Thursday, November 7, 2013

What's Cooking Wednesday: Birthday Cupcakes!

So I fully realize that I'm a day late on the What's Cooking Wednesday post. But I was busy celebrating the dude turning 2 yesterday! So I'm posting my super yumminess today, and I know you'll all forgive the day-late-ness when you realize that today I'm talking...CUPCAKES.

Yeah.

So when you're my kid, you get a cake at your party and cupcakes on your birthday. That's just how it goes, because cake at a party is wayyy different than cake on your actual birthday. And let's face it: it's just not your birthday without cake. So yesterday, while Conner napped, I whipped up a batch of cupcakes that are 1) super easy 2) super yumm-tastic and 3) super cool looking.

So let's start with the cupcake itself...

I started with a basic vanilla cupcake recipe. You can totally cheat here if you wanted to and use box mix, but truthfully vanilla cake mix is easy to whip up if you have all of the ingredients. There's a great basic cake recipe here from Spoonful.com. If you are using box mix though, I highly suggest swapping out the water for milk if you can because I find it helps to make a slightly denser (but not too dense) cake which is what you want for a cupcake. Once I had the batter mixed, I divided it into two mixing cups and added yellow food coloring (for cake batter I use liquid coloring) to one and green and yellow to the other...

I set them aside for a few minutes and proceeded to line my cake pan with cupcake liners...and then I added a bit of magic. Which is really just a whole Oreo in the bottom of the liner....but seriously, it's cupcake magic.

Then I filled one row of liners 3/4 of the way with the yellow batter and drizzled a green blob on top of that. I took a kabob stick (a toothpick would work fine here too) and swirled the batters together to give a tie-dyed marble-y look. Then I alternated with the green batter for the next row and so on...



Then in the oven they went for about 20 minutes, and when they came out...woo hoo!




Now while the cupcakes were in the oven, I made the world's easiest icing. It's also the most delicious. I hate store-bought icings because they're hard to spread and they are allllways way too sticky sweet for me. So I've found an icing that I love, holds up really great and pipes easily on top of a cupcake.

Are you ready for how easy this is?

2 tubs of thawed Cool Whip (cold, but not frozen)
1/2 package of instant vanilla pudding

I'm not kidding. That's it. Dump everything in the mixing bowl, turn on the mixer and walk away for 15 minutes (unless you have a handheld mixer. Then don't walk away. That would be bad). The pudding helps stiffen the Cool Whip and it all whips together into the most delicious frosting ever. And since the pudding mix doesn't add any kind of color to the Cool Whip, it gives you a nice clean base to add whatever coloring you want to the frosting. For mine, I added a heap of blue gel coloring and it turned out AWESOME. But always use gel here, never liquid coloring, because the gel is more concentrated meaning you'll get brighter color without adding extra liquid.

Once the cupcakes came out of the oven, I popped them out of the pan to allow them to cool faster. While they cooled, I filled my pastry bag with frosting and prepared to decorate. Now, pastry bags can be a pain to fill because it can get messy, especially if you are adding too much frosting to quickly or don't have a hand to hold the bag open for you to fill. I've been piping icing for years now and just recently mastered the art of filling the bag, via my own ingenuity and a Hard Rock Cafe glass...

First, cut the end off of your pastry bag and insert your decorating tip



Then open your pastry bag and, tip down, drop it into a tall, wide-mouthed glass (a beer glass is ideal here because of it's shape!)

Fold the top of the bag around the rim of the glass

Fill the bag with icing using a spoon (which is better than a spatula here because it allows you to get icing further down into the bag without making a big mess)



Carefully pull the sides of the bag up around the filled part, and you're ready to pipe icing!


I always pipe icing for cupcakes because it looks nice, and truthfully I think it's easier and cleaner than doing it with a spatula or spoon! Add some cake sparkles and a few sprinkles and viola! You've got awesome looking and awesome tasking cupcakes fit for any birthday!


Bet you're drooling right about now, huh? :)



So there you have it, my What's Cooking Wednesay (on Thursday) cupcake edition! If you missed Young's post on The Mrs Diaries, she's got a great recipe for Korean Chicken Stew. And if you're a blogger and want to join the link-up, grab the button below and join us on Wednesdays! Don't forget to leave a comment and share your recipe, and link us in your post :)
This Whole Mommy Thing



Until next time,










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