Sprinkle Cupcakes

IMG_4023

When I was making my sister’s birthday cake last week  I got a FaceTime call from my daughter.  I look forward to any connection I can have with my children and grandchildren, especially during these strange and difficult times.  My grandson (who is almost 6 years old)  heard my mixer running.  He immediately asked what I was making.  I told him it was a birthday cake for Aunt Kathy.  When I told him it was a “sprinkle”  cake;  he said he wanted to have a piece.  Well, my heart was breaking because I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  I told him I would make him some sprinkle cupcakes, and he was satisfied and very pleased with that compromise.

I took the ingredients out to come to room temperature just before lunch.  I was very happy to be making cupcakes for my grandchildren (Seth, Kory, Emerson and Evie).  Just typing their names puts a smile on my face.  Our children and grandchildren all live within a mile of us,  and this lockdown is so difficult.  I understand the importance of social distancing, but this “new normal” feels anything but normal.  This too shall pass:).

As I was taking the cupcakes out of the oven I received a FaceTime call from my daughter-in-love Melissa.  She was pretty excited about the cupcakes too.  My children and grandchildren are my biggest fans.  They understand my passion for baking…they get me:)!

If you follow the instructions as written and use the proper ingredients (no substitutions),  your cupcake will be moist and flavorful.  This recipe is very similar to my vanilla cupcake recipe.  Adding the sprinkles just adds to the fun!!  Enjoy!

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (123 grams) *buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Sprinkles

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. This batter makes 16 medium cupcakes.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

IMG_3885

In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy (about two minutes).

IMG_3890

Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Mix in the sour cream and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Scrape down bowl and paddle as needed.

IMG_3892

IMG_3893

Add the flour mixture and mix just until flour is incorporated. With your mixer on low, slowly pour the buttermilk into the batter.  Mix on low (or you can use a spatula at this point).  Make sure to get any batter that isn’t completely mixed on the bottom of your mixing bowl. IMG_3894  Add the sprinkles and gently fold into batter.  Do not overmix!

Scoop into paper cups filling them 2/3 full. You can use a large ice cream scoop or two spoons, whichever you prefer.  This recipe makes 16 medium size cupcakes.

IMG_4009

Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.  All ovens are different, so begin checking for doneness at 17 minutes.  If the toothpick has a few crumbs attached, remove from oven. The cupcakes will continue baking after they are removed from the oven. You don’t want to over bake them or you will end up with a dry cupcake!

Allow cupcakes to cool for 2 minutes in the cupcake tin then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

IMG_4013

I frost these with my buttercream frosting.  You can find the recipe on my vanilla cupcake post Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes.

IMG_4035

I hope you make this recipe,  and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your photos:)!

*If you don’t have buttermilk (I never seem to have it when I come across a recipe that calls for it), you can make your own by adding 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to your milk.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  It will become thick as it sits.

 

 

 

 

 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

 

IMG_7763

I love all buttercream frostings but it is safe to say that Swiss meringue is my favorite.  I really like Italian meringue just as much, but this just seems a little easier to make and is just a bit sweeter than Italian meringue and less sweet than American….so I guess it’s “just right” (I wonder which buttercream Goldilocks would like?).

This buttercream frosting is delicious on cakes and cupcakes.  There are so many possibilities as far as flavors go.  You can add my strawberry filling (5 tablespoons)  for an amazing strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream.

7B42EAE9-585B-4BD3-B3D7-D758B4B0ADB0
My vanilla cupcake topped with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream. YUM!!!!

By adding 1 cup of Nutella to this recipe, you have this amazing Nutella Swiss meringue buttercream.

IMG_7771
My son David’s birthday cake made with Nutella Swiss meringue buttercream

And then there’s Espresso Swiss meringue buttercream that I topped my pumpkin spice cake with last Fall…it was like a pumpkin spice latte.  That’s right all my coffee loving friends:).

IMG_7767
Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I love using Swiss meringue buttercream when making  special occasion cakes using my vanilla sponge cake ( I will be posting that recipe soon).

There are so many uses for this amazing buttercream!

