Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cupcake Mania!!!

This weekend I had a rather large sweet tooth. I've been eyeing two different cupcake recipes from Picky Palate and Annie's Eats so I finally gave into temptation. And of course, I couldn't just stop after one, so I baked both! What can I say? I was really craving cupcakes!

Saturday I started with what Picky Palate recently posted; a super cute recipe for Rainbow
Bright Cupcakes (I like to call them Tie-Dye Cupcakes.) I've seen cupcakes similar to these at a little stand in Soho called Baked by Melissa. I couldn't figure out how they were able to get all the different colors to sit so nicely, but now I know (and soon you will too.)

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
8 oz sour cream
1 box vanilla instant pudding mix
Food coloring: red, blue, yellow, green
Frosting of your choice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a stand mixer, beat the cake mix, eggs, oil, water, pudding and sour cream on medium until well combined. Batter will be nice and thick.
3) Divide batter evenly between 5 bowls.
4) Drop 5 different colors of food coloring into each cake batter bowl until you reach your desired colors. (This took me a lot of food coloring and quite a bit of time, but I think they turned out well.

5) Spoon each color into paper lined cupcake tins until all are filled. The great thing about this is they don't have to be perfect. Play around and mix up the colors to your liking. If you have piping bags available, I would suggest filling them with your colored batter. It was tricky to spoon in the batter and I'm sure it would have been much easier had I used piping bags. (Check out Picky Palate's photo below. Her photo of filled cupcakes turned out much better than mine.)

6) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and let cool completely before enjoying.

I have to say, these turned out great. You can see the vibrant colors from the outside, but as soon as you take your first bite, they become even more colorful!

I can guarantee I will make these again. They would be great for birthday parties, especially children's parties.

Now on to the second batch! Since I already had my baking hat on from Saturday, I decided I might as well make the other cupcakes I've been eyeing. Annie's Eats has an amazing looking recipe for Cherry Coke Cupcakes! YES!! Cupcakes with Coke and Cherry's at the same time!

I have to admit, I did not execute these very well. The photo above came from Annie's Eats post. They turned out okay, but there are some things I would change, which I will discuss.


For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup Coca-Cola
¼ tsp maraschino cherry juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 jars of Maraschino cherries, stemless

For the glaze (optional):
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp Coca-Cola

For topping:
2/3 cup heavy cream
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar
Maraschino cherries

1) Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a muffin pan with foil or paper liners.

2) In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter. Mix on medium-high until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg until incorporated.

4) In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Coke, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract; stir to combine. (This mixture does not look appealing at all, but it's okay - it's suppose to look like that, just mix goes away.)

5) Mix the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture on low speed, alternately with the liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.

6) Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. Drop 1 or 2 stemless maraschino cherries into each cupcake well and push them down into the batter. (This is where I disagreed with Annie's Eats. In the beginning of her post she noted that per the original recipe she placed 1 cherry in each cupcake, but after baking and tasting she wished she had added more. She advised 4 to 5, I only did 3. I still think 3 cherries were a bit much, but if you LOVE cherries, go for more!)

7) Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the optional glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and Coke in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon or drizzle a small amount of the top of each cupcake. Allow to set.

To make the whipped cream topping, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Begin whipping on medium speed,

slowly adding the powdered sugar gradually increasing the speed to high as th

e cream holds soft peaks. Whip until the cream holds stiff peaks, being careful not to overbeat. (I was not able to execute this well so my topping looks a bit runny.) Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes and top each with a maraschino cherry.

If you love cherries, this is the cupcake for you. If you are looking for a great coke taste, this may not be the thing to bake. The coke taste is very subtle, but helps make the texture of the cupcake light and fluffy.

PC: Picky-Palate and Annie's Eats

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