To celebrate spring, I made these cupcakes and piped them with a delicious, yet light and fluffy, fat-free frosting. I wanted to use a fat-free frosting to mirror the lightness of the season. Spring is such a bright and cheerful time of the year. The flowers start to bloom, trees turn green and everything around us comes to life with color. It’s also a great time of the year to start tending to the gardens again and plant more flowers.
Naturally, I had to pipe a few flower cupcakes, for what would spring be without flowers? I made a few mini flower cupcakes.
And I also made a few medium flower cupcakes.
I find this white cake recipe really delicious, moist and soft. With one recipe I was able to make two dozen medium size cupcakes and one dozen mini size cupcakes. I suppose if I wasn’t as generous in scooping the batter into each muffin cup, and if I had decided to make them all medium size, the recipe could yield three dozen medium size cupcakes. For a cake that’s completely fat free, try funfetti angel food cake with non-fat frosting.
The fluffy, light, fat-free, cloud-like frosting is one of my favorites. It is made by very slowly pouring hot syrup made of water and sugar over three egg whites while whipping the egg whites at medium low speed. On high heat, the syrup is first brought to a rapid boil. I use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. When the syrup reaches around 225 F, I start whipping the egg whites first on low then increasing to medium low until the egg whites start to take shape. When the syrup reaches around 230 F, I reduce the mixer speed to medium and start to pour the syrup in a very small trickle into the egg whites. I pour only about a third of the syrup, then return the pot to heat the syrup up back to 230 F.
This photo was taken after pouring the first third of the syrup. The frosting is still soft, but has started to increase in volume. The bowl will be hot to the touch as shown by the heat condensation on the sides of the bowl.
Once the syrup reaches 230 F again, I reduce the mixer speed back to medium low and slowly pour about ½ of the remaining syrup. I repeat the procedure and return the pot back to the heat and switch the mixer speed back up to high. Again when the syrup reaches 230 F, I pour the last of the remaining syrup over the frosting with the mixer speed on medium low. Once all the syrup has been poured, I gradually increase the mixer speed all the way up to high and whip the frosting for about 5 – 7 minutes until the bowl has cooled to the touch, and the frosting has reached stiff peaks and lost its shine. I make sure to add the vanilla sometime while the frosting is whipping on high. In this photo, all the syrup has been poured in. You can see that the frosting is thicker because of the marks made by the beater.
This photo was taken after about 4 minutes of beating at high speed after all the syrup had been poured in. There is less condensation on the sides of the bowl as it starts to cool off. The marks made by the beater on the frosting become even more pronounced.
This frosting is almost done. You can see a few stiff peaks next to the beater. I continued to beat just a few minutes more to make sure the frosting was stiff and thick all the way through the bottom and not just in the surface. How long the frosting is whipped will depend largely on the mixer, but as a rule of thumb, I whip the frosting between 5 – 7 minutes on high after all the syrup has been added. Cues will be, the frosting will be very thick all the way through and will hold stiff peaks. The bowl should also be cool to the touch.
The frosting has reached stiff peaks, is very thick and fluffy and the condensation on the sides of the bowl has disappeared as the bowl has cooled down. At this point, since I wanted to have 3 different colors of frosting, I removed about 2/3 of the frosting from the bowl, left about 1/3 to tint with a few drops of blue food color. I divided the 2/3 frosting I removed from the bowl in half in separate bowls. I added a few drops of pink food color to one bowl and yellow to the other. I also made sure to mix each bowl thoroughly to distribute the color evenly.
It’s amazing just three egg whites and a small amount of syrup can yield so much frosting. I had 4 piping bags filled with frosting. Once I had all my piping bags lined up, it took just a matter of minutes to frost the cupcakes.
This is how I filled the icing bags:
- 1 large 16” piping bag with 1M tip – filled with blue frosting
- 1 medium 12” piping bag with tip 21 – filled with pink frosting
- 1 medium 12” piping bag with tip 21 – filled with yellow frosting
- 1 medium 12” piping bag with tip 103 – filled with blue frosting
I used tip 21 to pipe frosting on the mini cupcakes.
I started on the outer edge of the cupcake and swirled the frosting going round about 3 or 4 times until I reached the desired height.
To pipe the frosting on the medium cupcakes, I used the 1M tip.
Again, I just used the same technique starting at the outer edge of the cupcake going round to build a huge mound of frosting.
And what would cupcakes be without having a few with pink frosting?
Tip 21 was used to pipe this frosting on this cupcake.
It’s a field of cupcakes. This is one field I wouldn’t mind running through.
To pipe flowers, I used tip 103 for the petals, starting on the outer edge with the narrow part of the tip facing outward. For the center of the flowers I used tip 21 starting at the middle going round twice. It’s the same technique I used for the Ruffle Cupcakes.
Spring is all about light and airiness and I thought the fat-free frosting really went well with the cupcakes. The cake part itself was so good I could have had the cupcakes by themselves unfrosted. The cupcakes were consumed immediately so I didn’t have to worry about storage. I’ll have to come up with more things befitting spring. Until then…
- 3 cups cake flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 4 egg whites
- ¾ cups canned coconut milk
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup water
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Mix together coconut milk and regular milk.
- Beat butter on medium speed using flat paddle attachment until smooth, creamy and free of lumps.
- Still on medium speed, gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg whites one at a time beating well after each addition to incorporate.
- Switch speed to medium low and add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients mixing well. Alternate with about ½ of the milk mixture and continue to mix. Repeat the procedure ending with the dry ingredients beating only until batter is smooth and creamy.
- Add the vanilla and mix until well blended.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake liners. Do not overfill.
- Bake in oven for 18 -20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks.
- In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt and water.
- Stir gently until more or less combined. The mixture will fully blend once it starts to boil. Do not stir once the syrup starts to boil.
- Turn on heat to medium high. Monitor temperature with a candy thermometer.
- When syrup reaches between 220 F and 225 F, start whipping the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium high speed using wire whip attachment of a stand mixer.
- Once the syrup reaches around 230 F and at the same time egg whites start to hold shape, switch mixer speed to medium, remove saucepan from heat and very slowly, in a thin stream, pour hot syrup into the egg whites, between the beater and the bowl to avoid splatters. Pour about ⅓ of the syrup.
- Return saucepan to heat to bring temperature back up to about 230 F. At the same time, increase mixer speed back up to medium high. When the syrup returns to 230 F, switch mixer speed back to medium and slowly pour ½ of the remaining syrup. Repeat procedure, returning the rest of the syrup to the heat to bring it back up to 230 F, while increasing mixer speed back to medium high.
- Once the last of the syrup has been poured in, increase mixer speed to medium high. Bowl will be hot to the touch. Mix in vanilla extract. Whip frosting until thick, glossy and holds stiff peaks. The bowl at this point will have cooled down.
- Tint frosting as desired and transfer to icing bags to pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Use immediately.
Spring Cupcakes with Fat-Free Frosting