January 17, 2011

On A Mission . . . A Cupcake Mission

There is a cupcake store in town and according to KLB they have THE BEST vanilla cupcakes. (They are quite delicious.) She has tasked me with finding a copycat recipe of those cupcakes. I have tried three or four so far and none have compared. She has helped with the search by finding a copycat of cupcake she found in another store that was very similar to the one in town. I hope to try that one soon. I tried two recipes this week so I could take them to work for my birthday. While good, they just did not make the cut. They were not dense enough. THE cupcakes are dense but not heavy and have something that I just can't put my finger on.

I am NOT a recreator of recipes. How I wish I could do that. Life would be awesome if I could recreate recipes at will. Maybe one day I will be able to do that. Maybe with a lot of practice, patience, crossed fingers, and crossed eyes I will be able to reach that. *sigh and looking off into the distance with a dreamy far off look*

Back to the cupcakes. Both recipes were great. The sticky chocolate icing was very rich and the buttercream was beyond fabulous--not quite as good as the Best Cupcake Frosting Ever but fabulous in its own right. The best part of both of these recipes is that neither one sunk in the middle. Woo hoo! Either recipe could go with either frosting, I don't believe there was that much of a difference and I think you can't go wrong making either one.

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Yellow Cupcakes with Sticky Chocolate Icing
from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Print Recipe

2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 whole eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup (plus a tad more) whole milk

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
6 oz, weight semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Mix to combine. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk in three batches, mixing for a few seconds after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix one final time. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until poufy but not brown. Cool before icing.

Sticky Chocolate Icing:
Mix ingredients together in a small/medium saucepan. Melt ingredients over medium low heat, stirring gently. Icing is ready when all ingredients are melted and combined.
Spoon warm icing over warm cupcakes, stirring icing to smooth after every third cupcake or so. Allow iced cupcakes to sit at least ten minutes before serving.

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Yellow Butter Cupcakes
from Sugar Cooking
Print Recipe

3 1/2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, unsalted, diced, at room temperature
1 cup whole or low-fat milk (divided use)
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and ½ cup of the milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs, egg whites, the remaining 1/2 cup milk and the vanilla extract. Add to the batter in 3 additions, mixing for 2 minutes on medium speed after each addition. Scrape down the bowl between additions. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full with batter. Bake until the layers spring back when touched lightly in the center, 20-25 minutes. Cool before finishing with icing.

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Magnolia’s Vanilla Buttercream
from food network.com

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add 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.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inch) layer cake

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