Friday, October 18, 2013

Cute pumpkin cupcakes: Pin-worthy and easy #Halloween

I love browsing Pinterest and collecting recipes and ideas that I will likely never make. I share and pin and dream, but when it comes down to actually making something, I am all about quick and easy.

I recently made a couple Pinterest recipes for a neighborhood party, but my latest baking endeavor was really the best-tasting, cutest, smile-inducing treat of them all. And it was incredibly easy.

If you are a semi-homemade, 'gotta be quick' baker like me, this is for you: I call it "how one simple kitchen gadget can make gorgeous cupcakes every time". Pin-worthy cupcakes that look like they came from the bakery.

(1) Make cupcakes. Store-bought cake mix is all I use. For this example, I used French Vanilla cake mix.

(2) Once batter is mixed and beaten, add food coloring if you wish. Here, the cake is a light orange.

(3) Bake cupcakes as usual. My batch made 18 cupcakes. The box mix said 24 cupcakes should bake 17-22 minutes, but my slightly larger 18 actually needed only about 16 minutes. You don't want vanilla cake mix to get brown on the edges.

(4) Once the cupcakes are cool, it is time to decorate like a pro. My frosting? Store-bought, ready-made, from the can. My secrets to beautiful frosting? A touch of food coloring to match the cupcake theme and the Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator.

This tool is super simple and comes with various tip shapes. I use the star shape to squeeze frosting on cupcakes just like the bakery would. It gives them a professional finished look, much better than when I try the 'smearing on with a butter knife' technique.  And it is really easy!

(5)  Once icing is beautifully piped onto the cupcakes, you can decorate. Pinterest has thousands of amazing decorating ideas, but I am just as happy with a candy accent and a list dusting of colored sugar. Here, I used just a festive pumpkin candy and some red sugar.

Voila! Gorgeous and tasty pumpkin cupcakes. In about as little time as you could possibly make them.
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