I am by no means an expert at life.
But, I will say that I know a lot of stuff.
Some of the stuff I know is pretty useless. Like the fact that Chris Harrison’s wardrobe choices on this season of Bachelor Pad are horrendous.
Or that eating more than ten Fruit Roll Ups in one sitting does not make a happy belly. (I came upon this discovery many years ago in my youth, not like, 3 days ago. Because that would be totally ridiculous and I know that. Heh, heh).
And that you have to watch the movie Sandlot approximately 17 1/2 times before you have it completely memorized (again, learned in my youth. And I never lie).
But some of the stuff I know comes in dang handy. Like knowing that if a person randomly asks “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow?” to always make it sound like you’re gonna be super busy. Because they might be preparing to ask you to watch their baby. Or move their fridge or something.
Not that I’ve ever had a person ask me to help move their fridge. But if I made it sound as though I had loads of time on my hands, who knows. They just might.
Another thing I know, is that kids like sour stuff.
It’s a rule.
To a child, a sour candy is like a battle. The sour-er the candy, the more respect they earn from their peers upon finishing it. And those horrible sores they get on their tongues? Battlescars.
Crybabies, War Heads….those things really aren’t that yummy. It’s the point of the deal, I think.
So when I was thinking of creating a cupcake flavor for this week’s Summer-themed Cupcake Challenge, I knew I wanted to create something sour.
Because Summer makes me think of kids. It’s really a kid season, isn’t it?
After some research, I discovered that the super sour flavor used in popular candies is created with Malic Acid. It comes in powder form and is mixed with sugar to create a sugary sour coating.
And guess what? You can totally buy it.
Know what else? It’s pretty dang reasonable too.
I ordered mine on Pure Bulk and had it in my mailbox in just a few days.
I just love getting sour powder mail, don’t you?
I was trying to decide what to use to flavor the cupcakes themselves, when I remembered that I had been planning on making Kool Aid cupcakes in the next few weeks. And I realized that Kool Aid would give these cupcakes the flavor and slight tang they needed.
Believe it or not, these cupcakes were actually pretty yummy. And just weird enough for kids to adore.
Base recipe adapted from Hello, Cupcake
1 box white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or amount called for on box, if not using Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup instant Kool-Aid powder (the kind with the sugar added) in Fruit Punch, or your choice of flavor
Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 baking cups with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, buttermilk, eggs, oil, and Kool-Aid powder. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase speed to medium. Beat for 2 minutes.
Fill cups 2/3 full with cupcake batter. Bake for about 15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and let cool on a baking rack.
2 sticks butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup instant Kool-Aid powder (same kind used above)
Beat butter in a large bowl on low speed until smooth. Add milk and beat on medium low until mixed together and you have no milk pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Add powdered sugar and Kool-Aid powder.
Beat on low until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick, add more milk or corn syrup until desired consistency is reached.
Pipe frosting on to cooled cupcakes.
24 sour candies such as Crybaby Gum, War Heads, or Sour Patch Kids
1/3 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 tablespoon Malic Acid
Sprinkle sour sugar on frosted cupcakes and top with a sour candy.
I was a bit worried that the acid in the topping would cause the frosting to break down, but after a couple hours in the fridge, the cupcakes were still fine. I wouldn’t recommend topping them too far in advance though, just in case.
Make these and your kids will love you forever, sore mouths and all.
**I’m linking these up to Hoosier Homemade’s Cupcake Tuesday and Cupcake Challenge. Head on over to check out the goodies and add one of your own!!