Today’s been a heck of a productive Saturday!! Had an amazing night before watching Grease picnic-style in an outdoor cinema (loves!) and it was so much better than I thought. There were burger stands, popcorn and I even saw some cotton candy and we were seated comfortably with our bottles of wine. Blissful indeed. I feel like I get old school movies more…like the jokes, the romantic scenes as supposed to some newer movies….DEFOS a sign of aging. BLEH. ANYWAYS! I diverge again….long story short, had myself a tamed night (pat on the back) and woke up at 8am this morning to start my Saturday morning baking for one of my dearest friend’s baby shower. On the list was: bake the cakes, whip the frosting and make a batch of homemade buttercream fondant.
Sigh – I wish these cupcakes had more of a pink in-your-face punch, but limited time and ran out of pink food colouring so had to improvise. Thank god I still had yellow left…hey it’s an asian baby so there we go. To slightly compensate for the lack of ‘pink’, I added a bit of strawberry flava-fav into this incredibly simple, fool-proof and delish vanilla cupcake recipe. Boom.
Vanilla Cupcakes with a Strawberry Slap (recipe adapted from spoonful.com)
(recipe makes 24 cupcakes)
- 2-1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup skim milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons strawberry flavoured gelatin (dissolved in a bit of hot water)
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Prep your cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, eat the sugar and eggs together until slightly thickened, about 1 minute (ideally this should be done with an electric mixer unless you want to work those arms out).
- Add milk, oil, vanilla, strawberry gelatin (dissolved) and flour (sifted) to mixture and continue to beat for another minute or so, just until the batter is smooth and creamy. Don’t overbeat – just ensure everything’s well combined.
- Scoop batter into cupcake liners 3/4 full (as it will rise and you want a nice level surface for decorating).
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden and the centre passes the toothpick poke test.
- Let cool before decorating.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com)
(recipe makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes plus more for licking)
- 1-1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream
- In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low-speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla, cream and icing sugar (sifted) and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more. You can continue to add more milk to achieve desired consistency.
Simple Homemade Buttercream Fondant (recipe from allrecipes.com)
(Recipe makes a decent sized batch of fondant so depends how crazy you want to go with the decorations and you can always save it for next time)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound icing sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl (again, electric mixer recommended), stir together the butter and corn syrup.
- Mix in the salt and vanilla, then gradually mix in the icing sugar (sifted) until it becomes a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook; otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more icing sugar until it is smooth.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
- To use, roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with icing sugar. Drape over frosted chilled cakes or cut/mould/bend into whatever decorations you desire!
There you have it. Go wild!