Kids, Raspberry Cupcakes and Traveling Home

This weekend we are leaving for a two week trip home. I will be traveling alone with our little one and then C. will join us a week later. I have always been one to travel light and never took long to pack and go. Things have changed now, so the days before we travel overseas, I have to make sure I have everything in place so that we have a successful, smooth trip.

It has been busy around here, but I wanted to make sure we had one last play date with our good friend S. Blowing bubbles, balloons, spring weather and of course, cupcakes.

When Jill was here, she introduced me to xylitol. I had seen it at Whole Foods before, but never baked with it. Because I always try to cook and bake very healthy for kids, I decided to make the cupcakes with xylitol and fresh raspberries.

I didn’t notice much of a difference once the cupcakes were baked. Xylitol is coarser than granulated sugar so when creaming the butter, there is a slight difference and perhaps doesn’t become as fluffy, but the final product had great texture and what’s most important, no after taste.

I will be blogging during this trip and will keep updating with photos from our trip. We will be definitely eating here, shopping here, visiting here and hopefully, watching this. I hope the weather helps. The Basque Country in Spring can be quite unpredictable!

Raspberry Cupcakes

adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

4 oz butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups xylitol
2 cups self rising flour
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Cream the butter and xylitol for about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and mix. While continuing to mix, add the flour and milk alternatively, finishing with the milk. Mix until incorporated.

Separately, whip the egg whites to semi stiff peaks and fold them into the batter gently. Fold in the raspberries.

Divide the batter amongst 24 baking cups and bake at 350 for about 14 minutes until done.

Vanilla Buttercream

150 grams of egg whites
300 grams of granulated sugar
450 grams of room temperature unsalted butter
1 Tbs vanilla extract
Natural red food coloring

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together egg whites and the sugar lightly. Place over a water bath until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch. It will look like light marshmallow.

Bring bowl to the electric mixer and whip until stiff peaks form and the bottom of the bowl feels cool.

Add butter, a tablespoon at a time while whipping. It might look like it is curdling at one point but continue to whip until it comes together.

Add vanilla extract and red food coloring and mix until incorporated.

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82 Responses to “Kids, Raspberry Cupcakes and Traveling Home”

  1. Have a wonderful trip! I’ve been curious about using sugar replacements. I’m going to give this a try.

  2. Tartelette says:

    Sweet dreams of raspberry cupcakes…the best!

  3. Mercè says:

    Aran, que tengáis un buen viaje y lo disfrutéis al máximo!!
    Estos cupcakes se ven deliciosos, como todo lo que haces! ;)

  4. Y says:

    Have a terrific trip, Aran! Those cupcakes look like a great way to kickstart a holiday :)

  5. Ana says:

    Que buena pinta!!1 Le honcaría el diente ahora mismo a ese frosting que se ve tan delicioso…

    Pues ya que vuelves a casa… bienvenida de nuevo a tu hogar, siempre es bueno volver a las raíces y seguro que Jon se lo pasa genial….


  6. Inés says:

    Welcome and ongi etorria Aran1. Ea lotzen garen egunen batean hemendik gertu eta bidai ona eta ametsezkoa izan!

  7. linda says:

    Happy travels! I know what you mean about packing when you have kids…pfff!
    I’ve been in Basque Country a few days during summer (years ago) and I remember it being pretty wet, hope the weather will be nice!

  8. I just adore those!!! it just feels like spring doesnt it?

    by the way you got an award on my blog!

  9. Very interesting. I didn’t know the Xylitol but I’m not very fond either of beet sugar, because its heavy chemical productive process, and sometimes using raw cane sugar darken too much the food.
    I’ll try to find here in Italy.

    Btw, the photos are spectaculars. Love the backlight in the cupcakes.

  10. Claire says:

    whenever i read your blog, i fall in love with the idea of home.

  11. What pretty cupcakes! Have a safe trip and enjoy your holidays!



  12. Jennifer says:

    I have never heard of baking with xylitol so I will be educating myself about it. Have a great trip.

  13. Bea says:

    They are very pretty! And the children seem quite happy ;-)
    Have a wonderful trip! Enjoy. I am jealous ;-)

  14. simplesong says:

    Thanks for sharing about xylitol … will have to check that out.

    Have a wonderful trip, Aran! Looking forward to hearing about it. And safe travels!

  15. Dominique says:

    have a nice trip! enjoy your holiday and show us beautiful photos!

  16. The last photo of the little girl with the red fingernail polish contrasted with the red of the cupcake liner is really inspired!

  17. Rebekka says:

    I am downright obsessed with the candy-striped cupcake liners! Can you please, please tell me where you bought them? With a cherry on top?

