It’s starting to feel like a lot like Spring! There are these gorgeous pink and white cherry blossoms all over the place, and daffodils popping up out of the grass. The change in weather seemed worthy of a cupcake celebration.
These cupcakes are vanilla, topped with vanilla buttercream. I wanted to focus on the piping on this batch of cupcakes, so I went back to basics with the flavors. No regrets, they’re delicious. Sometimes the simple things can be the best. These have moist and light cake, with fluffy, and not too sweet frosting on top. They filled my house up with the smell of vanilla even before they went into the oven.
The piping is actually from a tutorial I stumbled across on Youtube, for hydrangea cupcakes. You can watch it here , and I recommend watching her other videos! She’s a great teacher when it comes to piping techniques, and has lots of fun ideas and recipes on her channel. Mine aren’t quite as frilly as the ones in the tutorial, so I’m not sure they come across as hydrangeas. More like little piles of flowers.
*Edit: Since posting some of these shots on my instagram account, I’ve had multiple people mention that these cupcakes look like little succulents. Which I absolutely love!
This recipe is adapted from one of Martha Stewart’s Vanilla Cupcake recipes, and the frosting is my absolute favorite thing from Andie Mitchell . I seriously don’t use other frosting recipes since I discovered hers, it’s a revelation in frosting. So light, so fluffy.
Makes 12 Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter(1 stick), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Prepare a cupcake tin with liners.
- Mix together salt, baking powder, and flour in a bowl. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. 5-6 minutes on medium-high.
- Using a slightly lower speed, add in eggs, one at a time. Mixing each one in thoroughly before adding the next one.
- Add vanilla extract. Mix to incorporate.
- Add the flour and milk gradually into the mixer, alternating between the two. Mix on a medium speed until no lumps are visible.
- Divide batter evenly into cupcake tins. Fill each about 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The tops should be just slightly golden in color.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
You’ll need a piping bag, and a closed star point piping tip to make this recipe. I also recommend a stand mixer, though you can probably pull it off with a handheld one. It just won’t be nearly as easy. Though I didn’t have one until this year, and it never stopped me.
Makes enough frosting for a dozen cupcakes or one medium sized cake.
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, at room temperature
Blue and purple food coloring.
- In a saucepan or small pot, add milk and flour.
- Turn on medium heat, and whisk continuously for 5-10 minutes, eliminating any clumps. Mixture should thicken up until it resembles a thick pudding.
- Add vanilla extract, whisk in.
- Remove from heat, and set aside to cool completely.
- In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add butter and sugar. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula when necessary.
- Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add chilled milk pudding mixture in to mixer in 2 batches. Beating thoroughly between.
- Turn mixer to high, and beat until frosting looks light and fluffy. It should resembled whipped cream when done.
- Remove half of frosting and place in a clean bowl off to the side.
- Add food coloring to frosting remaining in mixer to achieve your desired color. Whip to incorporate. When the color is right, scrape frosting into a clean bowl and set off to the side.
- To make your second frosting color, repeat the same process with the uncolored frosting set aside earlier.
- Fit a piping bag with a close point star piping nozzle.
- Carefully add both of your colors to your piping bag, layering them down the length of the bag on top of one another. I find this easiest to do leaving the bag laying flat on the counter.
- To make each individual ‘flower’, pipe straight up and down squeezing out a little frosting and then release pressure and pull away.
- Cover surface of cupcake with a layer of frosting blossoms, then add a second layer on top of the first.
I pop my pudding mixture directly into the freezer to chill it down quickly.
Frosting can be stored covered at room temperature for a few days. It will harden in the fridge.
Add food coloring gradually, a bit at a time to reach desired color.
Rubber spatulas are the easiest tool for me to move frosting around.
Don’t stress too much about the frosting layers being perfect in the piping bag, you’ll get a lovely mixed affect regardless.
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