Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts came into being thanks to one of my favourite clients here in Cape Town – Saa-rah Adams 😀

She is so cool! She and her family have ordered pretty much everything on my home bakery menu, TWICE! And sometimes when they order they’ll say the best line a baker wants to hear: “Surprize us!”

I actually baked Pear, Caramel & Hazelnut Cupcakes as a large cake for her, but today I would like to share the cupcake version. I love the cupcake version so much because there is more caramelization during baking which just makes the flavour SENSATIONAL!

Recipe Introduction

My Pear Cupcakes recipe is quite similar to German Apple Cake, in the sense that there’s no additional liquid added to the batter like milk, buttermilk, etc. All the liquid comes from the natural juices inside the fresh fruit.

For this reason the batter is really stiff when you mix it. It is more like something in between a batter and dough. DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!

I know it is quite difficult to mix, but just take your time and “massage” the fresh pear into the batter with the back of a sturdy metal spoon. I once used a standard stainless steel dessert spoon to mix the pear into the batter and the thing bent over onto itself completely!

Another super important note is to have your cupcake pans ready and lined with cupcake cases BEFORE you mix the pear into the batter. I have a post on making your own cupcake cases as well.

The reason behind this is that the sugar inside the batter starts to draw out the pear’s natural juices very quickly. If these juices are stirred about into the batter, the caramelization of the cupcakes seriously decreases! By about as much as 30% I’d say.

The texture of the crumb is also then just all wrong and the pear pieces inside the batter are less pronounced. Bottom line, DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately.

Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the pear cupcakes batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be more or less level with the rims of the cupcake pan.

A Note on Pears

I like to use Bosc Pears. I have used different varieties of pear for this recipe as well with great success. Bosc Pears are just bigger, so there’s less peeling to do! Lol!

Whichever pears you use, just make sure they are NOT SOFT! In other words, they should be slightly under ripe.

Super ripe pears will just disintegrate entirely in this recipe, and you don’t want that. The pear flavour is more pronounced in the pear cupcakes when you bite into plenty little jewels of pear in every bite.

The pear pieces will spend 40 minutes in the oven, so they will end up being soft in the final taste experience.

These Pear Cupcakes are SO GOOOD! In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & hazelnuts - YUM! #pearcake #pearcupcakes #pearcaramel #fallrecipes

 

What Makes These Pear Cupcakes so Good?

They are SO SCRUMMY! They have a deep and even slightly crispy caramelization on top and a super moist, crazy flavourful interior. Paired with Philosophy of Yum Whipped Cream Cream-Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & Toasted Hazelnuts the YUM factor is taken even further.

In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! And you know I don’t say anything like this very often!

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 14
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. Line 14 cupcake tin holes with cupcake liners/cases.
  3. In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir well.
  4. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon together in a bowl.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a sturdy metal spoon until well combined. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Add chopped pears to the batter. Press and fold the pears into the batter. The batter will be super thick, BUT DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!
  7. DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately. Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be almost level with the rims of the cupcake pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 35 - 45 minutes or until they have a uniform dark golden colour. I really prefer to leave them in longer so that they caramelize a bit more. The flavour is just sensational! There’s heaps of fresh pear inside the cupcakes, so there’s no danger of them drying out.
  9. Leave cupcakes to cool in the tin.
  10. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them with Philosophy of Yum Vanilla Frosting, drizzle with Salted Caramel and finish with a generous sprinkle the toasted chopped hazelnuts.
  11. Enjoy! Yummm!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Gluten Free Baking was such a challenging fete a few years ago, but today it’s a totally different story! There are so many gluten free flours available in most grocery stores nowadays.

And with the research of some amazing food bloggers like Art of Gluten Free Baking, Gluten Free on a Shoestring and more, gluten free ANYTHING is possible!

In my own Home Bakery, all my cakes and cupcakes are available in gluten free. This is not because I “saw a gap in the market” or anything, it’s rather because my husband, Adriaan, is highly intolerant to gluten.

I firmly believe that no home baker should try and sell anything they don’t believe in. Not so much because it’s inconsistent, but honestly, it just doesn’t work.

You can market products till you pass out, but if you don’t LOVE your products and really believe in the motivation behind baking them, you will literally not be able to sell them. Not nearly enough of them anyway.

There I go again, throwing in baking business advice. Back to the gluten free chat!

 

Gluten Free, But Also Lazy

The biggest problem I found with gluten free baking when I started exploring it, was that I needed to use a whole new recipe every time I wanted to bake something gluten free.

In other words, I couldn’t just use my favourite Carrot Cupcake Recipe, I had to go search for a gluten free carrot cupcake recipe – and even then there was no guarantee that the recipe would be up to scratch.

Having a Home Bakery is quite a high paced job, so I mostly memorize my recipes so that my baking process is much faster. The idea of memorizing DOUBLE the recipes because of a whole gluten free repertoire was just WAY too exhausting to even consider!!

I’ve quoted my wise (and unconventional) dad on this before in my How to Freeze Crème Pat post, but he always said:

“If you want to be lazy, you have to be clever!”

There simply had to be a gluten free flour blend you can sub into ANY regular cake or cupcake recipes.

On top of that, MANY gluten free cake recipes are severely annoying. They ask for these crazy ingredients which I’ve never seen before in my life and still have not found in any supermarket or health food store in my area.

Things like Ultratex, Expandex and Whey Protein Isolate… What?! Or should I say “Gezuntheid”?

Step by step instructions to help you make literally ANY cake or cupcake recipe Gluten Free. Includes recipe for the best gluten free cake flour you can make at home! No need to hunt for special, gluten free recipes anymore. Just your favourite recipes and substitute in this gluten free flour blend :) #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreecake #glutenfreeflour #glutenfreecupcakes

I’ve been on a mission to find something that could be made with ingredients that are available to me and can easily be mixed with no special equipment or effort.

So I came up with my own gluten free cake flour blend that has changed everything for my husband! I also started using this gluten free cake flour in my own bakery for all gluten free cakes and cupcakes. The POY gluten free flour blend yields such a soft and tender crumb!

And I love that I can find ALL of these ingredients in my closest health store/supermarket!

This gluten free flour can be substituted gram for gram in ANY cake and cupcake recipe!

I mix 1 kg of flour in a little sealed bucket and keep it in my cupboard to whip out whenever I need it. You are welcome to halve or quarter the recipe if you need to. I go by grams because the accuracy is just better when it comes to dry ingredients.

 

Not All Cake Recipes Are Created Equal

The worst mistake we can make as bakers is to assume that all cake and cupcake recipes should be treated the same way. I did a thorough post on Baking Perfect Cupcakes a while back where I also stress this fact.

Butter based recipes respond completely different to mixing than oil based recipes. Butter based cake/cupcake recipes can be overmixed so much faster than oil based recipes and this is amplified severely when you use gluten free flour.

 

Subbing With POY Gluten Free Flour Blend

I love to use my own gluten free flour blend because it works PERFECTLY in all cake and cupcake recipes.

And here’s a super important tip for the subbing process: Go By Weight and Not Volume!

I never, ever, EEEEVERRRR use cup measurements for dry ingredients. EVER. Wet ingredients, absolutely, but not dry ingredients. The reason why is because cup measurements leave way too much room for error. A loosely poured cup of flour weighs about 150 g, but a scooped cup of flour can weigh up to 190 g!

If a recipe does not provide weight measurements, I like to assume I should use 170 g per cup which is in the middle. This has always worked for me 🙂

 

Mixing Technique for Butter Based Recipes

Cream your butter and sugar as you normally would. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract as you normally would.

When you add the gluten free flour (remember to use exactly the same weight as regular cake flour the recipe calls for) and milk/buttermilk, be careful how you stir and how much you stir.

Gluten free flour in butter based batters, gets overmixed really quickly. Overmixed gluten free cake batter will feel very stiff when you stir it and will result in small and tough cupcakes once baked.

For this reason, I incorporate my gluten free flour and milk/buttermilk on the slowest stir speed with my hand mixer – not with a stand mixer – for about 10 seconds which gives me more control and eliminates the danger of overmixing. If your hand mixer does not have a super slow stir speed, stir super gently, by hand, with a balloon whisk.

When I can’t see any more flour, I then go in with my rubber spatula. Use the spatula to scrape and fold all the eggy butter at the bottom of the bowl into the thicker batter on top. Keep folding gently and scraping the bowl till the batter looks uniform in texture.

Then you may proceed to fill your cupcake liners or cake pans. You can read more about perfect batter distributing techniques in my post Baking Perfect Cupcakes – Advanced Tips 🙂

Just remember to NEVER stir a butter based gluten free batter vigorously.

There are some butter based recipes out there that instruct you to beat the batter after the flour has been added. This is often done to give the cake’s texture a little bit more density and some chewiness. BUT, ignore this is you sub gluten free flour into the recipe. It just flops entirely and you end up with gluten free bricks that no one wants to eat.

(No weird ingredients!) Use this simple gluten free flour blend in all your favourite cake and cupcake recipes! No need to keep hunting endlessly for the ideal gluten free baking recipes. Just sub this gluten free cake flour in - gram for gram. #glutenfreeflour #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreecake #glutenfreecupcakes

 

Mixing Technique for Oil Based Recipes

Great news is that oil based batters are WAY more forgiving! Score! Whether you are mixing carrot cake, chocolate cake or red velvet cake, you don’t need to be as careful as you are with butter based gluten free batters.

This being said, I still wouldn’t mix it a lot unless the recipe states that you should do so. My Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, for example, requires you to mix the batter on medium speed for 2 minutes before adding boiling water. Since this is an oil based recipe, I do beat the batter for the required time even when I sub gluten free flour and they turn out great!

 

Baking Technique

When you sub POY Gluten Free Flour blend in a regular recipe, please note that your goods will bake a lot faster than when you use regular flour. It’s hard to say how much faster because it all depends on your oven. For me it’s usually about 10%-15% faster. Rather start testing your cake or cupcakes sooner to avoid over baking.

 

Subbing Beyond Cakes & Cupcakes

In our home we like to use this gluten free flour blend in Shortcrust Pastry, Cheesecake Pastry and Fresh Pasta too! It produces a gluten free pasta we can even roll out in our pasta machine – so rad!

Important note: This flour recipe is not ideal for making bread or brownies, but I do have an Ultimate Gluten Free Brownie Recipe 🙂

 

If you have any more questions on substituting gluten free flour in regular cake/cupcake recipes, please comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them 🙂

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

The ultimate carrot cupcakes are not simply a carrot cake recipe poured into cupcake liners. It’s much more sensitive and complex than that for several reasons.

When you use a regular carrot cake recipe to bake cupcakes, the texture typically ends up being too dense for a cupcake.

Another problem is that cupcakes bake for a shorter period of time than a large cake, so that deep caramelization flavour is lost. Which is definitely not okay! That caramelised, slightly chewy top is the BEST part.

 

Flavour Comes First

When I speak of Carrot Cake, I’m NOT talking about those “carrot cakes” that are basically just a vanilla sponge with shredded carrot inside. That is not proper Carrot Cake. It is carrot flavoured Vanilla Cake. If it were a song, it would be “itsy bitsy spider”.

Proper Carrot Cake is much deeper and darker, with such a dynamic flavour and texture. If it were a song, it would be “O sole Mio”. EPIC. Unique. Gutsy. Excellence. (And yes, I’m listening to O sole mio as I write this post 🙂 There’s an AMAZING version where Pavarotti sings it with Bryan Adams – so stunning!)

This ultimate carrot cupcakes recipe is made with golden syrup, dark brown sugar and molasses, so it is absolutely brimming with caramel-ly depth!

The Texture

When I eat carrot cake as a slice of cake, the texture should absolutely be a bit denser than a sponge cake.

However, when I eat carrot cake in cupcake form it has to be just as moist and flavourful, BUT also LIGHT. Heavy cupcakes are just not pleasant…

So this recipe perfectly captures ALL the stunning texture of regular carrot cake, but also with a light, tender and super moist crumb – as a cupcake should be.

