Toadstool Cupcakes

These enchanted cupcakes are covered in a sugary glaze and cinnamon-candy spots. They sprout between blades of icing grass. If you like, you can decorate the cupcakes with caterpillars, snails, or acorns made with tinted fondant.

  • Servings: 10

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Summer

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for muffin tins
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • Butter Glaze
  • Cinnamon candies, for decorating
  • Green food coloring
  • Ready-to-use fondant and additional food coloring gels (for making the fondant decorations), optional, see Cook's Note below

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously butter 6 cups (every other cup) plus the top of a 12-cup standard muffin tin and 4 cups plus the top of another 12-cup muffin tin. Dust with flour, and tap out excess.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Put melted butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs; mix 2 minutes more. Mix in vanilla.

  3. Mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk in 2 batches. Divide batter among the 10 prepared cups in the muffin tins, filling to the top edge. Add more batter to the center of each so that it mounds 1/2 inch above rim.

  4. Bake, removing halfway through, gently tapping on counter, and switching positions of tins, until cupcakes are slightly golden and a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day before decorating.

  5. Slide a serrated knife, lying flat against the top of the muffin tin, under the overflowed cap of each cupcake, and slice it off level with the tin; set tops aside. Run a butter knife around edges of cupcake bases to loosen. Invert, and unmold onto a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, leaving the bases inverted.

  6. Spoon glaze over cupcake bases. Place caps on inverted bases. Spoon glaze over tops (reserve remaining glaze). Let stand 1 minute. Smooth any drips with a toothpick or knife. Decorate with cinnamon candies. Let stand at room temperature until glaze is firm, about 1 hour.

  7. Transfer cupcakes to a serving platter using an offset spatula. Tint leftover glaze with green food coloring. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco number 2). Pipe blades of grass around the bases of the cupcakes. Cupcakes can be loosely covered and stored at room temperature up to 2 hours. Place fondant decorations on top of glazed cupcakes just before serving.

Cook's Notes

Decorating the Toadstools: Use your imagination to shape colored fondant into caterpillars, snails, or acorns. Working on waxed paper, knead a tiny amount of food coloring (use an assortment of food coloring gels) into ready-to-use fondant (www.wilton.com). Gently form the fondant as if it were clay. It's just sticky enough that you can press the parts together (lift the finished decorations with a thin spatula).

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