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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately.  With only 10 (well 9 really, because of my French AP exam) days left of high school, I’ve been feeling so old and grown-up.  At a time like this, I’m consumed with a yearning for the past, but also an eager desire to move forward; to say the least, this time in my life is certainly bittersweet.  To honor these feelings, I’ve made something that is an unwavering reminder of childhood, and also fulfills my friend’s birthday request: vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  No, those would not have been my poison as a child, as I was always a chocolate lover, but let’s just pretend for the moment…

About the cupcakes (and cupcakes in general): It is IMPERATIVE that you be patient while making them… you have to wait until they are slightly cooled to remove them from the pan, and you have to wait until they are COMPLETELY cooled before frosting them. Anyway, the cupcakes were a hit.  Not only did everyone love them, and the “real frosting,” they made a BEAUTIFUL centerpiece.

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes
Magnolia Bakery

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

• 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 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 overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. 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 into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
Magnolia Bakery

Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

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

DIRECTIONS

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 3-5 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 a 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.

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