Beachy Cupcakes

Beachy Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites from large eggs
2 large eggs (use egg whites for a white cake and yolks for a yellow cake)
For the Buttercream:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick) softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
A few drops of blue food coloring
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl. Add egg whites and additional whites or yolks, and mix at high speed until fluffy and smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter. Do not overfill. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pans then remove from pan, and place on wire racks to cool completely.
For the Buttercream:(Medium Consistency)
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add food coloring and mix until combined. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
For the Shell:
Roll white and orange fondant together like a candy cane. Pack it into a sea shell mold and pop it out.
To Decorate:
Frost the cupcake with the buttercream frosting in a swirl pattern. Then, lightly sprinkle brown sugar on half of the cupcake to add the “beach.” Decorate with beach-themed sugar topping, fondant sea shell or add a small paper umbrella to finish the look.
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