Hot Tramp, I Love You So

Happy Birthday, Bowie!!

David Bowie Cupcake

Ok, so I don’t need to get all long winded on how David Bowie is an icon that forever changed the landscape of music as we know it or how he has had more incarnations than a Hindu God. If you aren’t aware of the major impact that Bowie has had on popular culture by now then you’re probably…my dad or someone like him.

I don’t think it’s possible to embody all that is David Bowie in one little cupcake so I decided to just go the edgy, glam rock route – as edgy as a cupcake can be anyway. This Lemon Drop cupcake with lemon curd filling is the perfect mixture of sweet and sour and pairs well with the hard candy elements I wanted to incorporate. The frosting is lemon cream cheese with a splash of vodka – bonus!!

The Aladdin Sane lightning bolts were a labor of love. I first tried to make them out of royal icing and I quickly discovered I suck at that. I scrapped that project but did end up with some passable hearts that might work for something, we’ll see. I also tried making an impression hard candy mold in powdered sugar which was a total fail. And then I came up with these little guys – made from fruit roll ups!

It was a bit tedious cutting out the shapes but ultimately I think it produced the look I was going for.

Anyway, here’s a birthday cheers to you David Bowie…Aladdin Sane…Ziggy Stardust…The Thin White Duke…The Man Who Fell to Earth…The Goblin King…Iman’s husband – you get the picture.

The lemon curd:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (usually requires 1-2 lemons)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons butter

Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat, while stirring (almost) constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens. It is done when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate until cool.

Lemon curd filling

The cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In large bowl, add eggs and beat on medium speed for 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil and beat to incorporate. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined.
Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes.
Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

The frosting:
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons vodka (I use Belvedere but that’s because I’m a baller)

Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add in vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add in remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar. Slowly add in vodka until desired frosting consistency is reached.

The garnish:
Crushed blue raspberry jolly ranchers
Crushed cherry jolly ranchers
Blue & red Fruit Roll Ups

Aladdin Sane lightning bolt

I made the little lightning bolts (you could make any shape you want) like this:

Trace the outline of the shape on cardboard or card stock and cut it out.

Aladdin Sane lightning bolt 2

Use a double layer of red fruit roll up and a double layer of blue – leave the plastic sheet the roll ups come on in between the layers of red and blue.

Using a toothpick, trace the outline of the cardboard shape on the fruit roll up and cut it out.


I peeled apart the layers and adjusted them to resemble the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt.

Pop the shapes in the freezer until you are ready to garnish. These shapes will freeze hard but then return to a gummy state once they hit room temperature. This does make them a bit tricky to work with but you’ll get it!

Place the jolly ranchers in double sandwich baggies and whack the shit of them with a hammer. I actually really enjoyed this part – it was a great stress reliever.

Core the cupcakes and fill with lemon curd. You can use a cupcake corer, an injector tip and pastry bag or use a paring knife and cut a small cone out of the center. I filled a sandwich bag with the lemon curd and snipped the corner – much cleaner way of filling the cakes!
Swirl on the frosting using a large round tip. I used my new Fat Daddio’s bag and tip that I got from Craft for Christmas – Love!!

Fat Daddio's Grab a handful of the crushed candy and roll the bottom edge of the icing in your hand, gently pressing candy onto frosting.
Add your fruit roll up garnish.
Stand back and admire your rock star cupcakes.

And for a more conservative option, you could go with something like this: Lemon Drop Cupcake

I just added a sprinkling of crushed lemon drops to the top.  Cute, right?

Id like to close with Bowie’s own words:
“With your silicone hump and your ten inch stump
Dressed like a priest you was
Tod brownings freak you was”

Yeah, I don’t get it either.  What a weirdo.

David Bowie Cupcake 2

One Response to Hot Tramp, I Love You So

  • Linda G says:

    You described Bowie so well, he has reinvented himself so many times during my long life of loving him. Although I was amazed by each new character, I must admit my favorite Bowie is striped of all glam and glitz, and is just the bare talent of the artist! Such an amazing voice and I too agree, such an amazing contribution to the world of music!

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