The mermaid theme is popular this year. This is my third opportunity to decorate with the mermaid theme. The cake is red velvet with cream cheese frosting and the cupcakes are vanilla with butter cream frosting.
At 1st request for these for a baby shower, I was inclined to not do them because I did not think they would look like unicorn horns. I went searching for ideas and finally just made them as I had seen them done by others. I used fondant to make the horns.
Using blueberries is a natural way to get a beautiful color frosting. The blueberries also give a very flavorful and fruity taste to the frosting. To make the frosting- I placed about 1/2 cup of blueberries in a small saucepan on medium heat. I added 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch and let it simmer until it thickened. I let it cool while I mixed together 1 cup of softened butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. I then put the cooled blueberries in a food processor to make a sauce. I added the sauce to the butter mixture and beat until blended. I had previously made the mini flowers and leaves and kept them frozen for use when needed.
Most people that like vanilla cupcakes don’t care if it’s the basic vanilla, French vanilla or vanilla bean. At one time I like most did not know the difference or that there was a difference. All I knew was that Breyer’s vanilla ice cream had little beans in it and had a better flavor. Since I personally thought vanilla was boring I initially would add a bit of almond extract to give the cupcakes more flavor. I later tried French vanilla extract in my vanilla cupcakes but not all grocery stores have it. Last year I decided to try vanilla bean. I was very surprised to find the few bean stalks in a jar and then had to scrape them from the stalks. This was too much work so I tried vanilla bean paste. I like the paste but I quickly realized I did not need to use much because it is very strong.
These are vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting.
I can’t remember how many different recipes I have tried and modified to get the texture the way I wanted it for vanilla cupcakes. They always taste good but the presentation is just as important to me. Sometimes they are more muffin like and sometimes they are too soft and don’t hold up well with frosting. So in my continued research I finally found the perfect one. This is a variation of the recipe I found on Natasha’s Kitchen site.