Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Orange Slices

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Oranges

Every winter, when blood oranges come back in season, I start keeping an eye out for them at grocery stores and farmers markets. This year was different. I’ve been at home, having my groceries delivered instead perusing the local produce aisles. If you’ve been entrusting strangers to do your shopping like I have, then you know delivery produce selections are hit and miss. So I was elated when a bag of perfectly beautiful, ripe blood oranges landed on my doorstep. This simple joy made my day. There was no choice. I had to make something worthy of the gorgeous red beauties!

I didn’t get enough of gingerbread this holiday season, so I decided to make a gingerbread cupcake recipe that I created a few years ago when I was experimenting with blood oranges. I used blood orange zest in the cupcake batter and brushed the warm cupcakes with the blood orange syrup left over from making the candied oranges. If you don’t make the candied oranges, you can easily make a batch of the syrup* or skip this step altogether. They will still be delicious. I topped the cupcakes with cream cheese icing made with more orange zest and some blood orange juice mixed in. The juice makes the icing turns a soft shade of pink.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Oranges

Candied blood orange slices are so stunning, that I can’t bring myself to just lay them on top of a dessert. They remind me of stained glass windows. I like to place them on toothpicks so they can stand up in regal style! Many recipes out there will instruct you to boil the orange slices, then let them air dry. This is perfectly fine if you don’t mind floppy candied oranges. For this recipe, boiling the slices, then letting them dry in the oven on low heat will give them enough stiffness to stand up.

If you can’t find blood oranges where you live, here’s a link to get blood oranges shipped to you. This recipe will also work with other types of oranges. You won’t get the deep scarlet color and the flavor will have a bit more tartness, but it will still be beautiful and delicious!

Print Recipe
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Servings
12-14 cupcakes
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Candied Blood Orange Slices
Servings
12-14 cupcakes
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Candied Blood Orange Slices
Instructions
Gingerbread Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray the wells of a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth.
  4. Add brown sugar and orange zest and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add molasses and beat until combined.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  7. Mix in dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat just until combined.
  8. Scoop the batter into prepared muffin tin, filling wells 2/3 full. (If you have any remaining batter, prepare an additional muffin tin.)
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan.
  11. Place cupcakes upside down on cooling rack and brush generously with orange simple syrup. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed, until smooth.
  2. Add butter, orange zest and salt and beat until combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar. Beat at low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth.
  4. Add blood orange juice and beat, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Candied Blood Orange Slices
  1. Slice oranges into thin 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a shallow saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add orange slices to saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain oranges, reserving syrup.
  5. Heat oven to 175ºF. Place on a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat in a single layer and bake until orange slices begin to stiffen, about 2 hours.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet. If desired, insert toothpicks when slices are cool enough to handle. The slices will continue to stiffen as they cool.
Recipe Notes

*To make orange simple syrup,  combine the juice of one orange with enough water to make 1/2 cup. Combine mixture with the zest of one orange and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and transfer to a glass container. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Share this Recipe
 

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

Summer is nearly over, and after the recent heatwave here in Southern California, I’m more than ready to welcome fall weather. But before I put on my fluffy sweater and dive into pumpkin spice everything, I want to enjoy the tail end of peach season, don’t you? Farmer’s markets and stores near my home are still brimming over with fresh peaches, so I picked up some peaches and decided to give them a proper goodbye and send them off in style.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I created some luscious peaches and cream filled, bite-size puffs of choux pastry, called profiteroles. They’re like cream puffs, only smaller. The filling is creamy, but so light and airy that I’m convinced that these profiteroles have no calories! The recipe I’m sharing with you uses fresh peaches, but feel free to substitute frozen peaches if fresh peaches aren’t available. There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but the steps are done in stages and are very easy to do.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I decorated my profiteroles with fresh, pesticide-free miniature rosebuds, also known as spray roses. If you can’t find miniature rosebuds, pesticide-free rose petals would be a good substitute. You may not get a chance to embellish these little beauties. They have a way of popping into people’s mouths even before you can decorate them!


