Buttercream cupcakes that fight animal cruelty

Some animal themed cupcakes for National Cupcake Day. (Courtesy of SPCA)

Some animal themed cupcakes for National Cupcake Day. (Courtesy of SPCA)

Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Calling all bakers and animal lovers: The first-ever National Cupcake Day is set to take place Feb. 25th and everyone is invited to bake their best cupcakes, host a cupcake party, share cupcakes with family, friends and colleagues, and collect donations — all in support of the SPCAs and Humane Societies across Canada.

Initially launched by the RSPCA in Australia, New South Wales, National Cupcake Day has been brought to Canada as a gift to the Ontario SPCA and the British Columbia SPCA. Sponsored by Petsecure Pet Insurance, Reynolds and BMO Bank of Montreal, National Cupcake Day is designed to help raise much needed funds for all fuzzy friends, big and small, that have been abused, abandoned or in need of help.

“We’re encouraging people to register online at nationalcupcakeday.ca and then to bake cupcakes and host a National Cupcake Day party on February 25th, with all proceeds going to support the SPCA and its communities,” says Marc Ralsky of the Ontario SPCA. “We hope that people will encourage their family and friends to donate online and to support their efforts by attending a local National Cupcake Day party, or hosting an event of their own.

"This is really a fun, grass-roots way to help fight animal cruelty and make a difference,” says Ralsky. “Everyone loves cupcakes, and they taste even sweeter when you know it’s for a good cause.”

Here's a handful of scrumptious cupcake recipes to get help get you started!

Anniversary Buttercream Cupcakes

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned buttercream-topped cupcake. This one, along with the following buttercream icing, was created to celebrate Gay Lea's 50th anniversary several years ago.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7 ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 (2 ml) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) regular or low-fat sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In large bowl using electric beaters, beat butter for 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugar; beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using wooden spoon, alternately stir flour mixture and sour cream into butter mixture, making three additions of flour and two of sour cream.

Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling about three quarters full. Bake in centre of oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until cake tops spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer to rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes to rack; let cool completely. Ice with Anniversary Buttercream Icing

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Anniversary Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 cups (625 ml) icing sugar, sifted
  • Approx. 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) whole milk

Directions:

In large bowl, using electric mixer, beat butter for 30 seconds. Very gradually, add icing sugar while beating on low speed, adding enough milk between additions to achieve spreading consistency.

Devil Food Cupcakes

Feeling a little devilish? These moist chocolate cupcakes can be made in a pinch and dressed up any way you like. From Baker's Chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 6 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. (10ml) vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups (625ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. (1ml) salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (325ml) milk

Ingredients:

Heat oven to 350F (180C). Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Mix sugar into melted chocolate mixture until well blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time, with electric mixer until completely mixed. Add vanilla. Add 1/2 cup (125ml) of flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Beat in remaining 2 cups (500ml) flour alternately with milk until well blended and smooth.

Pour into 24 greased and floured or paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. Ice with Chocolate Swirl Icing.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Chocolate Swirl Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 2 cups (500 ml) icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) whipping or 18%cream, approximate

Ingredients:

In medium bowl, beat butter until light. Beat in cocoa and vanilla. Gradually beat in half of icing sugar. Beat in cream, then remaining icing sugar to make spreadable icing. Beat in a little more cream if needed to lighten and smooth. Spread over cupcakes, making swirls with spatula.


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