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Cupcakes All Grown Up

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Key West Cupcakes
Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes
Molten Chocolate Mini Cakes

(Family Features) - Cupcakes, once reserved for elementary school parties, kids' birthdays and picnics, have grown up. And oh, so beautifully.

Great for today's more casual, grab-and-go way of eating and entertaining, these individual mini-cakes don't require the skill of a professional to slice and serve and can be hand-held in most cases.

Also new on the scene are great cupcake trees that allow you to show off your creations with the appropriate flair. And the sophistication of flavors is only limited by your imagination. Here are three great ideas and one easy but spectacular decorating idea. So whatever your spring celebration, these cupcakes are sure to "take the cake." Or, should we say, "take the place of the cake"?

Dressing Up the Classic Cupcake

Decorative Designs

On waxed paper, draw small decorative designs. Fill a small heavy- duty plastic food-storage bag with melted white chocolate, seal it and cut one of the corners with scissors. Squeeze bag, gently tracing the design drawn on the waxed paper. Sprinkle with colored sugar. Let stand to allow chocolate to set. Carefully remove waxed paper from chocolate design. Top cupcake with design.

White on White on White

Pull a sharp vegetable peeler down the edge of a white chocolate candy bar to produce chocolate shavings the perfect size for a cupcake. Frost cupcake with Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting. Top with white chocolate curls and dust with powdered sugar.

Classic cupcake tree holds 23 cupcakes. 12 1/2-inch x 12-inch. $22.99 plus shipping. Order item #5025 under Catalog Shopping at bettycrocker.com or 1-800-432-4959.

For more great cupcake ideas, visit http://bettycrocker.com.

Key West Cupcakes

  • 1 box (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh Key lime or lime juice
  • 4 drops green food color
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
  • 1 container (12-ounce) Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Key lime or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated Key lime or lime peel
  • Lime wedges (optional)

    1. In large bowl, beat pudding mix and whipping cream with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 3 minutes. Beat in 1/4 cup lime juice and the food color; stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
    2. Heat oven to 350°F. Make and cool cake mix as directed on box for cupcakes.
    3. Spread 1 rounded tablespoonful filling on top of each cupcake. Stir frosting in container 20 times. Gently stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice and the peel. Spoon frosting into 1-quart resealable plastic food-storage bag. Cut 1/2-inch opening across lower corner of bag. Squeeze 1 tablespoon frosting from bag onto filling. Garnish with fresh lime wedge, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

Preparation Time
25 minutes

Start to Finish Time
1 hour 30 minutes

24 cupcakes

Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups strawberry-flavored soda pop
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 container (1-pound) Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
  • 1 to 3 drops red food color
  • 1/2 cup white jimmies sprinkles

    1. Prep Time: 30 minutes | Start to Finish: 45 minutes
    2. 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups in 24 regular-size muffin cups. In large bowl, beat cake mix, soda pop, oil and egg whites on low speed 30 seconds. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Fill each cup 2/3 full of batter. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
    3. 2. Stir frosting in container 20 times. Stir in 1 to 2 drops red food color. Frost cupcakes.
    4. 3. Place sprinkles and 1 drop red food color in small resealable plastic food-storage bag; seal bag. Gently shake and massage sprinkles until mixture is various shades of pink; sprinkle around edges of frosted cupcakes.

24 cupcakes

Molten Chocolate Mini Cakes

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil's food cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 container (1-pound) Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
  • Powdered sugar
  • Sliced strawberries

    1. In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream over medium-high heat until hot but not boiling. Stir in chocolate chips until melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until thick, stirring occasionally.
    2. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease and flour 16 (2 3/4 x 1 1/4 inch) muffin cups. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Place 1/4 cup batter in each muffin cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon cold chocolate mixture on top of batter in center of each cup.
    3. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 1 minute. Carefully remove from pan; place on parchment paper. Cool 10 minutes. Frost with chocolate frosting. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Garnish with strawberry slices. Serve warm.

Preparation Time
30 minutes

Start to Finish Time
2 hours

16 mini cakes

SOURCE: Betty Crocker Cake Mixes

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