I'm a little delayed on this, but I promise I have a good reason. A few weeks ago, my husband told me that he wanted to make a pig shaped cake for his mom on Mother's Day, since she's a big fan of pigs. I couldn't stop thinking about how to make this the best it can be - I'm NOT a cake decorator and never will be, but I wanted to do something cute.
So, after looking at tons of recipes with complicated fondant creations using tools I don't wish to own, I came up with a new idea. Cupcakes with pig noses! Why not? It's pretty easy - make cupcakes, place a half marshmallow on each one while they're still warm, and frost with some sort of pink frosting. Then, decorate (and please, decorate better than I did).
The best part about this is that I discovered a new favorite cake recipe, and one of the best frostings I've probably ever had. The fresh strawberries really took it a notch above the rest. Without further ado, here they are...and please, don't judge my little piggy faces. I'm sure you can do much better :)
Double Chocolate Layer Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen; makes 18 cupcakes
1.5 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup freshly brewed coffee
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9 large marshmallows, halved
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper.
2. Combine chocolate chips with coffee and let sit, stirring occasionally until combined. In a medium bowl add sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In la larger bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs slowly, beating in between each addition. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium until combined. Don't overbeat (mixture will be very liquidy)
3. Fill liners about 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (this will definitely vary based on your oven).
4. Put cupcakes on cooling racks. While they are still warm, place one half marshmallow on each cupcake, towards the edge so it looks like a nose. Then prepare the frosting!
Fresh Strawberry Frosting
Adapted from The Cooking Photographer
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1 cup strawberries
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 pounds powdered sugar
Puree strawberries in food processor. Add butter, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla and pulse until combined and finely chopped. Add powdered sugar, a cup or two at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Then, frost the cupcakes and decorate with a face or whatever else you can think of (or don't, it's up to you). Enjoy!