Today, I’m starting out with a cupcake inspired by a summer fair staple: cotton candy. Using a white cake recipe base I’ve used before on my Ombre Effect cupcakes, it’s sure to give you that pink vanilla sugar rush you so look forward to when ripping open a bag of fluffy cotton candy! To those of you who, like my creative partner Shauna Younge, are concerned this might be a little too much of a good thing, worry not! You won’t be biting into cotton candy overload, but rather a perfect balance of yumminess. The cotton candy sugar gives the cake a very rich vanilla taste, which compliments and enhances the cotton candy frosting.
- 2¾ cups cake flour
- 1⅔ cups pink vanilla cotton candy sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) softened unsalted butter, cut into ½ sticks
- 4 large egg whites, plus 1 whole egg
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cotton candy flavoring
- food coloring
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream
Add the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine on a slow speed until well blended.
Add the softened butter, one half stick at a time, allowing the butter to combine before adding the next. With the mixer set at slow, add one egg white at a time, followed by the whole egg, scraping down the sides and ensuring each egg white is completely incorporated before the next addition.
In a small separate bowl, whisk to combine the milk and vanilla extract. Add the milk and vanilla mixture to bowl of the mixer in small portions, allowing the mixer to combine the liquid completely before continuing. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and continue to beat for an additional minute or two until the batter is fluffy.
Fill your cupcake liners until they are ⅔ full. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick just comes out clean, so as not to overbake. Set aside to cool.
In a standing mixer, whisk together the sugar and softened butter on low speed. Once it becomes well blended, increase the speed to medium until the mixture becomes fluffy. Add vanilla, cotton candy flavoring, food coloring, and cream, and beat on medium until well incorporated – about 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with pre-made cotton candy if so desired.
Yields approximately 24 cupcakes.