We wanted to take a moment to write about something our clients enjoy doing, baking. And isn’t December the perfect month to write about cupcakes? Read on to learn more about this treat.
Making cupcakes is as easy as 1-2-3! Why? Because historically, the recipe for cupcakes is:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup milk and
1 spoonful of baking soda.
Of course, there are variations to this recipe, but this writer likes to relish the thought that baking can be so easy, which it is!
Since the first documented recipe for the cupcake in 1796, the name has changed a few times: fairy cakes, patty cakes, and cup cakes (two words), but it seems that the term “cupcake” still fits the mold, the delightful little parcel of sweetness that never fails to put a smile on your face.
Did you know that December 15th is National Cupcake Day? Let’s get started! Now, put on those aprons, grab some muffin tins because baking day is around the corner.
Tips for Moist Cupcakes
Nothing could be worse than a dry cupcake. To add moisture to your morsels, use cake flour! Not only does cake flour have less gluten, but it is bleached, giving the flour a higher acid content. Higher acid makes the cupcakes moist, so try switching your recipe from all-purpose flour to cake flour.
Another way to add moistness to your cupcakes is to substitute brown sugar for white. While this may not be a good idea for your snow-white holiday cakes, it will work just fine for other cupcake creations.
Sour cream is another savory switch you can make for moister cupcakes. Replace the 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of sour cream and feel those cupcakes melt in your mouth!
A Recipe for a Fantastic Cupcake
We searched the web to find a fantastic cupcake recipe for your dedicated time spent in the kitchen, and we found it. Chocolate and vanilla are the “most popular” cupcakes, so we started there.
Our great recipe pick comes from Natashas Kitchen, touted to have the “only vanilla cupcake recipe you need.” Now that’s saying something. The recipe states that you will have perfectly soft, evenly risen cupcakes! Vanilla is just so lovely, and the white cake and frosting lend themselves to an excellent backdrop for some creative holiday decorating.
Now gather your measuring cups, spoons, and bowls, and let’s give this a whirl.
We are looking for a unique ingredient for these “perfect vanilla cupcakes.” It seems like buttermilk is the secret weapon in this batter.
Buttermilk brings texture to your cupcakes too. And just like cake flour, it gives acid to your batter to make the cupcakes moist.
Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Servings: 12 cupcakes
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup buttermilk, or plain kefir, room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes until thick and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then scrape down the bowl. Add 2 tsp vanilla and beat to combine.
5. Reduce mixer speed to medium and add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with the buttermilk, mixing to incorporate each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed and beat until just combined and smooth. Divide the batter evenly into a 12-count lined muffin or cupcake pan, filling 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 20-23 minutes at 350°F, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before frosting.
Make sure that your eggs, milk, and butter are at room temperature before you get started. This technique is vital to create a uniform effect in the batter.
Don’t over-fill. Cupcakes should be filled 2/3 of the way, and make sure to fill each liner exactly 2/3 to have even cooking.
The kids at Plan-It Life Enjoy Making Cupcakes Around the Holidays.
It’s fun to team up when making cupcakes. Chances are, the scientist in one of you will want to measure out your ingredients to a T, whereas your creative cohort is chomping at the bit to ice and decorate those cupcakes! Make it a team effort. It’s much more fun to cook in a group and share different thoughts and strategies.
Cupcakes are unique in that decorating can be either elaborate or relatively easy, depending on the age group.
We found 45 cupcake decorating ideas for you at Good Housekeeping, and we want to share a few of our favorites:
Christmas Light Cupcakes couldn’t be any simpler yet so incredibly festive. In addition to a white-frosted cupcake, all that is needed is some black icing for the Christmas light “wire,” which you can purchase in a tube, and miniature M&Ms!
Little hands like to get busy in the kitchen with you and learn. With this recipe, make it into a learning experience by reinforcing names of colors from the M&Ms as you work together.
Vanilla-Coconut Snow-People Cupcakes are a dimensional delight. There are no carrot noses here. Red Hots for winter noses and buttons pair with sour-strip candy to make scarves and ties. You can make Vanilla-Coconut Snow-People Cupcakes short or tall. Experiment on just how tall you can build your snowman or snowlady!
Cupcake Wreath. Genius, right? What an excellent idea for the more advanced baker in the group and a superb way to dress up the Holiday dinner table. This recipe is for the frosting lover! Find the right tip for the icing bag and plenty of green frosting to create this circle of shared delight.
How to Observe the Day The best way to observe National Cupcake Day is by eating cupcakes, of course! Make it a party. Young and old can participate by creating a cupcake decorating table and maybe even having a decorating contest. Now you can make dozens of Cupcake Wreath moist, vanilla cupcakes, just let them cool and let your sweet imagination be your guide. You can get involved on Social media by hashtagging your unique cupcake masterpieces using the tag #nationalcupcakeday.