Update: Voting for Cupcake Hero is now open until October 21st at midnight. Check out the competition and vote here.
Complete credit for that winning title goes to my bff and former college roommate, Kira. This weekend Kira had the honor of being my first houseguest in Smalltown, Georgia. And... since Kira loves to bake as much as I do, we quickly decided to make some sort of complicated dessert happen while she was here.
And, in a perfect storm of blog contest deadlines and amazing thrift store finds, Kira and I decided to make A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Cakes.
In plain English, pumpkin and vanilla swirled cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese icing. As you might imagine, it takes a lot of ingredients to make that cake happen:
And there is just one more ingredient to pull the whole thing together...
Yes, indeed. A $7 Goodwill Cinderella costume.
Kira and I took turns wearing it while we made the cupcakes. Try not to be too jealous of our merriment. You could probably have just as much fun if you lightened up a bit.
Anyway... back to the cakes. We each tackled a batter. Kira made Billy's Vanilla halved by How to Eat a Cupcake and I was in charge of halving the Pumpkin Spice Cake by Joy of Baking.
Once the batters were ready, we got really fancy. I'd dropped and marbled and twirled and tie-dyed batters before, but I wanted these pumpkin swirl cakes to be more deliberately and artfully swirled. So... we filled two piping bags with our two batters, cut the tips, then dropped those two bags into a third bag with a large round tip.
And voila! A fairly labor intensive batter delivery method not for the faint of heart.
We made exactly 12 cupcakes and 24 minis.
In my opinion, it was all worth it. Look at that great loopy swirl! The swirl runs all the way down, around, and in the cupcakes. Ex-act-ly what I wanted. (yay!)
Once the cupcakes cooled, I made a quick cinnamon cream cheese buttercream. I used a brick of cold cream cheese, 5 tablespoons of softened butter, a splash of vanilla, and cinnamon to taste. Easy and delicious.
In keeping with our Cinderella theme, Cupcake Hero ingredient (pumpkin), Booo-tiful Cupcake Contest, we decorated 6 of the cupcakes with magical pumpkins just waiting to be turned into crystal carriages.
We topped the other 6 cupcakes with colored sugar, stars, and hearts and the next thing you know, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Cakes.
And just take a look at the cross-section shot. Adorable. I just can't say enough about this swirl and how pleased I am with it.
And while we're at it, the flavor and texture of these two cakes works together extremely well. The batters were similar in consistency, so they piped well side-by-side. The combination of pumpkin and vanilla is a wonderful one, I think. I love pumpkin, but I do like to temper it with something creamy - think whipped cream on pie - so the vanilla addition made me very happy.
I would very highly recommend making these for any sort of fall festivus. They are light, moist, soft, and so delicately pumpkin and spiced. Mmmm...
I just might have to go downstairs for a minute... and... ya know... have a cupcake.