Spring is taking its time to show up, we even had a light snow the other day, but apparently now things are headed in the correct direction (knock on wood). These cupcakes celebrate the season. You can use any recipe you like for the cake component. I went with a very basic vanilla concoction. The frosting is your humble American buttercream. Honestly, I don’t see the need to go through the extra work of a Swiss buttercream to cover cupcakes. It crusts well, so transporting the cakes (which matters a lot to me) is not a problem. They also stand well to sitting at room temperature for an hour or more.
The basic formula is simply 1X amount of butter + 2X amount of powdered sugar. Change the starting weight of butter according to how many cupcakes and how many colors you’ll need, as you will see in the individual cupcakes after the recipe.
BASIC BUTTERCREAM FOR CUPCAKES
(from The Bewitching Kitchen)
226g butter, unsalted, softened
452g powdered sugar
pinch of salt
Vanilla extract, about 1 tsp or more to taste
a couple or more tablespoons of milk (to adjust consistency)
Place the softened butter in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer with the paddle attachment, add the pinch of salt, and whip at high speed for about 7 minutes. It needs to be really soft and lighter. Stop the mixer. Eyeball the amount of powdered sugar, add 1/3 and mix at low speed at first, once the sugar is starting to get incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high.
Add the second portion of the sugar, and incorporate the same way. Add the final portion, start at low speed, clean the sides of the bowl well with a spatula, add the vanilla and increase the speed slowly all the way to high. Whip it until very smooth. Add milk to desired consistency. If desired, add any flavoring ingredients, about 1/4 cup (Nutella, jam, teaspoon of emulsions). If working with different colors, divide the buttercream into small bowls and dye each one with food gel color.
Fill piping bags fitted with the icing tips of your choice. Ice fully cooled cupcakes.
to print the recipe, click here
LUCK OF THE IRISH CUPCAKES
For 12 cupcakes my starting point was 150g butter + 300g powdered sugar, plus 1/4 cup Nutella as flavoring.
I used 1M tip to make rosettes, and gilded the lily with sprinkles and a fondant clover.
For these cupcakes, I made buttercream with 200g butter + 400g powdered sugar. Divided in three portions and dyed them very very lightly with pink, lavender, and blue. The colors were spread as bands over plastic, and a little sausage was formed, then dropped in an icing bag with the1M tip. To make the flowers, I piped small blobs all over anda second layer going up towards the center.
RUFFLED FLOWER CUPCAKE
These cupcakes were made together with the last one (multiple colors) so for the full batch (12 cupcakes) I used the recipe as published (226g butter). I was playing with several colors and did not want to run out of any of them. A more experienced baker might get by with a smaller amount of icing to start with.
This flower was made with the petal tip 104, laying very flat on the surface of the cake, in two rows to give more lift and volume. Sprinkles added just because. You could make a center with buttercream dots in a contrasting color, if you prefer.
MULTICOLOR FLORAL CUPCAKES
I divided the buttercream in four batches and dyed them pink (toned down with a touch of brown), purple, green and yellow. Four tips were used. Wilton 1M for purple, closed star for flower (Wilton 2D), petal tip for green (Wilton 104), and a small open star for the yellow (Wilton 18).
Inspiration to decorate these cupcakes came from this video available on youtube.
Cupcakes are so much fun to decorate….
ALMOST as much as cookies!
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