Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are some of the BEST cupcakes I've EVER had! Buttery, zesty lemon cakes are topped with a to-die for creamy & light coconut whipped frosting and toasted coconut. Easy, perfect for spring, and so fabulous!These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are as tasty as they are festive! Fluffy & moist lemon cupcakes topped with the most amazing coconut whipped frosting and toasted coconut.

You guys.

Normally I’m a cake girl through-and-through. I really couldn’t care less for frosting. It’s usually overly sweet – sickening almost – and piled on so high that I can basically feel my teeth falling out.

As a kid, I’d get a slice of birthday cake at a friend’s party and use the fork to scrape allllll the icing off to one side of the plate. I’d then get a new fork (since the first was tainted with frosting, obvi) and eat the bare cake, handing the frosting remnants to my mom, who happily ate straight buttercream.

Clearly I didn’t inherit that gene.

But this frosting – this wonderfully sweet and nutty and creamy frosting – is to-die for. No joke.

I could not. stop. eating. the frosting.

The frosting is the same frosting I made a trillion years ago for my Triple Coconut Cupcakes. It’s light and creamy and fluffy and just totally perfect. And it’s made with a surprise ingredient: coconut instant pudding mix!

If you can’t find the pudding mix, simply make a coconut whipped cream frosting, but I really think the pudding adds a wonderful extra dose of coconut flavor, and makes the frosting extra creamy & smooth. Try it my way just once – I have a feeling you won’t go back 🙂

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are some of the BEST cupcakes I've EVER had! Buttery, zesty lemon cakes are topped with a to-die for creamy & light coconut whipped frosting and toasted coconut. Easy, perfect for spring, and so fabulous!In fact, I gave these cupcakes to my sweetie pie downstairs neighbor who declared these the BEST cupcakes she’s ever had. Just sayin’!

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are some of the BEST cupcakes I've EVER had! Buttery, zesty lemon cakes are topped with a to-die for creamy & light coconut whipped frosting and toasted coconut. Easy, perfect for spring, and so fabulous!The frosting sits atop a buttery, zesty lemon cupcake that’s moist and has a lovely, tender crumb. It’s bright and fruity from the fresh lemon zest swirled throughout and makes for a great tart contrast to the sweet & nutty frosting. And of course, the whole thing is dredged in toasted coconut because toasted coconut = life.

Now I don’t know about you, but I need a cupcake.

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are some of the BEST cupcakes I've EVER had! Buttery, zesty lemon cakes are topped with a to-die for creamy & light coconut whipped frosting and toasted coconut. Easy, perfect for spring, and so fabulous!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16-18
 
These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are moist, fluffy and so dang delicious! The creamy coconut frosting is TO DIE FOR!!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CUPCAKES:
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • One 3.4 ounce box INSTANT dry lemon pudding mix
  • Zest of one lemon
  • FOR THE FROSTING & TOPPING:
  • One 3.4 ounce box INSTANT dry coconut cream pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 4 ounces whipped cream cheese (about ½ of a tub)
  • 2 cups whipped topping or fresh whipped cream
  • About 2 cups toasted coconut for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 16-18 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Beat the cake mix, water, lemon juice, oil, eggs, lemon pudding mix and lemon zest together with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  3. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes bake, make the frosting: Whisk together the coconut cream pudding mix, the milk, and the powdered sugar together until thickened, about 2 minutes. Beat in the coconut extract and whipped cream cheese until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream/topping. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until set.
  5. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and cover the frosting with the toasted coconut. Store in the fridge, covered.

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are some of the BEST cupcakes I've EVER had! Buttery, zesty lemon cakes are topped with a to-die for creamy & light coconut whipped frosting and toasted coconut. Easy, perfect for spring, and so fabulous!Lemony, zesty cupcakes topped with that heavenly coconut pudding frosting… this recipe is a must-make for springtime!

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are some of the BEST cupcakes I've EVER had! Buttery, zesty lemon cakes are topped with a to-die for creamy & light coconut whipped frosting and toasted coconut. Easy, perfect for spring, and so fabulous! Have a super sweet Tuesday!

xo, Hayley

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream are a wonderful treat for anytime of year! Moist, fluffy, hot cocoa cupcakes topped with a light & smooth sweet marshmallow frosting. Easy, impressive and totally fun! Moist, fluffy chocolate cake topped with a sky-high, sweet marshmallow buttercream frosting – these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are a can’t miss recipe for the winter season!

