Saturday, October 27, 2012

Birthday Cupcakes

The recipe is from the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York City. These are REALLY good cupcakes! 
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) 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 350*. Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with an electric mixer. 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. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners (use a cookie scoop), 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.

Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar (an entire two pound bag comes out just right for me)
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 (I always do!). 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.

To make them look like Magnolia's, pipe on the icing in a swirl and top with sprinkles. I'm not so handy with the icing bag, so I just spread mine on top with a swirly flourish!

Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes
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