Weekend Baking

We are finally having winter-like temperatures around here and it feels great to bundle up and wear scarves. I even had to bring my herb plants inside at night because of the freezing temperatures. It’s like a treat for those of us who have to live under air conditioning most of the year.

All I can think about are soups (I am craving this) and chocolate. Hot chocolate, chocolate cupcakes and a lazy weekend.

My little boy keeps helping me in the kitchen and I try to take some decent photos to share with you, but it’s almost impossible to juggle him, the chocolate mess and a camera all together. So instead, here are some photos of him actually behaving and enjoying a cupcake. Rare are the times he behaves this well. I suppose a cupcake can motivate many of us!

This chocolate buttermilk cupcake recipe comes straight from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook and the icing is a simple whipped chocolate ganache. Talk about comfort food.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes
adapted from “Magnolia Bakery Cookbook” by Jennifer Appel and Alyssa Torey

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda

In an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and the brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Scrape the bowl. Add the vanilla and half of the buttermilk. Add the flour and baking soda, mix and finish with the remainder of the buttermilk. Mix until well incorporated. Scoop into baking cups and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

100 grams heavy cream
125 grams bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Mix slowly starting from the center until all incorporated and creamy. Let it cool completely for about an hour. Whip until thick.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

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91 Responses to “Weekend Baking”

  1. Aran:
    Help!!!! I am in Mexico without a scale. Can you e-mail me how to make the cream you taught terre how to make? We are having friends over in a couple of days and I want to make

  2. Aran says:

    Robyn- you don’t need a scale for that. i gave tere the recipe in cups. does she still have it? i don’t remember what the measurements were because i just converted them right there. if not, follow this recipe http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/pastry-cream-2?autonomy_kw=pastry%20cream&rsc=header_3

  3. Bridget says:

    Your son is just so adorable!

  4. Ginny says:

    Your son is so cute! The cupcakes look great! and your photos are fabulous… as always! :)

  5. annies! says:

    Your little boy eating cupcake is funny and beautiful, surely he will learn soon many things about pastry and good food…

  6. Kitty M says:

    Aran! Yuuuum how can you do this to me!? They look delish and beautiful photography as ever x

  7. brie says:

    I absolutely love simple comfort food and your son is crazy adorable! I’m sure he’s a delight to have in the kitchen, especially when he behaves :)

  8. Such a simple flower, but in your hands it transforms into a work of art! I tried some snaps with similar kind of arrangement but I am not able to take the shadows away, and yours hardly have any shadows. Can you please give me some tips about that? I am really trying to get better at least by the end of June!

  9. Beautiful… son AND cupcakes! I have buttermilk in the fridge needing to be used… and now I know exactly what I’m using it on! :)

  10. Bea says:

    What a cute face with chocolate all over! Lovely wide eyes! Love the cupcakes!

  11. gine says:

    These cupcakes are so pretty :-). And your little boy looks very cute and well-behaving … oh well, I know photographs can give a wrong impression ;-P …XOXO

  12. FeeMail says:

    OMG, i shouldn’t look in your blog, when I’m hungry :-(…

  13. VeggieGirl says:

    We’re finally getting OVER the snow here; and good riddance, if you ask me – enjoy it, haha.

    Stunning treats, as always!!

  14. Yum!! I made some cupcakes this weekend too =)

    I’m going to have to try this recipe ASAP <3

  15. Jen Yu says:

    I love it when you include pictures of your little one. He has the sweetest doe eyes ever. You’d never think he was anything but an angel in the kitchen :) Sweetie, if you can’t find those rice cakes, I have several packages here and would gladly send a few to you. Email me your addy if you want some! xxoo

  16. cindy* says:

    your little boy is just too precious!

    and chocolate is definitely what i’ve been craving too! i am actually making chocolate ice cream today. and that first photo is just dreamy.

  17. leaca says:

    yum. I love cupcakes. That little guy is so cute.

