Lucky for all of you…I think I’ve run out of pun titles for this week.
Yesterday was exhausting… highlighted by an early wakeup, client meetings in multiple suburbs, powerpoint presentation edits and an arrival back at home well after 7pm. Sounds like a great time to bake cupcakes, right?
I’m guessing that some of you think I’m totally nuts and that some (a few?) of you can actually relate to the soothing sound of your mixer whirring away, the satisfaction of watching butter, sugar and eggs transform from mere pantry staples into a fluffy, mellow yellow perfection…and finally, the smell of the cakes just as you pull them from the oven. Forget yoga; deep breathing is automatic when I smell cake.
The cake recipe I used was the same vanilla cake batter used in my earlier post on peach upside-down cakes. As JiT had proclaimed before, this batter makes an exceptionally moist cupcake — the best vanilla one I’ve tried so far. My only cautions are that you need to really sift the dry ingredients well….I had a couple of the cupcakes bubble quite a bit in the oven, which I suspect is the result of uneven baking powder distribution. Also, the cakes are so moist, they’ve made the bottoms of their papers a bit sticky — you may want to try foil cupcake liners instead. Otherwise, I think this is my favorite vanilla cupcake. JT (who took the picture this morning but did not get a cupcake, as they’re going to my knitting group tonight) has requested another batch this weekend….and that I try to make a basil and cinnamon-infused frosting this time. We shall see how that goes.
Speaking of frosting, this time I tried chocolate. I don’t normally care for chocolate frosting, but decided to try it anyway…..its actually quite good. I didn’t have cream in the house to make my normal buttercream, so I tried a new version that called for milk instead. Also, just for fun, I used all butter instead of 1/2 shortening. I like this one, but its not quite as fluffy as my standby version. I’ll let you be the judges…
Moist Vanilla Cupcakes Makes 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Using an ice cream scoop, drop into lined cupcake molds.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted, comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool.
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting Frosts 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, softened
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
In a large bowl, cream margarine and shortening until light and fluffy. Add salt, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar and milk. Whip until well blended and creamy. Frost cupcakes and enjoy.