These are the type of cupcakes that would make any birthday girl grin. These are the type of cupcakes that would make any high school graduate feel like they are back in their second grade class getting Happy Birthday sung to them. These are the type of cupcakes that you need to make right now.
Let’s get things straight. These cupcakes lack culinary merit because there is no browned butter, balsamic reduction, or pinch of cayenne that can elevate a dessert to foodie acclaim. These are simply what they appear to be: good, old-fashioned fun.
The one kicker is that they use all-natural beets instead of food coloring to create the beautiful pink color. These are by no means health food, but I always try to cut back on artificial chemicals whenever possible. Amazingly, even Goose the resident vegetable-hater couldn’t tell at all! I take this as total encouragement to try using natural food dyes to give fun colors to baked goods in the future.
Make these cupcakes and prepare to see fully grown get nostalgic. Eat these cupcakes and simply be happy.
Electric Pink Vanilla Cupcakes with Sweet and Creamy Vanilla Frosting
Cupcakes adapted from Take a Megabite
Bakery Style frosting from Sweetopia
Hot Pink Cake
- 1 can of beets
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
Bakery style vanilla fronting
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened (or microwave for 15-18 seconds)
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- To make the cake, start by pouring the liquid from a can of beets into a small saucepan. Allow the beet juice to simmer for 10-15 minutes uncovered, or until the beet juice reduces down to about two tablespoons.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and beet juice until light and fluffy. Add eggs, One at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk until blended.
- Fill each paper-lined muffin cup two-thirds full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.
- While the cupcakes cool, whip the butter for 5 minutes on medium speed in the bowl of a mixmaster with the paddle attachment until the butter becomes very pale & creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 5 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
- To frost the cupcakes the old fashioned way spoon about two tablespoons of frosting on top of each cupcake, then spread the frosting out to the edges. Use the backside of the spoon to smooth the fosting into a dainty little mound on top of the frosting, then use small wrist motions to make subtle brushstrokes in the frosting.
- Place 2-3 gummy bears or any other candy that you want on top of each cupcake. Top it all off with an assortment of sprinkles. Enjoy!
If you enjoyed my Peanut Butter M&M Rice Crispy Treats, here’s another recipe for you! These cupcakes are a follow-up to my last post in which I shared a recipe for Homemade Marshmallow Fluff.
I’ve been dying to make these cupcakes ever since I saw them on Gingerbread Bagels, and I figured that my friend’s birthday was the perfect time! Yes these cupcakes take more steps and require more time than most recipes that I post, but they are well worth it. Nothing can beat the expression of child-like joy that will fill the face of anyone who is lucky enough to bite into one of these fluffernutter-inspired cupcakes.
If don’t have two hours to dedicate to cupcake making, feel free to break this recipe up into various mini projects for a few days. You can make the marshmallow cream up to a week in advance, then make the frosting a day or two in advance, and finally pull it all together by making and decorating the cupcakes.
No this isn’t your everyday cupcake, but this is an ooey gooey indulgence that everyone should try at least once in their lives. Perhaps you save this recipe to your archives, or maybe you decide that you simply must try it today, but don’t let this delicious treat pass you by. Enjoy lovely readers!
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Adapted from the Cupcake Project
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup lowfat milk
Fluffy Marshmallow Filling
Peanut Butter Frosting:
From Brown Eyed Baker, Originally from Ina Garden
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (or milk)
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then add the sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid.
- Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
- Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown. If they are not done, test again in two minutes.
- When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don’t own a cooling rack) to cool.
- To fill the cupcakes, first fit a piping bag with a round decorating tip and fill the piping bag with the marshmallow cream. Then take a completely cooled cupcakes, insert the tip into the cupcake. Push all the way down to the bottom of the cupcake and squeeze the marshmallow cream into the cupcake. Continue filling all of the cupcakes and set them aside.
- To make the peanut butter frosting, first place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
- To decorate the cupcakes, fit the piping bag with a decorating tip and fill the piping bag with the peanut butter frosting. Then pipe the frosting on the cupcake in a swirl, starting from the outside and working your way inward. Continue frosting all of the cupcakes. Finally either take some mini marshmallows and cut each one half then top the cupcakes with the marshmallows, or top the peanut butter frosting with some extra marshmallow cream.
While I chose not to watch the Super Bowl this year, I am excited, as always to watch Hollywood’s glamorous stars grace the red carpet at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Beautiful dresses, touching acceptance speeches, and getting to cheer for my favorite films all make the Oscars a night of excitement that I look forward to every year. It is a wonderful time to scout for prom dress inspiration, have a festive night in with the people you love, and to remember that even celebrities depend on their friends and families to achieve their success.
This year, along with standbys like popcorn and pizza, my family and I are cooking up an array of appetizers and desserts inspired by this year’s best picture nominees. I’ve been having tons of fun getting started in the kitchen with my amazing mom and little sisters, because although I stuck with mostly simple recipes, making nine dishes of any sort is always a challenge. The crab cakes, lollipops, and keys for the cupcakes can all be made in advance to lessen your kitchen time on Oscar weekend.
Here are my Best-Picture inspired recipes to jazz up any Oscar party!
Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats from Cookies and Cups
- Midnight in Paris: Chocolate Eiffel Tower Lollipops
Follow these instructions to make chocolate lollipops using an Eiffel Tower mold, or any other oscar-related shape you choose. These make an adorable and affordable party favor too!