Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Twisted Sisters Cupcakes- We Promise

Yes, today I took another visit to the Diva!
I have grown quite fond of that pink cupcake van and my daughter hopes one day that it will take over the Ice Cream Truck that rolls through neighborhoods. Today, I have something new (well kinda) to share with you about these Twisted Sisters'!
It is this cupcake and what it stands for!
This is the "We Promise" cupcake. The We Promise Foundation is a charity from Chartway Federal Credit Union that makes dreams come true for little kids with life-threatening, debilitating, and chronic illnesses. We Promise partners with other foundations, like Make-a-Wish to help even more little kids dreams come true. For 2 weeks, Twisted Sisters Cupcakes is making this limited time cupcake and giving 10% from each cupcake sold to We Promise! I believe this is already the 2nd get yours soon if you are in the area. If not, and you would still like to help, you can visit the We Promise Foundation Website.
Twisted Sisters have done everything in making this cupcake to make any child young or old smile! The cupcake is Vanilla flavored with Vanilla Frosting that reminds me of yummy vanilla bean ice cream!
 It is topped with a butterfly and filled with a rainbow!
Here is another cross section of this colorful cupcake!
This cupcake definitely made my daughter smile and with Twisted Sisters Cupcakes and We Promise, this cupcake will bring smiles to other children as well!
This isn't the first time Twisted Sisters Cupcakes have made a special cupcake for charity. Back in April 2011, I blogged about another limited cupcake from Twisted Sisters Cupcakes, the "Baby Cake" cupcake for the March of Dimes. There may be more that I have missed, if not, I am sure there will be more in the future. These sweet sisters do good things with there cupcakes and you have to love that about them!

Of course, I got more cupcakes from Twisted Sisters Cupcakes today!
From left to right:
COCOA Nut- This coconut flavored cupcake has coconut in the cake, not just coconut flavor! The American Chocolate Buttercream (my personal favorite frosting) is topped with coconut as well!
June Cleaver- Is dressed up for Labor Day with a star on top and red, white, and blue sprinkles. It is a vanilla bean cupcake with Madagascar Vanilla American Buttercream. The frosting has a great vanilla flavor! There truly is a difference in the type of vanilla extract you use...I learned that for myself and I love the Madagascar Vanilla!
We Promise- A Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Frosting filled with rainbows and topped with a butterfly! This was the star of the day, because of what it stands for!
The Highlander- This is a butterscotch cupcake with chopped Heath bar inside, I am not sure if I have ever eaten a Heath bar, but from what I can tell it would be good. Did I notice some pecan? Nope, I just looked up a Heath bar and it has toffee and almonds in it, so those nuts were almonds!The frosting was also butterscotch flavored and there was no question about that...yum!
As usual today we all had different favorites, different people just like different things! Just like cupcakes we are all made different! Today my favorite was the Highlander, maybe because I made a butterscotch cupcake recently myself and that is what my tastebuds are craving at the moment, but I really love the colorfulness of the We Promise Cupcake and what this cupcake stands for! In general, cupcakes make me smile, whether giving or getting :)

To find out more about Twisted Sisters, including where they will be next, visit the Twisted Sisters Cupcakes Website or Twisted Sisters Cupcakes Facebook Page!
I do have to tell you all, they know about me....
(they don't hate me either if that is what you are wondering...not yet!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Betty Crocker "FUN da-Middles" Cupcake Mix

There's a new cupcake mix in town!
Recently popping up on store shelves, you may have seen the new Betty Crocker FUN da-Middles Cupcake Mix. It comes in 3 flavors: Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Filling, Yellow Cupcake with Vanilla Filling, and Yellow Cupcake with Chocolate Filling. I found 2 of the 3 flavors at our local Kroger grocery store.
The cupcake mix box says that Fun da-middles are easy and fun to make: "The filling surprise is inside", "Less Mess, less steps-no need to let cool to frost", "Perfect to pack in lunch boxes", "Specially designed filling bakes inside the cupcake."
Of course, I had to check them out!

