April 30, 2012

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

I have a secret. It's a dirty little secret that my shock and enrage all who read it. You may wish to burn me in effigy after reading it, but I can't keep it from you any longer.

Here's the truth: I never liked cake growing up. Phew, that feels good to let out in the open.

The cake itself was tolerable, but not something I'd choose to eat. It was more the frosting. I hated frosting. With a passion. I've mentioned before my dislike of creamy things, and that might have had a hand in it. But it wasn't just the texture that threw me off. It was the sweetness. Nobody ever made their own frosting when I was growing up, so it was all that stuff from the can, and that stuff just turns my stomach. Put that on top of cake, which I didn't especially like to begin with, and there was no way that I was going to eat it.

So suffice it to say that I never actually ate birthday cake when I was growing up. When I decided to make "birthday cake" cupcakes for my sister-in-law's birthday, my image of birthday cake was a vanilla cake with a light, sweet vanilla frosting. If that doesn't remind anybody else of birthday cake, well you can deal with it.

But wait, there's more!

Maggie from Kitchie Coo awarded me with not one, but two blogger awards:

The Kreativ Blogger Award and the Sunshine Award! Thank you so much, Maggie! And make sure to stop by her blog. I especially love her Kitchie Tips.

For the Kreativ Blogger Award, I'm supposed to tell you 10 random things about myself, so here goes:
  1. The other receptionist and I at work curse like sailors.
  2. My favorite author is China Mieville. He's known in some circles as the father of weird fiction. He's also kind of sexy, which doesn't hurt.
  3. The Guild is one of my favorite things on the interwebz. Partly because I identify with Codex, but mostly because I know enough gamers- and am a casual gamer myself- to find it really funny.
  4. I cosplayed as Clara for NY Comic Con because these aren't hams I'm smugglin' here. (Guildie in-joke. Watch to find out what I mean)
  5. I'm the kind of girl that uses words like "cosplay" and "in-joke" and "Comic Con." I also use terms like "fanfiction," "Mary-Sue," and "shipping." And no, that doesn't mean what you think it means.
  6. I'm always surprised when people think I'm funny. I feel like maybe they just don't know any better. I don't think I'm very funny.
  7. I have a phobia of drive-through car washes. I mean, I was scared of them when I was younger, but I figured I'd be over it now. But going by the panic attack I almost had yesterday, that's not the case. (You can tell that I never get my car washed, but the Silver Dragon was so covered in pollen that it was the Green Dragon.)
  8. My bestie and I met in the sixth grade, but we never really talked until I asked her if she liked Buffy. Instant bonding.
  9. I have social anxiety, and I'm really shy, so I get really excited when someone reaches out to me or if I work up the nerve to leave someone a comment and they respond.
  10. When I'm especially caffeinated/sugared-up, I can hold entire conversations by myself. Not just the normal talking to yourself, but I will ask a question and then answer it. Or say something and comment on what I just said. It's sort of my super power.
Am I the only one who finds these about-me things really hard? Because I'm not done yet. For the Sunshine Award, I have to answer these next questions:

  • Favourite Colour – All colors. Any color. If I have to pick one, it would be green.

  • Favourite Animal – Lemurs. They're so cute!

  • Favourite Number – 9

  • Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink – I actually don't drink alcoholic drinks, so that's an unnecessary distinction. But I'll go with Peach Snapple

  • Prefer Facebook or Twitter – Facebook. Confining myself to 140 characters is hard.

  • My Passion – Writing. Followed by baking, and then jewelery design.

  • Prefer Getting or Giving Presents – Giving.

  • Favourite Pattern – Umm, basket weave?

  • Favourite Day of the Week – Don't really have one. I mean, weekends are cool and all, and I guess I prefer them to weekdays, but I can't really point to a day and say, "You! You're my favorite."

  • Favourite Flower – I like wildflowers. Don't really have a specific favorite... maybe lavender?

  • I'm going to hand these two out together like they were given to me, so here are the 10 bloggers that I nominate:

    Kim from Just Baked
    Jen from Love Food Cook Food
    Melissa from ChinDeep
    Jenn from Peas & Crayons
    Amy from Oh, Bite It!
    Jennie from The Messy Baker
    Tina from Flour Trader
    Jen from Juanita's Cocina
    Johanna from Me and My Sweets
    Pennie from Passioneats

    Birthday Cake Cupcakes {Printable Version}
    Yield: 24 cupcakes

    For the cupcakes
    2 1/2 cups flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 1/4 cup sugar
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    3 eggs
    3/4 cup sour cream
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 cup milk

    For the frosting
    2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/3 cup whipping cream
    1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sale. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream, and mix until fully combined. Fold in half of the flour mixture. Mix in the milk and then the other half of the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Bake 15-17 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes our clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

    For the frosting: Beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture resembles small peas. Add in the vanilla extract and whipping cream. Beat on low speed until just combined, then increase the speed to high. Whip on high speed until light and fluffy.

    Recipe by Kim