Thursday, December 17, 2009

Once upon a time there was... Vanilla/Vanilla Cupcakes

I, (the pig), consider myself to be quite the cupcake expert.  I make all kinds of fancy cupcakes, but the mark of a true cupcake master is to be able to make a perfect basic cupcake.  And I believe that I have created perfection.  Well, with some help from Martha Stewart and Billy Reese.  We made these cute cupcakes for a friends baby shower.  When we are working during the day and need to make cupcakes, we like to make the cakes a day ahead of time, and store them in our airtight cupcake carrier.  Then we make the icing and do the decorating the day of the event.  Also keep in mind that if you are making royal icing decorations, they will need 24 hours to fully dry.

cake ingredients
1 3/4 c cake flour
1 1/4 c regular flour
2 c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted european butter, cut into chunks, chilled
4 eggs
1 c whole milk
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted european butter, room temperature
6-8 c sifted confectioners sugar
1/2 c whole milk
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice

for the royal icing flowers:
2 eggs
2-3 c sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
gel food coloring
wilton tip 2D
sprinkle for the center

cake instructions
1. prepare for cupcaking.  preheat the oven to 325.  line your muffin pans.  hide your cows.

2. prepare batter.  in an electric mixer, blend the dry ingredients together.

3. add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

4. in a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Add the wet to the dry in 3 batches, scraping the bowl before each addition.

Cornelius' note: If your cupcake batter does not appear pink, do not worry, you have done nothing wrong.  We dyed these.

5. Fill the liners about 2/3 full with batter.
Cornelius' tip: We like to use an ice cream scooper and a tablespoon, scooping up the batter with the scoop, then emptying it into the cups with the spoon.

6. bake for 17-20 minutes.

7. cool completely on a wire rack.

frosting instructions

1. cream butter until smooth.

2. add sugar, 1 c at a time, occasionally alternating with the wet ingredients.

3.  Add more sugar (1/2 c at a time) to make the icing sweeter or thicker, add milk (1 Tbsp at a time) to make it thinner, add lemon juice (1/2 tsp at a time) to reduce sweetness.

4.  Add food color if desired.  Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

flowers instructions

1. prepare royal icing.  beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add sugar, 1 c at a time, until incorporated.  Add lemon juice.  Adjust consistency by adding water or more sugar.  You want a pretty stiff icing (if it is too thin the flower will not hold its shape.)

2.  We could try to explain how to do this, but Wilton already does a good job here.

3. Add sprinkle to the middle and let dry for 24 hours.

We think these cupcakes came out very cute!  Of course the decorating possibilities for vanilla cupcakes are endless, so be creative, and if you have any questions, just ask any pig (we are all cupcake experts).

pig, out.

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