Saturday, October 29, 2011

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy Corn Cupcakes
My sister loves all things candy corn. She eats bags and bags of Brach's best every year. Her birthday also happens to fall in October, so I had been planning months in advance to make her candy corn cupcakes. The idea sounded too cute not to try out at some point, and this was obviously the perfect opportunity. Due to some poor planning on my part, and a Saturday morning wake-up that left me not feeling too well, I was rushed when I made my first attempt at these guys. Generally I leave myself hours to perfect a new cupcakes, but it just wasn't meant to be with these. They were however a great learning experience.

They were a learning experience for two reasons: 1) I used a white cake recipe that I found online and then doctored to my tastes, but had never made before 2) I have never died cake with food coloring before, ever.

Too make the cupcakes you make a white cake batter and then divide it in two equal parts, food coloring is added to make one yellow, one orange. I dyed all of the batter yellow, took out half, and added a few drops of red coloring to the remainder. They are then frosted in white, giving the appearance of the layered sugar in candy corn. 

All in all, the cupcakes tasted pretty good. I used a basic white cake which you can find here, I made sure to use whole milk, which tends to help out in baking. I also substituted maple syrup for vanilla extract and added about a teaspoon of almond. I really love adding a touch of almond to a plain cake as it gives it a little flair. With these I think any flavoring would work to spice it up, and had I thought about it with more time to spare I probably would have tried a marshmallow flavoring and really made them taste like candy corn. In any case I ended up making an almond cake with my regular buttercream frosting (and plenty of it!)

The layers of color were a bit too subtle.
Things I would do differently: The cake was slightly dry for my taste, so I think that if I were to use it again I would add in a little sour cream to moisten it up even more. Also, like I said, I would play with other flavorings. I would also be more heavy handed on the food coloring. I was hesitant to go too dark as I wasn't sure what would happen when they baked, but as you can see, they were subtle in coloring. I used basic gel coloring that you can buy at a grocery store, but think I would have been better off with the more concentrated colors that come from baking supply shops. The picture makes it slightly harder to see than in real life as well. In this case, I was short on time and afraid to wreck my batter by adding too much red coloring. Overall I think that they were a super quick and fun cupcake that will be much improved the second time around.

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