Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

There is nothing more sweet than making a dessert from scratch.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Cupcakes are one of my favorite dessert. They can be sweet or savory, simple or fancy, bite-sized or a mouth-full. While I have made cupcakes in the past, they have been boxed mixes with Pillsbury frosting- not that there is anything wrong with those! They are sugary sweet and Pillsbury sure knows how to mass produce delicious frosting.

My baby sister graduated high school this past month (yay!) and my mother asked me to make a dessert for her celebration last weekend. I knew the simplest and tastiest thing to make would be homemade cupcakes! I have never made my own batter or frosting before, so I knew I was in for a ride.

The recipe below is so simple and uses many common household ingredients- minus maybe the cake flour and cocoa. If you’re looking for the perfect recipe to ease yourself into baking, scroll down and take a peek!

Ingredients for the perfect cake mix!

Now, I broke one of the cardinal rules of baking while making these cupcakes… I did not taste my cupcake batter! I was so focused on making sure I had 15 cupcakes worth of batter in my bowl that tasting it never even crossed my mind. I was so nervous when my family tried them because to me they felt fairly dense and I was worried they may have been overly salted.

NEVER FEAR! The cupcakes were a HUGE hit. The cake itself was light and sweet, and the frosting tasted JUST like that Pillsbury mix we all know and love. The cake itself could have been a bit more moist- a minute or two less in the oven would have helped not to dry them out so much. Overall, the cupcakes were one of the highlights of the graduation celebration!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Summer desserts. Ice creams, italian ices, and pies. These are the staples of anyone’s home during the hot summer months. I’ve never been one to make pies, having made my first homemade pumpkin pie last year for Thanksgiving. My husband, however, loves pie. He’s mentioned a few times that he would love a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, having only had it once in his life (but remembering that it was delicious). So, I set off on this new challenge.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I have never had rhubarb. I honestly didn’t even know what rhubarb was until I chopped it up yesterday to put into my pie filling. After manipulating it and tasting it, I found it to be a very sour, very tasty version of celery (even though they are in entirely different food families).

Not to my knowledge, yesterday happened to be National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie day! A fitting day to make this dessert for my husband.

I chose to use fresh, organic strawberries and fresh rhubarb from our local grocery store, Caraluzzi’s. If you are making this pie outside of the summer months, frozen strawberries and rhubarb will work just fine. I also chose this time to use premade Pillsbury Pie Crust. Being a newbie to pies, I didn’t want to start off failing at pie crust AND filling.

TASTE

I didn’t know what to expect when tasting this pie. Strawberries, as everyone knows, are sweet with a hint of tartness, but I have never tasted rhubarb before. Raw rhubarb isn’t necessarily something that one would chow down on, but I found the tartness and the fiber feel of it to be rather enjoyable.

After combining the strawberries and the rhubarb with sugar, water, and cornstarch, it became a very red, very sweet and sour filling that I could have eaten right out of the saucepan.

Downloadable Recipe

Reviews from the Husband

Overall, the pie was absolutely delicious. We gave it 5 stars, not because we were biased (even though we are), but because the sweetness from the sugar balanced out the tartness of the fruits and vegetables so well. We scooped some Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Ice Cream on the side and served the pie a bit warm.

The pie filling was a tad watery, so next time we make it me might wring out the moisture of the rhubarb and strawberries in a cheese cloth. This will allow the filling to retain it’s shape and thickness from the cornstarch and sugar without leaving the pie with a soggy bottom.

10/10 will DEFINITELY make again! Have fun making this wonderful, summer pie!

Rating: 5 out of 5.