Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kids in the Kitchen: Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

For the last week or so, Lauren has been asking me to make cupcakes with pink, green and yellow icing. Pretty specific right?
Well, you see, both girls are a little obsessed with
Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse and there's an episode or three where they make cupcakes with pink, yellow and green icing on them.

So one rainy day last week, we decided to do some baking. And even though we'd had our fill of sweets from Olivia's birthday, I gave in and said yes to the cupcakes.

It's hard to say no to these cute little faces!

I used my usual one bowl chocolate cake recipe. That recipe can be found here, or at the bottom of this cute kid picture filled post!

I ended cutting the recipe in half because as I mentioned above, the last couple of weeks were full of sweets!
My math skills are a little on the awful side, so I was a bit nervous about how they were going to turn out, but they were awesome!

And the baking begins...

Lauren has become quite the egg cracking pro!

A task to keep the girls busy for a few more minutes...

And the final products...

Cupcakes decorated by the girls.

When I make buttercream, I usually make it with all butter, not a mix of butter and shortening. This time I made it with a mix of them. It's a totally different texture when you use shortening. It's very light, velvety and smooth...if that makes sense!
I used the Wilton's Buttercream icing recipe, also below.

Cupcakes and tea (milk) for the little ones.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake:

2 cups white sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare two 8" or 9" round pans (I used two 6" round pan). You can either grease and flour the pans, use non-stick cooking spray, or use homemade cake pan release (recipe below).

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, then stir in the boiling water
Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then flip them out on a wire rack and let completely cool before frosting.

Buttercream Icing:
(Adapted from Wilton)

1/2 cup softened, salted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp cream
pinch of salt

Dissolve the salt in the cream and stir.
Beat butter until slightly fluffy.
Add vanilla.
Add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.
Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Gradually add cream until light and fluffy. 
If icing is too thick, add more cream 1 teaspoon at a time.

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