Cupcakes

National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day!

It’s National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day and I’ve been waiting for any excuse to make these again!  The brown sugar butter glaze caramelizes the top perfectly to make these sweet and luscious Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Extra Moist Yellow Cake and highly recommend it!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

20 oz. can of sliced pineapple, drained and reserve the juice

1/3 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

12 maraschino cherries, cut in half

24 baking cups

Spray the baking cups really well with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple slices and set the juice aside.  Cut the pineapple rings into four pieces each.  Cut the maraschino cherries in half.

On low speed for 30 seconds, mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and pineapple juice.  Continue mixing on medium speed for two minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Put 1 1/2 tsp. of butter mixture into each baking cup.  Add a maraschino cherry in the center (round side down) and then add two pineapple slices on top of the cherry.  Lastly, add 1/4 cup of batter on top of everything.

Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Flip the cupcakes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Carefully remove the baking cup liners

Serve warm or at room temperature.  You’re ready for potluck time!

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

I always prefer cupcakes to cakes and these German Chocolate Cupcakes are no exception.  There’s a much better ratio of coconut pecan topping to cake.   And you get bonus chocolate frosting on the top!  This recipe is for one batch of 24 cupcakes, but there was enough topping leftover for at least another 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 batch of chocolate cake mix (I used a box mix!)

1 jar of chocolate frosting

4 egg yolks

12 ozs. evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans.

Bake the cupcakes in liners, according to the instructions.  Let cool completely.

To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a medium sauce pan.  Add the sugar and butter.  Continue whisking over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let cool.

Pipe frosting around the outer edge of each cupcake.  Add the coconut filling to the center.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until potluck time!

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I was feeling like a non-chocolate potluck dessert (a very rare occasion!) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake sounded really good.  I’ve never made it before and I thought cupcakes would be even better.  (I tend to prefer cupcakes over cakes because the ratio of toppings to cake is much more evenly distributed.)  Found this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes on the Betty Crocker website.  The brown sugar butter glaze caramelizes the tops and the pineapple perfectly to make these cupcakes sweet and luscious!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Extra Moist Yellow Cake and highly recommend it!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

20 oz. can of sliced pineapple, drained and reserve the juice

1/3 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

12 maraschino cherries, cut in half

24 baking cups

Spray the baking cups really well with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple slices and set the juice aside.  Cut the pineapple rings into four pieces each.  Cut the maraschino cherries in half.

On low speed for 30 seconds, mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and pineapple juice.  Continue mixing on medium speed for two minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Put 1 1/2 tsp. of butter mixture into each baking cup.  Add a maraschino cherry in the center (round side down) and then add two pineapple slices on top of the cherry.  Lastly, add 1/4 cup of batter on top of everything.

Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Flip the cupcakes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Carefully remove the baking cup liners

Serve warm or at room temperature.  You’re ready for potluck time!

Easter Egg Nest Brownies

Easter Egg Nest Brownies are fun and really easy to make!  You can also make the brownies ahead of time and then let everyone decorate them at the potluck.

The inspiration for these treats came from different Easter cupcake pics that I found online.  I used brownie mix, but chocolate or vanilla cake mix will work great, too.

Ingredients:

1 batch of brownie mix (I used a box to keep things simple.  1 box will yield 12 brownies.)

1 container of pre-made vanilla frosting

2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Assorted Easter candy

Bake the brownie mix according to directions in a greased, regular-sized muffin pan.  Start checking them for doneness about 10 minutes earlier than the instructed time.  Let them cool completely (If you don’t, they fall apart).  Then, carefully remove them from the pan.

Mix the coconut and food coloring (start with 2 or 3 drops and add more, as needed) in a bowl until combined.

Frost the brownies.  Then dip them, face down, in the coconut.  Top with your favorite Easter candy and gently press it into the coconut and frosting.  For extra fun, you can add a Peep to the center.  Apply some frosting to the bottom of the peep and press it down on the cupcake.  It bonds perfectly!

Now, you’re ready for potluck time!

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

guinness-chocolate-cupcakes3

Since I’ve seen so many recipes for Chocolate Stout cupcakes lately, I decided that I must make them for St. Patrick’s Day!  The stout makes them extra soft and fluffy.  I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website and loved it because they only need a few ingredients and are so simple to make.  I chose to do a vanilla icing, but you can also do an Irish Cream frosting, which is perfect for an all adults potluck.

Ingredients:

1 box deviled foods cake mix

1 1/4 cups Guinness stout beer

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

4 T. milk

Using a mixer, combine together the cake mix, Guinness, oil, and eggs in a large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds.  Then, mix on medium high speed for another two minutes.

Line a regular-sized muffin tin with baking cups.  Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each tin.  If using a dark or nonstick pan, bake at 325 degrees (or 350 degrees if using a regular pan) for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Transfer to a rack and let cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the butter and powdered sugar until combined.  Add the vanilla, salt, and milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them, and store them in an airtight container until potluck time!  (I made them the day before and they were still wonderful, but I wouldn’t make them any earlier than that.)

Lasagna Cupcakes

Lasagna Cupcakes

Lasagna Cupcakes are ingenious!  Wonton wrappers replace the lasagna noodles making them extremely easing to prepare.  These are a perfect appetizer or main potluck dish.

This recipe was inspired by Aarti Sequeria from the Food Network.  Her Lasagna Cupcakes have an Indian flair with mango chutney in the cheese mixture and the sauce is flavored with cinnamon and cloves.  They are also divine and you can click here to get her original recipe.

Ingredients:

96 wonton wrappers (I prefer the square ones)

1 jar of your favorite marinara

1 lb. of Italian sausage (pork, chicken, or vegetarian)

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus extra for the tops

1 cup grated parmesan cheese plus, extra for the tops

Basil, to taste

Oregano, to taste

Crushed garlic, to taste.

Brown your sausage and drain off excess fat.  Add the jar of marinara, oregano, basil, and garlic and cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Set aside and cool for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses.

Grease the muffin tins or spray them with non-stick cooking oil.  Place one wonton wrapper in each tin and press down gently.  Spoon one teaspoon of meat sauce and cheese mixture onto each wonton wrapper.  Repeat this two more times.  Be sure to alternate the direction of the wonton wrappers so they aren’t directly stacked on top of each other (see picture above).  Place a fourth and final won ton wrapper on each one.  Top with a spoonful of marinara, some mozzarella, and a pinch of parmesan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Makes approximately 24 cupcakes.  These are best when made right before the potluck.  You can warm them in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds, if needed.