The chocolate cupcake mix is made just like any other box mix, add eggs, water, and oil. Unlike box cake mixes, this only make 12 cupcakes, but also unlike box cake mixes, it comes with a pouch of filling! The filling is ready and all you have to do is squeeze the pouch 20 times before cutting off the corner to open. I did discover that there are about 2 cups of batter, so to make sure you get proportions right, go ahead and fill your liquid measuring cup to 1 cup for the bottom layer, reserving the other 1 cup for the top layer.
#1- Fill Cupcake liner about 1/3 full.
#2- Open filling pouch and divide filling equally among the 12 cups, making sure filling stays in the middle.
#3- Evenly distribute the reserved batter covering the filling.

The filling was the part I was very interested in...go figure right? First, if you do have a little oops, it is VERY thick, almost marshmallow-y before baking and easy to move back into the center. These bake at 350 for 24 to 29 minutes or  "until surface of cupcake appears dry." They were done perfect at 24 minutes, still moist, but they did crack on the top. Next time I may check them a minute or two earlier.*
 Allow to cool 20 minutes.
At this point, they are ready. This is when they could be packed in school lunches with no mess.
However, I like frosting on top of my cupcakes, not just inside. I do think it needed frosting on the top too. To keep it quick and easy with very little mess, the Whipped variety fluffy white canned frosting does the job very well, it complements the filling and they do taste similar and have similar texture and consistency. 
After baking, the consistency of the filling had changed. It no longer was a thick marshmallow-y glob and it was more the same consistency as the whipped frosting that I used. There was a nice amount vanilla flavored filling inside the cupcake too. The filling didn't try and absorb into the cupcake after sitting either. The filling was sweet, but not too sweet. 
The cake part of the cupcake tasted like regular box chocolate cake mix and I would imagine is the same mix as the Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake mix. The cake part baked up moist, fully containing the dollop of filling. For a box mix, this really tastes good, but could use a slight bit more chocolate flavor. 
However the yummy vanilla filling is really the star of this cupcake!
This is not the best picture, I did cut the cupcake a little unevenly, but you get the idea!
This cupcake IS QUICK and EASY to make! No special talent or tools required! Kids young and old love the surprise filling inside! If you are looking for an easy to make box mix cupcake, this will definitely do the job! Add a little whipped frosting to the top, finish it off with a few chocolate jimmies and you have a cute, quick and easy cupcake!

*Note: After baking these a second time, the chocolaty flavor was better. Overbaking will change the flavor. The directions say 24-29 minutes and the first time I took them out at 24 minutes. The second time I kept a watchful eye over them and they were ready at 20 minutes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pink Princess #13- Cupcake Pops

Cupcake Pops
This is #13 out of 28 cupcake designs that I am making from the book "Pink Princess Cupcakes" by Barbara Beery. Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made! I am almost halfway through the book now! If you haven't bought the book already, please do, her pictures look much better than mine and there are clear step by step directions along with cupcake and frosting recipes from Vanilla and Chocolate, to Fresh Banana and Strawberry Cupcakes! This book is marketed to children and would make a great gift for your little princess!
These cupcakes or pops, whatever you would like to call them, start with mini cupcake. I baked them without a liner since the liner was to be removed anyway. Well, I think this caused them not to rise as nicely. That was my first mistake. For the stick you can use either a craft stick or lollipop stick. I stuck a stick straight through the first one, so be careful with this part! They are not as big as cakepops so it is easy to poke the stick in too far. Insert the stick just like you would a cake pop by first dipping the stick in melting candy first. You still want to stick the stick in as far as you can so the cupcake will stay on.
The book instructions say to freeze the cupcakes before coating with candy, so I didn't, of course! It was a little to soft and the first couple looked pretty rough (those are the white ones).  Off to the freezer for the rest of you little ones! I just left them in there long enough to get hard, less than a half hour. I used Candiquik colored with with Pink Candy Coloring from the Wilton Garden Candy Set.  I spooned the melting candy over them, sprinkling immediately and placed on a rack with waxed paper underneath to set.
That's All, That's It!

Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!
The Next Pink Princess Cupcake that I will be making:
Tiara Princess

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Turtle Chocolate Mint Chip Cupcake

In preparation for Hurricane Irene, what Hurricane preparedness kit would be complete without cupcakes? Please excuse the rush...there's a hurricane a comin'!

 Cupcake Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 stick of margarine
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Hershey's baking cocoa
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1 tsp white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes)
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips

In mixer combine sugar and margarine and beat on medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until mixed.
In medium bowl mix together flour, baking soda, cocoa, and sea salt. Slowly add 1/3 of this flour mixture to the mixer combining with other ingredients on low speed, scraping as needed. With mixer still on low speed, add buttermilk. Add 1/3 more of the flour mixture, followed by the coffee. Add the rest of flour mixture just until mixed, not over mixing. Add 1 cup mint chips and stir in. 
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake in preheated 350 oven for 18-20 minutes.
Makes 20 Cupcakes
Cool completely on rack. I know they aren't beautiful, but they taste fabulous!
Mint Buttercream Icing
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract

Beat together in mixer, margarine, shortening, and peppermint. Add confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time until mixed. Color mint green. (I know it isn't showing up in the picture well but it is mint green colored!)

To decorate you will need: York Peppermint Patties, Gummy Sour Poppers (they already have a happy face on them to trace!), the Runts (just the green ones, feel free to eat the rest), these were all Dollar Tree finds. You will also need a piping bag fitted with a size 3 tip. You can use a zipper bag with just a tiny corner cut off, but I don't like this method, since the bag can burst and it is harder to control.

First frost your cooled cupcakes with the mint icing using a spatula. Add more green to the remainder of the mint green icing until you reach a bright green color and fill your piping bag with the bright green icing. Then assemble your turtles on top of the cupcake.
Place down a York Peppermint Patty. Attach the green Runts for the feet with a dab of your bright green buttercream. Add the Gummi Sour Popper face and trace the happy face on it. If you can't find these candies you could use a similar candy or even M&M's and a Food Writer Pen. Don't forget to pipe a tail on! Decorate the turtle shell however you wish.
Aren't these little guys cute?!
You can't really see the mint chips, but they are in there and this cupcake is minty deliciousness!

If you are on the East Coast it is time to hunker down and prepare for Hurricane Irene. Stay safe! Hope you all have plenty of cupcakes ready for the storm! If you are out of harms way, I have Pink Princess #13 scheduled to post tomorrow morning!
UPDATE 8/30/2011-
Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. We now have electricity again! I can't tell you how happy I was to wake up at 3:30am to the light. We were lucky to not have much damage and just a big mess to clean up in our yard. Our neighbor even had a tree through there house. I hope everyone else that was in the path of Irene is safe and well!
Bacon Time: Party Mindie Style
Talking Dollars and Cents: Muffin (and Cupcake) Monday
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
Home Savvy: Savvy HomeMade Monday
The Kurtz Corner: Tuesday Tutorials
Hoosier Homemade: Cupcake Tuesdays
Sweetology: Tea Party Tuesday
Rook No.17: A Little Birdie Told Me
Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
This Chick Cooks: These Chicks Cooked
Daily Organized Chaos: Foodie Wednesday
Pinch of This, That, and the Other: Whisking Wednesdays
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Around my Family Table: Turning the Table Thursday
Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
Kissed by a Frog: Frog Blog Love Linky
Alli-N-Son: Sweet Tooth Friday
Mangoes and Chutney: Fat Camp Friday
Tidy Mom: I'm Lovin' It
Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday
Happy Hour Projects: Freestyle Friday
KB & Whitesnakes Home: Simply Delish
These Cupcakes are featured at:
Bizzy Bakes: Bake with Bizzy
Show Your Cake
Bacon Time: Fantastic Features
Rook No.17: A Little Birdie Told Me (Sea Creature Cakes)
Cupcakes Take the Cake

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pretty Pink Cake Pops

A couple weeks ago I was one of the lucky winners of a Sweet Treats Goodie Bag Giveaway at Something Swanky sponsored by Boba Jewels and Gifts.
Less than a week after that, I had that feeling you get when you think something special is coming in the mail today...
Sure enough it was Something Special!
These were all the goodies inside! A Sweet Treats Mini Recipe Notebook, 2 Greeting Cards, a baker's dozen of Sweet Treat tags and pop sticks, Cupcake picks with coordinating gift card, and twine. Let me tell you I was excited to get all of these goodies in the mail! It's nice to get something fun in the mail!
I decided to start by making cake pops, something I haven't done it quite a few months. In case you are unfamiliar with making cake pops, visit my Basic Cake Pop Tutorial.
I really liked the simple blue (school colors) cake pops I had made on that tutorial and at that time my youngest daughter wanted here comes the pink ones finally! I tried to make these cake pops as large as I could, so the pink cake pops are bigger than the blue ones.
Cake Pops are a really good use for Cake Gone Bad! The cake I used inside the cake pop was a cake that didn't rise correctly, but otherwise tasted fine. I had made it probably 3 months back and wrapped in foil and then put in a freezer bag and into the freezer. I unwrapped the cake while still frozen and it was very easy to cut the sides off the white cake while frozen. Then I let it continue to thaw. After the cake had thawed I crumbled it and mixed in leftover Appletini Icing instead of canned frosting. (The cake pops tasted better and had a better consistency using homemade frosting vs. canned frosting!)I then continued making the cake pops as in my Basic Cake Pop Tutorial. Another difference was that I spooned the melting candy over the pop instead of dipping it directly, this worked better than my previous method too.
My older daughter tied the twine into a bow onto the pop tag and put them onto the cake pops. A perfect final touch! The tags are available for purchase at Boba Jewels and Gifts Etsy Shop. Check them out, very cute stuff as you can see!

These Cake Pops are shared at:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #12- Enchanted Crystal Cakes

Enchanted Crystal Cakes
This is #12 out of 28 cupcake designs that I am making from the book "Pink Princess Cupcakes" by Barbara Beery. Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!

I started these cupcakes with Duncan Hines Confetti Cupcake Mix in a snack size box (makes 12). I prepared it according to box instructions, except I used Crystal Light Margarita Flavored Drink in place of the water in the cupcake. This added just a slight flavor difference in the cupcake.
 For the Appletini Icing- I used 1 cup shortening, 1 pound confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and used 4-6 tablespoons of Crystal Light Appletini Flavored Drink as the liquid in this frosting.
You may be asking Why didn't I use the Margarita in the frosting too? That was an oops! I grabbed the wrong container out of the refrigerator! It was a fabulous oops! The frosting tasted awesome!
Have you tried of these new Crystal Light Drinks? They are yummy!
My fav is the Mojito one, but they are all refreshing!
Back to the cupcakes....
The Crystals on top of the cupcakes are rock candy.
Rock candy takes a lot of time to make. It is made by disolving 4 cups of sugar into 2 cups of water, heating until boiling, putting it into a jar with a string suspended from the top of the jar and weighted.  Then take the string out and let it dry straight. The string is then put back into the solution and has to be left alone for a week or maybe more for these sugar crystals to grow. Although I may make it someday, that isn't something on my to-do list anytime soon.
The problem is, we really don't have any candy shops around here and our everyday stores don't have rock candy! We recently took a trip to Yankee Candle Village (Flagship Store) in Williamsburg, Virginia (awesome snows in there every 4 minutes!) and it does have a candy store.
This is a peek inside Yankee Candle ceiling huh?
The candy store is named the "Yankee Candy Store" (this replaced the Dylan's Candy Bar that was inside last year). Anyway this is where I found the rock candy, $5 for this small bag and about 15 gummy it wasn't cheap! I knew I needed the rock candy for this project and that I would be kicking myself if I didn't get it.
Yep that's it...$5 for the 5 pieces of rock candy and 15 gummy bears (already eaten)
Again, back to the cupcakes....
I broke up the rock candy and put it on top of the cupcakes. The rock candy has a string inside which is impossible to remove since the candy is stuck to it, so this isn't necessarily good for small children as you have to eat around the string. Anyway I thought they turned out pretty cute and I love the crystal look!
Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!
The Next Pink Princess Cupcake that I will be making:
Cupcake Pops

These Pink Princess Cupcakes are shared at:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Twisted Sisters Cupcakes

Part 3
my pre-baking snack
It has been almost 4 months since I have last hunted down the DIVA! That's the Twisted Sisters Cupcake Van! When I checked there schedule on the Twisted Sisters Facebook Page, I found that they were going to be right in my area at 10am this morning. I had so many baking projects planned for today and what better way to start my day than with a cupcake? Just because I bake cupcakes a few times a week, doesn't mean that I don't want to support fabulous local bakers! This is actually my 3rd time reviewing Twisted Sisters Cupcakes and not really even a review anymore, just sharing these great cupcakes with the world...and they keep getting better!
So what flavors did I choose today?

On the left is Chocolate Oreo- It started with a chocolate cupcake, with little bits of Oreo inside! The frosting was a Creamy Vanilla Swiss Frosting and topped with crushed Oreos. The cupcake was great and the frosting even resembled in flavor that white stuff inside of an Oreo to me!
On the right is...drum roll please...dumdadadum...ChocolateX4- Seriously...Chocolate times 4. The chocolate cupcake had mini chocolate chips all in the cake AND has chocolate mousse inside...AND was topped with Chocolate American Buttercream and some chocolate sprinkles! This cupcake nearly put me over the edge, OH YES! It was THE BEST CUPCAKE I HAVE EVERY HAD!
I was at the first stop of the day and the cupcakes were chilled, they have to start that way if you are going to be traveling around with them in a van all day. They recommended that they sit out about 10 minutes before eating...but I couldn't wait, I cut right into it! YUM! Pure Perfection!
These girls are amazing! They just started delivering cupcakes in October 2010, and where some places start out great and quality goes down, every time I have been to Twisted Sisters Cupcakes...they just keep getting BETTER! Oh, and these cupcakes are BIGGER than the standard cupcake available at most places, not quite a jumbo, but bigger than a standard, so you get more than 2 or 3 bites of heaven! If you are ever in the Hampton Roads Area in Virginia, look them up on the Twisted Sisters Facebook Page or the Twisted Sisters Website, find there location and hunt them down so you can try one of these delicious cupcakes!

You can read about my other visits to Twisted Sisters Cupcakes HERE!
I wonder if they have ever googled themselves and found me blogging about them? They probably think I am a stalker!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Butterscotch Cupcakes with Salty Caramel Frosting

