Wednesday, March 17, 2010
One of my coworkers announced that she's pregnant and I decided to make some cupcakes to celebrate. (Congrats Marie!) I had planned on making Irish Car Bomb cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day, but I nixed that idea. I used an idea from the cooking board that I frequent. I also used a new vanilla cupcake recipe and I was disappointed once again. They baked up nice, but they were dry. I'm still on the hunt for that perfect vanilla cupcake recipe, so if you have one, please pass it along! I topped the cupcakes with a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and like always, it didn't disappoint.
Design: Stephanie Cooks via Taste and Tell
Vanilla cupcake recipe: Chef Mommy via JoyofBaking
Vanilla Cupcakes (Makes 12)
1 stick butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted because I used salted butter.)
1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. MIx well and beat in vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 teaspoons meringue powder
3 tablespoons warm water
6 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces (room temperature)
1 - 2 teaspoons vanilla
In a large heatproof bowl (or stand mixer bowl) combine meringue powder, water, and sugar. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer to stand mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, whip mixture on high until it holds stiff peaks (about 6 - 7 minutes). Continue beating and add the butter a few pieces at a time. Add vanilla.
Continue beating until buttercream is thick, smooth, and glossy (about 3 - 5 minutes).*
*If mixture starts to look curdled, keep beating.
1 tube of brown (or black) frosting gel
1 tube green (or blue or pink) frosting gel
12 life saver candies
Copper gel coloring
Dye the frosting using the copper gel.
Spread icing on cupcakes.
Using the brown frosting gel, make two eyes on each cupcake.
Stab the cupcake where you will put the life saver with a knife.
Press life saver in hole. Draw smile on both sides of life saver.
Using the green frosting gel create an oval around life saver.
Refrigerate to set.