Creative Cooking

What's Cooking on Pinterest: Snow Cone Cupcakes

The "Food & Drink" section of Pinterest always has recipes that make you think, "hmm, would this actually work? or actually taste good?" That's why I am here -- to answer these questions for you and bring you weird, wacky and fun recipes from Pinterest.

This week, looking through the Pinterest feed, I kept coming back to the snow cone cupcakes recipe. Snow cones are the perfect summer treat to cool you down on a hot day -- pretty much every day in Houston. The cupcakes look just like snow cones, and you won't mind that they aren't ice-cold.

Start by sifting flour, sugar and baking powder into a mixing bowl, then stir egg whites, whole milk and vanilla together in another bowl. Add the salted butter to the flour mixture, then slowly pour the wet ingredients into the batter until everything is mixed in. Now, it's time to add the food coloring.

The recipe was intended for a Memorial Day or 4th of July celebration, but since it is neither Memorial Day nor the 4th of July, I decided to use pink and yellow food coloring to give my cupcakes a bright summer look.

Divide the batter into three bowls and dye two bowls different colors, leaving the third plain, but if you're feeling crazy, go to town and dye the third bowl of batter. That's the fun part about these cupcakes -- you can make the batter whatever color you want.

The recipe calls for approximately 40 drops of food coloring per bowl, but I suggest stirring the batter as you add the food coloring, then adding more if you need the color of your cupcake batter to pop.

Dying the batter is fun, but the next part is a little challenging if you're unfamiliar with piping. Get three piping bags, or if you don't have those, Ziploc plastic bags, then tape the bags together at the bottom so you can use them at the same time. I never would have thought of doing this, but leave it up to Pinterest to offer recipes from blogs that are creative and inventive.

Once the tips of the bags are cut open, begin to fill the baking cups by applying pressure to the tops of the bags, evenly, and move back and forth until filled -- no more than three-quarters of the way, otherwise you will have a colorful cupcake mess when they bake. If you can find candy cup baking papers, use those instead of regular baking cups. The cups resemble the white paper cups snow cones are served in.

Finally, place these suckers in the oven at 350 degrees for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean; that's always the best indicator that your cupcakes are done.

While the cupcakes bake, it's time to make the buttercream frosting. With just butter, vanilla, confectioner's sugar and milk, it makes a sweet and creamy frosting ready to be dyed. Just as you divided the batter into three bowls to dye with food coloring, divide the frosting into three bowls, but don't use as much food coloring as you did with the batter. You want to keep the frosting thick and creamy, so the wet food coloring will make the frosting thinner and runnier, which is unappealing and gross. Stir the frosting as you add a few drops of the same food coloring you used with the batter and once all of the white frosting disappears, you're done.

The blogger suggests frosting in sections, then decorating in sugar crystals. But, if your grocery store doesn't carry sugar crystals, like mine, then you can top the cupcakes with sanding sugar to give them the same effect. Use a piping bag for the middle color and use a knife to add the outside colors. Over each section of color, add the frosting that matches, smooth the tops in a dome like fashion to give the cupcakes a snow cone look and dust with sugar crystals or sanding sugar, and you're done!

If you're making these for a summer party, put small plastic spoons into the frosting. It'll bring the snow cone cupcakes to life!

Not only were these cupcakes fun to make, but they taste delicious. The cake is light, fluffy, and perfectly sweet, and the frosting is thick and creamy. I guarantee you won't miss the icy taste of a real snow cone.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn