As you know, my last batch of cupcakes were lovely little morsels – not too sweet, great texture, good flavor combinations. So, as I began making cupcakes last night, I admit that I was feeling a little bit cocky.
I made the cupcakes (Funfetti, from a box) and was so impressed with the amount of mess I made (none) and the texture of the batter. I filled my little plaid liners and popped them into the oven, feeling good. I even did a load of dishes and updated my blog while they were baking. They came out good (not great – I have issues with getting the size of the two separate batches to be the same… but I’m working on it), so I set them aside to cool while I started the frosting.
This is where things started to go wrong. I was making a Marshmallow Cream Cheese frosting (found on Pinterest, here). In my abundant confidence, I hadn’t made any preparations that morning, so my cream cheese wasn’t softened. No problem, I thought, I know how to soften this right up! I filled a glass bowl with hot water and tossed the still-wrapped cream cheese in, letting it soak in the hot water for about 20 seconds. As I was cutting it up to put into the mixer, I noticed that it wasn’t as soft as I would’ve liked (aka as soft as it would’ve been if I’d let it sit on the counter all day, as intended) but, still aglow in the success of my last batch of cupcakes, I told myself it was fine.
Next I tossed in the vanilla extract. No problems there.
Then came the marshmallow fluff. Now, we all know that I am a beginner baker, so I hadn’t worked with marshmallow fluff before. Did you know that it is the devil inside of a cute, harmless-looking glass jar?? Well, you do now. It is sticky and thick and somehow it creeps to places that it shouldn’t (ie. hair, eyelids, finger cleavage, the cabinets, etc). I used a spatula to scoop it out of the jar. After one scoop, it just stuck to the spatula and no amount of flinging, banging, or smushing would get it off. I used another spatula to scrape it off the first spatula… and shortly thereafter I had two sticky spatulas. I finally managed to scrape enough into the bowl to have (vaguely) seven ounces. (Sidenote: a co-worker said to me today, “Why didn’t you spray some cooking spray on the spatula first?”. The only way I can describe my reaction is with this emoticon:
I turned the mixer on and let it mix for quite some time, reasonably sure that nothing man-made could force this marshmallow fluff to mix with anything. After a couple of minutes, though, it actually resembled a nice textured frosting, free of grit since it had no sugar.
I was out of piping bags so I used a tip that Kelly gave me – a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off. I smushed my piping tip down in there and everything was just fine for 5 cupcakes. And then something happened. The tip suddenly came ROCKETING out of the Ziploc bag, taking about 4 cupcakes’ worth of frosting with it. This all landed on my table with a sick, wet clatter. This was the last straw. I squirted a hunk of frosting on each cupcake, smushed it around with a spatula, stored them, and opened a beer. (Well, a Coke but it was opened with the mentality of opening a beer.)
I brought the demon cakes to work and they are a big hit. People love the frosting. So, there you have it. An incredibly long blog post for a very short, [theoretically] easy recipe.
And, one last picture of one of the cute cupcakes: