baking tips | cherry | cupcakes | decorations | frosting | fruit | kool-aid | recipe

Someone’s been drinkin’ the Kool-Aid!

August 29, 2008

As a kid I really wasn’t into Kool-Aid. I was more of a soda drinker, really. That and.. the Kool-Aid man kinda creeped me out a bit. I’m told my great-grandfather was a big fan of it however. Kool-Aid, that is, not the Kool-Aid man. And when I was in middle school I had a friend who used to tell people “You’re all up in the Kool-Aid and don’t know the flavor!” which was a creative way of saying “You think you know, but you have no idea.” Then, later on when I was a super hardcore punk rockin’ teenager, I used (or attempted to use) Kool-Aid to dye my hair once, and it didn’t work out (I stuck to Punky Colour after that, and yes, real punks dye their hair in the sink at home and ruin their mothers towels…). So really I’m just not a big Kool-Aid fan (although that old timey ad over there is pretty badass!).

Neither am I a fan of cherries. I hate cherries. But I like faux-cherry flavor, like Life Savers or cough drops (Luden’s fans represent!). And I figured in that case, a good way to make a cherry-vanilla cupcake would be to use the ultimate in fake flavoring: Kool-Aid! Its a way of making a fruity-cupcake without going through all the trouble of using real fruit. Or, if you’re like me and don’t like most fruits but enjoy fake sugary fruit-drink substitutes, a way of making it so that you’ll actually eat it.

Simply enough, its a vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting made with black cherry Kool-Aid (plain cherry could not be found, ironically). Of course, you could use any of Kool-Aid’s plethora of fake fruit flavors to make any kind of frosting you wanted. Additionally, it can be added to cupcake batter as well. You could even add it to cupcake batter along with chunks of fresh fruit, or do the same with the frosting. Also, it can be sprinkled on top of frosting in place of colored sugar. Oh- the possibilities!!

CHERRY KOOL-AID FROSTING

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 ½ – 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • .13 oz. packet  KOOL-AID Black Cherry Flavor Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drink Mix
Directions:
  1. Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until well blended.
  2. Use on cooled cupcakes.
  3. Enjoy!

I was going to use the Amy Sedaris vanilla cupcake recipe, but honestly I just think the Magnolia Bakery recipe is so amazing that I can’t get away from it. I’ve used the Amy one before and it came out a little dry, so I’ve been meaning to try it again but I’m addicted to Magnolia and cling to it like a crackhead with her pipe.

MAGNOLIA’S FAMOUS VANILLA CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

  5. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

They look like big, soft, sweet Barbie™ cupcakes don’t they!? I ♥ Barbie™!

Supposedly it makes 24. I always get 36. This time I got 30. I don’t know. Don’t ask. If you can’t handle that many, then halve the recipe.

The Magnolia recipe is so delicious I eat it out of the bowl. I’m not condoning this behavior, and I’m not to be held responsible if you eat too much and get sick from the raw eggs. But goddamn is that a good batter.

How did the frosting taste? Good. Very very sweet (I had to cut it with a little vanilla extract and that didn’t do much). I’m talking sickly sweet. Attractive too, but totally fake. They’re like the Pamela Anderson of cupcakes. I actually next time would use HALF the packet, maybe even just add a little bit at a time until I thought it was enough. If you’re a fan of fresh fruit, and would never think of ingesting anything less than pure fructose, then you’ll hate it most likely. But you have to loosen up a little and take it for what it is! Its made from a powder drink mix for cupcake’s sake… its not meant to be healthy and fresh and organic. I actually think this is a much better use for Kool-Aid than drinking. Or hair-dying. And it gives you an excuse to name your cupcakes inappropriate things, like ‘Jim Jones-in for Grape‘ or ‘Electric Kool-Aid Acid Orangecakes.’ Now tell me those wouldn’t be an instant hit at the bake sale!

You’ll notice my transparent silpat there, under the cupcakes.. heh…

And just as a side note, Kool-Aid makes a rootbeer flavored powder as well, and I’m wondering if it might make a more flavorful rootbeer cupcake. There might be a part two of my rootbeer float cupcakes. Stay tuned.

Also… I recieved some vintage cupcake toppers today and I’m super psyched for Halloween now.  Well I’m always psyched for Halloween really, it being my favorite holiday. These toppers were usually used on bakery/storebought cakes and cupcakes from the 1960’s, all the way up to the 80’s (I remember getting them on Entenmann’s Halloween cupcakes as a kid).  I got witches, bats, black cats and one each of a pumpkin man and a pumpkin woman flying on a broom! I already have my two batches of Halloween cupcakes planned. Yes, two batches. These will probably only go on one batch… curious yet? Sorry! You’ll have to wait a month. Boo hoo.

And before I go, I’d like to direct you all to the funniest website on the internet. Well, maybe not THE funniest. But seriously, it had me laughing my proverbial ass off for a good 25 minutes. Genius.

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  1. I had never thought of using Kool Aid for frosting before. Man, I wouldn’t have made myself sick from eating all those maraschino cherries for frosting if I had thought of Kool Aid! LOL

  2. Haha.. no but you would’ve made yourself sick from eating too much Kool-Aid frosting!

    Its a great shortcut, as long as you DON’T use a whole packet like I did… it was wayyyy too sweet.

  3. I just stumbled across your blog while looking for pictures of old kool-aid ads. Just wanted to let you know that I love it! What a great idea to use kool-aid as flavoring. Thanks!

  4. Just made these tonight… I was SOOO excited. I loved them, but the frosting was sweet x100. I even used only half of the packet. Wow. My husband thought they were a little extreme. Gotta say though, the Magnolia recipe is nothing short of bangin’!

  5. Yeah that frosting is INSANELY sweet. I find it’s the worst with cherry, though. Strawberry is easier to handle.

    The Magnolia recipe is the best! I never understand when people say it’s terrible. I always think, “What did you do wrong?”

  6. I used grape kool-aid and used most of the packet. They were AMAZING! tasted like a grape Mr. Misty Freeze from DQ 🙂

  7. I am a big fan of grape flavored stuff, like you with cherry. I like to sprinkle some grape kool-aid powder into each individual kool-aid cup and swirl it around to make a spiral. It adds great flavor to cupcakes. No need for frosting, which is fine with me since I am not a big frosting fan. I figure if the cake is good enough, you don’t need frosting.

  8. Stumbled on your site and facebook page today while surfing the net bored at work and I love love love it! Being a cupcake junkie as well I look forward to seein more from you thanks for posting! :0)

  9. I LOVE this Kool-aid frosting! I’ve made it quite a lot. Some of the flavors are not so great :/ But Grape is most definitely the favorite so far! Thank you for the great recipe 🙂

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