So California is having a week of rain.

And Californians are acting like Y2K is coming. Like, if Mother Nature even gave us one day of snow, we’d probably melt like the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz. 

And there’d probably still be some weirdo wearing cargo shorts and flip flops while it was snowing. (Side note: that irrationally grinds my gears, but I digress).

Californians can be so dramatic with the slightest of weather shifts. It’s raining for a week. We’re not having a hurricane. We’re in no threat of a tsunami. It’s seriously intermittent showers. I wouldn’t even use the term “downpour.” But natives have a colossal freak-out like it’s acid rain coming from the Gates of Hell.

Hello, Hollywood is in California. Of course we’re dramatic.

But during this non-torrential sprinkle of water falling from the sky, I bet I’m not going to be the only one cozying up by the fire and catching up on novels. I’ve gone a little Amazon-crazy the last few weeks ordering no less than 20 novels (not joking) to read when I’m done writing my book (which is soon! Yay!). I’m also going to use my newfound freedom to bake cupcakes, namely these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream. 

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream are a wonderful treat for anytime of year! Moist, fluffy, hot cocoa cupcakes topped with a light & smooth sweet marshmallow frosting. Easy, impressive and totally fun! These cupcakes are one of my new favorites for a few reasons. One, the cupcake itself is super moist, fluffy, and extra chocolaty. It’s actually made with real hot cocoa powder in it to really ramp up that milky, creamy flavor. And the marshmallow buttercream is kinda sorta to-die for. Light, fluffy, sweet… it’s almost like a cloud sitting atop each cake.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream are a wonderful treat for anytime of year! Moist, fluffy, hot cocoa cupcakes topped with a light & smooth sweet marshmallow frosting. Easy, impressive and totally fun! To really top it off, I sprinkled the tops with chocolate syrup and miniature marshmallow bits, which are teensy freeze-dried marshmallows you can find near the hot cocoa in the store. It just drives home that flavor, and they’re totally adorable to boot!

So whether it’s blizzard-ing, sunny, or kinda-raining, make these cupcakes this week and feel cozy no matter the weather 🙂

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream are a wonderful treat for anytime of year! Moist, fluffy, hot cocoa cupcakes topped with a light & smooth sweet marshmallow frosting. Easy, impressive and totally fun!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-22
 
These Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream are so perfect! Like little heavenly clouds and wonderful to make during the chilly winter months.
Ingredients
  • FOR CUPCAKES:
  • 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 & ¼ cups milk
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small instant hot cocoa packet (just the dry mix)
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) box instant dry chocolate pudding mix
  • FOR MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM:
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow fluff
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Miniature marshmallow bits and chocolate syrup for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 22 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, hot cocoa packet, and dry pudding mix together with an electric mixer until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  3. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: Cream together the butter, marshmallow fluff, vanilla and salt together in a stand mixer until combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, alternating with the heavy cream until frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with marshmallow bits and the chocolate syrup.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream are a wonderful treat for anytime of year! Moist, fluffy, hot cocoa cupcakes topped with a light & smooth sweet marshmallow frosting. Easy, impressive and totally fun! Moist, fluffy cakes topped with a sinfully sweet marshmallow buttercream… these cupcakes can’t be beat!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream are a wonderful treat for anytime of year! Moist, fluffy, hot cocoa cupcakes topped with a light & smooth sweet marshmallow frosting. Easy, impressive and totally fun! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!These Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream are phenomenal! Moist, fluffy, airy cake flavored with real champagne topped with a luscious pink champagne buttercream frosting. Perfect for any festive occasion!

How was everyone’s Christmas and Hanukkah?

Hopefully you got exactly what you wanted, your great Uncle Ted didn’t embarrass you too much, and everyone got along swimmingly. But since you don’t live in Leave It To Beaver-land, I’m assuming one of those things did or didn’t happen. Hugs.

My Christmas was unusually good. Not that it’s ever bad per se, but everyone got along, no one was physically ill, and I truly think I made the best Christmas dinner yet! My turkey was moist and juicy, my mac & cheese wasn’t too soupy and my sister loved that I made vegetarian sides for her. (And if you’re over here like, wait, she can cook too!?, YES, I actually taught myself how to cook before I taught myself how to bake!)

And of course, there was a plethora of desserts available. Snowball Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Salted Caramel Butter Bars, Sugar Cream Pie and a Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake I whipped up on a whim. Needless to say, no one left hungry.

