I often wonder what life would have been like without Martha Stewart. Love her or hate her, one thing is clear: she knows her food. Her recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting is a favorite at work. The recipe can also be used for a standard cake. I have used cake flour before, but it is quite expensive. I have found an excellent substitute which I have used often. I have heard that pudding mix works even better than cornstarch, but I haven't tried that before. For chocolate cupcakes I use the recipe posted by Trophy Cupcakes. I have never made the Mint Buttercream or Mint Chocolate Ganache because I feel that mint-flavored food tastes like toothpaste. I have used the ganache recipe with vanilla extract. I sometimes make these cupcakes filled with the Cream Cheese Frosting from Martha Stewarts's recipe (above). You only need half the recipe to fill 24 cupcakes.
I love making cakes with bits of fresh fruit stirred into it. I found this recipe for an Orange Cake. I add two teaspoons of fruit extract to this recipe to kick up the flavor. I use this as my base recipe and have successfully substituted other fruit for oranges. I try to stick to fruits for which I can find a flavoring/extract, like strawberries, pineapple or mango. You can fill and top this cake with whipped cream and stack it up with some fresh fruit, preferably the same fruit as you use in your base cake. A word of caution: Bananas don't work with this recipe!
Here's my most favorite dessert recipe I've found on the internet and it isn't a recipe for cake. Go figure! It's a recipe for Caramel Flan. It's such a simple recipe with amazing results. I will admit to having messed up this recipe by using hot tap water for the water bath. You don't want to do that. You want to use boiling water.
So there you have it. Recipes off the internet, tried and tested and really good!