All posts tagged buttercream

Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Published January 24, 2015 by jenmatteson

Chocolate. Caramel. Need I say more.

Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Buttercream

There are so many wonderful dessert combinations, but personally, I believe that chocolate and caramel take the cake (get it, cake!?). Salted caramel can be very difficult to master. Which is why I bought salted caramel topping instead of making my own. Yes, you read that correctly – I used store bought and did not make it from scratch. Oops.

Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Buttercream

I cut these out in squares and used a piping bag to frost because they look pretty, but you can certainly keep them in the pan and spread the frosting on with a spatula. Or a dump truck. That’s what you’ll want to use anyway, because this frosting is GOO-OOD! Seriously, I would have piped this directly into my mouth had I not been making these for Thanksgiving (which means other people besides the hubs and myself).

Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Buttercream

The brownies themselves are no joke either. The dark chocolate is rich, fudgy and velvety, and also keeps them from being too sweet. Paired with the caramel buttercream, it’s the perfect salty and sweet treat!

Chocolate Brownies with Salted Buttercream

Source: Adapted from Lund’s/Byerly’s
Servings: Makes 24


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
6 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tbps salted caramel topping (usually found with ice cream toppings)
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a shallow 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper (Note: only do this if you plan to take them out of the pan to serve as I did. If you want to frost and cut right in the pan, just spray with a little cooking spray.) Set aside.

2. Melt butter and chocolate pieces in a double boiler (or over a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water) until both have melted, stirring occasionally until mixed and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar together on high speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and creamy and has doubled in volume. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the egg and sugar mixture, and gently fold together with a spatula. Sift in flour and cocoa powder and gently combine until the mixture has a sticky fudgelike consistency. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread into the corners with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is shiny and the sides are just beginning to come away from the pan. Let the brownies cool completely.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a bowl for at least 5 minutes, then gradually add the salted caramel topping and vanilla extract while continuing to mix. Cut and frost brownies as desired once completely cooled.

Golden Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Wedding Reception Recap

Published October 16, 2013 by jenmatteson

As many of you know, we recently celebrated our marriage with a big party at my parent’s house.  Okay, yes, it was almost a month ago, but hey, at least I’m telling you about it!  The party was a lot of work, and everything was put together with the huge help of my family.  My poor husby was sick for several weeks (with bronchitis – though we didn’t know it until after the party), so we had to work extra hard to pull it all off.  And just so you know…the hubs and I made that cupcake stand.  Pretty bad ass, right!?

Golden Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

The day before the event was pretty crazy and I was putting everyone to work, including my 2-year-old niece and 5-year-old nephew.  Here’s a quick peek at everyone:

The most adorable niece, Grace, and my big brother, Matt.

Matt and Grace

THE BEST dad and coolest nephew, Carter.

Grandpa and Carter

The cupcake czar and insanely great decorator, my sister-in-law, Colleen.

Cupcake Master!

My poor sick hubs, Nate.


And by far, my right hand woman, the boss, flower artist, and so much more, my wonderful mom!

My momma!

The party was in my parents’ front yard and was held as an open house, so people could come and go as they please.  We provided a taco bar, a chip and salsa bar, beverages, and cupcakes for dessert.  I made toffee as favors, which was a HUGE hit.  Everyone seemed to love it.  And if they didn’t, they didn’t tell me about it 😛


Toffee Favors

Because they have an enormous amount of land, we invited our friends to camp and stay late with us.  This led to a tournament of flip cup, which I must say, I’m pretty good.  Though, I have to admit, it did take a while to settle in, but once I got the hang of it, Team Doily, aka, Lace Gangstas, were unstoppable!

Late night flip cup

I made the cupcakes for dessert – two kinds of cake with two kinds of frosting.  Both the chocolate cake and frosting was a no-brainer, as I love this chocolate cupcake with caramel ganache frosting.  Being a chocolate freak, the vanilla was not as easy.  These cupcakes took a few practice batches, but they were perfectly moist and bouncy (I’m not really sure if that’s a proper food description word, but it was bouncy and springy, like you’d want a cake to be).

The frosting on the other hand was a chore.  The first recipe I tried was an Italian meringue buttercream.  I liked it because it was not too sweet, but most others who tried it weren’t big fans.  So I enlisted the direction of my sister-in-law, who rocks at baking!  She suggested using the Wilton buttercream recipe, so I tried it out.  The original recipe was far too sweet for me, but seemed to please others.  I ended up going with it, but reduced the sugar by a skosh, so it wasn’t overly sweet.  The result was excellence!  I cannot at all take credit for frosting these pictured cupcakes – my aforementioned sister-in-law graciously frosted all 12 dozen cupcakes for our party.  I couldn’t have done it without her!

