Last weekend, I had a $5 credit to use at Williams-Sonoma. I don’t shop there often, but it’s definitely a store I enjoy wandering through. After a great deal of indecision (Jars! Odd-size measuring spoons! Placemats! Spices! I seriously have ADD when I’m in that store.), I finally settled on some new cupcake liners. They seemed to be the best use of my $5, and they had stripes AND polka dots. The cuteness was too much.
I showed them to Andy and said, “Aren’t these the CUTEST cupcake liners you’ve EVER seen?!!”
Andy, being the supportive husband that he is, immediately responded with, “They’d be a lot cuter if you filled them with something.”
OK then. I can take a hint. Cupcakes it is. I even had some leftover frosting from a cake I’d made for a bridal shower a couple weeks earlier. Clearly, these babies were meant to be.
Since this was supposed to be a quick Sunday afternoon project, I wanted a super-basic recipe. I was out of things like buttermilk, and I knew I didn’t want to deal with separating eggs or anything like that. If I was a cake mix kind of girl, that would have been the day for it. You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m NOT a cake mix kind of girl though. 🙂
I pulled this recipe out of an old Woman’s Day magazine a few years ago, so I figured it was worth a try. I halved the recipe (which are the amounts I’m sharing below), as I didn’t want to waste too many ingredients if the recipe bombed. Plus, 12 cupcakes are plenty for two people. 🙂 It turned out well, and I’m going to keep it in mind for those days when I need an easy cake fix.
Easy Vanilla Cupcakes
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for two minutes, or until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to a low, and beat in the milk and vanilla. Mix in the flour until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake wells, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Bake until cupcakes test done with a toothpick and are golden on top, about 18-20 minutes. Rotate the baking pan halfway through the cook time if your oven bakes unevenly.
Remove pan from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the pan. Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with your favorite frosting.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
From Woman’s Day, May 2009
Click here for a printable version.