Sweet and simple. Just like this cupcake.
So I mentioned in my last post that I've been given the opportunity to bake cupcakes for a wedding reception at the end of June. Which is [incredibly] fastly approaching.
But not to worry, as we see here I've been testing out cupcake recipes and also trying to create a cohesive design in my head for the display table at the reception. With the help of the lovely bride, cupcake liners have been selected and ordered and a nifty three pack of [very affordable and versatile] square Cupcake Trees will serve as our main display pieces, each featuring a different flavored cupcake. We're also planning to decorate the table and displays with the flowers that will be scattered throughout the reception.
Not gonna lie, I'm a little excited about how this is all unfolding. I've obviously never done anything close to this scale or significance, so this has been quite the learning experience but a complete blast! I've got to say, I have even more respect for you business owners out there, every decision is critically important [keeping in mind the financials while also doing what's best for your customer] and there's just so much to think about! Flat out. It's insane.
But anywho, I said we'd get right into this cupcake but I got sidetracked. As usual.
Like I mentioned, we'll be having three different cupcakes at the reception: Nutella Cloud Cupcakes, Hummingbird Cupcakes, and the unknown vanilla cupcake. I've made vanilla cupcakes before but none that absolutely knocked my socks off. I mean, they were delish but in the back of my mind I knew I could find the perfect one. So with a little research, I stumbled upon that recipe I just couldn't pass up.
Cookies & Cups described this recipe as her absolute favorite vanilla cupcake. And she openly admits that boxed mixes reign supreme in her house, so when her hubby gave two thumbs up to this recipe, she knew it was a keeper. Because let's be honest, those boxed cupcake mixes are dang good but replicating the light, fluffy texture in a homemade version can be pretty tricky. But Cookies & Cups did it and more. Lucky for me!
So this recipe is actually quite straight forward. A classic vanilla cupcake topped with a rich, smooth vanilla buttercream. But the kicker is that it's simply done well. I mean, really well. Let's say taking those boxed mixes and kickin' it up a notch [or three] plus the added benefit of everything homemade. We all know you can taste that extra lovin' when it comes straight from you very own kitchen, right?
The cupcake itself is buttery and truly fluffy [which is obvious in the pictures alone!] , made so by the use of cake flour. I still haven't determined why we don't use cake flour more often, from my experience every time I've used it the cakes/cupcakes come out wonderfully light in texture. But who doesn't love a dense chocolate cake every now and then...
Anywho. I brought the batch of Vanilla Cupcakes into work because I knew I could get some honest feedback from a large crowd of co-workers. And the consensus was.....
The frosting is bomb.com.
While everyone thought the cake was scrumptious, it was this frosting that did everyone in. The not-too-sweet cupcake is paired perfectly with this rich, creamy, and smooth buttercream frosting, that seemingly melts away in your mouth. It's the absolute quintessential complement to the buttery cake, making this a classic duo that you will want to keep in your repertoire. I mean, it's so good I'm using this recipe for a wedding. A wedding!
So if you don't mind, it'd be great if any of you tried this recipe. I know I'm asking you to totally sacrifice yourself and eat cupcakes, but that's what friends do for friends, right? Thanks in advance! .
- I found that when I was mixing in the butter, there were some large stubborn pieces that wouldn't quite mix in but I simply used my fingertips to rub in the butter.
- You can use whichever type of milk you'd like, but I went for the extra yumminess and used whole milk in this recipe.
Adapted from Cookies & Cups
1-3/4 c. cake flour
1-1/4 c. all purpose flour
1-3/4 c. sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, at room temperature and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 c. milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350F. Line standard muffins tins with liners; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cake flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, for 1 minutes. With mixer on low speed, drop in a few butter cubes at a time until all butter is mixed in and mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Slowly add in milk and vanilla extract, with mixer still on low speed. Turn mixer to medium speed and beat for about 2 minutes or until batter is smooth [make sure to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as the mixture tends to clump in these areas].
- Fill liners about 2/3 full and smooth tops slightly. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until centers are set and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For buttercream, cream butter and shortening together in a large bowl until smooth (about 3 minutes). Slowly add powdered sugar and once all is added, turn mixer to medium-high speed for about 1 minute. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until frosting is smooth [if the frosting is too thick, add more milk; conversely, if the frosting is too thin, add powdered sugar. Little bits at a time though!].
- Once cupcakes are cooled, frost as desired.
Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes