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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's Baking?: Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Happy Birthday to my (not so little) niece Arianna! She's the big 3 today! I was able to be with her for her birthday so we celebrated in style. I asked her what her favorite flavored cake was and she said "banilla". Her favorite color today is purple. While my sister-in-law and I snuck away to TJ Maxx, she spotted these uber cute zoo animal toppers. Arianna loves animals. She was so excited about her cupcake surprise!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large lemon, zested
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line muffin tin or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract & lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture & milk (in 3 additions, beginning and ending with flour). Scrape down the sides of the bowl & mix well.

Fill cupcakes and bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp. milk
food coloring (optional)

In an electric mixer, cream butter until it is smooth. Add vanilla extract. On low speed, gradually beat in sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add milk & beat on high until the frosting is light & fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add more milk & sugar if needed. Tint with food coloring and mix well. Frost cupcakes.