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Cupcake Couture Blog Party:
Strawberry Camo Cupcakes

I am so super excited to announce the launch of the Cupcake Couture Blog Party today! I have teamed up with the owner of Bella Cupcake Couture, Carrie Middlemiss, to bring you this fantastic party.  Cupcakes, party displays, Bella Cupcake Couture and…. A HUGE PRIZE!  So make sure to read the whole post so you don’t miss a thing!!

Cupcake Couture Blog Party! 20 blogs, 20 cupcakes 20 party displays!

Carrie and I, along with 18 other bloggers have created custom cupcakes to coordinate with 20 different Bella Cupcake Couture cupcake wrappers (provided graciously by Carrie – THANK YOU!).  Each blogger then created a display for the cupcakes – but here’s the best part… the displays were made of every day items found in each bloggers home!  No trips to the store for any fancy props.  What that means is that you can recreate all 20 of these cupcakes and party displays by yourself – easily!   Maybe you’ll even be inspired to create a cupcake in Bella Cupcake Couture wrapper and a display all of your own!

Please visit all 20 blogs, read all 20 recipes and check out all 20 party displays!  Links to each party can be found below!

An American Cupcake in London
Bella Cupcake Couture
Chronicles of a Foodie
Crazy for Crust
Creative Food
Cupcakes Take the Cake
Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
Eat Your Heart Out
Haniela’s
Hoosier Homemade
In Katrina’s Kitchen
Inside BruCrew Life
Java Cupcake
Love From the Oven
Make Bake Celebrate
Not Just a Mommy
Sugar Daze
Sugar Swings! Serve Some
The Baked Equation
The Baking Cup
The Decorated Cookie

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

For the party, Carrie sent me her Jolene Pink Camoflague cupcake wrappers for this party.  For the party, Carrie sent me a package of her pink camo wrappers.  Kinda perfect for me since my hubby is in the Army and we’re stationed over here in Germany!  All Army – all the time! hehe I decided to make a strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream … both made with fresh strawberry puree.  It’s almost summertime so I thought this flavor would be a perfect choice… plus, the pink matches the wrappers!  Super easy, yet so super delicious!

For the display, I used things I already had at home… didn’t need to run to the store to buy anything.  Although, if I had to purchase any of the items I used, it wouldn’t be that expensive to recreate.

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

Here’s what I used to create the display:

  • Pink vinyl table cover
  • Pottery Barn white cake stand trimmed with 1 1/2 inch pink ribbon
  • Martha Stewart white rectangle platter trimmed with 1 1/2 inch pink ribbom
  • Pink tissue paper pom pom (watch this tutorial to learn how!) – hung from the wall
  • Pink curling ribbon – curled & hung from the wall
  • Cupcakes adorned with Bella Cupcake Couture Pink Camo cupcake wrappers
  • Army helmet, patrol cap and toy Stryker (You can go to any Military surplus store to look for similar items.  Also, any military toy truck would work!)

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

This display was super simple to put together and I think the addition of the ACU Army equipment really makes the pink POP!  And don’t worry if you don’t have access to an Army helmet or patrol hat – just use whatever your kids have already!  Got boys?  Use their Army trucks in the display!  Live near a military surplus store?  Run inside there and get some cheap ACU Army gear to put on your table.  No need to spend lots of money.

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

The pink curling ribbon I had in my stash of ribbon already and I think it added some texture and color to the back drop of the display.  The pom pom and the curls added much needed height to the entire display.

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

The cupcakes are a super yummy strawberry cupcake topped with strawberry buttercream and more fresh berries.  YUMMMMMMMMOOOO!  Seriously.  This is THE perfect strawberry cupcake.  Everyone who ate one RAVED about it.  This recipe makes 3 dozen cupcakes, so you could easily turn it into a cake with 3 8in layers or 2 9in layers.  Om nom nom nom

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Yield: 3 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 18 minutes

Fresh strawberries macerated in honey and sugar are used in the cupcakes and frosting for these super sweet summer treat!

Ingredients

Strawberry Puree

  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Strawberry Cupcakes

  • 3 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 + 2 Tbsp cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry puree
  • pink food coloring (Wilton Gel - Pink) - optional

Strawberry Buttercream

  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 tsp strawberry extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

Strawberry puree

  1. In a medium bowl, drizzle up to 1/2 cup of honey over the top of the chopped strawberries. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix with a rubber spatula until the strawberries are completely coated.
  2. Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. You want the sugars to get into the berries to create a delicious syrup.
  3. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Strawberry Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk, oil and almond extract.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, press the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar using the back of your spatula. This will release the oils in the seeds into the sugar.
  5. Add the butter and cream with the vanilla sugar for 1 minute with the mixer on high.
  6. Add the beaten eggs in three parts. Scrape the bowl and mix for 30 seconds after each addition.
  7. Add the buttermilk and oil mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until completely incorporated.
  8. Fold in the flour using a rubber spatula until no more white can be seen. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  9. Add the strawberry puree and fold until combined.
  10. Add a few drops of food coloring to amp up the pink color - this is optional.
  11. Fill cupcake liners 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter.
  2. Add the sifted powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time and beat on high until smooth after each addition. If the frosting gets too hard to mix, add a the extract and a few tablespoons of the strawberry puree.
  3. Once all the sugar has been added, add the extract (if you didn't already), salt and the strawberry puree and mix until combined.
  4. Add up to 1/2 cup heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. This will vary on the humidity and temperature you're living in.
  5. Beat frosting on high for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Assembly

  1. Using a Wilton 1M piping tip, pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
  2. Top with sprinkles and slices of fresh strawberries.
  3. Set each cupcake in a Pink Camo Cupcake Wrapper from Bella Cupcake Couture

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

There were just so many amazing photos of these cupcakes that I just can’t help but share so many with you here! I mean…. how cute are these… really!!?

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

I can’t decide what I’m more excited about…. the awesome cupcake wrappers from Bella Cupcake Couture, the strawberry cupcakes & the pink camo Army display or the fact that I’m giving away a Prize Pack worth $565!!!!!

Cupcake Couture Blog Party Prize Pack - a $565 value!

Thanks to our amazing Prize Pack sponsors for their generous donations! Please, visit their websites to see more of their fabulous products!

Bella Cupcake Couture
Cupcake Stand
Java Cupcake
Lil’ Punkin Creations
Sweets & Treats Boutique

To enter to WIN this Prize Pack, simply fill out the entry form below. –CONTEST OVER–

Contest opens 21May13 at 0700 PST and closes 27May13 at 2359 PST. One winner will be chosen and announced within 24 hours of the contest ending. Winner will be contacted via email to claim their prize.

This contest is open to residents of the USA and Europe only.

{Tutorial} Neapolitan Layer Cake

Neapolitian Cake by JavaCupcake.comOoooooooooooh I’ve been in a funk.  A baking fun.  Last week I make a double chocolate layer cake but since then… nothing.  I haven’t even been motivated to make rice krispy treats.  (I have 4 boxes of Rice Krispies – thank you WIC.)  So today, I opened up my baking cookbooks, browsed Pinterest and checked out a few of my favorite blogs.  One of the themes I saw running across all of them – Neapolitian.  Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla together to make one delicious dessert.  So, with Mother’s Day this past weekend, I decided that I’d make a Mother’s Day Neapolitan Layer Cake to celebrate.

Mother's Day Neapolitian Cake by JavaCupcake.com

My mom passed away 3 years ago… so she was definitely on my mind as I was making this cake.  Especially when it was time to sit down and enjoy a slice.  I’m certain she would have enjoyed this cake with a big glass of milk!  Three layers of decadent cake filled with chocolate and strawberry frosting and topped with vanilla buttercream.  Eat bite has a unique flavor…. it’s like a party in your mouth with every bite!

Neapolitian Cake by JavaCupcake.com

What really inspired me to make this particular cake was one of my most favorite bloggers, Amanda of i am baker with her Neapolitan Rose Cake.  I’ve used her tutorials to make a rose cake before, but this one was going to be different.  I was going to make the neapolitan cake, but I wasn’t going to do roses.  Instead, I’d just smooth out the three flavors of frosting over the three different layers of cake.  But still, that’s a lot of work! I had a feeling thought it was going to be so worth it in the end.  And ya know what… all the hard work was TOTALLY worth it in the end because this cake was delicious!

So, instead of posting detailed recipes for this cake, I decided to write a tutorial on how to assemble and make this cake.  I’ve posted the chocolate and vanilla cake recipes several times before, but tried a new strawberry recipe… I’ve linked to all of them below.  You’ll also see what supplies you need to make this cake and a detailed tutorial to assemble it.

Enjoy!

{Tutorial} Neapolitan Layer Cake

For the chocolate cake:

I used THIS RECIPE for the chocolate cake. It actually makes too much batter… so when you prepare it, measure out a dozen cupcakes first and then pour the rest in your 9-inch round cake pan. Bake as directed in the recipe.

For the chocolate frosting:

I used my basic chocolate buttercream recipe, found HERE. You’ll probably use ALL of this for the cake, so you might want to make extra to frost the extra cupcakes.

For the strawberry cake:

I tried a new recipe for this cake and I think it turned out amazing!  Thanks to the blog, I made that! for the recipe!

For the strawberry frosting:

I took my basic vanilla buttercream recipe and substituted about 1/4 cup strawberry puree (that I had reserved from the cake recipe) for the cream. I also added 1 tsp strawberry extract instead of vanilla extract. It was super yummy!

For the vanilla cake & frosting:

I used a whole batch of batter using my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. It made a very tall cake & I trimmed off a lot of extra cake. So next time, I’d scoop out 6 cupcakes first, then pour the rest into the pan to bake. I also used this same recipe for the vanilla frosting, but I doubled it.

Neapolitan Cake by JavaCupcake.com

Supplies needed to assemble the cake:

-Cake layers and frosting
-Offset spatula
-Wax paper
-Cake stand or cake turn table
-Paper towels
-1 cup measuring cup
-Spatula/scraper

Assembling the Neapolitan Cake:

  • Trim the three cake layers so they are the same height.  
  • Place a piece of wax paper on your cake turn table and place the chocolate layer with the trimmed side up.
  • Place 2 cups of chocolate frosting on to the first layer and spread evenly over the top.
  • Set the strawberry layer, trimmed side up, on to the chocolate frosting and gently press down.
  • Place 2 cups of strawberry frosting onto the top and spread evenly.
  • Place the finally vanilla layer, trimmed side DOWN, onto the strawberry frosting and gently press down.
  • Crumb coat each layer of cake with the coordinating frosting and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Once the cake has set – begin frosting the outside of the cake starting with the chocolate on the bottom and working your way up to the top with the vanilla.  Use 2 cups of vanilla frosting on the top layer of the cake. If you need an idea of how to apply the frosting, check out my Ombre Cake Tutorial – see steps 3-6 for how to apply the frosting in layers on the side of the cake.
  • Make sure to clean off your spatula often with the paper towels. Mixing flavors at the seams will result in smears of color onto the wrong layers.
  • Using your offset spatula, do your best to smooth the sides of the cake without smudging the colors together.  This process takes a steady hand and a lot of time.  GO SLOW.  Unlike the ombre cake, you don’t want the colors to collide together to create the gradual change of colors… you want three distinct color layers – but still want a smooth, finished look.
  • To transfer the cake to your cake plate, gently and carefully pull the wax paper and cake off the edge of the cake turn table.  Place your hand under the cake as your peel away the wax paper and pull the cake completely off the stand.  Transfer the cake to the cake stand and use any additional chocolate frosting you have to touch up the bottom edges.
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