I did use a cake mix for the cupcakes, mainly because most people expect that, for some reason good homemade cakes are not as well received. But that's OK. Cake mixes are quick and easy and used for a reason.
Now for the fun stuff. I made some mini cupcakes, and found out just how many you can actually make from a mix, and all I can say is WOW, I had no idea you could make so many. Luckily for me I have two mini tart pans and some mini tart molds so I was able to bake 34 at a time. I filled them with this frosting, in fact here's the link from Pioneer Woman with some great pictures of the process. I didn't get any pictures taken of the process, quite frankly, I was in a hurry and it was more important to get this made than to take pictures. I will take some at a later date though, cause this is so not the last time I make cupcakes this way.
This frosting does lend itself to the process of piping quite nicely, and I was pleasantly surprised. I took a pastry bag, with a pastry nozzle that had a wide opening, and pierced the top of the cupcakes with it and filled them with the frosting, pulling back on the bag as I was pumping it in.
|Filled and ready for frosting|
It did take me a couple of tries to get the right amount in, and some of the mini cupcakes kind of burst with the filling, but that's not a bad thing. Then I frosted the tops with some commercial frosting and voila, filled cupcakes.
|Chilling out in the freezer|
And I have to say, they were a big hit. When I told my dear husband about them he said it sounded good, but he wanted some with a squiggly line and writing on top, so I accommodated him.
Here's the recipe and how-to's for the frosting. Oh and by the way, this is the original recipe for the Red Velvet Cake frosting. Just sayin...
Frosting: Boiled Milk Frosting
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour and milk and heat over a medium heat, stirring constantly until it gets thick and cooks for just a minute or so. And you do have to be vigilant on this, trust me, it can get lumpy. I actually take the milk and flour with an ice cube and shake it together for a just a few seconds or so in a sealed tumbler, it breaks up any lumps. (This is also a great hint when making gravy, shake some water and flour together with an ice cube or two and then add the flour mixture to the sauce, keeps some of those lumps out of the gravy).
Set this aside to cool down, very important, you don't want this to be hot when you add it to the sugar and butter.
Cream the butter and sugar together until most of the sugar crystals have dissolved. I like to add the vanilla extract at this point as the alcohol in the extract will also help the process. (although if you're like me and forget to buy vanilla extract, head to the liquor cabinet and add in a some Kahlua or a sweet liqueur instead of the extract, so long as it's not really strongly flavored, no one will be able to tell the difference.) *Note to self, remember to buy those vanilla beans soon so you can make your own extract. Sorry, got sidetracked there.
Add in the cooked flour and milk mixture, as soon as it's cooled all the way down and whip it together with the butter and sugar. I used my whisk attachment on my Kitchenaid, and whipped it until it was light and fluffy. Keep going, I really couldn't tell you how long I whipped it, but it was several minutes. This will increase in volume, by a fair amount. I know I filled up a 4 cup container with the frosting and stuck it in the fridge for later on. This is not a really sweet frosting, but it is so tasty. And I know it's tasty, cause I kept sneaking tastes of it.
This makes enough to frost a two layer cake as well. And it freezes, beautifully. In fact I keep a couple of piping bags filled with the frosting in my freezer, I just take them out and let them defrost in the fridge overnight and I'm ready to go.
* Some other names for the frosting are: Cloudburst Frosting, Roux Frosting, Heritage Frosting and Mock Buttercream.