I made 18 cupcakes this past Friday.
They were gone by Sunday afternoon. Most of this was accomplished by me.
Sunday afternoon I also realized that if I want to keep up this cupcake habit I’ve developed, I better take up running too. Tomorrow. Right now I’m still too logged down from the cupcakes.
The moral of this story: I made some damn good cupcakes.
No, that doesn’t sound right. I think the moral is supposed to be delicious food that’s unhealthy in moderation coupled with exercise equals healthy living. But really, all you need to take away is that I made some damn good cupcakes.
Jenny – I’m on a quest to making cupcakes as close to your wedding ones as possible. I need to be able to get them easier then driving downtown. This icing is pretty fantastic, and while I don’t know if they used a meringue buttercream or a standard one, I’d say this works perfectly. I’ve got the denseness right in the cake, but it could use a little bit more moisture.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Here’s a conversion for you: The recipe calls for cake flour, but I keep forgetting to buy more, so I use a substitution. For every 1 cup of cake flour, use 7/8 cup of all purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of corn starch. I had to break this down further, so here you go:
1 cup = 16 tablespoons
This recipe calls for 1¾ cups cake flour, which means we need 24½ tablespoons of all purpose flour and 3½ tablespoons of cornstarch. So 1½ cups plus ½ tablespoon of all purpose flour and 3½ tablespoons of cornstarch.
Anyway, sift all that together.
Put the milk and cream together in a measuring cup.
Put your butter in the bowl of your mixer.
See that weld there. My uncle did this fantastic job of welding my bowl clip thing back onto my bowl. It snapped off one day when I was making pizza dough (I MAY have had the speed up a bit high for such a dense dough). I’ve been trying to find a replacement but keep coming up empty handed, I really should just call Kitchenaid. Anyway. He did a ridiculously great job fixing it for me…until I broke it again. I feel too bad asking him to fix it again, so I haven’t told him. How did I break it a second time you might ask.
See that huge gouge in the floor. That’s where my mixer tried to commit suicide by walking off the counter. Ok, so maybe I was making a really dense dough (again) and left the mixer unattended. Clearly I don’t learn anything. Please ignore all the dust / dirt / crap on the floor. Also ignore the weird angle I’ve got my big toe at. Not sure why I did that. Ok, clearly, it’s time to get back to cupcake making.
Cream the butter, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. (Note, I now have to hold my bowl in place, which is why my hand is often in the pictures. This is not the safest thing to do.)
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
Add the vanilla, beat.
Add ⅓ of the flour mixture, beat.
Add ½ of the milk mixture, beat. Repeat with ½ of the remaining flour, then the remaining milk, then the last of the flour.
Remove 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl, and in a second small bowl mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water.
Add the two together and mix them up.
Get your muffin tins ready. I found these AWESOME Reynolds cupcake wrappers. Crap, Jenny, please don’t tell your Mom! Anyway, they’re made of foil so the pattern doesn’t fade at all, something that really annoyed me with the cute wrappers I already had. I highly recommend them, until Alcan makes some of their own, then it’s Alcan all the way!
Put a scoop of the vanilla batter into each tin.
Top with a scoop of the chocolate.
Swirl them together with a knife. This isn’t rocket science, remember that. You can’t do this part wrong, you can’t screw it up, they aren’t all supposed to be exactly the same. I went back and just kinda smoothed the tops after I took this picture, just use your finger.
Bake them for 20 minutes.
Closer? Alright, I guess so. Any way, let the cupcakes cool completely on a rack before you ice them. You know what helps them cool?
Snow. Yep, that’s right, it snowed here on Friday.
Now that the cupcakes are cooling, it’s time to make the icing.
Get two cups of fresh hulled strawberries.
Puree them in a food processor, then strain them to remove any seeds (something I forgot to do).
Put the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Whisk them together, then place over a pot of boiling water. Whisk constantly until it’s warm to the touch and the sugar is completely dissolved (you know this has happened when you can’t feel the sugar between your fingers).
Put the bowl back on your mixer and whip until stiff but not dry peaks form.
Looks good. Now, keep beating until fluffy and glossy and completely cooled. Check that it’s cool by touching the bottom of the bowl. If you rush this and add your butter before the meringue has cooled, the butter may melt and then the icing will be ruined. Don’t rush!
Now, start adding your butter, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until combined.
Perfect! Nice and thick. Now, I forgot to take pictures when I added the strawberries, but here’s all you do. Add ½ of the strawberry puree and give it a good whipping until it’s back to being nice and thick. Give it a taste, and if you want more strawberry flavor, gradually add more, whipping until thick between additions, until you’re happy with the taste. I used just a little over half of the puree, next time I’ll probably use a little bit more.
Throw the icing in a piping bag with a nice big tip on it and go to town on the cupcakes. See, don’t those wrappers look GREAT! If you don’t have a piping bag and tips don’t worry. That’s what spatulas or spoons are for.
A little closer? Ok.
See, no wrong way to make a marble cupcake. This one turned out more vanilla on one side, chocolate on the other, and it was still absolutely delicious!
EDIT: Thanks to Robyn for pointing out that I missed the butter quantity in the cupcake recipe. I really need to stop making a habit of forgetting ingredients!
Here’s your printables:
- 1¾ cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup boiling water
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
- 4 large egg whites
- 1¼ cups white sugar
- 1½ cups butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle position. Line muffin tins with 18 wrappers.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Combine the milk and heavy cream in a measuring cup.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla.
- Add the flour in three batches, alternating with two batches of milk, and mixing well between each addition.
- Remove 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl. In a second small bowl, combine the boiling water and cocoa powder, mixing until smooth. Add the chocolate to the reserved cup of batter and mix together.
- Fill the muffin cups with alternating spoonfuls of white and chocolate batter. Swirl the batter together with a knife, then smooth the tops with your finger.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Note: While these would take well to almost any frosting you can think of, they would also be great with just a little dusting of icing sugar.
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
- Puree the strawberries in a food processor and set aside.
- Whisk together the egg whites and sugar by hand in the metal bowl of a stand mixer, then place the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisk continuously until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. (You know it's ready when you can't feel any sugar if you rub the mixture between your fingers)
- Put the bowl back on your mixer and beat using the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Continue mixing until fluffy, glossy and completely cooled (check by touching the bottom of the bowl). If you don't wait for it to cool, your butter could melt and ruin the icing. You can't rush this part.
- Add the butter, a couple of tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. The icing will be nice and thick.
- Add ½ of the strawberry puree and mix well, until thickened again. Taste and add more of the puree if necessary until you reach your desired flavor.