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Bowling for cupcakes

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So next Thursday night is our annual bowling banquet down at the VFW hall. Another successful season for Sully, Marv, Stinky Pete and myself. We call ourselves the “Balls of Steel”, and this year we moved up one slot and finished in seventh place, ahead of the “Alley Katz”, and just behind the “Pin Ballers”.

But the highlight of the year is the banquet. Big Cathy brings her karaoke machine from Defuniak Springs and it’s a pot luck affair. Little Al from Al’s Bar provides the burgers, and this year I’m debating what to bring. Usually I bring the dip but Stinky Pete and Marv are notorious double dippers. Sully doesn’t care what I bring as long as he has an ice cold Miller High Life in front of him.

I was watching an episode of Cupcake Wars on the food station the other night snacking on a Hostess CupCake with my miniature schnauzer Cupcake and all of sudden it hit me. I’ll bring cupcakes to the banquet!

As faithful readers know I have three passions in my life as far as entertainment goes. Bowling, baking and bocce ball, so this was a no-brainer for me.

I found some old cupcake cookbooks and as I leafed through them they all were dated, boring and had been done to death. I had to find something cutting edge for my cupcakes, after all, this year I led the league in most balls stuck in the automatic pinsetter and most thumbs smashed on the ball return. Expectations for me would be high.

Check out the list for some exciting cutting edge cupcake ideas, try them out at home and let the pins fall where they may. You may like them or hate them you may be split, sorry, but that’s how I roll. Hurry, there’s not a moment to spare.

Bacon Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Bacon Dark Chocolate Cupcakes internet/Rus Pishnery

Bacon Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Bacon Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

12 Slices Bacon, Cooked & Crumbled

2 Cups Flour

¾ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Cups Sugar

2 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

Pinch Sea Salt

2 Eggs

1 Cup Brewed Instant Coffee

1 Cup Buttermilk

½ Cup Canola Oil

Mocha Frosting.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder and salt.  Make a well in the mixture and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil.  Stir until well blended.  Mix in the bacon, reserving some for garnish.

Pour into lined muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Frost with a mocha frosting when cool and garnish with reserved bacon...

Jalapeno Key Lime Cupcakes
Jalapeno Key Lime Cupcakes internet/Rus Pishnery

Jalapeno Key Lime Cupcakes

Jalapeno Key Lime Cupcakes

1 16.5 Oz. Lemon-flavored Cake Mix

1/2 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/4 Cup Key Lime Juice

2 Cups Heavy Cream

3 Tbs. Powdered Sugar

1 Jalapeno Pepper, Minced

Zest from 2 to 3 limes, for garnish

Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 3 miniature muffin tins with miniature paper liners.

Make the cake mix according to the package directions. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each about halfway full (about 2 teaspoons each). Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Place the muffin tins onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, minced Jalapeno and key lime juice. Pour the mixture into a small squeeze bottle.

Put the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to whip to medium-stiff peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Alternatively, if you do not have a piping bag with a star tip. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble, place the tip of the squeeze bottle into the center of one cupcake. Press the tip about three-quarters of the way into the cupcake and squeeze a small amount of the key lime filling into the cupcake (the filling should just come to the top of the cupcake). Repeat this step with the remaining cupcakes.

Pipe small mounds of the whipped cream on top of each cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with a light dusting of cayenne pepper and a sprinkle of lime zest…

Beer and Sauerkraut Fudge Cupcakes with Beer Frosting
Beer and Sauerkraut Fudge Cupcakes with Beer Frosting internet/Rus Pishnery

Beer and Sauerkraut Fudge Cupcakes with Beer Frosting

Beer and Sauerkraut Fudge Cupcakes with Beer Frosting

2/3 Cup Butter

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

3 Eggs

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder

2 1/4 Cups Sifted Flour

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Cup Dark Beer

2/3 Cup Sauerkraut

 

Beer Frosting:

1/2 Cup Butter, Softened

3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar, divided

1/3 Cup Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder

Pinch Sea Salt

1/3 Cup Dark Beer, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Line standard cupcake pans with 18 cupcake liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until each is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add the vanilla. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl. In the creamed bowl, alternate the leftover ingredients beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in the sauerkraut. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake until the cupcake springs back when touched, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool completely before removing the cupcakes.

To assemble: Frost the cooled cupcakes with Beer Frosting.

Beer Frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the softened butter with half the confectioners' sugar. Add the cocoa, salt, and roughly 1/3 of the beer. Beat until smooth. Alternate adding the remaining sugar with the remaining beer and beat until fluffy.

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