Meet Our Guest Blogger
Hi, I’m Jessica, and I’m the Food Artist, Stylist, and Founder of Luxe and the Lady. I’m a fan of fluffy animals, cute characters, and all things food! On my blog, I create a mix of sweets and healthy treats that are as fun to look at as they are delicious. Life is too short for boring food! You can find even more cute creations and recipes on my blog and on my Instagram @luxeandthelady.
I don’t think it’s any surprise that bunnies are one of my favorite animals (I even have a pet rabbit named Marshmallow), so I was super excited to be able to create a special dessert for My Melody’s birthday! Since you can’t celebrate without cake, I turned her favorite treat (almond pound cake), into cute cupcakes. They are filled with strawberry jam, topped with lots of almond buttercream and decorated with white chocolate for a sweet that’s perfect for sharing! Thanks to the included template, the white chocolate pieces (including My Melody’s beloved hood) are a piece of cake.
Almond Pound Cake Cupcakes:
Makes 1 dozen cupcakes
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temp (1/2 stick)
- 1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sour cream (it’s better to use regular here vs. reduced fat)
- 2 egg yolks, beaten to firm peaks
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 12 parchment muffin liners
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 ½ sticks)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
My Melody Decorations:
- ½ bag pink or bright pink candy melts
¼ cup black candy melts
¼ cup yellow candy melts
- Light blue fondant
- My Melody Template (sized to about 3 inches wide for the ears up design, and 4 ½ inches for the ears down)
- 1 piping bag
- Small round piping tip for bows (I used Wilton #12)
- Large round piping tip for face (I used Wilton #1A)
- Small heart cookie cutter
- Angled spatula or butter knife
- Fondant or small, lightweight rolling pin
- Sharp kitchen knife
Small heat proof piping bottle* (optional, for piping the hood designs)
- Waxed paper
You can add paramount crystals to any of the candy melt colors to thin them out. This creates a smoother appearance, and also gives you more time to work with them before they set. Start with a tablespoon at a time, and stir it in until dissolved.
Dust a little cornstarch over your work surface before rolling the fondant out to keep it from sticking (you an also add more if it’s too sticky to handle).
It is easiest to read all of the directions once through, before beginning, as some parts of the recipe will need to set or chill while you work on other things.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with parchment liners. Set aside.
2. In a bowl with a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and both extracts, and beat until just incorporated.
3. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
4. Turn the mixer on low, and alternate adding the flour then the sour cream to the butter and sugar (beginning and ending with the flour), beating until just incorporated.
5. Add the egg whites to a clean mixing bowl with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and use a handheld or stand mixer to beat them into firm peaks. You can check this by removing one of the beaters and seeing if the egg white holds its shape once held upright.
Gently fold the egg
whites into the cupcake batter using a spatula.
7. Place about 3 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin tin, and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
8. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
9. While the cupcakes cool we can work on the buttercream. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat the butter until creamy (about 3-5 minutes).
10. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the sugar about ½ cup at a time until incorporated. Add both extracts, and increase the speed to medium. Beat about 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is creamy (I like to cover the bowl with a towel while doing this so that powdered sugar doesn’t fly everywhere).
11. Add the heavy cream and continue to mix until light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with the large round piping tip and set aside.
12. Before cutting and frosting the cupcakes I like to chill them (this also makes it easier to remove the wrappers). Transfer them to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
13. Time to begin the decorations! Place each of the candy melt colors into a separate heatproof bowl. Microwave them, 1 at a time, in 30-second intervals at 50% power. Stir, and continue to heat until smooth. You can add paramount crystals to any that need thinned.
14. Use either a toothpick dipped in the candy melts or a heat proof piping bottle to “draw” the pink hoods, faces, and yellow noses onto wax paper. You can use the template underneath as a guide. Allow the pieces to set.
15. To make the bows, roll the fondant out to about 1/8 inch and cut out 2 hearts for each, plus a small circle for the middle, using the #12 piping tip. Cut the pointed end off of each heart and use a little water to join them with the circle in the middle. You can use a toothpick to imprint the ruffled design if you’d like.
16. Once the cupcakes have chilled, use a sharp knife to cut them in half. Pipe a dollop of frosting on top of each and return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes so that the buttercream can chill before smoothing.
17. Use an angled spatula or butter knife dipped into a mug of warm water to smooth the top of each cupcake. I like to keep a paper towel nearby to pat off any extra water before smoothing.
18. Remove the frosted top of each cupcake, and spread ½ tablespoon strawberry jelly in the middle. Replace the tops.
19. Add the candy melt pieces, and then your bows, and enjoy!
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