The way you prepare the carrots for your ultimate carrot cupcakes is key. Do not shred/grate them too finely. If you grate them too fine, they will just disappear into the batter and be less prominent in the final flavour experience.

Another reason to not grate the carrots too fine is because it leaves more surface area for the batter to react with the carrots. The batter contains sugar and salt which draws the moisture out of the carrots.

So IF you grate the carrots too fine, they react with the batter much faster, drawing moisture out of the carrots much faster and leaving you with a very runny batter in a matter of minutes.

This makes all your lovely raisins, pineapple etc. sink to the bottom when baking. So to avoid this, rather grate your carrots coarser.

 

As for all the extras beyond carrots, I like to use raisins, crushed pineapple plus toasted pecans.

I know that walnuts are more traditional in carrot cake, but the toasted pecans completely outshine walnuts in this instance.

 

These are seriously the ULTIMATE Carrot Cupcakes. Deep, gutsy, EPIC flavour, but with a light, moist and tender crumb. Topped with the best cream cheese frosting ever and toasted pecan nuts. SO YUM! #carrotcake #carrotcupcakes #carrotcakerecipe #bestcarrotcake

 

The Frosting

As you may know by now, I make no secret of my disdain for traditional buttercream and even cream cheese frosting as well, because they are TOO SWEET.

Frosting is supposed to CONTRIBUTE to the flavour experience, not just round off the visual presentation of cupcakes.

Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting is balanced and DELICIOUS and it pairs perfectly with these ultimate carrot cupcakes 🙂

These are seriously the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes. Deep, gutsy, EPIC flavour, but with a light, moist and tender crumb. Topped with the best cream cheese frosting ever and toasted pecan nuts. SO YUM!

So here we go – my recipe for the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 230 g Flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ Tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 130 g Eggs
  • ½ T Vanilla Extract
  • 65 g White Granulated Sugar
  • 100 g Demerara Sugar
  • 130 g Canola Oil
  • 70 g Golden Syrup
  • 15 g Molasses
  • 40 g raisins
  • 270 g grated Carrots
  • 100 g Crushed Pineapple, scooped with juice
  • 100 g Toasted Pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, place the eggs, oil, vanilla, white sugar, demerara sugar, golden syrup and molasses. Whisk together with a hand mixer on high speed for 90 seconds. It should be pale and almost doubled in volume.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a large metal spoon.
  5. Add the grated carrot, raisins and crushed pineapple to the bowl and fold in. Be sure to mix everything together thoroughly as the fresh carrot can often hide together in little huddles in the batter.
  6. Proceed to fill the lined cupcake tins immediately. Do not let the batter stand. Divide the batter evenly between 15 lined cupcake tin holes. I like to first fill each liner halfway, stir the remaining batter again, and then fill the liners the rest of the way so that the first 5 cupcakes don't get all the extra bits and the last few cupcakes just get batter with no raisins, pineapple, etc.
  7. Bake at 180ᵒC/356°F for about 25 mins, rotating the tins halfway through baking. The cupcakes should be a deep golden brown. Also test the cupcakes with a toothpick – if the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
  8. Leave to cool in the tins. Once completely cold, remove from tins.
  9. Make Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired and sprinkle the remainder of the chopped pecans generously on top. Enjoy!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on Facebook, twitter or Instagram @philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

Piping Frosting 101 – The Frosting Piping Manual!

Piping Frosting 101 – The Frosting Piping Manual!

Piping Frosting 101 – The Frosting Piping Manual!

Piping frosting was something I overthought for about a year.

I must have watched 50 videos on YouTube before I actually picked up a piping bag for the first time.

But even after watching ALL those videos I still felt like I had NO IDEA what I was doing! During my first year of more serious baking, I resorted to rather spooning frosting onto cupcakes just to be safe.

Since my last post was my ultimate Vanilla Frosting Recipe and I have shared my ultimate Chocolate Frosting Recipe with you before, I thought I should complete the circle and write this post on PIPING Frosting.

Over the last 5 years I’ve become, thankfully, super comfortable with piping frosting. But I’ve also realized that there are some practical tips and methods that can help a beginner understand more clearly what they need to do.

Most of those 50 videos didn’t help me at all.

The bakers just said: “Pipe the frosting around… Like that!”

That doesn’t do it for me. I need WORDS to explain to me what I need to do.

Just watching someone isn’t enough. And no one can really afford to frost 1000 guinea pig cupcakes before being able to pipe frosting well enough to sell them!

 

Finding the Words to Explain HOW

A dear friend of ours joined me in the kitchen one day so we could bake some cupcakes together. She’s 16 and has a great passion for baking! When the time came for piping frosting onto the cupcakes, I saw her doing it the exact same way I had done it 5 years ago.

That morning I was finally able to articulate WHAT she was doing wrong and HOW to fix it.

So I will start by explaining all the natural MISTAKES beginners tend to make when piping frosting…

 

FROSTING PIPING MISTAKES:

1. Piping Nozzle is too Small

Tiny star tips are so 1990’s. Stay away from them. The finish looks so bad and it’s also much harder to get the frosting to come out with a consistent thickness all the way through. So use a larger nozzle – it makes the frosting look way more generous and voluptuous!

2. Open Star Nozzles aren’t Ideal

Open star nozzles (except for the French tip) do not create a finish as beautiful as CLOSED star nozzles. Closed star nozzles make DEEPER grooves in the frosting, making the finished effect way more dramatic and shapely.

Definitely go for a large, closed star nozzle. If you can only find open star ones, then bend the spikes into the open center to create a closed star shape. I did this 5 years ago with my first ever stainless steel nozzle (13mm diameter opening) – it’s still my favourite one for piping frosting onto cupcakes 🙂

Make sure that the spikes are long enough to bend in all the way to the center. Do leave about 1 mm open in the center though.

Another perk of closed star nozzles is that they SAVE FROSTING! The frosting is more defined when it comes out, but the deeper grooves also mean that less frosting comes out overall. Win-win my friend!

 

Frosting Piping Manual: This thorough post breaks down all the DO's and DON'TS of piping frosting. Includes step by step instructions for piping frosting perfectly every time! #pipingfrosting #cakedecorating #bakingforbeginners

 

3. Plastic Nozzles – No Go!

You still have plastic nozzles in your house? Whaaaat?! NO! Throw those things away or give it to your kids to play with.

The biggest problem with plastic nozzles is that they fray and decay over time. This fraying creates jagged edges on your frosting – not cool.

Stainless steel nozzles basically have a lifetime warranty. As I’ve said, I’ve used 1 piping nozzle for 5 years and for THOUSANDS of cupcakes.

The finish on my frosting is defined and beautifully smooth every time. I highly recommend the Wilton 2D or Wilton 1M tip!

4. Frosting is too Stiff

Frosting needs a form of “elasticity” to be piped beautifully. If your frosting is too stiff, it will behave as if it’s “brittle”. This means it will break off before you get to pipe around the cupcake.

What you want is ONE, long frosting sausage from beginning to end with no breakage whatsoever.

If you only realize that your frosting is too stiff when you are busy piping, remove all the frosting from the piping bag and fix the consistency first.

Yes, it is more effort, but a shabby finish on your cupcakes is way more exhausting on an emotional level.

5. Frosting is too Runny/Slack

If your frosting is too runny/slack, the grooves in your piped frosting will totally disappear and ruin the cupcake’s aesthetics completely.

If you only realize that your frosting is too runny when you are busy piping, remove all the frosting from the piping bag and fix the consistency first.

Yes, it is more effort, but a shabby finish on your cupcakes is way more exhausting on an emotional level.

6. Holding Nozzle too Close to Cupcake

I’ve realized that piping frosting beautifully onto cupcakes is rather about GUIDING the frosting to gracefully rest in the right position than “putting it on” the cupcakes.

When you have the approach of “putting frosting on” cupcakes, then you tend to hold the nozzle way too close to the cupcake while piping. Any sudden movement then causes you to push the nozzle into the frosting on the cupcake, ruining the finish and clean groove lines.

7. Wrong Angle When Piping Frosting

When you are piping frosting, don’t hold the piping bag diagonal to the cupcake. If you do this then every side of the finished cupcake will look different.

Hold the piping bag perfectly perpendicular to the top of cupcake’s surface. This ensures a consistent frosting pattern all the way around.

So now that we know the DON’TS of piping frosting, what are the DO’S?

 

HOW TO PIPE FROSTING PERFECTLY

1. Perfect Piping Consistency

This is quite a sensitive one. We already know that the frosting shouldn’t be too stiff because it will break off when piping. We also know that it shouldn’t be too runny because then our beautifully defined grooves will disappear.

Piping consistency is different from spreading consistency – which is used for layering cakes. To test whether your frosting is piping consistency, you will need a large spoon.

The spoon is handy for 2 reasons. First of all, use it to stir your frosting vigorously for 15 seconds to break any large air pockets and get your frosting smooth.

Secondly you need the spoon for the “plop test”. Yes, this is a term I totally made up just now.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

Scoop up a generous spoonful of frosting and hold it up. Now turn your wrist 90 degrees so that the frosting is exposed to gravity, heading towards dropping back into the bowl. Ideally, you want the frosting to linger on the spoon for 3 – 5 seconds before it drops off, back into the bowl.

Another test is the “peak test”. Yet another term I made up just now 🙂

Tap a spoon on top of the frosting and push down gently. Next, lift the spoon up vertically to create a perky peak on the frosting. If the peak bends over and flops down, your frosting is too runny.

If this test doesn’t create one, tall peak but rather a few shorter peaks in an oval arrangement, then your frosting is too stiff.

2. Perfectly Shaped Cupcakes

A “do” that we can’t ignore is that piping frosting perfectly becomes SO much easier when you’ve got perfect cupcakes!

Cupcakes with pointy tops are very difficult to pipe onto because the angle brings gravity into the mix as well, causing your frosting to sag down and ruining your beautiful frosting grooves.

Cupcakes with perfectly smooth and level tops make a world of difference! Fortunately I’ve written a super thorough post on How to Bake Perfect Cupcakes 🙂

3. Holding the Piping Bag

When you’ve filled your piping bag with frosting, twist the end a few times to prevent the frosting from escaping.

Wrap your dominant hand around the filled piping bag. Hold the twisted end securely in the gap between your thumb and index finger.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

The frosting will be squeezed out with your dominant hand ONLY! Your other hand is merely there to guide the tip in the right direction. Never apply pressure with both hands.

When piping frosting, apply pressure using the outer part of your palm along with your pinky, ring finger and middle finger. You can also use your thumb’s palm to assist in applying pressure. Let your thumb and index finger focus on keeping the piping bag’s twist from unraveling.

4. Piping Frosting – Basic Swirl

The biggest mistake I made as a beginner was to keep my eye on the frosting while I was piping. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE CUPCAKE while piping frosting. The aim is to follow the shape of the cupcake – that is your constant reference/guide.

Before you start piping frosting, keep in mind that you are merely GUIDING the frosting into place and not “putting it on”.

Decide beforehand how big your border of exposed cupcake will be (more or less). Your frosting’s first contact point should be another 5 mm inside that border so that the frosting’s blunt starting point will be hidden at the end.

Hold the piping bag as perpendicular as possible to the cupcake’s surface.

Hold the piping nozzle’s end point a good half inch away from the surface of the cupcake. Apply careful, even pressure and make your first contact point.

While still applying consistent pressure, squeeze the frosting so that it gracefully leaves the piping bag and guide it into place. Keep your eye on the outer edge of the cupcake all the time!! That is your guide.

Go all the way around till you reach your starting point. Just before your starting point, curve in slightly, allow your second circle to overlap slightly with your first circle of frosting.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

When you have spiraled to the center, push down slightly and then release. This last, slight push secures your last spiral of frosting in place so that it doesn’t lift off into a slim, awkward, angled peak when you remove your piping nozzle.

Also, when you lift off the nozzle at the end, don’t do it 100% straightly upwards. Try to incorporate a bit of the swirl’s direction as you end off.

5. Piping Frosting in a “Rose”

Before you start, keep in mind that you are GUIDING the frosting into place and not “putting it on”.

Decide beforehand how big your border of exposed cupcake will be (more or less).

Hold the piping bag as perpendicular as possible to the cupcake’s surface.

Start in the center of the cupcake.

Hold the piping nozzle’s end point a good half inch away from the surface of the cupcake. Apply careful, even pressure and make your first contact point. Hold your position for another second so that more frosting comes out. (The center of a rose always has more petals)

After this you can proceed to start piping frosting in a spiral, around the contact point.

While still applying consistent pressure, squeeze the frosting so that it gracefully leaves the piping bag and guide it into place.

Keep your eye on the outer edge of the cupcake all the time so that you get a symmetrical rose.

As you approach the end of your cupcake’s outer surface, gradually apply less pressure, till you seamlessly stop (while guiding the last bit of frosting to adhere to the frosting on the cupcake).

A step by step tutorial with thorough explanations on hand movements, frosting consistency, piping nozzles, different piping techniques and more. You'll be piping frosting like a pro in not time! #cupcakedecorating #cakedecorating #perfectcupcakes #pipingfrosting

 

6. Piping Frosting – Tall Swirl

If you want your frosting a mile high on top of your cupcakes, I’m going to recommend something quite controversial.

Rather start with the rose technique and then go over directly into the basic swirl ON TOP of the rose. Doing this creates more frosting structure below your high swirl as well as some additional frosting support in the center.

That’s it my friend! Easy peasy frosting squeezy! 😉

The frosting in all my pics is my Ultimate Vanilla Frosting and Ultimate Chocolate Frosting. They are both SENSATIONALLY delicious!! They’ll turn you into a frosting snob… Seriously… you’ll shun buttercream forever after tasting them.

Chat soon

Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes – Secret Recipe!

Sharing my Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe with you this week seemed quite fitting because it is (or actually was) Philosophy of Yum Blog’s 1-year Birthday!! Yayyyy! 😀

I wanted to share a super special recipe on this special occasion and also to just thank you for your support over the last year. It means so much to me.

Many of you have asked me why I don’t share my bakery’s “claim to fame” recipes like Double Chocolate Brownies, German Apple Cake or Dark Chocolate cake.

The simple reason behind this is that my home bakery (Philosophy of Yum) is by FAR my main source of income. These recipes are my bread and butter so sharing them with the world is still a little bit risky at this point.

This week however, I’m making an exception because of my blog’s birthday 😀 So I am sharing with you my top-secret recipe for Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes!

Looking for that ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe? Super moist, ridiculously chocolate-y, not too sweet and packed with flavour? This is the chocolate cupcake recipe you've been looking for. Click through to get therecipe! #chocolatecupcakes #bestchocolatecupcakes #chocolatecupcakerecipe #homebaking

 

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe Development

Chocolate Cupcakes are really just one of those classic and sacred baked goods that ring nostalgic notes for ALL of us. They were and are always present at every kid’s birthday party, every bake sale, every church bazaar, every bakery and every grocery store.

I’ve probably tried out about 15 different recipes for chocolate cupcakes in my life. You know me by now. If cake doesn’t melt me with its powers of YUM, then I’ll stop eating it. Why waste the calories? I tried recipe after recipe.

Often tweaking a recipe 3 times before finally moving on to the next one. It became my mission for many years to finally find THE ONE!

I’ve found that butter based recipes are just not ideal for any kind of chocolate cake. Oil locks in a great deal more moisture!

The method is also absolutely critical. Once a hot liquid is added, you really want to keep the mixing low and slow.

The chocolate cupcakes recipe I was finally and fully pleased with ended up being a combination of a few plus some added tweaks I made on the spur of the moment. It worked perfectly and I am so grateful!

The base recipe was from Homemade by Holman. One huge perk about this recipe is that you can mix it in one bowl from start to finish which means less dishes – yes please!

