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Friday, May 22, 2009

Cupcakes!


For several years now, there has been a cupcake rage going on. What is it about a cupcake? The high frosting-to-cake ratio? Its portability? I'm not sure what it is about these pint sized cakes, but you could be standing in line for an hour or more at Sprinkles (I went last year on my birthday).

There are still cupcake shops popping up all over, three in my town, Violet's Cakes, Polkadots Cupcakes, Dots Cupcakes - 2 locations in town, My Sweet Cupcake in South Pasadena, and many more in neighboring towns! But the most famous ones are Magnolia in NYC (the store that started the cupcake rage) and Sprinkles in Beverly Hills. I've tried Dots, Yummy Cupcakes, and Sprinkles.

Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe from: More From Magnolia
by Allysa Torey From the Magnolia Bakery. This is their most popular cupcake, iced with vanilla buttercream. The most popular color for the icing is pink.

Makes 24 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 cupcakes

55 minutes 30 mins prep
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 350° oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from the tins and cool on a wire rack before icing. Ice with tinted Vanilla Buttercream.

**If making a 3-layer cake, use the following proportions: 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, 8-10 cups confectioner's sugar, 3/4 cup milk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

Vanilla Buttercream Recipe
Recipe from: More From Magnolia
by Allysa Torey
Makes enough for a 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 layer 9-inch cake Change size or US/metric
15 minutes 15 mins prep
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add in 4 cups sugar, then the milk and vanilla. On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat about 3-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well (about 2 minutes) after each addition, until the icing is thick enough for good spreading consistency (you may not need all of the sugar).
If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled. The icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
*Note:
If you are icing a 3-layer cake, use the following recipe proportions:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
8 to 10 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Magnolia’s Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe from: More From Magnolia
by Allysa Torey
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes (depending on the size of your cupcake papers and muffin tins)
CUPCAKES:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (see Note)

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

ICINGS: Vanilla Buttercream (recipe above) or Chocolate Buttercream(recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.

  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

  5. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. At the bakery we ice the cupcakes with either Vanilla Buttercream or Chocolate Buttercream.

Note: If you would like to make a layer cake instead of cupcakes, divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans and bake the layers for 30–40 minutes.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
Magnolia Bakery
Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes
INGREDIENTS
• 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
DIRECTIONS
To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5-15 minutes, or until lukewarm. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat well, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and of a desired consistency.

Magnolia’s Caramel Frosting
Ingredients:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
5 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla e
xtract

Instructions: In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Add the milk, syrup, and vanilla, and beat until smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes. Use immediately or store, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes enough for 3 dozen cupcakes.


Sprinkles - delicious strawberry cupcakes from Candace Nelson of Sprinkles Cupcakes. Ingredients
Makes 1 dozen
2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting
Ingredients:
Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions:

  1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Magnolia's Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

This is one of the most popular items at Magnolia Bakery (and my personal favorite flavor of cupcakes) 3½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature

6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups buttermilk
1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 recipe Creamy Vanilla Frosting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.

In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake with Creamy Vanilla Frosting.

To make the cupcakes: Use 2 muffin pans, each with 12 (½-cup) muffin cups, and line each cup with a paper liner. (There’s no need to grease the cups.) Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing.

To ice, mound about ¼ cup of frosting on top of each cupcake and use an icing spatula to make a swirl on top. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting
from MORE FROM MAGNOLIA cookbook, page 126

This silky smooth frosting is made by beating together softened butter and sugar with a thick saucelike base. Be sure to follow the recipe directions exactly.

6 T all-purpose flour
2 C milk
2 C unsalted butter, softened
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10 - 15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, on medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer - set a timer!). Use immediately.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

Makes enough for one 2- or 3-layer 9-inch cake.

Fondant Notes:

  • If you cut out cute little hearts and place them in an airtight container, you should really layer wax paper between them otherwise they stick together.
  • To get the gel color to spread evenly, you have to knead the softened fondant.
  • It picks up fingerprints like you wouldn’t believe.
  • Powered sugar helps keep it from sticking to the rolling pin.

7 comments:

Julia said...

This is seriously the mother of all cupcake posts. I am thinking that I will not look any further for fear of calorie by staring. And somebody just opened a cupcake place in out town too. But I can not stomach, ha ha, the thought of 2.50 for a cupcake!

Desert Rose said...

Well...I would much rather have a cupcake because EVERYTHING about it is smaller!!! I can at least have a small bit of heaven!

fernvalley01 said...

Yummm! just toss me a half dozen would you !

Paint Girl said...

Wow, look at all those cupcake recipes! I may have to try one someday, I am not much of a baker. They sure look yummy!
I have not seen a cupcake place around here yet.

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Running from room, hands in the air screaming NNNNOOOOOOO!!!
I LOVE cupcakes, and am trying to stay away from sugar right now, you are killing me !

Twisted Fencepost said...

All these recipes look delicious. I WILL be trying them, SOON.
Thanks for sharing them.
I don't think we have any cupcake bakeries around here. Only what you can get at the grocery.

Vera said...

Thank you for the recipes! Aren't these like trade secrets that should be under lock and key? HEhe. I am so bookmarking this post. :)

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