Snowball Cupcakes Recipe

Posted by Becky Brackett on Mon, Dec 03, 2012
We're loving this recipe from BCAE Instructor Dustin Todd Rennells, founder of Bad Boy Bake Shop. These stunners are the perfect baked good to make for your holiday party. If you're looking for step by step instructions you can join Dustin this term in Holiday Cupcakes

  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick butter, very soft
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 T buttermilk
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 c plus 2 T sugar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 6 oz whipping-quality pasteurized egg whites


Oven 325 degrees. Line cupcake tin with liners (12). Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Let cool completely. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; set aside 

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add in buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the eggs and yolk. Add melted chocolate; mix until smooth.

Spoon batter into liners, filling about one-third full, these rise quite a bit and you want them under the edge of the liner once fully baked. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Immediately remove from tins

Filling: Cut small hole in center of cupcake and fill with fresh berries.

Frosting: Heat 1 1/2 cups sugar, the corn syrup, and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium- high heat. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees. Meanwhile, put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add the hot syrup in a slow, steady stream down sides of bowl. Raise speed to medium-high; beat until stiff peaks form and frosting is smooth and cool, about 7 minutes.

Assemble the cupcakes: Spread a thin layer of frosting on each cupcake. Using a 2 1/2-inch ice cream scoop dipped in hot water, place a smooth mound of frosting on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with sanding sugar or edible glitter. Let stand until frosting is set, about 3 hours. Cupcakes can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 day.

Topics: BCAE, cupcake recipe, baking classes, Dustin Todd Rennells, Bad Boy Bake Shop, Snowballs

Caramel Apple Cupcake Recipe

Posted by Becky Brackett on Wed, Oct 03, 2012

caramel apples

We're headed into the month of October and everyone here on the BCAE staff is in full-on fall mode. Chillier days call for warming up the oven and baking treats to share. If you've gone apple picking and are looking for something creative to do with the extras we've got the perfect recipe. Straight from Bad Boy Bake Shop founder and BCAE Instructor, Dustin Todd Rennells, this cupcake recipe makes for a delicious alternative to apple pie!


Caramel Apple Cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
1.25 teaspoons baking powder
1.25 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1 stick + 1 T salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
1.5 large eggs, lightly beaten (when doubling for class, put one whole egg in each mixer, then lightly beat the second and use half in each)
1 teaspoon vanilla or caramel extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 apples, skin on, cored, and chopped smallish (1/4-inch dice)
1/4 c cake flour (to dust drained peaches)
24 wooden popsicle sticks
optional: mini chocolate chips, coconut, nuts


2 large apples diced
2 T melted butter
1 T cinnamon
2 T sugar

Caramel Frosting:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Chop your apples, sprinkle on some lemon juice if you have it so they don't brown, then dust with the ¼ c cake flour, set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla or caramel extract. Mix in the buttermilk. Add in the small dry ingredients: nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Then add the flour in ½ cup increments. Fold in the flour dusted apple chunks with a rubber spatula.

3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners being cautious of the apple chunk distribution. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they bounce back immediately once pressed.

4. Once cooled, cut a small hole in the center of the cupcake but don't go to through the bottom. 

5. Dice up apple pie filling (or) place filling ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over medium low heat for about 15 minutes until lightly mushy but still retaining shape.  Add more cinnamon/sugar to taste. 

6. Place a spoonful of filling into each cupcake hole.

7. Frosting (should probably be made first): Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes. Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.

8. Assembly: Pipe or spatula frosting onto cupcake being sure to hide any of the filling.  Place wooden popsicle stick in frosting like a caramel apple.  You may choose to sprinkle on common caramel apple decor like mini chocolate chips, coconut or nuts across the top.

If you give the recipe a try we'd love to hear how it goes! You can also download the printable version here.

Topics: BCAE Recipe, baking classes, Dustin Todd Rennells, Bad Boy Bake Shop, Caramel Apple Cupcakes

BCAE Instructor Spotlight : Dustin Todd Rennells

Posted by Becky Brackett on Fri, Jul 22, 2011

Jack of all creative trades and kitchen whiz, Dustin Todd Rennells has quickly become one of the BCAE's most popular instructors. Over the course of his two years at the Center, Dustin has taught a range of classes from Design Your Own Invitations to Bon Appetit: Following in Julia's Footsteps to World of Window Display. However his ultimate specialty is baking!

                                             cupcake and cocktails BCAE class     Instructor Dustin Todd Rennells

Every March you can catch him doling out over 1,000 handmade mini cupcakes at Taste of the South End with the BCAE staff to benefit the Aids Action Committee. This term you can join him on a Friday night for Cupcakes & Cocktails, a class that features a mix of liquor enhanced sweets and cupcake flavored shooters. Pick up some pre-class tips from him on how2heroes and come to class prepared! Having grown up in Chillicothe, Missouri, Dustin is also a master of barbecue and will help you perfect your technique in Smokin Hot: Classic Summer BBQ.

                                        cupcake shooters

Dustin has a BFA in Fine Arts: Printmaking and Mixed Media from the Art Institute of Boston. When he's not at the BCAE teaching classes Dustin serves as the Creative Director for Persona Jewelry+ and runs Dustin Rennells Design, as a freelance creative specialist offering window display and set design as well as cupcake catering and consulting. 

Dustin has a whole roster of classes scheduled for this September/October term so be sure to check back on Monday, August 1st to see the line-up here.

Topics: BCAE Instructor, cupcakes and cocktails, baking classes, Dustin Todd Rennells, teaching at the BCAE