Recipe Introduction

The texture of these chocolate cupcakes is very moist, soft and creamy. And the flavour is SUPER chocolatey! The smooth chocolate ganache and slightly tangy chocolate frosting round off an indulgent texture and flavour experience.

The chocolate frosting recipe I shared in my previous post here. You can also make your own fancy Dark Chocolate shavings like I did! I posted a whole step by step tutorial here. I didn’t think I would share one of my best recipes this soon, but here it is…

My top-secret Philosophy of Yum recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes!

Are you a total Chocolate Cupcake Snob? Well, so am I. It HAS to be super moist, ridiculously chocolate-y, not too sweet and packed with flavour! This is the ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe - seriously. It's the one you've been looking for. #chocolatecupcakes #bestchocolatecupcakes #chocolatecupcakerecipe

5.0 from 6 reviews
Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
 
Author:
Serves: 14
Ingredients
  • 240 g Granulated White Sugar
  • 190 g Cake Flour
  • 50 g Cocoa Powder, best quality you can find
  • ⅓ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 55 g Egg (out of shell)
  • 115 g Milk (4-5% Fat)
  • 125 g Canola Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Water (just boiled)
  • FOR GANACHE: 100 g Cream (about 35% fat content)
  • FOR GANACHE: 100 g Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C.
  2. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add in the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the same mixing bowl.
  5. Warm the milk in the microwave for 20 seconds to bring it more or less to room temperature. Add it to the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Beat all the ingredients together with the paddle attachment on a low speed for 20 seconds to roughly combine. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  7. Switch on your kettle at this point for the boiling water.
  8. Beat the batter once more on medium high speed for 2 minutes. The batter will be very stiff! As the sugar dissolves, it will become a bit looser.
  9. Pour the ½ cup boiling water into the batter.
  10. Mix in light pulses on super low speed to stop the boiling liquid from splashing everywhere. After a few light turns it should be safe to turn up the speed to a steady low. Mix until liquid is no longer separate.
  11. Remove the mixing bowl from the machine and stir the batter thoroughly with a metal spoon till you have an even and smooth consistency.
  12. Divide the batter evenly between 14 lined cupcake holes.
  13. Make sure your oven has two oven racks inside. One rack should be in the top half of your oven, and one in the bottom half of your oven so that your oven cavity is basically divided into 3 equal spaces. Place an empty muffin tin, roasting tray or any other baking tin on the top rack. Place your cupcakes on the lower rack.
  14. Pour about ½ cup water into the bottom of your oven to create some steam. If your oven has an element right on the bottom or if you have a gas oven, pour 1 cup of water into the baking tin on the top rack in your oven.
  15. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, turning after 8 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if the cupcakes are cooked. Ideally there should be a few moist crumbs sticking to the skewer… Remember, they will continue to cook for a minute or two more after you remove them from the oven.
  16. Read below for decorating instructions with chocolate ganache.

 

Decorating the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes:

I love the combination of chocolate ganache and frosting! The chocolate frosting I used here is my signature ultimate chocolate frosting I use in my bakery every day. It’s the tastiest frosting in the whole world!

Place a round tip nozzle in your piping bag and fill with the ultimate chocolate frosting. Hold the piping bag directly over the top of the cupcake (about 2 cm away from the surface) and squeeze out the frosting while keeping the bag stationary.

Once you are satisfied with the AMOUNT of frosting, stop. Use a teaspoon to flatten out the surface and spread the frosting more to the edges.

Place the frosted cupcakes in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you make the chocolate ganache.

To make the ganache, simply heat the cream till it starts to simmer and add it to the chopped dark chocolate. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes and stir till smooth & dreamy.

Just spoon the semi-runny ganache over the frosting and work it around the top till you are happy with the look. Do not dunk the frosted cupcakes in the ganache! This frosting is a lot softer than traditional frosting and it will probably fall off.

Finally, I topped my ultimate chocolate cupcakes with some beautiful dark chocolate shavings. Click here to see how to make your own!

I really hope you make these yourself at home! They are just DIVINE. If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)