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Old 05-15-2008, 07:09 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
Cupcake questions

Hi there,

Money has been tight lately so in order to make a bit of extra cash my friend and I have been making cupcakes and selling them in the park. Crazy idea I know, but we have had a great response and we've had a lot of fun doing it. BUT, we haven’t quite got the icing right.

Previously we have made two types of icing. One made with icing sugar, water and flavouring (vanilla, strawberry or lemon).

The second type of icing is frosting: icing sugar butter and flavouring (vanilla, strawberry, lemon or chocolate – in which case we as unsweetened cocoa).

Both types have their benefits – the first type goes hard and you can pipe things on or drizzle chocolate over them; the second type just taste really good.

However, we want to improve as we’ve had varying results. Last time we made the frosting we didn’t use an electric beater and I don’t think we used enough butter. The time before that we used an electric beater and more butter and they went all fluffy and creamy (but not as creamy as the cupcake from Cupcakes and Doilies – see below).

In addition to this, one customer complained that the first type of icing was too sweet ad sugary (what did he think he was buying?!). So I am on a mission to research icing and interested in your tips and advice.

Also - I had a delicious cupcake from Cupcakes and Doilies – Sunday upmarket brick lane in London, and the icing was so nice – like light fluffy cream. My question is – how do I get it like that? Is it just a matter of beating it for ages?

I have found this recipe from Magnolia

Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes*
· 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
· 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
· 1/2 cup milk
· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.

This is an American recipe – so just to clarify – 1 cup or two sticks is 250g? and confectioner’s sugar is icing sugar right?

Thanks for any help

PS: I’ll post some photos as soon as my friend downloads them from her camera.

PPS: The cupcake recipe I use is Nigellas but I find that sometimes the cupcakes come out flat or quite small, so I add a tsp of baking powder and sometimes increase the flour, but I'm not sure I should increase the flour as it might make them less fluffy and sweet.


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Old 05-15-2008, 11:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3

From looking at a previous post, I think CherryRed's suggestion may be the trick to fluffy creamy icing. It's Kittencal's Creamy White Buttercream Frosting/Icing

Here is the recipe:


· 6 tablespoons butter, softened (no substitutions, I mostly just use 1/2 cup butter)

· 3 tablespoons 35% cream, unwhipped (or you may use 18% cream or half and half or full-fat milk, but will not be as creamy)

· 1 teaspoon vanilla

· 3 cups confectioners' sugar


1. In a bowl, beat together the butter, whipping cream and vanilla until smooth (about 3 minutes).

2. Add in confectioners sugar; beat very well until smooth, adding more if necessary to achieve desired consistency.

Note: In order for the icing to have a creamy texture, only whipping cream must be used.

It also says you can add Cool Whip but I prefer using natural ingredients.

I am going to give this a try tonight

I am also going to try colouring sugar so I can sprinkle it on the cupcakes.

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Old 05-15-2008, 12:17 PM   #3
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Location: Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico
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I applaud your ingenuity and entrepreneurship, Cupcake Kitten. People here do that all the time. We buy the best tamales, tacos, tortas (sandwiches) from street venders. And sometimes, they just go door to door. How well your cupcakes hold up with that icing depends on how warm it is where you are. If it's still nice and cool, no problem. If you do a google search on "cupcakes" you will find many sites devoted exclusively to cupcakes and their decoration, Might give you some fun ideas. Best of luck and welcome to DC.
Saludos, Karen
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:19 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,783
Welcome to Discuss Cooking. Lately I've noticed the price of food everywhere has gone up - from the market to restaurants. Neat idea - selling home-baked treasures.

I have a simple but yummy recipe for cream cheese frosting I use for casrrot cake. If your interested, let me know. For some knock-your-socks-off inspriation, take a look here.

Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:15 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2008
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Thanks MexicoKaren and Amy for your warm welcome and encouragement.

I tried out Kittencal's buttercream icing - although I think I used about half a cup of cream rathe rthan 3 table spoons. It tastes so good though. I chcked it this morning after it had been in the fridge and it was a nice stable consistency. It will be interesting to see how it will hold up tomorrow afternoon. I think it wil be ok as they wil only be outside for a few hours. I will have to make another batchof icing and I won't use as much cream this time.

I also tried colouring some icing sugar - blue, red and purple by adding food colouring to a container of caster sugar, shking it up and then putting it in a bowl to dry. In teh moring once it was dry the colour had faded a bit but still looked good - blue was the most vibrant. The sugar itself was a bit hard and stuck together but crumbled to its original state quite easily using a fork.

So tonight's the night - we have to make 9 double batches to make 216 cupcakes. Last time it took 6 hours. This time we hope to half that time by doing 3 batches per hour (they only take about 12 mins in my oven).

Amy - thanks for the link to the cupcake bakeshop - amazing and very informative. Yes I would be interested in your cream cheese frosting if you would care to share
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:02 AM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,448
Here's the cream cheese frosting I use:
1 box powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 cube (˝ cup) butter, soft
1 box (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
milk, as needed
Beat first 4 ingreds together. Add milk till it reaches desired consistency.

there's a bakery about a half-hour's drive from my home that I've gone to, just for their cupcakes with buttercream frosting. I have no idea how they do it and they're not willing to tell! :(
Come visit my foodie blog: www.SockmonkeysKitchen.com
This week's topic: Pinterest and Potatoes
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:27 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by The Cupcake Kitten View Post
...Thanks MexicoKaren and Amy for your warm welcome and encouragement.
You are very welcome. My cream cheese frosting (for carrot cake), may be a little heavy for the cupcakes. I do, however, have a fluffier cream cheese frosting that would pair nicely with cupcakes. Basically, it's mascarpone, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, vanilla & confectioners' sugar. I'm not where my recipes are right now. Would be happy to pm it to you when I get to my recipe stash.

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