My baby turns two today... and we'll be celebrating with cupcakes.
It wasn't until I tried the truly scrumptious cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake a few years ago, that I developed an appreciation for cake - let alone cupcakes. I have always been much more of a brownie and cookie kind of girl. I had tried Magnolia's cupcakes in NY, and was wholly unimpressed. The key (to me) is cream cheese frosting! I just don't care for buttercream and the cake is sort of an afterthought (I almost always use cake mix). So, I spent some time googling cream cheese frosting recipes to find something that would come close to the fluffy deliciousness of Georgetown Cupcake's. What I ended up finding is about as simple as it gets - but, the proportions seem to be just right, because my frosting has gotten great reviews each time I've made it.
Sweet & Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 cups powdered sugar;
- 1 lb cream cheese;
- 2 sticks butter (softened);
- 1 tsp vanillla
My favorite topping for cupcakes are real chocolate sprinkles... not the waxy kind they sell at the grocery store. (My sprinkle snobbiness goes back a long way - we lived in Belgium when I was little, where toast with butter and chocolate sprinkles was a favorite breakfast treat - and the sprinkles were actual belgian chocolate.) This Dutch brand is terrific - and these happen to be sold on Amazon at the moment.
But, alas - the little one asked for "pink and blue" cupcakes.
I don't usually work with the colored crystal decorations - and, I'm not sure I would do it again... but, that's the "blue" I had on hand. Nonpareils are a close second to chocolate sprinkles for me, so, they're my go-to topping when I want to add color.
I follow Georgetown Cupcake's approach to the thickly swirled frosting using a plastic cake decorating bag with round plastic tip.
To achieve the (somewhat messy) heart design - I used a cookie cutter. I just touched it to the frosting, and then sprinkled the blue crystals around the outside portion first.
Then, I sprinkled some nonpareils right inside the cutter - pouring off excess before removing it.
Next time - I think I'd do 2 different colored nonpareils - one inside and another outside - and skip the crystals, which don't give very good coverage and end up looking patchy.
Still, they're kind of cute - and my girls are easy to please in the cupcake department!