Sunday, November 21, 2010

Boots and Beards: the Woodshed Prophets' Marble Swirl Cupcakes

C and C Cakery's 1st Annual Manly Cupcake Challenge

This week I've been reading about C and C Cakery's Manly Cupcake Challenge, which supports the Movember Foundation, a charity raising awareness for men's health issues.

I couldn't resist creating a cupcake especially for my favorite group of boys. The Woodshed Prophets. They're an awesome country/rock band in which my husband (Dan the Man) plays guitar, and are often the professional taste testers to many of the recipes you enjoy here on Artistic Eatables. They're some of the best guys I know, so I wanted to create a dessert that would make them proud.

They've been developing merchandise to coordinate with the release of their debut album, so I looked to the buttons, posters, and t-shirts to inspire me regarding my manly cupcakes. I also wanted something the boys would enjoy eating. Although hot dogs, beer, and pizza are all manly foods, I didn't think they'd translate well to cupcakes.

I decided to stick with black and white for the color scheme (which all began with their bootleg CD's) and chose to highlight the boot logo, which appears on their business cards and buttons. To give some variation and to honor Movember, I included some designs of beards, which is another accessory the boys seem to love. (Three of the four guys have 'em.)

As for the kitchen talk, I altered this recipe to create the cupcake batter, and the frosting recipe is direct from the Tasty Kitchen archives.

cupcakes, pre-frosting

Cupcake Ingredients (makes about 15 cupcakes)
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • splash of milk
Frosting Ingredients
  • 5 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup sugar (not powdered sugar)
  • your desired color food dye (I used black)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. 
  4. Add butter, vanilla, and 1 cup milk. Beat at medium speed for about a minute. 
  5. Add eggs.   Beat at medium speed for about a minute, then at high speed for another minute.
  6. Separate batter into two batches - one larger batch for your vanilla, and a smaller batch to be turned into chocolate.
  7. In small saucepan over low heat, heat chocolate chips. When chocolate chips are hot but not burnt, turn off heat and add a splash or two of milk. Stir or whisk together well until chocolate is slightly creamy.
  8. Add chocolate to smaller batch of cake batter and stir well.
  9. Fill cupcake papers about half full with vanilla batter. To each, add a spoonful of chocolate batter and swirl together using a knife. Clean the knife before swirling the next cupcake.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Let cool for 10-15 minutes on cooling rack.
  12. While cupcakes are cooling, combine flour and 1 cup milk in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk or stir constantly until very thick. (The recipe's author compares the desired thickness of this frosting to brownie batter.) Remove from heat and cool completely. Place pan in bowl of ice if you need it to cool more quickly.
  13. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter. Beat until graininess of sugar is gone. 
  14. Add vanilla to flour/milk mixture, then pour into butter/sugar mixture. Beat on medium-high speed until texture resembles whipped cream.
  15. Frost cupcakes using white frosting. Add food dye to remainder of frosting in bowl until desired color is achieved. Scoop into icing bag with a small writing tip inside and decorate with boot design and your favorite facial hair configurations.

    More about the Contest


    1. Such cute (manly!) cupcakes :) I love the designs!

    2. Hey, I recognize that razor! I'm glad it's getting to have some cupcake, too.