Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flower Cupcakes

These vanilla cupcakes with berry jam filling and cream cheese icing are the perfect way to welcome spring!

Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk
12 large yellow circular candies - I used yellow Wilton candy melts, but you could use any candy you have on hand. M&M's, Smarties, jelly beans, or Skittles would all work well. Alternatively, you could just dye a small portion of the icing yellow and pipe a dot into the middle of each cupcake.

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. I used a flower-shaped muffin tin and green mini cupcake liners, but feel free to use a regular tin and regular liners. 

With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool the cupcakes completely before icing.

I filled my cupcakes with a berry jam filling, using a long filling icing tip. This step is totally optional but adds a tasty surprise when you bite into a cupcake!

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 cups icing sugar
Purple or pink food colouring

Icing Directions:

Cream together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Add in the vanilla extract, then add the icing sugar one cup at a time, until well combined and creamy. Add in your food colouring (I used Wilton gel pastes) and mix until the colour is evenly distributed.

Attach a large petal or leaf icing tip to a piping bag and fill with the prepared icing. Pipe "flower petals" around the top of the cupcake by applying gentle pressure to the piping bag and moving the tip in a teardrop shape, beginning and ending in the centre of the cupcake. Work your way around the cupcake until it is covered, making as few or as many petals as you would like. Place a yellow circular candy in the centre of each cupcake. Store decorated cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator or serve immediately.

*By Brooke McMillan

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