Cupcake Competing at it’s Finest

Yesterday I participated in my first ever food competition.  No I didn’t win, but I definitely had a blast trying AND I got to sample some (ok alot) of the competition after the fact.  Let me tell ya, there are some pretty darned tasty cupcakes out there.

When all was said and done, the cupcake I decided to enter into the competition was a Panettone inspired cupcake with an almond buttercream frosting.  Absolute heaven in a wrapper I tell ya.  The road to that cupcake was littered with a host of other cupcake attempts along the way. Let me lay out a sugar trail for you to follow.

First there was the browned butter cupcake with chestnut flour and sweetened condensed milk (I had planned on using evaporated milk but didn’t realize I had run out) added into the batter and an eggnog whipped cream frosting.

I loved the crunchy top that formed from using the sweetened condensed milk, but the frosting was too light of a consistency for piping which I knew I wanted to do.  Pretty counts when you’re being judged.

So I switched a few ingredients in the batter (trying evaporated milk in place of sweetened condensed as I had originally planned) and went with an eggnog buttercream frosting instead.

I was surprised to find that I liked cupcake attempt number one a bit better; the evaporated milk just wasn’t cutting it.  The eggnog frosting was good, but a bit of a strong flavor and not everyone cares for eggnog so I decided to journey on in my search for a suitable cupcake.

I decided to switch it up all together and go a slightly different route.  Panettone.  I went back to sweetened condensed milk, added some dried fruit to the batter and discovered my new cupcake love.  I nixed the eggnog buttercream and instead decided on an almond buttercream.

I’m not sure what possessed me, but at the last minute I stirred a bit of homemade whipped cream into the frosting.  Delicious, delicious, delicious, but not pipable.  So, I baked up one final batch and settled on a panettone cupcake with an almond butter cream frosting.  My neighbors said it was the best cupcake they’ve ever had.  And get this, Nick actually ate an entire slice of quiche last night in order to get one these puppies on his plate for dessert.  The kid detests eggs.  Now that, is a compliment of the highest magnitude.

So without further ado, I present to you, the panettone cupcake with almond butter cream frosting.

Ingredients Needed:

For the Cupcakes:

11/2 Cups of Chestnuts, Ground up fine
(I found them cooked and peeled at Trader Joes)
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Cups of Flour
2 tsp of Baking Powder
1/4 tsp of Salt
1 Stick of Butter
3 Eggs
1 14 Oz. Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp of Vanilla
1/2 Cup of Milk
1 Cup of Dried Berries
(I used a mix of dried cherries, blueberries, cranberries and golden raisins)

For the Frosting:

1 Stick of Butter
41/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1 tsp of Almond Extract
3 Tbsp of Milk

Start out by browning your butter.  To brown butter you’ll want to cook it on medium heat until it turns a golden brown color and emits the most amazing nutty delicious smelled you’ve ever inhaled.

Turn off the heat on your butter and allow it to cool.

Head over to your mixer bowl and add your dry ingredients; the chestnuts, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add in your wet ingredients; the eggs, condensed milk, vanilla, and milk and mix it together.

Combine in the cooled brown butter.

Last up, you’ll fold in your dried fruit.

Cook up your cupcakes in an oven set to 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

For the frosting you’ll cream together the butter, powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract in your mixer.  Here’s what mine looked like.

Frost em up and you’re done!

I thought I might share a few pictures from the competition today.

I think I might officially be addicted to cupcake competitions.   Just look at those pretty little cakes and try to tell me otherwise.

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Panettone Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

11/2 Cups of Chestnuts, Ground up fine
(I found them cooked and peeled at Trader Joes)
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Cups of Flour
2 tsp of Baking Powder
1/4 tsp of Salt
1 Stick of Butter
3 Eggs
1 14 Oz. Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp of Vanilla
1/2 Cup of Milk
1 Cup of Dried Berries
(I used a mix of dried cherries, blueberries, cranberries and golden raisins)

For the Frosting:

1 Stick of Butter
41/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1 tsp of Almond Extract
3 Tbsp of Milk

Directions:

Start out by browning your butter. To brown butter you'll want to cook it on medium heat until it turns a golden brown color and emits the most amazing nutty delicious smelled you've ever inhaled.

Turn off the heat on your butter and allow it to cool.

Head over to your mixer bowl and add your dry ingredients; the chestnuts, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add in your wet ingredients; the eggs, condensed milk, vanilla, and milk and mix it together.

Combine in the cooled brown butter.

Last up, you'll fold in your dried fruit.

Cook up your cupcakes in an oven set to 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

For the frosting you'll cream together the butter, powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract in your mixer.

Panettone Cupcakes on Foodista

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24 Responses to “Cupcake Competing at it’s Finest”

  1. 1

    Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out a Choice, Not a Chore} — December 20, 2010 @ 7:38 am

    Julie, How exciting! I’m sorry you didn’t win, but I’m so thrilled for you to have even competed! You’ve poured so much effort into these cupcakes, what a gift that you are sharing them with us!!! Have a wonderful {and hopefully now relaxing} start to your week Friend! Merry Christmas…

  2. 2

    UrMomCooks — December 20, 2010 @ 9:11 am

    Lovely pictures! Inspires me to keep on baking this week!!! Merry Christmas!

  3. 3

    Katerina — December 20, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    Price makes perfect as they say. I think I will go with the panettone cupcake, I am not an eggnog friend either. Your frosting looks absolutely perfect and its texture is exactly as it should be above a cupcake. Getting your child eat a piece of quiche in order to get one of these, is definitely a huge success.

  4. 4

    Pamela Fatone — December 20, 2010 @ 10:37 am

    I have been posting about my obsesion with cupcakes, and just today posted one on the famous MAgnolia Bakery. I am going to link up your post today within my cupcake theme posts this week.

    The cupcake looks wonderful.

    Mery Christmas!

  5. 5

    Faith — December 20, 2010 @ 11:00 am

    This must’ve been a lot of fun. Sorry you didn’t win but hey! You’re always a winner to me! Love the cupcake and how moist it looks. Love the decoration too. What a wonderful experince you’ve got there.

    Have a great week a head.

  6. 6

    Mari's Cakes — December 20, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    Looks delicious! I would love to try this recipe! You did an excellent job!

  7. 7

    anne — December 20, 2010 @ 11:17 am

    how fun for you and you’re a winner in my book!

    anne

  8. 8

    Biren @ Roti n Rice — December 20, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    Sorry you did not win but sounds like you had fun. Your cupcake sounds very tasty with the ground chestnuts and dried fruits. lovely piped frosting on the cake too.

  9. 9

    Rita — December 20, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

    What a great post! So happy for you; it is easy to see how much you enjoyed the whole process. You are a winner!
    Rita

  10. 10

    Tanvi@SinfullySpicy — December 20, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

    I am so glad that I can bring out the flavors of panettone in a cupcake using your recipe.The sprinkles make the cupcake so festive.Thanks for sharing the pictures and this is sure a winner post from you.

  11. 11

    Pamela Fatone — December 20, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    I am re posting your Cupcake competition on Wednesday.

    Merry Christmas.

    Pamela

  12. 12

    Pamela Fatone — December 20, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

    hmmmm commentluv not linking up my last blog.

    here it is.http://skincare-inthecity.com/2010/12/20/magnolia-magnolia-i-love-your-cupcakes/

  13. 13

    Green Girl @ A little bit of everything — December 20, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

    sorry to hear you didn’t win. Seems like you had lots of fun tho.
    Your cupcakes look so good, thanks for sharing.
    Hope you’ll have a wonderful week

  14. 14

    rebecca — December 21, 2010 @ 12:35 am

    wow they look wonderful proud of u I wouldn’t have the guts to do it

  15. 15

    Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds — December 21, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    I’d love to be a judge of that contest! Yummy!

  16. 16

    Emily Z — December 21, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    Love your cupcakes, they look great. I am glad that you had fun in the competition even if you didn’t win. Enjoying the experience is just as rewarding!

  17. 17

    Laura in Cancun — December 21, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    I’m dying to try some eggnog icing!!

  18. 18

    5 Star Foodie — December 21, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

    Your cupcakes sound great with chestnut, brown butter, and dried fruits, would sure love to try one of those!

  19. 19

    grace — December 22, 2010 @ 1:25 am

    what a fun experience! the cupcake sounds grand (and particularly festive), but the almond frosting sounds phenomenal.

  20. 20

    melissa — December 22, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    If these taste half as good as they look they must be amazing :)

  21. 21

    Summer — December 23, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

    Im sorry u didn win with these delicious creation but loveee ur spirit!
    And love the addition of Chestnuts here!
    And ur addition of fruits make it so rite for the season!
    And the buttercream is oh so good!
    happy hols with love and Merry Christmas!

  22. 22

    malia — December 28, 2010 @ 1:07 am

    hey julie! happy happy new year’s… your cupcakes look divine!
    malia

  23. 23

    whatsfordinneracrossstatelines — January 1, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    These are so cute, and I love how you used the flavors of Panettone in them. Happy New Years!
    -Gina-

  24. 24

    Maranda — January 17, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

    Too awesome! Congrats on entering. Better luck next time!!

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