|The pretty little cupcakes :)|
|Licka - isn't she adorable? Love this girl!|
First things first. The cupcake. I came across this recipe last year when I needed a fluffy almond cake for one of the tiers of my sister's Mad Hatter Tea Party wedding cake. I needed something that would be light and moist but also somewhat sturdy as it was to be formed into a topsy-turvy Mad Hatter's top hat. Cool, right?
|Mad Hatter Tea Party wedding cake that I made for my sister's wedding. Photo credit goes to Lauren Mason from Piccadilly Pictures.|
Anyway, I found this as a result of a google search and will never make any other almond cake again! I love it. Now, when you read the ingredients, do not freak out! Are you ready for this? It starts with a....gulp....box mix! I know! So not like me!! However, I went with it because it is so doctored that by the time you're finished you don't even remember that Betty Crocker or Pillsbury helped. (Don't get me wrong...they have a time and a place...I just don't usually use them.) I also used this recipe for the groom's cake (my BIL asked for a vanilla/white chocolate concoction) and just left out the almond extract - also gave a great result! Another key ingredient in this cake is sour cream. I've decided that I just love sour cream in my cakes. If I'm looking for a new cake recipe and one of the options has sour cream in it, chances are I'm gonna pick that one.
White Almond Sour Cream Wedding Cake: (adapted from here)
2 18 oz boxes white cake mix
2 cups AP flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 t salt
2 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
2 t almond extract
2 cups sour cream
8 egg whites
1. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large* mixing bowl. *If you're using the full recipe, then I mean LARGE. This recipe makes a ton of batter. The full recipe made about 4 doz standard size cupcakes. And, when you're using your countertop convection oven because your regular oven is broken, and can only bake six at a time....well, you can guess how long that took!
2. Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for two minutes.
3. Pour into prepared liners, tapping to let out air bubbles. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
For the icing on these babies I used my standard Wilton White Chocolate Buttercream. I had about half a recipe left in my freezer from a previous cake. I let that thaw out on the counter then added about 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, and 1-2 teaspoons of almond extract to it in my stand mixer and whipped til fluffy - unbelievably good! When I made this cake for the wedding, though, I used Wilton's Snow White Buttercream as my base and made some slight changes to it. Either way is delicious. I just wanted to use up what I already had handy.
Next, we have the decorations. I wanted to do something to celebrate the fact that spring has officially arrived. While looking around Pinterest I saw a really cute idea that used Haystacks as birds' nests with cute little Whoppers eggs in them. Oh my word. I love this idea and used them as my toppers. Traditionally, haystacks are chow mein noodles mixed together with butterscotch, chocolate, and peanut butter chips. I decided to leave the butterscotch out and used just semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in equal amounts because, lets be honest....peanut butter is just about the best thing out there! :) These turned out so adorably and, while I think I may have made them just a tad too big to top the cupcakes, I love them nevertheless.
|I left the birds' nests off some of them so that people had options. With the nests they were really two treats in one.|
There you have it. My first spring cupcake. I'm sure there will be many more to come. I know for a fact that there are PB&J cupcakes and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Cupcakes on our horizon and I am equally excited about both! Until next time, happy reading and, more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!