Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

The festive season brings a good excuse for all manner of baking. This December, I revisited some old favourites – chocolate chip cookies, and the decadent Queen of Sheba Chocolate Torte. At the same time, the month was also a first for me in chocolate making, with Earl Grey Ganache Bonbons for gifts. I also baked madeleines for the first time, a traditional shell shaped French cookie. Finally, for Christmas Day, I made a batch of two dozen cupcakes. Cupcakes are my childhood baking favourite, so I’ve likely whipped up more of these than any other baked good. Yet, I am proud to say I also incorporated some experimentation in flavour and texture.

Meet my Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

They are all cupcake in appearance, but inside, they have some pie genes. Lemon shortbread lines the bottom for some lemony crunch. The centre of the cupcake holds a surprise of strawberry puree, surrounded by lemon cake. With the best of both worlds, the beautiful aesthetics of a cupcake is present with strawberry buttercream ruffles piped on top with a large rose tip, and finished with a sprinkle of yellow and pink sanding sugar.

Cupcake anatomy
Strawberry lemonade cupcakes – inside and out

I have to say, the cupcakes got some great reviews. A funny story – earlier, after hearing there was still one left in my fridge, my dad hurried over (while worrying that my sister might beat us, and therefore gobble it up before him).

As the year comes to an end, many wishes for more cupcake-pie hybrids in 2017!

Triple Chocolate Glaze Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes are a crowd pleaser. Triple chocolate glaze cupcakes are also a crowd pleaser, but more importantly will get hoarded by any chocolate fanatic. I know this from experience.

I actually made these cupcakes a while ago, but just recently dug up the pictures of them. It all started with another fundraiser bake sale for EPCOR’s annual United Way campaign back in early October 2015. I was intent on participating, but didn’t have much time despite the fame and attention my 2014 “Put a CAP on Poverty” cupcakes conjured. I whipped up some chocolate cupcakes and then dipped them in a bittersweet chocolate glaze with leftover ingredients from my Queen of Sheba Chocolate Torte. Similar to the Queen of Sheba, they are crumb coated in ganache first, dipped in the glaze, and drizzled with white chocolate to create a smooth coating with contrast. Quick, easy, and of course beautiful. Ta da!

Triple chocolate glaze cupcakes
Triple chocolate glaze cupcakes
Chocolate swirls
Chocolate swirls

I donated a dozen of these to the bake sale. Soon after, they had all disappeared. Reportedly, one person bought all twelve of them soon after the bake sale opened to the public. So there you go with the chocolate fanatic hoarding tendency. I hope that person enjoyed them, whoever they are.

Chrysanthemum Cupcakes

These purple chrysanthemum cupcakes were made just for fun! They are a chocolate chip cake, topped with white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. The icing is piped to look like a chrysanthemum flower. Here are some pictures:

A chrysanthemum cupcake
A chrysanthemum cupcake
Decorated with piped leaves and petals
Yum!
Yum!
A few of the cupcakes
A few of the cupcakes
Icing details
Icing details

Put a CAP on Poverty Cupcakes

These are some cupcakes I donated for a fundraiser bake sale at work towards the United Way. They are inspired by the campaign theme “Put a CAP on Poverty” (a graduation cap that is), which focuses on supporting education for those in need. The campaign mascot is a sock monkey, featured as the centre piece of the cupcake collection.

No sooner had I brought these in, our campaign floor representative took a picture and sent it in a mass email reminding everyone to purchase items at the bake sale. Then I got a bunch of emails and people telling me how much they like these. 🙂

A bunch of them together
A bunch of them together
The sock monkey cupcake
The sock monkey cupcake

The cupcakes are chocolate chip flavour, with hand painted fondant for the paper topping and pencils. A fondant and gumpaste mix is used for the sock monkey topper.

A limits cupcake. Interestingly the ones that were nerdy seemed even more popular!
A limits cupcake. Interestingly the ones that were nerdy seemed even more popular!

A photo of these cupcakes were also featured on EPCOR’s Twitter feed, and EPCOR’s internal website:

The United Way is an organization that aims to create pathways out of poverty in the Alberta Capital Region.