Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Katie's Birthday Cupcakes

This past weekend was Katie’s, one of my oldest friends, birthday. I’ve known her since the 4th grade! To commemorate the occasion, I decided to bake her a few cupcakes. I had imagined cupcakes frosted with lavender colored vanilla frosting and white swirls all over its surface. What I ended up with was not exactly what I had planned.

Let me first point out that the yellow cupcakes turned out very well. They were moist and tasty.

The problem came when making the frosting. You see, being my stubborn self, I decided to deviate from the instructions of making the frosting. Instead of adding confectioner’s sugar to the butter and then slowly adding milk, I decided to mix the butter and milk first and then slowly add the sugar. I got this idea from a royal icing recipe that I had once made. That royal icing turned out superbly well, but apparently there’s a difference in making frosting and making royal icing. Before adding food coloring to the frosting, it looked the way it was supposed to. However, once those colorful droplets hit the mixture, ahhh! The frosting had a consistency like that of curdled cheese! Perhaps the frosting could have gotten that way from too much mixing? After a taste test, I decided to use the frosting and see what I could make of it. The swirls didn’t work out as I would have liked merely because I couldn’t find the fine tip that I thought I had. Thus, personalized cupcakes had to have sufficed. When I got to the party, no one seemed to know the difference. All’s well that ends well.

My problem used to be making cakes that were too dry and frostings that made the cake look better than it tasted. After this incident, it seems to be the opposite. With words of encouragement, my sig-o told me that since I already know how to make non-curdled frosting, I just need to combine it with this moist cake experience to bake the perfect cake next time!

Both starlight yellow cake and vanilla buttercream frosting were from "Betty Crocker's Cookbook".

**Learn from my mistake and follow the directions for the frosting**

Starlight yellow cake:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Beat all the ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into cupcake liners until 2/3 full.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoons of the milk.

Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.


  1. Well, even though the frosting doesnt look appetizing, I'm sure they tasted great! After reading through the recipe, I think I'm going to go make some. My niece's name is Kendelle, and her 2 yr birthday is in a month, so I think I may take the k's and have a kupcake party. She even loves the color purple. She can say it!