Welcome to A Cuppy Cake Life

Follow me on my journey as I experiment with different types of cupcakes and the joy a simple little treat can bring.

Cupcake Challenge: Wrap Up

This is the final week of Cupcake Challenge over at Hoosier Homemade. I sure hope you have taken the time to go check it out! I have had a blast this past month working on all of the challenges and I hope that there will be another one in the future. Liz - you rock! Thank you so much for hosting this competition!

This week is a wrap up of each of my entries. I hope you have enjoyed these ideas. I had a lot of fun creating them!

For this challenge we were required to pick a flavor that makes us think of summer and incorporate it into a cupcake.

Week #2 - Beach Cupcakes

This time our cupcakes needed to look like a summertime activity.

This week was all about taking a box of cake mix and adapting it to create a cupcake with a homemade flavor.

Using candy, we were asked to decorate our cupcakes with the summertime fun theme in mind.

Judging for the Cupcake Challenge will be taking place soon. I will keep you posted regarding the results. I really hope I have a chance at winning!

Lemon Basil Cupcakes

I was worried that the basil would be overpowering in this cupcake but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, unless you eat the candied basil leaf on top, the basil only enhances the sweetness of the lemon. These were very tasty and I am sure you will enjoy them as well.

Again, I adapted a Taste of Home recipe to suit my needs. I like to be inspired by other bakers and then tweak things to make them more of my own. Please feel free to do the same with any of my recipes and post how things worked for you!

Don't forget about Cupcake Tuesday!

Lemon Basil Cupcakes
(Makes 24 regular cupcakes)

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
¾ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredient mixture in thirds, alternating with two additions of sour cream. The batter will be very thick.

Scoop ¼ cup of the batter into each liner. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Basil Syrup

1 cup water
¾ cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
8 fresh basil leaves
1 strip lemon peel (1 ½ inches by ½ inch)

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Strain and discard lemon peel and basil. Allow to cool completely.

Using a toothpick, poke holes into the tops of the cooled cupcakes. Once the syrup has reached room temperature, spoon 1 teaspoon syrup over each cupcake. Allow to soak in and repeat. Reserve remaining syrup for frosting.

Lemon Mousse Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon basil syrup
1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a large bowl, beat together powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon basil syrup until smooth. Whisk into the already whipped cream until well blended. Top cupcakes with frosting and candied basil leaf.

Candied Basil Leaves

2 teaspoons light corn syrup
¼ cup sugar
24 small fresh basil leaves

Using a new paintbrush (or one specifically used for food), brush corn syrup onto a basil leaf. Dip painted side into the sugar and set aside to dry. Repeat with remaining basil.

Cupcake Challenge: Candy Flower Cupcakes

Well it is week #4 over at Hoosier Homemade's Cupcake Challenge. This is the last week we will actually present a cupcake. Our challenge this time was to decorate the cupcakes with candy while maintaining the summertime theme.

I chose to make flowers because really, who doesn't love to see gorgeous flowers in the summer? Around here we have a wonderful botanical garden with a great kids area and some of my friends are there a few times each week!

Now I am painfully aware that my flowers are far from gorgeous. But in all fairness, it's a little hard to pipe Candy Melts when you can't even see straight due to a bout of vertigo!

To make them I printed out three different pictures of flowers. I taped them to a cutting board and placed a piece of wax paper over it. I then melted the Candy Melts and put them in a piping bag. Just follow your template and fill them in with whatever colors you choose. I kept the center open so that I could fill them with Sixlets after they were on the cupcakes. Place the flowers (still on the cutting board) in the fridge until they are firm. Gently remove them from the wax paper and place on top of the cupcakes.

You are not limited to flowers with this technique! You can do any design you can think of! Sometime soon I plan to make a monogram cupcake with a chocolate letter made this way.

Now the actual cupcake was a "Birthday Cake" cupcake. It was just your basic yellow cake topped with vanilla buttercream. There is actually a reason why I chose this flavor. Did you know that more people have an August birthday than any other month? The recipe I used is listed below, but feel free to use your favorite recipe or even a mix.

Be sure to check out what's happening in Cupcake Challenge and keep your fingers crossed that I get that FLIP!

Birthday Cake Cupcakes
(Makes approx 24 regular cupcakes)

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and remaining cup of butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition.

Spoon ¼ cup of batter into each liner. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream

½ cup vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
½ cup whole milk

In a large bowl, mix together shortening, salt, vanilla, and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add in remaining sugar, 2 cups at a time and alternate with milk. Add more milk to thin and more sugar to thicken the icing, if needed. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.