Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine's day mini cupcakes

I've come to realize that desserts in miniature are a really, really good thing. I mean, it's like illegal or something (or should be) to not taste what you're baking, right? 

That's what I thought.

This cupcake recipe was borrowed from the lovely Andie, one of my most favoritest bloggers. I'll have to admit I had never tried a white cake recipe until tonight, and I'm definitely a fan! The main difference, if you'll notice, is that the batter is devoid of egg yolks. The result is a lighter cake, both in color and consistency. The reason I went with the white cake (aside from the fact that they're her favorite) was because I planned to dye the batter pink for Valentine's day! I figured white would lend itself better to color than yellow. The result is a super fun batch of cupcakes (which I made mini - easier to share that way!) that make perfect little valentines. I'm not usually a huge fan of this holiday, but the fact that it gives me an excuse to bake definitely ups the awesome factor by about a million percent.

The frosting is a vanilla buttercream because vanilla is the best ever, duh it keeps the cupcake nice and light. I may have given myself a sugar rush from finishing off the icing in the pastry bag once I was done frosting the cupcakes. Don't judge.

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 egg whites
1/2 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons butter, softened but still cold
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350* and line a muffin tin with paper liners (it may help to spray with non-stick cooking spray, as well). Whisk together egg whites, milk and vanilla in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Mix dry ingredients in a larger bowl (or stand mixer bowl). Mix in butter until you have a crumb consistency. Pour 3/4 of the liquid mix into the bowl and beat together on medium speed for about a minute and a half. Add the rest and mix for another minute or so on low, scraping down the sides halfway through. If making plain cupcakes, portion batter into the tin so each cup is about 3/4 filled. If making multi-colored cupcakes, divide batter evenly into several bowls (however many colors you want) and color with a few drops of food coloring or gel. Layer colored batters into cups. Swirl the different colors with a toothpick (use a new toothpick for each cupcake), if desired. Bake 20-22 minutes (15-17 minutes for mini-cupcakes), or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. When the cupcakes are done, move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2.5 tablespoons (2T + 1-2t) flour
1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat milk and flour in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens to a cake batter-like consistency. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile, cream sugar and butter with your mixer until butter is completely incorporated. Once the flour/milk mixture is cool, add to the butter/sugar and beat on high for about a minute, until the frosting is smooth. To color the frosting, I added dye to the milk/flour while it was cooling. I'm sure you could add it later, too.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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