Category Archives: baked goods

The Easiest Cupcakes You’ll Ever Bake

Due to my newfound passion for food photography, I have found myself scouring the Internet for affordable cupcake recipes. Dessert photography isn’t cheap…

…That is, unless you do plenty of research. These chocolate cupcakes are scrumptious and nearly impossible to ruin; even the most amateur baker will find success. Plus, these delights only require three ingredients, one being water. Scroll down for the complete recipe.

All you need to purchase is one box of devil’s food cake mix and one 15 oz. can of pumpkin. Frosting, chocolate chips and cocoa powder are optional.

Combine ingredients in one large bowl, including 2/3 cup of water (use 1/2 cup for thicker cupcakes).

For an extra chocolatey batter I mixed in 1 tbsp. of Dutch-process cocoa powder and folded in a handful of Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips. For my next batch I will double the amount of each.

Mix until smooth. Remember to fold in any chocolate chips once the initial mixture is smooth.

Pop in the oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes (mine took 30). Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting. Top with frosting and a couple chocolate chips for fun.


And don’t forget to enjoy!

Recipe: Easy Chocolate Cupcakes (yields 24)

  • 18 oz. devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Mix ingredients; batter will be stiff.
  • Disperse equally among liners.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until top springs back.

Double Chocolate Covered Raspberries

Half pints of raspberries were on sale for $0.99 a couple of weeks ago. I stocked up and decided to get creative. Since I had white and milk chocolate remaining from my strawberries, I gave these double chocolate covered raspberries a try.

A batch of about twenty of these little goodies came in at around $3.50 (accounting for only chocolate used). They require a little bit of patience, but the reward is oh so good!

Hint: for a delicious ooey-gooey center, freeze the raspberries before preparing; too, the chocolate will stick more easily when dipping.

This goes to show that decadence does not have to be expensive!



Double Chocolate Covered Raspberries (makes approx. 20)


  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries – washed, dried and frozen

1. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low or a simmer.

2. Set the white chocolate chips, placed either in a heatproof bowl or a small nonstick pan, above the simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt (about 5 minutes).

3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

4. Dip a raspberry, top first, into the white chocolate until the top half is covered. Set on paper/pan. Repeat with remaining raspberries. Set for 30 minutes. (Hint: have a spoon handy, as white chocolate can be tricky.)

5. Melt the milk chocolate. Holding the top of the white chocolate covered raspberry, dip into the milk chocolate. Set each on its side.

6. Allow 30 minutes for the milk chocolate set. Place in the refrigerator.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

These decadent chocolate-dipped treats can be so expensive at sweet shops and bakeries. But surprise – they are actually very affordable to make. A batch of about twenty chocolate-dipped strawberries comes in at around a whopping $4.50 (accounting for only chocolate used); that’s about the price of two pieces at a specialty shop.

I prepared a batch for dinner with friends last night and they were an instant hit. They’re easy to assemble, affordable, require only three ingredients and look so pretty (though I need to perfect my drizzling technique).


Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries (makes approx. 20)


  • 3/4      cup semi-sweet (or milk) chocolate chips
  • 1/4      cup white chocolate chips
  • 1          lb. fresh strawberries, washed and dried

1. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low or a simmer.


2. Set the semi-sweet chocolate chips, placed either in a heatproof bowl or a smaller pan, above the simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt (about 5 minutes).

3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (I used tin foil).

4. Holding a strawberry by the stem, twist into the chocolate until it is covered. Set on paper/pan. Repeat.

5. Melt the white chocolate. With a fork drizzle the chocolate on the strawberries.

6. Allow 30 minutes for the chocolate to set. Place pan in the refrigerator.

Just a couple pointers/notes: I have only the supplies to melt one chocolate at a time, and this is reflected in the recipe above. Too, after washing and drying the strawberries I recommend placing them in the freezer for a couple of minutes to harden before dipping in chocolate. Lastly, you can eye the proportions and be perfectly fine.

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

My baking is limited due to the fact that I have no will power around baked goods.

Still, today I found myself whipping up a batch of Martha’s flourless chocolate cupcakes. I found the recipe months ago in her fabulous book Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. These moist chocolaty delights are affordable and are so very delectable.

Minimal ingredients equal minimal mess, short preparation time, and low cost! To bake a batch of twenty-two cupcakes costs approximately $4.50, excluding power to heat the oven. And at under 200 calories a piece, they’re not only a small investment money-wise but health-wise, too. Enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 22)


  • 6          tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1  1/2  cups semisweet chocolate chips (1 bag)
  • 6          large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1/2      cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Melt butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set above a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine, then remove bowl from heat and let cool just a bit. Whisk in egg yolks.

2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, beating until peaks are stiff and glossy but not dry (do not overbeat). Whisk 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten; gently fold mixture into remaining whites.

3. Fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake (rotating tins halfway through) until cupcakes are just set in centers, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes (the centers will sink). Cupcakes are most fresh the same day they are baked; store at room temperature. Top with ice cream if desired.