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Tastespotting at Random #1: Decorated Cupcakes

Posted by Jeanne on December 16, 2010

My lovely coworker Carla suggested that we try an experiment – hit random on Tastespotting and each make the first recipe that comes up.  I got these owl cupcakes from Ezra Pound Cake.

Which are adorable… but it’s December.  So I decided to take some (many) liberties and make something a bit more seasonally appropriate.

And given the fabulous weather we’ve been having this weekend, what better than snow?

Red Velvet Cupcakes, adapted from Martha’s recipe for red velvet cake

2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
2.5 C cake flour, not self-rising
1 tsp salt
1.5 C sugar
1.5 C canola oil
2 large eggs
2 TB red food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C buttermilk
1.5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp white vinegar 

Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare cupcake tin for three dozen cupcakes by using cupcake liners, or buttering well and then dusting with cocoa powder (I use liners, I’m not that brave).
Mix sugar and oil on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition. Mix in food coloring and vanilla. Add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Stir together baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Add baking-soda mixture to batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan before icing.

Stenciled Snowflakes

parchment paper

0.5 lb. white confectionery coating

piping bag or ziplock baggie

Trace snowflakes onto parchment paper.  Flip over and set inside a sheet pan.

Pipe snowflakes onto traced design; curse gratuitously that you suck at piping if you are me.  Let dry in a cool spot until completely firm.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

8 TB (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

2 C powdered sugar

1 TB vanilla extract

1 TB brandy

Beat all ingredients together until light and fluffy.


Ice cupcakes with cream cheese icing and place one snowflake on each cupcake.

Take very terrible picture.


Eat a cupcake and forget about what a crappy photographer you are.  Maybe two cupcakes.

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