“Grab your things, I’ve come to take you home.” (my new site– www.serialbaker.com)


okay, so maybe lyrics from solsbury hill arent the most appropriate for this, but gosh darn it i love that song, and when i was trying to think of a line to use, that is what came to mind. that or a quote from vacation and a picture of the family truckster.

but, yes, i have finally migrated everything over to my new site! come check me out at my new digs:



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hey there, puddin’

pudding cookies 6

incase you havent read my previous posts or figured it out yourself, i spend a lot of time at the grocery store. no seriously, a LOT. there are days where i am there three times in one day, and i go at least two days a week. and as you may have guessed, a decent amount of it is in the baking aisle. every so often they have these little tear-off sheets with recipes next to the spices or other ingredients. i am generally a very giving person and am not greedy, but i have to admit that i take one of each. i flip through to make sure that i didnt miss any since there are sometimes several alternated in one stack.

this one must have been next to the chocolate since it seems to be sponsored by baker’s chocolate, eagle condensed milk, and ziploc. although it isnt anything fancy, when i saw it i knew i had to make them. i am a texture person, so it is rare that i will crave pudding, but i enjoy the flavor and thus got excited at the prospect of pudding cookies. after making the doughnut muffins i went to refill my sugar canister and found that i was plumb out; how this happened, i am not sure, i am still puzzled and amazed. i have had a terrible headache all day and i really didnt feel like going out to the store, so when i saw that these did not require any granulated sugar, i knew this is what i was making for my chocolate snack.

pudding cookies 10

i will give you some advice that i wish i had been given a few hours ago- if you cook them until you think they are done, it is too long. they are still good, but they are not light and fluffy, but flatter and chewier. it said to bake until the edges were slightly browned which is really difficult to tell when the cookies themselves are brown, so i baked them for a minute longer than the cook time when they started to look somewhat done. i am wishing that i had taken them out at the middle of the cooking time range, i think they would have been perfect. as you can see in the pix, the middle is still moist, but i know they will be chewier than i want tomorrow.

pudding cookies 2


2 sticks butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 pkg (3.9 oz) chocolate pudding mix

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 pkg white chocolate, chopped (or white chocolate chips)

heat oven to 350. beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. add dry pudding mix; beat until blended. add eggs; mix well. gradually add flour and baking soda, beating until well blended after each addition. stir in chocolate.

drop tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets. bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. cool 1 minute on baking sheets; remove to wire racks. cool completely.

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donut mess with this muffin

cider donut muffins 9

ive been seeing donut muffins pop up in all the baking magazines this year and i must admit i was intrigued. i try to make my treats at least decently healthy, so i am reluctant to fry up some doughnuts (tho i am sure i will one of these days). i did, however, receive a request for apple cider donuts, which i am a huge fan of; i considered making them but all the recipes i saw noted that they were not so good the next day, so unless i wanted to fry them up on my way to work, it wasnt happening.

i will digress for a moment. for those of you in the nj area, if you are within an hour of chester, i suggest you mark a day down on your calendar between now and the end of november and plan the following day: breakfast at the chester hills diner, a light hike in hacklebarney state park to work up an appetite for amazing cider and cidered pastries at the cider mill, a corn maze and a fruit pie from alstede’s farm (get it to go, i am not done with your stomach’s plans yet), a leisurely stroll down the historic main street of chester, stopping in antique stores, candle shops, the christmas shop, etc, a meal at any of the wonderfully charming restaurants (publick house for a classic nice meal, sally lunn’s tea room for a quaint light meal, mama’s grace for some eclectic casual eatin’, etc) to be followed by taylor’s ice cream. if you waited until after thanksgiving, you should check for some of the great events in the neighboring towns to celebrate a traditional christmas (bedminster/pluckemin has a good one, but i have a slew of other restaurants for you to visit on that day!).

for those of you in chicago, get in your car right now and go to goebbert’s this instant. they have hands down the BEST cider donuts i have ever had in my life. melt in your mouth goodness. no fried feeling. seriously, words cant describe. they have plenty of other things too… fresh roasted sweet corn, applewood smoked bacon, fresh produce, and tons of other baked goods, but do not leave without a cider donut. youll thank me later. youre welcome in advance.

anyway, back to my baking….so for some reason i couldnt find a recipe for apple cider donut muffins, just apple cider donuts or regular donut muffins. i must note that i found one that i thought sounded great but it included buttermilk and i just couldnt do that to myself this week! this one used regular milk, so whatever i dont use i will donate to the work kitchen. after going through several pages, i gave up and decided to make up my own way to do it. i increased the dry ingredients a bit, omitted some of the existing wet ingredients, and added apple cider as well as a bunch of fall-like spices. i also found that there was waaaaay too much topping left, so i have reduced that below.

