ModCloth Cooks: Cupcake Bonanza

(Left to Right): Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes, Margarita Cupcakes, Fluffy White Cupcakes

We’ve had a hankering for cupcakes lately, so last week Molly, Maggie, and I decided to whip some up over the weekend and bring them into the office on Monday for everyone to share. We had a delicious, but diverse assortment; they ranged from vegan to one that’s sure to make you nostalgic for third grade birthday parties, to one that may make you thirsty for something a little stronger than milk. But you’re definitely bound to find something you like out of this triumvirate of treats.

Keep reading for the recipes that made up our Monday Cupcake Bonanza!

Molly’s Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

These cute little ice cream cone cupcakes used to be my birthday favorite when I was little! They might look complicated, but they’re actually really easy to make and fun to bring to any party. And, you can customize them any way you like to get your favorite ‘ice-cream’ look!

  • 1 box cupcake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Party Rainbow Chip mix, but you can use any flavor you like!)
  • Water, vegetable oil, and egg whites or egg substitute (as called for on the mix box)
  • 24 flat-bottom ice cream cones
  • 1 – 2 containers of frosting
  • Sprinkles, nuts, cherries, candies, gummies, chocolate chips (whatever you like on your ice cream cone!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Unwrap the cones, and make sure they all have totally flat bottoms. You might have to scrape off some of the excess ‘cone’ material to ensure the cones stand upright.
  3. Place the cones on a cookie sheet, standing upright.
  4. Mix the cupcake batter according to the box directions. Spoon the batter into the cones, filling only 2/3 of the way to the top of the cone. Be sure not to over-fill, as the batter will puff up! Also, be sure not to spill any excess batter onto the cones, as it will burn quickly, leaving unsightly marks on your cones!
  5. Once all the cones are filled, carefully slide into your preheated oven. The cones will be top-heavy, so be very careful not to topple them!
  6. Bake for 18 – 25 minutes, or until the mix is puffy and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cone comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. Frost each cupcake and dress with sprinkles as you go. If you wait until you frost them all to start sprinkling, your sprinkles won’t stick well. Here’s where you can get creative – use green frosting and chocolate chips for a ‘mint’ ice cream look, use white frosting with crushed walnuts and a cherry on top for a ‘sundae’ look, use light orange frosting with a swirl of white frosting for a ‘creamsicle’ look, or frost pink, chocolate, and vanilla stripes for the ‘Neapolitan’ look! Have fun!

Maggie’s Margarita Cupcakes

My best friend, Alexis, found this recipe on Confections of a Foodie Bride and sent it to me because she knows I love margaritas. Admittedly, I’m a terrible baker, but this recipe is super easy and includes a built-in drink!

  • 9 ounces margarita mix
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 3/4 ounces Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
  • White cake mix (No-pudding mix works best)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • Lime Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together the margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass or spouted bowl.
  3. You will use 1 1/4 cup of this in the cupcake mix. Put the remainder in the fridge to chill and then consume how you see fit. In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest, and 1 1/4 cup of the margarita mixture. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for two minutes (the batter will still be a bit lumpy).
  4. Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups somewhere between 2/3 – 3/4 full) and bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting for the cupcakes.

Lime Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  1. Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, food coloring, and lime juice to the stand mixer, and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy.
  2. Add the icing to a pastry bag or use a spatula/knife to frost the cupcakes. Use additional lime juice or water to thin the frosting, if necessary.

Alicia’s Fluffy White Cupcakes

This great vegan recipe from Shmooed Food was passed along to me by ModCloth’s own Daniel from Customer Care!  Besides being vegan-friendly and scrumptious, they were also super-cheap and easy! I used good ol’ Pillsbury Funfetti Frosting for the tops, which appears from my initial research to also be vegan…. although definitely not very healthy. But, I think we can look the other way on hydrogenated fats and other “bad stuff” on Cupcake Bonanza Day!

  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 scant cups plain soy milk
  • 2 1/8 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/8 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (I didn’t have coconut extract, so I substituted almond extract and it worked out really nicely!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Spray 22 muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. Place the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with soy milk to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk mixture, canola oil, vanilla, and coconut extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, using a hand-held mixer, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 15  – 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

If you have any great cupcake recipes, pass them along! Cupcake Bonanza just might become a new Monday ritual…

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  1. Avatar
    Courtney Valentine 04/14/2009 at 3:44 pm #

    i highly recommend the book Hello, Cupcake. it has amazing recipes and adorable ones as well! they even have goldfish cupcakes and puppy ones 😀

  2. Avatar
    Jae 04/14/2009 at 3:55 pm #

    i’m going to try combining the vegan and the ice cream cupcakes when i get home!

  3. Avatar
    Rachel 04/14/2009 at 4:25 pm #

    Cupcake Bonanza Day was such a treat! Thanks to you ladies for sharing!!

  4. Avatar
    Katie 04/14/2009 at 5:24 pm #

    I have the Hello Cupcake book that Courtney recommended. It is the cutest darn thing ever. I’ve made so many of the recipes! They’re all delicious and unique. Cupcakes are my favorite things to make. For Christmas, my boyfriend got me a cupcake carrier! SO excited. 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Michelle 04/14/2009 at 6:59 pm #

    Hello Cupcake is amazing. I can’t make 90% of the decorative ones, but the recipes for cupcakes in the back have been consistently awesome (even CARROT cupcakes! *gasp*)

  6. Avatar
    Jade Antoinette 04/16/2009 at 10:05 am #

    The Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes were a treat.
    To my tongue, not my cavities.

  7. Avatar
    Maggie 04/27/2009 at 10:50 am #

    The margarita ones sound amazing! I’m going to have to make those for Cinco De Mayo! and I have the “hello Cupcake” cook you’ve mentioned! i LOVE it! cute cupcakes never fail to impress.

  8. Avatar
    Sarah 09/25/2009 at 10:24 am #

    You know, if you wrap the bottoms of your ice cream cones with a little aluminum foil you won’t have to worry so much about them falling over!

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