Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ode to Candy Corn Cupcakes

Fun Fact #10 about Me--I'm a Candy Corn addict!  I love this time of year when the bags appear in the supermarkets before autumn and Halloween.
The candy, originally made by hand, was created in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company.  It was made from sugar, corn syrup and water to form a slurry, and later, fondant was added for texture, then marshmallow for a soft bite.  The three colors--yellow, orange and white are meant to mimic the appearance of kernels of corn and this confection's production has reached over 20 million pounds annually.  The top selling company is Brach's, who sells enough to circle the earth 4.25 times when the candy kernels are laid end to end!

The idea to create a cupcake to honor this confection just came to me and since baking always makes me happy, I decided not to wait until Halloween to unveil these little cakes.  I used one of my favorite cake recipes and divided it into two-thirds orange, with orange zest and orange flavoring, and one-third yellow, with lemon zest and lemon flavoring.  The moist cake, beautifully colored is topped off with a fluffy, marshmallowy white frosting...known as Seven-minute Frosting and is sure to be a hit with your family.
Candy Corn Cupcakes
3/4 cup  (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk

Zest of 1 medium orange
1 tsp. Orange flavoring
5-6 drops of Yellow food color + 2-3 drops of Red food color (or use Orange)

Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Yellow flavoring (if using extract, cut back 1/2 tsp.)
6-7 drops of Yellow food color

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy.  Gradually all the sugar and beat to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  

Mix the dry ingredients together, then, add to the batter alternatively with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat on med/high for 1 minute until thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter: 2/3 batter colored and flavored Orange and 1/3 batter colored and flavored Yellow
Use a two-tablespoon scoop and place some yellow batter in the bottom of the lined muffin cups.

Using the larger scoop, add the orange batter on top.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.
Seven-Minute Frosting
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
2 T Light Karo syrup
2/3 cup cold water
6 egg whites
2 T granulated sugar
In a small sauce pan, measure the sugar, syrup and water and stir.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side and cook on med/low heat until the temperature reaches 230F-degrees.
 Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the additional 2 tablespoons of sugar, beating well after each addition.  

When the sugar syrup has reached 230F-degrees, remove from the stove top.  With the mixer running on low (so you don't splash hot syrup) gradually add the sugar syrup down the sides of the bowl.  When you have added all the syrup, turn speed up to medium high and set a timer for 7 minutes.  Beat until the frosting is cooled and forms stiff peaks.
 I used a large freezer bag, which I cut off a small part of a corner and inserted a plain tip.  Fill the bag with the frosting and with even pressure, pipe a swirl of the fluffy white frosting.

 My sister asked me if I also loved the "Indian Corn" candy (with it's brown, orange and white kernels) but,  even though it tastes the same, there's something about the original that has me hooked.  If the Betty Ford Center had a program, I'd probably be checking myself in. LOL But, for now, I'm going to enjoy my candies while they're still in the stores! Enjoy!


  1. Those cupcakes are so cute--great idea!

  2. Cute cupcakes and the frosting is beautiful! I haven't tried 7 Minute Frosting before, but I am going to now:@)

  3. How fun! I love this! Not a candy corn fan myself, but this is such a cute idea.... I know I'd prefer the cupcake version!

  4. I actually like these cupcakes better than the candy! Wouldn't they be great for a party?

  5. I'm a fan of candy corn. I bake candy corn-shaped cookies every year. But, these cupcakes are amazing. I'll have to give them a try. I'd like to invite you to share your recipe on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  6. oh yum candy has been so long.

  7. Adorable, how can you not love these? Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your recipe has been featured on "Feature Friday" at LADY BEHIND THE CURTAIN! Please go and grab your Feature Friday Button! ---Sheryl---