This year, to celebrate the first day of spring, we made violet cupcakes. Violets are my favorite flower and one that M loves too. We know spring is beginning when we see the yard filled with these little purple surprises. Based on my research, violets are edible though you should be cautious if you are picking them where toxic chemicals could have been sprayed (a city park, etc). Last year, we ushered in spring and celebrated C’s birthday with edible flower topped cupcakes. This year, we made our violets our of icing.
For the cake, we used the following recipe adapted from Everyday Food:
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light.)
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternatly with sour cream, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fill lined muffin tin cups 3/4 full (I love the Wilton silicone liners.) Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool on a cooling rack.
For the icing:
1 stick butter
4 cups confectioner sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Beat together until light and fluffy.
If you’re making your violets with icing, remove a small amount of icing and color it yellow. Then remove a small amount of icing and color it purple (If using gel food colors, a 3:1 ratio of red to blue works well).
Color the remainder of the icing green for your grass icing base.
If using real flowers, cut off the stems and place the blossoms on your cupcakes.
If making icing flowers, use a circular icing tip. I used Wilton #3. Load a piping bag with yellow icing. Make a small dot in the middle of each cupcake. Then barely wet the tip of your finger and flatten the dot. Now load a new bag with purple icing. Make dots around your yellow center. Real violets have 4 petals but we made 5 on our cupcakes. Wet the tip of your finger and flatten the dots.
Then eat up and enjoy! We had a spring picnic party (which had to be inside on the floor because it was raining) with lots of fun finger foods and fruit.