Soft and fluffy vanilla cupcakes, piled high with rainbow-coloured, cotton candy-flavoured buttercream. Can you even?
They’re pretty as can be, and oh-so-tasty!
These gorgeous Cotton Candy Cupcakes were actually posted on Sweetest Menu over two years ago but they were in desparate need of a reshoot. So when I made them again this weekend, I took some new photos to do them justice.
When I first developed these vanilla cupcakes, I went a little crazy with the cupcake-making. I made five batches in one week, just to make sure these ones were the easiest and the best. And I love them.
So let’s talk cake. I have a few tips to ensure your cupcakes turn out every time – most of which I have learnt the hard way.
1. When the recipe requires your butter, eggs and milk to be at room temperature, try and make sure they are actually at room temperature. I know it’s not rocket science but sometimes these little steps can make a big difference!
2. When it comes to creaming the butter and sugar, make sure your butter is soft, but not melted at all. Take time to cream the butter and sugar. Put your timer on and beat for 3 or 4 minutes and you’ll notice the difference in the texture of your cake.
3. When incorporating dry ingredients into wet ones, it’s best to add it in parts to prevent over mixing. I once read that starting with dry ingredients and ending in dry ingredients is best and I have found this to be true. Have you ever added milk or a wet ingredient at the end and found it hard to mix through? This should solve that problem.
Well that’s enough serious cake talk, let’s get our carnival hats on and eat Cotton Candy Cupcakes!
Cotton Candy Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 58 minutes
- Yield: 12 cupcakes
- 190 grams (1 and 1/3 cup) plain flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk, room temperature
Cotton Candy Frosting
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 500 grams (4 cups) icing or powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- A few drops of cotton candy flavouring
- A few drops of food gel – I used teal, purple and violet
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (350F). Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake liners. Sift the flour, baking power and salt into a bowl and then whisk together briefly. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater for about 3-4 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. In a separate jug, add the vanilla extract to your milk.
- Next, add approximately one third of your flour mixture and half of your milk mixture. Gently fold with a spatula, then add another third of flour and the rest of your milk and stir . Finally, add the last of your flour mixture. Your cupcake batter should be nice and creamy. Try not to over mix.
- . Fill your prepared patty cases with the mixture, ensuring they are around half full. Pop into the oven for approximately 16-18 minutes or until just golden on top and they spring back when lightly touched. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, cream the butter with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until creamy and pale. Sift in two cups of icing sugar and one tablespoon of milk. Beat until combined and then add the final two cups of icing sugar and another tablespoon of milk. If you feel the mixture is too dry, add another tablespoon of milk. Just be careful because you want the icing to be thick enough to hold its shape when piped. Once the frosting is smooth and creamy, add a few drops of cotton candy flavouring – to taste.
- Dish out the frosting into three separate bowls. Add a few drops of food colouring to each bowl and stir with a spoon until you achieve your desired colours. Grab your piping bag and insert a large star tip into the end. Very gently add spoonfuls of one icing and try keep it to one side of the piping bag. Essentially you’re trying to make the colours sit vertically in the piping bag. You don’t have to be exact, so do the best you can. Then gently spoon the second coloured icing on top and then the third colour on top of that. Gently press down to remove any air bubbles and force the icing down to the tip. Twist the top of the bag and then pipe the icing onto the cupcakes. The first one probably won’t have all three colours so use that one as a test run.