I love the storybook Pinkalicious, about a little girl who eats too many of her favorite pink cupcakes until she develops an acute case of “pinkititus,” and turns bright pink herself. The only cure is to eat green, green, green; from pickles and peas to olives and okra. The illustrations are quirky and divine, and the desire to create my own “pinkalicious” cupcake was a challenge I couldn’t resist. For the pinkest cupcakes, search out bright pink cupcake liners and a variety of pink decorations from edible glitter, jimmies, sanding sugar, and sprinkles to doll them up. Forget restraint—the glitzier, the better. These cupcakes are very easy to make and are best served the day they are baked. If time is of the essence, you can make the pink frosting a day or two in advance, storing it in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Make sure you allow the frosting to come to room temperature before you start decorating the cupcakes.
"Sticky, Chewy, Messy Gooey Treats for Kids" by Jill O'Conner (Chronicle); copyright 2009. Photographs by Leigh Beisch
|2 1/4 cups cake flour||4 large egg whites, at room temperature|
|1 tablespoon baking powder||1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract|
|1 1/2 cups granulated sugar||Pink gel food coloring|
|1 teaspoon salt||Pink Marshmallow Fluff Icing (see link to recipe below)|
|1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces||Pink-colored flaked coconut, pink sanding sugar, pink jimmies, sprinkles, edible glitter, and pink royal icing or sugar flowers for decorating|
|1 cup whole milk, at room temperature|
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans with eighteen pink paper liners, or make these jumbo Pinkalicious cupcakes and use large “Texas-size” muffin tins and liners (if using the larger pans, this recipe will make about 8 cupcakes).
In a large metal mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and start to beat together using an electric mixer set at low speed. While you are beating, add the milk a little at a time, and continue beating for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the egg whites and vanilla to the batter and beat at high speed, scraping the bowl down occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes. While you are beating, drop in 4 or 5 drops of pink or red food coloring to achieve your desired shade of pink.
Fill the lined muffin cups about two-thirds full (about a heaping 1/4 cup batter each). Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cool, frost with Pink Marshmallow Fluff Icing. Mound a large dollop of the icing onto each cupcake with an icing spatula, or fill a piping bag fitted with a large star or round tip and pipe the icing onto each cupcake. Decorate with pink coconut and/or pink sanding sugar, or pink jimmies, pink sprinkles, and a good dose of edible pink glitter—and perhaps a pink sugar flower or two. Don’t be shy, be glitzy and gaudy!
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