King Cake Bites

The beginning of February is such a different song from the beginning of January. We go from resolutions and committing to healthier lifestyles to celebrating Mardi Gras, the end of another football season, and Valentine’s Day. Basically food, food, and more food. It’s awesome.

I entertained the idea of making a King Cake from scratch for about 7 minutes. Maybe one day, but time is precious. For the sake of my sanity I opted to make a King Cake inspired dessert instead. You might remember my King Cake cupcakes from a couple of years ago. Using the same recipe I changed up the presentation and created these little bite sized delights.

King Cake Bites
King Cake Bites

What I LOVE about these King Cake Bites: they’re bite sized and perfect for parties, bringing to the office, or a snack for your kids. They are also super easy (time saver!) and if you have kids this is definitely something they could help bake!

King Cake Bites (24 bites)

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls (seamless dough sheets work best)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. milk

 

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream together the ingredients for the filling. Separate dough into 8 rectangles (sealing the seams if you’re not using seamless). Sprinkle cinnamon over each rectangle.

King Cake Bites

Spread the cream cheese mixture onto each rectangle- make sure you completely cover it length wise (it’s not necessary to cover it edge to edge across the width of it). Fold the rectangles length wise into thirds, keeping the seam side down.

King Cake Bites

Cut each rectangle into four squares. Pinch together the ends to keep the filling in while it bakes.

King Cake Bites

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. Make the glaze while the bites cool. To make the glaze mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Spoon over the bites, adding purple, yellow, and green sprinkles on top. Enjoy!!

YUM!
YUM!
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King Cake Cupcakes

I’d say February does a pretty good job at kicking all those January health goals to the curb. First you’re hit with Valentine’s Day, and then Mardi Gras and the rodeo (well, for those of us residing in Texas). Diets don’t stand a chance. However, you can’t help but get caught up in all the festivities. I personally love this time of year. Mardi Gras and the rodeo are both ongoing events and lend themselves for a lot social activities. It’s just fun! With Fat Tuesday coming up I figured King Cake Cupcakes would be the perfect cupcakes to bake!

I found this recipe over at The Virtuous Wife. Best thing about it? You use crescent rolls. Seriously can’t get much easier than that. Delicious treats don’t have to be complicated recipes, most of the time simple is better! The only down side to these is that the recipe only makes eight, although they are large. But MAN are they tasty! I actually preferred the bread flavor as opposed to a sweet cake- I felt like it balanced out with the filling and glaze. My taste testers told me it was even better with a cup of coffee. You could always experiment and try different fillings…so many possibilities.

King Cake Cupcakes
King Cake Cupcakes

King Cake Cupcakes (~8 cupcakes)

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls (seamless dough sheets work best)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamonFilling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extractGlaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 375* and grease your cupcake pan. With a mixer, cream together the ingredients for the filling (cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla). In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Lay out the crescent roll sheets and cut each tube into four squares.

King Cake Cupcakes

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the squares (divide it evenly until there’s no more).

King Cake Cupcakes

Add about 1-1.5 Tbsp of filling to each square. Try to spread it longways.

King Cake Cupcakes

Roll up each square longways (hot dog style). Pinch the edges together. Fold the left side over the middle, then fold the right side over the left. You’ll end up with what looks like a cinnamon bun. Place it in the cupcake pan.

King Cake Cupcakes

When you have all the rolls in the pan, cover the pan with foil. Bake at 375* for ~12 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking another 12 minutes. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing them.

King Cake Cupcakes

While they are cooling, make the glaze. Combine all ingredients for the glaze in a bowl. When the cupcakes have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cupcakes. I put wax paper under the cooling rack they’re on because the glaze drips down. Add sprinkles of your choice!

