I have been making a lot of mini brownie cupcakes lately, so I had to share some pictures and a quick how to. Why a “how to” you might wonder? Really how hard can it be to bake mini brownies in a cupcake pan? Do they really taste different?
Well, the answer to all of those things surprised me, so it may surprise you.
What made me make them in the first place?
I make gluten free brownies for a local cafe/small grocery store in our town. It is called Good to Go. It is a great place to grab breakfast, lunch, to stock up on your favorite healthy foods for your pantry or of course to get some brownies or cookies baked by me. When I first started baking for them, the owner wanted to eventually have me make brownies. I didn’t have a good brownie recipe and didn’t want to use someone else’s recipe so I needed time to play. I eventually created one that I love and make them for them regularly now. Continue reading
One Sunday afternoon, Jamie Love, a local photographer, reached out to me about a smash cake. I was at work catching up on some things and answered my phone, “Hi, this is Amy” instead of using my proper Emoticakes greeting. “Is this Emoticakes?” Jamie asked. “Oh yes, this is Amy from Emoticakes,” I replied. Jamie went on to explain she had a smash cake photo shoot scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving. Was I available? Yes, that will work for me! The caveat? The cake needs to be grain, dairy, soy and nut-free. Coconut flour, fruit and eggs are okay. The theme? Bright colors. (I included one of Jamie’s pictures of my cake above: view more great photos from her session!)
Cream cheese frosting is so popular for fall with pumpkin cake and carrot cake and of course spice cake! But, why not enjoy it in the spring and summer with fruity cakes? I love making strawberry cream cheese frosting during the spring and summer months. This recipe is quick and easy, imparting a nice natural strawberry flavor in every bite. If you choose to use the optional strawberry powder, make your own using a dehydrator or buy one from a source that is all natural. Some strawberry powders contain artificial ingredients just many strawberry extracts do. Nature Restore offers an organic natural strawberry powder.
With the great taste and texture of cream cheese frosting, this strawberry version is perfect when paired with lemon cake, strawberry cake or vanilla cake.
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon meringue powder
- 1/4 cup pureed strawberries *concentrated
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or strawberry powder
- dash salt
- Beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times while beating to ensure everything is mixed well. Add the confectioner's sugar, pureed strawberries, salt and vanilla or strawberry power and beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes.
To have a strong strawberry flavor, you can make your strawberry puree more concentrated. To do this, start with a pound of frozen berries. Place them in a saucepan on the stove with about 1/4 cup sugar. The sugar helps release the juice. After they are thawed, use a stick blender to blend them. Cook over low to medium heat until they are reduced by 1/2. Allow to cool before using in the frosting.