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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Double vanilla cupcakes

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I find vanilla boring.  It might be the one place that B and I disagree when it comes to food.  If given the choice for a "regular" cupcake, he'd choose a vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing.  Me?  I prefer chocolate cupcakes and icing.  But if we have to have a difference in opinion when it comes to food, I guess this is a good one to have.  And it's a good thing that he loves my Samoa cupcakes, because I'd really get bored if I was always making vanilla vanilla cupcakes...

But there's a time and a place for everything, and this is the time for some vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing.

I know, I know...I've made a variation of this before (like some of those bridal shower cupcakes I made).  But B's mom is in town for her birthday and we're going to celebrate tonight.  At first I asked B if I could bake anything and he said it wasn't necessary.   But that was completely unacceptable, since the first time I met his mom, he made me show her pictures of my cupcakes on my phone.  So the second time I mentioned her birthday cupcakes, I rephrased the question: "I'm going to make cupcakes for your Mom's birthday.  What kind of cupcakes does she like?" The response was vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing, so that's what I was going to bake!

(Before they were decorated with the nonpareils)

At first I decided I'd use some rainbow nonpareils just to dress up the otherwise monochromatic white-icing-on-pale-yellow-cupcake, but then I decided maybe I'd try to make them a little classier.  I didn't want to use the rainbow sprinkles since I've recently been informed that not everyone loves sprinkles (I still find this a bit hard to believe, but guess I should go with it until I can prove it otherwise).  I ended up deciding on a single royal icing flower with some white nonpariels -- I thought they needed some sprinkles, but didn't want to go too overboard! -- but then decided they were too "blah."  I added some pale pink and yellow nonpareils just for a little oomph.

(All pacakged up and ready for delivery)

Cupcakes (from none other than Smitten Kitchen):

I halved the recipe and ended up with about 22 cupcakes (I overfilled a few - I could've probably gotten a full 2 dozen out of it)


4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-cavity cupcake pans with paper liners.  

Sift together the dry ingredients EXCEPT for sugar in a medium bowl. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. 
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. 
At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). 
Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Bake until golden on top and cooked throughout (the cupcakes took about 17 minutes, give or take a few).

Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
From SavorySweetLife


1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (but not melted!)
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED (I used 3 cups)
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream (I used heavy cream, since thats what I had....and only ended up using 2 Tbsp)
Food coloring, optional


Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. 
Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn mixer to the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. 
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of cream and beat for 3 minutes. 

If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.

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