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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Creative Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

I love it when my daughter gets creative in the kitchen.  You would think it is the daughter who has had an "eye" for art and design since before she could talk.  Always creative, always an artist.  She's currently in college, majoring in graphic design.

If you think her artist's eye is responsible for creating these fun little cupcakes, think again! 

It's my younger daughter (the one who prefers science over art) who asked me to pick up fruit by-the-foot, colorful goldfish crackers, teddy grahams and gummy lifesavers on a recent supermarket trip.  Decorating props for her latest baking adventure.

I happily snapped my mediocre pictures while she did all of the baking.

Thankfully, she has discovered that nothing beats a good butter cream frosting, made from scratch.

The cupcakes were made with funfetti cake mix, from a box.  Yeah, I'm working on her.

I did not take pictures of the cupcake-making process.  Follow the directions on the box, yada-yada-yada.

Or make your own delicious cupcakes from scratch using an amazing recipe.   Your favorite homemade cupcake recipe, better than any box mix.

So, assuming you have your cupcakes made, here is the frosting and decorating instructions.

Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk or light cream
  • few drops of food coloring, if desired

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the vanilla extract.

On low speed, gradually add the sugar.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.

Add the milk or cream and beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.  Test for consistency;  you can add additional confectioners sugar if you like your frosting sweeter, or a bit more milk or cream if you feel that the frosting is too stiff.

Add a few drops of food coloring.  My daughter wanted to add more; I suggested starting out slowly.  After you've mixed the color in it's easy to add a bit more until you're satisfied with the color.

If you add too much in at the beginning, and the color is too bright, you'll be stuck.

The teddy bears will be rafting in this pale, serene, not-so cerulean blue.
Gather the decorating supplies.  Gummy Life Savers and Fruit by the Foot for rafts and floats,

......Goldfish colors and Teddy Grahams for the teddies, fish and beach balls....

.....and umbrellas to shade the sunbathers.
Though piped frosting looks lovely, my baker determined that frosting spread on with a knife would better mimic the appearance of ocean waves.

Stretch a gummy lifesaver around a teddy graham and let him bob happily amongst the goldfish crackers.....

........this little guy's got it made in the shade under his umbrella while he floats on his Fruit By-the-Foot raft with his beach ball at his side.

Until we get some beach weather of our own, we'll have to live vicariously through the teddy bears........livin' the life.

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