March 22, 2013

Stormy Today, Sunshine Tomorrow Cupcakes

These cupcakes from Sprinkle Bakes are quite unique from my point of view. The cupcake is made with black sesame paste, which is apparently a dessert in Asian cultures. The cupcakes are a bit nutty, and the lemon filling and frosting are quite unexpected given the dreary gray of the cupcakes. Fun for this seemingly endless winter.

Stormy Today, Sunshine Tomorrow Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup black sesame paste (can use store bought or Sprinkle Bake's recipe)
8 oz. lemon curd
2 sticks butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp. black gel food coloring or black powdered food coloring
2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a cupcake tin with cupcake papers.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, and mix again.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and set aside.  Add flour mixture, and black sesame paste alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  Batter will be thick.

Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.  Bake for 17 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely on wire rack.

Fill each cupcake with lemon curd either using a bismark tip and pastry bag or by cutting a hole into each cupcake.

To make frosting, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together.  Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, add the vanilla and lemon zest.  Beat in the food coloring until uniformly grey.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip.  Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Makes 15 to 20 cupcakes.

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