White Russian Cake Truffles

Hey gang, how’s your new year going so far?

I’ve been focusing on a couple of new brand-collaboration projects that I’m super excited about.  One is with socially conscious Peanut Butter Americano, and another is with Brooklyn-based Stagg Jam & Marmalade.  It’s personal projects like these that glue together the days that I’m freelancing as an assistant food stylist.  I’m still not quite accustomed with the freelance lifestyle, even though I’ve been at it for almost a year.  I’m the kind of person that likes to know exactly what I’ll be doing next week at this time.  While a freelance lifestyle seemingly offers more control because you can turn jobs down, I’m still in the skills-absorption phase and I really don’t want to say no to any new experience.

As always, getting me through this learning process demands the occasional sugary pick-me-up.  Take a look at these White Russian cake truffles!

If you’ve ever been to a bar with me, you know that I always go for the sweetest drink on the menu. White Russians have been my favorite cocktail for as long as I can remember.

If a dessert could be a winter puffy jacket, it might look (and taste) something like this.

These cake truffles are SUPER easy to make and look classy as can be.  It’s never too late for New Year’s cheers, especially when they’re in cake truffle form.  These guys also make for a perfect Valentine’s Day offering for your sweetie…

Scroll down for the recipe!

White Russian Cake Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup Kahlua
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • two 12 oz containers of vanilla frosting
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. Bake the cake mix according to box instructions, but also add 1/4 cups Kahlua and 1/4 cups vodka.  Allow to cool.
  2. Crumble cake and mix with your hands.  Incorporated the frosting.
  3. Add another 1/3 cup Kahlua and mix well.
  4. Form into balls, about a half of a tablespoon each.  Place on a parchment lined tray and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Pull truffles out and reshape them into balls.  They are easier to shape when they’re frozen.
  6. Warm up 1/2 cup of white chocolate until liquid form.  Dunk each truffle in the hot chocolate.  Allow to drip over the bowl, so that the truffles don’t form feet.
  7. Add sprinkles immediately before the chocolate cools.

You can also use this cake truffle technique with cakes that you’ve made from scratch.  It’s a great way to use up leftover cake from your other layered cake projects.

One of my favorite brands to order sprinkles from is Fancy Sprinkles.  They have some super cute Valentine’s Day mixes!  And they make vegan sprinkles too.

 

 

Campfire Cupcakes

Nothing rings in July 4th like sizzling fireworks and campfires.  Whether on vacation or at camp, some of the best summer memories are built up around the ethereal glow of beach bonfires.  Even a backyard campfire is enough to spark major summer atmosphere.

Need some quick inspiration for an outdoor potluck or a kid’s summer birthday party?  Test out these sweet and salty mini campfire cupcakes.

This frosting technique can be used on any cupcake flavor, but I think it looks best on a deep chocolate color.  Build up layers of tufted orange and red icing piped with a star tip, and when you’ve reached your desired height, delicately arrange a tent of pretzel sticks.  You won’t find a tastier type of kindling!

In theory, this same technique can be applied to a larger cake, using jumbo pretzel sticks as garnish.  Just be sure to eat some cake with all of that frosting!

Get ready to craft some cupcakes with precision fit for a girl or boy scout.  Bring the fire to your next party!

Scroll down for the recipe.

Chocolate Cupcakes

(Makes roughly two dozen cupcakes)

Ingredients:
 
  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray, for the cupcake pans
  • 2 ½ cups (315 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 1 cup (95 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot strong-brewed coffee
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease and flour two cupcake pans and set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. With the mixer on, add the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extract.
  6. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  7. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  9. With the mixer on low, stream in the coffee.
  10. Mix on medium low for no more than 30 seconds, or until combined.
  11. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  12. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  13. Let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cupcake from their pans.

To Assemble: Mix white frosting (even store-bought vanilla will work!) with orange and red gel food coloring.  With a star shaped piping tip, pipe frosting onto the cupcake, building up layers that taper upwards.  As a finishing touch, place pretzel sticks in a cone formation around the icing.