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Chocolate Cupcakes Topped with Red Chocolate Frosting

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Ahhh, these cupcakes. I was looking forward all day to making them¬†and I knew exactly how they should be–perfect. Well, it didn’t work that way ūüėČ

It was¬†suppose to be a simple, fun project but it turned out to be rather frustrating.¬†First the batter was too thick (I added too much flour) and then I couldn’t get the right color of pink frosting (I wanted a light pink frosting, but I messed up on the dye.¬†In the end, I mixed some cocoa powder in and got this reddish color.)¬†If it wasn’t for the white pearls which help the cupcake’s appearance, and the fact that the cupcakes taste so delicious, I¬†wouldn’t be writing about them!

I used this chocolate cake recipe. It is our favorite chocolate cake recipe–truly the BEST. It made about two dozen cupcakes; each pan took maybe twenty minutes to bake.¬†I made the frosting from a cream cheese base…but lets not talk about the frosting because it isn’t the color I had in mind.

The cupcakes are quite rich, but it is hard to stop at one. I definitely want to try making them again, so I hope my family eats them up fast!

 

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

Elisabeth

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Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake

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Weeks ago, I made this layer cake. Too bad it was so long ago, because I really could eat a large piece right now! This cake was three layers, with chocolate buttercream frosting and caramel sauce on top.

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I used¬†two yellow cakes (this is a moist recipe)¬†and a fudge chocolate cake (I found a delicious fudge cake recipe¬†here¬†and I also used the frosting from here) Oh, and the caramel sauce was from The Sister’s Cafe, it is seriously “the best caramel sauce eva”!

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I put the chocolate cake (in case you’re wondering, I made two chocolate layers, but one never made it to the cake because we ate it) on the bottom and covered it in chocolate buttercream frosting. Then I set one of the yellow cakes on next, gave it a crumb coat around the edges, and put a layer of caramel sauce on top. I¬†put the last layer on, crumb coated it, and went to check on my chickens. When I returned, I smothered the whole cake in the remaining frosting and let that dry for a bit.

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Then I poured the remaining caramel sauce over the cake. It dribbled down the sides and hardened there beautifully.

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We cut the cake in the evening, so the photo quality wasn’t superb. But the cake was! And really, it wouldn’t have been worth it to wait until the next morning to cut it just so ya’ll could see a perfect picture of it!

 

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The cakes were moist, the frosting rich, and the caramel sauce smooth and delicate. Next time I’m going to put caramel sauce between each layer ūüôā

 

 

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Elisabeth

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Day Seven: Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

This is Day Seven in a 8 part series featuring amazing pumpkin recipes! Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

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Remember the very first recipe in this pumpkin series? That’s right, those delicious Pumpkin Biscuits! Today’s recipe starts with that same super easy biscuit dough, but it takes it to a whole new level. We roll the dough into a huge rectangle¬†and¬†slather it with a buttery brown sugar mixture. Then we cut it into narrow strips and roll the strips into large circles in pie plates. It’s really simple, but the result is gorgeous! This recipe actually makes enough dough and filling for two giant cinnamon rolls, so you can have one for yourself and one to share with a friend! (Who am I trying to kid…)

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Step by step:

 

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Melt 1/2 cup butter in a glass measuring cup. Mix in a pile of brown sugar, maybe a cup or so. Just add it until it seems sweet enough. Then stir in a large teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

 

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Yep, just like that.

 

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Here is the dough, all ready to go.

 

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Roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness.

 

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Spread the butter/brown sugar mixture evenly across it. As you can see below, we sprinkled on some extra sugar in a few places, because it was a bit thin.

 

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Using a pizza cutter (or a sharp spatula) cut the dough into narrow strips, approximately 1 inch wide.

 

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Roll the dough into circles. After the first strip, I placed it in a greased 10-inch pie plate and just wound the remaining strips around that.

 

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It looks just a bit like a rose. A really yummy, pumpkin-cinnamon rose. It must be a special fall variety.

 

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It’s growing!! Leave a little bit of space between the¬†cinnamon roll and the pie plate, to allow for it to rise. Then bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-22 minutes, or until it’s no longer doughy.

 

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Let them cool for a while before you add a glaze.

 

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We like to make a delightfully simple glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, a tiny bit of milk, and a few drops of vanilla or maple extract.

 

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Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls. Tear them apart with your hands in a ravenous fit of hunger.

Or cut them into neat, dignified portions and serve with milk or coffee.

 

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Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (to 1  1/2) cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pumpkin Dough:
3   1/2 cups flour
4   1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1   1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk (until the consistency is right)
1/2 tsp. vanilla or maple extract

For the cinnamon-sugar filling, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

For the dough, in large bowl combine first four ingredients. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, butter, sugar, and milk; add to flour mixture and mix well. Knead 8-10 times. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Spread cinnamon mixture evenly across the dough. Cut the dough into strips and roll into two large circles (one in each of two 10 inch pie plates). Wrap remaining strips of dough around the circles. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-22 minutes or until no longer doughy. Cool on wire rack while mixing the glaze.

For the glaze, whisk together all ingredients. Drizzle across the cinnamon rolls. Serve slightly warm. Yield: 2 giant cinnamon rolls.

 

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

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Day Six: Best Pumpkin Cupcakes (with Dreamy Cinnamon Frosting)

This is Day Six in a 8 part series featuring yummy pumpkin recipes. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.DSCN1974

We never let an autumn slip past without one of us girls making pumpkin cupcakes. This is a recipe that Kerstin found several years ago. She made them once, and they were immediately voted into our recipe book. The cupcake itself has the perfect amount of sweetness, and a rich balanced spice from the pumpkin pie spice. The frosting is a dream! With cream cheese to make it (you guessed it) creamy, and butter to make it smooth and light (not in the healthy sense of the word, just the fluffy sense), it simply melts in your mouth. Some powdered sugar for sweetness, a big splash of vanilla extract, and a large dose of cinnamon all take it over the top.

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Make them for Thanksgiving! Or make them for the weekend! Make them for your dad’s birthday! Or shucks, just make them for Thursday.

I promise you won’t regret it. Ever.

Here we go:

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Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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This is gorgeous!

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Add the eggs one at a time, and beat the mixture well after each addition.

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You can see how creamy the butter mixture is! Add the pumpkin.

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And beat it in.

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Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl.

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Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately. I usually do three additions of each, but it doesn’t matter too much. Just be sure to beat in each addition thoroughly.

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Here the batter is perfect!

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Prepare the cupcake pans. I love using miniature cupcake liners! These pumpkin ones are so cute, and they are perfect for pumpkin cupcakes!!

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Fill the cupcake liners three-fourths full with batter. I like to fill a Ziplock bag with batter, cut off one corner, and squeeze the batter into each cup. It keeps the cupcakes even and the pan clean.

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For miniature cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 15-18 minutes, or until they test done with a toothpick. Bake standard-sized cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until they test done.

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I also filled some standard-sized cupcake liners. They’re really cute, too!

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For the frosting, beat softened cream cheese and softened butter until it’s smooth and fluffy.

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Add the powdered sugar in two additions, beating the mixture well between additions.

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Yum! You can almost feel how silky smooth it is.

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Add a bunch of cinnamon. This really makes the frosting special!

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Pour in about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. It’s rare that I measure this stuff!

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Mix it together and you are ready to smother some cupcakes!

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Hmm, this is a challenge. ūüėČ

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Pipe it on, spoon it on, or slather it on with a knife.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
3/4 cup butter, softened
2   1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
2   1/3 cups flour
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk
Cinnamon Frosting:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes for standard-sized cupcakes or 15-18 minutes for miniature cupcakes, or until cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: about 2 dozen standard-size or 6 dozen miniature.

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Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

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Day Four: Classy Pumpkin Muffins

This is Day Four of a 8 part series featuring pumpkins! Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.IMG_0984

The weather has turned cold and crisp here, so we are beginning to think about Thanksgiving and all the wonderful things that come with it! We love the festive feeling of preparing pies and stuffing in the week leading up to it. We love hunting season, and the excitement when one of the hunters gets a deer.¬†And we love the food. Oh, yes… we love it! It’s wonderful to start out a¬†cold, dark fall morning with a fresh-baked muffin, and these pumpkin muffins are a favorite! Even Dad, who doesn’t enjoy most pumpkin baked goods, likes these muffins.

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Several years ago we found a pumpkin muffin recipe that made the most¬†moist, tender, and delicious muffins. The only fault¬†we could find with¬†this recipe was that it called for a lot of oil and the topping was not very calorie-conscious. We try to keep our cooking and baking healthy, so we decided to lighten up this recipe! The first thing we did was reduce the oil to half the amount, and substitute unsweetened applesauce for the amount we left out. Then we made the topping much more simple, by just combining brown sugar and oats. Why add butter when it’s not necessary? Here’s a closer look at the recipe!

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Lightly beat four eggs in a large bowl.

 

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Add the sugar and pumpkin…

 

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… the applesauce and oil…

 

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… and the water, and mix it together well.

 

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Lookin’ good!

 

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In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

 

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Add them to the pumpkin mixture.

 

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Whisk it until just combined.

 

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Scrape the sides of the bowl. Prepare a jumbo sized muffin pan by greasing it or placing paper muffin liners in it.

 

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Spoon the batter into the cups until three fourths full.

 

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About like that. This amount of batter easily fills one dozen jumbo muffin cups.

 

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Stir together the topping ingredients. Simply oats and brown sugar! You can add a dash of cinnamon if you like.

 

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Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffin batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes.

 

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I turned the pan in the oven about halfway through the baking time to make sure that they baked evenly. These are perfect! They are delicious served piping hot from the oven, room temperature, or refrigerated. They re-heat nicely for breakfast the next morning, too.

 

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The full recipe:

Classy Pumpkin Muffins

4 eggs, beaten
3 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oil (we use canola oil)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all-purpouse flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

In a large bowl, whisk the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture; mix well.

Fill greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done with a toothpick. Do not over bake. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen jumbo-sized muffins.

¬†For variation, you can add about 1 ¬† 1/2 cups of chopped pecans to the muffin batter before baking. We leave them out because we don’t feel like they are necessary.

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Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle