My friend Kristin is having her first baby this spring and our good friend Carrie had a really lovely shower for her. Kristin is a reader and really wanted me to make her cupcakes after the Snickerdoodle cupcake post so I happily obliged. These might look fancy but they really were not hard to do. (Check out the gorgeous cookies here for inspiration, i am baker puts me to shame) I did it over the course of a few days. Icing the cookie was definitely the hardest part and only because I am impatient. If I really took my time I probably could have had very clean lines and made them really super cute. But patient I am not.
I have been having an internal debate for some time about the cake part of cupcakes. My mom owned a catering business for years and had always said that she cannot bake a better cake than Betty Crocker can. For a long time I agreed with this statement. Isn’t the cake part really just a frosting delivery system? But now, I see that I can bake a cake that is better than Betty’s. I found this in the Martha Stewart Cupcake book and it is really good, not to mention easy. I really like easy.
I made the cookie dough one afternoon while the kids were napping. I let the dough chill and baked off the cookies that evening. I rolled them out fairly thick and just gently laid the dough on top of a regular size lollipop stick and pressed gently. The next night, I decorated the cookies. I did cheat and used an instant royal icing mix that I got at a baking supply store, but you could easily make your own icing. I kept them in an airtight container. The following day I made the cupcakes again during naptime and iced them later that day. I kept them in the fridge until I was ready to take them to the shower the next day. I put the cookie pop in the cupcake right before they were to be served. I was a little worried about stability, but it was not a concern. They did not even budge.
Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes
*adapted from Martha*
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 muffin tins with liners. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I let it cream together for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time until well incorporated. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat.
Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes. Rotate the pans once during cooking. They are done when a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then let the cupcakes cool out on a rack until completely cool.
Make the frosting.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
2 sticks room temperature butter
6-7 cups confectioners sugar
6-8 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
food coloring (optional)
Cream together the butter and 6 cups of the sugar. Add 6 Tablespoons of heavy cream and beat until very light and fluffy. Add more sugar or cream to get the consistency that you want. I knew that I wanted to a looser frosting since I was going to pipe it so I used closer to 8-10 Tablespoons of cream. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the frosting. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract. Add food coloring to get your desired color. I used a gel color for this and a little bit goes a very long way, so start slowly.
*I used Cake Craft gel color in turquoise, golden yellow, and flesh tone for the cookie icing*
*I used Cake Craft gel color in turquoise for the cupcake frosting and a 6 point round tip*