I have been thinking about these cupcakes for months. The idea for Pixie Stix cupcakes has been swimming around in my head since last Halloween. I've just been unable to shake it from my mind. Finally, after having bought about three bags of Pixie Stix around October, I decided to bring it to life. Any vanilla cake base will do (I adapted one from my Baked cookbook) baked in mini-cupcake pans. Any vanilla frosting will also do (I used a cream cheese frosting). I tested out many different ideas, all to no avail. I substituted Pixie Stix for the sugar in two different buttercream methods (a typical sugar, butter, cream and a stovetop frosting made with flour). They did not come out well. The problem is that the Pixie Stix are extremely tart and when each flavor stands on its own in a frosting it loses all of its distinctive flavor. It just did not taste like I had hoped! Two things that I have thought about but did not try yet: Pixie Stix meringue frosting and substituting Pixie Stix for the sugar in the cupcake recipe. I highly doubt either would be successful based on my other experiences. I finally settled on a plain vanilla cream cheese frosting dusted in Pixie Stix and a Pixie Stix simple syrup to flavor and add moisture to the cakes. Win! Totally yummy and not overpowering at all.
For the simple syrup: mix two parts Pixie Stix sugar with one part water in a pan and bring to a boil. Brush over cupcakes. Simple. Some things to remember: 1 pixie stick=1/2 tsp, 6 pixie stix=1 tbl. You can see how this could get tedious...1 bag=approximately 28 of each flavor...so about 1/4 cup of each flavor per bag. This is plenty for the simple syrup alone.
P.S. You might want to tint the frosting and/or cupcakes, especially if these are for kids!!