  18. How you can make cupcakes look classy is beyond me, but you do it! I’ve never heard of xylitol, but it definitely looks interesting. Might have to look into it, although I already have all sorts of odd baking ingredients cluttering my apt :)

  19. Genna says:

    I have heard that xylitol has a laxative effect, like other sugar alcohols, which has made me hesitant to cook with it. Did you find this to be a problem when you were baking with it?

  20. Aran says:

    Rebekka- i got the baking cups at Fancy Flours (they have a website)

    Genna- I didn’t experience anything and the only thing I heard about that is that it might happen when consumed in large quantities. Xylitol actually has anti-bacterial benefits and it’s great for dental care. But if you research further and find something, please let us know.

    Thanks everyone!

  21. Christy says:

    Have a great trip, Aran!!! Enjoy your time there, and looking forward to all the good posts from the Basque country!!

  22. xylitol is great – for people. just be very careful using it if you have a dog, especially one who like to hang around the kitchen. it’s HIGHLY toxic to dogs – takes less than 10 grams to cause blood sugar drop, liver failure & even death. usually within 24 hours : (

  23. Aran says:

    and eat it too- wow… didn’t know that! we don’t have a dog but thank you for sharing for all of those who do!

  24. Jen says:

    Last year I gifted a girlfriend with the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Maybe it’s time for her to visit and bake these beauties with me…Fun and safe travels! Happy holiday.

  25. Your cupcakes are amazing! And no better recipients than happy children.



  26. Anonymous says:

    I am longing for new pictures of your beautiful basque country!

  27. Aran love this post and the pictures are perfect! the last one is the best ever!

  28. Marta says:

    Gracias por dejarnos con estas bella fotos y deliciosos ponquesitos antes de irte de avije Aran. Espero que la pases bomba y que disfrutes mucho de tu familia y de tu hogar. Volvi de mi primera visita al Pais Basco hace poco y me quede enamorada de tu hermoso pais, que magico, que acogedor, que orgullo historico… que comida!!! Jajajaja volvere pronto!

  29. anna says:

    Hehe, I have those cupcake wrappers but in black stripes. The cupcakes themselves are adorable, too! I hope you have a great trip. :)

  30. Sugar Chef says:

    Have a great trip. Looking forward to some beautiful photos. Those cupcakes look yummy and love the striped cupcake liners.

  31. Seanna Lea says:

    Gorgeous cupcakes. Now I have to decide what to use my small quantity of raspberries on!

  32. Chia says:

    Have a good trip! I always look forward to going back home.

  33. cindy* says:

    so cute and so dreamy aran! and that last shot with those little red fingernails…could kill me it’s so perfectly cute.

  34. Bron says:

    Aran your cupcakes look darling, so sweet and gorgeous. I’m thinking now I’ll have to get my nails done in red today too, hehe
    Have a fabulous trip xxx

  35. Tracy says:

    Those cupcakes are so cute! I especially like those striped papers! The photo of the cupcake with the little hand and the chipped nail polish and the bright blue dress behind it is a work of art.

  36. Camila says:

    Hi, Aran. Is there any typical food or dish of Basque Country? Perhaps you could post it here :) Have a nice trip!

  37. Sara says:

    WOW, so beautiful! What gorgeous photos. :) These cupcakes look really delicious! Do you substitute the xylitol 1 for 1 for sugar in the recipe??

  38. K.Line says:

    Have a wonderful time. I hope you have terrific weather.

  39. Aran says:

    Camilla- i couldn’t just tell you about one. i will take photos!

    Sara- yes, 1 to 1.

    Thanks everyone. I love reading your comments!

  40. Beautiful…and perfect for big kids, too!

  41. veron says:

    Oh Aran, these are gorgeous. Have a fantabulous trip!

  42. Cakebrain says:

    Love that huge swirl of buttercream! and the sweet little red fingernails match the whole cupcake!

  43. Have a wonderful trip!! I was wondering, could you substitute the sugar in the frosting with xylitol also?

  44. idu says:

    Ondo ondo pasa etxerako bidaian Aran! Udaberria puri purian da. Ea eguraldiak laguntzen zaituen. Ala ere azkenaldian, arritua nauka zeruaren kolore grisak,grisen kontrasteek,zelaien berdeekin, inoiz ez dut hain dotore ikusi.
    Ondo pasa, eta Ongi Etorri!

  45. sooishi says:

    the buttercream looks delicious…

  46. love the red nails and the cupcake liners:) i need to get my nails painted soon! ha. oh but i think i would have to bake a whole truckload first:P have fun on your trip:)

  47. Aran says:

    Cookienurse- I had the buttercream from before so I didn’t try making it with xylitol. I’m not sure if it will dissolve like regular sugar but I have a feeling that it will work just fine. I will try it next time and let you know.

    Idu- joateko itzelezko gogoakaz gauz. eskerrik asko. ia eguraldi ona dekogun!

  48. Lori says:

    Delicious. Nothing beats raspberry anything. My number one fav fruit!

    I love the little girls nail polish and cupcake photo- precious.

  49. RecipeGirl says:

    ha ha, the nail polish makes that last photo oh-so-precious! Have a wonderful trip home!

  50. Oh my! I just recently came across your blog and have been enjoying all your beautiful photography and making plans to try some of your recipes. My husband and I lived in Barcelona for two years, which is not too terribly far from your home! (We now live in Morocco.) I know just what you mean about traveling with kids. For such little people they seem to travel with SO much! I hope you have a wonderful trip! I cannot wait to see your pictures!

  51. Bon Voyage! Have a super wonderful trip, eating and talking with your family. I think this is the best time to travel. How I envy you!


  53. What beautiful photos. I can’t decide which I like best – they are all stunning.

  54. Nazarina A says:

    You have the most magical blog! These cupcakes are simply exquisitely beautiful!Your children are so adorable!
    P/S I have started using xylitol and the natural powdered food color which I get from California.I use it very sparingly because it is super expensive here in Colorado but it is so much more healthy! I have also experimented making the natural food color myself but only with citrus.

  55. Jaime says:

    I love the chipped fingernail polish. Perfect photo!

  56. Sarah says:

    Delicious. And the photos are incredible – as usual. Thanks for sharing.

  57. what cute wrappers!

    have a safe trip!!!

    ps. PLEEEEEZZ since you are going home, may i request for you to post some photos of your family’s bakery!?!?!?!

  58. Dajda says:

    Lovely! And pink! I’ll be waiting for updates from your trip, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

  59. Recipe man says:

    these look ssssssooo good


  60. Just the right bakes for a play date…pretty & yummy! Have a great trip home Aran…can’t wait to see what you bring back in your camera!!

  61. Pasatelo bien Aran! Volver a casa tiene que ser siempre maravilloso!

  62. Ash says:

    Very simple and just lovely! I love this!

  63. Stunning! the cupcakes are sooo adorable..
    Have a wonderful trip Aran, looking forward to seeing your photos of home. Even from the links you gave making me want to go to the Basque country. Looked so peaceful and beautiful.

  64. Jill says:

    Thanks for making these with xylitol. I’m glad I left that bag! I’ll have to try (or have you try when you get back) these with the gluten free all purpose flour. Tell S and J that we miss them!! Have a good trip.

  65. So sweet. I love cupcakes and love the smiles on the little ones. It makes the mess worth it.

  66. lynda says:


    These are beautiful and so sweet looking. Love the pics of the kids with their sweet treasures and of your beautiful Basque home country. Wishing you a wonderful trip. Looking forward to seeing more photos!

  67. Patricia says:

    Have a great trip! I’m jealous!

  68. PheMom says:

    Perfectly gorgeous! I hope the trip has been fantastic!

  69. the little striped wrappers are too cute! love your photographs!!

  70. Andrea says:

    Aran, uste dot honekin animau eingo naizela eta ein! ez dira oso komplikauak, ez?

    Kontaukotzut! Ze argazki politxak, by the way…

  71. gigi goods says:

    The cupcakes sound delicious and look beautiful…my favorite! My husband says a real man can admit he likes cupcakes :)

  72. Have a wonderful trip!These cupcakes are exquisitely beautiful! Those cupcakes look yummy and love the striped cupcake. I am looking forward for some wonderful photos.Thank you very Much !

  73. Alice says:

    I have tried making rasberry cupcakes before, but yours looks so much betetr! Though, I used too much rasberry, and I had a plain buttercream with only some rasberry in for colour.
    I hope you don’t mind me trying your amazing-looking recipe <3

  74. Wow, these look fantastic, with such distinctive buttercream. I was just wondering, can xylitol be substituted cup for cup with sugar in all recipes? Or does it have to be a different amount? I’ve used sucralose before but wonder if xylitol might be better. Also does your buttercream recipe set hard or differently to simple sugar/butter frosting? Thanks :-)

  75. Autumn says:

    I made these cupcakes yesterday but frosted them with a Brown Sugar Italian Meringue Buttercream. They were incredible! The cake is so moist and light! Thank you for one of my new favorite cake recipes. I did not have xylitol so I swapped it cup for cup for regular granulated sugar with perfect results. Here’s a link to the post about it on my blog

  76. Wholly, molly! This looks so delicious! I would really like to showcase this recipe on my http://www.cupcakesgarden.comcupcake recipes and ideas blog if you agree.

  77. […]  They are the perfect treat to have on hand with teenagers in the house.  I spotted amazing Raspberry Cupcakes at Cannelle et Vanille and scrumptious Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes at Ezra Pound Cake. […]

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