But now as we finish up the holiday season (hello, New Year!) I wanted to give you guys a couple of awesome New Year’s recipes in case you’re popular and were invited to parties. My invite may have gotten lost in the mail somewhere? I mean, it happens…

These Pink Champagne Cupcakes would be perfect for any festive occasion, but they’re totally perfect for New Year’s! Moist, fluffy, light cakes topped with a scrumptious pink champagne buttercream, a fresh raspberry and some gorgeous sparkling sugar for a beautiful cupcake that tastes as amazing as it looks.

Plus, no one needs to know how EASY they are to whip up! They taste like they came from some fancy schmancy bakery, I promise!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!First: let it be noted that I HIGHLY recommend you use a quality pink champagne. I’m not saying you have to buy a $50 bottle or anything (but if you’d like to, be my guest!). But I do recommend buying something you’d actually drink. As a rule of thumb, whenever cooking or baking with alcoholic beverages, always buy something you’d drink. If you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!That said, I used this FABULOUS sparkling rose from Chandon, which is local to me (in Napa). They make excellent sparkling wines and I loved that this sparkling rose was just perfect in these cupcakes (and being consumed on the side while baking them 🙂 ).

Now, let’s toast to these cupcakes! Hip Hip Hooray!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, light cupcakes flavored with champagne topped with an irresistible champagne buttercream frosting. Great for any festive occasion!
Ingredients
  • FOR CUPCAKES:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • ¾ cup pink champagne (also known as sparkling rose. I used the kind by Chandon Winery, but whatever you prefer will work)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • FOR FROSTING & GARNISH:
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 3-4 Tbsp pink champagne
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 drops pink food coloring
  • Fresh raspberries and sprinkles (I used a pink sparkling sugar) for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 16 paper liners; set aside.
  2. Beat the cake mix, champagne, buttermilk, oil, and egg whites together with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling about ⅔ to ¾ths full.
  3. Bake for approx. 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and vanilla until whipped, about 1 minute. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. In between additions of powdered sugar, add 1 Tablespoon heavy cream and 1 Tablespoon pink champagne and beat well. After the last powdered sugar addition, beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute until fluffy and light. Beat in the food coloring, if using.
  5. Frost or pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with a fresh raspberry and a sprinkling of sugar and sprinkles, if using. Store airtight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  6. NOTE: if frosting the cupcakes very high like I have in my photos, I suggest doubling the frosting.

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!Fluffy, airy cupcakes topped with a boozy champagne buttercream… there is nothing better than these!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery! Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Chai Spice Cupcakes

These Chai Spice Cupcakes are INCREDIBLE! Moist, tender, fluffy vanilla cupcakes packed with authentic chai flavor and topped with a chai buttercream. Easy, quick and utterly delicious! Any chai tea lovers in the house? If you’re a chai-fanatic like myself, you’ll fall in love with these Chai Spice Cupcakes! Moist, tender cupcakes flavored with authentic chai spices and topped with a brown sugary chai buttercream.

If you couldn’t tell with the barrage of fall-inspired recipes coming out of this blog as of late, let me just make one thing crystal clear for you: I am so ready for fall.

Summer ain’t my jam and frankly it’s overstayed its welcome. YES, I know it’s still technically August. YES, I know that fall won’t officially start for another 20-something days. YES, I know that the temperature will still be in the 90s through October. But it still doesn’t mean I can’t wistfully eat my pumpkin desserts and cradle my flannel longingly until then.

ANYHOO, I recently re-discovered a local coffee shop nearby and now it takes every fiber of my being not to come up with an excuse to go there and get all the coffees and teas.

It’s not super close to anything I frequently drive by, so going there is kind of out of the way, but I cannot help myself. Their coffees and teas are the best! And half of my town also thinks so, because their lines are ridic.

It’s even gotten to the point where I’ll be so wrought with indecision that when it’s finally my turn, I’ll blurt out that I want an iced coffee and an iced tea. So I double-fisted coffee and tea that morning because they were both so good and because I am incapable of making small decisions.

