Easily Entertained

... parties, crafts, & celebrations that are anything but ordinary!

Tag: Cupcakes

White Walker Cupcakes

In that darkness, the white walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds…

-Old Nan

To help you get through the Long Night after last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, we suggest you try a little… vodka, in cupcake form.

Deadly, but beautiful- these otherworldly cupcakes are laced with vodka and gleaming with peppermint candy ice. Sharp and sweet, they are the perfect way to face your fear of ice zombies.

white walker cupcakes

To make these cupcakes you will need:

  • Vanilla cupcakes.  Made from your favorite homemade recipe or from a cake mix following the instructions on the box.
  • Vodka buttercream
  • White decorating sugar to decorate the finished cupcakes.

To make the Vodka buttercream you will need:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of whipped cream vodka

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter and sugar.

Add vodka, one tablespoon at a time mixing in between.

Once your frosting is ready and cupcakes are cool, use a butter knife to spread the icing on in a smooth mound that is higher in the center.  Sprinkle each cupcake with white decorating sugar.


To make the candy ice shards you will need:

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tarter
  • 2/3 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon of blue gel food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint flavored candy flavoring
  • A silicone mat
  • A medium or large pot
  • A candy thermometer
  • A silicone brush
  • A large glass measuring cup (that holds more than 2 cups)

Place the glass measuring cup in a cold oven, then turn the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the sugar and cream of tartar in a separate bowl.
Heat 1 cup water, the corn syrup and the sugar mixture in the pot on medium heat.

Boil the mixture until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When the sugar begins to boil, use a pastry brush or silicone brush and a little water, and brush the crystallized sugar off the sides. Don’t put the candy thermometer into the pot until the sugar is boiling.

It will take quite a while for your sugar to get to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but do not walk away or your sugar might burn. The temperature will move very slowly up the thermometer at first until it reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and then it will quickly jump up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove your pan from the heat and allow it to cool to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Do stir it, or add anything until it lowers to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit, add the food coloring and the flavoring and stir it gently. If there is any crystallized sugar on the side of the pan, try to avoid stirring it into to the mixture.
Remove the (now very hot!) measuring cup from the oven and pour your even hotter sugar into it. Be very careful. Also- do not pour the hot sugar into your glass measuring cup unless you have heated it first.  If you do not heat it the high temperature of the sugar may cause it to shatter.
Place the measuring cup back into the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to remove the bubbles.
Take the sugar out of the oven and you are now ready to create your ice shards!

To make the ice shards we poured out the sugar onto a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper). Once cooled we broke it into pieces and then chose the best ones .

Once your candy ice shards are finished, stick them into the tops of your cupcakes and serve immediately.
White Walkers

Easily Entertained Tip: If you are planning to make your cupcakes in advance, keep the ice shards separate until almost ready to serve.  When left over night, the blue color and peppermint flavor stared to melt onto the icing and inside of the cupcakes.  The added mint flavor was nice, but the cupcakes weren’t as pretty.

Mother of all cupcakes!

Without giving too much away, last night’s episode of Game of Thrones showed some seriously strong women kicking some serious butt!

In honor of them both, we have two new cupcake recipes that we hope you will enjoy.

First we have:
Don’t Mess With Daenerys Cupcakes

Pale but strong, these vanilla cupcakes have a Fireball Whiskey kick and are adorned with real flames.  Well… real candy flames.

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To make these cupcakes you will need:

  • Vanilla cupcakes.  Made from a cake mix following the instructions on the box, but substituting ¼ of a cup of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky for some of the liquid in the ingredients.
  • Icing. Can be either homemade from your favorite recipe or your favorite store brand.
  • Candy Flames

To make the candy flames you will need:

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tarter
  • 2/3 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red gel food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon flavored candy flavoring
  • A silicone mat
  • A medium or large pot
  • A candy thermometer
  • A silicone brush
  • A large glass measuring cup (that holds more than 2 cups)

Place the glass measuring cup in a cold oven, then turn the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the sugar and cream of tartar in a separate bowl.

Heat 1 cup water, the corn syrup and the sugar mixture in the pot on medium heat.

Boil the mixture until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When the sugar begins to boil, use a pastry brush or silicone brush and a little water, and brush the crystallized sugar off the sides.

