If you hang around here for very long, you’ll soon realize that one of my favorite ways to spend time is baking (usually cupcakes). When any special occasion arises, they’re my go-to dessert. Birthday party? Cupcakes! Event at church? Cupcakes! Just need to suffice my sweet tooth? Cupcakes!
The Reason for Celebration: Happy Birthday, Mom!
Usually I like to try fun and different flavors, but today called for a more classic option. After all, these are for someone special. The woman who brought me into this world (and can take me out, as she used to say) is another year older today. If I told you how old she is, she would probably choose to exercise her right to “take me out.”
My mom and I have always been very close. Although she’s a “tomboy” and I’ve always been more of a girly-girl, our differences didn’t come between us.
Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes
For her special day, I wanted to love on her with some sweet treats, and simple vanilla is her favorite cake flavor.
To whip up these tasty little cakes, I started with simple ingredients that can all be found at your everyday grocery store, which makes life a little easier. You could elevate the flavor of the cupcakes by using specialty vanilla extract like Madagascar bourbon, but any pure vanilla will do. I have also recently heard that vanilla bean paste is excellent for a great vanilla flavor. If you choose to use it, it’s a 1:1 substitution for the extract.
The butter that I use is unsalted sweet cream butter. I find that by using unsalted butter and controlling how much salt is in the cupcakes by adding it myself (just a pinch), I get better results.
One of my favorite things about baking is the little helpers who accompany me. My oldest two children, Alijah (4) and Alexia (2), really enjoyed using their little mixing bowl and measuring cups to help Momma make these special treats Mammaw. They even got to help crack the eggs! We used a small glass to put the eggs in before they went into the mixer to prevent any egg shells from making it into the cupcakes.
When the other ingredients were combined, it was time to whip up our new-found secret. Whipped cream helped make these cupcakes extra fluffy. We just whisked some heavy cream in our stand mixer until stiff peaks began to form. This was my first time adding it to something that would go in the oven, and it did not disappoint! They turned out perfectly light. The key is folding in the whipped cream, not using the mixer, so that all of its little air pockets stay in tact and make the batter airy too.
When all the mixing and folding is done and the liners have been filled, the batter should look similar to this. I fill my cups almost all the way to the top but leave a little room for the rounded tops to pop up perfectly without spilling over the edges. I let them bake for 18 minutes, but depending on your oven, you may have to give them a little more or a little less time.
Voila, the finished product! The cakes are very delicate when first removing them from the pan, but I didn’t want them to continue to bake, so I gently pulled them out to place them on wire racks for cooling. Waiting on them to cool is the hardest part! They filled the house with a mouth-watering sweet, vanilla scent. Little hands could hardly keep to themselves.
With the cupcakes finished, it was time to start on their frosting. I hadn’t found a favorite vanilla buttercream yet and was excited to find a new one on foodnetwork.com. This icing recipe has to be one of the easiest and quickest ways to get yummy results. It was my first time doing icing with the whisk, but the heavy whipping cream was a great addition and made it extra creamy.
Check out the full recipe below and try them at home! I hope they bring a little sweetness to your life and you enjoy them as much as we have. Happy birthday, Mom!
Until next time,
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- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream cold
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 2) Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl and set aside. 3) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. 4) Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined. 5) Slowly add the dry mixture, alternating with milk. When smooth, pour batter into a separate bowl. 6) Change your mixer's attachment to the whisk. Whisk heavy whipping cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form (about 7 minutes). 7) Fold the whipped cream into your batter mixture. 8) Fill paper liners about 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. 9) Immediately take cupcakes out of the pan, and place them on wire racks to cool.
1) In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, combine the confectioners' sugar and butter on low speed. 2) Increase to medium speed and whisk until smooth and fluffy (about 3 minutes). 3) Add vanilla and heavy cream. Whisk for 1-2 minutes. 4) Pipe onto cool cupcakes, and enjoy!