These cupcakes were for the Breakfast at Tiffany’s bridal shower that I told you about last week. Andrea, who was throwing the shower, wanted simple and elegant, and of course Tiffany blue. Tiffany’s has trademarked the color, and even Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color can’t reveal it’s secret formula to the public. Even without access to their top-secret formula, I think I was able to get pretty close to the Tiffany color. It was surprisingly very simple and didn’t involve any mixing of gel pastes. I just used a little of Americolor’s turquoise. I was careful not to use too much because the colors really darken up over time. I accessorized these cupcakes with Wilton’s mini candy pearls.
Last week, I shared a link on the Facebook page to a great post on Glorious Treats. Gloria has put together a tutorial on how to frost cupcakes in a series of posts on “Cupcake Basics”. The question I am asked most is how do you make the swirl on top of the cupcake. Check out Gloria’s link. She even has a YouTube clip so you can watch it in action. While reading through her recent posts on cupcake making, I came across her favorite buttercream recipe. Her secret is to add a little bit of cream cheese. I tried the recipe and liked it so much, I used it to frost these cupcakes. The cream cheese cuts out some of the over the top sweetness of a traditional buttercream. I’ve now added this to my list of buttercream frostings that I use. This one is perfect for people who don’t want a super-sweet frosting. My other two go-to frosting recipes are listed below.
Buttercream (and a hint of cream cheese) Frosting ~ (Recipe from Glorious Treats)
(I was able to pipe the swirl on 26 cupcakes with one batch of this)
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (best quality available)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half or milk.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter (on medium speed) until completely smooth (30 seconds to a minute). Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.
Add salt (if needed). One cup at time, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, or other flavorings and beat to combine. Add about 1 tablespoon of cream, and continue beating. Add the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, one at a time. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons cream until desired consistency is reached. If you want to pipe the frosting on cupcakes, the frosting should be nice and thick. Continue to beat another minute or so. The frosting should now be smooth and fluffy.
Birthday Cake Frosting (Grin and Bake it)
I like to use this frosting for kids’ birthday parties. I find it is most like what bakeries use. A lot of adults prefer this to traditional buttercream too.
1/3 Crisco, softened
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4-6 tbsp. whipping cream (you can substitute milk or half and half)
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and Crisco. Add pinch of salt and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth. Add in sifted confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, add a tablespoon of whipping cream in between each cup of sugar, scraping the sides of bowl down each time. Gradually beat on low-medium speed well until smooth and fluffy. (The lows speed keeps it from incorporating too much air into the frosting). To reach the consistency you need, you may need to add more sugar or more whipping cream. Add food coloring and blend well. Remember, gel or paste coloring will darken over time.
Traditional Buttercream (Grin and Bake it)
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 stick butter, softened
½ cup whipping cream
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
Beat butter and sifted powder sugar. Gradually add half of cream. Continue to beat. Add vanilla and; gradually add remaining cream.