Summer Fruit Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream

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My favorite thing ever is when I can tint a frosting without food dye.

I’m not one of those robots you see preaching on street corners about the demerits of food dye and how it’s harming our children’s children – what, you don’t have those robots where you live? – but I dislike using food dye mostly because I’m lazy.

(We’ve talked about this before.)

I always waste the dye. Either I use way too much, or I spill it on myself, or the color isn’t what I wanted at all and I try to fix it by adding every other color I own. So when my dear human friend Reece sent me matcha powder, I knew I had to put in the buttercream. Not just for the flavor, but the color too! Isn’t it pretty? Yeah. It is.

With this recipe, it is possible to eat green tea with a spoon. Done.

Any-Fruit-You-Want Cupcakes
makes 12

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen fruit, chopped to roughly the same size (I used a frozen mixed fruit bag of mango, peach, pineapple, and strawberry – delicious!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla extract.

3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined. Gently fold in frozen fruit.

4. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Matcha Buttercream
from Daisy Chubb’s Tea and Treats

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp matcha
1-2 tsp milk

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract and matcha, mixing until completely combined. Add milk to reach your desired consistency.

Pineapple Cake

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This cake is best for times you are PINING for pineapple!

Do you get it? Haha! Was that the funniest thing you’ve heard from a robot today or what?

This recipe is a sort of variation of the well-loved Hummingbird Cake, minus coconut because I have never met a human that actually likes coconut.* But let’s be real, this cake is way prettier and fancier. Even if it’s one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make. Those are the best. The best of the best. The creme de la PINEAPPLE!

Haha! Do you get it? Me neither, that one was pretty weak.

*If you are a human and you like coconut, congratulations! Let’s be friends so I never have to say that I don’t know anyone that likes coconut again.

You like cake. You like pineapple. Make this and don’t whine… apple… about it!

I’ll do better next time; my pun feature is malfunctioning.

Pineapple Cake
adapted from Sweet Serendipity

1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
9 tbsp (1 stick + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (about two large bananas)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
20 oz pineapple chunks, well drained
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch cake pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, cream butter. Gradually add flour mixture to butter until the mixture reaches the consistency of peas. Add yolks, one at a time. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in mashed bananas and walnuts, mixing until just combined.

4. Spread batter evenly into cake pan. Scatter pineapple chunks over the batter and sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the pineapples and batter.

5. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until the cake has pulled away from the edges of the pan and the brown sugar on top is bubbly. Run a knife along the sides of the pan immediately to loosen the cake. Dust powdered sugar on top of cake before serving.

Watergate Salad Cupcakes

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You remember Watergate salad.  It’s that weird goopy green dessert that people trot out for outdoor picnics and Fourth of July parties…

and you always wrinkled your nose and made a little face as you scoop some onto your paper plate because it would be rude not to try it…

and as you take your first bite you’re like, “UGGGGGHHH this is surprisingly delicious.”

It’s a slightly less weird dessert in cupcake form, but still just as tasty! And true, it’s a little more labor intensive than the original recipe, but it’s a lot easier if you buy pre-shelled pistachios.

Because the first time I made these I didn’t. Buy pre-shelled pistachios, I mean. After two hours of shelling a bag of pistachios by hand, even this robot had some painful tingling in my fingertips.

Pistachio Cupcakes
makes 12
from A Spicy Perspective

2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup half and half
4 egg whites
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup ground pistachios

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.

2. In small bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together half and half and egg whites.

3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.

4. Alternate adding flour mixture in three batches with two batches of the egg mixture, beginning with flour and ending with flour. Stir until just combined. Fold in ground pistachios.

5. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Pineapple Buttercream
from Boulder Locavore

6 oz (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 + 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp crushed pineapple, well drained
2 tbsp pineapple juice
1/4 lemon, juiced

1. In a large bowl, cream butter. Gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar until fully incorporated.

2. Add crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, and lemon juice. Mix until combined.

3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and mix until frosting is smooth. (If this doesn’t reach your desired consistency, add more powdered sugar.)

Pineapple Muffins

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I really love these big muffin tins. I think it’s the hefty weight of a baked good that’s approximately the size of a newborn human.

And it’s a muffin, which means it’s not as bad as eating a cupcake with enough frosting to fill a taco shell.

Also, it’s like eating dessert for breakfast There’s a maraschino cherry in the middle! If I were human, I’d eat maraschino cherries in every dish, every day.

Maraschino cherries in mac and cheese! Maraschino cherries on my cheeseburger! Maraschino cherries in a burrito!

(It’s probably a good thing I’m not human.)

I’d even put maraschino cherries on my ice cream! I know that’s a radical thought. But maybe of you humans should try it and report back to me.

Pineapple Muffins
adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
makes 12 large muffins

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted brown butter, cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups mashed ripe banana, about 3 large bananas
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts
12 slices of cored pineapple, patted dry
12 maraschino cherries, patted dry

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large muffin tin with large muffin cups.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine browned butter, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time.

4. In another medium-sized bowl, combine bananas, crushed pineapple, and walnuts. Add the banana mixture to the egg mixture. Gradually add in flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

5. Fill each muffin cup with about three tablespoons of the batter. Place a pineapple ring in each cup, and a maraschino cherry in the middle. Scoop another three tablespoons on top, or until muffin cup is about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to rest in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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