunday Brunch: TriBeCa Bar & Grill

Sunday Brunch: TriBeCa Bar & Grill

Brunch comes with different expectations in Scotland than it does in America. They’re looking for a lot of fried meats, eggs, maybe some beans and vegetables. As an American with a hardcore sweet tooth, I’m looking for something different. It’s not always easy to find. For me, TriBeCa is the pot of gold at the end of my Scottish brunch rainbow.

All those things that Scottish people are looking for, yeah, they have that. But they also have gorgeous, fluffy giant pancakes, beautiful waffles and French toast, and crispy candied bacon by the pile. It’s the most authentically American brunch place I’ve found in this country. 

Sunday Brunch: TriBeCa Bar & Grill

Geoff and I did actually split the difference and order according to our respective countries of origin. He went for the Manhattan Grand Slam which I’m not sure anyone from Manhattan would actually eat, but it was exactly what he wanted. Just look at all that food, man.

Sunday Brunch: TriBeCa Bar & Grill

While I was tempted to go for a giant breakfast with a bit of everything, I knew that was overly ambitious, so I opted for the Original Brooklyn, which is a big ass stack of beautiful pancakes with a side of candied streaky bacon, which you can see is not skimpy. I really appreciate them bringing me a proper amount of maple syrup. They get it here. That’s why I can’t wait to get back.

Looking at the menu, TriBeCa might seem a bit expensive, but the portions are huge and the quality is great. It’s an excellent weekend treat. It’s totally worth it. No one has yet been able to top this breakfast experience for me. So, when can we get back?

Vanilla Vodka Root Beer | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day
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