May 9, 2013

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes and a Food Blogger Bake Sale

Last Saturday we had the 4th Annual  Food Blogger Bake Sale. Food bloggers and non-bloggers alike participated in the charity event, the proceedings of which will benefit the No Kid Hungry program, an organization dedicated to ending child hunger in America. It was a country wide bakesale and several states across America held the Bake Sale in their respective cities on Saturday May4th,2013.
Ever since I heard of the event I knew I wanted to participate. This year the bake sale was co-ordinated by Lisa who blog’s at Delightfully Midwestern and she sent us out emails regarding the event. We had to bake and package the goodies and bring it over to the venue, where it would then be priced and arranged for the bake sale.

I had instantly decided that I would make Cupcakes and Cookies and decided on my most favorite cake flavor Chocolate-Banana for the cupcakes with both vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting and favorite Chocolate-chip Cookies.

Let’s begin with these cupcakes shall we? This is the exact same cake recipe I used for the Baby Crib Cake and also for Manav’s First b’daycake and you have no idea how people have raved about the unique flavor and texture of this cake. 
Moist and crumbly, dark and chocolaty with a hint of banana flavor,  its perfect. It’s the easiest cake recipe ever and requires no fancy equipment’s - just the ingredients, two bowls and a whisk - that’s it!

I always use Chocolate buttercream as a pair for this cake but it goes really well with Vanilla buttercream as well.  Again this buttercream recipe is a keeper you guys!

I used Wilton 1M tip to pipe the buttercream in a rose pattern and a swirly pattern and jazzed up the Vanilla frosting with sprinkles and sugar crystals and kept the Chocolate buttercream frosting plain and simple. (Recipe shared at the end)

Now let me share a few tid-bits about my prep work for the bake sale apart from baking the goodies.
We were asked to label the goodies and were encouraged to put on our blog’s name on them , so I hand-made these lables on MS Word using the yellow-white polka dot background (which is my blog’s current background) , printed them out and hand-cut each one of them. 
These took me more time and effort than baking the goodies and Manish helped a lot with the technicalities. Thank’s hubby!  What do you think? :-) 

I packaged the cupcakes individually by placing them in plain transparent 9 oz party cups , covered them with transparent bags (treat bags) and tied them with ribbon along with my labels.  And my Chocolate-chip Cookies…two big cookies in a bag! My dad also helped me in packaging these :-)

Lisa was there at the venue along with few volunteers. That’s me posing with a weird smile and writing pricing stickers to put on the goodies. We didn't stay there for long as Lisa had enough volunteers to help her with the bake sale. 

In all my excitement I forgot to take any snaps of the other goodies and I'm still waiting for the pics that Lisa said she took. I will update it here once she shares them. In all we raised around $900 ...yaay!

I had a good time baking, decorating, packaging, labeling , pricing, photographing etc :-) and I do hope some of you who live in MN had stopped by and donated to the event by buying some of the goodies.  

The recipe  for Chocolate-Banana cake can be made into a 9x13 (quarter Sheet) cake or a 10” cake or  two 6” cakes or 24 regular sized cupcakes and I speak by experience on all the cake sizes as I’ve made them all with this cake recipe , of course baking time will vary for each. I only used half the amount to make chocolate buttercream as I didn't need the whole amount.



Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
Recipe source: Joy of Baking
You’ll need
Cake flour* - 1¾  cups (245 grams)
Granulated white sugar - 2 cups (400 grams)
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - ¾ cup (75 grams)
Baking powder – 1½  tsp
Baking soda - 1½ tsp
Salt – a pinch or ¼ tsp
Large Eggs - 2
Mashed ripe Bananas (2 medium bananas) - 1 cup
Warm Water - 1 cup (240 ml)
Milk - ½ cup (120 ml)
Canola oil (or any flavorless oil) - ½ cup (120 ml)
Pure Vanilla extract - 1½  tsp

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Place cupcake liners in the cupcake pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. You will notice that the batter is quite thin.
5. Using an icecream scoop or small ladle, fill the cupcake liners about  ¾ full.
6. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway (at around 9 or 10 minutes) through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
7. Let cool in the pans 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. ( If left within the pan for too long the cupcake will continue to cook with the heat of the pan and may become less moist)

