clown cupcakes

We were fortunate to celebrate Our Sweet Friend's 10th Birthday — for dessert, The Daughter chose to make these fabulous cupcakes.

The Yellow Cake is delicious, the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, heavenly, and the cupcake design, ADORABLE!

We used Dots, Chocolate Jimmies, Red Hots and Non-pareils.

We were particularly fond of the hat pom-poms.

They were made by scoring a circle on the cupcake, 
and then, using an angled knife, cutting out a cone.
The Daughter had the pleasure of icing the tip and
inverting them into the dish of non-pareils to create the poms.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Julia!

Clown Cupcakes
from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

24 Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
multicolored round candy sprinkles (nonpareils)
3 pounds mini uncoated gumdrops, such as Dots
24 small cinnamon candies, such as Red Hots
long chocolate sprinkles

For the hat, use a paring knife to score a circle in the center of each cupcake. Holding the knife at a slight angle, cut out a cone shape, rotating cupcake as you go.

Using a pastry bag fitted with only a plain coupler, pipe untinted buttercream into the cavity of each cupcake and in a mound on top for the head. Refrigerate 30 minutes to allow frosting to set.

Using a small plain tip (#7), pipe a pompom of frosting on top of each cone-shaped piece; dip pompom in a bowl filled with multicolored sprinkles to coat completely. Place the comes on top of buttercream heads, pointed sides up. Arrange gumdrops around the base of each head to resemble a ruffled collar; press a cinnamon candy nose into each face. With kitchen tweezers, insert two chocolate sprinkles into each head for eyes. Serve immediately.

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes
from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line standard muffin tins with pater liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of butter milk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three quarters full. Bake rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter had been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes. 


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