Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cream Cheese Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

My latest venture: filled cupcakes.  I have never attempted this before . . . but with Tristan's birthday celebration approaching I decided to give it a try.  The result: some pretty tasty cupcakes!!

(Light) Chocolate Cupcakes
- adapted from Cooking Light magazine

1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl, blend together brown sugar and butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes (or until combined).  Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each one.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add flour mixture to the large bowl containing the sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.  You should start and end with the flour mixture.  Lastly, add vanilla extract.

Fill cupcake liners 1/2 - 2/3 way full and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 low-fat milk
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar using handheld or standing mixer.  Once thoroughly combined, add milk and vanilla.  Texture should be smooth and creamy.

To fill cupcakes, cut a cone shaped hole out of the center of the the cupcake using a paring or other small sharp knife.

Do not toss out the pieces that you cut out.  You will still need them after filing the cupcakes.

Fill either a piping bag or Ziploc with the cream cheese filling.  I just used a Ziploc and it worked great.  After cutting a small whole in one corner of the bag, slowly fill the holes you cut in the cupcakes. 

Try not to fill the cupcakes all the way to the top, or the filling will end up squeezing out when you replace the top like this:
Once you have filled all of the cupcakes, cut the cone off of the chunk that you cut out so that you have a round, flat piece to plug the top.

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons low-fat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

Warning: for this frosting, be sure to use real butter.  I tried substituting the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" the first time around and it did not work.

Cream the butter until smooth before adding the powdered sugar.  Be sure to keep your mixer on low when adding the powdered sugar, or it will make a HUGE mess!!  You can start with 3 cups of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Then, add additional powdered sugar or milk to thicken or thin it out to your liking.  I used 4 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk for a fairly thick, stiff frosting.

The frosting with have a creamy, off-white color following this recipe.  I knew I wanted a blue frosting so I just added a few drops of blue and green food coloring until I got the color I wanted.  You can either using a piping bag to decorate the tops of the cupcakes, or just spread the frosting with a spatula.  I have a cookie press that has frosting tips so that was my choice for applying the frosting. 

You will want to keep this in an airtight container.  I also keep mine refrigerated, but it probably isn't necessary.


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