*{ 1 cup Cake Flour = ¾ th cup APF + 2 tblsp cornstarch } 

  
Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
(Both recipes  yields 2-3 cups of frosting)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe source : Savory Sweet Life
You’ll need
Unsalted Butter , at room temp – 1 cup (that’s  2sticks or ½ pound)
Powdered sugar or Confectioners’ sugar (sifted) – 3 or 4 cups
Pure Vanilla Extract – 1 tblsp
Milk or heavy cream – 4 tblsp or as needed
Salt – a pinch (optional)
Directions
1.Beat butter until smooth and creamy using a paddle attachment on medium speed if using KitchenAid mixer or using electric hand blender.
2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar , little at a time on low speed, until it mixes well with the butter.
3. Increase the speed to medium and add Vanilla extract, salt (if using) and 4 tblsp of milk/heavy cream. Combine well for few minutes until smooth and creamy. 
(If you want a thicker frosting add remaining 1 cup sugar. If you want a thinner consistency add more milk 1 tblsp at a time )


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Recipe source : Savory Sweet Life
You’ll need
Unsalted Butter , at room temp – 1 cup (that’s  2sticks or ½ pound)
Powdered sugar or Confectioners’ sugar (sifted) – 3 ½  cups
Cocoa powder (sifted) – ½ cup
Pure Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Milk or heavy cream – 4 tblsp or as needed
Salt – a pinch (optional)
Directions
1.Beat butter until smooth and creamy using a paddle attachment on medium speed if using KitchenAid mixer or using electric hand blender.
2. Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and slowly add in to the butter, mixing on low speed until everything mixes well.
3. Increase the speed to medium and add Vanilla extract, salt (if using) and 4 tblsp of milk/heavy cream. Combine well for few minutes until smooth and creamy.
(If you want a thicker frosting add remaining  ½  cup sugar. If you want a thinner consistency add more milk 1 tblsp at a time )


Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12th, so make this cake as your special treat to your mom and trust me you both are gonna love it. Happy Mother's Day in advance to all the wonderful mommy's out there...you are the best!

Another cool thing I wanted to share was my blogger friend Jehanne's  Mother's Day newsletter. She was so kind enough to share my Mini Bundt Apple pie in the apple love section. I absolutely loved the newsletter and I bet you will too.  Check it out here and give her some comment love will you :-)

-Manju


39 comments:

  1. Super cutie muffins... Love the decors...

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    Replies
    1. thank you Sangeetha...tht was a super fast comment :)

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  2. Its very yummy look Manju... loved ur effort on this...

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  3. Simply delicious and beautiful looking muffins.
    Deepa

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  4. Great event and what pretty cupcakes!

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  5. Adorable muffins,they look great , i like the labels ,beautifully done.

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  6. i love the swirls of frosting on the cuppies, and anything with banana is a winner for me! You are very talented baker!

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  7. Thats a great stuff..

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  8. Manju, I loved the pink and yellow shades of the cupcakes. Your effort to make all these cupcakes with different frosting, labeling and packaging is really appreciable. Hats off to you my dear!!!!! Not sure how you did all these with your lil one. The piping skills are elevated to a professional level :) I totally forgot about baking something for M'day...thanks for posting this ahead...
    BTW your instagram orange rose pic looks beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. thanks shibi dear...i was running out for office that morning when I saw the tiny bloomed rose...and quickly took a snap.

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  9. great looking muffins with superb icing. Todays post : http://nayanas-kitchen-kreations.blogspot.in/2013/05/spicy-pumpkin-soup-italian-style.html

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  10. nice work manju.. wish we had such events in chennai.. like your clicks with dark tone.. overall great work by you :)

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  11. Wow super tempting muffins !! Perfectly baked and looks so cute !!

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  12. What a fantastic event. You did a marvelous job with decorating those cupcakes... the icing looks picture perfect. :)

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  13. Loved the frosting u have done. awesome

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  14. that's very nice charity. congrats for that and cupcakes are too die for. nice frosting too. stop by at my space too when ever you have time.

