June 18, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

June is a busy month for us with birthdays. Itty Bitty's birthday  (click the link for a look at his Disney Cars themed party) kicks off the start of the month, mine follows two weeks later, my mama's and bestest friend the following week, and at the end of the month is my grandmother's birthday. I'm not even about to start the list of acquaintances I have whose birthday's are mixed into that jumble.

The wallet is lighter the month of June but our stomachs are heavier with all of the yummies we get to eat at the celebrations.

Instead of cupcakes this year for Itty Bitty's birthday I decided to make him a cake since I was sold on buying an edible cake image that had been customized just for him. However, I did buy Disney Cars cupcake liners just in case I had to go to my Plan B if the idea failed.

He's been asking for cupcakes ever since. Why not make cupcakes in spirit of all the June birthdays?

I decided on Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting from my cookbook, Good Things For Kids: 63 Fun and Easy Recipes the Whole Family Will Love.

It obviously wasn't my day to put on a baker's hat. The amount of batter the recipe called for didn't fill up all of the cups 3/4 full so I didn't get that domed top. Sigh. When making the icing, cringe, I didn't have enough egg whites, whisking the sugar and egg whites over simmering water was new to me, and then having to form stiff peaks... OH NO! Itty Bitty requested blue frosting and I ended up with dye all over my hands and had a get together with a friend not even an hour later. Double sigh.

After letting the cupcakes cool I frosted them. Itty Bitty had actually decided to park himself at the table and waited patiently for me to finish frosting them all. I place the cupcake in front of him and after one bite he told me, "No thank you mama. I get down."

He's not much for sweets unless it's chocolate so I figured this was the case.

I took one bite of it and realized why he didn't want it. The cupcake did not turn out light and fluffy. It even had crater sized holes in them!?! The icing was delicious though. Sigh. No idea how I went wrong.

Needless to say, I, myself will not be making this recipe again. I was really looking forward to being able to mark off number 3 from my "Stir The Pot" page. Sigh.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing
Good Things for Kids: 63 Fun and Easy Recipes the Whole Family Will Love
Makes 2 Dozen Cupcakes and 5 1/2 Cups Icing

Stars of the Show for the Cupcakes:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
And Action:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper lines. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl, beat in vanilla.

To bowl with butter mixture, add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.

Divide batter evenly among liners filling about 3/4 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched about 20 minutes. Rotate pans once if needed. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before decorating as desired. Cupcakes can be baked 1 week ahead and frozen. Place on a baking sheet and freeze, then store in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer. Decorate the cupcakes no more than a day before serving.

Star of the Show for the Icing:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract - I used vanilla bean paste. You can see the flecks of vanilla bean in the frosting. Yummy!
  • food coloring, if desired
And Action:

In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites until warm and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the head. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture on medium speed until completely cooled and stiff peaks have formed, about 10 minutes.

Add butter one piece at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Add vanilla. Beat on low speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in food coloring. If not using immediately, refrigerate buttercream for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature, beat until smooth before using.

Photo from: Good Things for Kids: 63 Fun and Easy Recipes the Whole Family Will Love
Although good on paper and photographs these just didn't turn out for me. Bummer. There is a really cute decorating tip in the cookbook. Cupcake Clowns. For the clown's hat, score a circle in the center of cupcake. Cut a cone with knife at an angle, rotating cupcake as you go. Using a wide round piping tip pipe buttercream into the cavity and on top for the head. Use mini gumdrops for the collar and a cinnamon candy for the nose; insert chocolate sprinkles for the eyes. The hat has a buttercream icing pom-pom covered in multicolored sprinkles. Cuteness!!!


Pegasuslegend said...

You are so creative!!!!

Pretend Chef said...

Claudia - I wish I was creative. I copy what I see. I am not inventive at all.

The Country Cook said...

At least he said no thank you..lol. And at least the icing turned out good..hee hee. Can't win them all, right? You never know unless you try. You're a good Momma for at least trying!

Pretend Chef said...

Brandie - The salt is already rubbed into that wound. Haha! I did try. I'm sure it wasn't the recipe. I was just having a bad day.

Peggy said...

Happy Birthday to everyone! Sorry that these didn't turn out the way you wanted - but at least now you can try other cupcake recipes =)

Pretend Chef said...

Peggy - Thank you! I will be on the hunt for new cupcake recipes.

Brenda said...

"No thank you Mama, I get down." LOL LOL! Out of the mouths of babes....

Pretend Chef said...

Brenda - A kick in the gut and a laugh all at the same time.

Lisa said...

Mmm, nothing like cupcakes to brighten the day.

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