Happy Belated Cupcake Day

I just found out that yesterday was National Cupcake Day. Well, that’s according to one source. Other sources cite Oct. 18 at National Chocolate Cupcake Day and Nov. 10 as National Vanilla Cupcake Day. Still another says Cupcake Day is Dec. 15, or August 18 or March 3. I don’t know who to believe.

Cupcakes, if you haven’t noticed, have become a hot trend in the culinary world. I think there’s even a show on the Food Network devoted to cupcake-making challenges.

Since it’s the Day After National Cupcake Day (or not), and I happen to think these cupcakes are one of the cutest seasonal food things I’ve come across in a long time, I am sharing this recipe from the Associated Press.

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Heat the oven to 325 F. Lightly coat the cups of a muffin tin with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together the 2 cups all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt.

In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together 1 cup room temperature butter and 1 cup sugar. Beat for 5 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Beat in 1 teasoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon orange extract.

In a liquid measuring cup with a pour spout, beat together 4 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. With the mixer on medium-high, a bit at a time pour the eggs into the butter-sugar mixture. This should take about 5 minutes.

Using a spoon or silicone spatula, gently but thoroughly fold the flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture.

Divide the batter into 2 bowls, one having slightly more batter than the other. Add several drops of yellow gel food coloring to the bowl with slightly more batter, then gently mix in until evenly colored. Repeat using orange coloring for the second bowl of batter.

Divide the orange batter between the cups of the prepared muffin tin.

Transfer the yellow batter to a medium zip-close bag. Snip off one corner, then gently squeeze (pipe) the batter over the orange batter in each cup, creating 2 layers of colored cake. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the 1 cup room temperature unsalted butter, 2 cups sifted powder sugar and 2 tablespoons milk until smooth and creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat to combine.

To finish the cupcakes, overturn them so the bottoms face up. If the tops are too rounded for them to sit flat once overturned, they can be trimmed with a serrated knife.

Transfer the frosting to a zip-close bag. Cut off one corner of the bag, then squeeze the frosting into a slightly pointed mound on top of each cupcake.

Makes 16 cupcakes.