cider donut muffins 2

the results are delicious, but admittedly not very doughnut-y. i think the only thing about them that makes them resemble a donut is the buttery cinnamon sugar coating…the butter is a smidge more than delicate, but not overpowering, the cinnamon sugar gives a light crunch. i am a little concerned about how they will hold up tomorrow, i am hoping they get crunchier rather than soggier, but only time will tell!

cider donut muffins 4

Recipe (modified for my needs, based on cuisine at home):

for the muffins-

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp table salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp apple or pumpkin pie spice (or just nutmeg if you prefer)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cups milk

2/3 cup apple cider plain,not spiced–if you use spiced, omit the spices above)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

for the cinnamon-sugar topping:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 stick butter, melted

preheat oven to 350. coat mini muffins with non-stick spray.

whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl; set aside. combine milk and cider in a measuring cup; set aside. using a hand mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. beat in eggs until fully incorporated. alternately add flour mixture and liquid mixture, mix until all ingredients are fully combined and batter is smooth.

transfer batter to the prepared muffin tins in heaping tablespoon measures. bake muffins until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes. cool muffins in the tins for 5 minutes, then apply topping while muffins are still warm.

stir together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. dunk muffins (i used a pastry brush instead) into butter, then sugar mixture. makes 48 mini-muffins.

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but this *is* how i relax (recovery baking)

coconut oatmeal 10

so this morning i had some minor surgery, and since my mom is in town for a wedding she was kind enough to drive me and spend the day with me while i was coming out of anesthesia. she was saying how she wanted to bake for the office she is working out of this week but didnt have time. since i was not really capable of intelligent thought and had already laid down for a few hours, i figured i might as well help my mom out and do a little baking to help me feel back to normal. i decided that i would make two things and bring half in to my office as well  [o:

i had bought a bunch of holiday baking magazines in the past couple weeks, so it was about time i start baking my way through them. i found two recipes that looked good, yet simple enough to make without much thought and also did not require any ingredients i did not have on hand. the great thing about the first recipe is that i got to use the coconut, butterscotch, and pecans that i had left over from previous bakes. hurrah! since i was told to eat very light today i did not get to try these cookies, nor the shortbread brownies. i am still in search of an amazing brownie recipe; this one is not it, but mom said they came out pretty good. i have made brownies with a chocolate chip cookie layer, but the shortbread is a bit different… definitely more buttery.

shortbread brownie 1

the shortbread brownies were definitely a hit, and even those who swore they hated coconut enjoyed the cookies, as the texture of the oatmeal and flavor of the butterscotch were strong enough to win over their taste buds  [o:


shortbread brownies (from better homes & gardens “ultimate cookies”, winter 2009)


  • for the shortbread:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
  • for the brownies:
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together 1 cup flour and the brown sugar. Cut in the 1/2 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the 1/4 cup chocolate pieces. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl stir together granulated sugar, 3/4 cup flour, the cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, melted butter, and vanilla; beat by hand until smooth. Stir in the 1/2 cup chocolate pieces. Carefully spread over crust in pan.

3. Bake 40 minutes more. Cool brownies in pan on a wire rack. Lift brownies out of pan by lifting up on foil. Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars

Coconut Oatmeal Chewies (from cuisine at home holiday baking, 2009)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp table salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

3/4 cup butterscotch chips

3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside. using a hand mixer on medium, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture; beat on low speed until well blended. add half of the flour mixture; beat on low speed until ingredients are combined. add remaining flour, beating only until flour is incorporated into dough. fold oats, coconut, butterscotch chips, and pecans into dough with a spoon until evenly distributed. chill the dough in the refrigerator until slightly firm (the recipe says at hour, but i didnt leave it in nearly that long and mine were fine)

scoop dough onto lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. bake cookies at 350, 11-13 minutes (more time= less chewy). let cookies cool on sheet 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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an awesome afternoon of alliteration


*disclaimer: back to horrendous lighting, as it was a gloomy day… these look much better in person than these pix*

today was a day for baking things that start with a ‘b’: berries, buttermilk, butter, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, butter (yes, MORE butter), boy bait. wait– what’s that last one?

last week i went to the doctor and instead of focusing on my physical health, this guy kept asking me about my dating life, or lack thereof, and encouraging me to “get out there”… and with a few interjections about how i should eat meat. i felt like he was a pushy little italian/jewish/greek grandmother  who thought that i would be all better if i could just meet a nice guy and go out for some steak with him. in any case, when i stumbled upon a recipe for something called “blueberry boy bait” i thought i would make my doctor proud and give it a whirl. legend has it, in 1954, a 15-year-old girl stole the show (but only won second prize) in the junior division of an early Pillbury Bake-Off with a variation of this recipe, named, she said, after the effect it had on boys.


