Friday, May 21, 2010

A Recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes

Here is my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe.  It's a modified version of the Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe.  I was surprised that the original recipe didn't call for any salt since every baker knows that salt helps to cut the sweetness.  I made a couple small changes and the result was fabulous!  I hope you enjoy it too! :)

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
1.  Set the oven to 350°.  Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.
2.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3.  Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
4.  In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.
5.  Add the vanilla to the milk.
6.  Add half the flour mixture and half the milk mixture to the butter mixture.  Mix by hand just enough to combine.
7.  Add the remaining flour and milk to the batter.  Mix by hand until everything is incorporated.
8.  Fill liners about 2/3 high.  Bake about 17 minutes, until a toothpick prick comes out clean.
9.  Cool completely before icing and enjoy!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Childhood Favorite

One of my favorite childhood memories comes from when I was about 7 or 8 years old.  My mom dropped my younger sister and I off at our school's fun fair for a couple hours (how times have changed since then) and the first game we stopped at was a cake walk.  Basically, it was like musical chairs, but standing up on a big game board.  When the music stopped, if you were standing on the spot the caller picked, then you would win one of these homemade cakes.  Well, as luck would have it, I won!  A 13x9  yellow cake iced with chocolatey goodness, complete with rainbow non-pariel sprinkles.  No doubt it came from a box and the icing from a store bought tub, but to my 8 year old self I had hit the jackpot!  I remember proudly carrying the cake around from game to game and savoring every morsel when we finally got to dig in to it....

Anyhow, I digress.  The reason I took a walk down memory lane was to introduce one of my favorite cupcake/frosting combinations, my childhood favorite reincarnated and a classic, for sure, the vanilla cupcake topped with chocolate icing and non-pariel sprinkles...

It was one of my girlfriend's birthday last week so I whipped up some of these for her birthday brunch.  (See my previous post for the recipes.)

Everything looks so much prettier with ribbon. :-)

I recently read a neat tip on about how to get a vanilla cupcake to have a nice dome.  (Btw, if you haven't checked out this blog you must, it is filled with great tutorials and tips!)  For me, my chocolate cupcakes always rise beautifully but my vanilla cupcakes always seem to spill over and have the dreaded flat "muffin top".  Anyhow, the suggestion was instead of mixing the room temperature butter with sugar in the beginning, mix the sugar with eggs first and then add melted butter to the milk.  I tried this tip to make these cupcakes and they did indeed give the cupcakes a beautiful dome.  However, I found that it changed the consistency of the cupcake a bit (the texture was bit spongy?). 

Anyone have any foolproof tips on getting a beautiful cupcake dome?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cupcake Medley

Recently our church held an event to raise money for summer missions.  I decided to donate some homemade goodness for the event.  I came up with "Cupcake Medley" -- a variety pack of four different cupcakes (all of my favorites).

Here are the cupcakes all dolled up and ready to go!  The medley included....

devil's food cupcake topped with creamy chocolate icing and chocolate garnish

vanilla cupcake topped with strawberry frosting

coconut cupcake topped with cream cheese icing and coconut shavings (note: I made the Neely's coconut cupcake and topped with Paula Deen's cream cheese icing, which is my go-to favorite icing!  Tastes delicious with everything!)

and last, but not least, vanilla cupcake topped with cream cheese icing and sprinkles.

Boxed up and ready to go!  I've linked all the recipes I used, except for the vanilla cupcake, which I adapted from the Magnolia Bakery's vanilla birthday cake recipe.  I'll post my version of the recipe some other time!