Friday, July 22, 2011

Neapolitan Cupcakes

I wanted to make something a little out of the ordinary for a friend’s bake sale. Google surfing lead me to the Busty Baker's blog. Her photos of this appealing cupcake combination completely convinced me I had to try it. I tried to duplicate the fancy little icing swirls but, alas, I cannot pipe icing. I promise I will not stop trying though.... and that’s a big promise coming from me. I am the type of person who, if I am not immediately good at something, will give up.

Yes, she is a big baby that way...

 Thank you ,Sue, for your valuable input.
You are most welcome.

 At any rate, these are a really cool combination of flavours. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry! Remember Neapolitan ice cream? Of course you do. Remember how delicious it was? Of course you do. Remember how you used to try and beat your sister to serving it so you could steal all of the strawberry ice cream so she couldn’t get any? Of course....wait....maybe that was just me....
You were a big jerk sometimes.

 He he he.... Savour the small victories I always say.
Anyway, you probably want to try these pretty little things yourself. I definitely recommend trying it. Check out the Busty Baker’s blog for some incredible photos and to see how much cuter they look with the fancy frosting swirls. (*Sigh* )


Vanilla Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
 Chocolate Cupcakes
Follow instructions for Vanilla Cupcakes above, but reduce flour to 1 1/4 cups, and add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Whisk into dry ingredients. I also used regular milk instead of buttermilk just to give a bit more of a variation.
*You will want to prepare both mixes at once so that one batter doesn’t have to sit too long while you prepare the other. *
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk; end with remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated (do not over mix).

Fill muffin cups with a large spoonful of each batter, side by side. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 15 - 20 mins. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 mins; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Buttercream
2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1/2 tsp strawberry extract
8-12 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, for decoration
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until it is light and fluffy. Add strawberry puree, strawberry extract until well combined. Add sugar, a half cup at a time, and beat until frosting comes together and is light and fluffy, 5 to 7 miutes. Spread or pipe frosting over cooled cupcakes. Top each with a sliced strawberry. I didn’t have the strawberry extract and it still tastes deliciously strawberry-y

If you are going to be all fancy and pipe lovely swirls then this will only make enough to frost about 2/3 of the 2 dozen cupcakes. You will probably have to make a batch and a half to frost them all. I simply spread it on top and this was more than enough to do all 24.

Once I have learned how to pipe frosting into all those cute little swirls and shapes then I will be making these again! (Okay, I will be making them again before that) They taste soooo good!