Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

With the 4th of July coming up, I just had to make these red velvet cheesecake cupcakes, and top them with some red and blue sprinkles. I still celebrate Independence Day, even though I’m a resident here in Australia. I really enjoy teaching my son about American holidays and celebrating them with our own family traditions.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

One of my favourite things to do for most holidays is baking (of course). I love to make a special treat for the 4th of July. These red velvet cheesecake cupcakes are perfect for a red, white, and blue treat. They would also be wonderful on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Australia Day, or any other occasion when you want something red (or you simply want cupcakes).

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

The creamy cheesecake filling adds another level of goodness to the already delicious cakes. The cream cheese frosting adds even more sweet, creamy goodness. I lightened up the original recipe by using half the amount of oil. I also used Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk. These cupcakes are so moist and delicious. They are definitely a crowd-pleaser. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

Enjoy the recipe…

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes

  • Servings: 24 cupcakes
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These rich red velvet cupcakes are made even more delicous with a sweet, creamy cheesecake filling inside. They make a wonderful treat for your holiday gatherings, or any time you want cupcakes!

This recipe was adapted from Crazy for Crust.

Ingredients

CUPCAKES:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring

CHEESECAKE:

  • 8 oz/ 225g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (not low fat)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING:

  • 8 oz/ 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar/ soft icing mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

OPTIONAL:

  • Sprinkles of your choice, such as red and blue ones for the 4th of July

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C. Line cupcake pans with liners. (I like the look of plain white paper liners, because they allow the red cake color to show through.)

2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer). Sift cocoa powder into flour mixture (to prevent lumps). Whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. Add eggs, oil, Greek yogurt, white vinegar, and vanilla to a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk until combined. Add to dry ingredients, a little at a time, beating with your stand or hand mixer until smooth.

4. Turn mixer down to a LOW speed. Add red food coloring and mix slowly until thoroughly combined. (The mixer speed needs to be low so you won’t splatter red batter everywhere.)

5. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner about 1/2 full. Do NOT overfill! It is important to leave enough room for the cheesecake mixture to be dolloped on top.

6. To make the cheesecake mixture: Using the whisk attachment for your mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and sour cream until smooth. Drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheesecake mixture on top of each cupcake. Smooth it down with the back of a small spoon. Keep it from touching the edges, if you can, because the cupcakes look nicer that way.

7. Bake cupcakes for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the cake part comes out clean. The cream cheese filling will still be a little soft, but it should be set up, not raw and creamy. Cool cupcakes to room temperature on a cooling rack, then chill for at least 2 hours before frosting. (Note: the cupcakes can be frozen once cooled, and then frosted later.)

8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until blended well and fluffy. Sift the powdered sugar/ icing mixture into a large bowl. Switch to the paddle attachment on your mixer. Turning the mixer to a low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar/ icing mixture. Add salt and vanilla. Mix gently until smooth.

9. Frost the top of each cupcake generously. For a decorative effect, use a star-shaped tip with a pastry bag. Top with sprinkles, if you like.

10. Store cupcakes in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

All written content and photos are copyright Kimberly Sequoia 2017 for a delicious moment.

If you would like to use this recipe on your own site, please re-write it in your own words and link back to my original post.

 

Levi’s Room Inspiration

My son Levi is almost four years old. Time certainly does fly! Since he’s a “big boy” now, I want to give his bedroom a makeover.

green wall colour

I’ve been bringing together my favourite images for inspiration for his bedroom makeover. I’m thinking about painting most of the walls a light neutral grey, and painting the wall next to his bed a leafy green. I feel that this shade of green is exuberant yet calming. It reminds me of hiking in my favorite forests, back in Ohio. I’m hoping that Levi will feel inspired by this colour, too. I don’t normally like the accent wall look, but, for a kid’s room, I think it might be a good plan. Their tastes change so much in so little time. This way, if Levi decides he doesn’t like the colour, we can easily change it. Every time I ask him what colour he would like in his room, he gives me a different answer, so we’ll see how he likes the colour green. I love it so much, so I’m just going to do it!