  18. These cupcakes look fantastic! What a sweet little helper!



  19. Aran says:

    thanks everyone! i hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    Sunshinemom- just to answer your question regarding the photos. to avoid shadows, make sure you are diffusing the light. do not shoot under direct sunlight as this creates shadows. use a sheer white curtain or even a piece of white paper to diffuse it. and also, be careful where you place items to create a balance.

  20. Aran says:

    Jen Yu- Thanks sweetie! There is an Asian market very close to me so I’m going to go see if they have them. If not, I’m knocking on your door! Thank you!

  21. May says:

    I once made Magnolia’s vanilla cupcakes and they’re very delicious. So I’m sure the chocolate ones are great well!

    Your son is lucky to have them, and so adorable :)

  22. Nunca he hecho cupcakes y le tengo muchas ganas! A ver si me animo con tu receta…cuantas salen aprox? Tienes una precisidad de peque!!!

  23. What tasty looking cupcakes!! They look so pretty as well. Your little boy looks so cute eating that cupcake.

  24. Stef says:

    Gorgeous as always! They look so appealing!

  25. Hayley says:

    Your pictures are always so pretty, and your son is too cute. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Meagan says:

    Oh those look divine! Chocolate + eggs = wonderfully moist cupcakes, melt in your mouth! Your pictures AND your recipes make me want to melt!

  27. The photography is beautiful, the recipes, and that little one? well he is absolutely precious!

  28. Christy says:

    Aran, your son is so adorable!! He’s going to turn out to be a very handsome young man in a a few more years of years. Before you know it,you are going to have to fend off quite a few adoring females from your doorstep!

    I love these for comfort food…easy to make, no mess, and best of all, so delicious!!

  29. stunning! really incredible.



  30. I love the cupcakes but I really loved the little angel in the photos.

  31. The chocolate cupcakes are so yummy looking. Children are the best critics. If they love it then you know the recipe is a winner.

  32. Irene says:

    I love your son getting all chocolaty. What lovely eyes!

  33. Aran he is adorable, i am ready to rent a neighbor child for photos or something now! my gosh i think most mums would kill to have someone take such brilliant photos of their kids, you should really go into the portrait side business :P

  34. Cherie says:

    These must be the best chocolate cupcakes ever! I am so happy there’s no buttercream involved. Perfect for Valentine’s day. Brava, Aran!

  35. Angela says:

    Small chocolate cupcake and big brown eyes, what a great combo. Love your photos.

  36. Cakebrain says:

    There’s nothing that exudes happiness more than a kid with a cupcake, lickin’ the frosting.

  37. stephanie says:

    hi aran,
    i made the banana cake with the caramel cream and chocolate mousse like i mentioned on your post about the sweet watercress tart, and it turned out very well – except that the caramel cream was almost completely absorbed by the banana cake. i also made some bubble sugar for decoration from the recipe on your site, although the alcohol formed holes, instead of bubbles. it still tasted great, though! my boyfriend loved it so i was extremely pleased with how everything turned out. thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes!
    steph xx

  38. morgana says:

    Con el frío que hace por estos lares… ¡¡ apetece chocolate !! Esas magdalenas tienen una pinta increíble. Pero para increíble, tu hijo. Mira que es guapo…

    Un beso.

  39. idu says:

    Bai gustora dagoela Jon txokotalearekin! guk hemen txokolate eta txurro giroa dugu, atzo nire iloba zure semea bezalako txokolate bibotearekin ibili zen.
    Kontutxo bat! zein txikia den mundua! jeje, nire mutilagunak flickr-en jarria duen argazki batean, zure komentarioa aurkitu du! jajaja! duela hiru hilabetekoa edo da, baina aspaldian kasurik egin gabe zuen. Pozez deitu dit,
    mosu bet!

  40. Aran says:

    Idu- ai zelako kasualidadea ezta? azkenean interneten asunto honegaz, mundue txiki txikie bihurtzen da!

    thank you all of you. i love reading your comments. hope you had a great weekend!

  41. amy says:

    adorable photos… looks like someone is enjoying their cupcake!

  42. Aran says:

    Stephanie- i’m glad you liked it!!

  43. Laura says:

    Lovely (both your boy and the cupcakes. Oh and the pictures too!)

  44. lynda says:

    That son of yours is just too cute! Gorgeous eyes!I think he might have upstaged the food this time! I love the simplicity of a nice soup and a cupcake, too.

  45. Your son is a real sweetheart Aran…, looks like a little gentleman. But I suspect it’s the magic of the cupcakes that got him behaving like an angel. Those cupcakes look indulgent.

  46. Chelsea says:

    I love the photo’s of your son with chocolate all over his face. I know exactly what you mean about juggling in the kitchen. Everytime I get the mixer out my daughter pulls up her stool. It’s all I can do to keep her from sticking her hands in the bowl or adding things to it. I can usually keep her occupied by giving her the spoon to lick. She would actually probably have a major fit if I didn’t.

    How are those magnolia cupcakes? I’m planning on making some chocolate cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday in a couple of weeks and haven’t settled on a recipe.

  47. Anonymous says:

    May i ask, for the vanilla bean macaron recipe you posted before, can i omit the egg white powder? what difference will it make? thanks in advance!

  48. Thank you. I will try with a thin curtain next time and hopefully come up with better restults!

  49. Eileen says:

    I love lazy weekends, if there’s good food around :P

  50. Maybe says:

    You just defined my favourite weekends : baking and enjoying winter ! Your cupcakes seem yummy ! I just bought “More from Magnolia and I can’t wait to receive it !

  51. Nothing says love like a chocolate cupcake!
    I find it funny that we are on opposite sides of the country, yet we each made chocolate cupcakes!

    Also, any cupcake where you get frosting on your nose deserves an award!

  52. PheMom says:

    So, are those cupcakes as ridiculously perfect and delicious as they look? If they are then you may have just answered the call in my search for the perfect chocolate cupcakes!

    Your little guy looks absolutely adorable by the way – especially since his mama made cupcakes to match his eyes and all! :)

  53. Your photographs are such a bright spot in my day– particularly if I’m feeling a little grumpy.

    And I can’t believe that you linked to sizzling rice soup of all things. Hands-down my favorite soup of all time. Still the only thing that will make me feel better when I have the flu — and only from the Chinese restaurant where I grew up.

  54. diva says:

    you take gorgeous photographs. these cupcakes are just to die for. absolutely beautiful and the decoration is stunning. It’s putting me in such a cloud9 frou frou mood. :)

  55. I love that your weekend of lazy baking looks like this. Can I be your kind of lazy? For real. And your son is adorable.

  56. Oh yummers…I have the magnolia cookbooks, all of them and have yet to try anything. Your cupcakes look so good. Next snow day I am baking cupcakes.

  57. what a beautiful cup!!

    i love your way to frosting
    look so cute :)

  58. Tartelette says:

    I don’t know…between his big brown eyes and that yummy chocolate…kinds melting over here! Treasured moments for sure to be held tight.

  59. i don’t know which looks more amazing….these cupcakes or that beautiful little boy eating them!
    Aran… guess who won my last giveaway?

  60. Sophie says:

    These look so heavenly! Yum yum,MMMMmmm…

  61. MsGourmet says:

    I might just make up a bowl of the Whipped Chocolate Ganache as it looks sounds amazing!

  62. Zerogluten says:

    Aran, no conozco al papi de la criatura, pero cada día se parece más a tí, eso sí, con cabellos de angel.
    De tus cupcakes poco hay que opinar, la verdad. La cara de Jon con uno en la mano lo dice todo. Deliciosos seguro.
    Hice las manzanas asadas, recuerdad? Las he puesto en el blog por si le quieres echar un vistazo. Nos gustaron una barbaridad.
    Gracias por tus recetas y por compartir siempre.
    Muchos besos sin gluten

  63. Oh, Aran, can I “borrow” that adorable helper when I need an extra hand in the kitchen? I would be glad to bake him cookies – or even these delicious cupcakes, yum!

