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Category Archives: Buttercream

A Taste of Fall

Pumpkin Cupcakes Topped with Cinnamon Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcake with Cinnamon Buttercream

Living in New England, fall is definitely my favorite time of the year. I can’t imagine being in a place where I can’t see the leaves change or feel the cool crisp air whip around me. Basically, to me everything about this season is magical. I love fall sports, Halloween and especially fall foods! Flavors come alive in the fall, from fresh picked apples to pumpkin to the spices. 

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go apple and pumpkin picking at Lyman Orchards. Honestly I can’t imagine a more perfect day than getting up, going apple picking, trying to find the perfect pumpkin, all while drinking the sweet yet tangy cool apple cider. I say I can’t imagine anything better because that is how I spent my Friday last weekend. Ever since going pumpkin picking with one of my best friends I couldn’t shake the yearning of wanting to bake something with a pumpkin flavor. For Thanksgiving I usually bake pumpkin squares, but I am too impatient to wait an entire month. So, instead of experimenting with chai cupcakes like I planned on I changed my mind last minute and decided to attempt pumpkin cupcakes!

Searching for the perfect pumpkin

So many to choose from at Lyman Orchards

What drew me to the recipe provided by Jen, a blogger for My Kitchen Addiction, was the cinnamon brown sugar buttercream frosting. I am a huge lover of anything cinnamon, so pairing it with such a strong flavor like pumpkin was a match made in cupcake heaven! Usually I use a standard cream cheese frosting, but that’s something I won’t go back to.

I followed the recipe for the cake verbatim from the original My Kitchen Addiction blog post, and if you yourselves are going to try it be prepared with a stand alone mixer! The directions say to put all the ingredients in one bowl before mixing, which sounds easier than mixing things individually, but the catch is you have to mix the batter for 20 minutes! Trust me, with my hand held electric mixer there was definitely no need for an arm workout today!! 

The aroma from the pumpkin baking in the oven made my mouth water for 25 minutes as it filled my kitchen, mixing with the boiling cinnamon sticks on my stove. The cupcakes didn’t rise like others I have tried in the past, but I am attributing that to the denseness of the pumpkin. These cupcakes were more like muffins, which is definitely not taking anything away from their flavor! A bite of the cake made me think of fall and it was like Thanksgiving had come early, which is exactly what I had hoped for. The cake was infused with the strong pumpkin flavor, with a good mix of spice from the nutmeg and cinnamon, but it was also sweet like you’d expect from pumpkin. 

Baking in the Oven

I could have eaten the cupcakes without frosting, but the cinnamon buttercream was a great addition, and only added to that fall sensation. I didn’t follow the original recipe, instead my sidekick and I made a few adaptations, which I highly recommend…especially if you love cinnamon like I do.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

Ingredients

1 stick butter softened

1/4 C shortening

1/3 C dark brown sugar (packed)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (I began with a tsp, but I added a few extra shakes at the end to up the flavor.)

2 C powdered sugar

2 tablespoons half and half

Directions

1) Mix together the butter and shortening until fluffy then add the brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined.

2) Alternately add the confectionery sugar and half and half until everything is well combined.

The Final Cupcake!

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Buttercream, Cupcakes, Fall Flavors

 

A Childhood Favorite: FunFetti Cupcakes

 FunFetti Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

FunFetti with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I love the idea of a single cupcake making somebody feel better. I was never a huge cake person, and to be completely honest I usually don’t eat the cupcakes that I make, but I have seen the positive effects they can have. I don’t know if it’s their sweet aroma, the sugary taste you get from a good frosting or just the wonderful taste you love from a piece of cake in miniature form. Whatever the reason I can’t imagine someone taking a bite of a delicious cupcake and frowning.

In my sophomore year at CCSU my best friend and dorm neighbor passed out in our shower and brought to the hospital due to hitting her head. It’s rough when you go from seeing your best friend everyday to not seeing them at all … even if it’s only for a few days. My roommate and I knew she was coming back the following Monday and we knew we wanted to do something to welcome her back, but we didn’t know what. All we knew is she had an immense sweet tooth! As a result my roommate and I went to Stop & Shop and left with a Cookie Monster cupcake with half a chocolate-chip cookie in its mouth. 

When my best friend finally came back to school her reaction to the cupcake was priceless. She had a huge smile on her face and ate it right away … even a generic supermarket cupcake can make someone’s day.

I felt it fitting to write about that 3-year old memory because my theory of a cupcake having the ability to make someone’s day resurfaced this past weekend. I was planning on making pumpkin spice cupcakes this weekend in honor of the first day of Autumn, but on Friday someone attempted to break in to one of my best friend’s house.

I know, cupcakes and a potential robbery don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but you would be surprised. When my friend text me to let me know what happened I told him to let me know if there was anything I could do. In response he told me his roommate wanted cupcakes. What kind of cupcakes? FunFetti cupcakes.

I think I had to read the text twice, because I couldn’t believe of all the flavors out there they chose funfetti, but who was I to argue? They were the ones to almost get robbed. However, there was one condition, these funfetti cupcakes weren’t coming courtesy of Betty Crocker or the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Instead I took the challenge and made them from scratch.

FunFetti Cake Recipe

Makes one dozen cupcakes (adapted from the C&C Cakery Blog)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
– When they say room temperature they mean it. I had softened the butter enough and it didn’t mix well with the gritty sugar. As a result I had to throw away my first batch. L

1 cup sugar 
3 large egg whites (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup skim milk + 3 Tablespoons skim yogurt
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles-
Don’t be afraid to add a bit more

Steps

1) Preheat your oven to 350.

2) In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3) In a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix your butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, until thick and white. Add your extracts and mix again. 

3) With a spoon, slowly mix in your dry ingredients and milk/yogurt mix, alternating between the two. When everything comes together (taking care not to over mix), add the sprinkles and lightly fold in a couple times. Again, do not over mix. 

I used my mixer on low to add in the dry ingredients and milk. I started with the milk, and then added a bit of the flour mix. After that I added the 3 Tablespoons of yogurt, finishing with the rest of the flour.

4) Spoon in the batter to liners and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean. Set out to cool before icing.

Finished Batter in the Oven

Buttercream Icing

I scoured the internet looking for just the right frosting recipe. I contemplated trying my hand at chocolate, but I decided against it because I wanted to be able to see the sprinkles. Cream cheese frosting didn’t seem right to team with a funfetti cake. Growing up we always paired funfetti batter with the overly sweet funfetti frosting. In the end I found a recipe on Food.com, for a vanilla buttercream, which was adapted from the recipe used by the cupcakery, Sprinkles

Ingredients

1 Cup softened butter

3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar- I used 3 1/4 cups to avoid it being overtly sweet. Cutting back certainly didn’t take away from the taste!

1 Tsp Milk

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/8 Tsp Salt

1/4 cup sprinkles- I added the sprinkles to give it the FunFetti look. I decided to use the small, round, beaded sprinkles to avoid the color from running in the white buttercream.

Steps:

1. In a medium bowl combine your butter, sugar and salt. Beat until well blended.

2. Add the milk and vanilla, beating until smooth and creamy.

3. Add in your sprinkles folding them in until they are mixed throughout the frosting.

Sprinkles!

In the end I’m glad I broke the autumn flavor pattern and tried these homemade funfetti cupcakes! These are cupcakes that transport you back to your childhood. The cake was moist and the buttercream not overtly sweet! As they were baking in the oven the smell of vanilla made my mouth water! Even though the batter didn’t come from a box they still smelt like a funfetti should…sweet and scrumptious.

The Colorful Treat

 
 
 
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