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Mar 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

Baked: Chocolate Chai Cupcakes

Friday, December 2nd, 2016



Pumpkin spice dominates lattes and baked goods right now, but there’s something special about chai spices. Pairing cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger with deep, rich chocolate gives a boost to each bite. The ReTrailer recently cold-brewed its Don’t Chai Know masala chai blend, and the concentrate is the best part: heavily ginger based and infused with all the best masala spices. It’s available at Larder & Cupboard and meant to be blended with milk, but I added it to these super moist chocolate cupcakes for a tangy, spicy kick. It’s the perfect fall dessert. Enjoy and happy baking!


Chocolate Chai Cupcakes
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 dozen cupcakes

¾ cup chai concentrate*, divided
1 Tbsp. plus a splash heavy cream, divided
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder, divided
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
• In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup chai concentrate and 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the chai-cream mixture, flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and the chai-cream mixture and whisk until just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, make the frosting by beating the powdered sugar, butter and the remaining ¼ cup chai concentrate, ¼ cup cocoa powder and splash of cream on medium speed until fluffy. The frosting should be thick but spreadable.
• When the cupcakes have cooled, top them liberally with frosting.

* Chai concentrate is available at Larder & Cupboard.


More Baked Recipes
Baked: Roasted Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds

Baked: Tropezienne Tarts

Baked: Chocolate Chip-Orange Muffins

• Baked: Chai-Chocolate Chip Scones


The Scoop: The Sweet Divine catches fire, owners intend to rebuild

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016



Cupcake bakery The Sweet Divine caught fire in Soulard at 11 a.m. on yesterday, Oct. 17. Despite fire damage to the decorating room and smoke damage throughout the building, co-owners Jason and Jenna Siebert are determined to get back to work as soon as possible. An official cause for the fire has not been named yet.

“We’re meeting with the insurance adjuster and looking at a couple of commissary spaces today,” Jason Siebert said. “The community has been very supportive, and our biggest priority is getting back to work and maintaining a client base.”

The Sieberts purchased the building in 2013, and The Sweet Divine has been open at 1801 S. Ninth St. for the last three-and-a-half years. Since the shop is usually closed on Mondays, the Sieberts found out about the blaze from afar, and one of the bakery’s neighbors called in the fire. By the time the Sieberts arrived on the scene, Jason reported that the fire was out. “Thank God for the fire department,” he said.

The Sieberts aim to fulfill their contractual obligations, retain walk-up business (perhaps by way of their food truck) and reopen in the same location as soon as possible.

“We have every intention of rebuilding the bakery and keeping it in that location,” he said. “The Soulard neighborhood has been a great support.”

The Scoop: The Cup to close Chesterfield location, expand delivery and retail options

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016



The Cup will close its Chesterfield location at 1590 Clarkson Road at the end of business on Saturday, Dec. 24, to focus on expanding delivery services and distribution.

“(The Chesterfield location is) just too much space for us,” owner Ericka Frank said. “People have been requesting more and more delivery, and this way we’ll have the resources to expand. It just made sense.”

The Cup is already increasing retail production, and Frank plans to decrease minimum order requirements and expand its delivery area further into West County. The Chesterfield location will be open limited hours for order pickups Dec. 19 to 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Frank said it will be business as usual for The Cup’s other two locations in the Central West End and Edwardsville.



The Scoop: Sarah’s Cake Shop to open cafe location in Eureka

Friday, June 3rd, 2016



Eureka is getting a sweet new addition this summer as Sarah’s Cake Shop plans to move into the old Central Hall banquet center at 127 S. Central Ave., as reported by Feast. In homage to its location, owner Jill Umbarger will call the eatery Sarah’s on Central, which is slated to open mid-July.

“I’ve lived in Eureka for 12 years, and I just love the community,” said Umbarger, who also owns the Sarah’s Cake Stop food truck.

