Butter Boy turned 4 this past weekend and in true foodie fashion, I used the occasion to delve into some baking research. Knowing there was no place but to go to Martha, I got out the February 2009 issue of MS Living. It was cupcake themed! There was much to consider. Butter Boy has some food allergies. This ruled out peanut butter frosting. There were going to be lots of girls attending- no monster truck decorations. Chocolate or yellow? He wanted yellow. The process narrowed itself down. I really wanted to make banana cupcakes with caramel butter cream. I had to remind myself it wasn’t my birthday. Finally the decision was made: a yellow cupcake filled with vanilla creme and topped with basic butter cream frosting and berries. It was a huge success! I have to say putting a single blackberry on a white iced cupcake is stunningly beautiful. Simple really is better. The kids dug in as if they had not eaten in weeks. Of course, being a foodie mom I also made ice cream. We had chocolate and vanilla. I highly recommend the Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream maker. All and all a delicious time was had by all.. Happy birthday to my “big kid’!
Yellow Butter Cupcakes © Martha Stewart Living 2009
* 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 9 ounces (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 5 large eggs plus 3 large yolks, room temperature
* 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
2. Reduce speed to low. Mix remaining wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each full.
3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
Basic Buttercream © Martha Stewart Living 2009
Makes about 4 cups
* 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)