As you can see, I’m getting into a cupcake frenzy. My latest challenge was to bake some cupcakes for a Halloween party at school. I’d seen this picture of a Creepy Medusa Cupcake in a magazine and Nikhil promised to help me make them. Of course he helped me pile the sour gummies on the cupcake and in his mouth:)
I needed a recipe for a perfect vanilla cupcake to begin with. Looking around, I found Glorious Treats and realized she was not only good at cupcake making but at search marketing too:) Only someone with that knowledge would title her recipe “Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes” to be found by amateurs like me:). She had tried every version of vanilla cupcakes there were and her story sounded so familiar to my cupcake wars that I had to try this recipe.
And I have to hand it to her. These cupcakes were the perfect-est, moist-est, soft-est I have ever made. Great recipe for a base vanilla cupcake to be used with any frosting.
Savory Sweet Life had this recipe for chocolate butercream frosting that I used for this recipe. I used store bought sour gummies, cut them into thin strips and piled them on top of the frosted cupcakes. I then added a googly eye which was the only non-edible piece of this cupcake. If I’d had a little more time, I would have used black and white edible frosting or edible gum to make shapes for the eyes.
The cupcakes looked creepy enough on the Halloween snack table for the 5th graders to get to try them. It felt so satisfying see them devour the gummies before they wiped off the cupcakes. The best compliment I received was from a cheery 5th grader who told me these were “the best he’d had” and that I should write a book on cupcakes:)
Thank you Cooper for your confidence after just one cupcake. About that book – I’ll get right on it, and you will be my taster. Deal?:)
Ingredients (for 15 cupcakes) – I made 30 of them so just doubled the measures
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using)
1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
5. The batter will be thin. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
6. Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
7. Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
8. Frost as desired when fully cool.
Recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting : (adapted from Savory Sweet LIfe’s blog)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer.
- Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter.
- Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes.
- If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.