Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Freeze the icing: cupcakes topped with nature's goodies

I really, really wanted to love frosting and food colorings. But I don't. They might look good and yummy, but my cultural background is always there, reminding me that colors and frosting were (at that time) just for industrial cakes. This was the common sense when I was a kid growing up in the early 70's back in my home country. So, when I started baking cupcakes for my kid's birthdays to celebrate at school, I was always facing the dilemma: to top them with frost or not?

After a couple of years testing an alternative for covering cupcakes, I found a very easy and healthy one, tested about five times, that had an amazing result on preschoolers. My goal was always to have the kids eating cake and not just what was covering them.

So, instead of cake mix boxes, I adapted one recipe of yellow cake from Wiltons, changing its ingredients. The secret is  to give each cupcake a swirl of the kid's favorite jam: Bonne Mam├ín Raspberry Jam. After baking them I covered the beautiful little yummies with irresistible fresh blueberries and half strawberries, using sprinkled powdered sugar as a last cover. Believe me, after eating the fruit they really go for the cake.

Cupcakes with Swirl of Jam, Berries and Sugar Snow

Cake (for about 24 servings)
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread (Original) at room temperature
1 3/4 cup organic brown or caster sugar
2 large Free Range Omega 3 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoon French bourbon vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk or almond milk
1 cup red fruit jam
1 cup half cut strawberries
Enough blueberries to be at the top of each cake

Sift all dried ingredients together. Preheat oven to 350 F, and while oven heats, beat butter and sugar to a fluffy creamy texture. Add each egg, one at a time, to mix and vanilla extract at the end. When all looks creamy, start adding milk and flour alternately. Beat until mix looks homogeneous and well-integrated.

Pour batter in the cupcake cups. Pour jam into freezer bag and open a tiny slit at the end of one of its tips. Squeeze a swirl of jam in each cupcake. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

While cupcakes are still cooling, sprinkle powdered sugar with the help of a strainer over each of them and add the pieces of fruit. Add more sugar at the time of serving.


Darienne said...

Anna, I don't have much experience with spreads like the one you use here. If I were to substitute butter, should I use the same amount or adjust the measurement?

Anna said...

Oops, it took a long time here to get back to you! You can use the same amount and even try out with canola oil. I tested many recipes using it as a substitute and the cakes turned out lighter and good. Now you can try that for your Valentine's!!


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