The Animated Feature Film category at the Oscars is one of my favorites, so to go with this group of films that brings out the child in me, I’ve chosen a great cupcake recipe. It’s a vanilla buttermilk cupcake filled with a popcorn-infused cream filling and topped with vanilla frosting and marshmallows created by Lauryn Cohen, founder of Bella Baker! What better way to celebrate some of the sweetest and most endearing films which released in 2012 than with a whimsical cupcake!
Animated Feature Film Category 2013 nominees:
My personal favorite, BRAVE, is my front runner and perhaps it’s because I had the pleasure of being invited to its red carpet movie premiere in Hollywood where I got to interview the cast – all wonderfully personable people (read:Behind the Emerald Green Carpet at the BRAVE Movie Premiere). Plus I got to meet the director John Lassiter and his lovely wife, as well as as Kelly MacDonald who voiced Merida (Read: Kelly MacDonald on Being the Voice of Merida in BRAVE), just prior to the event on a chance encounter. They couldn’t have been more welcoming and to think, minutes later they were on the red carpet, turned green for the Scottish film, standing in front of television cameras and thousands of fans.
I did have the opportunity on that same trip to see some of the early footage of Frankenweenie and interview the producer. While it’s a dark film and I’m a fan of the lighter fun animation, I definitely loved hearing how the film was based on the director’s life. Read my story here: Disney’s FRANKENWEENIE My Sneak Peek and Producer Interview.
Yes, I may be biased, but beyond the fantastic and star studded event that night, the film was brilliant. But it does have some stiff competition and most of it from its parent company Disney. Three of the five films were backed by Disney so they’ve got a pretty good chance of taking home the golden statuette.
But I can’t help but hope it’s my Scottish pals who shared so much of themselves with a bunch of mommy bloggers.
- Buttermilk Cupcakes
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- Popcorn Pastry Cream Frosting
- 1 bag microwave popcorn, popped
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- ⅛ cup cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Decorations – Additional Items Required
- 1 can Vanilla frosting
- 1 10 ounce bag mini marshmallows
- yellow food coloring
- small paint brush
- Buttermilk Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F .
- Line two 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a mixing bowl, beat butter for 3 minutes on medium-high speed until the butter is light and creamy in color; stop and scrape the bowl.
- Add the sugar and beat until fully incorporated.
- Add the eggs one at a time; beating after each addition.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low.
- In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and buttermilk.
- To the mixer alternate adding the dry ingredients alternated with the buttermilk/vanilla mixture and continue to mix just until incorporated.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer (don’t over mix)
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
- While cupcakes are cooling, make the Popcorn Pastry Cream
- Popcorn Pastry Cream Frosting
- Place the popped popcorn in a medium sized bowl.
- Bring the heavy cream and milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat just until it reaches a boil. Immediately pour it over the popcorn and let the mixture infuse for at least 20 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth (about 2 minutes). Pour the mixture through a strainer to get rid of any remaining lumps and kernels.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk and cornstarch; set aside.
- Combine the popcorn milk mixture and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Once boiling, whisk in the cornstarch/egg mixture. Let it return to a boil until it is thick and smooth, whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and pour into a heat proof bowl. Whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt.
- Pastry cream can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Decorations – To assemble your cupcakes:
- Cut a cone into the center of your cupcakes to hollow out the center, taking care not to cut all the way down through the bottom of the cupcakes.
- Fill the hollow center with popcorn pastry cream.
- Cut the base off the cone of cake (feel free to eat that piece!) and place the top back on to the cupcake.
- Top each cupcake with vanilla icing using an offset spatula.
- Cut mini marshmallows in half and then smush them together so they resemble pieces of popcorn. Place marshmallows on top of cupcakes so they cover the entire top of the cupcakes.
- Mix one drop of yellow food coloring with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl, then use your paint brush to tab yellow color here and there on marshmallows to enhance the popcorn coloration.
What’s Your Cupcake Recipe Pairing?
Who are you hoping will win the category and what cupcake recipe would you pair with it?
Recipe created by and printed with permission from Lauryn Cohen, founder of Bella Baker