Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dinner Date: Cupcakes for Dinner

Look, I can't be the only closeted fat kid out there. You all have an inner chubby kid inside you somewhere that just wants to sit in front of the TV and eat ice cream and cupcakes all night. I know we all try to fight it off, but trust me- it's there. The harder you fight it, the harder it's going to come back and bite you in the ass. So I say, give in every once in a while and give your inner fat kid cupcakes for dinner. We're not 8-years-old anymore, so we can do that now without getting in trouble. Being an adult actually has its perks!

This past Friday I spent the afternoon baking up a storm. I know a lot of people like super fancy cupcakes that are all like "Look at me, I'm an espresso cupcake with chocolate ganache frosting!" Well la-di-freaking-da. I don't give a shit, dude. There's no way in HELL you're going to hit the spot more than a straight up vanilla cupcake with a buttercream frosting. Nice try though, bro. I really appreciate the extra effort with the ganache, but no dice. Vanilla FTW.

So here's a photo walk through of the cupcakes, then I'll explain...

First we preheated the oven to 350 degrees. We started with Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White box mix. We then got a little Sandra Lee on it and made it fancy and Semi-Homemade. We added the following to the cake mix:
1 small box of powdered instant vanilla pudding
1 teaspoon vanilla

From there, we followed the directions on the back- adding egg whites (which I'm going to do a tutorial on- SEE I KNOW THINGS! Like how to get egg whites out of a whole egg! All together now- wowwwww!), water and vegetable oil. It was SO easy, and such a great way to fancify cupcakes.

I found these super cute baking cups in our stash. I love that you can jazz up cupcakes with a nice baking cup- such an easy way to step it up a notch. Then I used ice cream scoopers to measure the cupcakes and place them in the pan. The idea of using little ice cream scoopers to measure out cupcakes is GENIUS. Like, whoever decided that was the best way to do it probably deserves a big huge award, or at least a hug. So smart.

From there I threw them in the oven at 350 and baked for 20 minutes.

Next up- ICING! (My favorite part!)

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

1 cup softened butter (which basically means just take it out of the fridge and let it sit for a bit)

2 lbs powdered sugar (sifted)

1/4 cup milk (more or less for desired consistency)

1 tablespoon vanilla

contents of 1 vanilla bean

Beat butter in mixer until it lightens in color. Add vanilla and vanilla beans. Gradually add powdered sugar and milk to achieve desired consistency- I like a thick frosting, so it stacks up easier on the cupcakes.

Once we had our icing- it was frosting and decorating time!!

I'm working on getting better at my frosting. It's hard!! For the minis, I like doing a big starburst blob- if done right, I think it looks nice and crisp. For the big guys, the ever tricky three layer stack caused me some trouble. But I'm improving!!


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