Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cupcakes, cake pops and parties, oh my!!

Abby and Jacob's birthday's are a week apart in November and I have always done a joint party since it makes my life so much easier.  I'm sure in the next year or two one or the other will request a solo party, but until then I try my best to make a party that that is suitable for both of them.  We've always had parties at home to save money and make it easier when they were littler, but this year we decided since there were so many kids between all their friends, that we would have it at Pump it Up!  For my Mass friends and fam, pump it up is an giant indoor jumpy place.  You probably have 100 awesome places like this there, but Tucson is lame and has one.  So since this place basically does all the set up and things I didn't want to do a "theme" like normal.  I decided just to do green and purple, Jacob and Abby's favorite colors.  I thought cupcakes and cake pops would be easier for littles to eat and I love making cake pops so any excuse to do make them, I'll jump at the chance! 

This is my basic vanilla cupcake recipe, it makes 20 cupcakes:
2 1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c milk
1/2 c veg oil
1 t vanilla extract
1 stick (8T) unsalted butter, room temp
1 c sugar
3 lg eggs

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
Mix the milk, veg oil and vanilla in a small bowl or a 2 c measuring cup and set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter in your mixer until light and fluffy (abt 3 min.) and then add the eggs one at a time until all incorporated.
After the eggs are mixed in, add the flour mix and the milk mix in batched beginning and ending with the flour mix, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
A nifty trick for putting your batter in the cupcake liners is to use a large plastic bag and clip the corner and pipe it into the liners.
Place your large plastic bag in a tall cup and pour it in... 
then take it out of the cup, clip the tip and pipe it in!
Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 18-20 min.  Mine take exactly 19 minutes :) Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
I have a few different frosting recipes I use but my Abby isn't a big fan of the classic butter cream recipe.  I think it's a bit too sweet for her, if that is even possible! So I decided to make a cross between a butter cream and a classic cream cheese frosting this time.  Hopefully she likes it :)
Butter cream/cream cheese frosting
1stick of butter, softened
4oz of cream cheese, softened
16 oz (one box) confectioners sugar
3 T milk
1 t vanilla extract
* I doubled this recipe because I made two batches of cupcakes. I had extra frosting too.
I colored half purple and half green.
I use the same bag trick for my pastry bag for the frosting.  Add some sprinkles and I'm done!
I also made cake pops in coordinating colors...
green for Jacob...
purple for Abby!
Sorry for my yucky wax paper photos...I have to let them set before I can display them properly :)
So tomorrow I will by pumping it up with my peas and enjoying my cleaning-free party. I'm sure it'll be one for the record books :)



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