Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 4th Vanilla Cupcakes

Not just any vanilla cupcakes, Red, White & Blue cupcakes! I wanted a fairly quick & easy cupcake to make for a July 4th BBQ. I've started a new rotation at the hospital where I'm on call every 3rd night, and with absolutely no sleep during my first call shift, I knew I needed something that wouldn't require too much concentration, in case I spaced out a little during the process.

Not sure if it was the recipe, or the baking cups, but I had a problem with the batter running over the edge. I filled them 2/3 - 3/4 of the way full, and at least half of them had runover. Thankfully, most of it was easily peeled off of the cups so that they are somewhat presentable.

I based these off of the Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcake recipe. I wanted to make sure they had a good vanilla flavor, so I substituted some of the milk for French Vanilla Non-Dairy Creamer. This gave a nice vanilla flavor to the cupcakes. I also used the creamer in place of the milk in their frosting recipe, a trick I've been doing in most vanilla frosting recipes since I started making cakes in the 9th grade of high school (12 years ago already!) So, for all of you that have known me for that long, and have loved my frosting - that is my "secret ingredient" that I've never shared before!

VANILLA CUPCAKES (Adapted from Magnolia Bakery)
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup vanilla non-dairy creamer (liquid)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gel Coloring

Preheat oven to 350F. Like cupcake tins with liners.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk/creamer and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.

Split the batter into 3 bowls, and dye the batter the colors that you desire (I used red (be sure to use no-taste red if you are using Wilton dyes) and blue)

Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 - 3/4 full. I spooned in the various colors, alternating white, blue, white, red. You can very carefully swirl them together with a toothpick, but be careful not to over mix - you want the colors defined, not mixed into a gray/brown concoction!

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla "Buttercream" Frosting (Adapted from Magnolia Bakery)
Frosts 24-36 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup vanilla creamer
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar, the creamer and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes, in a stand mixer. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of desired consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.

Frost as desired.

(Magnolia recommends using within 3 days, and NOT storing in the refrigerator)


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