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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fun with Cupcakes!

Cupcakes (or pupcakes as my 2 year old calls them) are an easy, pre-portioned treat to make.  They can be simple and undecorated, filled, or fancied up for special occasions.  Most of the time, when I'm not using them for a special occasion, I just spread the frosting with a knife... which is very tedious or I let the kids frost their own with a knife - which is messy.  However, if I don't mind adding extra frosting to the top, using a decorating bag and a larger tip is a super fast way to make a cupcake look dressy.  Add sprinkles or edible glitter for extra fun!

I used a regular cake mix.  (which I was not wild about - they always turn out too light & crumbly) But this time I added a good sized spoonful of sour cream, and replaced about half of the water called for with yogurt.  Not quite so dry and a little heavier.   I used a basic decorator icing recipe with my own twist to get a good chocolate flavor:

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

4 C. powdered sugar
3/4 C. cocoa powder
1 C. margarine or butter
1/2 C. milk  (give or take a few tablespoons)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring optional

Beat the margarine, cocoa and sugar until blended and crumbly.  Add vanilla and almond flavoring and mix well.  Add milk a few tablespoons at a time up to the 1/2 cup called for... the texture should be so you can dip a spoon in it and it will hold a peak.   Beat at a high speed for a couple of minutes to make it nice & fluffy.  (scrape your bowl a couple of times during this)    Use right away or refrigerate up to a week. (can also be frozen)

If you want non-chocolate frosting you can color, use shortening instead of butter, leave out the cocoa, and reduce the milk by a few tablespoons.  Color as desired.

I used a #32 open star Wilton tip to pipe the swirled chocolate frosting on.  Any large opening tip would do though.   For the yellow flower, I used a #46 or 47 Wilton tip.  The center just used what was already on the chocolate frosting bag. :)  

It took me maybe 2 minutes to do the flowered cupcake.  EASY!  It may not be a professional job, but it works for us.  

Have fun playing with decorating cupcakes at your house!

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