On a whim, I took a cupcake decorating class, and was hooked!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's not easy being cheesy

I decided to make a batch of spice cake cupcakes today, and give cream cheese icing a try.  The cupcakes were fine, but the icing was a bit of a dud at first.  I used Alice's buttercream recipe and substituted 4 ounces of Philadelphia cream cheese (is there any other kind?) for one of the sticks of butter.  It was ... okay.  Not spectacular, by any means.  Just okay.  So I tossed in the other 4 ounces of cream cheese, added more powdered sugar and another slug of vanilla.

Aside:  I've been having problems finding a vanilla extract I like (#FirstWorldProblems).  The first bottle I bought was McCormick's, and it was fine.  I started looking for other kinds, thinking there might be a difference - boy, was I right!  I bought a bottle of organic vanilla extract, and it was almost flavorless.  I bought a bottle of Wilton's Madagascar Vanilla thinking it would be more flavorful, and ended up using about twice the recommended amount.  I need good vanilla!

Once I added the other half of the Philly, the icing really seemed to come together.  It's extra creamy, and has that lovely tart Philly flavor.  I think I did a pretty good job making it better than it started out being.  I love that Alice has made it so easy to make a good icing: If it needs to be stiffer, just sift a little more powdered sugar into it.  If it's too stiff, add a little more milk.  No stress, just tweak it until it's how you want it!

I used a 2D tip instead of trying the new one I got at the bakers' supply shop, because the icing was so creamy. 

I made one regular batch of 24 cupcakes, and a batch and a half of icing, and I still had 5 cupcakes left when the icing ran out!  My husband said I might possibly be putting too much icing on the cupcakes.  Philistine!  Does he not know that the cupcakes exist only as a delivery vehicle for the icing?  :-)

Lesson learned:  Next time I'm going to do cream cheese icing, I think I'm going to leave out the butter and just use Philadelphia cream cheese.  And I'm going to make a double batch, because that stuff is pure yum.

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