now, usually when i am scouring the blogosphere (wow, this is an approved word by spellcheck??) for buttermilk recipes it is usually because i made something and now have extra left over. this time, i will openly admit that i really have no idea why i even bought buttermilk. maybe it is just one of the staple items that i now purchase as a reflex? maybe i had something in mind when i was shopping that i since forgot? whatever the reason, the “best by” date was quickly approaching, so i shelved my other baking plans and decided to use it up.

i ended up finding the blueberry boy bait on smittenkitchen, and in her description she commented that it was similar to her raspberry buttermilk cake, which of course had to try as well! since the raspberry cake was a smaller portion and i still had an abundance of buttermilk, i decided to double it. i planned to make these in my brand new bar pan, but when i opened the box from amazon, i found that they had shipped my qty 3 of this instead, and the original pan is no longer on the site at all. of course, this means that i am going to have to make something in these new pans! i cant turn down inspiration sent to me from the baking gods (or an error made by someone in a warehouse). this morning i went to a couple stores in an attempt to find the pan that i actually wanted, but with no luck. then, this afternoon after i had completed both cakes, i decided to head to bed bath & beyond since they have a decent variety of pans.


i was apparently on auto-pilot again, as i got on the highway headed towards work instead of the store. once i turned around, i found myself at bb&b unable to find the pan. instead, i walked out with $110 of things that were not, in fact, the pan. this $25 pan has cost me $140 so far (i added in the amazon order), and i don’t even have it yet! as i was driving away, i remembered that i believe i have seen it in target before….but then i also remembered that i am incapable of going in to target and only buying one thing and i had just spent more than i should for the week, so perhaps next week i shall get it.

anyways… i got home, had a mid-afternoon meal, and noticed that some of that pesky buttermilk was still in the fridge. i poured some into a cup to see how much was left and it easily filled it up. :::grunt::: i found a recipe on allrecipes that got good reviews; it was for muffins (which i decided to make mixed berry), but since i had made the other two as cakes, i did the same for this. between the member reviews and my personal preferences, i modified this recipe quite a bit.


i still have a little buttermilk left, so if it enough to do anything with i will make some scones for my moms visit this week. i always used to make them when she came to visit, but i taught her how to make them a couple months ago so she eats them on her own on a regular basis now.

the boy bait is a bit buttery for my liking, as had been noted on the recipe so i cant be surprised, but good nonetheless. i am a little disappointed that the raspberries sunk into their cake, though it came out good otherwise; next time i will coat them with a little flour in hopes that at least a few of them will stay up. i had some difficulty getting the muffin cake to cook evenly, but otherwise i was happy with it. i think next time i will also add some lemon zest to the two without. i haven’t eaten a full piece of them all yet (just cutting scraps), as i have had more than enough sugar today, but once i have better reviews on the flavor and texture i will update.


now, i know that i could have used the remaining buttermilk after the boy bait on something seasonal (like i planned on baking this week), but i am trying to find “best of” recipes within a theme so i stuck with berry cakes. i did it with cinnamon, and i plan to do it with brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and a few other things on rainy sundays, such as today. hopefully the verdict tomorrow at work will be clear and i will have established a go-to berry cake recipe.


Blueberry Boy Bait
Adapted from Cook’s Country, which adapted it from the original (via smittenkitchen)

Serves 12, generously

2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009 (via smittenkitchen)

Makes one thin 9-inch cake, i doubled it and cooked it in a 13 x 9 inch pan

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 oz)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Mixed Berry Cake

based loosely on a recipe found here on allrecipes


2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 heaping cup fresh or frozen berries
  • In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and buttermilk; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in berries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned. I baked this in an 8×8 pan for about 35 minutes.

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ive been punk’d


first, let me get some facts straight. some of the things i love are: dogfishhead beer, pumpkin ale, pumpkin spice, brown sugar, bread, pumpkin bread, just about anything fall-related except for mushy squash. here is something i dont like: recipes that sound fantastic but in reality are not.


a couple weeks ago i was looking for a new recipe for pumpkin bread when i stumbled upon one that used dogfishhead punkin’ ale as the base. i was so excited and it took a lot of self control not to make it right away. i had other things to bake, and i figured i would bring this with me to the next potluck where it would presumably be a big hit.


my friend sheryl wanted to cook together for the potluck, but since she couldnt make it over til a bit later and i didnt want to be baking too late, i got started without her. when she arrived the punkin’ bread had just come out of the oven and i was just getting started on the pumpkin cookies. she came in and immediately noted how good it smelled in my house; i told her that although the house might smell good, the bread, unfortunately, did not. upon a closer whiff, she agreed with me.

punkin sheryl

but hey, sometimes things taste better than they smell. sheryl thought it was too bitter, but enjoyed it better with some apple butter. i did not think it was too bitter, as i enjoy bitter things. once i got past expecting a sweet pumpkin-like bread and accepted it as more of a regular yeast bread, i noticed that it was not cohesive; the spice to sugar ratio was off, the texture wasnt exactly right either. it was too spongy on the inside for a yeast bread, but the top was getting dried out so i couldnt bake it any longer. per sheryl’s suggestion, this bread is not coming to the potluck with us… thankfully i have the cookies to fall back on! (yeah, i made the pre-school pumpkin cookies again, but veganized them this time, which were, in fact, a hit)

Dogfish Punkin Bread (from examiner.com)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine:

12 oz bottle of Dogfish Punkin Ale

3 cups self-rising cake flour.

1 tablespoon brown sugar

A dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, but not too much, as you don’t want to get in the way of the flavors Sam Calagione and co. have created.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve/eat piping hot, slathered with butter, or better yet, locally made apple butter.  Pairs beautifully with a spicy tea like chai, on a rainy day.

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in search of the perfect black bottom


i recall my first experience with the black bottom cupcake. it was at starbucks with my friend kim, and i while doing a little dance and singing “black bottom cupcakes you make the rockin world go round” (go ahead, try to get queen’s “fat bottom girls” out of your head), i tried to figure out what the name meant– they looked more like white middled cupcakes than black bottom cupcakes. while i havent done enough research to discover the origin, i had declared that i would make them myself. a year or two ago, i searched for a clone of the starbucks recipe, found one, and they turned out phenomenal! however (and you might be noticing a trend here) i did not make a note of which one i used.

so today, today i made two different recipes in hopes of finding the perfect black bottom cupcake recipe, even if it wasnt the same as last time. the first batch went in the oven this morning while i was getting ready to go to the party that i was bringing the scrumptious peanut butter chocolate krispies to. while they were baking, i decided to measure out the ingredients for the second recipe incase i did not get home from the party until later than i had planned on.

since i was making two different batches and the first one was for 24 cupcakes i decided to halve it. since it was decently early in the morning, i accidentally cracked two eggs so i had to either throw them both out and use a third, or try to pour out as close as i could to half; since i hate wasting food, i went with the latter, and based on how they turned out, i am thinking that perhaps i did not get it quite right. at least i caught it before pouring them in to the batter!

when i prepped them, i was feeling quite confident…


the filling appeared to be the perfect amount, and i even had it centered!


when they came out of the oven, though, they did not look as i remembered them. it seems that all of the filling had sunken in. this one was making a face at me, i thought it was kinda cute, and considered putting some eyes on it


even though the cheesecake sunk in, i cant say that i am complaining about the way they turned out, and if someone had never seen a real black bottom cupcake before, they might think that this is how they should be.


during my black bottom intermission (aka erica’s party) i was providing a baking tip to a girl that was having difficulty with cheesecake swirl brownies: the trick is to make sure that your cream cheese is at the proper temperature. of course when i got home i was so impatient that i had to force my cream cheese to the right temperature, and thankfully it appears to have worked! when the batter was prepped in the pan it kinda looked the same as the first batch, so i was starting to think that they would turn out the same despite the recipes being quite different.


but then they came out of the oven with glorious cheesecake tops! granted they werent all centered or perfect looking, but unless you are meticulous about the placement this is generally what they look like. although i have ocd, i am perfectly okay with”real” looking baked goods…it gives them a home made feel.


and now, to take a look inside…. oh.heck.yes.


Recipe 1 from Cook’s Country:

Cream Cheese Filling
16-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tbsp sour cream, room temperature
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips (not full size*)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, make filling. Beat together cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth. Beat in egg whites and sour cream. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add in sour cream, water, butter and vanilla. Stir together until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.
Divide cake batter evenly among 24 cupcake liners. Top each portion of batter with 1 rounded tablespoon cream cheese mixture (It is ok to have a little left over).
Bake for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the side (cake only part) should come out with a few moist crumbs on it. Rotate pans halfway through baking if you are using two racks.
Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Cream cheese filling should sink slightly in this time. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Recipe 2 from David Lebovitz:

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the cupcakes:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

5 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp. white or cider vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla extract


To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar and egg until smooth.  Stir in chopped chocolate pieces.  Set aside.

To make the cupcakes, adjust a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl mix together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring just until smooth.  Stir any longer and you will over-mix the batter, and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly.  This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed.  These will keep unrefrigerated for 2-3 days in an airtight container.


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