Eight years ago, I became a mom. The feeling of holding my firstborn as a newborn was unlike anything else in the entire world. I worked hard to get pregnant with him, worked hard being pregnant with him, and worked hard at bringing him into this world. The past 8 years as a mom have been hard, yet joyfully rewarding years. I love this firstborn son of mine and am so proud of who he is becoming with each passing year. He is smart, self-motivated, an excellent student, and funny.
There is so much of his dad's personality and quirks in him--sometimes I have to hold my jaw up as I watch his antics. However, he made me so proud when he requested vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. That's my boy! Happy 8th Birthday, Big Guy!
*Here is an easy way to make your own Cake Flour. For each cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk or sift well to aerate the flour. Voila! You now have cake flour!
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Annie's Eats
3 cups cake flour* (see above note)
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups milk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour*, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the milk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.) Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
(I doubled this for the amount of cupcakes the above recipe makes).
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.
(I used a 1M tip for the decorating, along with a reusable pastry bag and large coupler).