I know I’ve been missing for a while (wedding planning, work and more work, blah blah blah), but when I realized how close we were getting to the XXII Winter Olympics, I knew I had to get my act together. That decision came after I decided whether or not I wanted to just ignore the 2014 Sochi Olympics entirely. These games have sadly been marred by one scandal after another. I gave very strong consideration to not showing any support for these Olympic Games, but I just couldn’t do it. I support the athletes, athletes who are braving these threats and this level of discrimination, and who are meeting athletes from all over the world poised to do the same. I want to believe that these Olympic Games can be a part of something bigger, that maybe this collective outrage can help more people get on the right side of history. The Olympic Charter states “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” I can’t disagree with that, and I’m tuning in for what I hope will be a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play.
Ordinarily, I would start a series like this on the opening night of the big event. With twelve brand new events added to the Sochi Olympics, the Games started last night ahead of today’s Opening Ceremonies. Slopestyle snowboarding, and team figure skating events that took place yesterday are among those twelve new events. For the 2012 Summer Olympics, we kicked off with Olympic ring doughnuts. For the 2014 Winter Olympics, we have Olympic torch cupcakes. You can use any cake recipe you like to make these, or even boxed cake mix if you’re so inclined. I used a basic white cake recipe and added a little orange food coloring for effect. The kiddos devoured these (cake, frosting, ice cream cones- what’s not to love?!), and they went a long way toward helping us all find some Olympic spirit.
Olympic Torch Cupcakes
Your favorite cake batter, enough for 12 cupcakes OR your favorite cake mix prepared according to package directions, OR:
- 1 C. butter, softened
- 1/2 C. vegetable shortening
- 3 C. sugar
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 C. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 C. buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 12 flat-bottom ice cream cones
- food coloring (I used orange and yellow to frost these like torch flames- this is optional)
- Your favorite buttercream frosting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Make cake batter according to box or recipe directions. If you’re using the cake recipe here, start by creaming the butter and shortening together until it is light and fluffy using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, combining them fully after each addition.
Add the eggs to the butter mixture 1 egg at a time, blending fully before adding the next egg, until all eggs have been added.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, to the butter mixture. Begin and end with the dry ingredients.
Mix for about 5 seconds on high speed to be sure everything is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give the mixture one last mix at high speed for 5 seconds.
Place an ice cream cone standing up in each cavity of a 12-cavity muffin pan.
Fill each ice cream cone 3/4 full with batter. Do not fill them more than this, or the cake will not cook through properly. You may have extra batter, depending on the volume of batter made by your cake recipe. You can fill additional cones if you have them, or pour the batter into paper-lined cavities of a second muffin pan.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when pressed.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
To frost the cupcakes like torches, mix half of the frosting with yellow food coloring and the other half with orange food coloring, to reach desired shades.
Fill a cake decorating bag (or resealable plastic bag) fitted with a star tip (I used Wilton #22, but any open star tip will work fine) with both colors of frosting. To do this, place the bag already fitted with the tip into a large drinking cup so it is upright and you don’t have to hold onto it.
Tip the cup to one side and spoon in the orange frosting, so it fills half of the bag vertically (it doesn’t have to be perfectly half).
Keeping the cup tipped, put the yellow frosting into the bag, filling the bag with both colors at the same time. Frost each cupcake in a spiral, building the spiral up to reach the desired height as shown above.
Source: cake recipe from Add a Pinch