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  15. super cute, Manju..and i especially loved the white and lavender mix frosting..great colour combo..and a even cuter chef has prepared it :)

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  16. Beautiful cupcakes! They look perfect and ever so tempting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  17. Cute and delicious cupcakes! Manju..love the frosting.
    www.BlogExplore.com

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  18. Cute and delicious cupcakes! Manju..love the frosting.
    www.BlogExplore.com

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  19. Lovely cupcakes.....great efforts for a great purpose... Keep it up

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  20. Manju Didi,
    The cupcakes look beautiful!!! You did such a wonderful job.

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    Replies
    1. wow, no ones ever called me 'didi' in a while...how sweet of you Shari :-)

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  21. What a beeeeeeautiful cupcake Manju!!! Your frosting work is amazing. The same kind of frosting technique is all identical. How do you do that?! I've never made cupcakes before because I'm scared to do the frosting. Looking at yours, I know whom to ask when I need help with making beautiful cupcakes. ;)

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    Replies
    1. ooh...thanks a lot Nami :-) I've been lucky enough at almost all my attempts at making good pipeable consistency buttercream frosting...so sure pour your questions in when you have a doubt :-)

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  22. Wow!What pictures!! Lovely recipe. Pretty pretty cupcakes!
    Love your cute space, Manju :) Thanks for the encouraging words, they really mean much to us! :)

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  23. Hi Manju, the cake look awesome! I need to bake a birthday cake this wed and thinking this might be THE cake! Would like to know how long did u bake it when you were making a whole cake? I'm planning to make a 7inch cake. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. If baking for 7-inch, you'll have to divide the batter equally into two 7-inch cake pans and bake each @ 350F for 30-35 mins. Best to do a cake test at 30 mins and bake further if needed.

      -Manju

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  24. Excellent cakes, I really love these type of cakes Mixes and i will try to make this type of cake. But i also want to say thanks so much very much too much for showing these type of cakes.

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  25. Hi manju...this is jeeya.ur receipes are so well scripted .....i hv just started baking....with lots of trial n error....wld u b able to share an eggless cake or cupcake receipe..that wld b v kind of u....
    Thks again

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  26. Hi Manju

    You mentioned that this recipe(9 by 13) can be used for 10" cake. I have two 10" by 2" pans.
    Do you think I can double it and make two 10" cakes? Please let me know.
    In the measurements they say, 9 by 13 yields 14 cups whereas 10" pan yields 11 cups( mine does), so will the pan be overfilled? Sorry for an elaborate question. Thanks!

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    1. I hope I'm not too late to reply to you Pradnya. I have actually made a 10"x2" cake with the batter from this recipe, so it should be fine for you to double it to make 2 10" cakes. For me the batter did not overflow, but if you like to use the proper measurements please do so and if you have any extra batter, you could make a cupcake and enjoy it (call it taste testing in advance) ;-) That's what I usually do if I have leftover batter.

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    2. No, no you are not late..but thank goodness you replied. Am planning to make it on this wed night or thurs for sat night birthday..God am so tense! I've always baked simple cakes just for family and with no icing. This is the first time I am baking for my kids birthday party for a big group and also making buttercream frosting recipe you suggested! I intend to keep both the cupcakes and the cake with icing in the fridge overnight, hope it wont melt or harden ?

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    3. You can keep everything in the fridge once done and keep it out atleaat 30mins before cake cutting so that they are slightly at room temp when u eat the cake. Cakes and frosting taste better at room temp. Have a fun party and do share a pic of your cake and cupcakes :)

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    4. Manju, I did it! It was great. I actually ended up making a 8" cake with the extra batter by doubling up the 9" by 13" cake recipe! But it was perfect as I had another gathering on sunday so we cut that cake on that day. Thanks for your help. You can find the pictures here:
      http://minimuse.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/peppa-pig-birthday/

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  27. Also, one more question, if the recipe is followed then how many batches of buttercream will be required for cupcakes and the two layered 10 inch cake?

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