Baking on the 15th: Strawberry Choux Cake

Strawberry Choux Cake: A Slice
There’s a new group I’m participating with on Facebook started by Kelly of Sass and Veracity called Baking on the 15th, which is just as it sounds, we bake a shared recipe, and then we post about it on the 15th of each month, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, our blog, and/or whatever social media portal we choose. Kelly got us started this first month with a Strawberry Choux Cake adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg. Think a giant cream puff with strawberry compote cream and Chantilly cream. In short, right up my ally!

So the “scary” part of this cake was the choux. Choux can be a bit tricky, though I’ve made it once before. Years ago when I was in Daring Bakers, we made eclairs, and that was my one and only venture in to anything in the choux family. My choux failed for the most part on that little adventure, and I never got back around to trying it again. I’ve thought about it a few times, but just never got up the nerve. I mean, who doesn’t like a good cream puff or eclair? I’m a big fan of eclairs, with freshly made pastry cream, drizzled in chocolate. To me, that’s the very definition of heaven on a plate!

This time my choux actually puffed! I mean look at this crazy beast of a puffy mountain:

Strawberry Choux Cake: Choux Baking

It wasn’t soggy, it was just perfect. I was very pleased with how it turned out, though I did a double take when I first glanced in the oven. I was a bit afraid it was coming after us and planning to take over the world! 😉

One of the interesting things about this, though not surprising since this is a very European cake, was the weighed ingredients. I have a kitchen scale, but I had never used it for baking before. We used both cake flour and bread flour, and both were weighed. The butter and eggs were also weighed, though I will admit to measuring the eggs in a quart jar, instead of weighing them. I did weigh everything else though.

Strawberry Choux Cake: Weighing Flour

This cake had quite the ingredient volume when you think about it. I had never baked anything that ended up taking 16 extra large eggs before. Another ingredient that was new to me was ammonium carbonate. I made the mistake of smelling this and wished I hadn’t. I’m also a dough taster, and that wasn’t pleasant either, though once baked the taste faded.

Here is a look at what went in to the cake:

Strawberry Choux Cake: The Ingredients

I don’t usually measure out things before I start and dirty separate dishes, but I felt like I need to, to keep things straight for this one.

I also taped the recipe up so I could keep referring back to it:

Strawberry Choux Cake: The Recipe

I lost count of how many times I read this bad boy through from beginning to end, and in bits and pieces as I went, but it was a lot. Choux is a bit complicated, but it’s worth it in the end.

The first step was making the choux and then letting it cool. While the choux was cooling, you started working on the elements of the cake. The first thing you started was the Strawberry Compote component of the cake, though you didn’t finish it until the cake was entirely cooled. You cook the strawberries with some sugar and lime juice and let it cool, then you add gelatin softened in water and whip some cream, and finally you add in the chilled strawberry mixture. This is the filling for your cake.

Once the choux is cooled, you cut rounds out of your baked choux. I ended up using the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan as my circle, and formed the cake inside the pan. I had 3 layers of coux, with the strawberry compote in between each layer, and on top. I let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so before the next step:

Strawberry Choux Cake: Strawberry Cream Setting

After the strawberry compote is set, you make a batch of Chantilly cream to “ice” and decorate the cake. Chantilly cream is basically just whipped cream with a little vanilla bean and extract thrown in for fun. I added in 1/4 a cup of sugar, instead of a tablespoon, because I liked my whipped cream a bit more sweetened that that.

Once it’s made, you spread the mixture over the layers of choux and strawberry compote cream. I piped a border around the bottom and the top, and then you spread out strawberries to decorate. I decided to cover the top of my cake with strawberry slices in a fan pattern on top, and a single whole strawberry in the middle. Then you take some of the left over choux bits and toast them until they crumble and sprinkle them over the top:

Strawberry Choux Cake: Decorated

At this point you’re supposed to sprinkle it all with powdered sugar, but I forgot that step. I kind of wish I hadn’t though. I think it would have added an extra little pop.

Overall I really liked this. It’s not quite as sweet as our American desserts. It’s sort of fresh and light. I’d love to try it again and use blueberries or blackberries instead. I also added a little chocolate drizzle to one of the slices and it was a nice addition. This reminds me of something I saw in a bakery window in Paris. I’d definitely make it again!

Strawberry Choux Cake

Take a look at some of the other posts and their gorgeous cakes!

