Monday, February 17, 2014

Vanilla Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes: They grow too quickly

I made these cupcakes for Daughter #2's 8th birthday, and it struck me as I made them, that children grow up so fast.  Children keep begging to be older and most days I wish they'd just stay babies.  The questions, the expectations, and the demands of older children, I'm just not equipped to answer.  Even though I work with older students all the time and I know much of what is to come in terms of behavior, puberty, and adolescence, there is something markedly different about having these things happen to your own children.
I'm in denial, I think, about how quickly children grow and change.  They grow up more quickly than I'd like, and every year when their birthday hits, I think, WAIT!!!  How can he/she already be 4 or 6 or 8 or 10?

This year as #2 hit birthday 8, I did not accept the reality of her growth into 8-hood well.  After all - her clothes are still tiny, her arm span tiny, her feet super tiny - how can this tiny thing already be 8? But she is 8.  All tiny of her, she's a ferocious 8 year old with a mind of her own and a voice that tells me what she wants.

It seems like yesterday that her voice was squeaky, her body small enough to tuck in my arms, and her personality more mellow and trusting. When I mentioned thatI would make her some cupcakes for her birthday, she asked, "Do you think you can do something different instead of just making the same thing again?"  The bigger part of me simply just wanted to say, "You get what you get" but a small part of me said, she's only 8 this one time, and she's only asking for different cupcakes, you can do this.  I said, "I'll try."

I kind of tried.  I took my standby favorite cupcake recipe, and flipped it into these cake ice cream cones, which ended up really changing the experience of eating a cupcake as well as the texture.  They ended up being a huge hit, and newly-8-year old daughter ended up really loving them.  

And that is what matters the most at the end of the day.

Vanilla Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Makes 16 cones, or 12 cones plus a couple of regular cupcakes

Cake
Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½  vanilla bean, seeds scraped out  (The other half will be used in the frosting)
1 ½  cups + 2 tablespoons flour
¾  teaspoons baking powder
¼  teaspoon salt
½  cup milk

Method
Preheat oven to 350.  Lower oven rack so that cones will be centered in the oven, and not too high up in the oven.  In a regular muffin pan, place 12 cake (flat-bottomed) cones.

Beat butter until softened.   Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.  Add seeds from scraped out vanilla bean.  Mix again.

Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add half of flour mixture to batter and add milk.  Finish with the rest of flour mixture.  Beat until just combined.

Scoop batter into cupcake cups about ¾ inch from the top (a little bit less than ¼ cup of batter). (Overfill and the cupcakes won’t dome but instead spill out the sides.)  Bake cupcakes for about 28 to 33 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean or the tops spring back.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients
(enough for 16 cupcakes)
½  cup (1 stick)  of unsalted butter, softened
8 oz pack of cream cheese, softened
½ vanilla bean, split open with a knife and vanilla beans scraped out (Amazon.com has 16 beans for $15)
2-3 cups confectioner sugar (I try and use as little as I can, but making sure it's pipeable)

Method
Cream butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until texture is uniform. Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is all incorporated. Add 1-2 more cups and again mix on low speed until sugar is all incorporated. Add scraped vanilla beans (get every last bit) and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides. The key to really creamy frosting is to NOT beat too much air into the frosting but rather, on a medium speed, beat it until it is creamy.

Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes (1 M or 2D Wilton’s tip) and add sprinkles if desired.   
Printable recipe


6 comments:

Margo said...

Thanks for the clear tutorial. My 8 year old daughter would love these :)

~zandra~ said...

As my own daughter #2 just turned 9 a couple weeks ago, I feel ya. Today I gazed upon #1 who is 15 now and I thought how very unlike a kid she is. I do my best to enjoy our times together, but I'm not sure it could ever be enough.

Best Black Pepper Beef Jerky said...

Cupcakes look so lavish and wonderful. They look so grand so they must have tasted awesome as well.

Mo said...

Any suggestions on how to transport these? Girls birthday is at the park...

Mo said...

Any suggestions on how to transport these? Girls birthday is at the park...

Joanne Choi said...

Mo - I'm not sure. I've been contemplating the same thing as I'm making them for someone else's bday and I'll have to transport them. I haven't figured it out yet - egg cartons? they definitely are a little bit precarious but not as much as one would think. if I think of something amazing I'll let you know.

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