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    Cupcakes: A Buttercream's Best Friend

    Last week I showed you how to make the perfect buttercream.  This week, I thought I’d show you a fabulous conveyance for said frosting.  Even as good as the buttercream is, you still can’t just eat it with a spoon.  Not if there are other people present, anyway.  These cupcakes are soft and tender and I’d say they fall into the category of a sponge cake. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 1 cup flour
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 3 eggs
    • ¼ cup oil
    • ¼ cup buttermilk
    • 2 Tablespoons water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    Start by preheating your oven to 350° and lining/spraying your muffin pan.  Next up, measure all of your dry ingredients into a large-ish mixing bowl. 

    Whisk those together and set it aside.  Next, you need to separate the eggs.  (Seeley has the perfect tip for that here.)  If you measure all the rest of your wet ingredients first, you can just drop the yolks in with them and save dirtying an extra dish.  

    Beat the egg whites until you get stiff peaks.  <giggle>  Sorry, I just can’t help myself.  But if you don’t laugh at the term ‘stiff peaks’, then you’ve never read a really bad romance novel.  Some of the descriptive phrases that people come up with are simply amazing.  I have yet to actually come across stiff peaks (HA!), but I guarantee it’s out there somewhere.  Oops, I got sidetracked.  Where was I?  Oh yes, egg whites. 

    Set those aside and whisk together the other wet ingredients and pour them over the dry stuff. 

    Stir until it just comes together. 

    Add about ⅓ of the egg whites. 

    Fold that in until it’s mostly incorporated before adding the next third. 

    Stirring will deflate the egg whites, so make sure you’re gently folding them in.  Cut through the middle with your spatula.

    Then scrape along the bottom of the bowl and up over the top. 

    Continue that with the remaining egg whites until they’re all incorporated.  Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each one about ⅔ full.  I always put my muffin tins on a sheet pan.  It makes them easier to move around, and it’s also insurance in case I’ve filled them too full.   

    Now, just before you put the cupcakes into the oven turn the temperature up to 425°.  Bake them at that temperature for 5 minutes, then turn it back down to 350°.  Bake them for an additional 10 – 12 minutes. (That’s a total of 15 – 17 minutes.)  They’ll be just starting to brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle of one should come out clean.  Allow them to cool in the pan for only 2 or 3 minutes before relocating them to a cooling rack. 

    When they’ve cooled completely, top each one with a generous amount of delicious buttercream. 

    The interior of these cupcakes is fabulous.  They’re light, fluffy, and moist without feeling oily. 

    What perfectly innocent phrase makes you crack up?  Come on, we all have our sophomoric moments. 


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