Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cupcake Bites

If you love to bake like I do and haven't ever been to Bakerella's website - you must go there now. Come back and visit me afterward, but make sure to check her out. She does the cutest things with baked goods.

As many of you know, Bill and I have really been watching how we cook and what we eat. I have done baking, but it has been a loooong time since I've made Courtney Cookies. I just can't keep myself away from them and they are very high in fat and calories. Instead, I've either made Devin Alexander's super yummy Chocolate Chocolate Brownie Cups for us or done baking for others - for instance, my Dad LOVES pie.

But, sometimes... Sometimes you've got to just go for it. I was supposed to be working today and since I'm home I'm going to take the time to photograph making my niece Bakerella's Cupcake Bites for her third birthday. Seriously, they are so dang cute! I did find reduced sugar cake mix and frosting and I used only egg whites in the mix. But, I also figure these things are just bite size, so it isn't close to being as sinful as having a delectable, but giant Hello Cupcake.

We had them last year at one of my bridal showers. There is a big picture of one of them on our photo album and Maggie for the last year always points to it and asks, "Courtney? Would you pleeeeeease make me that pink cupcake?" Have you tried a Hello Cupcake before? Oh, mmmm...yummmm... But, I digress.

It's Maggie's birthday and I'm finally making her a pink cupcake.

Marcie wanted me to do this in a video, but I'll do it the Pioneer Woman way and show you every step with a link to the full recipe at the end. You can learn how to do these on Bakerella's site or you can follow along with me.

Items you will need:
Cake Mix (any flavor) (+ ingredients: oil, eggs)
1 16 oz. Container Frosting (any flavor, but cream cheese is fav)
1 pkg. Chocolate Bark
Colored Candy Melts for cupcake top
Squirt Bottle (optional)
M&Ms (minis or regular size) and sprinkles

First, you are going to make a cake. Use your favorite box cake mix or make one from scratch if you desire. Bakerella's favorite is Devil's Food, but Red Velvet would be good too, or how about Lemon. OK, I'm doing Devil's Food today.

Below are the ingredients I'm using for my cake.

Preheat your oven. My boxed cake mix calls for 350 degrees.

Empty your cake mix into a mixing bowl and add your water and oil. Mix.

Then add the egg whites. Mix until combined.

Then, spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Spread mix into your prepared pan. Place into preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes (according to your boxed cake mix recipe).

Cake is ready when a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Voila.

Now, you've got to let the cake cool for several hours or overnight. I broke mine up and put it into a large bowl since it would cool faster. The stoneware dish I baked mine in keeps it warm for quite a while.

Here comes the messy part. Remove your jewelry...

Take one container of your favorite frosting - cream cheese is a favorite. Today I'm using this reduced sugar vanilla flavor.

Spoon out almost the entire contents of the frosting into your broken up cake pieces.

Now, make sure your hands are washed and dig in. Continue mixing until the frosting is thoroughly combined (photo below needs a little more mixing). It is OK if it is a bit sticky.
Take a few pinches or a cookie scoop to get somewhat of a uniform size and then roll into balls. [Note: I'd make yours a little smaller than I show here... you'll see why later].

Very important step. Put your cake bites into the refrigerator or freezer to chill. This is an important step before dipping.

Next, you'll need a candy mold. You can find them at Michael's or order it here. You will also need chocolate bark or your favorite meltable chocolate candy.

Bakerella also uses these squirt bottles. I found them at Cash 'n Carry. But, I found that you can't heat up the chocolate in them (plastic melts), so I gave up and just dished the melted chocolate out of the bowl and it worked just fine.
Fill the molds about halfway with chocolate. You will then set your cupcake bite into the mold until the chocolate reaches the top. [Here's where you'll begin to see I wish I had made mine smaller].
Assemble your sprinkles. Really, you only need one, but I have options. I like options. Maybe it's an HR thing.
These are your M&Ms for the top of the cupcake. You can use regular size and any color, but I wanted red and I used the minis. Just thought they fit the lil' cupcake better.
This is the candy you'll melt for the top of the cupcake. You can use vanilla bark or any colored candy for melting (Michael's is a good source). I ordered Bakerella's favorite brand from Amazon. You can order here.
Fill up a small, but deep bowl for melting and dipping.

Dip your little cupcakes in.

Try to get the candy to just touch the chocolate cup. If you are really particular you can use a toothpick to help push it until it just meets the cup. I did this on some, but realized I wasn't too picky.

And, here it is. Not too bad for my first try... Lessons learned:
  • Make smaller bites
  • Try regular size M&Ms
  • Don't need the squeeze bottles

For Bakerella's recipe, click here.

Be sure to let me know if you give these a whirl!


The Norris Clan said...

Ok. That is about the MOST adorable cupcake ever. Maddie's birthday is this weekend... Maybe I will try these. Oh, and KUDDOs on the Pioneer Woman photo shoot. She would be proud... btw, love that website because of you!

Courtney said...

Karyn, I'm SO glad you liked it and please let me know if you do try it! If you lived closer I'd be bringing over my leftover meltable candies and help you. This was very fun to do! I'm going to be doing them again in May for a co-worker's daughter's b-day. Fun!

Sharon said...

Ohhhhh.....I keep coming back to look at these! I just wrote down my list of ingredients and supplies and will try and make them this week for my daughter's 3rd birthday! Thanks for the tutorial and all the pictures! :)

Sharon said...

I finally made them and there were fabulous! (Not as pretty as yours but still! lol) Thank you for such an easy tutorial to follow with all the pictures. I can't wait to make them again! Here's a link to my pics: Thanks again!!!!

Jenn said...

WOW! yum!! =) I need to visit Bakerella and copy this recipe~!! I love posting recipes this way! that is one of many reasons I love Ree! and humor.. .and Charlie... and photos... horses.. ha ha! anyway! I need to make these... (low sugar style... hm... ) =) love it! I love love to bake!


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