Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Watermelon Cupcakes with Watermelon Cream Cheese Buttercream

 Difficulty: easy
Time consuming: about an hour start to finish for the cakes and 30ish minutes to make the frosting and top the cupcakes

Sweet Your Heart Out is officially 1 year old. I can't believe I've been posting recipes for a whole year. Although I didn't post as much as I wanted to, a lot has happened in the past year: another school year has passed, we went to Florida and planned our next vacation, we bought a new car, I started weight training at this awesome new gym (I can dead lift my body weight!), I replaced the bicycle I got in 2nd grade, I assisted coaching cheerleading, I coached a Girls on the Run team for my school, and  now we're in the process of buying a house!

So the best way to celebrate a year of sweet recipes and as a perfect way to kick off summer, I made watermelon cupcakes with watermelon icing. I brought 2 1/2 dozen of these to a party on Memorial Day weekend and they were gobbled up. The pink cake is moist and speckled with black jimmies to look just like watermelon seeds. The icing has cream cheese in it which I think helps temper the overall sweetness of the cupcake and keeps from having an overwhlming watermelon flavor. The watermelon flavor of these cupcakes reminded many of starbursts, jolly ranchers, or bubblegum.

I bought the black jimmies, large black nonpareils, chunky white icing sugar, and watermelon oil from Cincinnati Cake and Candy located in Reading , Ohio. For the cupcake liners, although I bought bright green liners, they turned brownish with the pink batter inside (flashback to basic art skills - complimentary colors make brown). To remedy that problem, I printed this cupcake liner template, traced it onto green scrapbook paper, and wrapped it around my cupcakes.

These cupcakes tasted phenomenal! But if you wanted to vary up the flavors a bit, I would try the watermelon cake with a vanilla basil buttercream, these watermelon cupcakes with white chocolate and lime, or just make a plain vanilla cake and tint it pink and use your favorite buttercream recipe - you could even add chocolate chips to the batter instead of jimmies to look like seeds since the chocolate would be paired with vanilla (yum) instead of watermelon (watermelon and chocolate, nothankyou).

Watermelon Cupcakes
Makes 2 1/2 dozen


Watermelon cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 dram (1 teaspoon) watermelon flavoring oil (like Lorann) - link to ccc
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 16 ounce container (2 cups) sour cream
Food coloring (optional) (I used Wilton rose colored gel food coloring)
3-4 tablespoons black jimmies (optional)

Watermelon cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. line to muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, mix well between each additions.  Add watermelon flavoring and mix to incorporate.

3.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.  Then add 1/2 the sour cream, beat until just mixed.  Then the second 1/3 of flour.  Then the last 1/2 of sour cream.  And finally add the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.  You should have mixed until combined between each addition.

4.  Add food coloring as desired.

5.  Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs sticking to it.

Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Watermelon Frosting
makes enough to lightly (not huge swirls) frost 24 cupcakes

1 dram (about 1 teaspoon)  teaspoon watermelon flavoring (like LorAnn's)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
*food coloring (optional)

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together.

2.  Add sugar (1/2 cup at a time so it doesn't *poof* all over the kitchen) and mix until blended.

3.  Add food coloring (if using) and watermelon extract, beat on high until light and fluffy.

*If you want a thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar.  If you want a thinner frosting, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

To make the cupcakes really look like watermelon, I rolled the edge of the frosting in white icing sugar (the big crystals) and dotted the top with large, black nonpareils.

Watermelon Cake recipe from Bakingom
Frosting from Group Recipes

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