Yesterday I made cupcakes for America.
Birthdays deserve things like cupcakes. and fireworks. and vodka from watermelons.
sprinkles and balloons for sure.
I dressed my cupcakes up for the occasion. Raspberries and blueberries seemed appropriate – the whole red, white, and blue thing. I hopped on the holiday color bandwagon.
I like fresh fruit on my cupcakes, but these would be equally great with some sprinkles, colorful sugar, or just plain. Totally up to you, cupcakes are great like that.
It’s hard to say what I loved most about these cupcakes.
They were close to perfection.
The crumb was unbelievably moist and delicate. The flavor was buttery and rich, but not overly sweet. The icing had a beautiful flavor of vanilla and a faint lemon zing, again not too sweet.
A too sweet cupcake can be overwhelming. Who needs that?
Now it’s time for me to go eat the one cupcake left. And, for me to tell you I highly recommend you getting in that kitchen and making these cupcakes. Seriously. Do. It.
Yellow Cupcakes – adapted from the Food Network
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.
Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next (scrape the bowl down occasionally). Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
Thoroughly clean the bowl of the mixer and put the egg whites inside. Whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed.
Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cups in the muffin pan. Bake, rotating the pan once, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and cool completely.
Using a palette knife or rubber, spread some of the frosting all over the tops of the cakes and decorate as you please.
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and zest. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Yield: about 1 2/3 cups, enough for 12 cupcakes