We will be getting a bigger bed for Levi soon, along with the necessary bedding, of course. I totally love the star quilt cover set, pictured below. I think it really suits my son’s imaginative personality.

stargazer charcoal quilt cover set

hexagon shelves

modern geo wool rug

As for the style I’m envisioning for the room, I’d like a collected, eclectic look, with some elements that tie together through their colour, pattern, materials, and mood. Some elements/ ideas I’d like to have in Levi’s room are: nature, adventure, and creating/ building. We love to go on treasure hunts together, around the house. Levi has such a great imagination. He loves to create and build things. He believes in magic. I think he would like to have stars and other cool patterns in his room. He loves maps and globes. I want to incorporate those elements, too.

triangle sticker wall and striped rug

 

globe paper lantern

 

 

SMILA STJARNA wall lamp IKEA

white cube shelves with globe

He also loves Lego, so I want to make a letter “L” with Lego, along with him, to hang on his wall. I think he will really like that.

Lego wall letter on painted wood

I’m going to create an art collage above his dresser. I’ve got a few pictures already. I’ll just need to buy or make one or two more pictures to bring it all together. Over time, I’m sure it will evolve, as Levi grows and changes.

art collage wall

fox with bee on its nose drawing

choose your own adventure wall hanging

I hope my little boy will love his big boy room, and enjoy it for years to come.

{Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12}

 

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. I just wanted to share this wonderful recipe for banana coconut chocolate chip muffins, because it is one of my favourite muffin recipes. I made a batch of them this past week, simply because I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. If you have a few overripe bananas you want to use, this is a great way to use them up. These muffins make a delicious treat to have with your morning coffee. They would be a great Father’s Day treat, for those of you in the States who are celebrating this special day. Of course, they are good any time!

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love to have these muffins fresh and warm from the oven. They are so soft, moist, and delicious. There is nothing like taking a bite in a warm muffin, when the chocolate chips are rich and melty. Right? If you have little ones who like to help out in the kitchen, you can have them mash the bananas with their hands in a big bowl. It’s great fun for them. This is an easy recipe. You don’t need any special equipment, not even a mixer. So whip up a batch this weekend. You won’t regret it!

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here’s the recipe…

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Servings: 12-15 muffins
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These muffins are a wonderful treat, best eaten warm and fresh from the oven, while the chocolate chips are meltingly delicious.

This recipe was adapted slightly from A Week of Menus.

Ingredients

  • 3 large very ripe bananas, chopped or sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/ 4 tsp baking soda/ bicarb soda
  • 1/ 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/ 4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp or 70g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, plus a little more to sprinkle on top of the muffins, if you like

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg, sugars, and vanilla together until well combined. Whisk in melted butter. Mix well.
  4. In another large bowl, mash the banana slices with a potato masher or ricer.
  5. Add mashed banana to sugar mixture. Stir to combine well. Add coconut and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  6. Add flour mixture to banana mixture. Very gently stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not stir too much, or the batter, and therefore the muffin texture, will become too stiff. You want the muffin crumb to be tender.
  7. Divide batter equally in liners. Sprinkle tops with a little coconut, if you like.
  8. Bake muffins for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden brown on top and baked through the middle, until a tester comes out clean except for a few crumbs.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Enjoy!
  10. Store muffins in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for about 2 days, but they are best eaten on the day they are baked.

All written content and photos are copyright Kimberly Sequoia 2017 for a delicious moment.

If you would like to use this recipe on your own site, please re-write it in your own words and link back to my original post.

Korma Soup and Garlic Naan Bread

Hey there! Are you ready for a super quick, easy, healthy, and delicious soup recipe, plus a totally awesome bread recipe? I hope so. I think you’re going to love this recipe combo as much as I do. A hearty, tasty soup paired with amazing bread makes a perfect light dinner or weekend lunch.

Korma Soup and Garlic Naan Bread

This naan bread is so good! I start craving it whenever I think about it. It’s chewy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside.  The garlic butter is addictively good. There is nothing like fresh, warm bread. Whenever I get a craving for this naan bread, I come up with something to go with it, like this spicy korma soup. That sounds like reverse logic, I know, planning a meal around the bread. Once you make this bread, I think you’ll understand my logic, though. My partner gets excited when he hears that I’m making naan bread. It truly is the star of the show. Even if you’re not a bread maker (I’m not), this bread is fairly easy to make. I suggest that you make the naan bread with a helper, to speed up the cooking. I prep the dough while my partner cooks the bread. You could do it all yourself, of course, but it might take a little longer.

