Thursday, August 25, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Fondant Toppers & Two Frostings!

These cupcakes are always a big hit, and they are really quite easy to whip up.  Except for the cake flour, you probably always have each of the ingredients in your cupboards.  They are also easily made to be milk-free.  I used these for my daughter's second birthday, and most recently when I got last minute word that a friend was coming to town with her newborn.  And, as usual, they were gobbled up by kids and adults alike, and my husband moped around a bit when I left the few remaining ones at our friends' house.

On half of these, I used my standard cream cheese frosting.  I wanted to toss in a bit of cinnamon to give it a nice kick, but my husband talked me out of it.  Next time, I will, so if you'd like to as well just throw in a teaspoon or so of cinnamon.  Mix it up to taste.

And, because I was not the only one present avoiding milk for allergy reasons, I used a milk-free buttercream on the other half.  It actually tastes very good considering it is made from vegan butter.  The biggest difference is that it just doesn't become as creamy, and always looks a little "cracked" when it's piped.  As though it needs a bit more liquid.  You can add as much rice milk in as you want, but just be warned that it will never have the nice creamy texture of a cream cheese frosting or traditional buttercream, so don't overdo it and end up with soup.

I also topped these with cute little fondant toppers.  Luckily, I had some marshmallow fondant already all made up, and so just rolled it out (I'll post a recipe for that later), used an impression kit and cut out cute little shapes.  They were adorable and easy.    

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups cake flour, sifted
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance vegan butter (or, unsalted butter) at room temperature
1¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups rice milk

Preheat oven to 350 and line two cupcake pans with liners.

In a medium bowl combine both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and whisk to combine.

In stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes (vegan butter takes a bit longer to become fluffy).  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the rice milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix each addition until just incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake pans.  Bake 18-20 minutes until the middle is springy to the touch.  Allow to cool in the pans until cool enough to remove to a cooling rack.  Let cool completely before frosting.

Check this link for Cream Cheese Frosting.
For the Vegan Buttercream:
1 stick (1/2 cup) of Earth Balance vegan butter
1 Box Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tbs. rice milk, to begin

Cream vegan butter and powdered sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in vanilla.  Add in rice milk, check the creaminess and continue to add rice milk in very small quantities until desired consistency has been reached.

A few notes:

Occasionally, I will briefly refrigerate the frosting so that it holds its shape better when piped.  It seems to be so heavy that is doesn't stay nicely swirled.  Chilling will stop that to some extent, but too long and it will make it crack even more.

For the frostings and fondant toppers I used Americolor Electric Blue and Electric Orange (I also used leaf green for some toppers that aren't pictured).

Source:  Recipe adapted from Annies Eats.

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