Ladybug Garden Cupcakes

Nothing is more fun than making the cake for a single-digit birthday party.  You have the excuse (the encouragement, really) to go crazy with frosting, food coloring, candy, marshmallows, and Oreo products.  It doesn’t happen too often for me, but when it does I take full advantage of it.

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Marshmallow Fluff

Marshmallow Fluff…the classic New England sweet staple that seems (comfortingly) resistant to the passage of time.  The logo, packaging, and ingredients have barely changed over the years, and its spreadable marshmallow-y goodness still tastes terrific on bread with peanut butter (aka the Fluffernutter) and as the main ingredient in many classic recipes for fudge, pies, cakes, and that other New England classic…whoopie pies.   

I am proud to have just moved to Somerville, MA – the birthplace of Marshmallow Fluff.  It was here in 1917 that Archibald Query began making it in his kitchen and selling it door to door, until rationing during WWI forced him to stop.  When the war ended, he sold his formula to candy makers H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower of Lynn, MA for five hundred dollars, and they took it from there.  Fluff is as simple as it gets with just 4 ingredients (corn syrup, sugar syrup, dried egg whites, and vanillin) and no artificial preservatives, stabilizers or emulsifiers.  It is gluten-free.  It is kosher.  It is a great substitute for whipped cream in your hot chocolate when you realize you have no whipped cream.

Today you can get your Fluff in a tub or in a jar, and the more adventurous palate can also try it in strawberry or raspberry flavors.  Somerville has a lot of Fluff pride, and hosts the annual Fluff Fest (aka What the Fluff?) each September to pay tribute.  You can be sure I will attend this year.

I used Marshmallow Fluff this weekend as a last-minute addition to the buttercream frosting I was making for my Memorial Day cake.  I didn’t have enough powdered sugar, and I knew what was in the bowl wouldn’t be enough.  Fluff to the rescue. 

The Fluff and the red, white, and blue jimmies did a great job filling in the crack I made in the cake when I picked it up before it was ready because I needed the cooling rack for pizza.  Whoops!