What a week – I felt completely caught up after the long Thanksgiving weekend – and then something happened (work maybe?) and by Wednesday, everything had completely turned around. I was back to being in the weeds, and this week, I couldn’t find my way out. It was my younger daughter’s birthday on Wednesday – the big 7. She had been looking forward to her birthday for months – I was almost worried it would be a let down when it finally came, but this year really took the cake, so to speak…
My mother and step-father flew in for her birthday, and it was a surprise for her. They showed up at her classroom with donuts on Wednesday morning, and she was beside herself. I saw a video my step-father took, and it was so adorable. That night we had a nice family birthday dinner, Friday night we went out to dinner to celebrate her birthday, and then the big birthday party was on Saturday. This was no ordinary party – this was a bunny birthday party – with live bunnies – 15 of them. Yes, you are reading this correctly – there were 15 live bunnies in my house, and they were not in a cave. Not only were there 15 bunnies, there were 14 little girls in my house, enjoying these little bunnies. And while they were doing that, I was making these – the bunny cupcakes.
It was quite chaos in my house – but I just had to go with it. It seriously took we all day today to recover from yesterday. The party was a big hit though, and the girls loved the cupcakes. Fortunately my mother made the fondant ears, and she found these adorable edible eyes – which helped me immensely. I went with the tried and true Downy Yellow Cupcakes from the Cake Bible - and my favorite Marshmallow Frosting. For the most part, the girls loved them – I did get one very noteworthy comment from one of her good friends, who reminded me that cupcakes don’t have a lot of nutritional value: There is no protein or calcium in cupcakes – yes, this is from a 7-year old. Next time, maybe I will go with some Meatloaf Cupcakes.
6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon + teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (must be softened)
- 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips
- 4 large egg whites
- 2 cusp sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound of white fondant
- Tylose Powder (about 1 teaspoon)
- Corn Syrup
- pink sugar crystals
- mini marshmallows
- edible eyes (or you can use mini-chocolate chips)
- pink M&Ms
- pink hearts
- thin soba noodles
- pink food coloring
Cupcakes – makes 24
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl lightly combine the yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low-speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low-speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high-speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides. Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins lined with papers. Fill them about 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on racks for 10 minutes.
Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Set the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
With an electric mixer on high-speed, beat the mixture, still over the simmering water, until thick and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Serve this the day it is made as it becomes granular if it sits.
Makes about 6 cups – you will have extra.
Add about 1 teaspoon of the Tylose Powder to the fondant, and knead well. This will make the fondant harden. You can test it by trying out a small piece to see if it starts to harden – depending on the humidity, you will need different amounts of powder. Roll the fondant out so it is about 1/8 inch thick, and using a bunny cookie cutter, make bunny ears. You should make sure the bottom comes to a v so it is easy to stick the ears in the cupcake. Let the bunny ears lay on a wooden spoon handle, so the ears bend a little on the top. Let them sit overnight to harden.
Take your finger, and dip it into some corn syrup just inside the ears, then sprinkle some pink sugar crystals inside.
Take a little bit of frosting and put a thin layer on top of the cupcakes. Take about 6-7 mini-marshmallows and put them in the center of the cupcake – this is going to help the frosting mound up in the middle. Then put frosting all around to cover the marshmallows. At this point, you can take a butter knife, and put a slit into the cupcake where you would like the ears to go. Stick the ears into the cupcake. Place two eyes, the M&M nose and heart mouth on the cupcake. Take a soba noodle and break it into 6 small equal pieces – use those for the whiskers. I put a little bit of marshmallow frosting into a small bowl and mixed in some pink food coloring and piped a little bit next to the whiskers for the bunny cheeks.
For a printer friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Bunny Cupcakes