Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hunger Games Cupcakes

I am so ridiculously excited about these cupcakes that I seriously couldn't wait another minute to share them!  Seriously, I was planning on blogging about them after I shared them with my book club later this week, but I am far too excited!  And since both I and the boyfriend approved them, I think its ok to share.

The inspiration for these cupcakes comes from the book The Hunger Games.   I can thank my cousin Lizard for encouraging me to read the series which quickly became one of my favorite books.   The movie comes out Friday and in all honesty, I may have never been so excited about a movie to come out.  Sure, I raced to see all the Harry Potters and Twilight, but for Hunger Games I purchased tickets the day they went on sale to attend an opening day showing (which i NEVER do!)   Normally Maureen and I are there some time over the weekend, but we both realized we didn't think we could wait until Sunday!  Since I'm so excited, I really wanted to make cupcakes to celebrate the events.  If you google Hunger Games Cupcakes, you'll get a lot of cupcakes that have hunger games fondant toppings.  Since I despise fondant, I wanted something that represented the Hunger Games by flavor.  

My first thought was to use blood oranges.   The premise of the book is a fight to the death, so blood is a huge topic.  My next thought was that since Katniss (the main character) was referred to as the "girl who was on fire", I would do something that was "spicy".  And that is how the Hunger Games cupcakes were born.  They are a "Fire" Spice Cake with Blood Orange Buttercream.    

And they are GOOD!   The spice cake I used was from Warren Brown's United Cakes of America.   So yes, this is cookbook #4 on my Use it or Lose It Challenge.  The recipe was awesome!  As I was flipping through the book I kept asking myself "Why don't I use this more often", as the recipes were fantastic!  I definitely need to go through and mark more recipes to make.    Anyway, the recipe was also SUPER easy to make... didn't even need my mixer!  

The icing recipe I used called for Blood Orange Marmalade, which i thought would be easy enough to find.  It was not.  I actually ordered it on Amazon.com since I went to three different stores and couldn't find it so i bit the bullet and purchased it from Amazon.   I am sure I'll use it again for something, but for now the five of the six jars and chilling in my pantry.   I used slightly more than called for because I wanted a little more flavor.   I also died the frosting "blood red" so that the effect would really be there.  I decorated them with white, orange and yellow sprinkles to make them look like fire.  The flavor was definitely there and "theme" was awesome.  I was pretty darn proud of how they turned out
Hunger Games Cupcakes
  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp sal
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  •  2 tbsp. rum
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pan with 10 liners. Set aside
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Combine wet ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid and shake will to combine. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature or separation will occur (this did happen to me, just make sure that you mix it up really well into the dry ingredients to avoid lumps)
  4. Lightly whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined.
  5. Evenly fill cupcake liners using an ice-cream scoop.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.
Blood Orange Buttercream
  • 4-1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2-1/4sticks butter
  • 3.5 oz Blood Orange Marmalade
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • red food coloring  (optional)
  1. Cream butter until light and fluffy
  2. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until thoroughly combined
  3. Add in marmalade and vanilla and mix thoroughly
  4. add in red food coloring if desired to make them really "bloody"
  5. Ice and decorate as desired
 Cupcakes adapted from Warren Brown's Nutmeg Spice Cupcakes from United Cakes of America
Icing adapted from Vegan Yack Attack

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