Written on April 24, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Kristin Porter
Can cupcakes be considered health food if they’re chock-full of vitamins, vegetables, and fresh fruit juice? I’d like to think so. Especially when they’re as cute and poppable (read: impossible to eat just one) as Mini Mango-Carrot Cupcakes!
Packed with shredded carrot and sweet mango juice, Mini Mango-Carrot Cupcakes are a fun and sunny take on classic carrot cake. That signature orange hue from freshly shredded carrots is pumped up by the addition of fresh mango juice, or a mango juice blend, which can be found at nearly every grocery store these days. Smooth and tropical-tasting, mango juice is an excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of Vitamin C, too.
Bonus: mangos and carrots are both in season right now, which means they taste superbly sweet and fresh in this dessert. That being said, the cupcakes aren’t overly sugary-tasting, and almost have the consistency of really moist cornbread. Totally a trip from the ordinary.
Ok, ok, these babies are still technically considered dessert, and have the indulgent, cream cheese frosting swirled on top to prove it, but I like to think their portion-controlled size and addition of a few fresh ingredients make them a great, healthier option to serve at parties or for kids.
The original recipe for Mini Mango-Carrot Cupcakes is for a full-sized layer cake, so I simply scooped the batter into lined mini muffin tins and baked at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
However you make it, enjoy this yummy, springtime dessert!
Written on January 15, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Delish Dish Editor
Hi all, Jessica Christensen, senior editor with Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications here. I recently had a craving for cake and through a series of misadventures in my kitchen I created what later became Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Meringue, a published recipe we put through the BHG Test Kitchen.
I started out the day with a couple of challenges—first, my 10-month-old son who thinks he should be involved in every project I undertake and second, my need for something sweet without overdoing it on the calories. So I started with an old favorite—Busy Day Cake. This is a one layer cake, so the calories wouldn’t be through the roof, and with only seven ingredients, it was sure to be quick so I could (maybe) get it done during my son’s naptime. Because I can’t leave any recipe alone, I decided to spruce it up with the classic Meringue Frosting (a fat-free recipe), and hey, why not add some pumpkin and nutmeg to the cake batter? So to make a long story short(er), I did exactly what bakers should never do—started baking before checking that I had all the ingredients. It wasn’t long before I discovered I had no granulated sugar AND I was missing a beater to my mixer.
No problem. I had brown sugar. So I continued on my mission replacing the granulated sugar with brown sugar in both the cake and the frosting. I added some freshly grated nutmeg (I always use freshly grated whole nutmeg instead of pre-ground because there’s just no comparison) and replaced a little bit of the fat with some pumpkin. I beat both the cake batter and the frosting with the one beater on my mixer and guess what—it worked fine! I used my handy Microplane to grate a big of nutmeg over the cake top for a super simple garnish.
I loved my version of Busy Day Cake so much, I made some changes and put it through the test kitchen. The one we published—Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Meringue Frosting—didn’t have pumpkin (I didn’t want the recipe to be too seasonal since I would be unrolling it after the holidays), replaced some of the brown sugar with granulated, and added a touch of baking soda to help the cake’s texture. During photography (see top photo on this page), it somehow morphed into a two-layer cake and the food stylist hit the meringue with a food torch for some pretty browning on the top. If you’re looking to cut calories wherever possible for your after-holidays diet, you can simply cut the Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Meringue Frosting recipe in half so it’s just one layer (but you can still make a full batch of the Brown Sugar Meringue Frosting).
The moral of my story is that baking doesn’t always end up like you planned (especially when you fail to plan ahead), but with a little ingenuity and courage, the results can still be fabulous.
What baking or cooking issues have you overcome on the fly?
Categories: Delish Dish, In the Test Kitchen | Tags: Baking, brown sugar, busy, cake, diet, fat-free, fat-free dessert, low-fat, low-fat dessert, meringue, New Year's resolution, nutmeg, one-layer cake, spice
Written on November 29, 2012 at 8:30 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
I love baking cookies. It’s one of the things I really look forward to each holiday season. I usually set aside a day or two and bake up a storm. Since it’s just me here, this leaves me with a lot of cookies. Thankfully, my mom and grandma are able to take some off my hands. Unfortunately, for some of you, this tradition of making a beautiful variety of cookies may have become a dreaded chore. Well, not any more! This year consider having a Cookie Exchange Party.
Here’s how it works. When hosting a Cookie Exchange Party, you bake up one big batch of a particular type of cookie (or fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, candy, etc.) as do your friends. Then everyone joins you at your house with a large supply of treats. During the party (after sampling a few cookies, of course) you swap cookies and recipes. When you leave the party, you have a huge variety of holiday treats and you only had the stress of baking one item. Plus, you had a chance to hang out with your friends. Sounds pretty fun, right?
So whether you are considering holding a cookie exchange or doing all the baking yourself, I found 12 fabulous cookie recipes that will leave your guests satisfied and impressed. Some are classics and some are new favorites.
1. White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread // 2. Christmas Sugar Cookie Cutouts // 3. Peanut Butter and Mocha Checkerboards // 4. Tangerine Butter Cookies // 5. Mini Raspberry and White Chocolate Whoopie Pies // 6. Ultimate Chocolate-Dipped Cookies // 7. Chocolate Palmiers // 8. Cherry Surprise Crinkles // 9. Roly-Poly Santas // 10. Buried Cherry Cookies // 11. Lemony Star Sandwiches // 12. Mint Meringue Kisses
I also took things a bit further and created a little round up of my favorite holiday-inspired platters, trays, and cake stands. I mean, if you are going to all the trouble of baking these delicious treats, you want them to look as scrumptious as they taste, right? You could even fill one of these delightful pieces with a variety of homemade sweets and you’d have an instant gift. Too perfect!
1. Mikasa Scarlet Vine // 2. White Enamel Cake Stand // 3. Williams Sonoma Vintage Footed Platter // 4. Plaid Platter // 5. Dancing Dreidel Platter // 6. Rectangular Plates // 7. French Bull Ziggy Plate // 8. Williams Sonoma Christmas Tree Platter // 9. Artist Palette Tray // 10. Jadeite Cake Stand // 11. CB2 Clarity Plate // 12. French Bull Black and White Platter
How do you handle all of your holiday baking? Do you host a cookie exchange? What’s your favorite holiday cookie?
Cheers, Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm