Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sister1's Wedding: Red Velvet Cupcakes and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This was such an epic weekend I’m going to split it into multiple posts.

Why you may wonder? Well, Sister1 is married! I have a brother-in-law! She is Mrs. N------!

She and Geoff tied the metaphorical knot at City Hall in San Francisco, and the reception was at our house in Petaluma. (Pictures to come – they are gorgeous!)

For her wedding she had two priorities: cute invitations and good desserts. And I’d say she accomplished both of those objectives to the max.

The food was catered but the desserts were Sister1 at her best. All I had to do was sit back, relax, and eat cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 4 days straight (oh woof! Luckily I did some Petaluma running too!).

Here’s the line-up (I will post recipes throughout this week)


Chai Tea Latte

Chocolate w/Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate w/Vanilla Frosting

Chocolate w/Mocha Frosting

Red Velvet

Vanilla Vanilla

Other Stuff:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Dark Fudge Brownies

Coconut Macaroons

Lemon Burst Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies


The crowd favorite was the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. They used the same Brown Eyed Baker recipe I used, but with vanilla buttercream instead of peanut butter.

Geoff is taking the credit for these babies ("I stirred them and scooped them and took them out of the oven!"), and though Sister1 may see it differently, it doesn't really matter because they turned out fantastic!

Here's the recipe again.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (from Brown Eyed Baker)

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

And to get you started on the cupcakes, here's Sister1's Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (from Joy the Baker)

makes one dozen cupcakes, double recipe to make 2 9-inch layer cakes

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 1/2 Tablespoons red food coloring

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Turn mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

Spoon batter into a paper lined cupcake baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean.

Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them of a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

double recipe to frost a 2 layer 9-inch cake

2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, cold (I used room temperature)

scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-slow speed until it comes together and is well mixed.

Add the cream cheese all at once and beat on medium to medium-high until incorporated.

Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes, or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.

Do not over-beat as the frosting can quickly become runny.