Today I was on a mission to find some reasonably priced cupcake essentials. Baking shops failed; I was able to find extremely fancy cupcake liners for a billion dollars each or extremely crappy white ones.
After an hour I finally found some pretty ones at a reasonable price in a computer shop!? Then I found a cupcake tin I was happy with at a kitchen shop. Unfortunately there was an elderly couple buying a wedding gift for their grand daughter. They were not happy with their grand daughters gift registry choices; "a travel mug, what kind of stupid wedding gift is that!". I actually have to agree. So I waited forever to buy my silly cupcake tin.
The ridiculous amount of time I spent buying a tin, and some coloured paper were made up for by these cupcakes. This recipe is from New Yorks Magnolia Bakery on Bleaker street. It's their famous vanilla vanilla cupcake recipe which came to fame in the 90s; velvety vanilla sponge and sherbety vanilla buttercream icing . I found out about these from Alex who works at the amazingly sinful Sherbert cupcake shop in Perth. They use the same recipe. It is also very important to point out that these cupcakes were featured on Sex and the City!!! If they're good enough for Carrie and Miranda they are definitely good enough for me.
Click more for the recipe and more photos
Recipe adapted from food network.com
Makes 24 cup cakes
Takes 1 1/2 hours including baking and cooling
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
226 grams unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
The vanilla buttercream we use at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners' sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.