These are the best Vanilla Cupcakes! They're really easy to make from scratch and taste great with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting (also homemade!). This recipe makes moist and delicious cupcakes with the most light and fluffy frosting!
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This week took a rough turn when both J and I both got hit hard with a stomach bug. Monday night ended up being a bit of a tag team effort (since we only have one bathroom outside of the gross toilet that I try not to think about, which lives in our basement). This started almost the moment that we got the girls down to sleep.
Most of Tuesday involved both of us on the couch trying to slowly re-hydrate and sleep off the previous sleepless night. I had a terrible knot in my neck. We watched a lot of Homeland and generally just tried not to die. To say food was the last thing I wanted to think about would be a gross understatement.
Then the girls came home from daycare and A got sick. This is the moment I've been fearing from the moment we found out we were having a baby. I don't do well with puke. Give me dirty diapers any day of the week. But vomit and I are not friends. Thank goodness for J. He is such a darn pro and I am constantly awed by what an amazing father and partner he is.
So yes, our family's first stomach bug is upon us. My poor A was miserable on Tuesday night and I think it scared her. Additionally, I've never seen so much stuff come out of such a tiny human (sorry, but it's true- whoa!). A perked up a bit on Wednesday but we kept her home just to be safe. So far T is still her happy, busy self so I pray the she gets through this unscathed.
That said, I've perked up a bit and am back at work today. Definitely a bit skinnier, though not exactly the diet I had in mind (SO gross!).
I think it's super important to have a series of base recipes that you can use in a variety of different ways. One that is so delicious on it's own but is also easy to change up when the mood strikes and make it into a whole other and often unexpected variation of itself.
Baking is not my strong suit. I've gotten much better at it over the years, but it's confession time. Here it is, folks: I am seriously intimidated by the entire concept of creating baking recipes. I think it's because of the chemistry aspect and the fact that minor changes with ingredients can lead to major changes in your finished product.
In many aspects of my life I am a planner. Oddly, one of the things I love most about savory cooking is the ability to fly by the seat of your pants and keep tweaking the dish and tasting it until everything is perfect balanced and irresistibly delicious.
That being said, I'm trying to work through my intimidation and working hard to learn more about baking. Though I have an obvious penchant for things like cake mix hacks, I'd like to work harder at creating more baked recipes from scratch (and hopefully move past my terror when I think of baking with yeast).
For these, I actually hacked my Grandma Rose's scratch chocolate cake recipe. Though Rosie was never ashamed to use a box cake mix, her chocolate cake was loved by many.
I can remember one time when I was frosting that very same chocolate cake and Grandma said to me with a kind smile and in her usual brash manner, "you're not very good at frosting a cake, are you?"
Now to someone who didn't know her, that can sound kind of mean. But I have to tell you, Rosie was anything but mean. Her love for others held no bounds. She simply had a very blunt way about her. She was not one to mince words and we all loved her for it. She'd one of those little, old, Italian ladies who can say whatever she darn-well wanted and we all loved her for it.
And for the record, I'm really not very good at frosting cakes (hence the reason this frosting was piped onto the cupcakes). I love this piping set to get started! And it's always good to have a nice muffin pan and cupcake liners.
These cupcakes are every bit as moist and simply delicious as one would hope. The butter cream is extremely light and fluffy with the perfect balance of sweetness and fresh strawberry flavor. If you prefer a thicker butter cream, you can always add more confectioner's sugar. I personally prefer how light this is.
Next week I'll be sharing a variation of this cupcake that is specific to T's birthday party. It is so darn cute, I can hardly wait to show you. Stay tuned...
Other delicious desserts include:
The Best Vanilla Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups of sifted cake flour
- 1 ¼ tsp. of baking soda
- 1 tsp. of salt
- ⅔ cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of buttermilk if you don't have this on hand, you can make it by whisking a little lemon juice into regular milk
- 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- Muffin cups
For the frosting:
- 2 sticks of butter softened
- 6 cups of confectioner's sugar
- ⅔ cup of strawberry puree
- 2 tsp. of vanilla or almond extract
For the cupcakes:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners into a muffin pan.
- Sift together the cake flour, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until thick and foamy. Gradually add the sugar until well blended. Fold this thoroughly into the batter.
- Fill the muffin cups ¾ of the way up.
- Bake between 15-20 minutes (mine were perfect right around 17 minutes but this will vary based on your oven).
For the frosting:
- Beat all ingredients until well combined.
- Pipe generously onto your cupcakes.
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