I was in Whole Foods market one day this summer and browsed their extensive chocolate selection. One bar in particular caught my eye: Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar. This was the craziest cuisine invention I had seen since chocolate covered potato chips. A Whole Foods employee walked on over to me and insisted that I try it, on the house. He quickly unwrapped the bar and broke me off a piece to nom. It was FANTASTIC. Oh my god…the smokey sweet bacon mixed with a smooth milky chocolate? Too delicious.
But why let these fantastic flavors be confined to chocolate bars only? Before starting Oh My Nom, Lauren and I stumbled on a few recipes for Maple Bacon or Toffee Bacon or Chocolate Bacon cupcakes! Some cupcakeries have dubbed them “Breakfast Cupcakes” since their flavors mimic that of syrup drenched bacon strips on a Sunday morning. We were obviously tempted to make some Bacon cupcakes of our own so we settled on this recipe from Cupcakeblog.com: Bacon, Toffee, Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.
When making these cupcakes, be sure to watch your bacon! Burning bacon can be easy; likewise not letting it cook enough can be, too. You want your bacon perfectly browned at the edges, so it’s somewhat crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Don’t forget to set your bacon strips on a couple paper towels to soak up the unwanted extra grease.
Oh My Nom’s revisions: I chopped up extra Heath bars to make a toffee crumble topping for the cupcakes. I also added ½ cup (not ¼ cup) maple syrup to the frosting. To thicken the frosting I used a total of 6 cups of powdered sugar (the recipe calls for somewhere between 5 and 8.) When I finished frosting these puppies, I had a LOT of frosting left over, so don’t be alarmed if you have a bowl-full remaining.
Post share adjustments: Definitely add TWICE as much bacon and toffee bits to your cake 🙂
It was hard for me to imagine the possibility of a cupcake flavored after an aromatherapy plant like lavender, which is most noted for its smell not taste. But despite my perplexed prejudice, I was eager to try this little purple beauty out.
The first bite was shocking—no tastes of lavender, just bright notes of sugar and white. The frosting spread simply on top was an adorable (and all too necessary) lavender hue, graced with a modest dash of white and purple sprinkles. Its consistency was thick but not heavy, whipped but not weak, and the amount of frosting was the ultimate match for me. I’m not much of a frosting lover (in terms of quantity.) I much prefer a medium amount that doesn’t leave me begging for salt to compensate for sweetness. This cupcake had just that amount. The taste itself was dainty. It was sweet and had a nice granular aftertaste. Nothing too special, and nothing short of tasty. Again, it had no lavender flavor according to my taste buds, which made me wonder if it was named after its color.
The remaining bites were filled with wonder and moderate satisfaction. The cake was brilliant—the supreme blend of moist, fluffy, substantial, and succulent without being too sweet or flavorless. All white, with a tinge of vanilla, the cake hugged my taste buds and assured them that yes, a perfect white cake does exist, behind the door of Cupcake Royale.
I give this cupcake 3.5 NOMS out of 5. It’s drawbacks: The misnomer of a flavor, and the lack of dynamic flavor in the frosting—purple frosting atop a slightly-vanilla, well-structured sponge is tasty but nothing special.
What: Sweet Potato + Maple Brown Sugar
Yum yum. I thouroughly enjoyed this rather light, petite cupcake but also the environment in which I found it. Yellow Leaf is a cute little cafe offering full service coffee drinks as well as cupcakes with flavors changing throughout the day. Although they offer their regular flavors, Yellow Leaf also makes small batches randomly of other speciality cupcake flavors so you never exactly know what you’re going to get until you get there! The cupcakery also has a bookshelf full of fun board games which I found very endearing.
The sweet potato flavoring wasn’t too apparent but tasted more like a spiced cornbread, which was pleasant. The frosting however was different then what Im used to. It honestly tasted like straight butter (and had the consistency of butter as well). I must say though, paired with the sweet potato cake, the butter frosting was the perfect accompaniment.
If your a fan of cupcakes but don’t like the overpowering sugary taste then I would definitely recommend Yellow Leaf. They’re menu also contains unique flavors like tomato soup, pumpkin spice creme brulee, or pistachio. I find myself gravitating more to flavors that aren’t sugar based but rather cake based with a spice component. However, altogether the cupcake itself was a little bland and if someone were to eat the cupcake and have to guess the flavor there would be no indications of sweet potato or maple for that matter.
This cake deserves 3 NOMS out of 5 for lack of flavoring and the thick, butter-like frosting. Although I did enjoy the cake at the time I wouldn’t seek out this flavor combination again.
