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Watermelon Cupcakes: A Refreshing Summer Treat


Watermelon is a fruit that is synonymous with summer. Unlike strawberries and other summer fruit, you only see watermelon during this time of year. Watermelon is a staple for barbecues and other summer parties.  It is a refreshing fruit that is made up of mostly of water. Because of this, it is hard to recreate the watermelon flavor through artificial means. Watermelon candy, watermelon soda and  watermelon liqueur often a sweet taste but not a pure watermelon flavor. It is often just red and sticky.

Last week, I made watermelon syrup.  It was easy and delicious. I put 1/2 cup of white sugar in a saucepan. I cut up half of a watermelon into big chunks and added to the saucepan. I cooked on low heat for about twenty minutes. I strained the watermelon syrup and poured into a container to drink with a glass of Moscato. It's a delicious summer cocktail.

Now, I want to make watermelon cupcake. Here in Atlanta, watermelon are plentiful and inexpensive. I looked in the index of cookbooks and I scoured online for a recipe. There are not many.  I often found recipes for cupcakes that look like watermelon but they don't taste like watermelon. Watermelon cupcakes are like a trompe l'oeil of cupcakes. Many recipes call for chocolate chips which are used to resemble the seeds of an actual watermelon. It seems as though the appeal of watermelon cupcakes is its bright red color. Similar to red velvet cupcakes, their popularity is more about aesthetics than actual flavor.

Bakingdom has a recipe for watermelon cupcakes that actually taste like watermelon. I recommend not making the cupcakes look like an actual watermelon. Let it be a "blind taste test" and see if your friends and family can recognize the flavor. 
Ingredients
  • Cupcake Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of watermelon flavoring oil/extract (LorAnn Oils online)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 16 ounces of plain sour cream (no low fat)
  • Pink or red food coloring gel (optional)
  • Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 5 cups of confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of watermelon flavoring oil (same as above)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • Red food coloring gel to make pink color (optional)
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen
Preparation
Adapted from Bakingdom:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Measure out the flour, baking soda and salt. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl (not the mixing bowl).

Using the mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.

Stir in the watermelon flavoring. Add about a third of the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just mixed. Add half of the sour cream, beating until just mixed. Repeat this process with the remaining flour mixture and sour cream. Add pink food color as desired (or not). Use an ice cream scoop to fill cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Do the toothpick test for one of the center cupcakes in the pan to make sure cupcakes are done. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a baking rack for at least 15 minutes. Frost the cupcakes to your liking and enjoy.


source: about.com


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Lifestyle Magazine: Watermelon Cupcakes: A Refreshing Summer Treat
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