Golden Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Golden Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine and Wilton
Servings: Makes 12 cupcakes, about 3 cups of frosting


For the buttercream:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp milk

For the cupcakes:
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk, room temperature


1. Make the buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together shortening and butter.  Add vanilla and gradually add sugar one cup at a time on a low speed.  Scrape down sides to incorporate all sugar.  Icing will appear dry at this point.  Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

2. Keep bowl covered with damp cloth until ready to use.  Icing can also be refrigerated in an airtight container and stored for up to 2 weeks.

3. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.

5. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, cream together sugar, eggs and vanilla until smoothed and slightly thickened.  Add butter and oil and mix until well combined.  Add dry ingredients and milk in three alternating batches, beating well inbetween additions.  Pour batter into muffin liners, filling about 2/3 full.

6. Bake cupcakes on center rack for 18-20 minutes.  Mine took exactly 18, but every oven is different.  Let the muffins cool slightly in the muffin tins, about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

7.  Frost cupcakes with chilled buttercream.

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

Published March 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

I have something to get off my chest.  A minor pet peeve of mine that too many people are guilty of.  St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday and I certainly don’t want any of you looking foolish while touting your whereabouts or whatshappenings on Facebook or Twitter on this drunken Irish holiday.  If you are going to shorten St. Patrick’s Day to St. Paddy’s Day, it’s Paddy, not Patty.  Patty is a name for a girl (short for Patricia) or a burger.  Paddy is derived from the Irish, Pádraig, hence those mysterious double-Ds. Here is some other Irish info you might want to enlighten yourself on before indulging this weekend.

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream Frosting

Now, let’s talk about dessert!  I have saved this recipe for a year, just waiting to make it for this holiday.  I wouldn’t hang on to this recipe for another year before making it again!  You shouldn’t either.

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream Frosting

These little buggers turned out great!  The Guinness really brings out the cocoa but keeps the cupcakes super moist and airy, with a sinful chocolatey delight!  I was worried that the frosting might be too liquor-y tasting, but once it was paired with the cupcake, they complimented each other perfectly.  The frosting is light, fluffy and perfectly sweet.  I am looking forward to serving these at our pre-St. Paddy’s Day celebration on Saturday!

**UPDATE: 3/19/2013 – Everyone loved these cupcakes.  I brought leftovers to work and one of my co-workers said it was the best cupcake she’d ever eaten. What a compliment!  I had several other nice compliments from everyone who tried them.  What a hit!

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream Frosting

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

Source: Adapted from Tide and Thyme
Servings: 22 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 bottle Guinness
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
2/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (sour cream will work too)

For the frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp Bailey’s Irish cream
1 tbsp heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

2. In a saucepan, bring Guinness and butter to a simmer over medium heat.  Once butter has completely melted, whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.  Remove from heat to cool slightly.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and yogurt until blended.  Add Guinness and butter mixture and mix until just combined.  Slowly add in flour mixture and beat until mixture is well combined.

4. Line cupcake pan with liners, and fill liners 2/3 – 3/4 of the way full.  Bake until cakes are just cooked through and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 17 minutes.  Cool slightly, remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

5. For the frosting, place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well in between additions.  Add sugar until the frosting is desired consistency (making it just slightly thicker is ideal because the Bailey’s and cream will loosen it up a bit).  Add Bailey’s and cream and whip until combined.  Add additional sugar if necessary.  Frost cupcakes once they’ve cooled completely.

Triple Double Chocolate Cake

Published October 23, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’m hoping anyone else who is a blogger might be able to relate to this, but I’ve had this draft post saved since May.  Yes, I am quite aware that it’s the end of October, but I kinda just forgot about this until I sifted through some drafts that I had.  I remember writing the commentary in the post, but saving the recipe for later because it was a bit cumbersome.  Apparently, I forgot.  Anyway, I think this might have been one of the first cakes I’ve ever made that was not from a box, so I’m pretty proud!  I’m also craving the dark chocolate mousse.  It was so delicious!

I was originally planning a French silk pie for Mother’s Day, but we were celebrating my dad’s birthday as well, so I decided a cake was in order.  For as long as I can remember, he’s always had a chocolate cake for his birthdays, so I thought it was a good time to try out a cake recipe from Food and Wine that I’d been holding on to for a while.  The article in Food and Wine actually gives two different kinds of cakes (double chocolate or brown butter), with three different fillings (dark, milk, or white chocolate mousse) and three different frostings (rich or white chocolate buttercream, or hazelnut buttercream) to pick and choose from.  I went with the chocolate cake, with dark chocolate mousse filling, and chocolate buttercream frosting, hence the “triple” in the name.  The double comes from the double layer cake.  I’m so creative, right? 😉  Who says I don’t know anything about basketball?

The finished product was missing something visually, so I decided to add chopped pecans to add a bit of pop to the cake.  It actually looked like something I wanted to try!

I may have mentioned this in the past, but…I’m not a baker.  My cakes still seemed a little undercooked when the allotted 25 minutes was up, as when I inserted my toothpick, it didn’t come out crumbly, or clean, it was wet with cake batter.  So, I baked the cakes a bit longer.  Probably too long, because it ended up being slightly dry.  It still tasted amazing, but would have been much better had I not over-baked the cake 😦 , or so I thought….

Two days later, the cake was sitting out on my counter and I thought I’d bring it into work to share.  I popped the top off and taste tested a little piece (just to make sure it was good enough to share), and it actually tasted better than when we had it on Mother’s Day/my dad’s birthday.  It was so incredibly moist, I almost hacked off a piece for breakfast.  Almost.

My conclusion is that it was better because the cake came right out of the refrigerator on Sunday, and today, it was just sitting out at room temperature.  So guess what, I decided not to bring it into the office 😉

The chocolate mousse was the best part!  The recipe makes a lot, and I had quite a bit leftover.  I even tried to add more to the middle, but didn’t want it oozing out the sides when I put on the second layer.  While I was frosting the cake, I had to have Nate try the mousse right away.  It was so amazing!!  The buttercream frosting was nothing to poo-poo either – it was extremely creamy, but still had a light texture, so the cake wasn’t too chocolatey (is that even a thing?).

Triple Double Chocolate Cake

Source: Food and Wine
Servings: 12


For the Cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
unsalted butter, for greasing pans
1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Dark Chocolate Mousse:
1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 tbsp water
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tbsp coffee liqueur
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 sticks plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into tbsps, at room temperature
4 oz extra bittersweet chocolate,  melted and cooled

Directions for cake:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of each flour and cocoa powder.  Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Butter the paper and dust the pans with the flour-cocoa powder mixture.  Tap out any excess.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 cups of flour with 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat eggs with brown sugar and remaining 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar at medium-high speed until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium and slowly add in 1/2 cup oil.  Continue to whisk for 3 minutes.  Beat in melted chocolate and slowly stream in remaining oil, until thoroughly blended.  At a low-speed, mix in buttermilk and vanilla.  Remove bowl from stand and mix in dry ingredients by hand.

4.  Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out with few moist crumbs attached.  Cool cakes in pans for 20 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack, removing the parchment paper, and let cool completely.

5. Set one layer of cake on a platter.  Spread the mousse filling on top and cover with second layer of cake.  Frost cake all over with a thin layer of buttercream.  Refrigerate until set, about 5-10 minutes.  Frost cake with remaining buttercream  Refrigerate the cake until the frosting in firm, at least 15 minutes, before serving.

Directions for the dark chocolate mousse:

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand until softened.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl or bowl of stand mixer, beat cream until softly whipped using stand mixer or handheld electric mixer.  Refrigerate until chilled, about 10 minutes.

3. In a small, microwave safe bowl, heat coffee liqueur until hot, about 45 seconds.  Stir in the soften gelatin until dissolved.

4. In another medium bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and salt at high-speed until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes.  Continue beating and add in coffee liqueur-gelatin liquid and melted chocolate.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to ensure ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Fold in whipped cream using a rubber spatula in two additions.  Scrap mousse into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Directions for chocolate buttercream:

1.  In a food processor, pulse the sugar until powdery.  Transfer to a medium heat-proof bowl and whisk in egg whites and salt.  Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk gently until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

2. Transfer warm egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk.  Add vanilla and beat at medium-high speed until stiff and glossy, about 8 minutes.  Beat in butter a few pieces at a time, fulling incorporating them before adding more.  The buttercream should be light and fluffy.  If it appears runny at anytime, transfer to the freezer for 5-10 minutes, return to stand mixer and continue.

3. Beat in melted chocolate until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl.  Remove bowl from mixer and beat with a wooden spoon to remove any air bubbles.

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