Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla (crusting) buttercream

It took exactly 3 weeks 1 month to bring these beauties out into the light. Not that anything was really wrong. This is that adapted recipe which is ridiculously good, needed no fumblethroughs or corrections. The icing I paired it with created harmonious results, logistics worked out in first try . Big beaming rays of sunshine made for those luminous pictures. Again perfect. And my cake artistry skills, well, almost *cough*. So why so late? And here goes, the truth that stems only from experience. I never bypass a chance to photo-op the reason we're here, whether it debuts onto BFMK archives, or never makes it past my kitchen table. See, neglecting That Great Scene (if I'm good could be a week prior to actual editing/publishing and maybe not) is just plain wrong, a detrimental-that- stems- from-the-lazies and can set you back in the annals of good post coverage. Compares sort of to a life- giving- lemons concept...the lemonade may be substantial one day, all glorious-fresh, made on the whim, when thirst does call. Though future yield holds no same bet, while you may be "prepared", those once-bright yellows have now turned patchy- bitter, and are not as lemonade-intentioned as you may set out to be.

  I know, I digress. You see, almost everything and anything we eat, gets packed into an already overspilling photo library, much memory and frozen visuals (occasionally when first doesn't do, second, third or even fourth take over) that will only later shove me into creating a delicious tune for words to waltz in, chronicles to chaperone what your good eyes will behold. And it takes time to break forward,  nodding to that pesky mindfunk, and total inability to process language, often results of casual chinwags and homeschoolmomrants. Since, 'stop that' "not now", "do your math" do not make for  great prose, stuff that needs to be brought forward and sold. Even though recipesharing and gawksequences make for an honorable assurance, the accompanying tête-à-tête seals the deal, enhancing the belief that all's-gonna-be-alright. What happens in my ovens well over a month ago should be your here and now, hopefully after those few rehearsals, and many tastetests later. Then you'll thank me for the trial and wait, settling all doubts as to why you need vanilla cupcakes with a crusting buttercream as much as I did.

K, so what do I need to say about them? That these are the exemplar of any bakery riff you will ever in your life try. That they aren't just passable, but possess enough drama, an emboldened flavor that latches from good quality vanilla endowed in its superb body. The handful of citrus rind arranged in brightened the largely adapted recipe and was really the only alteration.

You won't fail to notice the moist crumb, and nice even builds, characteristic of All Great Cakes. These are those tantamount to perfection, splendid pillowy- dense forms providing an ample foundation for what's to come.

Which brings us to the frosting, because in the end isn't that what it's all about? A heavier gilding this one is, though of course it's not a burden too heavy to bear. Overall gushworthy flavor and lighter- than- air defining give vanilla cupcakes enough leverage for a best- yet cupcake review.

Which is why we went through the whole dozen in less than the amount of time it took to watch a movie and opening credits to Downton Abbey's second season.
Yes we are, motivated like that.
The use of shortening and the pound of sugar is icingessential, deeming nowilt petal precision for these "hydrangeas"And my fringy flowers may or may not be your theme of the day. So go on, do whatever compels your confection- creating orbit.

Vanilla cupcakes~
(Adapted from Natasha's kitchen)
  • 1 ¼ c cake flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c canola oil (can be subbed with vegetable/extra light olive oil)
  • ½ c buttermilk 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 count muffin pan with cupcake liners
  •  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt. Set aside.
  • On medium speed, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until light and frothy.
  • Beat in the sugar.
  • Add vanilla, oil and beat on medium speed until its pale, well combined.
  • Reduce mixer to med/low speed, and alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending in flour, scraping down sides of bowl, and beat till just combined. Do not overbeat. Batter should be thin.
  • Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, about ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 14-17  minutes at 350 degrees F. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Frost when cooled.
This is a recipe for a crusting buttercream, one that can hold the many shapes it's piped into. It's sweeter and usually dries to the touch, perfect for elaborate decorating and these hydrangea flowers. To do the same, take a look at Rosie's spot on tutorial.
Vanilla buttercream frosting~
  • ½ c unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 ¼c vegetable shortening
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bag (2 lbs) of confectioners sugar
  • 2-6 tbsp milk, or as much needed for desired consistency 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening, salt and vanilla extract until pale and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed.
  • On the lowest speed, start by adding  ½ of the confectioners’ sugar. (use a bowl shield if you have one) Pause, scrape down bowl and continue adding half cupfuls of sugar, until it's all been used.
  • Once sugar is incorporated, raise speed to medium and continue beating, while adding milk, tablespoon by tablespoon. Stop at each addition to test consistency. It should be smooth, a bit stiff and well combined.
  • Pipe, spread or dollop onto cooled cupcakes.
Any extra buttercream will keep in the refrigerator for unto 5 days, in the freezer, covered airtight, 2 months. I'm almost certain you'll find a way to use it all up.

*In case you missed* See how I created the frosting flowers right here.
If regular buttercream is more your thing, try this creamy vanilla.
Woe is me! My iphotolibrary experienced a recent crash, to which I'm now educated on the benefits of backup(!), backup(!), backup(!).

Last year, around this time~ palappam

Oh yes, we're serious about our editing~

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12


  1. those vanilla cupcakes are calling me!!! love the look of the icing... so good dear... i have patience to do the cupcakes, but forget about the icing!!! hehe...

  2. These look so professional, I cannot even imagine the time it must have taken! Thank you so much for an incredible post :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. They look so colourful and festive! Thank you so much for sharing, Tisa.

  4. very sweet post and looks fabulous :)
    Am here after a very long tym,hope u're doing great!!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!