Monday, September 5, 2011
If you begin to notice that a week or more has passed between posts, that's because my senior year of college has begun...and has brought with it both awesome opportunities and a crazy schedule. This semester, I'm involved in three shows. Three. I'm never seeing daylight again. But I am excited :) So apologies in advance for sporadic and intermittent posting - I promise I still love you and want to give you tasty things to make!
And on that note:
I really do love baking for friends.
In exchange for paying my share of a small cab fare on a night out, one of my girlfriends asked me to bake cupcakes to bring to the party she and her roommates were hosting the next weekend. So, when the next Friday rolled around, I gathered up the ingredients to make an incredible-looking cake recipe from Foodie with Family into cupcakes.
The original layer cake was a towering four-layer cinnamon-vanilla butter cake slathered with a silky-smooth brown sugar-cinnamon buttercream frosting. The thick batter bakes up into a not-too-sweet, moist, tender cupcake with just the right amount of spice from the cinnamon.
I figured it would be a good amount of batter for a party-sized batch of cupcakes, and was I ever right - this recipe made 32 cupcakes! My carrier only holds 24, so I had some "quality control" cupcake samples left at home ;)
And why do I love baking for friends so much?
Because of the look on their faces after they take their first bite.
The reactions were priceless - I wish I'd had my camera! - but the general consensus was that these cupcakes were to die for. Everyone who tasted one melted as soon as the first taste hit their tongue. One of my friends consumed four of them at one shot! (Granted he was...welll...intoxicated...but hey, they were good!)
I highly suggest you give these a try the next time you're getting together with a bunch of friends! Everyone will be happy you did :)
Source: lightly adapted from Foodie with Family
Yield: approximately 32 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk, warmed to room temperature (I used vanilla almond milk)
For the buttercream
2-1/4 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4-5 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition to combine.
Mix together the vanilla extract and milk. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture into the batter in the mixer bowl, then 1/3 of the milk mixture. Continue alternating until all of both mixtures have been added and fully incorporated into a smooth batter.
Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner. There will be leftover batter - save it to bake into more cupcakes after the first batch have come out of the oven, or place into a third lined pan if you have one. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Cool in the pans on cooling racks for 5 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Add three cups of the confectioners sugar and beat, starting at low speed and increasing to high, until it is fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the cream, and beat to incorporate. Add the remaining cup of powdered sugar and beat low-to-high speed until fully combined. If the frosting's too thick for your liking, add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time until it's right. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired, with either an offset spatula or a piping bag and tip. Serve and enjoy!