Monday, November 22, 2010

October Monster Cupcakes


On October 23rd, I made some monster cupcakes inspired by Taste of Home Magazine's monster cupcakes.

I didn't use the article while I made my cupcakes, but I remembered the general idea of piping the frosting to look like fur.
I used Elinor Klivan's recipe called "Kid-Simple Cupcakes."


1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil or corn oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 to 4 tbsp. whole milk

Make the Cupcakes
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg, egg yolk, and sugar until thickened and lightened, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mizing. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. Mix in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth.

Fill each paper liner with a scant ¼ cup of batter, to about ½ inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the top feels firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the cupcakes from the pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

(I usually try to remove the cupcakes after a few minutes and cool on a wire rack, for fear of them over-cooking in the hot pan.)

Make the Frosting:

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together with 3 tablespoons milk. Add up to 1 tablespoon more milk if needed to form a creamy, spreadable frosting.

I set aside a small cup of the white icing and then made the rest green.
I added almost an entire tube of green food dye. Getting a deep green took a while.

(I didn’t decorate as suggested in the recipe.)


I used a spatula to make small white circles on each cake and placed chocolate chips for the eyeballs. I used a piping bag full of the green frosting and made small ball-shape squirts for the fur look.



My sister and I made an Oscar the Grouch cupcake using Allspice peppers. (No one actually ate the peppers, it was just for fun.)


My opinions:
I think the cupcakes turned out quite cute. Some of the cakes looked a bit sloppy with the fur design (the balls blended into each other and looked bumpy rather than furry.) This was probably because the frosting was melting because the cakes were too hot. The cupcakes tasted good. They were fluffy and tasty, but very sweet. I would have preferred the frosting be more creamy than just soft and sugary.


Unfortunately, there was a mis-hap with one of the cupcakes. As my sister Amelia was eating one, she made a distressed exclamation. "Can you tell me why I have this THING in my cupcake?" She held a chunk of black plastic in her hand. I could hardly believe my eyes, but after investigating the KitchenAid, I saw what had happened. A knob above the bowl had broken in two. The other half must have fallen into my batter and remained there. How I never saw the chunk as it was stirring, and how I didn't notice it as I poured the batter into the liners, I have no idea. Nonetheless, Amelia claims she was traumatized.

My family agreed that the monsters looked cute and that the cakes tasted good.
My boyfriend enjoyed them as well. So did Ruth, who added that she especially thought the chocolate chips complimented the flavors well and that she would like even more on the cupcake next time I make these.