My son requested a Three Musketeers’ flavored birthday cake for his family birthday dinner recently. He turned 17 this month…that is absolutely one of the craziest things I have heard in awhile.
Where has the time gone? Most of us find ourselves saying that now and again, especially as we watch our children grow. That is the running theme in my head like a song that is stuck playing over and over again. Tears almost trickle down, but yet I am happy. Everything is good. Really good.
But yesterday was preschool, I am sure of it—when he was pushing his new sister in her stroller shouting to everyone to come see her. He did this for a year, exclaiming, “This is Zoie…she’s my new baby sister!” New is a relative word it seemed.
Who knew he had it all together right from the get go? Family is IT and hopefully, with a little luck, he has taken that early bit of knowledge to heart even though the crazy teen years are upon him.
One of the most important things I have tried to teach my kids is that we stick by each other through absolutely everything. It’s not always going to be smooth sailing, and sometimes the rough patches seem to outweigh the blue skies, but if we can at least face it together that is something….actually that is everything.
As parents, we are their true rock or lighthouse in a storm. We can choose to let them know that we will help see them through anything and love them for exactly who they are even if it’s not who we imagined they would be. Alternately, we can teach them that our love is conditional…if they score a goal, if they get straight A’s, if they are popular…that somehow we love them more fore these things. Scary, isn’t it? How easy it is to teach them that our love is conditional. Of course, we all fall prey to that.
Where is the balance between helping to boost their self-esteem when they succeed and yet letting them know that they can’t always be the best, but that it is OK? Although some questions seem to have no answers, I do believe there is one true parenting rule that holds fast…just love them through it all, the bad, the good and the ugly. And anyone with a teen can tell you, there will be days that are UGLY. I believe if they know that you will ALWAYS be there without fail, even when they have let you down that somehow they will make it through.
It turns out The Three Musketeers may have a message for us that still rings true…All for One and One for All. I think my son’s favorite candy bar is quite apropos tonight as I sit here contemplating parenthood and the last seventeen crazy years.
As my extended family (all 11 of us) sat around the dining table, I thought how lucky we all are to have each other. There have been great times and almost unbearable times, but yet we have stood by each other and will continue to—All for One and One for All.
—By the way, I decided to turn the cake into cupcakes so I could place pieces of the actual candy bar within each cupcake for a delicious surprise. My son said the cupcakes were awesome! He couldn’t believe how much they tasted like a Three Musketeers Bar. Both the light and airy, creamy frosting and the rich moist cake are melt-in-your mouth delicious so go ahead and make these. I will even put a 100% money back guarantee on these recipes!
This recipe has been double checked for accuracy (I have baked using a print out from this post several times and the cupcakes and frosting came out perfectly!)
Three Musketeers Cupcakes
Makes approximately 18 – 20 cupcakes
7 oz (just less than a cup) vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 T. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. boiling water
1 bag of mini Three Musketeers Bars
Creamy Whipped Chocolate Frosting
Adapted from Death By Chocolate by Marcel Desaulniers
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. unsweetened natural cocoa powder (good quality makes a huge difference)
1/4 t. salt
4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 t. pure vanilla extract
Cake: Prepare pan by placing cupcake liners in muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, combine oil, buttermilk, yolks, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer at medium speed. In another bowl, sift together (or use a wire whisk like I do to avoid sifting) sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With mixer on LOW speed, add one third of the sifted dry ingredients to oil mixture and beat until blended. Then add one third of the hot water and slowly combine these (you don’t want the hot water to splatter on you…ouch!). Continue this process, scraping down the bowl often until all ingredients have been add and mixed.
Chop 12 mini candy bars in thirds.
Pour batter into prepared liners, 1/2 full. Place one of the 1/3 pieces of the candy bars in the batter, pushing down just slightly. Do not submerge the candybar in the batter completely. If you do, the bar sticks to the bottom of the liner and it tastes great but it does not allow the cupcake to come out of the liner entirely. If you just gently press down on the bar and then put a small spoonful of batter over the top so that the cupcake liner is about 2/3 full, that will make sure to cover the bar, but allow it to float in the batter instead of sink to the bottom.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is spongy to the touch. It should bounce back when touched lightly and look firm. A toothpick test will not work here since there is a candy bar in the middle and it will always look gooey when you put the toothpick in. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the frosting, place 1/2 lb. of butter, the cocoa and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the mixture on low until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream and vanilla. Combine on low for 10 seconds, then increase to medium and beat for 10 more seconds. Increase to high and beat until the icing is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for an additional minute. Remove from mixer and keep at room temperature until needed.
Frost the cupcakes generously and use the left over pieces of the candy bars to garnish atop. Enjoy!
This recipe was linked to:
This Chick Cooks’ Link Party
And Featured on Food Gawker
November 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm
mmm…rich and decadent! Love Musketeers bars atop.
November 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm
This looks delicious and your son came up with a great idea 🙂
What a chocolate overload!!!
November 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm
What great things to remind us to keep in mind – thanks, Geni. And I’m trying my best to enjoy my guys while they’re little, because it already seems like it’s going by so fast. Your son is one lucky guy – he gets these cupcakes and you as a mom!
November 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm
Geni, you are the Queen of Baking! You always have the most tempting treats!! And I so hear you on raising kids, my son is the baby… at 19. It’s so hard to think of him no longer my little guy and I’ve had to come to terms that he and his sister are so different and what I thought they would do, is not necessarily what they are doing. But I love them for who they are and they both have turned out good..in their own way!
November 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Oh I love this post. Its pretty clear from your regular writing that family is important to you, but the story about your son with his little sister is about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. 🙂
The cupcakes look amazing. I tried my first ever Three Musketeers bar this afternoon. I don’t think you can even find them here, so where it came from I have no idea. Regardless, they’re yummy.
