Streamlined Cupcakes

While Jake was in town, he wanted to go to Ikea…why they don’t have one in Las Vegas, I’ll never understand.  We all love Ikea at our house and they even have one in Salt Lake City so our family that lives there doesn’t have to load up when they come here for a visit!  We love to meander up and down the aisles to see their new colors and products for the season.  The kitchen area is particularly fun and there are always interesting things you can use for photographing food.  Look what Megan spied!

 

 
And look what goes with it…

 
Aren’t they just the cutest?  Well, of course we had to bring them home with us.  I had these yummy cake mixes from Henry’s that I bought a while ago when they were on sale that I wanted to try.

 
I am not a connoisseur of fancy cake mixes – Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines and Pillsbury will do just fine.  But they were on sale so that they were comprobably priced, so I took the leap.  No oil and water added…melted butter and milk took their place, along with the eggs.  I did do one careless thing.  After I melted the butter, I actually let it cool down because I thought I got it too hot.  However, when barely warm butter is combined with milk and eggs from the refrigerator, it seriously lumps up, and once you put it in, it’s kind of too late…probably.  Anyway, I was so excited to use the new kitchen items!

 
Sooooooo cute!  Now using this tall and slender cupcake pan throws you a learning curve.  You don’t want to put too much batter in, or it will spill over and that isn’t too pretty.  The cupcake papers didn’t want to stay down until I put the batter in, but then they found their way to the bottom.

 
The red ones went right down and held their shape.  The others buckled a little…don’t know the difference or why.

The recipe said about 40 minutes for and 8″ X 8″ cake pan, so I baked these for 17 minutes and they were just fine.

 
All those yummy-looking little bits of vanilla bean – smells good at my house!  So I whipped up a little butter cream:

1 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla – use the real stuff…worth the money

and…voila!

 
I love the tall look!

 
In spite of their height, these are just about a 3 or 4 bite cupcake and are perfect for a dessert buffet where there are many options, like say Brownie Balls – I had to remind you of those because when I get back from my nephew’s wedding next week, I’m going to be baking oh, say…20 dozen for the reception of our family’s friends, the Hinton’s, daughter Tasha and her new husband Brandon.  I’ll be busting out those brownie balls like nobody’s business!  (Think Lucy at the candy factory!) 

These are so cute…but are they missing something?  I know!

 
How about a little Tahitian Vanilla Sugar  on top?  Isn’t it pretty?  And tastes good, too!

 
For a link to where you can see the bakeware at Ikea, you can go here: 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00133038

Unfortunately, it says that it isn’t available on their website.  Hopefully you have an Ikea close to you or someone that really loves you and will go out of their way to get you this, because you know you’ll want one…right?  The only question I have is this:  Will they expand their line of cupcake liners?  I love the ones that they have, but I am imagining all the fun possibilities!

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