The “Grizzlies”


{Blue Velvet cupcakes with Cream Cheese icing and Crushed Pecans} 

Well, the Memphis Grizzlies lost in the Western Conference Finals, but these cupcakes were brought out on the day of their final, make-or-break game. And really, it’s a celebration of the fact that they got this far, a record in their franchise history.

The “grit and grind” motto of the team is reflected in the crushed pecan topping (grit) and the silver sprinkles (grind).

This is based on a recipe by Heather from Sprinkle Bakes, who’s from Knoxville, TN. The trick is in getting the cupcake to be blue, which is harder than it looks. Otherwise, the recipe is pure red velvet (the red is just from food coloring anyway).

My red velvet recipe comes from a book my friend Leigh gave me, called Little Cakes, written by the folks at the Whimsical Bakehouse in New York.  The cream cheese icing recipe is an extremely well rated one from

I have adjusted the recipe and the food coloring to get that true blue, which is so difficult to mix. You’ll see that I’m using egg whites instead of whole eggs, because the yellow in the yolk tints any blue batter into a greenish grey.

I bought the cake toppers (they’re plastic rings) from, which sells other sports teams’ toppers too.

Scroll to the bottom for the sound bites on this cupcake!

Yields 18-22 cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:

  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 oz Wilton’s royal blue icing gel color
  • 1 oz Wilton’s violet icing gel color
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vinegar

For the icing:

  • 2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cupcake Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with liners and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric stand mixer until combined.

2. Add and beat on medium speed the 4 large egg whites. Slowly add in the royal blue icing gel color, a toothpick amount at a time. The color will be a sky blue.


3. In a different bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Pour buttermilk into a measuring cup. Pour vanilla extract and vinegar into the same cup.

5. Add the dry ingredients bowl and the measuring cup ingredients into the sky blue mixture, alternating between dry and liquid. The batter will probably turn a grey color.

6. Use new toothpicks to slowly add the royal blue and violet icing gel colors until you get the hue you’re looking for. Be careful not to add too much violet.


7. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter and bake for about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.


Icing Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.

2. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.

3. Ice cupcakes, and add toppings as desired.



3 thoughts on “The “Grizzlies”

  1. These were SOOOO freaking amazing! Brad brought me one and I ate it right before Monday night’s Grizzlies game to get in the spirit. Even though we lost, I don’t want to think about how much the score decificit would have been had I not eaten that cupcake in solidarity with the team. I’m sure I helped with my sugared-up energy from the (almost) top row of FedEx Forum. Burned off the calories by twirling my Growl Towel.

  2. Pingback: The “Seahawks” | Sound Bites

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