Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Classic Butter Cupcakes with whipped vanilla frosting

I love cupcakes. I love making them, eating them, even just looking at them. They're delightful and delicious. So when my brother asked me to make his bosses some baked goods in return for giving me free perfume, I knew that I had to make cupcakes. I scouted for hours for the perfect recipe. At first I thought I'd make devil's food cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream. However, as I started searching through recipes, that idea slowly disintegrated. Chocolate cupcakes just didn't seem as appealing for some reason. I think that was mostly because of my decorations. I envisioned the cupcakes topped with my fondant decorations and decided that the dark brown wouldn't compliment my pastel flowers or royal blue "University of Michigan" buttons.

My first instinct was to go onto Tastespotting; my newest obsession. But as I scrolled through the endless submissions, I couldn't seem to find a cupcake that caught my eye. Then I thought of Rosie from Sweetapolita. She's a baking wizard. I absolutely adore all her recipes and pictures. Plus, her two daughters are absolutely adorable. Rosie's obsession, I think, is vanilla cake. She has over 10 different recipes for vanilla cake, each with their own unique taste and techniques. In the end I decided to combine her classic butter cake with her whipped vanilla bean frosting. I also added my own caramel swiss meringue buttercream filling, but I won't be posting a recipe for that since I just combined some left over caramel with some left over SMB. 

Shall we move onto the recipe?

I think we shall. 

Classic Butter Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Frosting 
adapted from Sweetapolita
makes 28 cupcakes 

Classic Butter Cake
4 large eggs (separated), at room temperature
3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (I used half cake flour and half AP flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside

While eggs are still cold, separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over-mix the batter or it will deflate.

Fill each prepared muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are just firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour. 

Whipped vanilla frosting
makes enough to frost 28 cupcakes

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed, until very pale and creamy Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

*I used an Ateco #808 tip to pipe the frosting

You can top each cupcakes with some sprinkles, or jimmies, if you want for an added flare. I think they added a nice touch to an otherwise bland looking cupcake. These cupcake are perfectly moist and delicious. The frosting is extremely light and fluffing due to the long periods of creaming and whipping. 

I hope you like these cupcakes if you do try to make them and as always....

Happy Baking!


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