Welcome to day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Peppermint Surprise”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you.
- Christmas Coconut Cake by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic
- Cranberry Coffee Cake by Jen of Juanita’s Cocina
- Holly Topped White Cupcakes by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Christmas in the Tropics Cake by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- Pumpkin Dream Cake by Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Reindeer Cupcakes by Ramona of Curry and Comfort
- Whiskey Nut Fruitcake by Heather of Girlichef
- Tres Leches Cake by Cathy of The Dutch Baker’s Daughter
- Monkey Bread Cupcakes by Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious
My family was delighted that today’s Christmas Week theme was cakes. I make tons more cookies than cakes, so this was an extra special treat. To make sure Katie would eat them, I took the safe route and dug up my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and topped them with vanilla butter cream…she is not a chocoholic like her brothers and dad. Then to make them festive, I added a simple garnish of red M & M’s and slices of green candied fruit.
Since this recipe makes 14, I made 12 full sized cupcakes and about 8 mini cupcakes. The small ones took about 14 minutes in the oven…and were perfect to go with my afternoon tea. A less guilty, two-bite pleasure. The two taste testers in the house gave these their seal of approval! Bill even requested that I make these again for his birthday in April…the ultimate endorsement.
A couple weeks ago, my sweet friend, Veronica, of Veronica’s Cornucopia, sent me a wonderful flavoring called Crème Bouquet. When it arrived, Katie and I both took a deep whiff and were enveloped with scent that reminded Katie of petit fours…her favorite treat from a local bakery. We’d unlocked the secret to the unique flavor of their white cakes and icing. I was instructed to use it sparingly to start with, but the 1/8 teaspoon probably wasn’t quite enough. It’s a totally optional ingredient, but you might enjoy adding it to your next batch of vanilla or cream cheese icing. It’s quite inexpensive, but has a short shelf life, so buy it in small quantities. Thanks, again, Veronica!!!
Holly Topped White Cupcakes…adapted from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook
1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup whole milk
¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup shortening (like Crisco)
3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
I teaspoon vanilla
1/8-1/4 teaspoon Crème Bouquet, optional
Red M & M’s
Green jellied candy slices
Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed till light. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Mix together milk, lemon and vanilla. Add half this mixture to the batter. Mix until just blended, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add half the dry ingredients and mix in well, followed by the remaining milk mixture, then the rest of the flour. Scrape down sides of bowl between additions.
Divide batter into 14 or so spots in the muffin tins. Bake in the middle of the oven about 15 minutes (mine took 23 minutes) or till tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove to rack to finish cooling.
To make icing, beat butter and shortening till light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix till smooth. Slowly add milk till icing reaches spreading consistency. Add flavorings and mix well.
Ice cupcakes as desired. Top each with 3 red M & M’s and 2 slices of jellied candies to decorate.