Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

     recipe from joythebaker.com

     adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

     makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

a scant 3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup whole milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a handheld beater and beat on slow speed until the mixture is a sandy consistency and everything is combined.  Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.  

Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated.  Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Continue mixing until the batter is smooth.  Just a few minutes.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, dividing between the 12 cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

     from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

     makes enough for 12 cupcakes, double this recipe to frost an 8-inch cake

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the powdered sugar and butter together in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment on medium low speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.  Turn the mixer speed to low.  Combine the milk and the vanilla extract and slowly stream it into the butter and sugar mixture.  Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.  The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.  If you find that your frosting is getting to warm in the summer months, stop beating and set in the fridge for a few minutes.  Once chilled, hook the frosting back up the the mixer and beat once more until you reach the desired consistency.