Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Golden Butter Cupcakes with Almond Flowers

This is another one of those posts that I will use to focus on my decorating, rather than my baking. Using a picture I clipped out of a magazine a while back, I made a batch of cupcakes and decorated half to look like flowers, using sliced almonds. These were made for a Labor Day party.

I used a box mix for these cupcakes - Betty Crocker's Super Moist Golden Butter Cake Mix. I made 24 cupcakes using the box's directions, but I ended up only decorating 13 for the party. Once they had cooled, I began decorating.

For the plain ones, I used Duncan Hines' Frosting Creations. If you haven't seen these, they are very cool. They offer all types of flavors - bubblegum, cherry vanilla, mint chocolate, orange creme, and several others. I used chocolate almond. Thus, I had seven chocolate almond frosted cupcakes. Still six to go.

For these six, I frosted them with Duncan Hines' Cream Cheese frosting. Then I took two bags of sliced almonds and, by sticking them into the frosting in concentric circles, created flowers.

Aren't they pretty?
You may notice that, in the very middle, I have placed almonds with the skin still intact on one side. This creates a distinct center that helps the illusion of a flower. 

The whole batch.
These went over well, though I think some people were afraid to bite into the ones with almonds. They do look rather spiky! ;) They are more for accent than anything, really. I was happy with the way these turned out. 

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

It seems like there is always something going on with our family.

Once again, I have fallen behind on my posts due to circumstances outside the blogosphere. Illnesses in the family have slowed down my baking so luckily there's only two posts I need to catch up on. Hopefully I'll be getting back in the groove soon.

Today's post comes to us from My Baking Addiction (if you couldn't tell, I've fallen in love with her).  The recipe is aptly named The Best Chocolate Cake. I'd have to agree.

I did not use black cocoa flour, and instead of buttermilk I used regular milk. I made this cake on a whim - my mom's whim, actually. She was craving something chocolate so that's how this all began. Anyway, those are the only variations from the recipe. Now, I am not a coffee fan, but the coffee complemented this rich cake wonderfully - not too overwhelming.

I used one 13x9 pan in which to bake my cake, and it turned out beautifully. Now, if you look at the bottom of the recipe, you'll see her recommendation for icing - chocolate buttercream frosting. I followed this suggestion.

Again, I substituted milk for the cream in this recipe. Also, the first time through I did not see where she plainly stated that melted butter would NOT work in this recipe - it must be softened, not melted. I think this is where I went wrong.

My frosting turned out delicious, but runny. After it set it was better but still not the thick, luscious icing you see depicted on the recipe page.

It sort of pooled around the sides.
This cake paired with this icing was very rich, but not too sweet due to the addition of coffee. I really wish I had noticed the caveat about the butter, because then it would have been perfect. But oh well.