June 21, 2010

Who Doesn't Love Cupcakes?

I put these delicious little beauties together for a party on Friday night, and they were a big hit. The vanilla cupcake recipe is my favorite go-to choice, but the frosting recipe was new. I was looking for something easy, that didn't require me to risk another round of fallen meringues or curdled buttercream. Besides...it was Friday at 6PM and I was le tired.
Enter, Smitten Kitchen's Celebration Cakes list. She used this buttercream frosting on a cake, and noted that it could be whipped up in the food processor. Less than 2 minutes from easy ingredients to rich chocolate frosting? Sold!

Vanilla Cupcakes
adapted from Amy Sedaris, makes about 18 cupcakes

1½ sticks unsalted butter
1¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
2½ tsp baking powder
2½ cups flour
1¼ cups milk

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Add flour in 3 batches, alternating with milk. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth and satiny. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 45 minutes or until at room temperature.

Instant Fudge Frosting
adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Sky High Cakes
Makes about 5 cups

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (I only used 2 sticks and it was PLENTY)
6 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate, then process until the frosting is smooth.