Friday, April 23, 2010

10 dozen cupcakes for a birthday bonanza

This year, I decided since I've had some experience in making cakes, and since I've taken a Wilton cake decorating course at some point in my past life, there is really no reason why I shouldn't be baking the cakes for my own children's birthday. The only thing really up against me is the time and space required for such an undertaking.

I put some thought into this and figured that the easiest way would be to make cupcakes. They are all the rage right now, and are really quick to do, and there are so many short cuts available these days to make the process go even quicker. As I mentioned in a previous post, I thought it would be really fun to make these cupcakes not only the dessert, but also the centerpieces of each table.

So I borrowed the extra cupcake stands that I needed, and then counted how many I would need to make to fill all the stands. Yep, 10 dozen would about do it.
I baked 6 dozen on Wednesday and the final 4 dozen on Thursday. With store bought cake mixes and 4 muffin pans, it all went really quick.

Next, I needed a recipe that would be soft enough to pipe through an open star tip, but yet would stay firm and hold it's shape. It couldn't be refrigerated as I only have one refrigerator and no place to store that many cupcakes. It also needed to taste great!!! Hmmmm?
Way back before I was married and had a half dozen little people to watch over, I took a course where I was introduced to this really great recipe. I knew it was the one I needed for just this situation. So off to the store I went to gather the ingredients:

Snow-White Buttercream Icing

2/3 cup water
4 Tablespoons Wilton Meringue Powder

12 cups (approx. 3 lbs.) sifted confectioner's sugar
1 1/4 cups solid vegetable shortening
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. clear vanilla extract

3/4 tsp. almond extract

Combine water and meringue powder. Whip at high speed until peaks form. This took my Kitchenaid mixer SEVERAL minutes to complete....I'm thinking 10 minutes.
Add 4 cups powdered sugar, one at a time, beating at low speed after each addition.
Alternately add shortening and remaining sugar.
Add salt and flavorings.
Beat at low speed until smooth.
Makes 7 cups.
May be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

**I made two batches of this recipe to cover all 10 dozen and I did have about 1 1/2 cups leftover.
**I never had to add 12 cups of the sugar to get the consistency I was after. I usually stopped around 8 or 9 cups.
**Clear vanilla is not absolutely necessary if you are adding color to your frosting. Clear vanilla is only necessary if you need perfectly white white frosting like you would on a wedding cake.
I just used it this time for experimental reasons.

Once the frosting was made up, I put it into a 16 inch decorating bag with an open star tip. We laid all the cupcakes out on the dining table and swirled the frosting on all 10 dozen in no time.
Then came the REAL fun.
Have you tried this stuff??

PERFECT for the application we needed!!!
The colors were not really brilliant, but as it dried the color did darken and it worked well for the color vibrancy we were after.
Totally recommend SPRAYING the color onto your cupcakes.
My girls LOVED getting involved in this one.

I LOVED how they all turned out!!

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