Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes with Letters

Kindergarten is awesome, you get to have a party for your birthday. K requested cupcakes and he wanted a shark on top like his party last weekend, I said no since he also wanted the cupcake to be red to look like blood and the frosting blue to be water. I told him that wasn't appropriate for school, but we could do that one day at home for fun. He's a boy can you tell. I told his teacher about it and she just laughed.

I told him we could compromise, and I would make him cupcakes and put the letter K on top instead. He was good with that.

I used my favorite vanilla cake recipe, and my favorite cookie cutter cookie recipe too. These are two that never fail and are just perfect.

Vanilla Cake

This doesn't take the "normal" method of blending ingredients so make sure you read the directions before you start.

Adding the butter pieces to the mixing bowl one at a time prevents the dry ingredients from flying up and out of the bowl.

4 large eggs room temperature
½ cup milk room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cup cake flour sifted
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks butter, softened and cut into 16 pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 by 2" inch cake pans
2. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla with fork in small bowl; measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside.
3.Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running at lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time; mix until butter and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture and mix at lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high (setting 6 on KitchenAid) and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining egg mixture (about 1/2 cup) in slow steady stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium-high until thoroughly combined and batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds longer.
4. Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans; spread to sides of pan and smooth with rubber spatula. Bake until cake tops are light golden and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on rack 10 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack. Frost when completely cooled.
5. To make cupcakes cook for 18 minutes.

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