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A collection of mini cupcakes and a fundraiser for FUSION!

This post is a mid-week collection of cupcake recipes and a celebration for my friend Josh who is a missionary in Slovakia.  Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile will remember my lack of recipe posts for several weeks every summer because I travel to Slovakia to work with a mission organization called Josiah Venture.  This organization helps local churches reach teenagers with the message of God’s love for them.  Two of the ways they do this is through English camps (Americans going and teaching English–which is how I’ve been a part) and also through teaching music at camps.  My friend Josh heads up the music portion of this ministry in Slovakia.  After camps, he is able to go into schools and start clubs that teach music theory and also various instruments.  Many of the kids he works with come from really difficult home situations and they call Fusion “family”.

Easybaked was able to come alongside Josh for a fundraiser for Fusion this past weekend.  He hosted a coffeehouse and we helped provide (800!) mini-cupcakes in 8 different flavors.  It was such a great time to hear about what God is doing in Slovakia though Josh and Josiah Venture, and a lot of support was raised to help him in his work.

I rarely stray from simply sharing my recipes here, but I just had to give a shout-out to Josh and his hard work with these teens.  If you’d like to know more about him just click here.  You’ll be taken to his home page with Josiah Venture and also connected with his blog.

Thanks for giving your life here up to serve God far from home Josh!!!!!

Now cupcakes……

800 would have been impossible to do alone I think (how do bakeries manage?!?) So I enlisted 7 friends to help.  We had a training session in making butter cream and piping it and WOW—they did such a great job!!!!

These were our practice cupcakes….which we promptly ate up!

The night of the event we brought all of our unfrosted cupcakes to the venue and piped and decorated there– it ended up being a lot of fun to do them all together:

!

The eight flavors of cupcakes came either directly from the pages of easybaked- or they were inspired by a recipe here.  Since we are racing toward the holiday season, I thought I’d share each of the recipes with you in a unique way– with free printable recipe cards.  That way you can make them and share the recipe with your friends and family!  Fun!!

Click on the photo to be taken directly to the easybaked recipe that inspired the mini-cupcake.  Click on the words “recipe cards” under each photo to get a pdf that you can print and share.

Red Raspberry Minis — recipe card               Andes Mint Minis  — recipe card

Caramel Apple Minis — recipe card       Cinnamon Roll Minis — recipe card

Strawberry Lemonade — recipe card       Bubble Gum Minis– recipe card

Chocolate Ganache Minis–recipe card     Wedding Cake Minis —recipe card

The very last recipe wasn’t inspired by any recipe in particular, so if you click on the photo you will simply get….a photo.  Sorry about that!  My apologies also for the photography ~ my iphone did all of the work on this post 🙂

I hope you enjoy this collection of cupcake recipes and cards~ and thank you for allowing me to share a little bit of my heart with you in this post!  Back soon– in the meantime….enjoy!  ~r

Frostings, Fillings and Fun!

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One of the most frequent questions I’m asked about this blog is this:  How do you keep coming up with new  and original recipes?

The answer is this: I find elements (usually a filling, topping or frosting) that I love in one recipe and imagine ways to use it again in a totally new recipe.

Here’s an example:  My friend Dawn’s friend Lily gave her a recipe for caramel chip bars.  I changed a few elements in the recipe and made it my own.  The bars are reeeeaaaaalllly good.  The best part about them is the amazing caramel sauce that makes up the middle layer.  How have I used this caramel sauce since?

(click on a picture to see the whole recipe)

  

  

This post is dedicated to sharing my favorites in the frosting, topping and filling world– I hope you can use some of these elements to create your own yummy treats (and if you do, please share them here with the rest of us!!!)

FROSTINGS:

Buttercream Frosting:

By far, my favorite frosting recipe ever.  Light and whipped and a perfect blend of sweet and a touch of salty.  If you want it flavored use extract in place of the vanilla.  You can also add colors.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (4 oz.)of salted butter (room temp)
  • 1 stick (4 oz.)of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 t. vanilla (use clear if you want white frosting)

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  • This is enough to frost 12-18 cupcakes.  Double this recipe to frost more or to frost an entire layered cake.

