Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vanilla Can be Awesome, Too!

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes

with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

From Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Well I wanted to bake something on my Saturday off this past weekend and a friend had recently requested vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting after finding the Guinness Chocolate confections a bit too much for her more delicate palate. So, I began paging through my small supply of cookbooks last Thursday evening and these scrumptiously simple cupcakes caught my eye in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I decided to try them out and I’m pretty sure I’ll be coming back to them again in the future fairly often because they turned out beautifully on the first try! I’m sorry this is a post with almost no photos. I got so absorbed in making them that I forgot to take pictures!

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt (unless you use salted butter)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) butter*

2 ¼ cups sugar

5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature

2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place liners in cupcake trays. While the original recipe states that it makes 36 cupcakes, I got 40 out of it.

2.) Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt (if you using it).

3.) Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar together. The mixture should look fluffy and light.

4.) Add the whole eggs in individually, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

5.) Add the yolks and mix in completely.

6.) Add in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk (so the order is flour mix then 1 cup buttermilk then flour mix then 1 cup buttermilk then flour mix). Make sure to beat thoroughly after each addition.

7.) Add in the vanilla and mix.

8.) Divide the batter between the cups. I like to use a ¼ cup to measure out the batter into the cups.

9.) Bake, rotating the pans about halfway through. The finished cupcakes spring back when touched and a cake tester (or toothpick) should come out clean.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, approximately

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.) Beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy and pale in color.

2.) Add the sugar, ½ cup at a time, and beat well after each addition. After every two additions turn the speed up to high and beat for about 10 seconds to help aerate the frosting. I added a little bit extra confectioners’ sugar to firm the frosting up just a pinch; I find this necessary with most recipes during the summer. When complete the frosting will be very fluffy but still firm.

3.) Add the vanilla and mix until the frosting is smooth again. Now decorate away! I used fun gel paste food coloring to dye the frosting and then added sprinkles but it looks lovely in its natural color as well! The frosting generally goes on the cupcakes very smoothly.

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