If you’ve never made this buttercream frosting because you think it may be too difficult, please give this recipe a try.  You’ll be glad you did!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups extra fine sugar (300 grams)
  • 4 large egg whites (160 grams)
  • 1 ¾ cups unsalted butter (400 grams) room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

 Cut the butter into chunks, place in a bowl and set aside while you’re preparing the meringue.

IMG_0374

 Wipe down the bowl and whisk with lemon juice to make sure they are free from any grease. Any trace would hinder the egg whites from mixing properly.

Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl.

IMG_0375

Place bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water isn’t touching the bowl. Whisk the eggs whites and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  This usually takes about 3 or 4 minutes.  Rub the mixture between your fingers, and if doesn’t feel gritty anymore it is ready.  Continue to whisk if it doesn’t feel smooth.  A gritty mixture will ruin the texture of the finished product.

When the egg mixture is ready, remove the bowl from the pan.

Place the bowl on the mixing stand.  Using the whisk attachment,  beat on medium high for 10-15 minutes.  Add the extract and salt and continue mixing.  The mixing bowl should have cooled down at this point and the eggs should form  stiff peaks.

969EC078-3CE5-4648-8BB7-ABF2DD5D7979

Make sure the bowl has cooled before adding the butter. You can do this by placing a bag of frozen veggies around the bottom of the bowl until it’s cool.

With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding the cubes of butter (1 at a time). Don’t rush this process.  Allow the butter to incorporate after each addition.

IMG_0383

 

The buttercream is going to be runny and it’s going to look like it’s not turning out.  Be patient! By the time you finish adding all the butter, it will come together nicely.   The more you mix it, the lighter and fluffier it will get!

BD6F8154-D706-4BF3-A0BB-DA9F12B3D72A

I hope you make this buttercream,  and if you do, please post pictures and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi .  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

 

265B4B33-990B-48E3-8DED-EEF432C757F2

There are so many different cupcake recipes out there (remember my avocado cupcakes?), but sometimes the perfect vanilla cupcake adorned with a delicious buttercream is the ideal choice.

Wikipedia describes a cupcake as a small cake designed to serve one person. I also discovered that November 9th is National vanilla cupcake day. Mark your calendar friends, this sounds like a pretty important occasion to me!

I can’t even begin to count how many vanilla cupcakes I have baked in my lifetime.  My children and grandchildren love cupcakes.  My children refer to themselves as cupcake “snobs”.  I remember buying cupcakes in a local supermarket bakery and when I served them for dessert, they asked me what I was trying to pull serving them store bought baked goods.  Ooops….sorry!!

Two of my grandsons prefer a vanilla cupcake over any other flavor.  I made a strawberry shortcake cupcake last summer.  I think it was one of the best cupcakes ever! It had so many components,  but they were NOT a fan.  My adorable granddaughter, on the other hand, was all about it (you go Evie Girl!).

Evie eating a cupcake
This is how you eat a cupcake!

So this cupcake recipe goes out to all the vanilla cupcake lovers out there (or cupcake lovers…period).  These cupcakes are my go to vanilla recipe and will be yours too!

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar (I use an extra fine baking sugar, but granulated works also)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (123 grams) *buttermilk room temperature

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

IMG_0140

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.

In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about two minutes).

IMG_1956

Mix in the eggs and vanilla bean extract. Mix until combined.  Mix in the sour cream and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds).  Scrape down bowl and paddle as needed.

IMG_1957

Add the flour mixture and mix just until flour is incorporated.  With your mixer on low, slowly pour the buttermilk into the batter.  If you would like, you can use a hand whisk at this point.  Do not over mix!

IMG_1887

Scoop into paper cups filling them 2/3 full.  You can use a large ice cream scoop or two spoons, whichever you prefer.

IMG_1889

Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.  All ovens are different, so begin checking for doneness at 17 minutes.  If the toothpick has a few crumbs attached, remove from oven.  The cupcakes will continue baking after they are removed from the oven.  You don’t want to over bake them or you will end up with a dry cupcake!

