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luxe and the lady

Sonic the Hedgehog Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes

*This post was created in collaboration with good2grow. All words, images, and opinions are my own.

I love when I get to revisit characters from my childhood in my food art! My younger brother used to be obsessed with Sonic and during the few moments he wasn’t playing I would try to sneak in a game (or ten ☺). With his lightning-fast speed and adorable blue quills Sonic was always a favorite of mine as well, and I’m so happy to see that my nephews and friend’s kids still love him as much as we did. In celebration of the new Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie release I teamed up with my friends, good2grow, to create this special party treat inspired by their cute Sonic and Tails spill-proof juice character tops.

The fluffy, moist red velvet cupcakes are a nod to Sonic’s favorite color. Topped with silky smooth vanilla American Buttercream (one of my family’s most loved recipes), and decorated using colorful melted chocolate wafers, these treats are sure to fly off the dessert table at your next Sonic inspired party! The character designs are a literal piece of cake with the help of the attached template (no need to free hand the faces unless you want to), and you can customize however you’d like. Save time by starting with your favorite red velvet cupcake mix or swap out the melted wafers for fondant or decorating icing, if you prefer. The quantity can easily be halved or doubled depending on your party size, and if you need to make a large batch in a flash you can cut down on decorating by swirling the 2 frosting colors onto the tops of your cupcakes and topping with lots of gold sprinkles. Race on over to the recipes below to make your own.

Ingredients: (makes 1 dozen with extra frosting)

Red Velvet Cupcakes: (Recipe modified from one of my faves by the kitchn)

1 1/4  cups cake flour (150g)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
1 large egg, room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon Super Red liquid gel food coloring (try to use a gel-based color as it’s more concentrated. You may have to use up to 1 ½ tsp if using a less intense color)
½ tablespoon white vinegar
½ cup buttermilk, room temp.

Vanilla American Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
3 cups powdered sugar ( 340g)
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Royal Blue, Golden Yellow, and Orange icing gel colors

2 piping bags

1A piping tip (and couplers, if using)

Sonic & Tails Decorations:

Character Template (print to fit your cupcake tops, about 2.5″ each)

Royal Blue, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Black or Dark Chocolate, Bright White, Dark Green, and Blue candy/chocolate melting wafers  OR bright white fondant/decorating icing and food coloring

Paramount Crystals (optional, see notes – for melting wafers)

Wax paper 

Toothpicks

Helpful Tips:

Remove all chilled ingredients (butter, buttermilk, eggs) from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before you begin to bring them to room temp. This allows them to blend into the batter evenly.

You can deepen Sonic’s signature shade of blue (without using a ton of icing coloring) by adding just a drop or two of black food coloring. 

Make the chocolate wafer decorations while waiting on the cupcakes to cool and then they’ll be all set once you’re ready to decorate.

Paramount crystals significantly help to smooth the melted chocolate/candy wafers (they also slightly prolong the set time- giving you more time to create larger pieces). You can find these online or in the baking aisle at craft stores.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the softened butter for 1-2 minutes, at medium speed, until creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the sugar, and mix again for 3 minutes until lighter in color and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
  4. With the mixer on medium-low, add the egg, vanilla, food coloring and vinegar. Mix until combined.
  5. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk (beginning and ending with the flour). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just until incorporated.
  6. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner. I like to use an ice cream scoop for this to save time (and ensure they’re all evenly filled). Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely (at least 1 hour before frosting).
  8. Now let’s make the frosting! Sift the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl (this makes the final frosting super smooth). Set aside.
  9. Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment and beat the softened butter for 1-2 minutes until creamy. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, add the vanilla and salt, and mix on medium for 3 minutes (you may want to cover the bowl at this point so powdered sugar doesn’t go flying).
  10. Add the heavy whipping cream and continue to mix for 1 minute more. You will notice the color of the buttercream whitening significantly.
  11. Divide the buttercream evenly between two large bowls. Add the Royal Blue icing gel to 1 bowl and the Golden Yellow to the second. Stir and continue adding coloring until you reach your desired hues (see the tips for Sonic’s blue). I added a touch of Orange coloring to deepen Tails’ shade. 
  12. Fit 2 piping bags with large round piping tips. Use a spatula to rapidly mix each color of frosting before transferring to the bags (I like to push the frosting from side to side against the edges of the bowl vs stirring to push the air bubbles out. This gives you a smoother frosting base when piping). 
  13. Holding the piping bag directly above each cupcake (without touching), pipe a large round blob of the blue frosting onto 6 cupcakes, and the golden yellow/orange onto the remaining 6. 
  14. This is the fun part! To easily flatten and distribute the frosting, line a baking sheet with wax paper and carefully turn each cupcake over onto the prepared pan (with the frosting side face down). Gently press down to evenly distribute the frosting across the top of each cupcake and repeat with all cupcakes. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 10 minutes. 
  15. Once chilled, gently peel each cupcake away from the wax paper and transfer them to the refrigerator until ready to decorate.
  16. Time to turn these cupcakes into Sonic and Tails! Print the character template. Place the bright white chocolate wafers into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir, then continue to heat in 30-second intervals, at 50% power, stirring after each, until smooth and completely melted. Add paramount crystals, if using. Place a sheet of wax paper over the template and use a toothpick dipped into the melted chocolate to “draw” all the character’s eyes and Tail’s whiskers onto the wax paper, for each cupcake. Repeat with each color. I used Royal Blue for Sonic’s quills and ears, Black for the eyes, mouths and noses, Dark Green and Blue for each character’s eye color, Pink for Tails’ tongue, Yellow and Orange mixed (with more yellow) for Tails’ ears and fur, Tails’ fur shade mixed with more White for the bottom portion of Sonic’s face and inner ears, and white added to the Black for the grey part of Tails’ ears. Allow the pieces to set.
  17. Once you’re ready to decorate, gently peel the chocolate pieces off the wax paper and place them on top of your frosted cupcakes (using the template for guidance). 

Arrange your adorable Sonic and Tails cupcakes on your dessert table along with the matching good2grow drinks and enjoy! Extra cupcakes and leftover frosting should be covered and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Please let me know if you try this tutorial. I’d love to see your version 🙂

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