November 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm
I’ll bet you had the same sort of “you’re seventeen? That’s impossible: *I’m* seventeen!” moment when your son’s age dawned on you as I got when I finally realized on standing in front of my freshman college students one fall that I really *was* old enough to be their mother–and better yet, the year when I realized if I stayed another year teaching I’d have my first students’ *children* in my classes.
The good things about this? One: differences begin to matter less, and we mature enough to see that unconditional love can smooth over a whole lot of shocks indeed. Two: we learn of the palliative powers of a delicious cupcake loaded with chocolatey goodness! And a significant bit of knowledge it is!
November 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm
Love this post!! Can’t believe he is 17! Time sure has flown!!!!
November 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm
How come I never thought to request such a cupcake for my birthday???!!! I totally missed out, 🙂
November 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm
Your post brought tears to my eyes. What I really want the cupcakes!
November 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm
A wonderful post, Geni, beautifully written. It should be typed and handed to new parents everywhere. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to include a couple of these cupcake, either.
November 9, 2011 at 7:15 pm
Awesome post. My oldest is 10 and it feels like she should still be a toddler! These cupcakes look amazing.
November 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm
Such a lovely blog post today… my children are 18 and 20 this past October. It is a bit like waking up and suddenly seeing them all grown up, isn’t it! This was a very touching retelling… and a beautiful recipe to boot!
November 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm
Lovely post Geni, Happy Birthday to your son and great cupcakes.
November 10, 2011 at 12:46 am
Your son is smart. You know why? He went for chocolate for his birthday.. and so will I. I’m seriously thinking about making these cupcakes on my birthday.
November 10, 2011 at 5:00 am
I think one of my parents’ main goals in raising me and my two siblings was to enforce the idea that when it came down to it, the three of us would always have each other. we would always be there for each other and together, we could get through anything. We are super close now, so I think it worked!
I love that you are also teaching your kids this! And baking them such delicious birthday treats. Three Musketeers were my favorite chocolate bar growing up…I think they must be even better in cupcake form!
November 10, 2011 at 5:27 am
Great post, Geni! Happy Birthday to your son 🙂 He’s a lucky kid to have a mom like you making treats like these for him!
November 10, 2011 at 5:38 am
Wow Geni, those are things I sit and contemplate on a daily basis. The toughest job in the world is parenting.
Love those amazing cupcakes & I have not heard of Three Musketeer Bars. Got to get my hands on them.
November 10, 2011 at 7:09 am
Happy birthday to your son! Such a lovely post about the importance of unconditional love and supporting our family. The cupcakes look great too!
November 10, 2011 at 8:16 am
What a lovely post. And the cupcakes look delicious!
November 10, 2011 at 11:00 am
This was a beautiful post, Geni. My parents did a wonderful job making me feel special even when I didn’t do as well as was hoped. I imagine that your children are extremely lucky to have you as a parent as well. Particularly since you can make such rockin’ cupcakes! DROOL.
November 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm
Oh my gosh! You totally had me in tears with this one. You’ve got it so right – the best we can do is love them all the time and let them know we’re always here for them. I have no doubt that your kids know that about you. Family – it is what it’s all about. 🙂
November 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm
Geni, what a truly beautiful post and glorious cupcakes!! I love your writings and your recipes – you inspire me every time I read your posts. And you tied the theme of the Three Musketeers into your family so very, very well.
Yes, “love them through the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Raising our children is by far the most important thing we will ever do.
I’m writing this as I struggle with taking our 17 daughter to Walmart at midnight so she can purchase the new Harry Potter DVD. She said she would go herself, but her father and I don’t think a 17 year old girl needs to be going to Walmart alone at 12 o’clock at night or anywhere at that time for that matter. I offered to take her and because she’s mad she can’t go herself, she said she would just wait. Ah, sometimes it’s not so easy being a parent, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Happy Birthday to that wonderful 17 year old boy!!
November 11, 2011 at 6:04 am
I already want to the time as a parent to slow down, and I’m only a mere 4 months in!! And Oh Dear Gussie, I love me a 3 Musketeer bar. I feel like it might be big trouble for my waistline to have these cupcakes in my house. They wouldn’t stand a chance!!
November 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm
Happy birthday to your son! What a great celebratory dessert. I agree, I have no idea where this year went. I can’t believe it’s almost over. Such a touching post, Geni, thanks so much for sharing. x
November 12, 2011 at 7:08 am
My daughter turned 16 MONTHS yesterday! I know what you mean about time flying so quickly. Thanks for sharing the delicious cupcake recipe 🙂
November 13, 2011 at 2:04 am
Wow those cupcakes look amazing! Love all of those chocolate goodness
November 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm
A lovely post! And you sound like you have a beautiful family. Only patents can love unconditionally and I believe it’s the biggest gift they can give thier child. Loving them as they are. Sounds like your kids have that 🙂
November 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm
Thank you for a wonderful post Geni!
Parenting is never easy and the idea of not falling prey to conditional love is one I struggle with a lot.
How do I encourage them to excell without making them feel they need to “earn” my love.
I have a friend who always says “nothing that is worth it is ever easy”
November 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm
Happy Birthday to your little man, and your cake looks so delicious. I haven’t had one in a long while 🙂
November 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Aww, wow! These muffins look amazing! You’ve done a great job, I must say!
June 28, 2012 at 7:50 am
I love this recipe! I use it ALL the time and I use it for my basic chocolate cupcakes. I have been having a problem… lately, my cupcakes rise and look pretty in the oven and then when I take them out, they sink. I know that they are baked enough because the tooth pick comes out clean. Do you have any idea what is going on?? I am confused. Thank you!!!
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