AEA5BDC8-6B26-48C9-87C9-89AA2DDFA8F0

After 2 minutes, transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  Top with my simple buttercream frosting.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It may be simple to make, but it’s oh so good!!

Simple (but delicious) Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (455 grams) confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) heavy cream

Instructions:

Cream butter until fluffy.  Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time. Make sure your mixer is on a low speed (trust me on this…you will have a sugar mess!  I learned this the hard way!!). Add the salt and vanilla extract.  Drizzle in the heavy cream to desired consistency.  Add more or less until you achieve this.  Of course, at this point, you can make your icing any color you would like using liquid or gel food coloring. The possibilities are endless!

IMG_0165

You can ice your cupcakes using a small spatula or place the frosting in a decorating bag with a piping tip.  I used a bag for these cupcakes.  I like to use a large star shaped tip to pipe the frosting in a swirling motion.  Top with sprinkles.  Don’t forget the sprinkles!!  Enjoy!!

IMG_1964

 

*If you don’t have buttermilk (I never seem to have it when I come across a recipe that calls for it), you can make your own by adding 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to your milk.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  It will become thick as it sits.

It is important to allow your ingredients to come to room temperature (the ones that are called to come to room temperature).  This includes your butter!  Your batter will not come together accurately, and your finished baked good won’t turn out perfectly.  You don’t want to waste your time and cost of the good ingredients you are using in your baked goods!!

 

 

Super Moist Avocado Cupcakes

F529B48D-49A7-40F2-8734-4A978B6489DF

I never used to eat avocados. After my son married a girl from Southern California (17 years ago),   she made tacos for dinner one night.   She made guacamole.  I never had it before and I thought it was one of the tastiest things I had ever eaten!!

Over the years I have looked forward to the nights we have tacos, mostly because I know my daughter-in-love is going to make the guacamole…YUMMMM!! She has taught me everything I need to know about picking the right avocado and how to ripen them fast!  Feeling and squeezing the avocado is not an easy task!!! When that thing is ready, you need to make that quac PRONTO!

I have wanted to make avocado cupcakes for a while now, so when I had an avocado that was ripe, I knew that now was the time. Fun fact #1- Avocado can be used in place of butter and adds moistness to cupcakes, cakes and other baked goods.  I used ½ cup mashed avocado and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in my cupcake recipe.  Those things were so moist!

Fun fact #2- Avocado is a fruit. They are by no means sweet!   They grow on a tree that is part of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The avocado (also known as the alligator pear or avocado pear) is a large berry containing a large seed).

Fun fact #3-Hass avocados are perfect for mashing, so I recommend using these for your cupcakes.

I frosted these gems with some cream cheese frosting. This frosting goes perfectly with these cupcakes (let’s face it, cream cheese frosting goes well on just about anything!!).

Last Fun fact- Dogs and cats can eat the cream center of an avocado, but the pit and the skin are highly TOXIC!!! The remains of the avocado can be used in your compost or just discard it in the trash.

I hope you make these cupcakes. If you do, tag me on Instagram and show me your finished product.  Enjoy!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tins with paper liners (this recipe makes approximately 18 cupcakes).

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix the eggs and granulated sugar on high for 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the oil and mix until combined.  Mix in the mashed avocado just until incorporated.  Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Pour in the milk and other half of the dry ingredients and mix for 1 minute.  Scrape down bowl and beater. Let mixture sit for two minutes.  Stir mix and pour (or scoop) into cupcake tins.  Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely on cooling rack.  Frost and eat.  If there are any left over…cover and refrigerate.

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups of flour (180 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 2 large eggs – room temperature
  • 1 medium avocado, mashed (115 grams)
  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (108 grams)
  • 2/3 Cup of whole milk – room temperature (163 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (I like to use Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese – room temperature (227 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter – room temperature (113 grams)
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar (220 grams)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Mix cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Slowly add sugar and mix until combined.  Add salt and vanilla bean paste.  Mix on high for one minute, scraping sides and bottom of bowl when needed.  Add to bag with tip or use offset spatula. Decorate cupcakes as desired.