Yellow Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

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So, I had the (probably ill-fated) idea to try and make the cupcakes myself for my kids’ birthday party (in June…yes, I’m crazy). If I did this, I’d need to make them the night before and was concerned about buttercream melting. I did some googling and found that if you use shortening instead of (or at least halved with) butter the buttercream stays more stable and won’t soften at room temperature. I am NOT a fan of shortening though, it skeeves me out intensely. I decided since I had 4 months to plan, I’d give shortening based frosting a go so I did my first run a couple weeks ago.

Spoiler Alert – HATED it. I made one or two minor modifications from some pro baker friends of mine but not ALL of their modifications. Maybe if I made all of their changes I would have liked it.

Second spoiler alert – I didn’t like the cupcakes either. LOL.

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Both recipes from Wilton.

Wilton Yellow Cake:

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Ingredients:

[Note – I halved this because I didn’t want a ton of cupcakes. It yielded about 9 cupcakes at these ratios.]

  • 1.5 cups sifted cake flour [This may be why I didn’t like it. I misread and used regular flour. Not sure if that would have a significant effect or not.]
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 7/8 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5/8 cups milk

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Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • Cream sugar and butter together until light.
  • Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed.
  • Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.Continue beating one minute.
  • Pour batter into cupcake cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. [I don’t remember how long I baked but I know it was less than this. I think I may have set initial timer for 20 minutes then checked every couple minutes until done. Total of maybe 25 mins. or so depending on oven?]

Wilton Buttercream:

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Ingredients:

[Again, halved from original recipe]

  • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening [Note – GROSS]
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract (note – I didn’t care about pure white and didn’t have clear so we used regular brown vanilla extract) [and, at your option, 1/2 tsp almond extract]
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 tablespoons milk (or heavy cream)

Instructions

  • In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer.
  • Add vanilla. I also added some almond extract, about the same amount as the vanilla, to mask the shortening flavor.
  • Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.
  • Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
  • When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  • Add milk (I used heavy cream instead at a baker friend’s rec) and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  • I added a few drops of yellow gel food coloring then put in a frosting bag with an open tip and piped in a circle onto the cupcakes, topping with a few sprinkles.

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So, again, not too crazy. First, the cupcakes tasted more like bread than cake, which I’m guessing is from the use of regular flour instead of cake flour. And the frosting still tasted like greasy lard to me. I’m probably just going to order the cupcakes anyway. 😉

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