Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birthday Cupcakes

This week the kids helped me bake cupcakes for their cousin's sixth birthday. I used a recipe from Perfect Cupcakes. It is a nice little cupcake book because all the recipes make just a small batch of six cupcakes. This time, however, we doubled it so we could deliver some to the birthday boy and enjoy some for ourselves too.

They were a very yummy cupcake and the frosting was not overly sweet. You can change it up by adding different color confetti or sprinkles. It would also be a delicious vanilla cupcake if you left out the sprinkles altogether. I treated myself to a new piping tip so I could pipe the frosting on like all the fancy cupcake shops.

Vanilla Rainbow Cupcakes (from Perfect Cupcakes)
3/4 C. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. butter, at room temp
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 C. milk
1/4 C. multi-colored sprinkles, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 6-cup standard muffin pan by greasing cups or inserting liners. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light. Gradually beat in half of the flour mixture. Beat in the milk and then the remaining flour mixture until blended. Fold in half of the sprinkles. Divide batter equally among the prepared cups. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly tapped, 20-25 min. Cool on wire rack for 10 min, then turn out and cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 1/2 C. confectioners' sugar
1/2 C. butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream

In a medium bowl, use a hand-held mixer on medium speed to beat together the confectioners' sugar and butter until blended. Beat in the vanilla; then, beat in enough of the cream to achieve a soft consistency suitable for spreading or piping. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the frosting and pipe onto the cupcakes. Scatter the remaining sprinkles over the frosting.

I've also been flipping through the Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes since my mom gave it to me for Christmas. It is a wonderful resource for basic cupcake and frosting recipes, unique flavors, and creative ideas for decorating cupcakes. It also gives hints if you need to take a shortcut with a box mix. I see more cupcakes in our future. They're fun to play with and, unlike baking a whole cake, you can end up with a smaller portion to enjoy.

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