Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Easy Cupcakes

People always ask for an easy cupcake recipe.  They are looking for something that will give them good results and taste amazing.  Simple cupcakes, tasty cupcakes, special cupcakes, kid friendly cupcakes...whatever you want can be customized with this recipe.  Also there is a recipe for an easy buttercream recipe which can also be customized to your favorite flavor. It doesn't get any easier than this.   This cupcake recipe is courtesy of Georgetown Cupcake.  This is a re-post from the Good Day Cafe.

For the cupcakes
1-1/4 cups flour, sifted 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter 
1-1/4 cups sugar 
2 large eggs 
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 cup whole milk 
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
For the buttercream frosting
16 tablespoon (8 oz.) unsalted butter 
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 
1 teaspoon whole milk 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or seeds from one vanilla bean pod 
1/8 teaspoon salt
Note: If you like your buttercream extra sweet, add more confectioner's sugar! If you like it less sweet, you can decrease the sugar!
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 baking cups.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer.
Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.
Add the cocoa powder, beating (on low speed) just until incorporated.
Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each cupcake paper with batter, so that the wells are two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream frosting
Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Add the confectioners sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract, milk and salt and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Place frosting in a disposable piping bag with a large round tip and frost cupcakes with Georgetown Cupcake's signature swirl!
Flavoring the Buttercream
To switch up the buttercream flavor, try these easy ingredient additions:
1. For a milk chocolate buttercream, add 1/4 cup of melted (and cooled) chocolate chips 
2. For a strawberry buttercream, add 1/4 of diced fresh strawberries 
3. For a lemon buttercream, add 1/4 cup of fresh lemon zest 
4. For a lime buttercream, add 1/4 cup of fresh lime zest 
5. For an orange buttercream, add 1/4 cup of fresh orange zest 
6. For a mocha buttercream, add 1/4 cup of freshly brewed (and cooled) coffee 
7. For a toffee buttercream, add 1/4 cup of crushed toffee bits 
8. For a cookies and creme buttercream, add 1/4 cup of crushed Oreo cookies 
9. For a caramel buttercream, add 1/4 cup of dulce de leche 
10. For the adventurous - try a maple bacon buttercream, and add 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup and 1/4 cup of finely chopped bacon (extra crispy, tossed with a tsp of granulated sugar) 

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