I'd like to introduce you to a little piece of heaven. Reader, meet cupcake. Cupcake, reader.
Here are the basics behind these bad boys.
Yes, I used a cake mix. I have a hard time wanting to make my cakes from scratch when the mixes already taste so great and are so fast. Plus, I haven't found a cake recipe that warrants me spending an extra hour in the kitchen. If you have one, seriously, fill me in. I am willing to try any recipe once.
The cream filling is the same one that I used for the owl birthday cake. After the cupcakes were baked according to the box directions and cool, I used a filler tip to put the pastry filling in each cupcake. I probably could have put a bit more in than I did, but it's nearly impossible to tell what's going on inside each cupcake. After I made these, I heard a tip from a friend about how to know when there is enough filling: Listen for a "burp". I have not tried it, so don't take my word for it, but if you want to try it, there it is.
Like I said, I used the Perfect Cupcake Frosting recipe for these. Can I just tell you that everyone raved about it? It is a little bit of work, but so very worth it. Take note, however, that the recipe makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes, and a usual batch from the box makes 24 cupcakes. I doubled the recipe and had no problems. In fact, it was the perfect amount for all the cupcakes. I colored the frosting teal with the Wilton gel coloring, using mostly sky blue with a little bit of leaf green, then I used the big star tip to frost these. As a finishing touch, I sprinkled on some hot pink sugar sprinkles. The best part about the frosting is that it didn't instantly form a crust, like the canned stuff.
I was really pleased with this cupcake experience. Really, really pleased. These are the best cupcakes I have made to date, and that counts the Rainbow Cupcakes I made last year. The frosting was a huge part of that, plus the fact that I learned about using the big star tip to frost them. Seriously, that tutorial changed my cupcake-decorating life.
I think that pretty much sums it up.