As a little girl, I grew up watching and loving all the animated Disney movies. From Aladdin to Pocahontas, I had it all memorized and forever etched into my brain. You can only imagine what my parents had to endure whenever I had my Disney sing-alongs playing during car rides.
Back then, I enjoyed the pretty characters, the catchy songs, and the happily ever afters. And now, I appreciate the character development, the storytelling, and the creativity and thought behind such films. But most of all, I appreciate how the female lead characters have become quite independent, courageous, fearless and confident young women.
It’s no surprise that I am super excited for Disney’s newest film- Frozen! I’ve been watching the trailers on repeat, I’ve been listening to the songs online, and I’m counting down the days until the release (which luckily also happens to be a countdown to Thanksgiving).
In anticipation for the new movie, I have made winter snowflake cupcakes!
I think these little delicate snowflakes look like something Elsa would approve of. I am thrilled for this new adventure that involves sisters Elsa and Anna. Elsa has the power to create ice and snow through her touch. Something happens which causes Elsa to freeze the village of Arendelle, thus creating an everlasting winter. Little sister Anna goes in search for Elsa to set things right and bring summer back to their village. I like that this isn’t a typical “princess” movie. And of course, I am pretty hyped about the new songs to add to my sing-along playlist.
These vanilla cupcakes are topped with a creamy and tangy cream cheese icing. I’ve decorated them with fondant snowflakes, some edible pearl sugars, and a little sprinkle of sparkly sanding sugar. These would be the perfect little desserts to serve at Frozen themed birthday parties and even the upcoming winter holidays!
Vanilla Snowflake Cupcakes, makes one dozen cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract, or vanilla paste
1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs one at at time, mix on low speed until eggs are incorporated. Add vanilla and sour cream. Mix until incorporated.
4. Add 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of milk. Mix on low speed until almost combined. Add another 1/3 cup flour, followed by remaining 1/2 of milk. Once again mix on low speed. Add the last 1/3 of flour and mix until batter is smooth and there are no more streaks of dry mixture.
5. Divide batter evenly between lined muffin tin (about 1/4-1/3 cup batter per muffin). Bake for 20-22 minutes until cupcakes are lightly golden in color and toothpick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean.
6. Let cupcakes cool in tin for 3-5 minutes. Remove from tin and allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature on wire racks.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, softened
8 oz cream cheese, cold
3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 drop of gel food paste coloring in electric blue
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese. Mix on low speed until mixture is smooth. Be patient and do not increase the speed, you don’t want the icing to have too many air bubbles. Scrape down bowl as necessary to ensure thorough mixing.
2. Add 3 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar). Mix on low speed until incorporated. Add vanilla, salt, and 1 Tbsp of heavy cream.
3. Add 1 drop of gel food paste color. One tiny drop of electric blue is all you need to get that nice pastel blue.
4. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if icing is too thin. Add another tablespoon of heavy cream if icing is too thick. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice. Pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes.
5. Decorate cupcakes with desired decor. If you leave frosted cupcakes out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, a nice crust will form on the icing. This will make the icing more stable and travel-friendly. Otherwise, keep the cupcakes in the fridge and let sit out at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to soften the icing.
luster dust, disco sprinkle, or petal dust in desired colors
1. Grease the entire bottom of snowflake cutter.
2. Roll out a small amount of fondant into a thin layer (#2 on pasta roller). Use greased snowflake cutter to punch out shape. After initial shape has been punched, circle the cutter around to ensure snowflake detaches from the rest of the fondant.
3. Transfer snowflake cutout to clean parchment sheet. Allow to try completely. Drying time varies. Once the top feels dry to the touch, flip snowflake to allow bottom side to dry out as well.
4. Once snowflakes are dry, its time to dust them with powder. You can use any non-toxic, food safe disco sprinkle, luster dust, or petal dust. These are available at baking supply stores, craft stores, and there many online retailers. Make sure you use non-toxic, food safe powders!
5. Similar to the way you would use a make-up brush, gently swirl the brush into the dust. Tap any excess into the cap of the dust container. Gently brush on the colored powder onto the snowflakes in a circle motion. I suggest wearing gloves so your hands are not covered with sprinkles.