Cupcakes are a testament to American cooking techniques. There’s something downright primordial about the appeal – they are essentially personal cakes. Anyone who has ever had a piece of cake has, at one point thought, “I would like to eat this entire cake right now.” Cupcakes allow us to tap into that feeling. Individually frosting and enjoying these treats allows us to express a basic sense of possessiveness when most other deserts force us to share. The cupcake and icing recipe is adapted from Magnolia’s Bakery by the New York Times, but you should consider it a starting point. Think about using other extracts, like mint or chocolate, to infuse your cupcakes with other flavors, or mix and match your favorite icing and cupcake recipes.
Finding your signature flavor and style is a great way to add a bit of creativity and self-expression to your cooking. Plus, the overall process if relatively simple, so this is an excellent beginner’s recipe.
Ingredients for Cupcakes:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 1 1/4 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
Ingredients for Icing:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Food coloring (optional)
Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees, then grease and flour two 12 cup muffin tins, and line them with cupcake papers or grease. Mix the flours in a bowl, and mix the milk and vanilla in a separate glass measuring cup.
Then, in a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until it’s smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla solution, beating well after each addition. Then spoon the batter into muffin cups until they are about 3/4 full. Bake for roughly 20 to 22 minutes, then let them cool before icing.
Prepare your icing by placing your butter and 4 cups of sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and vanilla extract and then beat it until it’s smooth and creamy, gradually adding the remaining 4 cups one at a time. A few drops of food coloring, mixed thoroughly in, will add pleasant color. You can keep this in the freezer for two months.