Sass and Veracity

Barbara Bakes

Once a Time a Time

Creative Culinary

Next month I’m hosting, so stop by again and see what we bake next!

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake

Ok let’s get this out of the way…This cake is not a healthy alternative to anything. This is a calorie nightmare, not something you would eat everyday, loaded with sugar, chocolate and butter sort of dessert. In short it’s the kind of dessert that probably makes your mouth water just looking at it! As I said you aren’t going to eat this everyday, you wouldn’t want to eat this everyday. This is a special occasion sort of cake, with plenty of cake to share with many of your closest friends!

One thing I really like about this cake is it doesn’t have to be perfect. Let’s face it, we aren’t Martha Stewart, and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to be. I have enough OCD tendencies without taking things as far as she would. You don’t have to smooth out the buttercream to perfection. The ganache is going to run down the side of the cake. It’ll happen. These are good things. Embrace your messy diva!

This cake has many steps, but trust me it’s worth it! So break out your fork and let’s talk a little chocolate cake!

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake: Layers

What You’ll Need for the Cake:
Three layers of a really good chocolate cake (Note: I used this one, tripled.)

Bake your three layers of cake and let them cool completely.

Once cool make and apply the chocolate buttercream. (See below.)

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake: Butter Cream Layer

What You’ll Need for the Chocolate Buttercream:
2 cups of double chocolate chips
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups of superfine sugar
1 1/2 pounds of butter, softened
1 tablespoon of vanilla

Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave at 20 second intervals until melted with no lumps. Set aside to cool slightly.

For this next step you’re going to need a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler they are easy to “make”. Simply find a glass bowl that will sit on top of one of your pots and not go all the way down in so that the water does not touch the bowl. Viola…You’ve got a double boiler!

Place egg whites and sugar over medium heat in a double boiler until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off heat and add the melted chocolate stirring to mix thoroughly. Let this mixture sit until cool.

When chocolate/egg white mixture is cool add your butter and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Spread the buttercream in between the layers of your cake and then cover the entire cake in buttercream.

Place the cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours:

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake: Buttercream Layer Setting in the Fridge

I usually leave this stage in the fridge overnight.

Once the buttercream is set you’ll need to make your ganache. (See below.)

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake

What You’ll Need for the Ganache and Top of the Cake:
2 cups of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of butter
4 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
Shaved milk chocolate

In a large saucepan add heavy cream and butter and cook stirring often until the butter melts. Do NOT let this boil.

Once the butter is melted add the chocolate and stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

Pour melted chocolate mixture over the top of the cake and then sprinkle the top with the shaved chocolate.

Next place the cake back in the fridge to chill:

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake: In the Fridge

Let it chill at least 2 hours before serving. I also like to let it sit out for at least 30 minutes before serving.

How good does this look?

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake: A Slice

This is a “messy” cake, but it still has a bit of wow factor. It’s the perfect, sometimes, lovely treat!

Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake: The Inside

Notes: You can mix up the kinds of chocolate you use. The next time I make this I think I make try to make a white chocolate buttercream and see how that turns out. This takes a little time, so make sure you take that in to account before you make it. I don’t make this often, but it is so worth it when I do!

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

First off before we dive into these cupcakes, though I may end up regretting this, I’m going to start sharing pictures of Alexis again. Why? Because so many people ask me what she looks like and she really is my sous chef so you will be seeing more of her in the future.

Meet my sous chef…Alexis:

Lex: My Soux Chef

That’s her, my little mini-me! My favorite 7 year old on the planet! ;oP

She likes to do things like make silly poses:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Lex Pose

Laugh and smile:

Lex: Smiling Girl

And of course the most important task…Lick beaters!

Lex: Beater Girl

Not to mention stir, mix, shake, roll, etc. Luckily she is cheap too. All she asks? To eat what we make! My kind of kid! ;oP

And now that is out of the way, let’s talk some Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes! Why glorious you ask? Alexis thought it was an apt title and who am I to stifle creativity?

As a kid I remember buying cream filled cupcakes. I mean what’s not to like? Chocolate? Check! Cream filling? Check! Chocolate icing on top? Check! Lately I started thinking about this type of cupcake and decided to give some theories a try and they more than worked out! The result is a fabulous little cupcake with a creamy surprise! I’ll take two! ;oP

What You’ll Need for the Cupcakes:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 cups or organic cane sugar
3 eggs
1 cup of sour cream OR buttermilk
Cream Filling (see below)
Frosting (see below)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda until well mixed:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Dry Ingredients

Set aside.

