I kinda-sorta contradicted myself from my last post when I stated, “I like to break free from the trends” and that “I don’t really make cupcakes too often anymore” because today I touched on a bit of both, Easter AND cupcakes in these beautiful pastel shades. Don’t you just love these colors?!
I swear, I really did try to give you guys something different today. For the first time I attempted macarons and every single one had a huge crack right down the center. All of that hard work and waiting around–pshhh! I’d rather have a cupcake any way.
Have you seen the speckled effect on some of these cakes lately? I’m assuming it’s supposed to resemble the speckled egg-shaped Whoppers and Jelly Beans. I don’t know the true meaning behind the whole speckled fiasco around the Easter holiday. All I know, is that my eggs are always white- with not a single freckle in sight (ooo that rhymed!). It would be pretty cool though to see such eggs, but here in the city, you can’t expect much. I would have to make my own and which is what I did when I used one as my test subject for the speckled effect and it looked pretty AWESOME! I wish I had done this when I was a kid.
I mastered the speckling which by the way, is super easy to do so the next stop was my frosting. Now you want to make sure that you’ve frosted your cupcakes ahead of time. You do not want to speckle your frosting while in the bowl. That would cause smearing and will most likely change the color of your frosting.
Use a ‘never-been-used-on-paint’ paintbrush, keep it safe people and if you don’t have one readily available, don’t be lazy, just buy one. I used my one-inch wide Jack Daniels paintbrush. Obviously it’s used for brushing BBQ sauce over meats but to give you an idea, you can do the same if you have a brush with a similar food-related purpose. Keep in mind the stiffer the bristles, the better- so ditch those silicon brushes- not gonna work.
In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract or water. This mixture should be smooth and thin just like paint. If it isn’t, increase the liquid portion by a 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you achieve the right consistency. You don’t however, want to keep adding the liquid to the point the consistency is thin like water. Then it’s too runny. If this happens, add more cocoa.
You want to make sure you’re using cocoa powder and not melted chocolate. Melted chocolate will cool too fast causing you to constantly reheat which may eventually burn. Once applied frosting has dried, the speckling can now begin. (Read full directions in recipe)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon sweetened or unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract or water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a mini paper baking cup in each of the 24 mini cupcake wells; set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in 1 egg at a time. Mix in vanilla.
- Alternately add in flour mixture and milk, mix just till combined. Pour evenly into baking cups.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
- Divide frosting into small bowls and mix in food coloring of choice. Note: begin adding very little coloring at first, then add more if you want to darken.
- Frost cupcakes and set aside for a few minutes to dry.
- Meanwhile, prepare chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, mix cocoa and vanilla extract. NOTE: read details in post.
- Line working surface area with paper towels.
- Using one hand to hold onto brush, take an index finger and flick the chocolate off from the brush towards the frosting of the cupcake.
- Once speckled, ENJOY!
Speckling effect was inspired by Speckled Egg Cake.