For the cupcakes:
Source: Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes from Food Network
1 1/2 cups (190 grams/6.5 ounces) self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups (160 grams/5.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks/227 grams/8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams/14 ounces) white sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract--I use Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners of your choice (24 total).
2. In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
5. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners (I use this scoop Norpro Stainless Steel Scoop, 50mm (3-Tablespoon) to ensure consist cupcake sizes) and bake in middle of oven until tops turn golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out just clean (a few crumbs is okay), about 18 minutes.
6. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the frosting:
Bakery-Style Vanilla Frosting
3 sticks (340 grams/12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
5 cups (625 grams/22 ounces) confectioners’ sugar (icing, powdered)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) milk
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract — I use Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
pinch of salt
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 5 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
3. Add touch of gel food colour, if desired and mix until blended.
4. Best used right away.
1. To keep frosting smooth and creamy (and not filled with air-bubbles), work it often in the bowl with a rubber spatula, in a pressing & smearing movement to remove air bubbles.
2. To decorate these cupcakes, I used a few drops of Americolor Electric Pink Soft Gel Paste to achieve the "bakery-pink" colour. I then piped a generous swirl of frosting onto each cupcake using a plain round decorating tip inserted in a piping bag, followed by pressing the bottom flat side of a small offset spatula into the centre of the frosting swirl, working in a gentle circular motion, to create an indent and swirl onto the cupcake.
3. I try to avoid keeping cupcakes in an airtight container, as that seems to cause some of the liners to separate from the cupcakes. Cake boxes with the flaps closed seems to work well.
Good luck & enjoy!