Sarah’s on Central will feature the same baked goods as the flagship location in Chesterfield. However, the eatery will also serve light breakfast and lunch. Headlining the breakfast menu will be homemade biscuits and gravy, quiche and more. On Sundays, Umbarger plans to serve rotating breakfast casseroles. At lunch, expect to find paninis, soups and salads. Umbarger also hopes to offer after-school specials like grilled cheese for students in the area.

The new location will have a more rustic feel than the original space. Umbarger hopes to fit 40 seats into the 3,000-square-foot space, while eventually adding outdoor seating. Sarah’s on Central will be open Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Baked: Leftover Cake Trifle

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016



I never like to throw anything away, so when I came across these unfrosted white chocolate-vanilla cupcakes taking up space in my freezer, I decided to put together quick individual trifles for a dinner party. After all, cake, custard, spring berries and freshly whipped cream is a winning combination.

I’ve actually shared part of this recipe with you before. The cupcakes are a simple, plain vanilla cake with white chocolate chunks stirred in. They’re moist, lovely and pair well with fresh fruit and cream. Serve it in glass cups, so people can see the layers and feel free to experiment with other cake flavors, flavored creams or different fruits. Enjoy and happy baking!


Leftover Cake Trifle
Adapted from a recipe at Smitten Kitchen 
8 to 12 servings

2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 batch White Chocolate-Vanilla Cupcakes (recipe here), cubed
1 cup sliced strawberries and raspberries

• Make a vanilla custard by heating the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until very warm but not boiling. Keep warm and set aside.
• In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks and sugar it pales in color. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the warm milk, whisking until it comes together.
• Return the liquid to the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until it bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately add the vanilla and the butter and whisk until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
• To assemble the trifles, evenly divide the cake cubes between 8 to 12 glass cups. Evenly divide ½ cup strawberries and raspberries among the cups, then top each with a generous dollop of vanilla custard followed by a dollop of whipped cream. Top each with the remaining ½ cup strawberries and raspberries. Refrigerate until chilled; serve within 1 hour to prevent the cake from getting soggy.


The Scoop: Co-founder to leave The Cup, partner to take over as sole owner

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015



After eight years, co-founder Nicole Puyear is leaving The Cup. Business partner Ericka Frank will take sole ownership beginning Sept. 15.

The duo launched The Cup in 2007 after Frank, a longtime baker, looked to expand beyond sister shop, The Cakery. She brought Puyear on to help with marketing, development and operations. What they anticipated as a little neighborhood bakery blossomed into four locations, including the Central West End, Chesterfield, Edwardsville and Springfield, Missouri.

Puyear said her decision to leave came after the recent adoption of her daughter. “Once Hattie came home, it became immediately clear I couldn’t give everything to the business. I love The Cup, but I realized I wasn’t giving Hattie the best of me,” she said. “My husband and I waited so long and tried so hard to have family, so I don’t want to miss anything.”

Frank said she does not anticipate any immediate changes to The Cup and is not looking to expand the business anytime soon. She is grateful for the eight years she and Puyear worked together and is looking forward to The Cup’s future. “I’m excited about the opportunity to take the lead on my own,” she said.

Puyear said she and Frank remain friends, and she looks forward to supporting the business as a customer. “I still need my favorite tuxedo cupcakes,” she said.

Sneak Peek: Jilly’s Ice Cream Bar

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Jilly’s Ice Cream Bar opens doors Friday, May 30, just in time to offer a sweet trade-off when those days of 90-degree, 99 percent humidity hit. Located just steps from its sister establishment Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Café at 8509 Delmar Blvd., in University City, the ice cream bar aims to be a destination for epicureans searching for a frozen treat.

Chefs Casey Shiller and Dana Holland have created a lineup of nearly 20 ice cream flavors, including classic, monthly creations and cupcake-inspired ones. (Keep an eye on the Sauce Facebook page for your chance to join Sauce in choosing one of Jilly’s July creations.) Customers can enjoy their frozen dessert in a bowl, cupcake waffle cone (made from Jilly’s cupcake batter), sugar cone, or a two-scoop side-by-side cake cone. The shop also offers sundaes; build your own or choose from one of five signature sundaes.

You could grab a cone and go, but the space at Jilly’s is so bright and cheery, you should linger and enjoy. Near the entrance is a smattering of two-top tables. An adjoining party room, which holds seating for 70, features wood chairs, tables and a bar rail by local green builder Mwanzi. (The party room is available to patrons when not reserved for special events.) A mounted collection of vintage spoons and ice cream scoopers and silver frames around the menu boards are just a few of the creative décor touches by local design company Worn Vintage Rentals.

The ice cream bar will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Here’s what’s in store when Jilly’s Ice Cream Bar opens Friday.


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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Baking and drinking Irish car bombs

Sunday, March 16th, 2014


With a Guinness cupcake base, a Jameson chocolate ganache and Baileys Irish Cream frosting on top, The Dam’s Irish car bomb cupcakes are sure to impress at any St. Patrick’s Day party tomorrow.

In the event you accidentally drink all your ingredients before you get to baking, head to The Dam instead. Today kicks off National Chocolate Week, and all desserts purchased will support Lift for Life Gym.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
Courtesy of The Dam’s Matt Galati
Makes 30 Cupcakes

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
4 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups stout beer (Guinness)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
5 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. corn flour
4 cups sugar
4 tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. salt
4 large eggs
2 cups sour cream

Jameson Ganache Topping
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cocoa), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
6 Tbsp. Jameson Irish Whiskey

Baileys Buttercream Frosting
12 egg whites
Pinch salt
2¼ cups sugar
12 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 cups Baileys Irish cream

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
• Melt the butter in a double boiler over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add the beer, cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, corn flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk until combined.
• In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sour cream until creamy. Slowly add the stout-butter mixture to the egg mixture to combine.
• Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until completely incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds to three-quarters full.
• Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Jameson Ganache Topping
• Melt the chocolate, cream and butter in a double boiler over medium heat. Whisk constantly until thick and glossy. Add the whiskey and stir to incorporate. Refrigerate 5 minutes and stir. Repeat this until the ganache is cool but not solid. It should resemble a thick chocolate sauce.
• Holding each cupcake by the base, dip the top up to the wrapper line in the bowl of ganache. Hold over the bowl to allow excess to drip off. A twist of the wrist as you bring it to an upright position will help reduce mess.
• Let the cupcakes cool 1 hour or until the ganache is not tacky but firm to the touch.*

* To make sure the ganache doesn’t run down the sides of the cupcakes, place them in the freezer for 10 minutes. They should be cool to the touch before adding the ganache.

Baileys Buttercream Frosting
• In a medium metal bowl, add the egg whites and whisk with a pinch of salt to break up. Add the sugar, and whisk until incorporated. Using the double boiler method, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Continue to whisk until the sugar has melted into the egg whites. When you rub it between your fingers, it should feel smooth and not gritty.
• Once the mixture is smooth, transfer it to the bowl of a mixer and whisk on medium-high for 7 to 10 minutes, until it has almost tripled in volume and the bowl is cool to the touch. It should resemble marshmallow fluff in texture and have very stiff peaks.
• Slowly add in the butter. The mixture will appear curdled after you add all the butter, but keep mixing, and it will come together. Taste and add powdered sugar to desired sweetness, about ½ cup.
• Add the Baileys to the bowl. Mix until the Baileys is just combined, being careful not to over mix. Taste and add more powdered sugar if needed, and mix for 30 more seconds.
• Place the frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.



The Scoop: DIY cupcake concept Sweetology to open in Ladue

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014



Sweetology is to cake as Build-A-Bear Workshop is to stuffed animals. And this new entertainment retail concept is coming soon to 9214 Clayton Road in Ladue, in the space previously occupied by the Women’s Exchange of St. Louis.

A project by co-owners Kara Newmark and DeAnn Bingaman, Sweetology is a place where young and old can get their fix for sugar in a variety of ways. Sweetology will give patrons a hands-on experience decorating cupcakes, cakes and cookies. Newmark and Bingaman plan to open doors quietly in March and host a grand opening April 12.

“Our brand is somewhere between sprinkles and chocolate martinis,” Newmark said. “I always knew that I wanted to start my own company … The thing that makes me the happiest is when I’m in my kitchen and decorating cookies with my kids and getting all messy and sticky and licking bowls.”

The build-your-own-baked-good process at Sweetology begins by choosing a baked good to decorate – a 6- or 9-inch cake, a cookie or a cupcake – and the cake flavor (vanilla or chocolate, with a gluten-free option for either). Local bakery The Cup is supplying Sweetology with prepared baked goods and its buttercream frosting. Next, guests head to the custom-made frosting dispenser and select either vanilla or chocolate, with added color and flavor options, like lemon or peppermint made with all-natural oils.

Then the frosted treats head to the “wish” station to pick an edible candy shaped like a dollop of whipped cream. Wishes are written on the candy in edible ink and then inserted into the treat. “It’s about the creation of little pieces of art that come from your intention and your heart,” Newmark said.

Finally, it’s time to top the treat with candies. Sweetology will have more than 50 colorful toppings – sprinkles, gummy bears, lemon drops and Oreo cookies, to name a few – for budding sugar artists to choose. Treats can be wrapped in a box to take home or dined on in the store. The decorating experience is available for drop-in visitors, but you can also book a reservation; seating for about 40 is available in the workshop area. In addition, Sweetology will offer cake-decorating classes.

While waiting for your budding little pastry chefs to put the final touches on their creations, grab a seat in the small cafe and wine bar (dubbed The Drinkery) and enjoy a cup of coffee, drinking chocolate, wine, beer or a cocktail and some baked goods. Sweetology also will have a retail section stocked with bulk candy, grab-and-go decorated cupcakes, cakes, cookies and cake-related gifts.




Baked: Beet Muffins with Peanut Butter Frosting

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014



I love these as both muffins and cupcakes. Whisk Bakeshop makes chocolate beet cupcakes that I’m head over heels for. I simply cannot resist them, so I decided to try my hand at a recipe. The best part is that you taste no beets in the final product. They humbly provide only the fluff and moistness that butter would normally deliver – except beets are better for you than butter.

I made these as muffins, but they were so cake-like that I ended up pairing them with a peanut butter frosting. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. The chocolate chips add an extra level of texture and chocolate flavor … and if you substitute almond milk and skip the frosting, you have vegan muffins. Happy baking!

Beet Muffins with Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from a recipe at the Minimalist Baker

2 baby beets, trimmed and scrubbed*
¼ cup coconut oil, plus more for drizzling
1 cup milk (or almond milk if making vegan), divided
1 tsp. vinegar
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 heaping Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Scant ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch Kosher salt
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Frosting (Optional. Recipe follows.)

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the beets on a piece of foil, drizzle with a bit of oil, wrap them tightly, and roast 45 minutes, until tender. Remove from foil and let cool to room temperature.
• Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
• Puree the cooled beets with ½ cup of milk until combined. In a separate large bowl, add the vinegar to the other half of the milk and set aside until it curdles a bit.
• Beat  the sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract and pureed beets into the curdled milk until foamy. Fold in the chocolate chips and stir until the batter is smooth.
• Fill the cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
• Let cool completely before unwrapping and store in an airtight container. Frost with peanut butter frosting if desired.

*Pre-roasted beets are available at Trader Joe’s.

Peanut Butter Frosting

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter and peanut butter together in a medium bowl. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, and as the mixture thickens, add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until all the sugar is incorporated and the frosting is thick. Beat at least 3 minutes until fluffy.



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