These Chai Spice Cupcakes are INCREDIBLE! Moist, tender, fluffy vanilla cupcakes packed with authentic chai flavor and topped with a chai buttercream. Easy, quick and utterly delicious! Anyway, one of my favorite things to order at coffee shops are iced chai tea lattes. There’s something so utterly delicious about chai. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a Middle Eastern tea that’s packed with lots of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and even black pepper. It’s really spicy, aromatic and warm, and when it’s iced, it’s even better (in my opinion). I love drinking my iced chais with coconut milk, and during the Christmas holiday, I always order a gingerbread chai from Starbucks because it literally tastes like a liquefied gingerbread cookie. #DEAD

And these Chai Spice Cupcakes taste just like my favorite tea except in a plush, fluffy cupcake. Is there anything better?

These Chai Spice Cupcakes are INCREDIBLE! Moist, tender, fluffy vanilla cupcakes packed with authentic chai flavor and topped with a chai buttercream. Easy, quick and utterly delicious!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chai Spice Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
These Chai Spice Cupcakes are incredible! Warm, aromatic chai spices fill these tender, moist white cupcakes. A must-make if you're a chai fan!
Ingredients
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 (3.4 oz) pkg dry instant French vanilla pudding mix (you may substitute vanilla if French vanilla isn't available)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • FOR CHAI BUTTERCREAM:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or milk
  • About 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Ginger cookies for decorating, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 20 muffin cups with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, milk, oil, dry pudding mix and spices with a handheld electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until combined. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
  3. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 1 minute. Add in the spices and gradually add in the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Use the heavy cream to stream into the frosting to thin it out if it's too thick. You may not use all of the cream.
  4. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with a ginger cookie piece, if using.

These Chai Spice Cupcakes are INCREDIBLE! Moist, tender, fluffy vanilla cupcakes packed with authentic chai flavor and topped with a chai buttercream. Easy, quick and utterly delicious! These cupcakes are so fabulous and taste just like chai tea lattes! Moist, fluffy, tender cupcakes flavored with those warm, aromatic spices… these cupcakes will usher in those warm and fuzzy fall feelings as soon as you make them!

These Chai Spice Cupcakes are INCREDIBLE! Moist, tender, fluffy vanilla cupcakes packed with authentic chai flavor and topped with a chai buttercream. Easy, quick and utterly delicious! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

The Best Butterbeer Cupcakes

The BEST Butterbeer Cupcakes - tender, moist butterscotch vanilla creme cupcakes topped with a brown sugar & butterscotch buttercream and caramel drizzle. For Harry Potter fans... and cupcake lovers! These Butterbeer Cupcakes truly are the best ever! Moist, fluffy butterscotch-vanilla creme cake topped with a fluffy butterscotch frosting and caramel sauce. Incredible!

So I guess I’m on a cupcake roll? I posted cupcakes last week, and cupcakes this week. Cupcake Monday should be a thing, don’t ya think?

Besides that, my book party was this weekend and it was a success! No one passed out drunk from my extra-boozy homemade sangria; people bought my book; no one was repulsed by my cooking; and my charcuterie tray looked more high-end than Walmart and that made me happy (even if I forgot the olives, grapes, cornichons (those are pickles to mortals like you and I), and crackers). Oops.

And I forgot to paint my nails, so I officially had the jankiest hands at the party. My parents assured me that no one noticed my gross manicure, but at least I washed my hands, so there’s comfort in that, even if my nails weren’t mint to match my book.

Overall, it was a great party! It was fun to see friends I haven’t seen in awhile, and everything was easy peasy. And the best part is, I still have sangria left over! #win.

should have made these Butterbeer Cupcakes, but I didn’t because I basically suck at life. BUT I did make these cupcakes for my book signing last week, and they were a huge hit.

Basically, the day of the signing, I realized, hey, the new Harry Potter book is out and people will be at the book store to buy it. I should entice those HP readers over to my table to buy my book! And then I made these cupcakes and the rest is history. (And I sold 30 books… so I’d say it was a success!).

These cupcakes are inspired by Harry Potter, because in the books he gets butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks in Diagon Alley. (At least I think. I didn’t actually read the books *hangs head in shame* but it’s what I’ve heard, and people never lie to innocent folks, right? RIGHT?).

The BEST Butterbeer Cupcakes - tender, moist butterscotch vanilla creme cupcakes topped with a brown sugar & butterscotch buttercream and caramel drizzle. For Harry Potter fans... and cupcake lovers! Butterbeer isn’t actually beer; in fact, it’s more like a butterscotch-ish vanilla creme soda. Rich and golden, sweet and bubbly and absolutely heavenly. If you’re lucky, you’ll sometimes find butterbeer soda in stores near Halloween, but in a pinch, you can absolutely use vanilla creme soda like I did here.

