Valentine's Cupcakes

| Friday, February 18, 2011 | | honor of Valentine's day I made cupcakes  (big surprise right?). These weren't fancy or anything, but they ended up being really good. I used a regular boxed white cake mix, divided into thirds, and used red & pink food coloring to dye it (leaving 1/3 white). After I baked them, I cored the center (a cupcake corer is essential to life I think) and added a teaspoon of strawberry preserves. Then I topped them with...get ready for it....meringue! I had never really thought about topping a cupcake with meringue...but it turned out pretty good. It was very gooey at first, but once they stay out for a bit the meringue kinda crusts a little. So you had the slight hardness of the outside of the meringue, which was still soft and fluffy in the center, then the moistness of the cake, and the fruity strawberry preserves.

Meringue is definitely a big pain in the ass to make...especially if you don't have a stand mixer. I would have never attempted it had I not received that Kitchenaid. It took about 15 minutes to get the egg whites and sugar to the consistency I needed (and that's AFTER I dissolved the sugar in the egg whites over a pseudo double broiler). Nope, not doing that with a hand mixer....don't care that much.'s the recipe for the meringue. It says it makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes...WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! I decided that I would need to double the recipe since I was frosting 24 cupcakes...and ended up with almost an entire mixer bowl FULL of meringue. I had enough left to make a couple dozen meringue cookies and still had almost 1/4 bowl of meringue left.

Courtesy of

2 3/8 c granulated white sugar
6 egg whites
1 1/2 t vanilla extract

It is best to make this frosting in a metal bowl from a kitchen mixer. But if you don't have one you can make it in a double boiler, using a hand mixer.

1. Place all ingredients in the mixer bowl and whisk until well combined. Fill a saucepan with water about (2-3 cups). The saucepan should be large enough for the mixer bowl to “rest in it” but without touching the bottom of the saucepan.

2. When the water is simmering place the bowl in the sauce pan and whisk the mixture. The mixture must not boil (or you'll have hella sweet scrambled eggs). Whisk until all the sugar is dissolved or you will end up with a grainy looking frosting. Check to see if it has reached a temperature of 160-170° F (to reduce the risk of salmonella). Remove from the saucepan.

3. Place the bowl in the kitchen mixer with the whisk attachment on. Whisk the meringue frosting until stiff peaks forms and has a glossy look. This can take up to 12 -15 minutes or more.

4. When the frosting is ready, you can use it as is or color it with food gel colors. This frosting will crust over time but the center of the frosting swirl will still be thick and fluffy.

Cakes and cupcakes with white meringue frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for two days.

The gooeiness was short lived

OH - for meringue cookies...I found an awesome "no bake" recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet (or two) with foil. Pipe cookies onto foil and place in oven...then turn the oven OFF. Let the cookies sit in the oven until it cools. I let them sit over night and they were good by morning.


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