Blueberry Wheat Ale Cupcakes

Blueberry Wheat Ale Cupcakes | Baking Break

Cheers to this new recipe! After trying a Blueberry Ale during my trip to Boston last year, I’ve been eager to sample more. KBC Blueberry Wheat Ale can be found at Trader Joe’s and has been stocked in my fridge over the past few months. Inspired by last year’s Lemon Berry Shandy Cupcakes, I decided to try out a blueberry version. Best of all, I successfully made blueberry frosting! After last year’s debacle with raspberry buttercream I had my doubts. I tried Tattooed Martha’s recipe and it was a success! Also, after discovering her blog I want to make all the things.

Blueberries and Beer

Grab some blueberries from your favorite farmer’s market and whip up these delicious little treats.


Blueberry Wheat Ale Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberry beer of you choice
1 cup fresh blueberries (I might add another 1/2 cup next time I make these)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In your mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat until the sugar is completely mixed in.
4. Add the eggs, beating after each and then add the vanilla.
5. Mix the beer and milk in a cup. Add the mixture and the flour alternately.
6. Gently fold in the blueberries.
7. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes. Cupcakes should be golden, do the toothpick test to make sure.
8. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost away with Tattooed Martha’s Blueberry Buttercream Frosting and add your extra blueberries to garnish.

Blueberry Wheat Ale Cupcakes: A perfect summer treat!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

Last year I made Nutella Swirl Cupcakes and since then I’ve wanted to try a chocolate and peanut butter version. A fall birthday was the perfect occasion to try these out. This is an easy recipe, especially if you use a cake mix. (I won’t tell.) I should have done a better job taking photos of the process, but I promise it’s simple.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes


Your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (grab a mix and take it easy)
1/2 cup peanut butter

  1. Line cupcake tray with liners and preheat oven according to your chocolate cake recipe
  2. Fill each with 1/3 full with batter
  3. Soften peanut butter for 10-20 seconds in a ceramic dish
  4. Spoon a nickel-sized amount of peanut butter on top of the batter
  5. Swirl with a toothpick
  6. Repeat each layer one more time
  7. Bake according to your chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes-Yum!

I added chocolate frosting, but these are great on their own as well! What other combos do you think would be good for the swirl technique?


Friends, let me tell you about my trip to heaven. I found it in the form of a cupcake shop in LA. You may have heard of Sprinkles, they’re famous for the Cupcake ATM and being the world’s first cupcake bakery.

Cupcake ATM
In my opinion, they make the most divine cupcakes on this planet. Many of their flavors are basic but they do them so well, there’s no competition. They also think outside the box with flavors like ginger lemon and chai latte. Heading to this flagship bakery was on the top of my list for my trip and I’ll be daydreaming of it for weeks. They recently added ice cream to the mix so I had a cupcake sandwich. Yeah. Dark chocolate cupcake and vanilla cherry ice cream. My world was rocked. If you find yourself near a Sprinkles cupcake, do yourself and favor and indulge. You won’t regret it.




Lemon Berry Shandy Cupcakes

Although Labor Day has passed, it still feels like summer here in Ohio. I’m still clinging to all the wonders that summer brings to the kitchen. Yes, this means I’m still eating zucchini. My fridge is also stocked with some summer brews. One of my favorites has been Leinenkugel’s Lemon Berry Shandy and I decided it would be perfect in a cupcake. Originally, I envisioned topping the cupcake with raspberry buttercream but this post was almost named, “The Raspberry Buttercream Incident of 2013.” More on that later. First, here’s the recipe for Lemon Berry Shandy Cupcakes. A perfect way to say farewell to summer!


Lemon Berry Shandy Cupcakes
(Adapted from The Brooklyn Baker)

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Lemon Berry Shandy (or your favorite summer shandy)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In your mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat until the sugar is completely mixed in.
4. Add the eggs, beating after each.
5. Add the vanilla and lemon juice.
6. Mix the beer and milk in a cup. Add the mixture and the flour alternately.
7. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes. Cupcakes should be golden, do the toothpick test to make sure.
8. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost away. If you successfully make raspberry buttercream, I want to hear all about it!
9. Garnish with fruit of your choice if you’re feeling fancy.


