Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 5 - Candy Corn Cupcake

Candy corn flavored cake with honey buttercream frosting.

This is an adorable cupcake. I love the orange and yellow cake, and I love the piece of candy corn nestled in a swirl of creamy white frosting. The flavor is not complex, and there's a hint of food coloring flavor to it, but to be fair... there's a hint of food coloring flavor to candy corn, too.  I made these yesterday for a friend's business meeting, and I'll be making hordes of them this weekend for a Halloween party.

To achieve candy corn flavor, I used a honey flavored cupcake recipe with a tiny bit of almond extract added for that candy flavor.  The recipe is slightly adapted from one I found on Oprah's website.   You can easy this up by using a white cake mix with food coloring and canned frosting. They'll still be adorable!
Candy Corn Cupcakes
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • orange and yellow food color gel
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in honey, eggs, buttermilk and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into the batter until just blended.
Separate batter into two bowls equally. Tint one bowl of batter orange and one bowl yellow, stirring to mix well. Fill white cupcake liners 1/3 full of yellow batter. Tap pan gently on counter to help settle the yellow, then fill to 2/3 full with orange batter.   Note: Be sure your cupcake pans are very clean when you put the liners in. Any residual oils will stain your liners and ruin the effect of the colored cake.
Cupcakes are ready when the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes (15 - 17 for mini cakes).  This recipe makes 12 regular sized cupcakes or about 28 mini cupcakes.
Do not over bake these cupcakes. I can not stress this enough. Three minutes before you think they should be done, station yourself next to the oven. Check them every minute. I kid you not, they dry out really, really quickly. I ruined half of my batch in the matter of two minutes.  If they overcook, they are garbage, unless you are my husband. He put a couple in a bowl, poured some milk over them, squeezed a little dollop of frosting on top and ate it like cereal. For the love of all things cupcake, do not ever do that. *gag*

See how pretty the colors look?

For the frosting, I used a honey buttercream. I usually use only butter in my buttercream as opposed to the shortening version you get on grocery store birthday cakes, but this time I added a little shortening for the sake of stability. This batch was being transported two hours to a meeting then sitting out for a while, and the all butter version of buttercream tends to get droopy if it gets warm. It's warm in Florida today. It's actually pretty hot... in late October. I mourn the absence of autumn. 

Anyway, here's the buttercream recipe I used. If you're making them at home, you can use all butter instead of the shortening/butter mix and they will be super yummy.

Honey Buttercream Frosting
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • milk for thinning out frosting
Cream butter, shortening and honey until light and fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time until frosting is fluffy but firm. Add milk as needed to thin the mixture enough to blend it.  Pipe on top of  the cupcakes using a star tip or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. Top with candy corn.

Look how cute they are, all lined up like an army of candy corn cupcakes. Yum.

Added 11/1/10: Just a note for future reference: I tried a version of this cupcake over the weekend with a cake mix. I used a yellow cake mix and replaced 1/3 cup of the water called for with honey, then added a couple of drops of almond extract. I made the same frosting, but this cake was really easy and really good!

1 comment:

  1. I am very excited to try these. I wanted to make a candy corn cupcake but I want to incorporate the actual taste of the candy corn instead of just their appearance and this looks perfect! Thanks!