Happy (almost) Canada Day! If you’re looking for something fun to bring to a party, here’s an easy way to make cupcakes with a shiny red (and delicious!) maple leaf. The trick: red fruit roll-ups, cut with a maple leaf cookie cutter. No need for elaborate decorating skills, and the kids can help – right up my alley.
You could, of course, do this with any cupcake – store bought or homemade – but I particularly like maple cupcakes, and cream cheese frosting makes a delicious accompaniment. Spread, swirl or pipe on the frosting, then scatter with sprinkles and a cut-out maple leaf – simply unroll your fruit roll-up (when inspiration hit, only the two-colour variety was available) and cut out your maple leaf – or any other shape you like. Peel it off, lay it on top and you’re good to go.
Adapted from Canadian Living
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp maple extract
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer on low speed, mix in butter, milk, eggs and maple extract; beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Spoon into 12 paper-lined or greased muffin cups, filling about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes, until the tops are golden and springy to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 1 dozen cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla or maple extract
1 cup powdered sugar (plus extra, if needed)
1-2 Tbsp. milk or water
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Beat in the vanilla and gradually beat in the powdered sugar and milk or water until you have a spreadable consistency. Add extra if you need to – or add an extra spoonful of milk or water if the mixture is too thick. Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes.