Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Go Pack Go! Green and Gold Cupcakes

Hosting a Super Bowl party is so exhausting that I had to take a break from blogging for a few days just to recuperate. After my three-day football cake ball-making marathon, I started preparations on a menu that you'd think was feeding the Packers themselves. I made an almost double batch of Badger Bits (a.k.a Bucee's Beaver Nuggets!), labored through pizza dough, supervised Bill's tomato sauce-making for the pizzas, and concocted what could have been the most delicious (but sort of complicated) cupcakes ever.

I'll give you our entire Super Bowl party menu at the bottom of this post (yeah, there's more), but first you need to hear about these cupcakes.

Go Pack Go Green and Gold Cupcakes
24 of your favorite vanilla cupcakes, made from scratch or a box mix
2 cups lime curd (recipe follows)
4 cups green-tinted cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
Yellow sprinkles

Those of you who know me shouldn't have any doubt in your minds that I made my cupcakes from scratch. And you might be wondering why I'm not printing the recipe here. It's because I wasn't totally satisfied with my vanilla cupcake recipe, as they weren't as moist as I'd hoped they be. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly went wrong (it's one of those cases where you can make the same recipe twice but end up with two very different results). Therefore, I recommend you use a standby recipe you love, or just submit to a box mix. I won't judge.

Lime Curd
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 stick butter, cubed
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Set over simmering water and cook, whisking constantly for 7 to 10 minutes, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Note: The recipe I used wasn't completely accurate when it comes to cooking time. It took me 14 minutes of constant whisking to reach the right consistency. My arm got quite a workout.)

Remove bowl from pan and immediately transfer mixture to another bowl. (For extra smooth curd, pour it through a strainer.) Allow to come to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. (1 block) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz. confectioners' sugar
Green gel food coloring

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Beat in vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar, a cup or so at a time, until thick and spreadable (not too stiff). Squeeze in food coloring, using enough to reach your desired shade of green). Stir until coloring is completely incorporated.

To assemble cupcakes:
Remove a 1-inch hole from center of each cupcake. (I'll let you choose whether to discard or eat those cupcake centers!) Either pipe or spoon curd into center of cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting and carefully spread to edges. Top each cupcake with yellow sprinkles.

Here's a quick product review: Last time I was at Bed, Bath and Beyond I was excited to find this little gadget they called a "cupcake plunger." In theory, you're supposed to push the plunger into the middle of the cupcake and remove the center, leaving a perfect hole in which to pipe your filling. You're also supposed to be able to fill the plunger with filling and eject it into the cupcake. Unfortunately, that plunger doesn't grab anything (cake or filling), making it impossible to remove the centers or eject any filling. Luckily it was only a waste of $3.99.

Despite the disappointing crumbly consistency of my cupcakes, these things were amazing and well worth the 14-minute curd workout. The curd seriously makes the cupcake. It's just the right amount of tart and sweet, and it's a super creamy consistency (even without straining it). The cream cheese frosting was also a genius idea, if I do say so myself. The flavor combination created a cross between cheesecake and key lime pie ... it's like having the best of both worlds in a little handheld cake!

If you have a better, more moist vanilla cupcake recipe, send it my way. I totally want to make these again (maybe with berry curd and red frosting for Valentine's Day?).

So here's the rest of our Super Bowl Sunday menu. And to provide some context, there were only four of us at the party. (Stephanie and Tiff contributed to the menu and their initials are in parentheses after their dishes. Thanks for the delicious food, guys!!)

  • Badger Bits
  • Chips and Homemade Salsa (S)
  • Hot Crab Dip (S)
  • Pretzel Crisps and Homemade Hummus (S)
  • Baked Chicken Wings with Teriyaki Glaze (T)
  • Fruit Salad (T)
  • Sicilian Style Pizza (one cheese and one with green and yellow peppers)
  • Go Pack Go Green and Gold Cupcakes
  • Italian Love Cake (T)
  • Poppy Seed Cookies (S)

Oh, and margaritas. Lots and lots of margaritas :)


  1. Sounds like the best thing about this party had nothing to do with football! ;)

    It seems like gadgets are hardly ever a good substitute for doing things by hand. And I'm really impressed that you made your own lime curd (although not surprised at all!), I always figured that the reason it's so expensive to buy is because making it is a laborious process, which can easily go wrong, and this seems to be case as well. I bet it turned out even better than the store bought kind anyway!

  2. Yeah, we had a ridiculous amount of food for 4 people, but everything was well worth it. The cupcakes and Badger Bits are definitely good in left-over form!