Advisory- We are in no way professionals; in fact, I’d say we’re noobs at cooking/baking/food & drink-making. So we’ll have our foibles, but we make the mistakes so that you don’t have to! Plus, if we can make it, so can you!
Melody and I wanted to try our hand at some fancy cake decorating and decided to try out the cosmically awesome Galaxy-style cupcakes.
Seeing as attempting this level of decoration was a step out of our comfort zone, we went a little easy with a boxed cake mix. While our methods for baking were straight up inside the box, we took some tips from YouTube videos and blogs that have done it before and found what worked for us.
If you give it a go, please, let us know so we can see your awesome creations!
Fair warning, while we had a lot of fun making these and they were crazy delicious, we definitely had some issues in execution. Keep reading till the end to see where we think we could improve on with our not so stellar creations.
For the Cupcakes
- White Cake Mix (We used Yellow, see our notes below)
- 1/3 c. Oil
- 3 Eggs
- 1 c. Milk
- Gel Food coloring (Black, Blue, Pink)
For the Frosting
- 4 c. Powdered Sugar
- 1 c. Butter
- 1-2 tbsp. Milk
- 2-3 tsp. Vanilla
For the Decorations
- Edible Glitter
- Star Sprinkles
- White Gel Food Coloring
- Mixer and large mixing bowl
- 4 small mixing bowls
- Mixing spoons
- Piping Bags
- Large Glass
- Cupcake pan and liners
First, we mixed the cake mix. We went ahead and followed the directions on the back of a cake mix box altering the water it requested for milk (which we found made the cupcakes a little richer).
Next, we separated the mix into 4 separate bowls. We were going to make 4 different colored mixes. Using our food coloring we mixed a blue (8 drops of Blue food gel plus 1 of Black), a pink (3 drops of fuscia), a purple (3 drops of Blue and 3 drops of fuscia), and a black (as much as you need to turn it black) colored mix.
Once we got the colors to where we wanted them, we alternated dropping a scoop of each color into each cupcake liner. We started with black since we had the most of that colored mix, and we used it on top and bottom.
Before putting the cupcakes into a preheated oven, we swirled the colors with a toothpick and sprinkled a little bit of glitter into the mixture.
We let the cupcakes bake for roughly 14 minutes, checked a couple with toothpicks, and when we saw they came out clean (no raw batter on the toothpick), we took them out to cool.
We used wire cooling racks because we needed them completely cooled before we can decorate.
While the cupcakes cooled, we mixed our ingredients for a homemade frosting. We whisked everything together until we had firm peaks.
Next, we followed the same steps for adding food coloring to the cake mix and made 4 different colored frostings. We had to play around with the food coloring to get the right colors for blue, pink, purple, and black frostings.
Seeing that our frosting had warmed up a bit, we stuck it in the fridge while we waited for our cupcakes to cool.
We then used a tall glass (ours was a hefeweizen glass), and a medium sized pastry bag fitted with an open star pastry tip. We again alternated colors as we filled the bag with the different colored frosting.
Working quickly, we swirled the frosting on top of each cupcake.
Once we had frosted each cupcake, we worked swiftly to sprinkle glitter onto the frosting, along with a couple of silver colored star sprinkles, and a splatter of white food coloring. We attempted to give a galaxy star system effect.
While we had a lot of fun making these out of this world cupcakes, we definitely hit a couple of snafus.
First, there’s no one way to make the swirling patterns. We alternated colored batter as we filled the cupcake liners, but we could have repeated colors, if we had made more batter.
Secondly, our frosting didn’t hold its shape for long, let your cupcakes cool and move them to a cool area as you work. Our cupcakes cooled, but we attempted to decorate near the oven area… this caused our frosting to melt down the cupcakes into colorful blobs. We think a different frosting recipe would also help; maybe try a cream cheese frosting?
While the cupcakes tasted great, food coloring does stain. Use caution as you’ll end up with purple/black tinted mouth, hands, and kitchen towels! Additionally, the use of a yellow cake mix made it difficult to get the right color, if we had used a white cake we wouldn’t have had to fight the yellowing.
Also, don’t let Melody measure things! In her words, she “measures like a Korean” (a little of this, dash of that). Alright, go forth and bake! Show us what you can make that’s out of this world! Don’t forget to tag us in your creations!