Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Delightful Summer Cupcakes
I was on cupcake duty for my dear friends wedding shower last month and I decided to try some fun flavors. Party guests were raving about these tiny little gems, and I thought they were just being polite. That is, until I tasted one. And another. And then I thought...I guess I should try all of them. Genius! Here's the gist of how I made them (sometimes I wish I used real recipes!!!)
My Grandma always tells me that if you want the icing to be pretty and perfect, to forget about making the cake from scratch and focus on the icing. So I used Superstore's Organic Chocolate and Vanilla cake mix. I substituted full fat sour cream for the oil and it made them taste homemade and really moist.
I split the vanilla batter in half and added 2-3 Tbsp of lemon flavoring. You can add food coloring or lemon zest so you can tell them apart from the plain vanilla. Taste the batter to make sure they're really lemony! Bake the lemon and vanilla in mini muffin tins.
Bake the chocolate cupcakes in mini muffin tins, adding 3 or 4 chocolate chips to the tops of half.
Whip up the base icing (make it nice and thick) and divide into 4 bowls.
Classic Buttercream Icing (Base):
5 cups icing sugar
1 Cup soft butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2-4 Tbsp Water or Milk
Classic Lemon Cupcakes:
Base Icing plus 3-4 tsp lemon flavoring on a vanilla cupcake. Garnish with lemon zest if desired.
Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes:
Base icing plus 2-3 Tbsp raspberry jam or raspberry puree on a lemon cupcake. You may need to add more icing sugar if it thins out too much. Garnish with a fresh raspberry if desired.
Mocha Chip Frappuccino Cupcakes:
Base Icing plus two packages of Decaf Starbucks Via (you can substitute instant coffee, but it's really not the same!!!) on the chocolate cupcakes with the added chocolate chips. A chocolate chip or chocolate espresso bean are perfect garnishes.
Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes:
Base Icing plus 2-3 tsp of coconut flavoring on a plain chocolate cupcake. Garnish with shredded coconut before icing sets. This was the #1 hit of the night. DELISH!
-This little tool is so amazing (and inexpensive) that I've thrown away my piping bag!
-Use mini tins. The icing to cake ratio is perfect for these combos.
-Taste everything as you go and add bits of flavoring as you taste to make sure it comes out right.
-Make sure the icing is quite thick so it holds it shape. If you add any liquid to the base, that means you'll likely have to add more icing sugar to get the right consistency.