Sep 10 08
by cara
at 9:16 PM
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Cupcakes Four Ways…Plus an Allergy Friendly Cupcake

Last weekend was The Littlest Apple’s FIRST BIRTHDAY!  We had a small family gathering at our house to celebrate his big day.  For the party, I decided on cupcakes instead of cake.  It got a little complicated because The Littlest Apple is allergic to milk and eggs and one of our family members doesn’t eat chocolate….so what’s a mommy baker to do?!

Well, for starters, the birthday boy got his own special allergy-friendly cupcake and frosting.  I used a cake recipe from the Depression era when milk, butter, and eggs were too expensive for many people.  This recipe uses vinegar and oil.  I made chocolate buttercream using shortening…..the consistency was perfect…my only problem was with the awful artificial butter taste from the Butter flavored Crisco.  Bleh!  I’ll use plain shortening next time.  So the allergy friendly cupcake tasted pretty decent, and was just right for my Littlest Apple.  He’s really not big on cake/muffin texture (okay, let’s be honest, he doesn’t like to eat anything.  Period.)  He did take a few licks of the frosting, but that was about it…..here’s his cute cupcake picture.

For everyone else, I took a mix-and-match cupcake approach.  I made vanilla/vanilla, vanilla/chocolate, chocolate/chocolate, and chocolate/vanilla.  Two cakes, two frostings.  The chocolate cake with chocolate frosting was a hit with the guests, as was the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.  MY personal favorite was the vanilla/vanilla.  I guess they were all good!  This is my all time favorite vanilla buttercream recipe…..I absolutely LOVE the salt in the frosting!

I used the Wilton pre-rolled fondant and alphabet cutters to spell out the Happy Birthday message on top of the cupcakes.  It was super easy, but the letters were a little small and spaced too far apart, making it kind of hard to read.  I’ll definitely try this method again on a cake!

We didn’t capture any closeup pictures of the cupcakes, but here are all of the recipes…

Milk and Egg Free Cake

  • 1 1/2  cup  flour
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  tsp  baking soda
  • 1/2  tsp  salt
  • 1  Tbsp  vinegar
  • 5  Tbsp  oil
  • 1  tsp  vanilla
  • 1  cup  water

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.  Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until you get a smooth batter. Do not beat.  Pour into greased and floured pan (8″ square or 9″ round) or 12 cupcakes. Bake in oven until tests done – about 35 minutes for cake, about 20 minutes for cupcakes.

Buttery Vanilla Cupcakes

recipe from Stephanie’s Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or you could use almond or lemon)
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In a mixer, beat butter until creamy.  Add milk.  Add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients until well mixed.  Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Batter should be fluffy and creamy.
Line muffin tin with muffin cups.  Fill the cups only 1/2 full with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in muffin tin.  Transfer to wire rack to frost.

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

recipe from Martha Stewart

  • 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
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.  Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream

recipe from My Sweet and Saucy, adapted from Demolition Desserts

  • 4 oz. unsalted softened butter
  • 2 1/2 c. or 10 oz. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. whole milk
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t. fresh lemon juice (I put 1/2 t.)

In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter & salt for about 30 seconds and then add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon juice and beat until combined.  Scrape down the bowl again.  Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.

Chocolate Buttercream

recipe from Stephanie’s Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half or milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the frosting, in a mixer cream the butter.  Add the cocoa and mix thoroughly.  Add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cup at a time, alternating with the cream until consistency is fluffy and creamy.  Frost on cooled cupcakes.
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