I am very much a Type A personality…yes, it has come back to bite me in the behind sometimes, but I’ve learn to roll with the punches that come to the Type-A(ers). With that said, when it came time to planning for the baby shower, I wanted to have some part in it. After the eye rolls, the “what are you thinking – it is your baby shower”, and the “Is this how you are going to be when the kids and I try to do something nice for you down the road?” from the husband and sisters it was decided to let me contribute something. So…cupcakes it was. I love to bake. Love. To. Bake. After my career of teaching, I hope to open a bakery for my retirement years. After a bad day at school, I find something to whip up. Husband appreciates it, as do other visitors (read brothers) that drop by.
I found this recipe when I was making Hilary’s cupcakes for the gender reveal party. It was entitled “The Perfect Cupcake,” and I have to admit – they are perfect. I love boxed cake mixes and this tastes just like a boxed cake mix, but it’s from s-c-r-a-t-c-h!!
The icing is a great buttercream I found. Salted butter makes all the difference. And the light cream, rather than heavy, helps to make the fabulous consistency.
Since the shower is gender neutral, and since we are teachers, it was decided to go with a Dr. Seuss theme. Danielle has posted some of her creations for this long awaited event. You can find them here and here. The cupcakes have also taken on the Dr. Seuss theme. The cake batter was dyed red, with white buttercream, and topped with blue cotton candy. Once they are together, they are to resemble Thing 1 and Thing 2. I have to say, they are pretty cute. Noah (one of the three brothers) and Father say they are superb. I’ll take their word for it. Please note: if you are going to make these – it is in your best interest to wait until just prior to serving before placing the cotton candy on top. Since the icing is “wet” the cotton candy begins to soak up the moisture and melt. I will be placing the cotton candy on once we arrive at the shower.
With that said…onto the amazing cupcake creation…
Combine all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
In another bowl (I used my standing mixer, though it is not necessary), crack your eggs and whip.
After they are whipped, add your sugar, vanilla, oil, and buttermilk. Whip together. It will be pretty liquid-y.
Reduce the speed and add the dry ingredients, slowly. Continue mixing, scraping the sides of the bowl.
Once your batter is mixed, fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake in your 350 degree preheated oven. **If you are going to add food coloring, prior to dispensing into the liners would be the time. I used Wilton Food Coloring Gel that I purchased in the “party section” of our local Walmart. The gel helps in not adding to the liquid-i-ness of the batter.**
Check after 12 minutes. They should not need more than 14. You will know they are done when they are lightly touched, they will spring back. Remove from the oven and cool.
While they are cooling, I whipped up the buttercream. Take your cup of salted butter, that has been brought to room temperature, and cream it with an electric mixer. Reduce speed and add your vanilla. After those items have been creamed, alternate adding the confectioners sugar and light cream, a cup and then a tablespoon at a time, respectively. It will start out looking like this…
But then turn into…this deliciousness…
From here, I placed the icing into my piping bag and went to town icing the cooled cupcakes.
Add the cotton candy and…..tadaaaa!!!
My rendition of Thing 1 and Thing 2 in food form. Cute, right? I am very excited to share these with everyone tomorrow. Glad to know they have been taste tested prior to my sharing them…and that they were given the double “thumbs up”.
If ever you need to create fun, delicious, vanilla cupcakes…whip these babies up. They will not disappoint. Off to enjoy dinner..which was cooked for me this evening…yay!
Perfect Vanilla Cupcake
1 1/4 cup cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of oil
1/2 cup of buttermilk. (Note: if you do not have buttercream combine 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, and set aside.
Using a mixer, whip the eggs. Add the sugar, vanilla, oil, and buttermilk. Once the items are combined, reduce the speed and begin adding the dry ingredient mixture, SLOWLY.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake 12-14 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.
Best Buttercream Icing
1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
4-5 tablespoons light cream
Using electric mixer, whip room temperature butter. Add in vanilla. Once blended together, add 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon of light cream at a time, until all 4 of each have been added. Whip until all is blended. Add as topping to your favorite cake and enjoy!