Folks, I have done a LOT of baking recently. A lot. Enough that my husband is begging me NOT to bake anything for a bit even though I got a shiny new stand mixer for Christmas that is just waiting to be used…
I really love holiday baking.
So, first holiday treat were yummy cupcakes to bring to Christmas get together at our friends’ house. My brother and Sister in Law got me a cute cupcake making kit for my birthday and I got the cupcake recipe from the recipe book included.
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites at room temp (mine were cold actually – didn’t seem to have any detrimental effect on my cupcakes)
Preheat oven to 350. Fill 12 cupcake pan openings with liners (or use paper cups like I did that don’t need cupcake pan).
Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside (medium bowl). In small bowl, stir milk with vanilla and almond extracts.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until smoothly blended and lightened in color (3 minutes or so). On low speed, add flour mixture and milk mixture in 3/2 parts each (alternating flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Mix just until flour is incorporated and batter is smooth.
In new large bowl/clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium until foamy (30 seconds or so) then increase speed and beat until they are shiny and smooth and the beaters form lines in the mixture.
(Incidentally, my first attempt to separate yolks by breaking eggs then pulling them out with a spoon was ill fated. Gratefully I recalled that I actually have a handy egg yolk remover thingy.
The whites will cling to the beaters if you lift them up. Stir 1/3 or so into the batter, then fold remaining in until just blended.
Recipe then says to fill cupcake liners 1/3 full. I actually did closer to 1/2 (because when I do the usual 2/3 rec I inevitably overfill and get muffin top cupcakes).
I used paper cups instead of liners and they weren’t quite full enough once baked. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (just until tops feel firm and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
See? Tiny squished cupcakes. Oh well, more frosting, right! They were DELICIOUS though, even without frosting. LOVE the almond flavoring. My favorite.
So about that frosting. OMG.
Ingredients for Marshmallow Buttercream:
1 cup room temp butter
1 7 oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat it all together until it has frosting consistency.
I added a bit of green food coloring for my holiday theme to go with red and white striped cupcake cups. Then I followed a tip I found on the interwebs and turned a pastry bag inside out in a glass before spooning the frosting in. Amazing!
After frosting, I sprinkled Christmas sprinkles atop and voila! Christmas cupcakes!
(That little helper guy by the full tray of cupcakes is our Elf on the Shelf, Millard. He helped bake the cupcakes while we slept, as far as my kids were concerned).