Monday, September 3, 2012

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

It has been an extremely busy summer and I haven't had much opportunity to bake.  Much of our time this summer has been devoted to being outside in our garden or visiting friends and relatives in Vancouver.  With the hot weather, the kiddies were very happy with homemade ice cream and frozen fruit as a treat!

However, Mommy had a craving for vanilla cupcakes today. And they had to be easy to make! 

This recipe is an adaptation of my favourite yellow cake recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook.  I halved the recipe, decreased the sugar and doubled the vanilla.  It is an easy no-fuss recipe with basic, simple and readily available ingredients.  The texture of the cupcake is light, fluffy and does not fall apart, like regular boxed cake mixes. I think the trick is beating the batter on high for 3 minutes.

The batter is a little runny.  Also, there is only enough batter to fill about 1/2 the cupcake liner.  Don't worry, it rises to a full-sized cupcake once baked.  

When I *tried* to sample one plain cupcake, the kiddies accosted me and all that was left was the paper liner and a few crumbs!  They loved the cupcakes plain and didn't care whether I frosted them or not.

Lately, my two older children have been telling me that commercially flavoured yogurt, cookies and cakes are too sweet!  Music to my ears!!  With this feedback, I decreased the sugar to 1/2 cup and no complaints! 

I topped these cupcakes with a lower-sugar, light and lemony frosting.  They didn't last 24 hours...  I think they would be great made in advance and frozen for future use. 

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes
- makes 12 regular/muffin sized cupcakes

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup) 
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners

Cream butter and sugar together.  Dump the rest of the ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally;fill cupcake liners around 1/2 full. 

Bake cupcakes for 12-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.

Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on wire rack.  Cool completely.   Frost as desired.

- From Betty Crocker's Cookbook: Everything You Need To Know To Cook Today

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