Swirly-Girly White Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Vanilla Bean Icing

Ever been to a Princess Party? We had one yesterday and these Swirly-Girly Cupcakes were the stars of the show…. other than the the princess of course! ………………
……………. I shared on Wednesday that we were headed to visit our daughter and her family in London  in order to help with the arrival of a new baby – our first grandSON! We were hoping this little man would hold off just a wee bit longer as we had a little partying to do before his grand entrance into the world. Our middle granddaughter, Elle, was turning five yesterday and we had planned a family celebration.

A few weeks ago, Mommy (Mum) had bought Elle a beautiful white princess gown, The absolute perfect attire for such a festive occasion!

Arriving in London, however, we had a few doubts whether this baby would wait even one more day …………………. As we prepared for the party we were wondering ……….

……. and I bet you’d be wondering too! …………… as you can see, it appeared that this new baby was quite imminent. Well, we all breathed a sigh of relief,……………. a “mission-accomplished”sigh of relief when we concluded Elle’s party.

MY OTHER RECIPES


By the way, those are “Grammy produced” sparkles on Elle’s pretty face. Quite the makeup job!

We decided to keep things simple and order pizza for dinner, so I wanted something special and pretty for the birthday dessert. These Swirly-Girly White Chocolate Cupcakes are moist, delicious and easy to throw together. Honestly though, if you’re pinched for time, just use a white cake mix. …………  it’s okay because the really fun and delicious part is the icing. It will make even a cake mix cupcake taste like it came from a fine bakery! I tried a new technique and it turned out so fancy and festive looking – I’m sure I’ll be using it for many special occasions in the future.

Though it looks a bit involved, the technique is really fairly simple. (But we’ll keep that our little secret, deal?). I used three different colors, but I think two would work just as well.

Do you know any princes or princesses? No? Well, I believe any family member or dear friend is worthy of a royal celebration! So, check out the technique/recipe below and give it a go ………….. it’s a “keeper”, for sure!

White Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 & 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 ounces of good quality white chocolate chips or a 4-ounce white chocolate bar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup plus1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.

2. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners of your choice. (I like to use two contrasting patterns, I add the second one after baking. Also, if you can find the greaseproof liners, they work wonderful. They look just as pretty after baking as before.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

4. In another large bowl (or with a stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light & fluffy (2 to 3 minutes).

5. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla – mix well.

6. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk in 2 to 3 portions. Mix well after each addition. Divide batter evenly into prepared cupcake pan.

7. Bake cupcakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs (about 22 minutes). Let cool completely before frosting.

Adapted from The Fig Tree

Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

4-6 tablespoons milk
6 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:
1. Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add 4 tablespoons of milk and and vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla bean paste or vanilla) beat again for 2 minutes. 

3. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. If too thick add a bit more milk, just a teaspoon at a time. If too thin add a bit more powdered sugar. (It needs to be thick enough to hold it’s shape, but not so thick that you have difficulty swirling the icing through the decorating tip.)

Instructions for the Swirly-Girly technique:
1. Prepare icing as directed and divide into two or three bowls, depending on how many colors you want in your swirls. Add food coloring to achieve desired colors. I really like the gel food coloring, it gives much deeper, richer colors and comes in a wide variety of beautiful hues. 

2. Lay out 2 or 3 (depending on how many colors you are using) pieces of plastic wrap (approximately 18″-20″ long) on your work surface. Spread out the contents of each bowl on a separate piece of the plastic wrap lengthwise, forming a rectangle, approximately 8″ long. Starting with one long side, fold plastic wrap over the icing and roll into a cylinder-shaped tube. Secure both ends with a knot. Repeat with the remaining colors.
3. When you’re ready to ice the cupcakes, fit a large pastry bag with a large star decorating tip. (I use a Wilton 1M) or snip a tiny corner off of a gallon-size zippered bag and fit with a large star decorating tip. 
Cut off one of the knot ends from each tube and place tubes in prepared pastry bag. Pipe cupcakes as desired. Have fun watching the three beautiful colors unfold!


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