white cupcakes with blueberry almond buttercream

we haven't "entertained" much since baby winn was born in june. not only do we not have the time, but our living room typically contains no less than four space hogging baby gadgets at a time (in current use: pack & play, bouncer, floor mat, and swing), which leaves little room for actual, adult conversation. which is why in mid-september jason declared we needed to have a party.

shortly after a date was set and i got busy planning the food. since the party was on a sunday evening, i made two baked pasta dishes to feed the crowd of 15 or so we expected. and these cupcakes. they were so freakin' good. i haven't made this white cake in two years and forgot how unbelievable it is. if you're a fan of almond, you'll love this cake. and the buttercream. to die for. i've made strawberry and blackberry versions of it also, and every one is more delicious than the last. my one and only complaint: the blueberries turned the buttercream pink rather than blue, so next time i'll pick a different berry or add a couple drops of blue food coloring.

for a layer cake version, check out my white layer cake with blackberry buttercream.

white cupcakes
adapted from cook's illustrated
40 minutes plus cooling time, makes 24-28 cupcakes

i made one and a half times the cake recipe and one recipe of the buttercream. i had 42 cupcakes and the perfect amount of buttercream to ice them.

1 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  1. set oven rack in the middle position. preheat oven to 350F. line cupcake tins with liners and set aside.
  2. whisk together milk, egg whites, and almond and vanilla extracts. set aside.
  3. in a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. add butter and mix until it forms coarse wet crumbs.
  4. add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. add remaining milk mixture and beat another 1 minute.
  5. divide batter evenly among the cupcake tins. i used this cookie scoop to dish out the batter, and two scoops was the perfect amount for each cupcake. if you don't have a scoop, use three tablespoons of batter for each cupcake.
  6. bake 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. mine were done in exactly 15 minutes.
  7. let the cakes cool in the pan a couple minutes before inverting. cool completely on a wire rack. frost with blueberry buttercream.

blueberry buttercream
adapted from the novice chef
10 minutes, makes plenty for 24 cupcakes

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
6 cups confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons strained blueberry puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  1. beat butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. slowly add 1 cup sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. add blueberry puree, vanilla, and almond until blended.
  4. add remaining sugar half a cup at a time, blending after each addition.
  5. when all the sugar is added, beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

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