These cupcakes are a form of Red Velvet that were made with marshmallow fondant in order to kick off a new internal contest. They were adorable and not too hard, just took some time. Would be great for a kid's party, or a summer barbeque!
- 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup natural cocoa powder (unsweetened, not Dutch processed)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 cup butter (room temperature)
- 3 medium eggs
- purple gel-paste food coloring
- cream cheese frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3⁄4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- fondant icing
- 16 ounces mini marshmallows
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 lbs confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- violet gum paste food coloring
- pink gum paste food coloring
- black gum paste food coloring
- For the cake, sift dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder & soda, and salt) into a bowl and set aside.
- In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, vinegar, and food colouring. Mix thoroughly.
- In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer on medium, beat butter and sugar. Once fluffy, add eggs, one at a time.
- Add the buttermilk mixture and beat well.
- Finally, on low, add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
- Spoon into muffin cups until they are 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then let cool.
- To make the fondant, put 8 oz marshmallows in microwave safe dish with 1 tsp water and 1 tsp vanilla.
- Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, and continue until marshmallows are melted.
- Sift 1/2 lb confectioners sugar into mixing stand bowl. Make a well and pour marshmallow mixture into middle. Using paddle attachment, mix until combined. Sift additional 1/2 lb (or less if necessary) confectioners sugar into bowl, add 1 tbsp shortening and change to dough hook when mixture is no longer sticky.
- Repeat this process for a second batch, adding the purple food colouring to the marshmallow mix *before* adding into the sugar well.
- Knead both sets of fondant with hands until the right consistency, cover with a thin layer of shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and put in airtight container. Let sit for 30 minutes or more to rest.
- After fondant has rested, shape cow heads from white fondant.
- Shape 12 noses into a small ball and use a gum paste modeling tool to create the nostrils.
- Shape horns and attach to the head using a teaspoon of cornstarch to two teaspoons water. Let set for about 30 minutes.
- Using a small clump of white (about 1/4 cup), add a few drops of the pink food colour and knead with hands until pink is formed.
- Roll and cut wide and short obtuse triangles and lay the pink over the purple, then roll to create ears.
- Using the cornstarch mixture, attach the ears and let set for 30 - 60 minutes.
- Create small eyes using white fondant and black gum paste and attach with cornstarch mixture.
- Attach the noses to the heads, and let them rest on a pencil or the modeling tool until set (60 - 90 minutes).
- At this point, cupcakes should be cool and need to be iced. Mix cream cheese ingredients together with hand mixer. Spread over the top of each cupcake, one at a time.
- Separate the rest of the white fondant into twelve balls and roll thin, using a pizza cutter to make circular. Lay on top of cream cheese icing and tuck underneath. Repeat for remaining cupcakes.
- Roll purple fondant and cut cow-spot shapes. Attach with cornstarch mixture.
- With remaining purple fondant, create cow tails. Roll up small "snakes" and then using the modeling tool, tassel the tails.
- Attach heads to cow bodies using the cornstarch mixture. Let each cow's head rest on the others' backs for 2-3 hours or until set.
- Serve with pure, creamy milk. :).