Sweet Stuff

Psychedelic Cupcakes

If everything is going according to plan, Betsy and I are landing in Amsterdam today and so I thought it would be appropriate to make some psychedelic food. Turns out not only were these cupcakes delicious, but they would be super fun to make with the little ones also. Not that I have any little ones, but if I did, I think they would enjoy these guys.

I got this recipe from a good friend who happened to be a previous pastry chef at a very prominent DC bakery. This is a recipe he came up with for a wedding cake actually, but let me tell ya… it makes really good cupcakes. Super light and fluffy but still rich and flavorful. Awesome stuff.

Psychedelic Cupcakes

Just a moment please...

Yield
24 cupcakes
Prep Time
Total Time

Ingredients

Base mixture:

- 226 grams butter
- 348 grams sugar

Dry stuff:

- 348 grams cake flour (very important. I tried this recipe once with pastry flour and it didn't work at all.)
- 4 Teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt

Wet stuff:

- 1 Cup Milk
- 1.5 Teaspoons vanilla extract (or brandy or some other flavoring)

Meringue:

- 284 grams egg whites (about 8 eggs)
- 70 grams sugar
Food Coloring
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Directions

1) Cream the butter and sugar together. Weigh the ingredients to get the recipe correct.

2) Mix all the dry ingredients together and all the wet ingredients separately. Then slowly add the dry and wet ingredients to the base mixture of sugar and butter.

3) Start by adding about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then add half the wet ingredients, then half of the remaining dry ingredients, the rest of the wet ingredients, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.

For meringue:
1) Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Do this one at a time and then add the white to the rest of the whites.

2) Start beating these with the hand mixer until they are very fluffy and forming light peaks, then slowly pour in the sugar. After a few more minutes of beating, stiff peaks will form.

3) With a spatula, fold the meringue into the previous batter mixture. Fold it slowly and take your time. You want to keep as many of the bubbles in the meringue as possible.

4) Take a few tablespoons of the mixture in a few different bowls and added some gel coloring.

5) Pour a layer of white batter in each cup, then randomly pour the colors in each cup.

6) Top each cupcake off with more white mixture and then used a butter knife (or toothpick) to gently swirl the mixture. Just make two or three swirls.

7) Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

8) After the cakes cool, frost each of them pretty generously.

Step one is just creaming your butter and sugar together. You should end up with a light and fluffy mixture after a few minutes of beating. I use a hand mixer for this, but if you have a stand mixer, obviously you can use that. I guess also a whisk would work, but it’s gonna take some time.

Butter and Sugar. Beat the crap out of it.

Butter and Sugar. Beat the crap out of it.

To really get baking right, I think it is pretty important to weigh ingredients. It’s the only way to make sure everything is perfect. Digital scales are really inexpensive and I use mine for all kinds of things. Here are some common conversions though if you want the above recipe in Cups.

Digital scale is very important.

Digital scale is very important.

Mix all your dry ingredients together and all your wet ingredients separately. Then slowly add your dry and wet ingredients to your base mixture of sugar and butter. Start by adding about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then add half the wet ingredients, then half of the remaining dry ingredients, the rest of the wet ingredients, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.

So you start with dry ingredients and you end by adding dry ingredients. You’ll end up with a batter but it will be very thick. That’s okay though, because we are about to add a large quantity of meringue to the batter.

The Meringue. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Do this one at a time and then add the white to the rest of the whites. If you get even one tiny speck of yolk in the whites, they won’t whip up due to the fat in the yolk. You’ll end up with a bunch of yolks that you can use for a yolk omelet or something. Just joking, but seriously you could make about 2 gallons of hollandaise sauce.

The whites are gonna be put to work.

The whites are gonna be put to work.

All you need is the whites though. Start beating these with your hand mixer until they are very fluffy and forming light peaks, then slowly pour in your sugar. After a few more minutes of beating, stiff peaks will form.

Dang! That's a good lookin' meringue.

Dang! That’s a good lookin’ meringue.

With a spatula, fold the meringue into the previous batter mixture. It will lighten substantially and be velvety smooth. Fold it slowly and take your time. You want to keep as many of the bubbles in the meringue as possible. Be gentle here people.

Folding the meringue in makes it super-light.

Folding the meringue in makes it super-light.

Now of course you could just bake this as is and it would be delicious. But I took a few tablespoons of the mixture in a few different bowls and added some fun colors to them. I used the gel coloring rather than the liquid. The liquid would really change the consistency of the batter.

FUN.

FUN.

My idea was to put the colors in the middle of each cupcake and then swirl them around a bit. So I did a layer of white batter in each cup, then randomly poured the colors in each cup.

Kids would love this.

Kids would love this.

Finally I topped each cupcake off with more white mixture and then used a butter knife (or toothpick) to gently swirl the mixture. Just make two or three swirls. If you do more than that you will combine all the colors too much and end up with a purple filling. Not as fun.

Stir it up!

Stir it up!

Bake these guys at 375 for 20-25 minutes. When they come out of the oven they will be puffed up, but as they cool they will calm down a bit. And yes, you want to let them to cool completely before you do anything with them.

I mean come on.

I mean come on.

I’m not going to post the instructions for the frosting I made here. I used the exact instructions and recipe from Dyann Bakes. Her 1:2:3 butter cream worked out perfectly.

After the cakes cooled I frosted each of them pretty generously.

This cupcake would fail a psychodelic color test.

This cupcake would fail a psychedelic color test.

I brought these guys into work one day (because Betsy made me take them out of the house) and they were very quickly devoured. Not only were they really fun, but also very tasty.

Whether you do the colors or not, try out this cake recipe. It is killer.

10 comments on “Psychedelic Cupcakes

  1. Awesome! I have been looking for a good white cake recipe.

    I hope you two are enjoying everything that Amsterdam has to offer ;)

  2. Your cupcakes are so fluffy! I've always wanted to try folding egg whites into batter. You make it look easy, but it's so hard!

  3. These were so good. I just made them for a baby shower and when I bit into the cupcake I was literally so surprised and amazed by how great they were I congratulated myself. Out loud. In front of people.

  4. Hi! I’m new to your lovely blog. These cupcakes look awesome! I see that you visited Amsterdam. We’re taking a trip there in October and I was wondering if you had any tips or advice. Your recipes look awesome and I can’t wait to try some.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

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