Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Dozen Roses

Can you trust someone who doesn't like dessert?

I am always a little disappointed when people turn down a baked good. I can understand not ordering dessert after a huge dinner, but turning down a cupcake that I hand crafted for you? I don't know how to respond to a person like that. Except for my uber-healthy-on-the-verge-of-vegan friend Drew, I am always a little guarded around these people who claim they aren't a fan of sweets.

Besides, I can trust Drew because even though he doesn't always want a cupcake, he'll eat it if I insist.

It has been a very long time since I made cupcakes. I didn't even bring any of my cake pans from California. Then, week 6 of the baking challenge came along, and I decided to work on my decorating skills. The challenge: elegant.

It was a really fun challenge to prepare for. I loved going through cupcake pictures for inspiration, and shopping at Michael's for supplies is always fantastically overwhelming. (The only store where I could spend hours standing in front of the same aisle). I bought the cute liners, and the pearlized sprinkles at decent prices, (one on clearance, the other with a coupon). I also did a lot of youtube research on making frosting roses. (NEVER made them before!) All sorts of new learning going on.

Vanilla-bean Butter Cake
slightly adapted from organic and chic

Makes 12 happily domed cupcakes*

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

*Some of my ingredient amounts are pretty wonky since I "halved" the recipe. To make 24 cupcakes the sugar and flour amounts would be 1 3/4 cups and 2 3/4 cups, respectively. I'll let you figure out the rest.

Place rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl cream the stick of butter butter and the 1 1/4 cups of sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir to combine the 1/2 cup of milk and the tablespoon of vanilla. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the 1 3/4 cup, 1 tablespoon, and 1 teaspoon flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

While stirring between each addition, add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar, followed by half of the milk mixture. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, and the remaining half of the vanilla milk. Combining until just incorporated, add the final portion of the flour mixture. Stir batter well, making sure to scrape the edges of the bowl.

Distribute batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners and bake for about 25 minutes, turning halfway between. Cupcakes should be golden, and can be tested by inserting a toothpick to the center that comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes, before placing on rack to cool completely.


  1. My hat is off to you for frosting roses, I tried them once upon a time and failed miserably. They certainly are elegant!

  2. Thanks Avrienne! But to be fair, I did make the frosting go through the piping bag about 3 times before I settled on the roses you see here. My wrist put in a lot of work for this one!