Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's A Cup-Cup-Cup-Cake World

I'm not a food blogger, and I have no intention of becoming a food blogger, much as I love cooking and baking.  Other people have that niche covered, and they're much better about it than I am.  Also, they're probably much cleaner in the kitchen.

But I was so tickled and amused with the Banana Split-flavored cupcakes I made this morning for a work barbecue this afternoon that I had to share everything with you!

I wanted to come up with a great dessert for my office peeps, one they hadn't seen before.  I make brownies all the time so those were nixed.  They love my homemade marshmallows, but a) they've seen them before and b) they're pretty labor intensive.

Then I got my daily email from Hungry Girl and she had a bunch of nifty cupcake recipes.  Hungry Girl is a fun website for healthy food tips, tricks, and recipes that use items most Americans probably have in their pantry.  Now, I'll be honest here and let you know that sometimes she uses processed foods along with fresh foods for her recipes and I'm not big on processed foods. I also don't have many of them in my pantry (or I try not to, anyway) so I don't often make her recipes for that reason.  Since I had to go shopping for food for the barbecue anyway, I didn't mind picking on of her recipes for this occasion!  (All her recipes use Weight Watchers Points so if you follow that diet/lifestyle, it's definitely worth checking out.)

ANYHOO, this is the recipe I used: Banana SplitCakes (that's the printable recipe, so if you click it a fun little window might pop-up. It's also the third recipe down here)

The very first thing I did was make the frosting - Cool Whip and Strawberry Preserves.  Easy peasy.  My apartment gets h-o-t, as I've discovered when making homemade buttercream, so I didn't want my frosting to melt before I had a chance to decorate!! I set it aside, in a bowl in the fridge, and then made the batter:

Yummy, yummy batter
This made me nervous, because I didn't follow the recipe on the cake mix box, but instead followed the Hungry Girl recipe.  As such, I didn't add egg or oil, just some baking powder.  I wasn't sure what to expect (I'm notoriously awful at baking with a recipe - I can either wing it, or I need the recipe to be very, incredibly specific).  The hardest part of the entire process was right here, when I needed to mash - by hand - 4 bananas.  I thought I could just take a fork and mash-mash-mash, but apparently my bananas weren't ripe enough for that. So. It took a while.

Ready for the oven!
I'd also like to point out that this was the TASTIEST cake batter I've ever had.

The recipe said that the cupcakes would take approximately 20 minutes to bake.  I ended up baking them for closer to 30 minutes.  It was hard to tell if they were ready because of the banana in the cake batter. 

Hmm, so far they look normal!
Then I stuck all the cupcakes on a tray and put them in the fridge to cool down while I went to shower, get dressed, and pretty myself up for the barbecue.

The next step was frosting the cupcakes.  I have a nifty cupcake carrier, so I put all the cupcakes in their position before frosting.  It's a little harder to frost them that way, but I'm less likely to drop them or mess them up.  I put the frosting into a plastic baggie and cut the end off so I could pipe it onto the cakes - I figured this would be the least messy way.

Then I grabbed a pinchful of chocolate chips and sprinkled them on the cakes, and topped with a hand-cut maraschino cherry (do you know how EXPENSIVE pre-cut cherries are? Ridiculous.)

Mmmm, hand-cut cherries...
The end result was some pretty stinkin' beautiful cupcakes, and they tasted amazing too!

bon appétit!

1 comment:

Claire said...

Oooh, those look awesome!