In another large bowl cream together butter, sugar, eggs and sour cream OR buttermilk until relatively smooth:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Wet Ingredients

Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture 1/3 a cup at a time until completely blended:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: "Batter"

The “batter” will be slightly thick and fudgy. This is not a runny “batter”.

Scoop in to muffin pans that have been lined with cupcake liners and fill each cup 3/4ths of the way full:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Ready to Bake

Bake in a preheated oven 25-30 minutes or until cupcakes still done with a toothpick

Let cool for at least 30 minutes before filling and frosting:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Baked

Makes 24 cupcakes.

While the cupcakes are baking make your filling and frosting.

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Cream Filling

What You’ll Need for the Cream Filling:
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 of a 13 ounce jar of marshmallow cream

Now don’t blink or you’ll miss it…This is that easy!

Place butter and marshmallow cream in a bowl and mix together on medium until completely blended.

Set aside. You’ll use this when you’re putting the cupcakes together after they cool. (See below.)

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting

What You’ll Need for the Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup of a 13 ounce jar of marshmallow cream
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Again this is so simple….

In another bowl cream together butter and marshmallow cream until smooth.

Next add cocoa and beat until incorporated.

Next add powdered sugar and repeat the step for the cocoa. Don’t worry if it looks a little crumbly at this point. The heavy cream will sort it out.

And last add the heavy cream and beat until smooth.

Set aside. Frosting will be used when the cupcakes are put together.

To Put Together the Cupcakes:

First cut out a round cork out of the top of the cupcake:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Cork Removed

Next use a spoon to dig out about 1/2 an inch to make the hole slightly bigger:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Hollowed

Fill the hole with the cream filling:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Filled

Place the cork you cut out back on top of the filling:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Corked

Frost the cupcake:

Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes: Frosted

And voila…Glorious Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes! Eat and enjoy!

Notes: If you wanted to flavor the Cream Filling you could. You could add 1/4 of a cup of cocoa to make a chocolate version, or how about 1 teaspoon of mint extract for a chocolate/mint combo. You could also use regular buttercream icing in place of the Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting.

Fudgy Nutella Frosting

Fudgy Nutella Frosting

Nutella…What’s not to like? I finally tried it earlier this year and found I really loved it! It’s great all by itself, but why not use it to kick something up a few notches, like say oh chocolate frosting! It takes your standard chocolate frosting to a whole other level!

This is simple, delicious and takes no time to whip up. It makes the perfect topping for any cake, especially a really good chocolate one! Who doesn’t love cake?

What You’ll Need:
2 sticks of butter, softened
3/4 cup of Nutella
1 cup of cocoa
1/4 cup of half and half
5 cups of powdered sugar
Cake to frost, baked and cooled (Note: I suggest chocolate cake.)

In the bowl of a mixer cream butter until smooth. Add Nutella and mix until completely incorporated. Next add cocoa and half and half and beat until smooth.

Once dairy and chocolate ingredients are completely mixed slowly add sugar and beat until smooth. Repeat this until you run out of sugar.

Spread frosting over a baked and cooled cake.

Notes: You could add in mini chocolate chips for a nice texture change. This would also be good to “dip” fruit in.

Angel Food Cake

Angelfood Cake

I love angelfood cake. Alexis does too, it’s one of her favorites. It’s so light, airy and just an all around a fabulous little dessert that isn’t quite as heavy.

When we had company the weekend before last I wanted to have a bit of a variety when it came to dessert. I made some peanut butter cookies for Jamison and anyone else that wanted them, and then brownies and angelfood cake to round things out. I cut up some strawberries and made some whipped cream and viola…Dessert!

I’ve made angelfood cakes from mixes before, but this was the first time starting out from scratch. I have to say it was much easier than I had anticipated, but then again most things are it would seem! The crumb was fabulous, and the cake was airy, it was perfect!

Oh and anyone have any ideas what to do with 8 egg yolks other than brioche? Drop me a comment and let me know!

