I Dreamed a Dream

>This past weekend I had a dream about Ohio. In my dream I wanted had to make a friend cupcakes. Of course I had to figure out how to get them to her because I live 2,000 miles away. Finally I came to the conclusion that I had to fly home to bring her the cupcakes. I imagined how perfectly my cupcake carrier would fit under the seat. I think my brain was trying to tell me that I needed to make cupcakes.

So, when I woke up I knew that I would be making some. I decided I wanted to make classic white cupcakes with a lemon raspberry butter cream, in honor of spring. The recipe that I usually use for making white cakes is awesome, first it calls for butter instead of oil, butter makes everything better. Second, the way the ingredients are brought together is unique and does not require beating egg whites to stiff peaks and then folding it into batter, which makes my arm tired! The result is an incredibly light but still flavorful white cake.


Unfortunately, I discovered that this batter is almost too light for making cupcakes. I filled the liners as I usually do, a little less than 2/3 full and they rose sooooo much that they spilled over the tops and looked more like muffins than cupcakes. They also did not do a great job of sticking to the liners, a few came right out of the liners as I tried to remove them from the pan and in others the liners were peeling away from the edges. They tasted great but just weren’t as sturdy as I usually like my cupcakes. I still really like this recipe for regular 9 inch round cakes, so I will share the recipe but I will also add a link to recipe that would be better suited for cupcakes.

White Cake with Lemon Raspberry Buttercream
(Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
(Recommended recipe for cupcakes)

White Cake

1 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (6 oz), softened

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease two 9 inch cake pans with vegetable shortening, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper and flour the pans.
Combine milk, eggs whites and extract in a small bowl with a fork. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in an electric mixer and mix at slow speed with a paddle attachment. Add butter. Continue beating at slow speed until mixture looks like wet sand (If you’re doing this by hand, sift the dry ingredients together and rub in butter).
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and gently shake to smooth batter. Bake 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes then invert onto racks to cool completely before frosting. Unfrosted cakes can be frozen for 1-2 weeks.

Lemon Raspberry Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 tbsp half and half
2 tbsp seedless raspberry preserves
1 cap full lemon extract (~1/2 tsp)
(I think a tsp or 2 of lemon zest would be a wonderful addition however I did not have any lemons on hand)

Beat the butter in a mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes or until very pale yellow and creamy looking. Slowly add the confectioners sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Half way through adding the confectioners sugar add the half and half, raspberry preserves and lemon extract. Continue to beat until the frosting is a smooth spreadable texture, but not too soft. If it appears to stiff or dry add a little more half and half. If it appears too wet or runny add more confectioners sugar.

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes!

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Lately I have seen a lot of “tie dye” cupcakes in the food blogging world and I always think they are so cool looking. I remember the first time I saw them I knew that I was going to have to make them! So I didn’t have to brain storm for very long to decide what I wanted to make for the 4th of July. I have to say that I am very very pleased with the results! They turned out even cuter than I had hoped for. So if you are looking for an impressive treat for your 4th of July celebration, look no further. 🙂

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

Supplies/Ingredients
White cake batter (I used the Wilton recipe below but don’t feel bad if you just grab a box of white cake mix from the grocery!)
Red Food Coloring
Blue Food Coloring
3 bowls (1 for each color)
Buttercream Frosting
Red, White and Blue Sprinkles

Directions
Prepare the cake batter as directed.

Divide the batter into 3 bowls. Leave one bowl white. Add 3-4 drops of red food coloring to another bowl and 3-4 drops of blue food coloring in another. Mix the food coloring in and add more if the colors are not bright enough.

Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. Start by dropping a spoonful of white batter into the bottom of each liner. Follow with a spoonful of blue. If you want you can go back with a toothpick and swirl the colors a little bit, just be careful not to “stir” the batter because the colors will blend). After the blue do a drop of white in each. Then a spoonful of red. Finish with small drops of each color on top.

Bake according to cake batter recipe.

Top each cupcake with buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

Classic White Cake – I cut the recipe in half and below I’ve listed the measurements I used
(Source: Wilton Website)

Ingredients

3 cups cake flour sifted
1 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2cups granulated sugar
1cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg whites

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare cupcake pans with cupcake liners (24)

Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside. With mixer at slow speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.