I was looking for a way to jazz up Funfetti cupcakes. Of course, making them from scratch already helps--but I wanted more pizzazz. So I came up with the idea to add a cherry marshmallow filling to the center and to top them with cherry ganache before swirling on the buttercream. Success! A truly festive cupcake celebration with an explosion of flavor!
The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake (Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting)
Yield: 16 cupcakes Ingredients
• 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
• 1 vanilla bean
• 1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour, not self-rising
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream (room temperature)
• 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml—55 grams)
• 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
• 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk (room temperature)
• About ½ cup confetti sprinkle quins, assorted colors (may use assorted shapes as well)—plus more for topping Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
5. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
7. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
8. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid. (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's supposed to be that way.) For confetti cupcakes, add quins to batter.
9. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full. Sprinkle each cupcake with additional quins.
10. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
11. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool.
Cherry Marshmallow Filling
• 2 cups marshmallow creme
• ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
• Pinch of salt
• Cherry candy flavoring
• Pink gel food color
To make the filling, combine the marshmallow creme and butter in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar and salt and whip until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes more. Blend in a few drops of candy flavoring and gel food color. Transfer the majority of the filling mixture to a disposable pastry bag. (You will cut the tip off the bag just before filling the cupcakes.)
336 gm white chocolate, chopped
112 gm heavy whipping cream
Few drops cherry candy flavoring
Pink gel food color
In stainless steel bowl, combine ingredients. Heat over hot water bath until white chocolate has completely melted, stirring frequently. Let cool until consistency is correct for topping cupcakes.
For frosting, use either the Whipped Vanilla Frosting (from Sweetapolita) or the Swiss Style Meringue Buttercream (from Woodland Bakery). Both are delicious. The whipped vanilla frosting is by far the faster one to make. For the pictured batch I used Swiss Meringue Frosting, but the first time I made these cupcakes I used whipped vanilla frosting.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting
Yield: enough for about 36 cupcakes
1 lb + 4 ounces (575 grams) unsalted butter, softened & cut into cubes
1 lb + 5 ounces (600 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
70 mL (4 ½ tablespoons) milk
1 ½ tablespoons (23 mL) vanilla
Pinch or two of salt
Sprinkles as desired (for decorating)
Method: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (4 on KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale and creamy. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. If you want all of your frosting the same color, add a drop of gel color and mix gain, adding one drop at a time until desired shade is achieved. Top cupcakes with a swirl of frosting and sprinkle with confetti quins.
Swiss Style Meringue Buttercream
Yield 6 cups (Recipe from Woodland Bakery) (enough to ice 30 cupcakes, or fill and ice 1- 8″cake)
**Yield may differ in results from person to person due to the volume of the meringue, whether you weighed your ingredients or use volume measure, so this yield is approximate
Fresh Large Egg Whites 180g (6Lg)
White Sugar 300g (1 1/2 cups)
Confectioners Sugar 240g(2cups) (sifted—even though it is an extra step, it really is necessary)
**Shortening 170g (3/4 cup) (I definitely recommend High Ratio Shortening—such as Sweetex. Crisco just doesn't work the same.)
Unsalted Butter 454g (2cups)
Vanilla Extract 1T
Over a double boiler, in a large metal bowl whisk together the granulated sugar and the egg whites stirring constantly until the mixture reaches approximately 115 degrees F and the sugar grains have dissolved and are no longer gritty to the touch. Pour this mixture into the metal bowl of your Kitchen Aid Mixer with the WHISK attachment and whip on high speed until it is thick, glossy and white in color. The peaks should be as firm as firm can be. In the meantime you can sift your confectioners sugar, and once you have achieved STIFF peaks meringue, add the confectioners sugar all at once with the mixer on very low speed to avoid having a snow shower of sugar all over your kitchen! Once all of the sugar has been incorporated you can turn the mixer speed to med-high until it is all nicely mixed in. Be sure your butter and shortening are at room temperature and they are the same consistency. Add it in about 2-3 additions, but FAST Additions. 1-2-3 fast fast! To add colors to this buttercream, I recommend using Gel Paste Colors like Americolor or Chefmaster or an oil based color is great too, since this is a high fat recipe. The gel paste color should be added at the end after you have achieved Buttercream Greatness!! After you get to the point of done, you will then switch to paddle attachment and add color. You may color the whole batch, or divide it up and color smaller portions at a time. Gel paste colors are the best since a little goes a long way and they do not add extra liquid to the recipe like food colors do. Turn the speed up to high and let it mix smooth. Add the vanilla extract at the end, and you are DONE! Best Buttercream EVER! ***THIS RECIPE CAN BE STORED 4 days room temp, 2 weeks fridge, 2 months freezer **its fine to store it in the fridge/freeze, but just know that you will now have to bring it back to room temperature before re using. Take it out HOURS before you need it, and let it get to room temp, then you will put it back on the mixer and with the PADDLE attachment on low- medium and let it mix, it will look as if it is BROKEN, and curdled, don’t be alarmed this is NATURAL, it will come back together eventually, you can turn the speed up to med-high and it will mix out smooth.