September 7, 2012

White Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Hello my very patient lovelies. I know, I know. It's been a while. But look, I have some super pretty cupcakes for you! It's a peace offering. Truce? Plus I have a super special crafty tutorial planned for you this weekend. Those of you that follow me on Facebook already know what that is, but I won't spoil the surprise for the rest of you. Let's just say that it's Victorian-inspired and super cute. *Cue mysterious music*

So where have I been the past week and a half? Well, you already know that Baby CC's first birthday party was last Sunday, and I was super busy making treats for that. What kind of treats? I can hear you asking. Well, first and foremost was his smash cake.
Or rather, his unsmashed cake. I think the birthday crowd was a little overwhelming for him, but he liked picking off the sprinkles and playing with the cherry. And he ate a little frosting. But he was so dainty, that it was pretty funny. Especially when his Aunt Allie tried to make him smash it, and he was not best pleased. But Momma and Daddy kept the cake, and I had some extra frosting for them, so they were planning on touching it up and having him smash it when it was just them. Or maybe they just ate it on their lonesome. Whatevs.

The cake itself is adapted from my applesauce cupcakes (Momma wanted to keep things low-sugar, so the sweetness of the applesauce let me cut that down). The cake was super fluffy, so I had to level it, and I got to try some. Holyohmigoodness was it good. CC don't know what he's missing. The frosting is one of my favorites, a whipped agave cream cheese frosting. I figured that he'd get mostly frosting in his mouth, so I wanted it to be the next best thing to sugar-free without using artificial sweeteners. I'll give these recipes their own post some time in the future, promise.

But the smash cake was actually the easiest thing I made for CC's birthday. Because of course, I also made cupcakes.

Me n' AJ decided this guy was Sarge
 He had a Toy Story theme. I got the army men at the dollar store, and CC's Grammy (my aunt) bought the icing decorations, picks and themed baking cups. The original plan was for me to decorate these like the aliens from the movie. My aunt called me at work and told me all these things she was buying from Party City. Then she stopped and said, "They have candy eyeballs. Should I buy them?"

I replied. "Don't buy candy eyeballs. I have candy eyeballs." Then I stopped, thought about what I just said, and really hoped nobody overheard me. But as you can see, I didn't end up decorating them like aliens, because I had enough in the way of decorations. I'm also very proud that I swirled 2 kinds of frosting, chocolate and buttercream. The green coloring for the frosting had made sense at the time, with the army men, and aliens and dinosaurs, but now I'm thinking I should have gone with blue, maybe. Ah well.

Another reason I didn't make cupcake aliens, was that I spent a lot of time making these guys:

Note the one guy with orange ears: I ran out of pink
It was only my second time making cake pops, so I'm pretty pleased. I got the instructions from Bakerella. Of course, her's are 500 times better, but if you didn't see hers first, these look pretty awesome, no? (only three of them have eyebrows, because the eyebrows were too much of a pain) It took me 4.5 hours to make 19 of these guys, and I only stopped there because I ran out of the arms. Cake pops are definitely only going to be once-in-a-while thing for me. They're exhausting.

Then I get back to and they're all "Hahahaha, psych! I hope you enjoyed your time off, because we're gonna inundate you with stuff." And Wednesday there was this major meeting with executives and I was at work from before 7:30 to after 6:00. Yeah.
But you may remember that last Wednesday was my mother's birthday. When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she went, "Ooh, I get cake?" And I'm like, "Of course you get cake. You have a baker for a daughter who has the week of your birthday off." But she decided she wanted these cupcakes instead.
These are mommy's favorite cupcakes, and I never mind making them because not only are they super yummy, but they're pretty darn easy to make. The recipe calls for self-rising flour, which is just all-purpose flour with leavening agents added (salt, baking powder, baking soda). I always have it on hand, because some of my favorite recipes use it (case in point), but I'm sure you can google substitutions.
The cakes themselves are a not-too-sweet vanilla buttermilk cake, which contrasts beautifully with the light sweetness of the white chocolate chips. Really, these don't need to be frosted, but I went with a light, whipped buttercream, because, well, lookit how pretty!!!

White Chocolate Chip Cupcakes {Printable Version}
Yield: 14 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
½ cup buttermilk
1¼ cups white chocolate chips

For the frosting:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream

Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour, alternating with the buttermilk, and mix until smooth. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill ¾ of the way with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter at medium speed. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, and beat until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the cream, and beat at medium until just combined. Increase the speed to high and whip until light and fluffy.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Indulgence Cupcakes. Frosting recipe by Kim

This recipe is featured on Walking on Sunshine and Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party
Foodie Friends Friday