Sunday, August 8, 2010

For Love and Other Reasons: Vanilla Cupcakes

It's been a while since I made cupcakes, which is sort of how this blog got started in the first place, but today, I baked.  Nothing halfway about it.

Last week it was our neighbor's birthday.  Her two adult children were home (from college in VT and from Washington), and I suspected that she'd be missing them when they left ... so there were two reasons to make her some cupcakes.  Then there's Mel's celebration of her 300th blog roundup.  We also had a new neighbor move in just a few doors down, and I've been meaning to make an introduction ... and finally, I was feeling celebratory myself: a good friend and colleague from work got married today, after waiting a long time to find the right person, and we were lucky enough to be there for the ceremony.  All that, and I had leftover buttermilk from the summer squash soup I made (which I'll post about tomorrow).

I rarely make non-vegan cupcakes (for reasons that are too complicated to go into here), but I found this recipe while looking for ways to use up the buttermilk, and thought that I might try it.  The key to both the frosting and the cupcakes is to beat the butter into oblivion.  If you think you've beat it enough, you should probably give it a few more minutes at high speed.

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes

Makes 36

3 c. cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 t. baking soda
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. coarse salt
1 c. plus 2 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 c. sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 c. buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2-3 T. milk
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

Add milk and vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
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  1. Oh it looks so good and make me wish I could just grab one right out of my pc!! I bet they tasted as yummy as they looked! I am sure everyone enjoyed them!!!

  2. SOLD! I'll take 50, lol. Just kidding but man oh man do those look yummy.

  3. I'm the newest follower of your great blog.

  4. Dang that cupcake looks absolutely delicious. I am drooling over here.


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