Friday, February 19, 2010

birthday butterfly cupcakes

Yummy note:
Last year, I won a raffle at work where I acquired a book the company I work for publishes called "Hello, Cupcake!" I thought it was a very cute and whimsical book of ideas, but really didn't see myself making any of these cute cupcakes that often. I thought that they'd take way too long to make and be not worth it. Boy, was I wrong! It was my friend, Mandi's birthday, so my other friend, Katie and I decided to surprise her with a treat of homemade chocolate butterfly cupcakes. It was so fun and definitely worth the time to make to see the excitement on our friends' faces and to see our kids' reactions to how cute they were. Thanks for the idea, "Hello, Cupcake!"

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe:
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 oz unsweetened chocolate melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In one bowl whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next, add eggs (to butter/sugar bowl), beating well after each one. Then beat in melted chocolate. Next add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in batches; starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cupcakes were baking, I started to prepare the butterfly wings. Start with a pattern for the wing pieces and antennae, which I got mine from the "Hello, Cupcake!" book. I traced the pattern on the waxed paper. Next I melted the colored chocolate wafers and put them into piping bags for ease. I started to trace, color in and fill my outlines with colored chocolate. See wings and antennae pictures below. If you want, you can add some sprinkles or other finishing touches to the chocolate butterfly bodies while they are still setting up. Once that's completed, I set those aside or in the fridge to set up and harden. (This step doesn't take that long actually. The chocolate hardens pretty quickly when you use the wafers.)

For frosting, I just used a boxed mix of Wilton's Icing Mix to cut down on some of our time in the kitchen preparing. Mix frosting according to the directions and added food coloring to tint the frosting to the desired color.

Once the cupcakes are ready, it's time to start making the butterflies! Frost the cupcakes, and place some small candies (we used brown M&M's) on the frosting, under the wings of the butterfly to give them some lift and on the cupcake. Add the antennae, and next pipe some more of the chocolate down the middle of the two butterfly wings to bring the butterfly to "life" - this completes your butterfly body! Start assembling butterflies as you wish and make a beautiful field of your own with a little bit of creativity and fun! Enjoy!

Original recipe design taken from the Hello, Cupcake! book by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson

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