Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Iron Cupcake: San Francisco - Ingredient: Squash

September's Iron Cupcake challenge was squash! WHAT, you might wonder were they thinking? But squash is a very common ingredient in baking, and in fact makes the texture super moist. Think zucchini breads or muffins, pumpkin pies and such.

September Challenge was held again at Leland Tea Co. on Sept. 28, 2009. This time around, there were 20 cupcake entries, and all of them were delicious. (Last time Pepper was the ingredient, which seemed to challenge some tastebuds, particularly with over 30 entries, we got a bit numb at times).

Here is my submission:
P3 - Pumpkin Pie Poppers
Crusted- bottom cupcake, with a layer of pumpkin pie cake, a layer of traditional homemade pumpkin pie filling, topped with a light whipped buttercream.

As always, lots of love goes into baking these cupcakes. Iron Cupcake SF is open to everyone, bakers and foodies, to bake, taste, and judge! Below is the Iron Cupcake site with the contest rules. The next Iron Cupcake challenge is... BEER!

More Photos of September Challenge, and name of submissions follows..

(Center) Butternut Squash & Pepper Cake
With Curry Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling and Frosting

Kick-Oss Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcake with Butterscotch, maple, and cream cheese frosting

Cinnamon Zucchini
with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cupcake
with Butternut Squash Risotto "Pudding" Fill and Creme Fraiche Frosting

Pumpkin with Browned Butter Cupcake
with Cream Cheese Frosting

Roasted Butternut Squash
with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Pecans

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Perfection
Pumpkin Spice with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

P3 - Pumpkin Pie Poppers
Crusted- bottom cupcake, with a layer of pumpkin pie cake, a layer of traditional homemade pumpkin pie filling, topped with a light whipped buttercream.

That is a full plate!

Will at Leland's Tea Co. helping to host the Iron Cupcake event.

The Iron Cupcake Team tallying the ballots.

Chelsea announcing the winners.

Our third place winner!

This month's first place winner... from Lake Tahoe!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Poppers Recipe -- Recipe of my submission for the September Iron Cupcake Challenge

My submission for the September Iron Cupcake (ingredient: squash) was called "P3" -- Pumpkin Pie Poppers. It was a four-layer cupcake, which consisted of a pie crust bottom, a layer of pumpkin pie cake, a layer of traditional homemade pumpkin pie filling, topped with a light whipped buttercream. Oooh it was REALLY good, and I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone who adores pumpkin pie. My boyfriend Kjell came up with the Poppers name!

I created this recipe by pulling together several other recipes, which I've reposted below. 1) Pumpkin Pie Cake, 2) Pumpkin Pie filling, 3) Buttercream Dream Frosting, 4) Pie crust (purchased frozen, though you can make it from scratch if you have the time and patience). I originally tried to top the poppers with whipped cream, but it gets melty and doesn't last for transportation, so I went with the [best] buttercream frosting instead from The Repressed Pastry Chef.

Recipe Follows...

P3 - Pumpkin Pie Poppers
(Time: Approximately 3 hours)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • If pie dough is frozen, be sure to take it out now so it can thaw (about 1/2 hour)
  • Prepare all your ingredients.
  • Make the Pumpkin Pie Filling and Pumpkin Pie Cake first, and set aside (do not bake). Cut the pie crust next, and insert into liners.
  • These are mini cupcakes, nut full-size standard cupcakes. The recipes will work for both, and makes about 60 mini cupcakes.

The Pumpkin Pie Filling Recipe


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites


  • In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks.
  • Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  • In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Gently fold into pumpkin mixture.

The Pumpkin Pie Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • *1/2 tsp ginger
  • *1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • *1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 3 large eggs

*You can replace all those spices with 2-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice if you have it


  • Sift the flour, baking powder & soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves and set aside.
  • In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil until smooth.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture until incorporated. Careful not to over beat.

The Pie Dough

  • Purchase pie dough in freezer or refrigerated section at the grocery store, or make your own.
  • Roll out the pie dough on a flat, clean surface.
  • For mini cupcakes: using a 1" circular fondant or cookie cutter, cut into pie dough. Remove the inner circle piece and set aside.
  • Line mini cupcake trays with liners. DO NOT spray with oil.
  • Gently lay the 1" circle of dough into the bottom of the liner, and using a rounded edge, gently push the dough into the edges of the liner, so the dough sits flat.
  • Next, fill each liner with 1/3 full of Pumpkin Pie CAKE batter (this will rise slightly when it bakes).
  • Fill another 1/3 of the liner with Pumpkin Pie FILLING.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes. Use a toothpick to check, making sure the toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 30 minutes before frosting.
  • While baking, make the Buttercream recipe.

The Buttercream Dream Frosting Recipe


  • 1 stick salted butter – room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) to taste
  • 4 tablespoons very cold milk


  • Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer.
  • Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well.
  • Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  • After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Using a pastry bag and star tip, frost the tops of each Popper with buttercream.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rolando Cupcakes!

I've been wanting to make Rolando cupcakes for a while now, I mean, how perfect a shape for cupcakes! So Mary Jane at ngmoco got really excited about the idea, and commissioned me for a batch of 40 Rolando cupcakes, delivered yesterday!

And in the end, MJ and B-money made a Rolando cupcake video starring Pirate and Spikey Rolando... YAAR! Check it out!

These are my first video game cupcakes. They took a bit of time, but they were certainly a lot of fun to make and a little love was sprinkled in each one!

Photos below...!

Color the fondant, mix it in good, then cut out different Rolando shapes - blue spikey one and leafy one :)

Glue all their little eyeballs, smileys, eyebrows, and accessories with some buttercream.

Rolando family...

Two boxes of big and small Rolandos.

In the future, I now have a better idea of how much timing goes into mixing colors, cutting shapes, glueing it all together, cleaning up and detailing!