Don’t put the candy thermometer into the pot until the sugar is boiling.

It will take quite a while for your sugar to get to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but do not walk away or your sugar might burn. The temperature will move very slowly up the thermometer at first until it reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and then it will quickly jump up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove your pan from the heat and allow it to cool to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Do stir it, or add anything until it lowers to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit, add the food coloring and the flavoring and stir it gently. If there is any crystallized sugar on the side of the pan, try to avoid stirring it into to the mixture.

Warning: the flavoring was a bit strong and there was an immediate cinnamon blast when we first dumped it in.  It dissipates quickly, but be ready for it.

Remove the (now very hot!) measuring cup from the oven and pour your even hotter sugar into it. Be very careful. Also- do not pour the hot sugar into your glass measuring cup unless you have heated it first.  If you do not heat it the high temperature of the sugar may cause it to shatter.

Place the measuring cup back into the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to remove the bubbles.

Take the sugar out of the oven and you are now ready to create your flames! The easiest way that we found to make the flames was to use a spoon and draw the flames of sugar on the parchment paper. Then after it was cool to the touch, but still slightly gummy, we twisted it and molded it until we felt we had a perfect flame. We also used a dragon cookie cutter and poured some of the liquid sugar into it and let sit until completely cool. Just make sure to spray the cookie cutter with Pam so the sugar doesn’t stick.

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Once your candy flames are finished, stick them into the tops of your cupcakes and serve immediately.

Easily Entertained Tip: If you are planning to make your cupcakes in advance, keep the flames separate until almost ready to serve.  When left over night, the cinnamon flames stared to melt onto the icing and inside of the cupcakes.  The added cinnamon flavor was nice, but the cupcakes weren’t as pretty.


Next we have:

Sansa’s Lemon Cakes

Lovely, with a strong, lemon bite!

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To make this recipe you will need:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large saucepan melt the butter with the lemon juice and water on medium high heat.

When the butter is melted remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add the sour cream (or yogurt), beaten eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest and whisk together. Let this mixture cool completely before preceding. Make sure it’s not warm.

In a separate bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together, then whisk the dry ingredients into the batter.

Prepare muffin pans with cupcake liners. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Do not open the oven until 18 minutes have passed.

Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan. Then remove them and let cool completely before frosting.


To make the Lemon Buttercream you will need:

  • 1 lb. of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 lbs of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest finely zested with a microplane
  • 1/3 of a cup of fresh lemon juice

Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer beat the butter well, about 1 minute.

Add about half of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and beat on low until incorporated, then on high for about a minute.

Add the rest of the sugar, (start on low again) then increase to high speed and beat until very fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Use immediately to frost your cupcakes. We used an open star tip and piped multiple, tiny stars on the tops of our cupcakes.

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Recipe adapted from, Really Moist Lemon Cupcakes for the Lemon Lover by Melissa aka The Alchemist.

X(files) marks the spot this Valentine’s Day

“It seems to me that the best relationships, the ones that last, are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.”

Scully from: The Rain King (1999) season 8, episode 6 of the X-files


This Valentine’s Day, give the gift that says: I would go half way around the world, brave a frozen tundra and fight a vast government conspiracy just to be with you.  Well actually- to rescue you from a tube of alien goo, but still…

Of all the great love stories- Mulder and Scully are one of the best!

Who needs Romeo and Juliet, when you can have Fox and Dana- a couple so deeply in love, they don’t need to use fake, gushy pet names to express it.  Hell… they don’t even need to use actual first names!

Yet, through all the years, dangers… and the occasional coma- is there any doubt of their ever-lasting love and devotion to each other?

For the Mulder or Scully in your life this Valentine’s Day, we suggest one (or more) of these X-files themed cupcake jars.

Easy to love and even easier to make.


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You will need:

  1. Half pint canning jars such as Ball,  as many as you would like to make.
  2. Cupcakes.  Either homemade from your favorite recipe, made from a cake mix following the instructions on the box or store bought.
  3. Icing. Can be either homemade from your favorite recipe or your favorite store brand.  If you’re using pre-made cupcakes that you purchased, you don’t need additional icing.
  4. A decorating bag and tip or a large Ziplock or other plastic storage bag.

