Our little Madison celebrates her 2nd birthday today, although her "party" isn't until Sunday, I decided to bake up some cupcakes in her honor and the start of the baking season for me.
The holly and berries reminded me of our home in Massachusetts where we had two beautiful holly bushes by our front door. I loved to watch the cardinals and wax wings come and pluck the berries from the branches. Additionally, during heavy snow storms in New England, small birds would take refuge in the interior of the holly. I piped the leaves, but found the berries at Williams-Sonoma. They are called Deco Drops and come in a number of colors, but this red is perfect to resemble actual berries.
Cupcakes are always perfect and if you're doing a holiday dessert table, these could be your centerpiece.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with a Cheesecake filling
1 recipe of Red Velvet Cake
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 T. heavy cream
In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and blend completely. Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, and beat well. The mixture should resemble a "set" cheesecake state. Set aside.
5 stick (2 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
7 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 T Vanilla Extract
6-7 drops of Green paste color
In the bowl of the KitchenAid, using the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat well to combine. Add the remainder of the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
(If your bowl does not hold all the ingredients, you can make it in half batches)
When the cupcakes are cooled completely, use an apple corer to remove a center "plug" of cake for the filling.
Fill a large bag with the buttercream (before tinting it green) and a #808 tip and using a light pressure, swirl the top of the cupcake to coat.
The cake was moist and the filling was delicious with a nice surprise in the middle, which is what I like to add with my cupcakes.