Print Recipe


Peaches & Cream Profiteroles

Bite-sized puffs of choux pastry filled with a creamy, fresh peach filling and topped with fresh peach icing.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French

Servings


Ingredients
Peach Purée

Peaches & Cream Filling

Profiteroles

Peach Icing

Course Dessert
Cuisine French

Servings


Ingredients
Peach Purée

Peaches & Cream Filling

Profiteroles

Peach Icing


Instructions
Peach Purée
  1. Purée peaches in a blender or food processor. Strain puréed peaches through a sieve. Stir in lemon juice.

  2. Place puréed peaches in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

  3. Reduce heat and simmer until peach purée is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

  4. Remove form heat. Add peach flavoring, if using, and set aside to cool completely.

Peaches and Cream Filling
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a small bowl. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.

  3. When milk starts to boil, remove from heat and pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

  5. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and extracts.

  6. Pour mixture through a sieve placed over a bowl. Cover pastry cream with plastic wrap. Let cool.

  7. Set aside 2 tablespoons of cooled peach purée. Add remaining peach purée to cooled pastry cream and stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator.

  8. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks with an electric mixer at high speed. Fold whipped cream into peach pastry cream mixture. Set aside in refrigerator.

Profiteroles
  1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Combine water, butter and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

  3. Reduce heat. Add flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.

  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes.

  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth.

  6. Transfer mixture to a piping bag, fitted with a large round tip. (**I used Ateco tip 808.)

  7. Pipe 1 inch balls, about 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheet. Smooth tops with a wet finger.

  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Use a skewer to poke a hole in the bottom or on the side of each profiterole.

  10. Place peaches and cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. (***I used Wilton tip 12)

  11. Place tip into the starter holes and fill each profiterole with filling.

Peach Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all icing ingredients together and spoon over filled profiteroles. Decorate as desired. Serve immediately.


Recipe Notes

*To make peaches easy to peel, blanch them  in boiling water for about 45 seconds, then dunk  in ice water.

**To find Ateco tip 808, click here.

***To find Wilton tip 12, click here.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief


Share this Recipe
 

Marshmallow Love

 

Marshmallow Cake by Brownie Mischief

Dear marshmallows, why are you so sweet and fluffy? I shall call you squishy and you shall be mine! Yes, it’s true, I’m a bit crazy about marshmallows. This post is nothing short of a marshmallow fest! First, my daughter and I made some Sparkly Marshmallow Hearts that are super fun and easy to make. I literally want to put them on everything! How cute do they look on this mini cake? They also make adorable cupcake toppers! To view the Sparkly Marshmallow Hearts tutorial click here.

We also had some fun with Puffy Poles. In case you’re not marshmallow savvy, Puffy Poles are marshmallows that look like chubby barber poles. They’re very popular on dessert tables and candy buffets. We used pink ones, which have a subtle strawberry flavor. We applied them to the pictured 4-inch diameter by 2 1/4 inch tall strawberry cake, which was crumb coated with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream. We used buttercream to adhere them to the sides of the cake. To find Puffy Poles click here.

Marshmallow Cake by Brownie Mischief

Next, I made some Billowy Sky Blue Marshmallow Frosting to share with you. One of the things you’re going to love about this frosting, besides being yummy, is it’s natural beauty. You can simply spoon it on, no piping or fancy tricks necessary. Everything it touches becomes an ethereal cloud of deliciousness! The recipe is below.

Print Recipe
Billowy Sky Blue Marshmallow Frosting
Fluffy, glossy, sweet marshmallow frosting.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together sugar, egg whites, water and cream of tartar until frothy.
  2. Place bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl. Whisk mixture until temperature reaches 160° and sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Remove bowl from heat. Add extracts. Beat mixture with the whisk attachment of an electric mixer on high speed until stiff and glossy.
  4. Add a small amount of food color with a toothpick and mix on low speed. Continue adding food color, a little at a time, until desired shade is reached. Use a clean toothpick for each addition.
Recipe Notes

*It's important to dissolve all of the sugar when making this frosting. Ultra fine sugar dissolves easier, but if you are unable to find it, you can use regular granulated sugar.

Share this Recipe