Whatever ya do, make yourself some because these are seriously some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. They’re so unapologetically buttery and fabulous.

Also, muggle-approved.

The BEST Butterbeer Cupcakes - tender, moist butterscotch vanilla creme cupcakes topped with a brown sugar & butterscotch buttercream and caramel drizzle. For Harry Potter fans... and cupcake lovers!

5.0 from 4 reviews
The Best Butterbeer Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These Butterbeer Cupcakes are seriously some of the BEST cupcakes I've EVER had. Buttery, brown sugary, vanilla-flavored and oh so fabulous, they're topped with a butterscotch & brown sugar frosting that's to-die for!
Ingredients
  • FOR CUPCAKES:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup vanilla creme soda
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz) pkg dry instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp butterscotch sundae sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp butter extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 3 & ½ - 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or milk, if needed should frosting be too thick
  • Additional butterscotch sauce or caramel sauce for drizzling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with about 18 paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, vanilla creme soda, brown sugar and dry pudding mix. Beat with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until combined. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  3. Bake the cupcakes for approx. 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, butterscotch sauce, brown sugar, butter and vanilla extracts with the paddle attachment until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy, streaming in the heavy cream if needed (if frosting is too thick).
  5. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. If piping the frosting as high as in my photos, you may want to double the recipe. Drizzle with caramel or butterscotch sauce.

The BEST Butterbeer Cupcakes - tender, moist butterscotch vanilla creme cupcakes topped with a brown sugar & butterscotch buttercream and caramel drizzle. For Harry Potter fans... and cupcake lovers! Buttery, brown sugary, and with hints of warm butterscotch and vanilla, these cupcakes are totally amazing and I think you’ll agree – Harry Potter fan or not!

The BEST Butterbeer Cupcakes - tender, moist butterscotch vanilla creme cupcakes topped with a brown sugar & butterscotch buttercream and caramel drizzle. For Harry Potter fans... and cupcake lovers! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

The Best Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes

The BEST Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes: moist, fluffy and buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with a rich, chocolaty and decadent EASY chocolate frosting. So simple, so impressive! These Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes truly are the best ever! Moist, fluffy and topped with a sinfully rich & delicious chocolate frosting. No one will know you took shortcuts to make these!

So on Saturday, I had my first-ever book signing at Barnes & Noble! *cue all the gasps*

It was crazy awesome and I want to take this time to personally thank each and every one of you who stopped by the table and said hello, who sampled treats, and for those who bought the book – thank you. I appreciate you so much, and hope your shopping experience was a little sweeter with some cupcakes and brownie bombs 🙂

And the best news of all: we sold out! Such an exciting time for me, and I’m so grateful and humbled! This is still super new to me, so the fact that over 30 books were sold on Saturday at that Barnes & Noble alone is mind-blowing.

And it obviously calls for cupcakes. Plenty of cupcakes.

These Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes are incredible. The cake is moist, buttery and fluffy, and the chocolate frosting is just out-of-this-world-amazing. It’s SO chocolaty!

The BEST Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes: moist, fluffy and buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with a rich, chocolaty and decadent EASY chocolate frosting. So simple, so impressive! Now, you could always go all-vanilla or all-chocolate with your cupcakes, but I love the contrast between a buttery vanilla cake and a chocolate icing. There’s just something about it that’s so classic to me. But as I said, this frosting would be amazing on a chocolate cupcake, or you could make a killer buttercream to frost these equally-killer cupcakes. Whatever floats yo boat!

But whatever you do, pretty please promise you’ll make ’em? I pretty promise they’re worth every bite!

The BEST Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes: moist, fluffy and buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with a rich, chocolaty and decadent EASY chocolate frosting. So simple, so impressive!

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Best Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These Best-Ever Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes truly are the BEST! Moist, fluffy and delicious with a sky-high decadent chocolate frosting. No one will know you took shortcuts to make these fab cupcakes!
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix (just the dry mix)
  • 1 & ¼ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • ¾ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream (may not use all of it)
  • About 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • Chocolate sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 18 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, dry pudding mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until combined and fluffy.
  3. Distribute batter evenly among baking cups, filling about ¾ full. Bake for approx. 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, cocoa powder and vanilla until creamy, about 1 minute. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Stream in the heavy cream a little at a time to thin out the frosting if it is too thick. Frosting should be light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes; garnish with chocolate sprinkles.

The BEST Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes: moist, fluffy and buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with a rich, chocolaty and decadent EASY chocolate frosting. So simple, so impressive! I am officially obsessed with these cupcakes! That frosting is just SO wonderful!

The BEST Chocolate-Frosted Yellow Cupcakes: moist, fluffy and buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with a rich, chocolaty and decadent EASY chocolate frosting. So simple, so impressive! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Quick & Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

These QUICK & EASY Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes are so simple but taste from-scratch and super amazing! I cannot even begin to tell you how EASY these Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes are. Like, they’re basically foolproof.

And that’s saying something for a dessert that you’re required to flip upside down.

Growing up, we never had pineapple upside down cake. In fact, it wasn’t even on my radar until I was a teenager, and even then I believe I thought Sandra Lee invented it because I saw it on her cooking show that I was weirdly obsessed with. (Your teenage years are very, very odd time).

But little did I realize that my angel in white, Sandra Lee, did not invent the pineapple upside down cake. In fact, I’m not sure who invented it, but that person’s a genius and I want to buy them a pina colada because this is like, my newest favorite thing.

A couple weeks ago I made these Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Bars which were phenomenal. Creamy, dreamy and packed with pineapple flavor. What’s not to love? Since then, I’ve been dreaming of this fantabulous cake and all the different ways I could take those same flavors and incorporate them into a different dessert mashup. But then it hit me.

I didn’t even have a pineapple upside down cake on my blog.

Just go ahead and mail me the ‘worst food blogger ever’ award. Thanks.

I knew this had to change at once, 1) because I’ve been craving pineapple upside down cake fortnightly since I made my cheesecake bars, and 2) because I have yet to meet a person who isn’t mesmerized by the combination of bruleed pineapple and cake. I mean, it’s practically wizardry.

So here you go, in all its (SO SIMPLE OMG) glory: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes. Just like the cake, but in two-bite morsels that bake up perfectly, take hardly any effort, and are as gorgeous as they are tasty.

You start with a cake mix – duh. I mean sure, you could make your own scratch-made yellow cake – I’m not one to judge – but I like cake mix because I also like shortcuts. You don’t judge me, I don’t judge you. Capiche?

Flavor it up with the usual suspects: eggs, oil, and the juice from the pineapple you’re using. This adds a nice hint of pineapple to the cake batter without it being super pineapple-y. You can, of course, use the Pineapple cake mix if you can find it for a stronger flavor.

Then before you pour the batter into your muffin cups, you gotta make your brown sugar sawce. Mix melted butter and brown sugar. Ta-da! You are now a saucy genius. Distribute this mixture into greased (!!) muffin cups. Then add in your pineapple chunks (I used 3 per cup) and pour over your batter.

Now here’s where we can debate a little bit: some people like using crushed pineapple because they think there’s more pineapple per surface area and other reasons I’m sure. This is totally cool. I consulted with the pineapple upside down gods and they were like, “for sure dude, that rocks.” So it’s honestly to your preference whether or not you want to use crushed pineapple, pineapple chunks, pineapple tidbits… and whatever other shape they make pineapple in.

And then there’s the cherry debate. Do you bake the cherry in the cake mixture or top off the finished product? For these, I topped the finished product with the cherry so it’d look prettier in photos, and also because I couldn’t fit the plump maraschino cherry in between three pineapple chunks. So it was actually a matter of spacial problems than anything else. Again – do what feels right in your soul. Connect on a deeper level with the cherry. What does it tell you to do? Kumbaya, etc. etc.

And then bake it! It’s really that easy. Once it’s baked, let it set for a few minutes – sing your favorite song, fold a couple articles of clothing, walk your dog – and then very carefully flip it onto a baking sheet, tray, platter, etc. You may need to run a knife around the edge of the cake to help release it, but it’ll come out if you greased the daylights out of it… which you should always do.

Last part: EAT.

Now who wants to make me some?

These QUICK & EASY Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes are so simple but taste from-scratch and super amazing!

Quick & Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes are SO SIMPLE to make and they taste from-scratch and absolutely heavenly! No one will know they started with a box mix!
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 & ¼ cups pineapple juice (reserved from the can - if you cannot extract this much pineapple juice, get as much as you can and add water to make it to 1 & ¼ cups)
  • 1 large can pineapple chunks
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • Maraschino cherries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease 24 muffin cups with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until combined. Drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of this brown sugar mixture into the bottoms of the cups. Place three pineapple chunks in a star pattern into the brown sugar mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs, oil and pineapple juice until combined, about 2 minutes. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  3. Bake for approx. 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for about 5-7 minutes, then very carefully invert onto a baking sheet, serving platter, tray, etc. You may need to run your knife along the edges of the cupcakes before releasing them.
  4. Garnish with cherries and serve warm or room temperature.

These QUICK & EASY Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes are so simple but taste from-scratch and super amazing! Buttery, brown sugar-y, and with that bruleed pineapple flavor, these cupcakes are rock star! No wonder they’re a classic!

These QUICK & EASY Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes are so simple but taste from-scratch and super amazing! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Cherry Almond Cupcakes

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box! I am the worst music-listener ever.

First, I listen to the same songs over and over and over. Like, if we still used records, my records would be tore up. Seriously, it’s like the songs are going away tomorrow and I have to listen to them repeatedly in order to preserve them in my memory forever.

Second, I hate finding new music to listen to. It’s one of my least favorite tasks, up there with putting socks on damp feet and emptying the dishwasher. I just feel like, if I find a new artist or album and listen to the whole thing and hate it, it would be a huge waste of time, you know? And right now, my time is money… writing a cookbook is taking up every last second of free-time (and non-free-time), so I just don’t have the energy to seek out a new artist.

But why don’t you play a new album while you’re baking, you ask? Because if I don’t know what to expect, I’m way off my game. I’ll start burning stuff, under-beating batter, and tripping all over myself because of this new ambiance that I’m not used to. It’s like I have to bake to what I know in order to be in my “element.” (Also things in my “element”: a stack of magazines, joggers, and powdered sugar in every crevice).

And third, I always fall victim to the latest hits, anyway. I only had to hear Fifth Harmony’s ‘Worth It’ one time before that song permanently etched itself into my brain. So if it’s catchy, poppy, and plays in Hershey’s commercials, you know I’m guaranteed to listen to it really loud while no one’s home. And maybe imitate the choreography. Maybe.

Anyway, let’s talk about these spectacular Cherry Almond Cupcakes. I happen to love the combination of cherry and almond together – it’s sweet, fruity, and totally delicious. These cupcakes start with a cherry chip cake mix – a flavor I often forget about, admittedly – which gives a great cherry base to these cupcakes. Then the frosting is where the almond comes into play – thick, light, luscious sweet almond flavor. Top it off with a maraschino cherry and voila! Instant happiness.

While these cupcakes are perfect year-round, they would be especially great for Valentine’s Day! Top it with festive sprinkles or a drizzle of chocolate sauce to complete the look.

Enjoy!!

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box!

Cherry Almond Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, fruity and utterly delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 box cherry chip cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small box instant dry vanilla pudding mix
  • ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp almond extract (more or less depending on your preferences)
  • About 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cavities with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, pudding mix and maraschino cherry juice with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, or until combined. Portion evenly among muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  3. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, beat together the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until creamy. Alternate adding one cup of the powdered sugar and a little of the heavy cream until frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes (if piping, you may want to double the frosting batch). Top with a maraschino cherry. Serve!

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box! Sweet, light, and perfect for any day, you’ll love these cupcakes!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes

These Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes are to-die for! Use store bought caramel cupcakes for the ultimate treat! Cupcakes you don’t have to bake!? Say whaaaaaat!?

You read that right.

For this post, I teamed up with Hostess to bring you these Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes. They’re super simple to whip together, don’t require an oven, and are the perfect union between sweet and salty. Plus, they’re crowned with a huge mountain of freshly whipped chocolate buttercream and garnished with a caramel candy. What’s not to love?!

They start with the base: Hostess’ new Sea Salt Caramel Cupcakes, which is a limited edition flavor that I know you’ll adore. It starts with a golden vanilla cupcake filled with a caramel creme and topped with velvety caramel icing and a signature squiggle everyone knows and loves. Hostess also unveiled Sea Salt Caramel Zingers, too: sponge cake with their signature creme filling, topped with a ribbon of caramel and covered in smooth milk chocolate. Both are garnished with fresh sea salt too, creating that perfect symphony of sweet and salty flavors.

These Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes are to-die for! Use store bought caramel cupcakes for the ultimate treat! Riiiiight?! They are so good, you guys.

And then I went the extra mile and topped these cupcakes with buttercream. I know, I know – but it had to be done. Chocolate and salted caramel just go hand-in-hand. This buttercream is light, fluffy and ultra luscious – you’ll love it, especially paired on top of these moist and soft cupcakes.