 I often go through my cookbooks using makeshift bookmarks like tiny pieces of paper or old receipts, whatever is near me at the time, to mark recipes or designs I want to make and I have many marked off, especially in the Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes. Until, last night, I had something totally different planned on my list of things to bake today and at the last minute I started thinking of something different. Most of the time I create my cupcakes around a design, because that's what I like! I have kids and I am just a big kid myself and like fun looking cupcakes! But today, I decided to change it up a bit with different flavors and try the Butterscotch Cupcakes with Salty Caramel Frosting that was calling my name out of the Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes!
2-1/2 cups AP flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I used margarine)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup of milk
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. In large bowl beat margarine, and sugar for about 2 minutes, occassional scrapping the bowl. Add in one egg at a time, beating well after each one. Add in vanilla. Turn mixer to low speed and alternate adding flour mixture and milk, beat just until blended. Mix in 3/4 cup butterscotch chips. Fill 24 cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 18-20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling...
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
In 2 qt saucepan, melt margarine over medium, slowly whisk in brown sugar and continue to whisk with heat on medium until boiling. Whisk in milk. Continue whisking on medium until boiling. This whole process just takes a few minutes. Once boiling remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. (Set your timer!) After 30 minutes, gradually whisk in confectioners sugar, it will start out lumpy, but the lumps will whisk out. After mixing well, I thought it was still a little too warm to frost the cupcakes, so I put it in the freezer for no more than 5 minutes and this cooled it off quite quick. The frosting will crust over a little and need to be stired before frosting.
Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with a little coarse kosher salt. The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp total for all 24 cupcakes. I may have used a little more, I didn't measure, but the amount I used tasted perfect!
Some of these had more butterscotch chips than other...that was my fault, I should have stirred the batter at least once when filling the liners. But then again, the cupcakes with more butterscotch chips, are like a cupcake with an extra present inside!
Either way, they were YUMMY! My son described them as not too sweet, just perfect! My daughter said "These are darn good!" They are YUM!

These Cupcakes are shared at:
Sweetology: Tea Party Tuesday
The Kurtz Corner: Tuesday Tutorials
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
Talking Dollars and Cents: Muffin (and Cupcake) Mondays
Bizzy Bakes: Bake with Bizzy
Home Savvy: Savvy HomeMade Monday
Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap Up
Rook No. 17: A Little Birdie Told Me
Hoosier Homemade: Cupcake Tuesday
Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
This Chick Cooks: These Chicks Cooked
Pinch of This, That & the Other: Whisking Wednesdays
Daily Organized Chaos: Foodie Wednesday
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Kissed By A Frog: Frog Blog Love Linky
Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
Around My Family Table: Turning the Table Thursday
Alli N Son- Sweet Tooth Friday
Tidy Mom- I'm Lovin It
Mangoes and Chutney- Fat Camp Friday
Bacon Time: Party Mindie Style
Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday
A Well-Seasoned Life: Sweet Indulgences Sunday

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jell-o No-Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Another half-birthday has rolled around, and one of my son's favorite desserts...
Last year I made him the Martha Stewart: Cookies and Cream Cheese Cupcakes and they did take a lot of time. This year, to save a lot of time, I am going to try the JELL-O No Bake Cherry Cheesecake, mini style in cupcake liners. I chose mini cheesecakes over a regular sized cheesecake because they are easier to serve and...I love cupcakes!
These mini cherry cheese cakes were very quick to make. I used the foil liners without the papers inside for easy peeling. It did take a little bit longer to press the crust into 12 cupcake liners than the 15 minute box time for a regular sized pie, but it was still less than a half hour prep time. The mini cheesecakes take 1 hour to set up in the refrigerator or can be frozen for 4 hours. I put them in the refrigerator. The cheese cake did very slightly adhere to the foil. To avoid wasting any of this deliciousness, right before serving it does help to put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
I would have to say with the time it takes to prepare, bake, and set a regular cheese cake, I prefer this no-bake cheesecake!
These mini cherry cheesecakes tasted great!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #11- Rainbow Princess

Rainbow Princess
This is #11 out of 28 cupcake designs that I am making from the book "Pink Princess Cupcakes" by Barbara Beery. Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!

