This week has been filled with so many activities from my son's third birthday to a Trunk or Treat at church and making these cupcakes! I made them for a couple at church who has a son that just turned one, so they had to be extra special! These cupcakes took quite a bit of thought, planning and even more practice. I still have some work to do on icing sugar cookies with royal icing, but I was really pleased with the outcome for being such a newbie. I wanted to walk you through what I did for each step so hopefully you'll feel confident to make your own!
I started with a classic sugar cookie recipe and made sure to leave the dough pretty thick when I rolled it out. I love thick sugar cookies but always seem to manage to roll them out to thin. This time I paid close attention. The royal icing is really hard to figure out, especially if you just find directions online. Reading can only teach you so much, practice is what perfects something like royal icing. I'm still working on it, but this is only the 3rd or 4th time I've used royal icing so I still don't have it down yet. My sister says to use color flow instead of the meringue powder royal icing calls for (both in the specialty baking isle at Wal-Mart and major craft stores). I may try color flow next time to see the difference. If you have any suggestions, please help me out! I kept the icing thicker to pipe the edges, then added more water to create a flow. This is where I had problems. The icing was still a little thick so I had to spread it out with my icing spatula. You can see that instead of being the same height as the border, it actually turned out to be a little thicker. Adding more water also affected the color of the icing, but of course I had run out of black. I ended up using 1 1/2 bottles of black icing from Hobby Lobby, and could have used a full 2 or 2 1/2. Adding sprinkles to the wet icing helped to hide any inconsistencies as the frosting dried.
I followed Wilton's Royal Icing recipe. It's says to use 6 tablespoons of water but I ended up using close to a cup of water to create the piping edge and then even more for the flow in the middle.
The cookie cuter came from a local cake decorating place. There are several types of sets you can buy online. You can always buy a Batman candy mold and use Candy Melts to make a topper! Use your imagination!
I have said it once and you can guarantee I'll say it again, Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake recipe is perfect and is incredible easy! You probably have the ingredients in your pantry already. I have used it so much this week that I have it memorized! I used a jumbo cake pan and liners I bought from Hobby Lobby. Note to self, buy another jumbo cupcake pan. It only makes 6 at a time. SIX!
Butter. Vanilla. Powdered Sugar. Gold Gel Food Coloring (from HL). That's it. I used 2 full cups of butter and added powdered sugar until I was satisfied with the sweetness, about 3-4 cups. To pipe the frosting, I put it in a frosting bag and snipped the tip off, making about a 1/2-3/4 inch hole to pipe the frosting through. I didn't want this frosting to have height because I was putting cookies on it, so I started from the outside and made a flat swirl towards the middle. Then I just lightly pressed the cookie on top.
I'm not gonna lie, these were NOT easy to make and I had some hiccups with frosting the cookies, but for the level of difficulty and my amateur skill level, I was very pleased with the outcome and I hope the family is too! Through this, I have definitely opened up the door to a whole new way to make cupcakes!