King Cake Cupcakes
King Cake Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

When I was growing up, there were some things that were just common knowledge  in our kitchen regarding dessert: my dad was known for buttermilk pie, my mom known for her cakes and snickerdoodle cookies. Snickerdoodle cookies were (and are) her favorite and so that’s what we ended up baking when we wanted to make cookies. They’re also more fun to make as kids because you have to roll them and toss them in cinnamon sugar. Fast forward to the present and my favorite cakes tend to be spice cakes. When I was picking my “flavor of the week” last week, snickerdoodle cupcakes seemed like a good choice. Apparently my family are not the only ones who enjoy snickerdoodles. There was a huge response to these! These are perfect if you want something a little different from plain vanilla, but not anything too out there. Also, spell check does not seem to be familiar with “snickerdoodle” so there are a lot of red squiggly lines as I’m writing this…get with the program spell check.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes (~2 dozen)

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. butter, room temp.
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temp.
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk, room temp.

Preheat your oven to 350* and line your cupcake tins. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs to the butter mixture one at a time. Add the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Fill the cupcake tins about 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.

Cinnamon Buttercream

  • 1/2 c. butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. milk (may need more or less depending on desired consistency)
  • 8 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Cream together the butter and shortening. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar, adding the milk as needed, to reach the consistency you want. Add the cinnamon. I sprinkled a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top of the cupcakes so they would be like the cookies!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Horchata Cupcakes

Cinco de Mayo is a fun little non-American holiday that Americans love to celebrate. But who doesn’t love an excuse for excessive margaritas and guacamole? Or watching someone try to knock down a pinata after a few too many drinks? Or a dog in a little sombrero? We had a good time with it.

cinco de mayoziggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturally every holiday deserves a cupcake. I’ve made margarita cupcakes before, so I needed something different. My friend Janet suggested horchata cupcakes. I had never even heard of horchata so I was a little hesitant. But I did some research and it seemed like it would work. I think they sell horchata at the store, but I made my own for this since I didn’t need much. It’s incredibly easy. And delicious- like candy in drink form. Which obviously makes for an amazing cupcake. This is one of the main reasons I keep Janet around- she has pretty innovative baking ideas. We get a lot done at work. Horchata is easy to make but you do need to start the day before you plan to make cupcakes because it needs to soak overnight. Fortunately the prep work is less than 5 minutes!

Horchata Recipe (*This makes enough for the cupcakes and frosting)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher (or some type of container…I used a large water bottle I had). Let it soak overnight. Blend the mixture to break up the rice (it won’t blend all the way). Strain the mixture and throw away the rice. Your horchata is ready!

Yes that's my redneck wineglass. I had limited options in glassware, okay?
Yes that’s my redneck wineglass. I had limited options in glassware, okay?

Horchata Cupcakes (~12 cupcakes)

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups  flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh Horchata
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream together the butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg and egg white to the butter mixture.  Alternately add the flour mixture and horchata to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until combined. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake for 22 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.

Horchata Frosting

  • 1/2 cup horchata
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of salt

Cream together the butter and shortening. Add in the salt. Slowly add the horchata. You can choose to add it gradually as you add the powdered sugar. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, allowing each cup to be mixed in before adding the next. After you frost the cupcakes, sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Ole!

Horchata Cupcakes
Horchata Cupcakes

Spice Cake Cupcakes

I’ve mentioned before that spice cakes are my favorite. So when someone told me to “just make something cinnamon”, that’s immediately where my mind went. These cupcakes were also going to adults, not kids, and adults just seem to favor spice cakes (just based on my own research). Neither buttercream nor cream cheese frosting sounded like a good pair, so I went for a cinnamon mascarpone frosting. Great decision.

Spice Cake Cupcakes
Yes- these are minis, not regular sized cupcakes!

Spice Cake Cupcakes (~2 dozen)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350* and line a muffin pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter and sugar mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Divide among cups. Bake for ~20 minutes.

Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tsbp. cinnamon
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Cream everything but the powdered sugar together. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Add extra cream if needed to reach the consistency you want. You may have to alter the amount of powdered sugar and cream- as always, this is an estimate of what I used.