Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beehive Lemon Honey Cupcakes

I've been slacking on the cupcake entries, so let me just reassure you, there are plenty of them to come. Trust me. Just haven't had the time to write about all of them. These are some cupcakes I did for one of my really great friend's baby's first birthday. The theme was Winnie the Pooh (hoo hoo hoo!). I'm a big Winnie the Pooh fan, and loved him probably a lot longer than a normal kid, but I don't care because he's just too cute. Him and his stuffiness...maybe that's it. The fact that he's a stuffed animal. I've always had a huge thing for stuffed animals.Moving on...

I tried thinking up tons of really great cupcake frosting recipes that involved honey, but nothing that brilliant came to mind, and anything semi-cool that did come to mind I knew I didn't have enough time(or the money, let's face it...butter prices are way too high!) to experiment around with. So, lemon+honey=always the right choice. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed with the cake itself, but I'm not focusing on the actual cake this year, I'm focusing on frostings, and I thought the frosting was a winner.

The frosting recipe is one I have used A LOT this year. Because I have already decided it's my favorite. Why??? Because you can pipe it like buttercream, but it's NOT buttercream! And, I'm not that big of a buttercream fan (but I have had a couple of killer buttercreams before). This recipe uses whole milk, regular granulated sugar, and flour and butter of course. You can check out the original recipe over at Our Best Bites (which is a blog I have loved since forever ago. The first food blog I fell in love with, in fact! It was before I had even gotten married).This frosting has a soft flavor but some weight to it, which is what I love. It's like you're actually eating a dairy product, instead of just sugar air. Honestly, I have not ever used the recipe the exact way it says because I have never used it for a vanilla frosting. I've used it for an orange-vanilla frosting, a coconut frosting, this honey butter frosting, and a couple of others that I don't remember right now. So, I am always toying around with it to get the right flavor and texture I want. So, here is how I made the Beehive Honey Lemon Cupcakes!

Lemon Cupcake:
1 lemon cake box mix
substitute water for whole milk
substitute butter for oil
add 5 eggs instead of 3 (I am pretty sure this is what gave it the texture I didn't like. It was way to fluffy-ish...I'd probably just add one or two egg yolks instead of two whole eggs if I were to do it again which would make it more dense which is what I like. I'd also maybe add a bit of milk kefir or sour cream to help keep it very moist)
Bake according to directions on box.

Honey Butter Frosting:
Make according to the directions on Our Best Bites, but do not add the vanilla extract. Also add 1/4-1/2 tsp salt depending on how you like it. Add in 1/2-3/4 c honey. Be tasting it as you add it! Not all honey has the same strong flavor. I also added about a half a stick of butter, because the butter flavor had gotten drowned out by the honey, and I really actually wanted it to be honey BUTTER flavored, not just honey. Because butter makes everything better. Luckily, I was able to balance the flavor without messing up the texture of the frosting ( I used half liquid honey and half crystallized honey to help keep the frosting more stiff). I also added quite a bit of drops of yellow dye until I got the color I wanted.

To pipe the frosting like a Beehive, I just took a gallon sized ziploc bag and cut the corner at a curve to make the frosting come out round. I started on the outer rim of the cupcake, make sure to be squeezing tight enough to make a thick circle come out, and laid each new layer about halfway onto the one below to make sure it didn't fall into itself (if that makes sense). It's so hard to get the frosting perfectly centered and looking the same each time! As you can obviously tell. They are definitely not consistent, but I still thought they turned out cute. My friend (the one hosting the party) is awesome and made those cute little bees out of royal frosting, and she did awesome! Maybe I'll have her do a guest post on how she did it :)

I didn't take that great of picture because I procrastinated and didn't take them until they were out on the food table! Ha! O well, don't care. They still look delicioussss. And, even though I didn't like the cake texture much, the flavors were still great.