Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Confetti Cupcakes with Festive Icing

In my opinion, nothing says Memorial Day more than a sunny barbecue with good food, good drinks and good friends. I’ve decided to spend the holiday with my best friend Alyssa in Newark, Delaware, where she’s a student and finishing up finals. I would have loved to throw a barbecue of my own, but I decided that if I can’t throw my own barbecue, I can at least contribute. Despite Alyssa’s best attempts at persuading me otherwise, I decided this morning to bake up a batch of homemade cupcakes and adorn them in the most festive, perhaps annoying and over-the-top, way possible.

The recipe was quite simple—essentially, confetti cake is simply a white cake batter with sprinkles which dissolve during baking. Nonetheless, I think it’s a festive-looking dessert, and it certainly goes along with the red, white and blue theme I shot for.

The recipe is as follows:


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons colorful sprinkles (elongated)

Serves: 2 cakes or 24 cupcakes
Duration: 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour three 9 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Add sprinkles. Divide batter among the cupcake pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

To decorate the cupcakes, I used my favorite vanilla frosting recipe:

6 cups confectioners’ sugar
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 Tbs. milk, plus more if needed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Food colorings (red and blue)

Serves: 4 cups, or 24 cupcakes frosted liberally
Duration: 10 minutes

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 4 1/2 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Separate into three batches. Dye one batch red and one batch blue using the food coloring. Frost immediately.

Afterwards, I separated the frosting into three batches—one which remained untouched and white, a red batch and a blue batch. I used my favorite frosting piper and adorned them with festive sprinkles from Landis.

They turned out delicious—fluffy and moist with a soft delicacy. Yum! I’ll probably end up making these again for July 4th, as they're so festive.

Have Memorial Day, everyone!


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