This post is sponsored by OXO’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer
I tell people all the time that the whole reason I make “pretty” cupcakes is because I have the artistic skills of a 3-year-old. I can’t draw a straight line to save my life, and if I make a flower, it’s going to be lop-sided or look like some radioactive/genetically-modified-experiment-gone-wrong with one gigantic petal. Friends will send me links to cool-looking baked goods that I should try, but all it does it remind me of how painfully inartistic I am. That is why I blog–It doesn’t take much beyond proper grammar to write (though you wouldn’t always know it these days. Apparently proofreading has gone the way of the dodo.), and cameras, once you know how to use them, are easy to work with. Easier than watercolors or fondant, in my opinion.
I had a friend who sent me a link to some Princess Leia Cupcakes, that looked surprisingly easy–Easy enough, I of all people could make them! So I did, with some help from the folks at OXO. As in years past, I am partnering with them again to help spread the word about their Good Cookies Campaign, to help raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer research. Many of you already know, I have a coworker who lost his son a few years ago to cancer, which is why I do these posts.
OXO sent me a Cupcake Set to help out with my post. I received an awesome muffin pan, a 4-piece decorating bottle kit, and a cupcake icing knife. Look for this sticker on specially marked OXO products:
OXO will donate a portion of each sale to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.
Now, for the cupcakes. To start, you need to bake yourself a batch of cupcakes. I asked the bambino what kind of cake flavor he wanted, and he said yellow cake.
Once they’re cooled, assemble all the things you need for the decorating–Frostings, tools, sandwich cookies, and sprinkles:
First, take some basic buttercream frosting, and spread that on top of the cupcake.
Then, using either black gel icing or brown/chocolate buttercream, draw in the top part of the “hair”:
Dot black gel for the eyes, and either using heart-shaped sprinkles or pink gel, make her mouth. Attach a sandwich cookie on either side for the buns using a bit of frosting, and you’re done!
Isn’t she cute?
For the Cupcakes:
- 2 1/3 C flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 C sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2/3 C milk
For the Frosting and Decorations:
- 1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- 2 C powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2-4 Tbsp. milk
- Black gel frosting
- 1/4 C chocolate buttercream (store-bought or homemade)
- 48 fudge-filled sandwich cookies
- 24 heart-shaped sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, place the batter in the prepared pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in several cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes 10 minutes in the pans, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, begin adding the powdered sugar. After half has been added, add the vanilla and 2 Tbsp. of the milk. Add the remaining powdered sugar. Beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes, adding the additional milk as needed to reach the desired consistency.
To decorate, spread the vanilla buttercream on top of the cupcakes. Using a writing tip, pipe several lines for the hair, beginning in the middle of the cupcake, then drawing down the side. Repeat on the other side.
Using the black gel, pipe 2 eyes, then add a heart sprinkle for the mouth. Use a dab of buttercream to attach a sandwich cookie to each side of the cupcake liner to create the buns.
And if you have a couple Star Wars nuts in your house who just happen to have scads of action figures you can borrow, you can have a little fun once you’re done making the cupcakes:
“I’m Luke Skywalker. I’m here to rescue you!”
OK, I very easily could’ve done more detailed scenes, but you get the idea.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a set of baking tools in exchange for this post, and OXO will donate $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on my behalf.
- Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.
- OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in October (up to our $100,000 commitment*.)
- *In 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts