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Friday, April 20, 2012

Lighting It Up Blue - in my kitchen!

I really don't have time to post today...but thought I'd share the 250 mini cupcakes I made for after our community's Autism Awareness Walk.  Nothing special - used a cake mix for expediency - fudgy dark chocolate so they would stay moist...and a delicious buttercream that I needed to "crust" so I could cover them for transport to the after-walk event area.  When you have that many, you don't want your frosting sticking to the plastic wrap!  There are 200 in the photo below...the rest are in my kitchen...and you really don't want a picture of that right now!  It looks like something blew up in there!

I made 3 batches of the buttercream frosting and tinted it blue with Americolor's Sky Blue.  Did a simple swirl piping using Wilton tip #1M with a large coupler.  Here's the frosting recipe I ended up with...took a little from the Wilton website and a little from here and a little from there.  This turned out just right and tastes pretty darn good too (albeit very sweet).

Blue Buttercream Frosting


1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
(if you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt to the mix)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
(I use the Crisco sticks - 1/2 stick)
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 drops Sky Blue Americolor gel paste
2 pounds confectioner's sugar
4-5 tablespoons Half and Half


You really need a stand mixer for this....if you use a hand mixer, need to halve the batch.

Add butter, cream cheese, and shortening to bowl of a stand mixer.  Using paddle attachment, beat until creamy.  On low speed, add the vanilla extract.  Mix until totally incorporated.

Add 1 pound of confectioner's sugar and beat well.
Add 2 tablespoons Half and Half and beat well
Add second pound of confectioner's sugar and beat well...your mixer might be groaning - so add the rest of the Half and Half.  Mix until well integrated.

Add 3 drops of gel food coloring and mix on medium until combined.  Kick it up to medium high and beat until fluffy.  I used a large piping bag with a large tip - I put half of the batch at a time into the bag so it was manageable for my small hands.  While I was piping, I covered the mixer bowl with a damp cloth so the remaining frosting didn't start crusting before I was ready.  This was very easy to pipe.

So, what's the blue all about?  Autism Speaks, an organization supporting Autism Awareness, has held the Light It Up Blue initiative for 3 years now.  Their web site says it "is a unique global initiative by Autism Speaks to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. Iconic landmarks around the world will Light It Up Blue to show their support on April 2, 2012 - World Autism Awareness Day."  We didn't quite make it by April 2nd...but our community did join the initiative by lighting up the Port Isabel Texas lighthouse with some fabulous blue lights.   Isn't it pretty?  Thanks Mayor Vega...we love the effort by you and your city staff...awesome job!

Photo Credit:  Silvia Cesenes
The walk is tomorrow - and I'm a tired little camper...Saturday night I'll be putting my feet up and hoping that I'm looking back on a successful walk with fond memories!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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  1. Just a follow-up....
    The cupcakes were all eaten, nothing got ruined in transport, the puzzle-shaped marshmallow krispy treats were gone in a flash. Incredible event with over 600 walkers in our tiny town. We thought we'd be lucky to get 50 walkers back when we had our first meeting. We were just blown away by the support shown in Port Isabel, Texas!

  2. Wow! This incredible! So many little cupcakes! Love the blue icing. Congratulations on such a successful walk :-)

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