May 25, 2009

Elmo cupcakes

My baby niece turned one this week and her favorite thing is Elmo. My sister had an Elmo themed birthday party for her and I wanted to make her Elmo cupcakes for dessert. I did a lot of research on this topic before I proceeded. I wasn't able to find any tutorials on making Elmo cupcakes, just a lot of pictures on Flickr of Elmo cupcakes.

Then I came across this picture from Cupcakes Takes the Cake and I knew this would be the one I would want to imitate. The next dilemma was to find a vanilla cupcake that would bake up flat and also taste yummy. I ended up choosing a Vanilla cupcake recipe from Amy Sedaris' I like you, hospitality under the influence via 1 tsp love.

As for the frosting, I chose a basic vanilla buttercream frosting from My sweet and saucy. The result? The vanilla cupcakes took no time at all and were very tasty. I thought they were a little bit too sweet, even after I cut down on the sugar, but everyone else thought they were fine. The frosting was tooth-achingly sweet. I think I prefer the taste of swiss buttercream vs. the powdered sugar buttercream. I chose to use the powdered sugar buttercream because they hold up better than the swiss buttercream.

Here are the recipes and also a tutorial for the Elmo cupcakes. Bare with me as this is my first tutorial...

Vanilla cupcakes
from 1 tsp love
makes 20 cupcakes (see note)
total time: 40 minutes

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar (see note)
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups milk

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.

2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Beat in eggs, one at a time until corporated. Then add vanilla, salt and baking powder.

4. Add flour in 3 batches, alternating with milk.

5. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth and satiny.

6. Divide batter evenly among cups (see note). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean.

7. Cool on wire rack for 45 minutes or until at room temperature.

  • *The original recipe says it makes 16 cupcakes, but I was able to make 20 cupcakes out of the batter.
  • *The original recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups of sugar. I brought it down to 1 1/2 cups when I made mine and I thought it was still too sweet. I will use 1 1/4 cups of sugar next time.

Vanilla Buttercream
from My sweet and Saucy
Makes about 2 cups
total time: 30 minutes

4 oz. unsalted softened butter
2 1/2 c. or 10 oz. powdered sugar (see note)
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 T. plus 1 t. whole milk
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. fresh lemon juice

1. In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter & salt for about 30 seconds and then add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

2. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon juice and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.

  • *The original recipe calls for 10 oz or 2 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. I only put 2 cups and I thought it was very sweet, but I think you need the sugar for the texture.

Now for the Elmo cupcakes

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the frosting before making the red frosting. To make the bright red frosting, I added about 1/2 bottle of Wilton Red (no-taste) icing color. I don't think you actually need 1/2 bottle if you made the frosting ahead of time as the color got darker when you let it sit. With the reserved frosting, combine red and yellow food color until you reach a bright orange color.

Using a grass tip (Wilton tip #233), pipe Elmo's fur. Pipe fur by piping frosting until desire length is reached, then release pressure, and pull to the left or the right. You can rotate pulling left, right, or just straight up to give Elmo's hair that "natural" look. =P

For Elmo's eyes, cut a jumbo marshmallow in half and place them on the cupcakes.

For Elmo's nose, use the orange frosting with a plain circle tip and pipe a circle under the eyes.

For Elmo's eyeballs, melt some dark chocolate and pipe two circles on the marshmallow halves. That's it, you're done!


Christine said...

Super cute!

dollee said...

Awesome! I have a cupcake book that you would love. It's called "Hello Cupcake." If I ever get ambitious enough to make something out of them, I will let you know.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Here are mine that I made for my kid's party!

Fahrenheit 350° said...

I never knew there was a piping tip like that! I would have loved that for my golf cupcakes! Even if this wasn't your idea - you are a genius executioner!

Ivy said...

These are really adorable and so creative!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great recipe! I am going to make these for my son's 2nd birthday party. He is crazy about Elmo.
Much Mahalo!

Chanel11 said...

These cupcakes are so adorable! I would have loved these as a kid (and an adult...)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your inspiration. We used black m&m's for the center of the eyes and 1/2 a jelly orange slice candy for the nose, otherwise we followed your directions exactly. They turned out so cute and my 2 year old daughter is having a hard time waiting until her party tomorrow to get at them.

kk said...

Anonymous-I'm so glad to hear that it worked out for you! that's a great idea to use the m&m's and the jelly orange slice. =)

kelliscakes said...

so cute!!!! I just found your blog after I made some of my own!!!
I am still struggling with the eyes looking how I want them to look!!! Your are so cute!!

Guadalupe said...

Thanks for the idea. I can't wait to make the cupcakes. My daughter is turning two and she is a fan of Elmo so I think this elmo cupcakes will be perfect for her birthday party.

kk said...

Guadalupe, your daughter will love the cupcakes! My niece loved it so much she wanted to give them all kisses! =)

Anonymous said...

I love elmo :") Genious Cupcakes

kk said...

Thank you, anonymous! I love Elmo too!

Mi$s NiCkeL=? said...

look delicious! thnks for the recipe...i'll try soon

kk said...

Thanks! Hope it works out for you!! Let me know how it goes! =)

Anita said...

First of all congratulations for your blog. I love the recipes, the pictures, the great ideas and I have to tell you I am in love with your Elmo cupcakes. They look awesome. I will put a link on my blog so everybody van see your great recipes.

kk said...

Thank you, Anita! That made my day! =)

soh said...

Hi, please help to convert butter to metric.

kk said...

Hi Soh, for the cupcakes, 1 1/2 stick of butter is equivalent to 170g. For the buttercream, 4 oz of butter is equivalent to 113g. Hope this helps! =)

stayziee said...

Why is the tempreture 350 degrees so high?

kk said...

Hi Stayziee, I'm thinking you are thinking it's 350 Celsius, it is actually 350 Fahrenheit, which is 176 degrees Celsius. I hope this helps! Happy Baking!


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