One of my favorite characteristics of cupcakes is the fact they’re so versatile–Who would have guessed you could make beer cupcakes? My friend referred me to this recipe the other day and I knew the second I clicked it I had to indulge in making these little guys.
Guinness chocolate cake, filled with a chocolate ganache, and topped with a Bailey’s buttercream frosting…Oh my nom.
I made these beauties completely from scratch–frosting and ganache included. It was a little laborious BUT if you have the drive and enthusiasm to make some very unique cupcakes that yield SCRUMPTIOUS results, then you’ll have a great time! You can find the recipe here. It’s written in a humorous, quirky tone, but it can be hard to follow so read carefully! For a photographic journey into the crafting of the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes, click away:
For those of you who were able to taste these cakes in class today, we’d appreciate your thoughts on the cupcakes by participating in the poll below:
What: Chocolate Hazelnut
If I were told I could only eat 5 things for the rest of my life, they would be as follows: 1) Sushi, 2) Tortilla Soup (avocados included), 3) Nectarines, 4) Dim Sum, and 5) Nutella. So it’s no wonder that when Trophy Cupcakes announced a seasonal flavor of Chocolate Hazelnut (which is made with Nutella) would hit their bakery shelves, I nearly jumped in jubilation.
For those of you who are sadly uninformed about the goodness of Nutella, let me describe it to you best I can. Imagine a chocolate spread with the creamiest of textures that leaves your mouth watering excessively in unbelievable satisfaction. So smooth, palatable, and sensuous, you can almost feel the rose petals showering from above and champagne bubbles tickling your nose. Now with that chocolate spread, wildly infuse it with the ultra silky, and decadently rich flavor of the hazelnut…it’s warm, honeyed arms squeezing your tightly. Oh hazelnut, you are a gift from the gods and a blessing to my tummy.
Yes, Nutella is truly divine as was Trophy’s Chocolate Hazelnut cupcake. Just look at it! The perfectly fluffed hazelnut buttercream frosting evenly encompassing the top of the cake, the magical dusting of candied hazelnuts on its edges…my god, it was a masterpiece.
But as we all know, looks can be deceiving. I leave the rest of the review up to my eager, eager tastebuds. The first bite was….heavenly. The frosting tasted just as ALL buttercream frostings should—like the intended flavor, not like butter! Too many times I’ve had cupcakes with lemon or chocolate or vanilla buttercream frosting only to taste whipped butter. Trophy Cupcakes sure knows how to craft one hell of a buttercream and I cannot think of a more genius buttercream than this Nutella frosting. It was strong, but not overpowering, rich, but not heavy. The added texture of the candied hazelnuts on the side was too nomlicious! I could eat candied hazelnuts dipped in Nutella buttercream ALL day after this experience. They added a true nutty flavor and an edge that most cupcakes lack—the creamy crunch of the hazelnuts. It can really jazz up your cupcake devouring experience.
The chocolate cake was almost too good. Moist and succulent while at the same time airy and dainty—like a true delicacy. The cake, oddly enough, served as the accessory to the frosting; it was a celestial combination of balance and satiation.
This one, UNQUESTIONABLY, deserves 5 NOMS out of 5. A true masterpiece of cupcake design, engineering, and craftsmanship. Bravo, Trophy…I’ll be sad to see this seasonal flavor inevitably disappear. But I’m thankful as ever that I got to taste it while I still could. HURRY and try yours today!! They’re available at all Trophy Cupcakes locations everyday for the rest of November, and on Sundays and Wednesdays for the rest of December 🙂
This weekend we took our first stab at baking cupcakes on our own! We’ll admit to taking the easy route this first time around using pre-made cake mix and packaged frosting which will make this recipe simple for newbies.
Around this time of year is when Starbucks introduces their peppermint flavoring for coffee so why not try and emulate that taste with a minty fresh cupcake? We chose a chocolate cake & a cream cheese frosting. For the peppermint aspect we simply added 1/2 a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the cake mix and smashed up candy canes to decorate the top.
The cupcakes tasted very refreshing and the 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract was just enough to give that light bite without being too overpowering. The trick was really grinding up the candy cane pieces so that the cupcake was easier to bite into. We can’t help but wonder about other peppermint recipes and ideas and are especially curious about where the peppermint flavoring within the cupcake should come from. Help us out by answering our poll on concocting the perfect peppermint combination!