Both the Sea Salt Caramel Cupcakes and Zingers are only available through 7/31, so be sure to make up for lost time and make these cupcakes ASAP!

These Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes are to-die for! Use store bought caramel cupcakes for the ultimate treat!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quicky & Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
These Sea Salt Caramel Cupcakes are topped with an ultra rich and incredibly delicious chocolate buttercream everyone will love!
Ingredients
  • About 12 Hostess Sea Salt Caramel Cupcakes, unwrapped (or any flavor cupcake)
  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • About 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk, if needed
  • Chocolate-caramel candies, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla and cocoa powder with the paddle attachment until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Add in the milk only if the frosting is too thick and pasty.
  2. Pipe the frosting high onto the Hostess Cupcakes. Garnish with a chocolate-caramel candy. Serve immediately.

These Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Cupcakes are to-die for! Use store bought caramel cupcakes for the ultimate treat! Piled high with luscious chocolate buttercream, these Sea Salt Caramel Cupcakes are to-die for! Be sure to look for them in your grocery store before July 31 🙂

To connect with Hostess for more product information and recipes, be sure to visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest where they regularly share fun recipes, tips and tricks and sweet news!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Hostess sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Best Cheesecake Cupcakes

These Cheesecake Cupcakes are delightfully easy cupcakes that taste just like rich and creamy cheesecake!A lot has changed since the last time I blogged about Cheesecake Cupcakes.

For one, I’m no longer dating Jessie, but we are still good friends and talk occasionally.

And for two, I’d like to think my photography has gotten better since 2011 🙂

And for three, I used to film cooking videos with Jessie way back when, and so I’ll include the (embarrassing) video for your viewing (cringing) pleasure at the end of this post… and I’d love it if you could excuse the fact that I weighed a good 60 pounds lighter than I do now. (Hey, a lot can change in four years).

But let’s not talk about weight right before I introduce you to these cupcakes.

In fact, if it were humanly possible to time travel back to 2011, I wouldn’t do it…even if it meant fitting back into my size 8 jeans. Mostly because I like where I am right now, despite the fact that there are some hangups. But aren’t there always hangups, even in the best situations?

Perhaps not, but I’d rather there be some minor hangups in my otherwise happy life than it being perfect. Why? Because when things are too perfect, I start to get worried something very bad will happen soon. And inevitably, it does…and usually involves money, of which I do not have.

C’est la vie?

These Cheesecake Cupcakes are delightfully easy cupcakes that taste just like rich and creamy cheesecake!Anywho, this post is going nowhere fast so I better wrap it up before we’re all crying. (Or is that just me?) These Cheesecake Cupcakes are basically the best thing ever, so I strongly suggest you make them ASAP. You can also, if possible, avoid my video because it is mortally embarrassing that I sound like a teenage-boy-about-to-become-a-man. This is everyday life, folks.

Remember when I mentioned ‘hangups’?

These Cheesecake Cupcakes are delightfully easy cupcakes that taste just like rich and creamy cheesecake!

5.0 from 4 reviews
The Best Cheesecake Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These Cheesecake Cupcakes are perfect for serious cheesecake lovers! Flavored like creamy vanilla cheesecake and with cheesecake in the batter, they're the ultimate cheesecake treat.
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix + ingredients on back of box
  • 1 small box sugar free/fat free cheesecake instant pudding
  • 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • About 4 cups powdered sugar
  • About 4 honey graham crackers, crushed into a fine crumb
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 24 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg and powdered sugar until blended and thick, about 1 minute. This is your cheesecake filling. Set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Stir in cheesecake pudding mix until blended. Portion batter evenly into muffin tins, about ⅔ full. Add one heaping Tablespoon of cheesecake filling and spoon it on top of the batter. Bake cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted around the edge of the cupcake comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla with the paddle attachment until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, taking care to cover the cheesecake middles of the cakes. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs. Serve! Store leftovers in the fridge, covered.

These Cheesecake Cupcakes are delightfully easy cupcakes that taste just like rich and creamy cheesecake!These taste just like cheesecake but in a moist, sweet cupcake form! You’ll love them if you’re a cheesecake fan like I am! 🙂

Here’s the video. I don’t need to know your thoughts, ha!

These Cheesecake Cupcakes are delightfully easy cupcakes that taste just like rich and creamy cheesecake!Have a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

 

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