Dramatic Two-Tone Cupcakes

Wow. How can a cupcake knock your socks off? When it is dressed up with chocolate and brilliantly white sides, then topped with strawberries. Amazing, and delicious.

 

Easy Yellow Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  

 

White and Chocolate Dipping Fondant

 

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

 

Special Tools

  • 2 deep rimless bowls or small mixing bowls
  • 2 saucepans

 

Assembly Materials

  • 12 Easy Yellow Cupcakes
  • White and Chocolate Dipping Fondant, kept warm and pourable
  • 1 jar currant jelly
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries

 

Special Tools

  • Wire cooling rack placed over waxed paper
  • Pastry brush

 

Bake the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare the muffin pans with nonstick spray and flour or paper cups.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until thoroughly blended.
3. Whisk together the oil and milk and add to the dry ingredients. Beat for two minutes on medium speed.
4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again for two minutes on medium.
5. Pour the batter into the pans, filling at least halfway. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cakes test done.
Remove the pans and turn out the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.

Make the fondant
1. In a saucepan, combine the water and corn syrup and bring to a boil.
2. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the sugar until completely smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
3. Stir in small amounts of additional hot water until the consistency of the fondant is like warm honey.
4. Pour half the fondant, which is now bright white, into one of the mixing bowls.
Put the chocolate pieces in the other bowl and hold it over hot water in the other saucepan while you pour the remaining fondant over it. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth and the entire mixture has the same honey-like consistency as the white fondant.

Assemble the cupcakes
Note: After you make the dipping fondant, it will stay warm and pourable for about 20 minutes. If it hardens, just beat it by hand. If necessary, add one to two teaspoons of hot water and continue beating until it returns to pourable consistency.


Instructions
1. With a dinner fork, spear a cupcake through its top, holding it in one hand. With the other hand, tilt the bowl of white fondant so it pools, and immerse one side of the cupcake in it. Carefully lift out the cupcake and let as much fondant as possible drain back into the bowl. Put the cake right side up on the cooling rack and carefully remove the fork.
2. When the white fondant has dried a bit (about two minutes) and has just lost its glossiness, repeat the process in step one to cover the other side with the chocolate fondant.
3. Don't worry about trying to cover the top (which will be covered with strawberries) or the bottom. Coat the sides with a straight, clean line where the chocolate meets the white, or let a hint of the cake peek through.
4. When all the cakes have been coated and the fondant dried, melt the currant jelly and lightly spread it on the cake tops. The jelly will help hold the strawberries in place and inhibit the "bleeding" of fruit juice into the fondant icing.
5. Slice the strawberries or leave them whole, as you wish. Place them on top of the cakes and use the pastry brush to paint the berries lightly with the melted jelly to glaze and brighten them.


Reprinted with permission of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., from The Artful Cupcake: Baking and Decorating Delicious Indulgences by Marcianne Miller. ©2004, Lark Books.

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