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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Cupcakes

Chocolate Maple Whiskey Cupcakes

Marc J. Sievers

A few years ago I was turned on to Crown Royal Maple Whiskey – and I haven’t looked back!  This particular whiskey still has the bite of a regular whiskey, but also a very smooth maple finish.  This time of year, when the weather starts to change, like clockwork I head over to my neighborhood spirits store and pick up a bottle (or two!).  It is the perfect aperitif to sip on a crisp Chicago evening while relaxing with Ryan.  Although he isn’t a fan, he says that when I drink this elixir, I smell like spicy pancakes in the morning.  I mean, things could be worse!

So in order to make him fall in love with this magical whiskey, I decided to use it as an ingredient in my Chocolate Maple Whiskey Cupcakes.  The cake component is intensely chocolatey with a maple twist, while the frosting has much more of a maple whiskey zing.  Have a giant glass of cold milk (or whiskey on the rocks!) at the ready – this could be your new “thing”, too!


Chocolate Maple Whiskey Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

Cupcake Batter

  • Flour – 1 cup, all purpose

  • Cocoa Powder – 1/3 cup

  • Dark Brown Sugar – 1 cup, lightly packed

  • Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon

  • Baking Powder – ½ teaspoon

  • Fine Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Eggs – 1 extra-large, at room temperature

  • Maple Whiskey – ¼ cup (Crown Royal Maple recommended)

  • Buttermilk – ¾ cup, at room temperature

  • Vegetable Oil – ¼ cup

  • Maple Syrup – 2 tablespoons, Grade A

  • Vanilla – ¾ teaspoon, pure extract

Frosting

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Chocolate Syrup – 1 tablespoon

  • Maple Whiskey – 2 tablespoons (Crown Royal Maple recommended)

  • Confectioners’ Sugar – 2½ cups, sifted

  • Maple Syrup – 4 tablespoons, Grade A

  • Vanilla – ¼ teaspoon, pure extract

  • Chocolate Cookies – ½ cup, crushed, for garnish


Directions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a standard 12-well muffin pan. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, sift all of the dry ingredients.

  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.

  4. Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined and almost smooth.

  5. Using a 1¼ -inch metal scoop, evenly scoop the batter into each well. The wells should be ¾ filled.

  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes inside the pan, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment set to low speed and cream together the butter, whiskey, vanilla, maple syrup, and chocolate syrup.

  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

  3. Frost each cupcake using a flat knife or piping bag fitted with a round tip. Garnish with crushed chocolate cookies.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Marc J. Sievers

With Fall in full swing, you simply must add my Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting to the top of your scrumptious recipe list for savvy holiday baking!  I created this recipe to bring out some of my favorite autumn flavors with well-rounded simplicity.  The batter has a delicate pumpkin flavor with those distinctive autumnal spices like cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.

These little cakes of spiced goodness are not too overwhelming on your taste buds and balanced with the creamy luxuriousness of the cream cheese frosting.  They are rich with a slight hint of vanilla—classic and sure to be a party favorite.

I decorated these cupcakes with whimsical candy corn for Halloween and store-bought marzipan leaves for a more elegant feel when I make them again in November.  (Multipurpose recipes never hurt anyone!)  Best of all you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry!  Get bakin’ my little cupcakes!


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients (makes 12)

Batter

  • Flour – 1 cup, all-purpose

  • Baking Soda – ½ teaspoon

  • Baking Powder – ½ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Cinnamon – ½ teaspoon

  • Ginger – ½ teaspoon,

  • Nutmeg – ½ teaspoon

  • Allspice – ½ teaspoon

  • White Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

  • Light Brown Sugar – 1 cup, packed

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, melted and cooled

  • Eggs – 2, extra-large, at room temperature

  • Honey – 2 tablespoons

  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon, pure extract

  • Pumpkin – 1 cup, canned puree, NOT pie filling

Frosting

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Cream Cheese – 8 ounces, at room temperature

  • Heavy Cream – 3 tablespoons

  • Vanilla – 1 ½ teaspoons

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 ½ cups, sifted


Directions

Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

  2. In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and white pepper. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the cooled butter, sugar, honey, and eggs until smooth, about 5 minutes.

  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.

  5. Then add the pumpkin puree. Mix until well incorporated.

  6. Divide the batter evenly into the well, filling each one about half way.

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

  8. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment set to low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream.

  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

  3. Frost each cupcake using a flat knife or piping bag fitted with a round tip. Garnish with candy corn, chocolate shavings, and other fall-inspired decoration.

Tip: Use a rasp to shave milk or dark chocolate directly over the cupcakes before placing them onto a serving platter!

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Calling All Chocolate Lovers! Rich Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Marc J. Sievers

If I could eat chocolate every day, these little cupcakes brimming with chocolaty goodness would be my top pick!  They are rich, fudgy, and addictive (get a glass of cold milk ready!).  They are also incredibly simple to make using everyday ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.  So, stop reading this and get bakin!


Rich Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

Batter

  • Butter – ¼ pound, unsalted, room temperature

  • Sugar – 1 cup

  • Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Flour – 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Eggs – 4 extra-large, room temperature

  • Vanilla – 1 tablespoon, pure extract

  • Cocoa Powder – ¼ cup, unsweetened powder

  • Chocolate Syrup – 16 ounces

Ganache

  • Heavy Cream – ½ cup

  • Chocolate Chips – 8 ounces, semisweet

Directions

Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a muffin pan (large cups) with paper liners.

  2. Next, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs carefully—1 at a time—and combine thoroughly. Then, pour in the vanilla and the chocolate syrup and mix well.

  3. For the best results sift together your flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Then, gently add the dry mixture to your mixing bowl and mix until just combined (do not over-mix or your cupcakes will be unpleasantly dense).

  4. Next, scoop the batter equally into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Let them cool thoroughly in the muffin tin.

Ganache & Assembly

  1. Heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm. Stir occasionally. In this step you are melting and heating the mixture, not cooking it as it will burn.

  2. Finally, once the cupcakes have cooled, dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache and enjoy! The ganache will remain soft and creamy and will not set hard.

Do not refrigerate.

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