Garlic Naan Bread

This korma soup is super quick and easy, making it perfect for a weeknight meal. I love its spicy flavor and hearty texture. Red lentils make this soup high in fiber, and it’s low in saturated fat. The soup is also mostly vegetarian, except for the chicken broth. You can make it completely vegetarian by using vegetable broth, though, if you like. I just use chicken broth because I always keep it stocked in the cupboard. You can vary the heat level of the spice very easily, for the soup. It just depends on how much korma paste you put in it. While I like a slightly higher level of spiciness than my partner does, our little boy is not quite ready for that kind of thing, so I tend to make things a bit less spicy than I’d prefer. You can fire up the spice level on this soup as much as you like. Also, you can use barley instead of rice, but it takes a bit longer to cook, about 45 minutes to simmer. It’s a hearty, flavorful soup that I’m sure you will love. I’ve made it many times. It has become a family favorite.

Korma Soup

Now on to the recipes… Enjoy!

Korma Soup

A deliciously spicy, hearty soup that's perfect for a healthy, quick, and easy weeknight meal.

My recipe was adapted from this Indian spiced lentil soup recipe found on taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/ 2 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1/ 8 cup good-quality korma paste
  • 5 cups chicken stock/ broth
  • 400g/ 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2/ 3 cup red lentils, rinsed under cold water
  • 1/ 4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/ 2 cup chopped or torn coriander/ cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook, covered, for several minutes, until soft and translucent. 2. Stir in korma paste. Fry for a minute, until fragrant. 3. Stir in stock, tomatoes, lentils, and rice. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cover again. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until rice and lentils are tender. 4. Divide into bowls. Garnish each bowl of soup with a few coriander leaves, if you like.

 

Garlic Naan Bread

This soft, warm, fresh flat bread smothered in garlic butter is incredibly delicious and easy to make.

My recipe is adapted from this recipe for homemade naan bread on Gimme Some Oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 (.25 oz/ 7g) packet of yeast (about 2 1/ 4 tsp.)
  • 3 1/ 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 2 cups white whole wheat flour plus 1 1/ 2 cups all-purpose flour)
  • 1/ 4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/ 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/ 4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

1. Stir hot water into honey until honey has dissolved. 2. Add honey water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top of the water. Quickly whisk the yeast into the water. Then let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until the yeast is foamy. 3. Using the dough hook attachment on the stand mixer, turn the mixer onto low speed, and gradually add in flour, yogurt, salt, baking powder, and egg. Increase the speed to medium-low and continue mixing the dough for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. The dough will still be sticky, but should form a ball. 4. Remove dough from bowl, using your hands to gently shape it into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl (or use a separate one, like a large Pyrex bowl) with olive oil or spray oil. Then place the ball of dough in the oiled bowl and cover it with a clean, damp tea towel. Place bowl in a warm location and let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until it has nearly doubled in size. 5. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat, until melted. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove butter from heat. Strain garlic and discard it, leaving only the infused melted butter behind. Set butter aside. 6. Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, like a large cutting board. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. Roll each section into a ball with your hands, then place on a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten out each ball until the dough is about 1/ 4 inch thick. Brush both sides of the dough with the garlic-infused butter. 7. Heat a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a piece of rolled-out dough to the pan and cook for about 1 minute, or until the dough begins to bubble and the bottom is lightly golden. Flip the dough over and cook the opposite side until the bottom is golden. Transfer bread to a plate and cover with a clean tea towel, to keep warm. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, until all 8 pieces are cooked. 8. Keep the naan bread covered with the tea towel until ready to serve, so it doesn’t dry out. Serve warm.

Garlic Naan Bread

All written content and photos are copyright Kimberly Sequoia 2017 for a delicious moment.

If you would like to use this recipe on your own site, please re-write it in your own words and link back to my original post.