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups of egg whites at room temperature (Note: It took about 8 eggs.)
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 1/4 of cups powdered sugar sugar
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt

Place oven rack to the second lowest position.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

First up make sure your egg whites are at room temperature. It makes them beat a bit better. Place egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, almond extract and cane sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Keep a close eye on this as it beats so you are sure they don’t go too far.

While the eggs are beating sift flour, powdered sugar and salt together three or four times. (Note: For angelfood cake this is very important. This is one of the few times you’ll see me sift something.) Set aside.

Once the eggs are beaten to stiff peaks slowly add the flour mixture a little at a time, folding to incorporate. Once all of the flour is incorporated pour the batter into an angelfood cake pan that is ungreased.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until cake is springy when touched and a very nice golden brown.

Cool inverted (that’s upside down in case you didn’t know! ;oP) and then remove from the pan. You may have to run a knife along the edge of the pan for it to release.

Serve as soon as cooled or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Angelfood Cake

Notes: Angelfood cake is good plain, or with berries and whipped cream. I was discussing angelfood cakes with someone that works at the grocery store I shop at and he said he had heard of people making strawberry and chocolate versions. I must experiment!

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

What’s Thanksgiving (or Fall for that matter) without a little pumpkin? This year I wanted to do something a little different, yet still have that iconic autumn fruit on the menu. I normally make a pie, tart or cheesecake, but this year I thought it would be fun to make a Pumpkin Pound Cake and I was very happy with the results!

The pumpkin gives the cake a moist and substantial texture, while the mix of sugars adds a nice complex sweetness that pairs perfectly with the pumpkin and sour cream. This is a very easy cake to put together, yet a delicious alternative to the traditional pumpkin treats. If you’re a pumpkin fan then this is the cake for you!

Pumpkin Pound Cake

What You’ll Need:
2 sticks of butter softened
2 cups of mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup of sour cream (Note: I used the light variety)
2 cups of organic cane sugar
1 cup of natural brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
6 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Add butter, pumpkin, sour cream, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt to a mixer and mix until completely smooth. Slowly add flour and mix until just mixed. Add eggs two at a time and mix until completely incorporated.

You can add the batter to loaf pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray or a Bundt pan. I prefer the Bundt pan. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 50-75 minutes until cakes stick done.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Let cool and then remove from pan. Slice and serve plain or with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Notes: You could add in 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon if you liked and/or perhaps some nutmeg.

Chocolate Cake a la Alexis

Chocolate Cake à la Alexis

A few weeks ago Alexis wanted to make a chocolate cake. She told me what to put in the cake, and I figured out the right quantities. What we came up with was a very moist, very tender, really fabulous chocolate cake! Top it with your favorite frosting/icing and you’ve got the perfect treat!

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2/3 cups of cocoa powder
1 cup or organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/3 cup of safflower oil
2 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl add flour, cocoa, sugar, sea salt and baking powder and stir until well mixed.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add vanilla, oil, eggs and buttermilk. Stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour batter into an 8 X 8 inch dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cake sticks done.

Cool and top with your favorite frosting or icing.

Notes: If you wanted to switch things up a bit you could use mint or almond extract instead of vanilla. Mini chocolate chips would be a fabulous addition too.

Easter Bunny Cake

Easter Bunny Cake

This is another one from childhood. My mom used to make Easter Bunny cakes with my sister and me when we were children. It’s so much fun I decided to do it with Alexis this year!

Alexis wanted a chocolate cake. Normally I think it would be fun to do this with a carrot cake since it’s Easter and all, but chocolate it was! She also was adamant that there had to be some “M’s” on the cake too! Not hard either! As you can see it turned out great and was delicious to boot!

This cake is really simple and a lot of fun! You could do this process with any shape…Turkey, reindeer, Santa, heart, pumpkin etc! The possibilities are endless!

What You’ll Need:
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 – 8 ounce container of cocoa
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
1/2 cup of safflower oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 1/2 cups of buttermilk
4 eggs
Icing or frosting
Candy for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray 2 – 11 inch round pans with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl stir together flour, cocoa, sea salt, baking powder and sugar until mixed. Add oil, vanilla, buttermilk and eggs and stir until batter is completely incorporated. Pour batter evenly into the two prepared pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake sticks done. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Using a serrated knife cut a bot tie shape out of the middle of one of the cake rounds:

Easter Bunny Cake: Ready for Frosting

As you can see above the cut outs become the ears. Place bow tie on the bottom of the other cake round and the “ears” at the top.

Once your shape is in place frost the cake:

Easter Bunny Cake: Ready to Decorate

You can use whatever type of frosting or icing you like. I used Wilton’s classic minus the butter, but you could use cream cheese frosting instead if you liked.

Now it’s time to decorate!

Use M&M’s, jelly beans, licorice, etc. Whatever you want to decorate with is fine! Decorate his bow tie, his ears and put on a happy face! Once you’re decorated then serve!

Easter Bunny Cake: A Slice

Notes: Traditionally this kind of cake has coconut on it for the “fur”. Alexis didn’t want coconut so we omitted it, but you can cover the cake in coconut if you prefer.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake is one of those classic recipes that is made a bazillion different ways. Alexis was very impressed with this one, except she decided it should be called “Chocolate Pie Cake” instead! I didn’t see the pie tie in, but hey, why stifle her creativity! ;oP

Chocolate Sheet Cake is a quick recipe that comes together in a flash, yet gives you a nice dessert that is just perfect for dinner guests or even to take and share. This cake is simplicity at its best and sometimes simplicity is just what you need!

What You’ll Need for the Cake:
2 cups of organic cane sugar
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/3 cup of cocoa
1 cup of butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large glass bowl stir together sugar, flour, baking soda, sea salt and cocoa until completely mixed. Add melted butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and stir until completely incorporated.

Once the batter is mixed spread it out on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray:

Chocolate Sheet Cake: Ready To Bake

Bake for 25-20 minutes until cake sticks done. Cover with icing as soon as it comes out of the oven. (See below.)

Chocolate Sheet Cake: Ready to Ice

Notes: The original way that my mom made this called for a teaspoon of cinnamon. I’m not a fan of chocolate and cinnamon together, but if that sounds good to you then add it in with the dry ingredients.

Chocolate Sheet Cake: Icing

What You’ll Need for the Icing:
1 stick of butter, cut into chunks
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (Note: You can use milk or bittersweet if you prefer.)
1/2 cup of heaving whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups of powdered sugar

Five to ten minutes before the cake is done making the icing.

Chocolate Sheet Cake: Chocoalte Ready To Chop

Cut butter into chunks and roughly chop your chocolate:

Chocolate Sheet Cake: Chocolate Chopped

Add butter, chocolate and whipping cream to a pot over medium heat and melt, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Once melted bring mixture to a quick boil, stirring frequently, to ensure it doesn’t burn. As soon as it boils remove it from the heat.

Add vanilla and stir to incorporate and then slowly add sugar and stir until completely mixed. Pour mixture over baked sheet cake that has just been removed from the oven. Spread out gently to cover the entire cake.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Let cake cool and then serve.

Notes: If you want you can add a cup of chopped nuts to the icing.

Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

Cupcakes? What’s better to take to a party that you know will be attended by a lot of children? So that’s just what we made for our Halloween block (road) party! This cupcake is simple, straight forward and delicious. Of course you can eat these cupcakes anytime and their decor could be shifted to fit any season. What’s not to like about that?

And no you didn’t read that title wrong…I said buttercream! If you’ve been around Dianne’s Dishes for a while you’ll know that usually I am NOT a fan of icing made with butter at all, but I played around with it until I found something I actually liked!

So grab your cupcake pans and grab some butter…You’ll be glad you did!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

What You’ll Need for the Cupcakes:
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of safflower oil
3 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk
2 tablespoons of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients until well mixed. Add remaining ingredients and stir until batter is smooth. Add to cupcake pan that has been lined and fill each cup 3/4ths of the way full.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until cupcakes stick done. Cool to room temperature, frost (see below) and add sprinkles (or not).

Notes: If you want to make lemon cupcakes you could add lemon extract instead of vanilla. Peppermint? Add in mint extract, etc…You get the idea! 😉

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

What You’ll Need for the Buttercream Icing:
2 sticks of butter, very soft
1 – 16 ounce package of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1/4 cup of cold water
Food coloring (optional)

Add butter to the bowl of your mixer and beat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat on low until completely smooth. If you want to color your icing add food coloring now. Use immediately to frost cupcakes or cake.

Notes: As I’ve mentioned before I rarely sift anything and that includes powdered sugar. Now if I were making an Angel Food Cake, I’d definitely sift, but for icing it’s not necessary unless you just get a kick out of sifting. 🙂