Posts Tagged 'pink'

Pipe Dream #152: To Stay Lined – Pink Sprink Cakes

These are the cutsiest thing I’ve done in a while, no? They were a practice run at a new vanilla cupcake I discovered, and I liked the way Sweetapolita decorated them so much that I had to follow her example. Plus, I had masses of rando sprinkles of which to rid myself.

These cupcakes have a wonderfully rich vanilla flavor, which is only intensified when paired with an equally deep vanilla frosting. The addition of whipped cream into the batter makes a lovely moist, dense cupcake, though I thought they were a bit too moist. The cakes started to separate from their liners a bit, so I recommend baking them a few minutes longer than you think you need so they don’t do that.

Never mind the chocolate cupcakes you see pictured. Those were a fail, though the ladies I brought them to still ate them (what dolls, eh?). I used my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe, except that I used dutch process cocoa instead of regular. The cakes didn’t rise right, but don’t ask me why. :] Ask Martha, or something.

Chuck some non pareils in a bag, then, and get sprinkling! I know you have some buried in the back of your cupboard. There behind the coriander.

I want pink cupcakes on Wednesdays always,


Pink Sprinkle Cakes

Adapted from Sweetapolita

For the cupcakes:

Yield: 24-28 standard cupcakes or two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans or two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans

2-1/2 cups (275 g) sifted cake flour

1 tablespoon (15 g) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (5 g) salt

1 cup (237 ml) whole milk, at room temperature

2 large egg whites (60 g), at room temperature

1 whole egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon (1.75 ml) almond extract

1-1/2 cups (300 g) white sugar

1 stick (115 g)(8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (119 ml) whipping cream or heavy cream, cold

Beat the whipping cream with a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Soft peaks are best, but I accidentally had stiffer peaks, and things turned out ok. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and center the oven rack. Line two muffin pans with liners.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract in a separate bowl.

In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes.

Alternate additions of the dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (3 dry additions, 2 wet), beating after each addition until fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beaters often; I found that the butter had a tendency to stick to the bottom of the bowl. Continue mixing on low speed for 2 minutes, then fold in the chilled whipped cream.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners–about 2/3 full, and this recipe divides up perfectly evenly, so don’t go eating all the batter–and bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, about 16 minutes. I had problems at the 16-minute mark because my cupcakes started to separate from their liners, so you may want to increase your bake time by a couple of minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on wire racks.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting

Adapted from Sweetapolita, but using most of her words

Yield: Enough to generously frost 12-14 standard cupcakes.

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (375 grams/13 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

3.5 cups (400 grams/14 oz) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons (45 mL) milk

1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

a medley of sprinkles for decorating

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (4 on a 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.

Best used immediately (for ideal spreading consistency). To get frosting super smooth, use a silicone spatula and in an aggressive side-to-side motion, push the frosting back and forth against the sides of the bowl. You will hear a sort of paddling sound. Do this every so often while you use the frosting–it keeps it super smooth.

How To Manipulate Royal Icing

So I have been dying to show you how easy these are to decorate. I am actually delighted that I get to tell you. Imagine how much fun this could add to your life! Minus the somewhat finicky prep work, the actual cookie decorating process is so great. And easy. And aesthetically rewarding. I saw the technique here. It was love.

First, pipe your outline of undiluted royal frosting. You can find the recipe and tutorial for royal icing and flood icing here. Remember not to overbeat your frosting, or you will end up with pit marks and weirdness.

Fill in your outline with flood icing and spread into the corners (or arc segments, in this case) with a toothpick or fondue stick or whatever you happen to have on hand.

Next, dot a different color of flood icing onto the fill. You can use a piping bag or a squeeze bottle for less mess. I used the end of a metal kabob and a toothpick. Hey…

Now comes the fun part. Using a toothpick (or the tines of a plastic fork—can I do nothing correctly?), swirl around the dots however you would like. You can make all sorts of pretty patterns. To make a heart, draw a single line straight through the middle of a dot.

