True Blue all the way, baby! Our Cats are playing in the Final Four tomorrow night so the excitement and anticipation has the Big Blue Nation ready for nothing but watching the game tomorrow night! Game time is serious business!!! Ya don’t go messin’ with game time around here.
To go along with the excitement of being in the Final Four, my son’s teacher is a huge Wildcat fan. She integrated a reading incentive for her class this month by doing a “Reading In March Madness” tree for her class. The kids can pick a paper basketball or “K” to put on the tree when they earn a 100% on a reading test. If I know my son, he is working pretty hard to get those basketballs on the tree. Go, Colin!
To help with her idea, I told her I would make some cupcakes for a celebration on Friday. So off to the internet I went in search of a True Blue cupcake! As I searched the internet, I found the perfect one on the Eat At Home Cooks blog.
This cake is actually a Red Velvet cake recipe but instead of using the bottles of red food coloring I substituted with Wilton’s royal blue and violet coloring gels as suggested in the blog. Your local Wal-Mart should carry a section of Wilton supplies.
I apologize for the horrible, overexposed picture, but I wanted to share what my finished product result looked like. Not exactly what I was looking for, but I am really glad I tried it. I almost did not want to even make this blog entry today because my cakes did not turn out the best, and I know I can do better. Yet, I am going to use this entry as a reminder to myself that practice makes perfect. I think the next time I try this, I might use the original cake recipe, and a different icing recipe.
½ c. shortening
1 ½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. cocoa (next time I am using only 1 T.)
1 T. Wilton’s royal blue coloring gel
1 toothpick of Wilton’s violet coloring gel
1 c. buttermilk
2 ½ c. sifted cake flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
Cream shortening, sugar and vanilla until well-blended. Add 1 egg at a time and beat separately with sugar mixture.
In a small bowl, make a paste of food coloring and cocoa. I added about 3 teaspoons of water into the paste. Add to the sugar mixture.
Sift cake flour and salt. Ready to add to the mixture, alternate the buttermilk and flour to the sugar mixture (beginning and ending with the cake flour).
In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and white vinegar. This will bubble and fizz. Make sure the soda is mixed into the vinegar. Add to the sugar mixture.
Fill each cupcake well with cupcake liners and fill about 2/3 full in the cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.
2 – 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 T. heavy cream, or milk
Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. To help the smoothness, I usually sit my butter out to reach room temperature. If you forgot you can also nuke the butter in the microwave for about 10 seconds. You just don’t want to melt it because the icing will be runny.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar until well incorporated. If the icing is a little too stiff for your liking, begin to add the cream (or milk) a little at a time until you reach the consistency that works best for you.
I used giant round pastry tip I purchased from Bake It Pretty to ice the cupcakes, so I used every bit of the icing. If you don’t have pastry tips, you might consider halving the recipe. I was not totally sold on the flavor of the icing in this recipe but I am not sure if it is something I did, or if it needed a little more vanilla. It did create a nice consistency for icing the cupcakes. I do have a different icing recipe I might try the next time I make these to see how it works when using the large pastry tip.
Recipe adapted from Eat At Home Cooks Blog.
Notes: The next time I make these I will use 1 T. cocoa so the blue is not so dark, and I will not bake for 30 minutes. I made the icing orange for the color of basketballs, but I think it left my cupcake looking weird – more like Florida colors instead of UK (my daughter, E, was so quick to point out). I meant to make the icing look like basketballs, but I did not have the black icing. It was 10:30 pm and I just could not make myself get to the store to get black icing, so I opted to do the little UK pennants instead.
Here is the finished product after Colin added the “homemade” pennants to the cupcakes. It was one of those nights where I was definitely unprepared, but Colin was pleased with the outcome and he could care less about the orange icing with no black lines for the basketballs. So I thought well that is probably how the other kids his age will react, too.
So, Saturday night at 9:00 pm EST I hope you will be sitting in front of your flat screen to watch the Wildcats beat UCONN!
Awwww…C – A – T – S…Cats, Cats, Cats!