White Cakes w/ Purple Espresso Frosting
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
cup half& half
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon black walnut extract
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, softened
2 ounces hot water with
1 teaspoon rounded, instant espresso powder
7 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Wilton purple coloring
Wilton Halloween sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Go ahead and line the muffin pans and set aside.
Continue whisking until soft peaks form. At this point, it is time to add in 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Ideally, you want to add in a little at a time while the mixer is on low.
After all the sugar had been added, increase speed to medium/ medium-high. The eggs are done when they form stiff peaks.
So we've set the egg whites aside. Now it is time to cream together the shortening and butter in the bowl of the stand mixer, this time fitted with the paddle attachment.
Now it is time to add the flour mixture from earlier and the milk and half & half. Keep the mixer on low and add the flour and milk/half & half alternately. Make sure to begin and end with the flour mixture.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl down again. Pour in the espresso water and add 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Beat on low. With the next addition of powdered sugar, add in the cream of tartar. Go ahead and add in the coloring at this point so that it will have plenty of time to get mixed throughout all the icing without needing to over-beat. Continue beating in the powdered sugar on low. Or else you will have a plume of sugar rising up from where you stand.
I sprinkled some crushed hazelnuts over some of the cupcakes (because not everyone can eat nuts) and then sprinkled purple sugar over the top of all the cupcakes. I do recommend using nuts. The cupcakes and frosting are so light and airy that the nuts provide a very nice texture contrast. You could toast the hazelnuts or even use macadamia nuts.