As promised, I wanted to share the recipe for the vanilla cupcakes we served at the bridal shower last weekend. This was my first attempt at trying to really “make” something out of frosting, other than a big dollp of frosting. They are supposed to be fish. You can tell, right? Sort of? I wish I would have grabbed blue gel frosting instead of the black, which I thought looked sort of harsh, but not horrible for a first attempt. And besides…they tasted great!
I also found this pic, which has a nice glimpse of the fish-shaped canteloupe fruit kabobs. I was so proud of myself for coming up with that idea…and they actually weren’t that difficult to cut into fish shapes once I found a sharp pairing knife.
But back to the cupcakes. All of the guests declared that these were some of the best cupcakes they’d ever tasted. I stuck with simple vanilla, but adapted the recipe from the one I used for snickerdoodle cupcakes. The cake comes out perfectly moist and absolutely as light and delicate as a feather, with just the right amount of sweetness. I’m convinced that the key is cake flour.
This basic recipe is delicious with vanilla buttercream, but would likely also be nice with something a bit fancier, as long as you keep the flavors delicate (this basil-inflused marscapone would be delightful).
Wishing everyone a happy weekend!
Featherweight Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 24 regular size cupcakes
1 cupsall-purpose flour
2 cups cake flour (not self- rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin cups with paper liners. In a small bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, cream together butter and 1 3/4 cups of sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time and continue beating until well incorporated. Add vanilla. Put mixer on low speed and begin incorporating flour mixture in three small batches, alternating each addition with milk until all are incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each cup to about 3/4 full. I use an ice-cream scoop since this usually gives about the right amount. Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven and cool on a baking rack to room temperature.
These cakes are so light and fluffy, I actually enjoy them best unfrosted, while still slightly warm, but if you want to go the traditional route, I recommend this Vanilla Buttercream.