Cupcakes!

I probably don’t even need to ask, but are you as enamored with Pinterest as I?  So many pretty, and best of all, useful, ideas – I love it!  Anyway, it’s where I saw this cake and became obsessed with icing tips 1M and 2D.  
Initially, I planned to make the cake for Easter, but decided that cupcakes would be better.  Of course, that plan dissolved when I decided that I couldn’t wait to until Easter and made them during the middle of the week.

I used this recipe as it only made a dozen cupcakes, and regardless of how much the husband and child love cupcakes, they never eat an entire batch.  A smaller batch stood to be eaten before staleness set in.

I couldn’t resist taking a taste, even though they weren’t gluten-free, and they are amazing!  I loved the texture, taste, and general pretty appearance, even before frosting.  I’ve used many recipes from Joy of Baking, and I’ve never been disappointed. 

For the frosting, I used vanilla buttercream, divided the recipe into thirds and used Wilton gel colors to get the vibrant hues.  My favorite tip is the 2D, which is what I used for the pink.  Not that I don’t like the 1M, I do!  The 2D creates a swirl that seems to be a bit more floral like. 

The tips came in a pack of three which included the 2A tip; I used 2A for the blue frosting.  So, get yourself some tips, disposable icing bags, and pipe away!  It’s much easier that I ever thought, and if I can do it, so can you.  This video proved very helpful.
Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (cut into pieces)
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream or whole plain yogurt, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the butter, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and sour cream.
Beat the wet and dry ingredients together at medium speed until the batter is smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. If necessary, stir the batter with a rubber spatula until the flour is fully incorporated.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until pale gold and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. 
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. 
Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (You can use salted butter, just leave out the 1/4 teaspoon salt)
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons half & half or milk.

Beat butter and vanilla until completely smooth – about a minute.

Add the salt if you are using it
Add powdered sugar, one cup at time, beating after each addition
After you’ve added 2 cups of powdered sugar, add 1 tablespoon of half & half
Continue to mix-in remaining powdered sugar
Add another tablespoon of half & half, beat again until desired consistency is reached.
Only add the remaining tablespoon if it seems to thick for you to pipe.
 Makes 12 cupcakes
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