Cupcakes are perfect gifts for everyone. When you run out of things to give people, or in my case, strapped for cash to buy gifts, baking cupcakes is the way to go! It's heartfelt, sincere and full of love. Today I whipped up a batch of cupcakes for my neighbours, whose son is getting married tomorrow (well the son is my neighbour too, but I can never tell each son apart; they have 3). They were nice enough to invite my mum and myself to the church wedding tomorrow but my mum is away soaking up the aussie sun and I just couldn't make it, so I decided to bake for them just as a little token from the both of us.
Today I used the Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe and split it into half so that I could add cocoa powder and make chocolate cupcakes too. The cupcakes were topped off with swirly creamy buttercream frosting (my favourite!) Let's just hope my neighbours have a sweet tooth, or at least they have some form of liking for cream.
It was quite an adventure today baking the cupcakes. First I ran out of eggs. Then my mixer had to break down while I was trying to make the frosting. Thank God for my cousin who stays upstairs. It was a lifesaver because I managed to get eggs, and try my hand at my niece's awesome Kenwood. Note to self:NEED to get a kitchenaid or a kenwood next time!
Despite that little bit of drama over there, I loved the end result. The cupcakes looked so pretty (and almost professional, now I'm not really trying to praise myself here), but look at the pictures! I hope they do the beauty of the cakes justice.
Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes (adapted from food.com)
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, add the flours, stir to combine, set aside
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth
Add the sugar gradually and beat for 3 minutes or until fluffy
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla
With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overmix
Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full
Bake in a 180 degrees C oven for 20-25mins
Cool cupcakes in tin before frosting
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
4 large egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
To make frosting, combine egg whites, sugar and salt in heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F and the sugar has dissolved.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again about 3-5 minutes more. Tint with desired colouring and frost your cupcakes!