For a long while it was 'Frozen' and now the best thing in the world among little girls are 'unicorns' while 'mermaids' are sneaking in on the scene. No one can resist the pastels in purple, teal, pink, yellow and green of unicorn designs. They are the rage in the baking world; cakes, cupcakes and cookies. So when the 9th birthday of my eldest grand niece arrived, she requested Unicorn Cupcakes to share with her third grade classmates. For our vanilla girl, it had to be that all-American flavor for her cupcakes.

Ok, I'm going to be honest here. I struggle decorating cupcakes; it's the piping. It looks so easy in the videos. Well, l need lots of practice. Although, I can assure you these cupcakes were made with love.

As with royal icing, the same rings true with buttercream frosting. It comes down to 'consistency' …. 'piping consistency.' When spreading frosting onto a cake or cupcake, it doesn't have to be so exact. It seems either the frosting is too stiff and it takes all my might to squeeze out the swirls like in these neon cupcakes or the frosting is too soft and the design droops a bit. The secret is in the amount of milk or cream and I have yet to find the right formula. One more thing, I've been using the whisk attachment which seems to whip too much air into the frosting causing air bubbles. Next time I will use the paddle attachment. So I guess that means more cupcakes are in my future. Good thing I have so many little taste-tasters! 

Vanilla Cake
2¼ cups Softasilk Cake Flour (or 2-1/8 cup Flour), sifted
1½ cups Sugar
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Crisco Shortening
1 cup Milk
1½ tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs

Mix Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt. Add Shortening.
Add a little over half of Milk to the dry ingredients. Add Vanilla.
Add remaining Milk and Eggs. Mix well.
Pour batter 1/2 full into 24 cupcake liners.
Bake 18-20 minutes at 400 until cake tester comes out clean.
[This is the Rich Golden Cake recipe from the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook]

Creamy Buttercream Frosting (large recipe)
2 cups Butter (4 sticks), softened
8 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
½ tsp Vanilla (optional)
1-4 tbsp Milk or Cream
Wilton Star Tip #1M
Wilton French Tip #199 

Beat butter for 4-5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the sugar 1 cup at a time beating well after each addition.
Add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until frosting is smooth.
Tip: When piping onto cupcakes do not add too much milk to maintain slightly stiff piping consistency.

Tip: To achieve pastel colors, place small amount of icing into small bowls. Add drop or two of gel coloring. The result will be a deep color. Gradually add colored icing to each batch of frosting until you reach desired pastel color.

Split frosting among 4 bowls.
Color Lavender with AmeriColor Electric Purple.
Color Mint Green with AmeriColor Teal.
Color Pale Pink with AmeriColor Super Red.
Color Soft Yellow with AmeriColor Lemon Yellow.

Layer colors and fill piping bag with all four colors.

Pipe large roses with star tip #1M. Pipe ribbon with star tip #1M.
Pipe posey with star tip #1M. Pipe peaks with french tip #199.




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  1. Wow, Joan! These are gorgeous! You are just as talented at cupcakes as you are with your beautiful cookies! Hope you have a great summer! :) Anne (A Salad for All Seasons)

    1. Thank you, Anne! I can't wait to see what delectable salads you have in store for us this summer on your blog.

  2. I love the pastel colors. These look like they were fun to make. Stacey

    1. Thanks Stacey. It was fun to decorate these cupcakes using various designs.


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