Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter/Spring Cupcakes

Why do little boys love dirt? I am sure every Mother of a boy has witnessed their little darling's fascination with rolling in it, eating it, thrashing through it with their bikes and when it is wet, well, game on! Note, when it comes to boys, the messier and more dangerous, the better!

The weather has been warm here in Chicago which means my little guy has been in all of his dirt glory! When life hands you a boy, you might as well just jump right in and roll in the dirt with the little bruiser. In that spirit, you will notice three cupcakes in the pictures, one of which has ground up Oreos covering it to make it look like dirt with the addition of a gummy worm. Not only did my son love these cupcakes, I also brought a few into the office and yes, you guessed it, I had grown men rushing in to get the dirt cupcakes with their eyes lighting up like little boys with, "Oh cool, dirt!" Apparently, not a whole lot changes with with these guys when they become men and I would never want it any other way!

Please also note that since it is almost Easter, I made bird's nests with coconut and a few candy eggs on top along with the water looking cupcakes with a peep as the best edible replica of a duck that I could find. A little more fun that the usual cupcakes and just as delicious! Enjoy!

Cupcake recipe adapted from Cook's Country


3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl until combined. Whisk eggs and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Pour sugar into eggs while mixing. Mix in butter then buttermilk until all fully combined. Add in dry ingredients and gently combine with a whisk or rubber spatula. Mix until all lumps are gone but do not overmix!

Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds full and bake for 18 to 22 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen


1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar (not powdered sugar!)


In a saucepan, whisk flour into milk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (Do not skip this step as I did the first time, it will make piping/spreading difficult and runny) Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

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