We started with a list of X-Files themed sayings:

  • You’re my Mulder
  • You’re my Scully
  • Trust no one… except me
  • You make me want to believe
  • You’ve abducted my heart
  • I find you sMuldering
  • I want to believe yours
  • Valentine, you are smoking hot

Feel free to use these, or come up with some of your own.  If you do, and don’t mind sharing them, we would love to hear them in the comment section of this post!

For this particular project we used Duncan Hines cake mixes, Chocolate and signature Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Icing.

Bake the cupcakes following the recipe on the box, or whatever recipe you have decided to use. Even though we will be removing them later, it is still better to bake the cupcakes in wrappers.  We used a mix of different types and colors that we had left over from past projects.

While your cupcakes are cooling, take the bands and lids off your jars and wash them.  Let them dry while you print and cut out your top labels. Feel free to download our labels here: xfiles.

The labels can be printed on whatever type of paper that you prefer- cardstock, full-sheet sticky labels or plain, old copy paper.  We used plain, old copy paper. Then cut around the outside edge.  Don’t worry about them being perfect, the bands on the jar lids cover the edge!

photoOnce the cupcakes are cool, remove the wrappers from the ones you plan on using in the jars.  If you are using store-bought cupcakes, remove the papers from these as well since the cupcakes will be eaten directly from the jars. Each jar should take about two cupcakes.

Once the papers have been removed, start by putting your first layer into the jars.

Right side up, upside down… there’s no special instructions here other then to push them into the bottoms of the jars.  If you’re using just-baked, icing-less cupcakes- smoosh away!  If you’re using the already pretty and completely finished type from the store, you’re going to have to be a bit more careful here and drop them in.

Once all of the bottom layers are in the jars, it’s time to do the first layer of icing. If you are using a decorating bag and tip, we like to use Wilton 12 in. Disposable bags and a star decorating tip.

Of course, almost any decorating tip that you would use to pipe icing on the top of a cupcake is fine.  Also, if you don’t have a decorating bag, you can use a plastic storage bag, fill it with icing, cut off one corner and use it just like you would a decorating or pastry bag.

In a pinch, you could probably use a spoon or butter knife here, but it will be harder to get a nice, even layer of icing this way.

Fill your bag with icing, then twist the top closed and slide the icing down towards the tip or the corner of your plastic bag to get rid of air pockets.  Now you’re ready to add your first layer of icing!

Start gently piping along the inside of the jar in a circular motion following the edge of the jar around and in toward the center until the entire top of the cupcake is covered.

Now… you want a decent layer of icing, but not too much.  Remember that you’re going to need to fit a second cupcake and another layer of icing in there!
Once you are done with your icing, put your next cupcake layer into all of the jars pushing down a bit to give yourself a little more room. If you are using finished store-bought cupcakes, put your second one on top of the first and try to neatly push it down on the first layer so that both cupcakes fit into the jar.

photo 1-5 (1)Easily Entertained Tip:  If you find that your second cupcake is too thick and it doesn’t look like you are going to have enough room for your top layer of icing- you can trim your cupcake from the bottom and make it a thinner layer.  In fact, you could cut all of your cupcakes in half and do even more alternating layers of thinner cake and icing.  You could even go a little crazy and add other layers of fillings like fruit, pudding, pastry cream or lemon curd. (yay lemon curd!)photo 2-7

Once all of your layers are in place, top with more icing and if you like, colored sprinkles.  Don’t go too high with the icing- you’re going to want to leave a tiny bit of space near the lip of the jar so that you can get your lids back on.

As for the lids… there are a few ways to do this.  We used to stick the images to the jar lids. You can do this if you like, and it’s really pretty easy if you chose to print your image out on full-sheet sticky labels.   In that case, cut out your circles, peel off the backing and stick them to the top silver parts of the lids.

If you are using cardstock or copy paper you can simply place the lids on your jars, the paper circles on top of the lids and then hold them in place when you put on the final bands of the jars.  You may need to hold them centered in place as you turn the bands, but once they are on there, they will hold the labels tightly in place.  And then the person you gave them to has a nice, unsullied jar to keep after they’ve eaten their cupcake.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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