Two very different and two very lavish boutique cupcakes.
Specialty cupcakes that you are able to create at home without an arsenal of specialty baking tools.
Understanding that most of us don’t have the time to precisely measure flours, sugars, baking powders, and an array of other bits and bobs that are involved with making a cake;I want you all to trust me when I say the above fanc-ies were created using
Yup. Regular store purchased,pre-packaged, cake mix and pre-whipped vanilla frosting.
With a tried-and-true list of tips we are all able to create the most divine cupcakes on the block.
Our eyes get bright, we lick our lips, the little kid inside of us starts to scream,”GIMME!” when we see this:
Only to get let down when we start to pull away the wrapper and 75% of the cupcake gets pulled away along with it, we take a bite only to fill our mouths with “dry sand.” If you’re going to indulge you may as well make it the best bite of your life!
Baking the perfect cupcake:
- Use room temperature eggs.
- Use three whole eggs and one egg white- the directions for yellow cupcakes calls for 3 eggs. Add that extra egg white for a fluffier texture.
- Only fill your cupcake liners 1/3 of the way full- no more!
- Set your oven timer for only 15 minutes. The directions usually call for baking 20 minutes; Using a tooth pick poke the center of the center cupcake and if the tooth pick is clean when removed they are done! If not, place them back in and check again after 5 minutes, continue. The #1 problem with cupcakes is baking them too long. If the outside is browning- they are too done.
- Immediately remove your cupcakes from muffin pan and cool on a cooling rack.
- For creamier and smoother cupcakes (brownie-like) add a small package of instant pudding mix. Vanilla pudding for yellow cake mix and chocolate pudding for chocolate cake mix.
With these simple steps people will be asking for your “secret recipe.” Go ahead, I wont tell them they were from a box!
Purchase any ol’ brand of regular frosting.
- Microwave the frosting for 5 seconds, stir, microwave again for 10 seconds;stir. This will allow your frosting to be workable and make less of a mess (be sure you removed the aluminum lid.)
- scrape the entire container of frosting into a zipper top plastic sandwich baggie. Folding the top of the baggie inside out and down over the top of your hand will keep the mess at bay. Press the frosting into one corner of the bag will remove the air and then zip the top closed. Twist bag until tight against frosting; cut the tip. You now have a custom pastry bag without spending pastry bag money. When you’re done;toss it in the trash! Pipe frosting onto the cupcake from outside in, in a swirl motion.
- There is only one very important thing when decorating cupcakes, to get that boutique appeal: keep it simple.
I have received the most compliments on the most simple of cupcakes. I almost always go with the silver cupcake liners. They are the cheapest, the most accessible ( I even see them at gas stations!), If you don’t have baking tins you are able to bake cupcakes in these silver liners directly on a baking sheet, and they are double lined; Meaning a pack of 48 can be a pack of 96 if you choose to separate them.
My favorite icing is white. White frosting against the silver liners are a beautiful contrast; Elegant even. A simple sugar pearl sprinkle and a fondant heart are the sweetest little touch for Valentine’s Day.
Cut a “V” into the top of a strawberry slice and run a cocktail toothpick through the center to represent an arrow through a heart for a sweet Valentine’s Day gesture for your sweet.
These decadent cupcakes are also made from the same box of yellow cake mix. A “pastry bag” of homemade strawberry compote poked into and filled the center. Instead of frosting, Cool Whip is placed atop: A strawberry shortcake style cupcake.
Remember the steps above to start with a decant taste, use the simple steps above to create a special look, and you are left with a perfect cupcake this Valentine’s Day.
Strawberry compote filling recipe:
- 18 oz. fresh,ripe strawberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Teaspoon corn starch
- Remove green stems from strawberries, wash with cool water, and slice.
- Heat strawberries,lemon juice, and sugar over medium heat in a medium sized sauce pot. Meanwhile, whisk corn starch in water until smooth and combined;add to strawberries. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes;cool. When cool pour into a zipper top plastic sandwich bag. cut off corner, poke down into the center of a cupcake compressing the cake, fill with compote.
- 16 oz. marshmallows
- 4Tb. water
- ½ tsp. almond extract (optional)
- a few drops of food coloring (optional)
- 2 lbs. powdered sugar
- Shortening for greasing your hands and work space – about 1/4 cup
- Add marshmallows, 3 Tb. of water in the microwave-safe bowl.Melt the marshmallows in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir with a rubber spatula in between.Continue until the marshmallows are completely smooth—2-3 minutes.stir in food coloring and flavoring.
- Immediately stir in as much powdered sugar as possible until mixture becomes very thick.
- Grease a clean work surface and your hands. Dump the mixture out on the surface. Knead in remaining powdered sugar.
- Knead for several minutes until the mixture is clump free. At this point, if it seems to be dry and rips when you pull it, add a little more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the fondant is soft, pliable and can stretch a little ways when you pull on it.
- Rub the entire ball of fondant with shortening and wrap with plastic wrap. Place the wrapped ball in a large zip bag and squeeze out all the air before sealing. Refrigerate until cold to improve the strength and workability.
- Roll out on powdered sugar dusted surface and use cookie cutters for easy shapes. Place shape on cooling rack and allow to harden for decorative purposes.
Let me see your home-made boutique creations for Valentine’s Day!