Today I thought I wouldn’t be baking anything. You see, lately I’ve been going through this mad craze where all I want to do is bake. Seriously though, I don’t want to do anything else. I wake up and the first thing I think is ‘what can I bake today?’. And I can’t stop! It’s fun for me but my family is not liking it. Well, of course they like it! They are just concerned about eating ALL of the delicious things I have been making lately. They don’t want to get fat!
So today I tried to think of other things I could do. I took the dog for a nice long walk, I cleaned my room, watched a documentary on volocanoes, watched a documentary on new technologies and developments to help reduce the carbon dioxide emissions, and then I did something I shouldn’t have done. I put on the food network. And guess what? Barefoot Contessa was on and Ina Garten was making those fricking delicious coconut cupcakes of hers. How dare she! When I am trying to cut back on my baking! I then realized I had to bake something. I had to or else I would not be happy. I thought about what to make, something my dad wouldn’t complain about (“no more chocolate! all you do is make chocolate stuff! how about some vanilla for a change!”) and so I thought of the perfect thing. Vanilla cupcakes! Because truth be told, I have never made a vanilla cupcake that didn’t come from a box :$. I guess I’ve sort of veered away from that path because everytime I attempt to make a white cake (one that’s not a sponge) it never tastes right to me. And I get disappointed and discouraged and usually don’t bake for a while.
Well today I met my challenge head on, and tried a vanilla cupcake recipe that I’d looked at many times before but never even thought of attempting. And the result? Astounding! I couldn’t believe it. They weren’t dense and heavy, nothing like a poundcake (which I very much dislike) and were instead fluffy and delicious like I think a vanilla cupcake should be. I piped some purple/pink frosting (as you can see in the picture) on them to make them cute. I was hoping I’d have some white nonpareils but I couldn’t find any. Here are the recipes:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I added 3…what?! I like vanilla! I also added about 1/2 tsp of coconut extract)
Zest of 1 large lemon (optional) (I didn’t use this)
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
For the Cupcakes: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Fluffy Frosting (makes 3.5 cups):
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 cup of butter (or margarine)
1 cup of fine white sugar
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
Whisk the flour into the milk in a small saucepan until smooth. Heat and stir until it boils and thickens, then cool thoroughly.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add thickened milk and beat until the mixture resembles whipped cream.
I was so proud that my first time making vanilla cupcakes didn’t turn out badly! Now I have more confidence in my cupcake division of baking 🙂
I obviously give this recipe 5 Pastry Mice out of 5!