Monday, May 28, 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes, part I

The end of May means I'm coming to the end of my last Wilton cake decorating class.  This one was Level 4, Advanced Gum Paste Flowers.  As usual, at the end we make our grand finale cake.  This time though, I was more in the mood for cupcakes.  Gerbera daisy cupcakes.  I found these cute cupcake liners at the dollar store that look like gingham picnic fabric, and planned out a light, flowery, fun, summer design.  Then I had to decide on the cupcake.

For the other courses, I've made chocolate cakes, and a spice cake.  This time, I wanted a lighter fare, more summer-like.  I decided on vanilla cupcakes.  Then the real work began: where to find the recipe.  I got it down to two: one new one from Glorious Treats, a new source for me, and a classic recipe from the Annie's Eats 2012 calendar.  Then I got stuck... which to try?  How to choose?

I gave in, and made both, ha ha!  Today I'm showing you the more risky one. This one, based on ingredients, I wasn't sure what to make of.  It came out as really runny batter, had a very short baking time, and had me a little nervous.  But, it all came out wonderfully, all light and fluffy, and left my house smelling all yummy and vanilla for the afternoon.  What more could a girl ask for?

Glorious Treats' Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes: 15 - 16 (I got 12)

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk(or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.  Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil, beat.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk.  Beat until just combined.  Scrape down the side of the bowl.  
The batter will be thin.   
Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners.  Fill liners about 2/3 full. 
Bake cupcakes in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. 
Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Source: Glorious Treats.

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