This is a reposting of the Easter Vanilla Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting post and also the Valentine’s Vanilla and Almond Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting, which is the same recipe — a basic recipe that can be flavored any way you like using liquid extracts or things like lemon or orange juices and grated peels. I have a separate recipe for chocolate cupcakes because the best chocolate cake is made with oil and hot water.
In this post, I wanted to show the difference in the color of buttercream frosting when you use a yellow butter like Kerrygold verses using butter that is very white like Trader Joe’s. Real vanilla will have some effect on the color. There is fake vanilla that is clear like almond extract which professionals use, but I still use the real thing and don’t worry that it’s not quite as white.
“Excessive beating will toughen the cake, but undermixing can cause it to crumble. What to do: Most cake recipes will call for alternating wet and dry ingredients into the creamed fat. This somewhat tedious method helps prevent gluten from forming, which is what causes cake to become tough.”
Taste of Home
If you need flavor ideas, restlesschipotle.com may be the ultimate website for that.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with liners.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and using the whisk attachment beat until the mixture is creamy and very pale in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat for 1 minute. Add the extracts and mix. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix. Add another 1/3 of the flour and mix. Add the remaining milk and mix. Add the remaining flour and mix until the batter is smooth. Don’t overheat or it will cause the gluten in the flour to develop making the cake rubbery.
Spoon the batter into the liners. They will be 3/4’s full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the top springs back or if a toothpick is inserted it comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes, then removed from the pan to a cookie rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
* The butter needs to be room temperature. If it’s too cold, as it blends with the sugar the mixture will remain gritty instead of turning into a smooth and fluffy consistency, and the cake will turn out dense. Sallysbakingaddiction.com has tricks for softening butter.
Watkin’s makes a 100% natural food coloring from vegetables and spices.
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.
You can ice the cupcakes using a knife with frosting leftover, or put the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe it onto the cupcakes which will use up all the frosting.
National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia
Photo of Marine Memorial, Arlington, Virginia, that the museum building was designed from.
Photo from Flickr by Mike Desisto