Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing and a Joy the Baker Book Review

Posted on March 7, 2012

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

This week in the series of Joy the Baker spotlight and cook-off posts we were asked to write a review of the full cookbook.  And to be honest, I only have positive things to say.

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

The Joy the Baker Cookbook has all of the elements that make me love a cookbook:

  • Beautiful colorful photos for EVERY recipe
  • Clear lists of ingredients and instructions that are easy to follow
  • Creative recipes that I wish I had come up with first
  • The author’s personal favorites of some classics
  • Interesting prose to introduce the author and the book as well as each recipe

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Sometimes when reviewing a product, I get a little nervous because I’ve been disappointed in the quality or it just isn’t as “great” as I thought it could be.  Well, in Joy’s case, the situation is the exact opposite.  As a fan of her blog for years, I certainly had high expectations for the cookbook.  But when the book came in the mail a few weeks ago, I could not stop reading through the recipes and staring at each photo.  I created a mile-long list of recipes that I can’t wait to try and each time I page through the book again (which I do for fun), I find something else that I can’t wait to make.

Her charming and funny personality shines through in every page and the variety of recipes does not disappoint.  Just to give you a few examples of things I still am dying to make:

  • Peanut Butter and Jam Milkshake
  • Baked Coffee Cake French Toast
  • Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Glaze

And the list goes on…

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

So in this final week I couldn’t help but make another recipe to share.  This time I went with her Simple Vanilla Cupcakes and topped them with the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.  I adapted the recipes slightly, but was thrilled with the flavors in the cupcakes and the icing.

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
Makes 12 cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 x-large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup skim milk

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy
Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed after each one
Add vanilla and beat until combined; scrape sides of bowl with a spatula and beat batter for another minute
Add half of flour mixture and turn mixer on low speed just until combined; add milk and mix on low until incorporated; add remaining flour and mix on low for one minute
Remove bowl from mixer and use a spatula to fold any unincorporated dry ingredients into the batter
Divide batter evenly among cups (a cookie dough scoop or small ladle can be helpful); bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cupcakes
Allow cupcakes to cool for several minutes before removing from pan; allow to cool completely prior to frosting

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:
4 ounces regular cream cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsweetened good quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Beat cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth
Add butter and beat until light and creamy; scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat for another minute
Add cocoa powder and mix on low speed until combined
Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined; scrape the sides of the bowl again and beat on high speed until icing is light and fluffy
Distribute frosting evenly among cupcakes

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef.  I received a free copy of the Joy the Baker Cookbook but all opinions expressed are my own.

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