 I started this cupcake by using the Yellow Cupcake Recipe by Martha Stewart. I knew this recipe would be great for this particular cupcake because it is a very thick batter and the colors wouldn't bleed together while baking. The recipe makes 12 so that is perfect for 2 of each color.
Cupcake Batter--- Cupcake Batter in Liners--- Cream Cheese Frosting
I first divided up the batter equally into 6 bowls and colored it the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet, skipping Indigo. I remember learning the order at school by rememebering "Roy G. Biv." That may be all I remember from school!
 Then I put a baby size spoonful of each color into the liners, following the reverse direction on the rainbow with the Violet on the bottom. There is not a lot of each color in each liner so you won't end up with perfect stripes, but that's okay!
While the cupcakes were cooling, I divided up a container of Duncan Hines Cream Cheese Frosting into 6 bowls and colored it the same as I did the batter. This made the perfect amount for the 12 cupcakes.
I sprinkled the top of each color with sanding sugars in the same color as the icing, in the book she had jimmies and different shaped sprinkles, but I just used what I had on hand.
They turned out nice and colorful!
Inside and out!

Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!
The Next Pink Princess Cupcake that I will be making:
Enchanted Crystal Cakes

These Pink Princess Cupcakes are shared at:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cherry Coca-Cola Zero Cupcakes

I have been using soda in cupcakes off and on pretty much since I started baking as a substitute for eggs and oil as a way to cut back on fat and calories. My daughter suggested that we make a cupcake totally dedicated to Coca-Cola...I chose Cherry Coke.
Cupcake Ingredients
1 box of Devils Food Cake Mix
1 can of Cherry Coca-Cola Zero

Cupcake Directions
Combine the 2 ingredients and fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. This will make 21 cupcakes. Bake about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs. The cupcakes will be very moist and fragile, so be careful when you remove them from the pan not to squish them...but think of all the calories and fat that you have saved for the icing! Let cool on cooling rack, I like to cover my cooling rack with a paper towel to avoid lines in the bottom of the tender cupcake.

While these are cooling it is time to make the frosting!
This recipe is adapted from:

Frosting Ingredients
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cold Cherry Coca-Cola Zero
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
dash of salt
2 egg whites

Frosting Directions
In a stainless steel durable 3 quart saucepan mix all ingredients. (Mixing this frosting will beat up your pan, so consider that when you are deciding which pan to use. Don't use nonstick, that will definitely be scraped up.)  Beat with electric mixer in the pan for 1 minute, scraping pan constantly. Place pan with mixture on stove on low to medium low, on my stove it was at a 3. Beat with mixer on high speed for 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form, this took 15 minutes for me.  Remove from heat. This mixture should be warm but not hot.
Fill piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes. Top with cherry and add straw for decoration.
(Cleaning Tip- Your pan will look a mess, add some water and bring back to a boil, this will loosen anything stuck to the bottom and make it easier to clean. I was able to scrape the residue off easily after this with one of those brown Pampered Chef scrapers. The mixer did put quite a few scratches in the pan, so like I said consider this when considering which pan to use. The frosting taste fabulous though and now I have a pan just for making frosting like this!)

Meanwhile and Optional...

While, I was mixing the frosting in one pan. I had 6 ounces of Cherry Coca-Cola Zero in a 1 quart pan reducing on medium heat to make a syrup to top the cupcakes with. The soda reduced the entire time that I was working on the frosting.
6 ounces wasn't nearly enough soda, as it reduced down to just a couple spoonfuls before it reached the consistency that I wanted, only enough to drizzle on 3 cupcakes. This would take a lot more soda and time to make enough drizzle for an entire batch of cupcakes.
The drizzle did really add to the Cherry Coca-Cola Zero flavor of the cupcake! It also made the already fragile cupcake fall apart very easily after the liner was removed. So I am torn on whether to attempt the drizzle on top again, maybe with a more stable cupcake it would work out better.
 Overall, the cake part itself didn't scream Cherry Coca-Cola Zero, but you could taste it slightly if you looked for it. The frosting was awesome, you could almost even feel the carbonation of the soda! I loved the texture of the frosting as well! So while the cake part still needs a little more Cherry Coca-Cola flavor, the frosting was pure perfection! It is not killer sweet and it is good to eat just by the spoonfuls! It has quickly risen to my favorite frosting ever!

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