What is it with Australia and STUNNING cupcakes? Kylie Lambert, boss lady of Le Cupcake in Sydney, Australia, is known for her outrageously brilliant cupcake decorating talent. If this cupcake below, which she calls the Bonbonniere cupcake, doesn’t make your mouth water and your eyes cry tears of appreciation, then I don’t know what will! Check out Miss Lambert’s Flickr if you get the chance…it will only leave you begging for more.
What: Candied Yam
A golden oven-roasted turkey, adorned with juicy stuffing, whipped mashed potatoes, regal cranberry jewels, and a sumptuous pumpkin pie (or pecan…take your pick)–Thanksgiving dinner is the ultimate home cooked feast full of satisfaction and food coma. But what would Thanksgiving be without the yams? The candied, sugar-glazed yams topped with a toss of toasted pecans and drops of melted marshmallows? Why, it would be dismal…at least in my book.
If you can’t weather the storm of creating candied yams for your turkey time, you’re in luck! Trophy Cupcakes, a Seattle staple with locations in Wallingford, University Village, and Bellevue, has concocted a Candied Yam CUPCAKE! Yet again, the glee of seasonal flavors pervades!
The first bite was…gooey, sticky, and somewhat of a sweet struggle! Atop the cake was a beautifully formed sculpture of toasted marshmallow meringue, a powerful entity all its own. Tasting it felt much like battling a freshly roasted s’more. It was plush and magical, fluffy and mysteriously delectable given its simplicity.
It took a second attempt to get a bite of the candied yam cake. Dark in flavor and color, the cake tasted more cinnamonny if anything. It was difficult to decipher yams or candied brown sugar glaze, but with further meditation and self-convincing I managed to detect the faintest hint of sugared yams. What really boosted my experience was the presence of chopped pecans sprinkled throughout the cake. They added diverse texture and a lovely nutty flavor.
With the third bite I managed to perfectly place a bite of cake and a bite of meringue onto my fork, giving me the ultimate candied yam cupcake extravaganza, complete with echoes of silverware clinks against the holiday china and murmurs of ‘mmm’s and ‘oooh’s in unparalleled bliss at the thanksgiving feast.
This one deserves 3.5 NOMS out of 5. It’s drawbacks: weak candied yam flavor, thus not living up to the potential its wonderful name pursued.
Bev, from Sugarbloom Cupcakes located in Western Australia, has a flickr account that could double as a photography portfolio. We are talking masterpiece cupcakes with beautiful colors, designs and backdrops. Her artistry work extends cupcake decorating to a whole new level. Just recently, Bev found one of her photos being used on the front page of flickr, so clearly she is a cupcake queen! Check out all her past cupcake designs by linking over to both her Flickr account and blog and be prepared to be blown away!
What: Caramel Apple
Halloween has got to be one my favorite holidays. There’s something about the wild nature of it, the whimsical fantasy behind it, and of COURSE the sweet treats. I can’t think of a better archetypal Halloween nom nom than caramel apples. When I read on Cupcake Royale’s website that they were featuring a seasonal flavor of Caramel Apple, my jaw dropped (both in surprise, and the need to taste immediately.)
Who can deny the adorable décor of this little guy? The tiny popsicle stick (mimicking its literal counterpart) and the eclectic splatter of green and white sprinkles were too precious to ignore.
The first bite was predictably tasty and innovative. Apple cake with a tinge of spice ignited memories of the pink pastry box proudly seated on the breakfast nook table in my grandparents house, fully stocked with apple danishes and bear-claws. It was satisfying, but honestly nothing too special. I crave a little more flavor than this cupcake’s cake had to offer—I wanted apple, lots of it, and with a vivid, potent demeanor. The soft chunks of honey crisp apple inside were a nice touch, adding an authentic texture, but overall it was rather bland.
The frosting, on the other hand, was fantastic. Once again, Cupcake Royale distributes the perfect amount of frosting for my liking—similar to a generous spread of cream cheese atop a bagel. A sweet caramel seduction, smooth to taste with a warm, homely finish, as if I was eating sugary candle-glow on a majestic Hallow’s eve. Sweet caramel icing was the ideal dollop of assurance I needed to confirm this cupcake was worth its innovative appeal.
Are you enticed by this review? Craving some classic October flavor with a twist? This flavor will be available NEXT October for your enjoyment.
It deserves 3 NOMS out of 5…mainly contingent on it’s unique and spectacularly fun concept. It’s drawbacks: bland cake that was ultimately compensated for by one-of-a-kind frosting that’s undeniably worth a try.