We are in week 2 of our It’s Time For Tacos photo contest, which includes 5 fantastic recipes from Sara Haas’s new book Taco! Taco! Taco! and loads of prizes! If you haven’t already…
(at the very least, check out the recipes and get them on your meal plan!)
Anna is a friend of ours that blogs over at The Little Blue Mixer where she talks about her adventures into all things baking. We asked Anna to come up with a baked goodie that we could tie into our July taco theme.
She completely floored us with this:
Succulent Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
I started baking when I was little and have grown to love it more and more since I’ve had a kitchen of my own. I’m just so excited to be guest blogging with you here at Plan to Eat for the next few months! Plan to Eat is such a cool tool to use, and I just love how simple it makes meal planning! I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and anything that makes that time a little more efficient is a winner in my book.
I wanted to whip up something really special to share with you this month. After a little brainstorming, I came up with some delicious snickerdoodle cupcakes that I hope you will love! I’ve made snickerdoodle cookies several times before, but never had a cupcake that mimicked the flavors. The cinnamon in both the cake and icing really takes these cupcakes to the next level without coming across as overly sweet.
Lets get started!
Before doing anything else, take the eggs out of the refrigerator and set them on the counter for about 30 minutes or until room temperature. While you’re waiting, this is the perfect time to go ahead and put next week’s meals on your Plan to Eat calendar! And you will still have plenty of time to prep your pan after meal planning! I chose to line my cupcake pan with liners, but you could also spray the pan with cooking spray.
This recipe uses a box white cake mix as the base. The box mix accounts for some of the dry ingredients that would be in a normal recipe, but I’ve altered the other ingredients and instructions to give these a distinct snickerdoodle flavor.
You can use any brand that you like, or make your own, just look for a white cake or classic white cake.
After opening the mix, you may notice that the mix has a few clumps in it. There is nothing wrong with this, but we are going to sift the mix just to ensure that all of the ingredients come together well. After sifting the mix, set it to the side and we will come back to it in a minute.
Alright, now we’re ready to start mixing!
Using a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Next, alternate mixing in the remaining dry (sifted cake mix) and wet (buttermilk and oil) ingredients. Alternating back and forth will allow the batter to come together without separating or becoming too tough. So, do like this – cake mix, liquid, cake mix, scrape down the sides of the bowl, liquid, cake mix, scrape the bowl… you get the idea. 😉
Now that the batter is ready to bake, pour it into your prepared cupcake pan – filling each cavity about halfway. The cake will rise while baking, so if you overfill each cupcake now they will mushroom out of the pan. Don’t worry if this happens, (I’ve done it countless times before :D) just eat it as is or you can always trim the edges to get the look you want.
Pop the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
If you’re not in the mood for cupcakes, this recipe can also be baked as a regular cake. To do this, simply prepare your pan by evenly spraying with cooking spray and lightly dusting with flour. Then bake at 350 degrees and use the time guidelines that were listed on the box!
Ok, we’re almost done! While the cupcakes are in the oven, you can mix up the buttercream. Just be sure to wait until the cupcakes are completely cooled before icing them!
To make the buttercream, cream together softened butter and shortening. Slowly mix in about half of the powdered sugar and then the vanilla. Be careful not to add in too much powdered sugar at once or you will have a lovely cloud of sugar to clean up once the mixer starts! Alternate mixing in the water and the rest of the powdered sugar and you should be good to go. If the icing looks either too runny or too stiff, simply add more sugar or water little by little until you reach the desired consistency.
How you ice the cupcakes is completely up to you! You can spread it on with a knife, pipe it on, use an ice cream scoop, or get super detailed with some piping tips. I have been wanting to try making succulents for a while, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity!
First, I iced a layer of buttercream on top of the cupcakes and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top. The little bit of texture mimics the crunch on the outside of a snickerdoodle cookie and also creates the look of sand under the succulents. Bonus!
Making succulents like this can be time consuming and quite intimidating. I looked at tons of photos and how-to videos and I practiced (and practiced and practiced) until I got them right!
Here is where I went for my inspiration when I was learning how to make them:
• Instagram: search #buttercreamsucculents and you will find pictures for inspiration and how to videos.
Here is how they turned out!
Don’t be afraid of making this recipe your own. I ended up with about 2 and a half dozen cupcakes, so you may not need that many. Or you may need more! Plan to Eat has a super handy serving size tool that allows you to scale the recipe to best fit your needs. You can halve the recipe or multiply it really easily. Play around with it and see what works best for you! A simple tip I learned from my mom – if you don’t make a full recipe and have extra cake mix, just pop it in the freezer until next time you need it!
Thanks so much for checking these out today! I hope you get the chance to make them! If you have any questions, you can find me over at The Little Blue Mixer!
Succulent Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Makes 30 servings.
- THE CAKE:
- 1 box white cake mix sifted
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 egg whites
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3⁄4 cup oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- THE BUTTERCREAM:
- 1 cup butter
- 1⁄2 cup Crisco
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 tsp water
- For the cupcakes: Set eggs out for 30 minutes or until room temperature.
- Prepare cupcake pan by filling with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large bowl, sift cake mix and set to the side.
- Using a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, mix together eggs, egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Alternate mixing in cake mix and liquid (oil & buttermilk) until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, filling each cupcake approximately halfway full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool completely and then ice with Snickerdoodle Buttercream.
- For the buttercream: Set butter out for 30 minutes or until softened.
- Using a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, cream together butter and Crisco.
- Gradually mix in cinnamon and 3 cups of powdered sugar. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions.
- Mix in vanilla.
- Alternate mixing in the remaining powdered sugar and water.