So about that raspberry buttercream…I’ve only strayed from traditional buttercream by making it a little boozy. I was armed with what seemed like a great recipe, but I failed. The fresh raspberries were just too juicy. I decided I had plenty of butter so I tried again. The end result resembled zombie brains and somehow found its way all over my poor kitchen floor. One day, I will conquer the raspberry buttercream. But for now, I picked up some icing from the store and called it a day.


What has been your favorite recipe this summer? I made this zucchini pasta several times. I also loved making zucchini nachos. Yes, I may need an intervention about my zucchini obsession.

Nutella Swirl Cupcakes

I think Nutella may be one of the best creations of all time. You can find me spreading this on graham crackers or making crepes, and now swirling it in cupcakes! This was my second attempt at baking with Nutella and I’m pretty happy with the results. Grab a tall glass of milk and enjoy this recipe.


1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 2/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a dozen muffin cups.

2. Beat the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until smooth.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add the wet ingredients and beat on low until combined. Add the milk and beat, then pour in the remaining flour mixture and beat just until combined.

4. Add a spoonful of the batter to each cup, making sure it covers the span of the cup. Heat the Nutella in a small ceramic dish and microwave it for 10-20 seconds, until softened.  Drop a spoonful of Nutella on top of each, and swirl through the batter with the tip of a small knife, or other small object. A toothpick would also work. Add another layer of batter, filling the cup about 3/4 full. Repeat the Nutella process one more time. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

This recipe was adapted from The Family Kitchen.

Father’s Day Cake Balls

Like most dads, mine has a sweet tooth and is always happy to try my new baking creations. Payment for looking after my car and various handyman projects usually comes in the form of sugar from me. A few weeks before Father’s Day, hints for the need of cake pops were dropped.

As I’ve mentioned before, this whole cake pop craze rejuvenated my love of baking. A few years ago I made my first batch of cake balls for New Years Eve…

Not bad, right?

I soon realized cake pops were much easier when it came to getting rid of the excess coating and decorating.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Out of sticks, I decided to do cake balls for Father’s Day. I even thought of making them look like golf balls. Well, fast forward to Friday night at 9 p.m. after a couple of crazy weeks and this is the mess I created:

I found myself hating the process with little patience. Luckily, my family didn’t really notice and boasted that they were the best flavor combination yet. I used vanilla cake, chocolate frosting and a white chocolate coating.

You’re can’t win them all. The important thing is they were delicious. Note to future self: don’t take on a tedious baking project the night before facing a 15 hour work day.

Recent Happenings

The past few weeks have been filled with several baking adventures. Mainly, working with new ingredients.

Nutella Cupcakes

I love Nutella. After my trip to Paris last year I went on a complete Nutella crepe craze and would make them once a week. So, of course I wanted to try baking with this delicious spread. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the first batch, so after some perfecting I’ll share the recipe.

Manhattan Cupcakes

Using the Drunken Cupcake recipe, I substituted the whiskey for bourbon to make this treat resemble the classic cocktail. A Manhattan isn’t my cocktail of choice, but these were just as good as the Drunken Cupcakes. I’m happy to report the chocolate buttercream icing was much easier thanks to the new mixer! I also used my Cupcake Decorating 101 skills to make them prettier than the first Drunken Cupcakes. Although, perhaps it’s more fitting when they’re a bit sloppy. And speaking of my cocktail of choice, I wonder how a mojito cupcake would taste…

On the baking schedule I have cake pops, muffins and cupcakes so expect new recipes soon! I also wanted to share my new plates. I can’t wait to serve dessert on these beauties from Anthropologie.

DC Cupcakes

This recipe was sent my way in February, a subtle hint that perhaps that I should give it a go. Well, it took we awhile to try, but I’m pleased with the results and loved trying out my new decorating tools. I have yet to try Georgetown Cupcakes and don’t watch the show, but I’ve heard good things. The ladies behind the show were kind enough to share the recipe on daytime TV. When I was in DC this fall, I just couldn’t stand in a line that wrapped around the block. For now, my version suits me just fine.

Heather’s DC Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder,
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cups whole milk , at room temperature
1/2 cup chocolate of your choice (make it fancy)

Georgetown Cupcake Buttercream Frosting
16 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp. whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cupcake pans with baking cups. I personally enjoyed a little Peanuts with my cupcakes.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
3. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl and add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well mixed.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
5. Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
6. Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined. Add the chocolate of your choice. I chopped up a Godiva chocolate bar.

7. Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

For the Frosting: Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the confectioner’s sugar; beat on medium speed until it’s mixed well. This is so much easier when you’re using a stand mixer!

Decorating: I purchased a Wilton decorating kit after feeling inspired from my Cupcake Decorating 101 class. For my first attempt, I stuck with a decorator’s swirl with a star tip. Next time I’ll opt for a larger tip but it was helpful to practice. The most important lesson: make sure you fold down your bag when filling it with frosting. This allows you to reduce your mess so you’re not squeezing the frosting out both ends.

Adapted from the original recipe from an appearance by the ladies of Georgetown Cupcakes.

Cupcake Decorating 101

The cupcake trend continues to grow, from the famous DC Cupcakes to the anticipated cupcake vending machine, nothing is slowing down this little treat. I’m always amazed by the way bakers can turn such a small treat into a work of art. Recently I took the plunge to learn more about the skill of cupcake decorating.

The folks at Our Cupcakery are pure geniuses. In addition to serving up cupcakes, they offer a variety of classes so others can learn baking and decorating skills. With a Faveroo deal in hand, I was ready for my Cupcake 101 class.

I learned the basics of working with icing, which was needed after the debacle involved with the drunken cupcakes. A plastic bag with the corner cut off won’t get you the look you desire, so it’s best to invest in the tools. We learned about several different tips and I’m looking forward to shopping for the cupcake goods. The techniques we learned included: the decorator’s swirl, hydrangea, designs with the star trip and imprinting a design with a paper towel.

I would encourage anyone interested in baking to take a similar beginner’s class. This helped me narrow down the type of supplies I’ll need and how I can make these techniques my own. I look forward to experimenting and sharing the results!

Drunken Cupcakes

Was your Valentine’s Day a little rough? Need to drown your sorrows? Put on your apron and make these Drunken Cherry Cupcakes! I’ve been eyeing this recipe since I flipped through the Betty’s Betties Calendar. This calendar features staff from the Betty’s Family of Restaurants and some seriously delicious recipes.

These were made as a special birthday treat. First, some confessions while shopping for ingredients. I was not entirely sure what maraschino cherries were. Yep, embarrassing. I thought they came in a jar, but I checked the produce and baking sections just to be safe. I was ready to ask a random shopper when they appeared in front of me with the ice cream toppings. Next Confession: While checking out I felt judged for buying whiskey, which is ridiculous, I know–but I still felt it necessary to detail exactly why I was buying whiskey to the cashier. I like to over-share.

Dry Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whiskey
2 1/2 cups maraschino cherries

1. Soak cherries in 2 cups of whiskey in 2 cups of whiskey in fridge for two hours. Strain and chop cherries. Set the whiskey aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. Beat eggs and egg white until lightly frothy. Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla and 1/2 cup of remaining whiskey and mix until combined.
5. Mix in dry ingredients slowly until batter is even consistency. Add cherries.

6. Fill cupcake pan with liners and fill 3/4 with batter.
7. Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes.

The next step is to add icing once the cupcakes have cooled. I’m not usually a fan of frosting but I wanted to give it a go. Disaster. Homemade chocolate buttercream frosting is quite the task. My entire kitchen was left with a coating of cocoa powder and powered sugar. The hand mixer and I were not friends. The end result was somehow tasty but my disastrous methods leave me no words of wisdom to pass on. It did, however, inspire me to purchase a stand mixer. More and hopefully, less messy baking ahead! Have you experienced a kitchen disaster?