Spiderweb Cupcakes

We carved pumpkins last week and for our treat, I made spiderweb cupcakes. I just used a box cake mix (gasp!) but, as  I usually do, I substituted butter for oil, milk for water, and added 1/2 c sour cream. I also tried a new whipped buttercream frosting recipe from my new favorite cookbook.
To make a spiderweb pattern, you pipe three or more concentric circles. Using a toothpick, draw a line from the center to the outer edge through the circles. Repeat three or four times to achieve desired effect.
Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling
recipe by ourbestbites.com
3 T Flour
1/2 C milk
1/2 C real butter
1/2 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract (I used almond)
Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. 
Let it cook, while stirring, until it looks like pudding (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir it). Even though it’s thick, you can still it through a mesh strainer (just whisk the mixture in the strainer to push the thick stuff through) and then let it cool completely to room temp. or chill it in the fridge. It needs to be cooled completely. If you don’t let it cool completely, it will melt the butter and you’ll have runny frosting.
It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat on the highest speed you can get to without it spraying all over the place for 7 minutes. Yes, 7 whole minutes, maybe even 8 or 9. 
Use it to fill cupcakes or other pastries, or as a frosting on top.
One batch makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

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