Secret Recipe Club: Vanilla Cupcakes with Honey Ricotta Frosting

.  Hello, my dear readers.  And fellow SRCers.  It's good to be back.

Well, for SRC, I mean.  If you didn't notice, SRC took a [much appreciated] break in December due to the craziness of the holidays.  So even though I received my assignment oh, two months ago!, I've had to keep it hush, hush.  No worries though, we're here now.

To kick off 2013, I was assigned to a unique and first class blog: Feast on the Cheap.  Feast on the Cheap was created by a mother-daughter duo, who together have experience in professional catering and share a complete love for food.  Solid base, right?  Right!

But to add an extra element, Feast on the Cheap offers tips and advice on maintaining a versatile, stocked pantry as well budgeted recipes for all wallet sizes [e.g., recipes under $5].  Nifty, huh?!

Perusing through their recipes, I was almost certain I'd be making a savory dish this month.  Seriously, SO many delicious sounding recipes that I started pinning them just to keep track.  Some of my front runners included a Four Cheese Southwestern Breakfast Strata, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, and Orzo with Creamy Brie, Bing Cherries, and Basil.  Now, I don't cook.  At all.  But I'm fairly certain I will be trying out some of these recipes because they sound that good.  And regardless of your skill level, Feast on the Cheap recipes are very do able.  Even for me.

But then I stumbled upon these Vanilla Cupcakes with Honey Ricotta Frosting, and my SRC fate was sealed.

Mariel [the daughter] posted these cupcakes and gushed about how they were her favorite vanilla cupcakes she'd ever made.  And her tastes must be spot on, because these cupcakes are delicate and light, yet packed with wonderful vanilla flavor.  I'd go so far as to say these are my favorite vanilla cupcakes I've made to date, too.  Yes, ma'am [or sir].

As for this honey ricotta frosting?  Well...it's different!  I wouldn't exactly call it a frosting though, more like a thick glaze.  For one reason or another, my frosting/glaze was a bit runny but in hindsight, I could have just added more powdered sugar to solve that problem.  Regardless, the flavor was great!  The honey enhances the ricotta flavor, adding a lovely sweetness to the mix.  And paired with the classic vanilla cupcake gives you a simple yet elegant treat.  Not overly sweet, but the cupcakes would perfectly complement a rich dinner.

So in closing, thanks Mary Anne and Mariel for a winner of a cupcake recipe and introducing me to the wonders of ricotta!  You have a beautiful and informative blog, one that I know many people thoroughly enjoy.  Glad to be your newest follower!  .

My Notes:
  • The original recipe included a garnish of toasted walnuts but I left them out only for the fact that I was being lazy.  But I wouldn't leave them out, they'll add a great crunch and depth of flavor to the cupcakes.

From Feast on the Cheap

1 c. cake flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. plus 1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. plus 1 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg

Honey Ricotta Frosting:
1 c. ricotta
2 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Line a standard muffin tin with liners (fill the empty slots halfway with water to ensure even baking of the other cupcakes).
  2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.  In another small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla extract; set aside.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until pale and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add egg and beat until combined.  Reduce speed to low and alternately add flour mixture and milk in two additions.  Beat until just incorporated.  
  4. Evenly portion batter into prepared pan.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.  Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, for frosting, beat together ricotta, honey, powdered sugar, and milk until thoroughly combined.  Frost cupcakes as desired.
Yield: 10 cupcakes
post signature


  1. OMG! These look sooooo good! Definitely pinning this one.

  2. These look wonderful! The nooks and crannies are a sure sign of a light and airy cakes. Love love love!

  3. Yum, good pick! I had a great time looking through your blog as I was assigned you this month! You have so many great recipes, I will be coming back for more for sure :)

  4. These cupcakes look delicious! I love how light and fluffy they look

  5. Wow I don't know if I would have been so brave as to pick something like a ricotta frosting. Then again, I like cannolis so see how this could work :).

  6. First off I have to confess an undying love for Feast on the Cheap! They do have impeccable taste. If a recipe has cheese in it, I'm all over it, yeah baby, these are going to be my next cupcakes.

  7. Now that is on heck of a tasty looking cupcake! Glad to be part of SRC with you!

  8. ooohhh...love the idea of that frosting! Gorgeous cupcakes!

  9. So glad you enjoyed the cuppies! The frosting is a bit unusual - the result of a ton of leftover ricotta post-lasagna - but I've made these vanilla cupcakes again and again. So nice to meet you and thank you for the kind words about Feast!

  10. These sound so great! I love the use of ricotta in the frosting - simple yet turned up a notch!

  11. Hi,
    You have some great ideas and we would like for you to share with our readers too. We are hosting our first link party tomorrow and we would like to invite you to link up with us. We have a fun blog to co-host with us. Hope to see you there.

    The Busy Bee's,
    Myrna and Joye.


  12. Wonderful looking cupcakes!
    I really like the frosting

  13. That frosting has me drooling! Thanks for linking up to Taste and Tell Thursdays!

  14. Hi,

    This is a fantastic recipe, and great fun to make with the kids. Thanks so much for posting it.

    All the best, Alex

  15. These are adorable! I love the frosting and will definitely try this!I'll add toasted walnuts too!


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