Be careful not to press too far into the icing. You could get divets like the above, or the frosting colors might mix too much.

It’s a little work, but a lot of impressiveness. Winner.



Pipe Dream #50: To Pipe Creatively

So I made this perfect frosting right? Which coincided nearly perfectly with the reception my new piping tips. And I figured that it would be baked injustice served on a platter if I didn’t try out some pretty piping.

The classic cupcake swirl, just fine on its own, or a pretty foundation for the quins, the pearls, the dragees.

The “bouquet.” I made this one up, but I like it. I felt like I was giving myself flowers. Edible flowers (bonus!)

And finally, the rose with optional mini flower. This one is probably my favorite. It is so elegant.

Try these on your own! It is a really forgiving technique and they look fabulous. Another neato thing–I used Wilton’s 1M tip for all of them. The versatility! Let me know if you come up with more creative swirls; I would love to see them.

Happy piping,


P.S. I didn’t even know I could dream 50 things in my life.

I Got It Right: Bakery Buttercream

Oh, but I am a lucky girl.

I have these massive lists of bookmarks on my web browser marked “To Try.” The “To Try” folder is filled with recipes that look irresistible and/or are impossible for me to recreate due to my lack of skill/time/patience. But I still stick the impossible recipes in there to inspire me and to push myself to be better. I was looking through the folders trying to clear out recipes that I had already tried and links that had expired when I came upon this frosting recipe.

It was such an unassuming web page. The design wasn’t super appealing, and the recipe sounded unusual. And the recipe included shortening. That is actually the main reason I decided to try it–I actually had shortening on hand. “What up, Lauren? You had shortening on hand?” Yes. I did. And I’m not sorry.

This frosting is incredible. It pipes beautifully (my piping adventures to be posted soon), has a smooth, firm consistency, and didn’t crust over forEVER. It is like the fries in the Extras on the DVD “Super Size Me.” I’m sure if I would have left these cupcakes under a glass jar, they never would have gone moldy.

I used my go-to one bowl recipe, and used a piping tip to add some chai-spiced cream cheese frosting in the middle. They were fab.



Really Awesome Buttercream

Adapted from

Makes 3 3/4 cups

1 cup vegetable shortening

4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract (or regular extract–it didn’t turn brown or anything)

3 ounces heavy cream

Food coloring as desired

With an electric mixer, beat shortening until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and continue beating until well blended.
Add salt, vanilla, cream of tartar and heavy cream, beating on low speed until moistened, and adding more heavy cream if you feel the frosting is too dry. Add food coloring if desired. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.

Pipe Dream #30: To Imitate A Fabulous Couple

As I was talking to a friend at the wedding I did a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by this thought: Everyone is so happy about this wedding. There is an infectious joy surrounding it.

It’s like everyone has known that their relationship was so right for so long that it was just complete joy to see their marriage finally come to pass. The Lord is totally present here.

Of all the weddings I’ve ever attended, this one just felt so perfect.  The pastor was funny. He mixed super formal phrases (“Let no one put asunder”) with more informal notes. The bride looked smashing.  The reception dance was off the chain. Plus, the venue looked AWESOME. The bride had such a vision for the space, and the bridal party worked some long hours putting it together.

I actually mingled at this wedding. And danced. Oh ma word, introvert Lauren! You deserve a pat on the back. Here are some comments from other people with which I could not agree more:

“They are best friends. I’m excited to see how the Lord uses them together.”  Amen.

“They are both so, so kind and generous.” And that is so TRUE.

“It has been so neat to see him grow in his relationship with her. I have never seen their relationship affect others in anything less than a positive way.” And that is SO true.

I am totally blessed by the couple’s friendship, kindness and dedication to Jesus. And knowing that made all my stresses about the cupcakes being dry seem unimportant.

