IMBB#13: My Little Cupcake!
You're probably not going to believe this, but I've never had a real cupcake. Not one that I knew was a cupcake, anyways. I've had plenty of muffins, ranging from the saw-dusty store-bought type, to the beautifully, light-crumbed, stuffed with goodness homemade kind. I prefer the latter! So naturally, my joy was genuine when I heard that Maki was hosting this round of IMBB? and had chosen the magnificent theme of My Little Cupcake - or Muffin! I had to make myself my first ever cupcake...
So I went through ALL of my books, searching high and low for the one, the only, the CLASSIC cupcake. I searched the net, I asked around.
Finally, I decided what to me would be the cupcake - the one to end my ignorance. I think the reason why I never tried them was that they just seemed too simple. It's butter. Sugar. Flour. Eggs. That's about it. And then a wicked layer of more butter and sugar on top, of course. Wouldn't that all just be, dare I say it? - too much??
The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook has been on my wishlist for a while, but as with so many other items on that list, it had never snug itself into my shopping basket and made it all the way to the "complete order" category. Luckily, I found the recipe here. Why I would consider The Magnolia Cupcake to be the ultimative of cupcakes, I don't know. But I love the colors, and the childish-ness of them, and well - I heard a lot about them around. I am, as I already said, a novice when it comes to cupcakes - on my search on the net I found several blogs dedicated ONLY to the subject. Take a look at All Cupcakes, All the time for instance - seeing something like this makes me realize there are so many things within just one category I've never tried!
The recipe I found made 24 cupcakes - a wee bit too many, considering if a cake doesn't have chocolate in it, Boyfriend is not likely to be eating much of it. So I halved it easily, and here you go:
For the Cakes:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self-raising flour
½ c + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake papers. Preheat the oven to 175 C/350 F.
Cream the butter for a couple of minutes alone first, just to make sure it's adequately soft. Add the sugar in three additions, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, one by one, again beating well after each one has been added.
Mix the two types of flour together. Then add the flour in four additions, alternating with the milk and vanilla extract in three additions. Divide the batter between the 12 waiting muffins cups, then bake for 20-22 minutes.
Leave to cool completely, before frosting.
For the frosting, place butter, 2 cups icing sugar, ½ cup of milk and the vanilla extract in a free-standing mixer (or you can beat it by hand I suppose!) and beat on medium-low speed. Add the rest of the icing sugar until you reach a desired consistency - I only used three cups in total. If you want, you can color the icing - that's like half the fun of these!! And of course, you can use sprinkles to your hearts content!
I liked the icing part - I wanted them to be really swirly to look at, and in all sorts of colors. I found your finger to work best for that swirly look - ahem... ;-)
So I'm gonna go for a little picture over-kill here, just to show you my choice of colors. There was the purple one you just saw above - then pink:
And green and yellow:
As for the cupcake - well, what can I say?! I'm a convert, that's for sure! It's butter and sugar, true, but it's good. And look at that fine crumbly crumb!
I love it! The icing is sweeeeeeeet and almost nothing but sugar, but I've never been sugar-shy. I'm game, I'm on - I want to see all of the variations possible! I've heard of the Hostess one, and of course, some laden with chocolate... Oh just plain YUM! Show me, show me, tell me!