December 17, 2012

Easy Party Cupcakes


Photos from www.marthastewart.com

Cupcakes are so easy to add to your dessert table.  You don't even have to go crazy with fancy flavors and icings.  Simple is always better.  You can always add cute embellishments like cupcake picks, sprinkles, and edible glitter.  Plate your cupcakes on pretty platters or cake stands.  You can't go wrong with these two recipes below!

Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk (I use regular milk at room temperature)
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.  Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl*.  Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk or milk, oil and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 mintues.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.  Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed.  Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
* I hate sifting!!! So I combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and then whisk to aerate.


Martha Stewart's Yellow Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffing tins with paper liners and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a liquid-measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla; set aside.  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk-vanilla mixture, then remaining dry ingredients.  Do not over mix.  Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in up to 1/2 cup more sugar or a few more teaspoons of milk as necessary to achieve desired consistency.  Add in food coloring or gel for pretty color.

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