Friday, May 21, 2010

Candy Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Growing up, every day in the summer my friends and I would ride our bikes down to the Esso for slushies and a bag of candy - super healthy I know haha! Who else lived off the 5 cent candies at the corner store when they were growing up? I was feeling a little nostalgic for those childhood days so I decided to incorporate some of my favourite 5 cent candies into cupcakes for a bake sale. I love how these turned out; they are so colourful and fun! I saw a lot of faces light up when people saw them at the bake sale and picked out their favourite candy cupcake.

Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon (optional)
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk
12 assorted small candies - I used blue whales, green frog gummies, Swedish berries, and peach rings! Instead of buying a whole tub of the candies you want, just get them from the bulk section of your grocery store or from the 5 cent candy bins at a convenience store.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1b. (about 4 cups) icing sugar
1-3 tsp. milk or cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest (if using).

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 3/4 full with the batter and bake for 15-18 minutes,  or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool the cupcakes completely before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing Directions:

Using a mixer, cream the softened butter and vanilla until smooth. Add in the icing sugar gradually, allowing the butter and sugar to cream together before adding more. Add a little bit of milk at a time and continue beating on high until you get the right texture.You don't want the icing to be runny, it should be thick and spreadable.

Use food colors to tint the icing the color of your choice. I separated my icing into 4 different batches and colored each batch to match the type of candy I was using. Once my icing was finished I used a large spoon to spread it on the cupcakes, then topped each cupcake with one of the candies. You could also pipe the icing on if desired.

*Vanilla Cupcake recipe from Joy of Baking
*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

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