Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Polar Bear Cupcakes

I am just tickled pink that "Lost" is back tonight (even though, with my husband's schedule, we may not get to actually watch it until this weekend - sob!), so the girls and I made up some polar bear cupcakes today as a tribute!

When I bake cakes or cupcakes for birthdays or actual celebrations, I keep it basic with white sugar, all-purpose flour. But when I'm baking cupcakes on a Tuesday because my favorite show is back on, I like to go a little healthier. I find you can basically make a muffin, with flax and whole wheat and blah blah - because once the frosting is on, it's just as yummy as a true cupcake!

Polar Bear Cupcakes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup milled flax seed
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp maple extract
1 egg
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line 10 muffin cups with liners.

In a bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, flax, sugar, vanilla extract, and maple extract. Beat in the egg. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, beating until combined.

Divide batter evenly between 10 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes (I started checking at 15 minutes; I took them out of the oven at 18 minutes). Let cool

Frosting - I use the Cook's Illustrated buttercream frosting, although it's been a while since I actually looked at it! Here are my rough proportions:

1 stick unsalted butter
2-3 Tbsp half and half (or cream)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
2-3 cups confectioner's sugar

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, half and half, vanilla, and salt. Add 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and beat on high speed for several minutes. Add more sugar as desired to reach frosting consistency, but be sure to beat on high speed for several minutes after additions - you want it to get really nice and fluffy!

We decorated with shredded coconut, chocolate chips... and animal cracker bits for the ears. That's what happens when you don't keep mini marshmallows on hand and decide to make cupcakes with no prior planning! ;-)

* * * * * * *

One of these already leaped into my mouth and forced it's way into my stomach... yummmmm. Abby hates cake and has already said that she won't be trying one after dinner, but we'll see if her tune changes. I feel fairly sure, based on her enthusiasm for licking the frosting beaters, that Lizzy will be more than happy to have dessert tonight! Perhaps these cupcakes will give me the sugar rush I need to stay up until 11 p.m...


MaryAnne said...

These are adorable!

C. Beth said...

These are so cute! I love them! And healthy to boot. Off to bookmark....

We just started watching Lost on Netflix, so I appreciate you not giving away any spoilers. (Don't worry, we've already gotten to the first polar bear scene!)

Kara said...

Beth - yay, a new Lost convert! :-) No spoilers here - I hate when I accidentally learn something about the show ahead of the time, because I love it for its "what just happened?!" moments!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have an award for you!