That said, I wilt offer thou a couple of little notes to anyone making a wedding cake in the near future that will hopefully save you some stress:

1)   Do not drive 2 hours with a fully assembled wedding cake on the seat next to you. The frosting WILL fall off and you will have to fix it later. Your hyper-extended arm that didn’t even still the cake for the whole ride will be quite sore upon arrival at the venue. You will realize you forgot your clear vanilla at home and the fixer frosting will be ivory instead of white. You will feel like crying about that. Then you will remember that the bride and groom as SO CHILL, and you will feel better.

2)   Incidentally, the cupcakes were a bit dry after making them two days in advance. (The cake was so incredible, though. Recipe here.) They would have been better day of. I am going to experiment with freezing cupcakes in the future. I haf my doubts.

3)   Do not plan two weddings and 14 hours of driving plus 250 cupcakes and a two-tier cake in one weekend. Although rewarding, it is unwise. I can’t take credit for the little bump the cake suffered on its way to the venue (although the groom can). I covered it with that white ranunculus, and I thought it looked all right.

What a joy to be part of such a lovely day. I hope ya’ll like this cake–it was nearly the death of me.



Pipe Dream #26: To Remember Birthdays – Pink Champagne Cake

I have a problem. I can never remember your birthday. Well, I can remember it, if it falls the day before or after the 4th of July, or if you remind me constantly two weeks prior to the moment of your birth. But generally, I don’t know it. And the thing is, I really want to remember. I’m an ISFJ. I put a lot of stock in celebrating things like this.

I can barely even remember my best friends’ birthdays. I know Anthony was born in either August or September, on either the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, or 19th. We have a conversation about his birthday about twice a year because I always forget. It’s pathetic.

But this year, I surpassed myself. I almost forgot my own birthday. It just kind of snuck up on me. My last landmark birthday before 30, and I nearly forgot. I been busy, awright?

So I made myself a cake. It is called Pink Champagne Cake. And it was lovely. Eventually.

Remember that pretty book I received? I got this recipe from it.

As a cake-making amateur, I got impatient with letting the thing cool, so the slicing wasn’t perfect, the layers weren’t level, and the filling was not stiff enough to stay inside the cake. As you can see.

But somehow it came together. The frosting required 1/2 a cup of champagne, and my mind wasn’t thinking that this was unusual, so the frosting was way thin, and I had to add loads more powdered sugar to thicken it. It turned crusty on day two.

But the cake itself was particularly good. Light, but very moist, and with an unmistakable flavor of champagne. Bonus, you don’t even have to buy expensive champagne for this cake to taste good–the sugar rounds out the flavor of any cheap champagne very nicely. Pay no mind to the terrible filling job. I’ll do better next time.

It was also great fun to use my new piping tips and spatula. I use new spatulas for fun–ha! Among other things.



Pink Champagne Cake

Adapted from Booze Cakes

For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 egg whites

red food coloring

2 cups champagne

For the frosting*:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 cups powdered sugar (double this?)

1/2 cup champagne

1/4 whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch pans. (I used 8 inch pans–don’t do that.)

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat in egg whites one at a time. Mix in the food coloring.

Beat in flour mixture and champagne in three alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour to prevent curdling. Pour batter into pans and bake 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting, beat butter for 1 minute in a mixing bowl. Gradually add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

Once the cake has cooled completely (you could even stick it in the freezer for a bit), place bottom layer on a cake plate and spread half of the frosting over top. Add top layer and cover with frosting.

*If I did this again, I would halve the amounts of both the liquids and add a little more champagne if the frosting is too stiff. Or figure out a better way. You can do it!

Favorite Shots: She’s A Dancer

She’s a dancer in the garden, and she dances with the flowers.
In the early morning hours when the wind shifts and the fog drifts,
she’s a dancer.

She’s a dancer, and she knows it; everywhere she goes she shows it.
Condescending, not pretending; no regretting nor forgetting she’s a dancer.

And on my early morning walks I often find her.
I sit pretending that I’m looking at the paper.

And when people stop to watch her, she pretends she doesn’t see them,
doesn’t need them; and where she goes,
there the wind blows, though it’s only with the flowers that she dances.

And on my early morning walks I often find her.
I sit pretending that I’m looking at the paper.

-Larry Norman

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