Saturday, March 04, 2023

Cupcakes and Buttercream

Not doing too much baking these days. I save it for special occasions like a recent birthday celebration. Didn't get the best photos, but they were truly outstanding cupcakes...I think it was the buttercream! If I share like this I'm not as tempted to eat them all myself. Would like to look OK in a bathing suit this, not a would take forever to get that slim!

I decided to do cupcakes since they are easy serve and can be cut in half if the celebrants want a small dessert. The buttercream is a recipe that my daughter gave me. She has been baking amazing layer cakes as a hobby and giving the cakes to co-workers and this is the buttercream she uses. The cupcakes are from the book Perfect Cakes by America's Test Kitchen. On page 70 there is a cupcake recipe that produces a lovely yellow cupcake that is moist and fine textured. You can use it for cupcakes with any frosting, not just this buttercream. You use a stand mixer, start with the dry ingredients in the bowl, add the butter a piece at a time and the paddle combines it with the dry ingredient until it looks like sand, then you beat in the eggs and, finally the milk and vanilla extract. I added a bit of lemon oil, too, since I wanted lemon flavor. There was also lemon in the buttercream. Ignore the chocolate mini muffins in the photos...they were purchased and a lot were left over because, hello, buttercream!

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 12

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liner cups.

Using a stand mixer and paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together on low speed. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined and scraping beater and bowl as needed. Add milk and vanilla, increase speed to medium, and mix until light and fluffy, with no lumps remaining, about 3 minutes.

Portion batter evenly between the 12 lined cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Rotate pan about halfway through baking. Cool cupcakes in the tin 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cupcakes from tin and cool directly on the wire rack until fully cool, about 1 hour.

Frost with favorite frosting and decorate as desired.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
from Kate  - enough for a layer cake - divide in half for 12 cupcakes
(Note: 4 sticks of butter and a 32 oz bag of powdered sugar will yield enough frosting to crumb coat and frost a 3-layer 6" cake. Use 1 cup powdered sugar to every stick (8 tablespoons) of butter.)

8 cups powdered sugar
4 sticks salted butter at room temperature (1 pound)
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
lemon extract to taste (for vanilla frosting use vanilla extract)

Use the paddle attachment for your stand mixer and whip the butter well, scraping down the sides as needed, until it is uniform and fluffy and light colored.

After the sugar is all mixed in, add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and about 2 teaspoons flavoring, then whip that together. If consistency doesn't seem right, add additional whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping well after each addition. Use to ice cupcakes. Use pastry bag and tips to do decorative icing. Add color to buttercream if desired.

Gel or powder food coloring is best for coloring the frosting. A splurge is oil-based coloring brand Colour Mill - the best and some very cool colors...found on Amazon.

1 comment :

  1. I'm trying to do more non-special occasion baking nowadays, funnily enough. A one-bowl quick bread base, stewed fruit and a streusel topping with oats is what I'd like to be my weekly go-to, but since I still tend not to measure, there are sometimes cakes that don't... quite... work, if I get distracted. ☺ I really should attempt to do things with frosting and colors, especially as I have discovered the fun of gel colors - when the weather brightens up some, I'll have more energy for that hopefully. The lemon in this recipe tempts me, though!