German Chocolate Frosting:

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1c. sugar
  • 1c. evaporated milk
  • 1/2c. butter
  • 3 egg yolks (beaten)
  • 1 1/3c. flaked coconut
  • 1c. finely chopped pecans.
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Directions:

  • In saucepan combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and egg yolks.  Cook over low heat (stir constantly!) until this thickens considerably (took me about 8 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut.
  • Chill until thick enough to spread.
  • This makes enough frosting to frost a layer cake.

Kool-Aid Frosting:

Just plain fun.  Use different flavors to be as creative as you want!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2- 8oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened to room temp.)
  • 1 packet (0.23oz.) of Kool-Aid
  • Food coloring  (to deepen color if desired)
  • 1- 7oz. container Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Topping

Directions:

  • Cream together cream cheese, Kool-Aid and food coloring (if desired) until smooth.
  • Beat marshmallow creme and powdered sugar in and then fold in Cool Whip until completely smooth.
  • This makes enough frosting to frost a layer cake.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets of Dream Whip  (4 come in one box)
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 4 oz. (1/2 brick) of softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar (divided)

Directions:

  • Cream together softened cream cheese and about half of the powdered sugar.  Set aside.
  • Add remaining ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir until all powder is combined.
  • Mix with an electric mixer (beaters are ok, but I like to use my whisk attachment if you have one) on high until very stiff peaks form.
  • Add cream cheese mixture and continue beating on high until stiff and thick.
  • This makes enough frosting to frost a layer cake.

Royal Icing:

Not my favorite frosting to work with, but perfect for a smooth and hard topping for cookies.  Beautiful but a lot of work…

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of powdered sugar
  • 3 T. meringue powder
  • 6 T. water
  • 1t. vanilla (use clear if you want white frosting)
  • Food coloring

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients together and mix with a mixer for at least 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Color as desired.

FILLINGS:

Mint Filling

This is perfect for layering inside of brownies and cakes.  I’ve even made a peppermint patty tart using this filling as a layer inside.

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 c. powdered sugar
  • 8 tbsp. (one cup) melted butter or margarine
  • 2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • food coloring (if desired)

Directions:

  • Add melted butter to sugar and extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Add food coloring if desired.

Kool-Aid Filling

Perfect for making a cream pie or putting in little cookie cups- this filling’s potential is as endless as the flavors of Kool-Aid on the shelf!  Kids will LOVE this!

 

Ingredients:

  • 8oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 (0.22 oz.) packet Kool Aid in any flavor
  • 2c. marshmallow fluff
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip (refrigerator temp)

Directions:

  • Cream together Kool Aid and Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Add Marshmallow fluff and blend well.
  • Fold in 1c. of Cool Whip.

Chocolate Mousse:

A perfect creamy filling for a layer cake–YUM!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets of Dream Whip 
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3T. cocoa powder
  • 3T. powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Put Dream Whip, milk, vanilla, cocoa powder and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and blend together.
  • Using a mixer, beat until stiff peaks form (3-4 minutes)

Easy Cheesecake Filling:

I’ve used this no-bake cheesecake filling for years- I like to make it and fill a pre-made graham crust for a super easy dessert!

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip
  • 1 c. mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Cream together softened cream cheese and sugar.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Fold in Cool Whip and  1 c. chocolate chips.

TOPPINGS:

Chocolate glaze:

This glaze is nice because it hardens just enough to still cut- like a really hard fudge.

 

Ingredients:

  • 12oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 tsp. butter (do not substitute margarine here!)

Directions:

  •  Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Pour over dessert and spread evenly.  Allow glaze to harden.

Ganache:

This is a big go-to topping for me- you’ll see it in many varieties in my recipes.  You can change the flavor by changing the type of chips you use.  I’ve made dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, cinnamon and peanut butter ganache using this recipe— it makes a GREAT (easy to cut!) topping for cheesecakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. whipping cream
  • 1 c. chips (any flavor)

Directions:

  • Warm whipping cream in a small saucepan until just bubbling around edges (stirring!)
  • Turn off heat, add chips and cover pan for 5 minutes.
  • Stir melted chips into hot whipping cream until smooth (add a little heat if the chips aren’t fully melted)
  • Pour over dessert (or into cookie cups etc.) and allow ganache to harden.

Melted Frosting Glaze:

Such a simple topping- yet so yummy!

 

Ingredients:

  • One can of pre-made frosting

Directions:

  • Spoon frosting into a microwave safe bowl.
  • Warm in microwave for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir until smooth and runny.
  • Pour over dessert and allow glaze to harden.

Wilton’s Candy Melts:

The best thing to drizzle any dessert with.  These are little candy wafers in a variety of colors that you can melt and drizzle.  They harden into a solid layer though- so cutting them is more difficult.

I hope this collection of my favorites inspires you to create wonderful new treats!

Enjoy your weekend– and Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there!!  -r

Turtle Cheesecake

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This rich vanilla cheesecake is topped with a thick layer of soft caramel, smooth chocolate and pecans–YUM!

INGREDIENTS:

Cheesecake:

  • 9 oz. chocolate wafer cookies (I use animal crackers)
  • 1/4 c. margarine (melted)
  • 2 (8oz.) packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1/2c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. white chocolate chips (melted)
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. margarine (melted)
  • 3 tsp. vanilla

Caramel Topping:

  • 32 Kraft caramels (unwrapped)
  • 1/2c. margarine
  • 1 can (14oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1/4c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • About 15 pecan halves.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Crush cookies into fine crumbs and add melted margarine.  Combine well and press into the bottom of a 9-Inch Springform Pan
  • Beat softened cream cheese with sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each one.
  • Add remaining cheesecake ingredients, beating until smooth.
  • Pour into crust and allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 60 minutes,
  • Turn off oven, open oven door a little and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and run knife around edge of pan.  Remove edge of pan. 
  • Allow to come to room temperature (make toppings during this time)
  • CARAMEL: Put caramels, condensed milk and margarine into a saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth (6-8 minutes)
  • CHOCOLATE:  Put whipping cream into saucepan and heat just until bubbling at edges.  Turn heat off, add chocolate chips, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, stir until smooth.
  • Pour caramel over top of cheesecake, smoothing to edges
  • Refrigerate about 10 minutes.
  • Pour chocolate over caramel and smooth into a center circle.  
  • Place pecan halves around edges and drizzle with any extra caramel you have (if desired)
  • REFRIGERATE cheesecake overnight before serving for best consistency. Remove bottom part of pan when cake is chilled.

My thoughts:

I made this for my friends Spencer and Rachel this weekend.  They are having a party to celebrate their baby’s 1st birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASILINN!!!!!  

I haven’t made a cheesecake in awhile and I’ve missed it!  This cheesecake recipe is my staple recipe– the toppings and crust may vary, but the cheesecake recipe stays the same– I haven’t found another that I like better…  The caramel on this is THICK (you may want to half the recipe for it if you aren’t a huge caramel fan like I am).  This might seem like it’s a difficult recipe because of all the steps, but it really isn’t hard– start early in the evening though because its a process!  Hope you get a chance to try this!  ENJOY!   -r



Chocolate Cheesecake Fudge!

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If you like cheesecake and you like fudge, this is a perfect combination!  Plus, I am convinced this is the easiest fudge recipe EVER!!!!!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bags (11.5 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tub (10 oz.) Philadelphia Original Favor Cooking Creme
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped nuts

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring well between until smooth.
  • Add cooking creme, vanilla and nuts and stir until well blended.
  • Pour into a 9×9 pan that has been lined with aluminum foil.
  • Refrigerate for about 40 minutes (until fudge is hard).
  • Remove from pan, peel away foil, cut and serve!!!

 

My thoughts:  I created this recipe for Kraft.  They sent me all of their flavors of cooking creme to experiment with before it was placed in stores.  This is one of the “Original” flavor recipes I made.  I LOVE how easy it is and I love the cream cheese flavor– it adds a unique twist to the basic fudge recipe.  This is a wonderful dark chocolate fudge- but if you want it sweeter just use milk chocolate chips instead!  ENJOY!!!!!!!   r-

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