Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baby Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Along with the pea pod cookie pop favors, my friend Jen and I also volunteered to make the cake.  We toyed with several ideas but eventually settled on a cupcake tower.  We decided the best way to represent the boy/girl twins our friend Kelly is expecting was to have 1/2 pink and 1/2 blue cupcakes.  

I knew at once I wanted to make baby blue velvet cupcakes, so I started with my favorite red (or green) velvet recipe and figured I'd just use the same Wilton Cornflower Blue gel food coloring I'd used on the cookies.  Easy right? WRONG! But we'll get to that.  

Start with two eggs

Add 1 cup of buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar and the remaining amount to achieve a cup of skim milk)

To this, add 1 cup of vegetable oil.  The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups oil but I found them to be too greasy.  I also had the "opportunity" on this day to make a second batch but only had 1/2 cup of oil.  They came out ok that way but they were a bit dryer than what I wanted.  When I made the 3rd batch (yep... 3rd batch) I went back to using a full cup of oil.  Its worth it.  Why'd I make 3 batches to net 22 cupcakes?  We'll get to that.  Back to the oil.  Add it. 

Next, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

And 1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Now its time to add the food coloring.  If you are doing red velvet, you'd add 1 teaspoon of red gel food coloring.  For the baby blue velvet, I decided to start with a 1/2 teaspoon of the baby blue gel coloring.  

Way too dark! D'oh! Don't worry, I didn't waste this, I decided to finish up the recipe and bake them off.  But for the Baby Blue Velvet, these wouldn't work.  

So I started over again, and when it came time to add the food coloring, I started with 1/8 of a teaspoon of cornflower blue.

All right, that'll work.  Now on to the dry ingredients.  

I combined the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and cocoa in another bowl and whisked them together. 

Once it is thoroughly whisked, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 

And this is where I ran into my next problem.  When I whisked the baby blue wet ingredients into the tan colored dry ingredients, I got GRAY batter.  I didn't take a picture of it because it was GRAY and I was grossed out.  I still baked them.  But the gray got worse. 

Which means.... yep... batch #3.  For Batch #3, I decided to omit the cocoa since I figured that had to be the culprit.  So I did everything the same with the wet ingredients and poured them into the dry ingredients minus the cocoa powder. 

Finally! Success!

I filled each lined cupcake hole with 1/4 cup batter and cooked them at 350 degrees for 18 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  You want to really watch these closely because if they start to brown you lose that cute blue cupcake. 

While the cupcakes cooled on the counter, I went to work making the cream cheese frosting.  

Start by creaming 1 stick of butter in your mixer

Add 8oz of cream cheese.  Do not use low fat or fat free cream cheese.  

Next I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.  You can of course use vanilla extract but if you have the opportunity, I highly suggest using the paste. 

Slowly add in the powdered sugar

And then 1 - 3 teaspoons of milk, depending on how thick you want your frosting.  For a pretty piped swirl, I use 1 teaspoon. 

Turn the mixer up to medium high and let it whip up for about 5 minutes. 

Yummy! I resisted the urge to eat this whole bowl with a spoon and instead swirled the frosting onto my cupcakes using a Wilton 2A tip. 

When I got to the party, we topped the cupcakes with these cute little pea pods that Jen made out of fondant

We topped the tower with a little layer cake covered in fondant that Jen made and we were all set for our boy/girl twin baby shower. 

Shopping List for Blue Velvet Cupcakes - Yields 20 - 24
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cornflower Blue Gel Food Coloring
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
Shopping List for Cream Cheese Frosting - Covers 30 cupcakes
  • 1/2 Cup Butter (I always use salted)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (full fat only!)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 - 3 Teaspoons Milk

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