Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Graduation Cupcakes!

[ETA: Sorry, forgot to add the picture...I am a moron. Carry on.]

My nephew graduated from high school on Friday. His mom threw a graduation party for him on Saturday evening and I happily volunteered (actually, I insisted!) to make cupcakes! I have felt very out of sorts since moving and most of my kitchen belongings are still packed up in boxes in the garage. It was nice to pull out the KitchenAid mixer and whip up some fun treats. I find baking very relaxing and it makes me slow down and really enjoy the moment.

I also decided to decorate the cupcakes with fondant stars that I painted with edible gold glitter. I just used a box of premade fondant from the baking section of Michael's since I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't actually eat the decoration. Who likes the taste of fondant anyway? I've never met anyone that does.

I used this chocolate cake recipe and it made nearly 3 dozen cupcakes. I really liked this recipe because 1) it was simple to make and 2) it really created a light, airy, and moist cupcake. I found that 18 minutes at 350 degrees was the perfect amount of time.

For the white cupcakes, I used a recipe from a new book I bought, The Cake Mix Doctor Returns. I don't think there is any shame at all in using a boxed cake mix as the foundation for any baked good. I have made cakes/cupcakes/brownies from scratch and from a box, and find that most people can't taste a difference between homemade and box. Anyway, the white cupcakes were a big hit so I wanted to share the recipe:

White Sour Cream Cupcakes
1 package plain white cake mix
3 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream OR plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water OR orange juice
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set the pans aside.

Place all of the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. The batter should look well blended.

Spoon or scoop a heaping 1/4 cup of batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way full. You will get 22 to 24 cupcakes.

Place the pans in the oven and bake the cupcakes until they are golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, 18 to 23 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Place the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes longer before frosting.

Store these cupcakes in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature, for up to 3 days or for up to one week in the refrigerator. Freeze the cupcakes, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 3 months. Let the cupcakes thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

The book suggested using a cream cheese frosting for these, but I used vanilla buttercream and chocolate buttercream on both styles of cupcakes and those frostings tasted very good with each of the cupcakes.


Belle on Heels said...

Ooooh I got that cookbook as a wedding shower gift and I LOVE it!! So many good recipes.

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

HOW CUTE are those!?!?!

Dollface said...

These look amazing!!!

Dixie Bell Designs said...

so adorable and they look delish!! I hope you and C are settling into your new home!! :)

Lauren said...

What recipe do you use for your buttercream? Anytime I make frosting it comes out runny :(

Rachel said...

Those cupcakes are BEAUTIFUL! :)

Mary A. said...

I am so amazed by your creativity and your willingness to put the time in to make everything so gorgeous.

Plus, cupcakes are delish, so there's that.

Susannah said...

Ohhhh snap, I bet you were at the Michaels in Cumming! I'm sure I'll see you out one day and accost you while with my kids screaming Sweet Tea Diaries!!! Ha! Maybe at the chic fil a on hwy 9!

Worthington said...

Those cupcakes are so adorable! You did a great job.

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

Those look amazing, must try!

Shoshanah said...

These turned out so cute! I'm always just in awe of all your dessert making skills!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Congratulations to your nephew! Oh and boy oh boy, I am out of the blog loop for sure! You moved??

After my 3 month blog break, I have finally posted my recent post and also wanted to do some blog visiting of those blogs on my sidebar. Hope all is well and I surely miss dear blog visits from friends such as you!

Blessings & Aloha!
If you have a chance, I hope you stop by.

Marilyn *Pink Martinis and Pearls* said...

Angela, your cupcakes turned out perfect! Love the colors and the textural difference between the two colors and how great is painting on a little sparkle? Guess what? I like fondant but only Satin Ice in the butter cream flavor. It is totally nibble worthy. Bake on, girl and while you're at it... bike on, too! :)