Monday, April 21, 2014

{ Cotton Candy Cream Cupcakes }

My count on cupcakes for the month of April, so far, is 26 dozen.

I'm tired of cupcakes. Cupcakes are dumb.

Wait, no, what am I saying? Forgive me cupcakes. Please, please forgive me.

I'm just a little tired of you right now. Don't worry, it won't last long!

I've made cupcakes for a fundraiser (twice), I've made cupcakes for a party, I've made cupcakes for a friend, and lastly, I've made cupcakes for a baby shower. That's where these come in.

If you didn't guess already, my friend Julie is having a boy!

 With all the other baking I'd been doing, I decided to keep these simple and start with a box mix. From there, I added grocery store cotton candy (you can usually find it in the candy or chip aisle), some sprinkles, a little vanilla to the batter, filled with a lovely cream filling, and then topped with a cotton candy buttercream.

I started with a basic buttercream and to it added the Duncan Hines Cotton Candy Frosting Creations. You can find these along side the canned icings in the grocery store. They are just tiny little packets of powered flavoring. They actually go in a specific Duncan Hines icing, but honestly, homemade buttercream is on a whole different playing field.

While a very sweet cupcake, these are Bean's new favorite. He really LOVES them.

You can top your cupcakes with a bit of Cotton Candy, but do not add it until just before serving or it will dry up and get all yicky (professional term). I decided to top mine with shiny, pearly Sixlet and some blue sugar crystals.

If I were making these for a different occasion, I would have done a plain buttercream tinted pink as well, and swirled on a bit of pink, then a bit of blue for a truer cotton candy look.

These are still pretty cupcakes though. You can see little bits of the cotton candy peeking out of the top of the cupcake, and when you bite in, you will definitely see it and your sprinkles.

Much fun!

While I am, in fact, quite tired of cupcakes, I have more ideas for them up my sleeve... as always!


Cotton Candy Cream Cupcakes

by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

For the cupcakes:
1 box White Cake Mix plus ingredients listed on back of box
1/2 cup cotton candy (more for garnish, if desired)
1 Tablespoon blue jimmie sprinkles (or blue and pink)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preaheat oven to 350 F.

Prepare cupcake pans with liners and set aside.

Mix up cake as directed on back of box. Add in vanilla. Pack 1/2 cup cotton candy in a measuring cup. Once measured, break it up and mix into the batter. Lastly, add the jimmies and beat lightly to avoid streaking.

Scoop batter into liners and bake according to box.

While the cupcakes are baking, start the cream filling.

Cream filling:
1 Cup Whole (Vitamin D) Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup Butter (not margarine) barely room temp
1 Cup Granulated Sugar (NOT powdered sugar)
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into the milk until smooth. Heat, stirring constantly, until very thick (thicker than pudding). Remove and allow to cool fully. You can sit the pan in an ice bath if you don’t want to wait.
In your mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. 
Once cool, in the flour/milk and beat until fully combined. Add in the vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
Finished it will look like a thick whipped cream.
When the cupcakes are cooled, pipe the cream filling into the cupcakes. (See here for instructions if you do not know how.)

Top with Cotton Candy Buttercream

Cotton Candy Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 packet of  Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Cotton Candy Flavor Mix

With mixer, beat butter for 3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and salt until well combined. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat on high for 4 minutes. Mix in the Frosting Creations.  If too thick, add more cream 1/2 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.

Pipe onto filled cupcakes. Top with sprinkles, sixlets, cotton candy, etc.

Buttercream adapted from Bakingdom
Cream filling recipe from Tasty Kitchen

 Linked up on Tip Junkie

Monday, April 14, 2014

{ Maple & Brown Sugar Cupcakes }

Friday night was an awesome time for our youth group. I posted a few months ago about our youth pastor leaving to move to California. Once there, he thought he would not be able to come home for an entire year. I'd been telling the kids this since he moved. Though his amazing wife was able to come home for Christmas, he couldn't due to his new job. A few weeks ago however, he got the OK for a few days off work. He was coming home for a weekend! The kids knew nothing of this. At our event on Friday night, in he walked. It was so much fun to see their reactions. At first they were just stunned (except one of our girls who immediately ran across the room and, well, basically tackled him), then they quickly crowded around him.

I loved seeing them with him again. It's only been six months, but for a teenager, that is a long time (if we are being totally up front here, it seemed like a really long time to me too!). They played Ultimate Frisbee with him, then the gathered around and listened to him talk about his life and new job in California.

Sunday morning he led worship and then preached to our teens. There may have been a slight bit of bragging on his part, "I moved to California... and had NO snow".  Polar Vortex here and he had 84 degrees and sunny.  WHAT. EVER. Rude.

It's really amazing to see how much one person can change people's lives.

They all love him so much. And, eh, I think he's ok too.


Anyway, many cupcakes were consumed Friday night. I'd make about 78. Then, I made him another dozen and a half yesterday, because California is far and 6 months is long.

Since he told me my cupcakes were better than Casey's Cupcakes out there in LA, well... I kinda had to right? ( I made his favorite cream filled cupcakes .) Fact is, he and his wife have me wrapped pretty tight. You'd understand if you met them. ;)

These cupcakes are actually some they've not had. (However, you know if they ask when they come back in September, I will totally make them, right?).

I LOVE maple. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. So, yeah. Maple and brown sugar cupcakes seem like they need to be in this world, right?

And so it was.

Maple cupcakes with a brown sugar buttercream.

Because I said so.


Maple & Brown Sugar Cupcakes

4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 16 pieces

Preheat oven to 350 F

Line cupcake pans with paper liners, set aside

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, and maple flavoring; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the butter one piece at a time, mixing until the dough comes together and looks sandy.

Add about 1 cup of the egg mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, then increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add the remaining egg mixture, with the mixer on low speed, until incorporated. Scrape the bowl, if necessary, then increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 20 seconds. The batter will just barely look a little curdled.
Divide that batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Frost with Brown Sugar Buttercream, then sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar.

Brown Sugar Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

With mixer, beat butter for 3 minutes. Beat in brown sugar. Slowly add powdered sugar and salt until well combined. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat on high for 4 minutes. Add in vanilla. If too thick, add more cream 1/2 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.

Cake & Buttercream adapted from Bakingdom
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