Even though they are beautiful and eye-catching, I don’t make fancy decorated cupcakes very often. I don’t know why as they truly are lovely to look at.
I guess with raising three hungry boys I always found myself in a bit of a rush in the kitchen and didn’t have a lot of extra time to make showstopping cupcakes. No, I was a more practical baker, especially since most things I made in the kitchen were from scratch.
I don’t recall my mother making cupcakes or any of my friend’s mothers for that matter. In our house, though I would watch in horror as dad sliced off the frosting every time he ate a piece of cake and scraped it into the garbage. To me, that was the best part! It was just too sweet for his taste, but he may have been on to something for he lived to be 100!
These cupcakes are another version of my colourful gumdrop cake (where the original recipe dates back to the 1930’s), that I posted a while back. It’s basically the same recipe as the cake, however, I reduced and switched out the all-purpose flour for cake flour to achieve a softer cake texture, and made a few other changes. Remember, cupcakes bake much faster than normal cakes so you really need to be careful that they do not over bake.
Seriously, homemade cupcakes are so buttery compared to store bought, which are usually loaded with frostings made with disgusting shortening. These cupcakes are pretty easy to make, just don’t overbeat once the flour has been added, and as I mentioned before, do not overbake them. Remove them from the oven when a toothpick still has a few moist crumbs attached. Nothing worse than a dry cupcake!
Gumdrop cupcakes can be made ahead and frozen unfrosted. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then frost. Frosting can be made one or two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
My little gumdrop cakes are perfect for a special occasion and will make you will feel like a kid again.
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (reserve a bit of juice for the frosting)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cherry flavouring (optional)
- 2½ cups sifted cake flour + an additional ¼ cup flour for tossing with the gumdrops
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- 2 cups gumdrops cut into smaller pieces (omit the black ones)
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice ( try 2 tablespoons first then add more as needed)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins (12 cups each) with paper liners.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until well blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and fluffy.
- Add crushed pineapple and the vanilla and cherry flavouring.
- Toss the chopped gumdrops into the ¼ cup flour. This prevents them from sticking together and sinking to the bottom.
- Combine in a bowl, sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, taking care not to overbeat.
- Fold in by hand the floured gumdrops.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Taking a bamboo skewer, gently swirl it around in each cup making sure there are no air pockets due to the gumdrops.
- Bake one muffin tin at a time on the middle oven rack for 22-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick still has a few moist crumbs attached. Do not overbake.
- Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool in the tin 5 minutes on a wire rack.
- Remove cupcakes from the muffin tins and set them on the rack, and let cool completely before frosting.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy. Stop the mixer and add 1 cup of icing sugar. Turn the mixer to low and mix until combined, then add the rest of the sugar 1 cup at a time beating on low after each addition.
- Slowly add the pineapple juice and vanilla. Increase speed until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
- For the photos, I used a Wilton 1M star swirl tip.