Tropical Pineapple Cupcakes

The occasion—-High School Graduation.   The graduate—- my Granddaughter.  Future Plans—-Culinary school!   YEAH!   someone who loves to bake as much as I do.   I wanted to make something special,  yet cool and refreshing looking.  My  idea grew out of my finding a bag of marshmallowy, chewy candies in pastel colors that I thought would look cute as cupcake toppers.  So then I went on the hunt for a recipe for the base cupcake and its frosting, to tie the whole thing together into a theme.

I started with a yellow cake recipe to which I add chopped pineapple and a little pineapple juice.  The frosting is a butter cream with added lemon zest and lemon juice, tinted pale yellow.  The candies are pale green, peach and pale yellow.  So that is the color scheme I worked with,  and it was light, delicate and cool looking.

TROPICAL PINEAPPLE CUPCAKES

Yield:  I got 15 cupcakes, probably could have made each a tad smaller, and gotten 16.

Ingredients

  • 4 canned pineapple rings, finely chopped.  (or  1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well drained)
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 12 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup self rising flour***
***To use all-purpose flour, add  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and  1/2 teaspoon salt to the flour measurement.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Drain the pineapple, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the juice.  Finely chop the pineapple, or use crushed.

Place the butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Remove from mixer.  Sift in the flour, and using a large spoon (wooden?), fold into the batter.  Fold in the pineapple and the reserved 2 tablespoons juice.

Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling about 2/3s full.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until risen, golden, and test done with a toothpick.  Cool in pan a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • about 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • tiny dot of  yellow gel food coloring

Put butter and cream cheese in a beater bowl and beat together until smooth.  Add the lemon zest.  Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the mixture, then beat  until well mixed.  Gradually add the lemon juice until the frosting is of spreading consistency. Add the dot of gel food color, and beat for consistency of color.   Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.  Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake.  Sprinkle with sanding sugar in yellow and/or green.  Top with a marshmallow candy.  ( The candy I found at the grocery store is called “Mallo-Licious”).   I also think tiny palm trees would make a great topping too.—–next time!

SOURCE:   Adapted from a recipe in The Cupcake, by Angela Drake

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Lemon Ginger Scones

The first time I had a piece of crystalized ginger, I immediately loved it;  my imagination went a little wild as I thought of all the ways I could use it.  Since then I’ve experimented with putting it in a variety of baked goods.  I found out that it likes being “center stage”, without a lot of other ingredients to compete with.  That way you get the full impact of its gingery, spicy, sweetness.  This recipe for scones with lemon and candied or crystalized ginger is a great example of that.  It’s one of my favorites—I hope you like it too.

LEMON GINGER SCONES

Makes 6 large or 12 small scones

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystalized ginger
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • egg wash and turbinado sugar for tops

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

Mix all dry ingredients together ( flour through salt) with a whisk.  Cut in cold butter with pastry cutter or two knives.  Stir in lemon zest and chopped ginger. Add buttermilk.  Stir just to moisten.

Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead gently to unify. With hands form into a disc about  7 inches round by 1 1/2 inches thick.

Cut into 6 large or 12 small triangles, and place on prepared baking sheet.  Brush tops with egg wash ( I use a little Egg Beaters) and sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick tests clean.

Serve warm with jam.  I particularly like blackberry jam that I make in the summer when blackberry season comes around.  I’ll save that story or another day!

SOURCE;    A  Carolyn Original