Yesterday, I went to a little housewarming get together for my friend Caroline, who is the mom of the little girl I take care of. What a perfect excuse for cupcakes, can't have a get together without them right?
I wanted to do something simple yet stunning, and this is truly the best way to accomplish that.
Jazz up a basic vanilla cupcake with some fresh lemon zest and turn an every day buttercream into something awesome with a few drops of food coloring and a spoon.
If you want beautiful, impressive cupcakes and your friends to think you're cool, these are the way to go.
Vanilla Cupcakes recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
1/2 Cup (113g) Unsalted Butter, softened (tip: if using salted butter, just omit the salt from the recipe)
2/3 Cup (130g) Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
or1 Vanilla Bean
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 1/2 Cups (195g) Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/4 Cup (60 ml) Milk
Preheat oven to 350F/175C
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in between. Add vanilla and lemon extracts.
Combine flour, baking soda, lemon zest and salt if using.
Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour.
Line and fill pan, if using a scoop you will get exactly 12 cupcakes.
Bake 17 - 20 minutes or until they test clean. Mine were done perfectly in 18 minutes.
Cool completely before frosting.
Rainbow Vanilla Buttercream recipe adapted from My Sweet and Saucy
1/2 Cup (113g) Unsalted Butter, soft
2 1/2 Cups (10 oz) Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Cream butter together with salt if using unsalted butter, if using salted butter just cream it for about 30 seconds to smooth it out. Add half of the powdered sugar and combine it. Scrape the bowl, then add the rest of the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Scrape the bowl one more time, then beat on high for 2 - 3 minutes until the frosting is nice and fluffy.
To create the rainbow effect:
Split the buttercream into parts depending on how many colors you are using. Dye each part whatever color you want, gel food coloring is the best option here.
Put whatever tip you're going to use in your piping bag, then hold the tip and fold the bag down over your hand.
Using a spoon, place blobs of each color next to each other inside the bag, not on top of each other. Repeat this process alternating the colors around the bag until you've used up your frosting.
Tighten your piping bag and press out any air, then pipe out an inch or two of frosting to get the rainbow effect going.
To get the frosting pattern I have use pink, blue and yellow dye.
To pipe the design, use a wide mouth pinched star tip and pipe from the center, going around three times. This creates the rose design and is not only beautiful but covers the whole cupcake without the frosting overload you can get when starting from the outside.