Friday, March 16, 2012

My Cupcake Obsession

I have a new obsession...cupcakes...ok really I think it is more the process of icing the cupcakes than the actual cupcake itself that I'm obsessed with! This probably comes from the increased amount of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" I've watched lately! My recipe board on Pinterest ("In the Kitchen") contains more cupcake ideas than anything else... So lately I come up with any excuse I can to bake cupcakes and share them with others. Red velvet, carrot cake, and next up hopefully lemon blueberry!

As I mentioned previously, I think I love the icing process more than enjoying the cupcake itself and that is saying a lot! I give the credit to my icing tool I bought a few months ago. I believe I've already touch on the beauty of the tool in a previous post so I will keep it simple here by saying I love it. So far I have only experimented with the star tip but look forward to using some of the other tips very soon! This tool makes it so quick to ice each cupcake, they look prettier than I could ever do freehand, and you probably get more icing on each cupcake which is always a good idea! I do advise you make 1 1/2 times the recipe so you have plenty to ice all of you cupcakes. For the most recent cupcakes I used my mom's carrot cake recipe with cream cheese frosting! Usually when I make the carrot cake with this frosting I mixed pecans into the cream cheese frosting but for the cupcakes I decided it would be better to leave the pecans out and sprinkle them on a few of the cupcakes instead.
Ok, before I post the recipes and pictures I thought I would post the icing tool I use because often when I talk about people seem to be very confused! I have the Nordic Ware icing decorating set and got it from Target.

Time for recipes and pictures...enjoy and be sure to comment if you try the recipe out.
Carrot Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups finely grated carrots

Sift and mix dry ingredients.
Add oil and stir well.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add carrots and cinnamon.
Split into a lined cupcake pan.
Bake at 350 for 18 - 20 minutes. A trick that I've learned is to turn the pan around halfway through baking to evenly bake the cupcakes through. To check your cupcakes Stick a toothpick into one and see if it comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.

(Remember this is the normal recipe so if you are heavily icing the cupcakes you should make 1 1/2 times this recipe)
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 box (1lb) confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pecan chips, for garnish

Soften cream cheese and butter and mix together.
Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla and beat well.

Frost cupcakes, sprinkle with pecan chips for garnish and enjoy! I bought pecan chips but actually crushed them even finer in my hand before sprinkling them on the cupcakes. I know not everyone is a fan of pecans so I opted to do a few with pecans and a few plain.

Here was my final product! I took them into work for a fun Friday treat and then shared the rest with my family last weekend, I'm surprised they survived the drive without me eating all of them myself!

I love that this picture shows the height of the frosting after using the star tip.

With the help of my mom's hosting skills we added them to a cake stand and voila presentation points gained. Thanks mom!

Happy Baking and Happy Icing! You'll be so happy with how quick, easy, and pretty your future cupcakes are to ice!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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