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Rapid Recipes: Cupcakes with Burgundy Frosting

Burgundy Wave Birthday Cupcakes
Burgundy Wave Birthday Cupcakes

As you know, we celebrated Burgundy Wave's 2nd birthday this past week. And, what better way to celebrate such a birthday than with delicious burgundy cupcakes? Or, as the case may be, after a disappointing loss by the Colorado Rapids against FC Dallas last night, what better way to drown your sorrows than with delicious burgundy cupcakes?

When making cakes or cupcakes, I think that it's the frosting that will make or break your final product. Box cake? Why not? Store-bought jar of frosting? No way! So for these cupcakes, the cake is just your basic box of devil's food cake, with some chocolate chips thrown in for good measure.

For the frosting, as homemade is the way to go, I went with a Fannie Farmer recipe called White Mountain Cream. The ingredients are as follows:

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
burgundy food coloring
baking thermometer

You should be able to find all of these ingredients, minus the burgundy food coloring, at your local grocery store. If you live in the Denver area, Cake Crafts (located at 4105 S Broadway) has a huge range of food coloring. Otherwise, a general craft supply store such as Hobby Lobby is likely to carry it as well.

First, you'll combine the sugar, water, salt, and cream of tartar in a small pot on your stove, using a baking thermometer to watch the temperature. Bring the mixture to a boil - and hold of on stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the mixture sit at this temperature while you do the next step, which is beating your egg whites.

You'll want to use a mixer for this - hand beating will make your wrists hate you forever. Pour your egg whites into a bowl, and start your mixer at a slow speed, gradually moving the speed higher. If it seems like your egg whites are taking forever to get fluffy, have patience! This can take around 5 minutes or so. And, once they are fluffy, keep that beater handy - you'll want to grab your sugar mixture and slowly pour that into your egg white mixture, beating constantly. At this point, add in the burgundy food coloring. If your frosting isn't burgundy enough for your tastes, keep adding the food coloring until it is. After this, mix in your vanilla, and your frosting is good to go!

This is a tricky frosting to get truly fluffy - my end product was a bit thinner than I was hoping for. To thicken it up, feel free to beat in some powdered sugar. This is pretty much a bonus if you are a fan of really sweet frostings.

Next, grab a knife and start frosting your cupcakes! If your frosting did come out a bit thin, don't be too generous with the frosting, as it may try to ooze off of the sides of your cupcakes. If you have sprinkles, you can pour a generous amount into a small bowl and, after frosting each cupcake, roll the edges of the cupcake in the sprinkles. I used red sugar sprinkles on these cupcakes. This technique is an easy way to add that extra bit of bling to your delicious cupcakes.

At this point, you just need to let the frosting dry, and you're done!


If you want to add some lettering to your frosting similar to the Burgundy Wave lettering in the photo at the beginning of this post, this is an easy extra step. You can make a super basic piping frosting by adding some a small amount of butter and shortening (around a teaspoon each should be enough) to a bowl, adding a splash of milk, and then alternately mixing and adding powdered sugar until your mixture is creamy and not too stiff. Scoop this mixture into a plastic sandwich bag. Using a pair of scissors, snip the corner of the bag to create a small hole, making a top for your frosting bag. You can then pipe lettering onto the cupcakes by squeezing the frosting out of the hole.