Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes!

Shan did something sweet for this week's What's Cooking, so will I.

Here are the treats I made for my little ladies lunch I had last week: Pumpkin Cupcakes!
These, of course, are from the best ever cupcake book, "Hello, Cupcake!". I have many, many, cupcake books and this is by far the best. It shows you how to make some really cute treats and everything is completely do-able (unlike some other books that are pretty to look at, but much less realistic). In fact, this book makes use of regular ol' cake mixes and plain ol' store-bought frostings which they jazz up to make something special.

Here are your ingredients for the Pumpkin Cupcakes:
12 standard Pumpkin Spice cupcakes (recipe to follow)
24 mini Pumpkin Spice cupcakes
4 green licorice twists
1 can plus 1 cup vanilla frosting
Orange food coloring
1 cup orange decorating sugar
Green licorice laces.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes:

1 box French vanilla or yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

(Bake as directed on box).
{Photo of Finished Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes from the book}

Once you've baked your cupcakes {Note: I made 24 Standard Pumpkins and skipped the little guys}:

  1. Cut the licorice twists into pieces for the pumpkin stems. Tint the vanilla frosting orange with the food coloring. Tint 1/2 cup of the orange frosting a darker shade of orange with more food coloring, and spoon into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air, seal the bag, set aside.

  2. Place the orange decorating sugar in a shallow bowl. Spread the lighter orange frosting on top of the cupcakes, mounding it slightly. Starting on the edge, roll the cupcake tops in the sugar to cover completely.

  3. Use a wooden skewer to mark ridges in the top of each cupcakes. Starting in the center or slightly off center, lightly press the skewer down toward the top of the paper liner to create 5 or 6 indentations. Snip a 1/16-inch corner from the bag with the darker orange frosting and pipe a line in each indentation to make the ribs. Insert a cut green twist for the stem. Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter or a cutting board and add the green licorice laces, trimmed to various lengths for tendrils.

As you can see, I could not find any green licorice so I got black instead. I also could not find any licorice laces in any color. I even went to Fortinos hoping I would be able to get all my ingredients in one stop. No such luck. They didn't even have any orange decorating sugar so I had to pick that up at Michael's instead. Ah well...they still came out looking mighty cute, I think. One of my guests even said, "Oh! I totally didn't think those were real! I thought they were made out of ceramic or something and they were just for decoration".


Surprisingly, I didn't think the cupcakes really tasted very pumpkin-y really so next year, if I were to make them again, I may add a bit more of the pumpkin pie spice. But, the grown-ups and the kids both loved them and thought they were great. Super easy and lots of fun to make, too!

Still got the pumpkin bug? Well, be sure to head over to the Fairy Blogmother's site for more of What's Cooking Wednesday...she even has a nice pumpkin cake recipe up today!


Widney Woman said...

You did such a great job, I was going to ask if your version was the book picture - then I remembered how talented you are with the arts. They look yummy!!

Shan said...

Looks like we're right in tune again!!

Having borrowed your cupcake books I can totally agree that Hello Cupcake is the BEST one.

Also Bulk Barn! That's where you need to go for the best selection of cake decorating supplies. They carry a huge line of Wilton products and sprinkles galore. That's where I get all my cake stuff from.