  64. Esti says:

    ja, ja… el diablillo… yo también me quedaría quieta con tanto chocolate… :)

  65. What a beautiful photo. COngrats on your recognition from Well Fed Network!

  66. Vera says:

    I miss that time when my 2-years old son and I baked together… He is 6 now and always busy :) Aran, enjoy these moments!

    The cupcakes look mouthwatering. And your little one is so handsome :)

  67. Y says:

    As a kid, any chance of being able to sample those yummy cupcakes would have certainly had me standing still for at least a few minutes! :) How is the bun in the oven going, by the way?

  68. Ticiana says:

    Your pictures are so deadly gorgeus! Which kind of camera and lens do you use? The photos have so much light, and the desserts pop up. I’ll try a recipe…hope my presentation is half as good.

  69. Aran says:

    Ticiana- I shoot with very simple gear actually. I have a Canon Rebel XT and a Sigma 50mm macro lens. That’s it. I rely only on natural light and I do use bouncers to enhance it. That means I only shoot a few hours a day when the light is best. No tricks really, just practice. I really had to learn my camera well. Of course, never use a flash and always shoot in manual.

  70. Arlette says:

    Hello Aran
    your blog and your baking are wonderful, and I am sure they come from the heart, very talented in baking and taking nice photos.
    thank you very much for sharing
    p.s.: your boy is very cute

  71. Mobula says:

    Me supongo que los cupcakes de chocolate estarán buenísimos, pero yo a quien me comería sería a Jon, es una ricura…


  72. This is fantastic!. I love cupcakes. I made chocolate cupcakes last month, but I like this recipe much better and I used store bought icing (oops). Can’t wait to try it. Thanks. I’m absolutely obsessed with your blog. It’s wonderful.
    Stay chic!

  73. Jamie says:

    Wow you always make even the most simplest of things look so special and gorgeous! These look and sound delicious!

  74. Annie says:

    This morning I posted a periodic table of cupcakes on WomansDay.com. It is interactive, so that when you click on a cell, you get the recipe. Thought you might find it cute. http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Food/Recipes/Periodic-Table-of-Cupcakes.html

  75. dolcechic says:

    WOW! Your photos are gorgeous!!!

  76. Anonymous says:

    Awwwwww, what beautiful pictures! Please let me know what us used for cupcake holder? Thanks.

  77. Aran says:

    Anonymous- are you referring to the baking papers? They are nut and part cups that are sold in craft stores.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Aran. They look adorable. I’ll definitely pick some up my next trip out.

  79. zero.g.la says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  80. Anonymous says:

    I tested out this recipe & it was waaay too sweet for me. It sort of clogged my throat. I suggest to reduce the sugar for the recipe.

  81. Radhika says:

    Hi Aran, How many cupcakes does this make? I would like to try this for a baby shower this weekend!

  82. Radhika- I can’t remember very well but I believe it makes 2 dozen regular size cupcakes. Thanks!

  83. Your son is way too cute! These sound so yummy.

  84. Anonymous says:

    First, your photos look beautiful :) I just had a question: would it be possible to make this in cake form? If yes, what do you suggest the baking time be? I have to make a decadent birthday cake for my partner and I thought this would be perrrrrfect!!!

  85. I just made the cupcakes and lemme tell yuh, they are amazing! I was making them for cows and pigs cupcakes for a cowboy themed party so I used white chocolate instead of the regular. The only problem I had though was the icing…It was not thickening for me at all. Is it because I used white chocolate instead of the bittersweet? And if not, any suggestions? Other than the different chocolate, I followed the icing one to a T.

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