Confetti Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

I love these cupcakes.  There is something so yummy about the fluffy light cake and the classic buttercream frosting.  Filled with your favorite sprinkles, they are ready to help you celebrate your favorite people.  

Confetti Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
(Makes 24 cupcakes)

1 cup milk
5 egg whites
2 t vanilla extract (I used Mexican vanilla)
3 cups cake flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 t baking powder
½ t kosher salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chucks, at room temperature
½ cup of favorite sprinkles (I used these from Williams Sonoma)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. 
Line 24 cupcakes cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup of the milk, the egg whites, and vanilla. Set aside.

Using a mixer, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until thoroughly combined.  With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, mixing until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Gradually add the remaining ¾ cup milk and beat for 1 or 2 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the egg mixture.  Mixing well and scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Gently fold in the sprinkles.

With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds full.  

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Let cool for 15 minutes, then remove the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.  

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chucks, at room temperature
6 to 7 cups powdered sugar
½ cup milk
2 t vanilla extract (I used Mexican Vanilla)
A few drops of liquid gel food coloring (optional)

In a mixer, cream the butter on medium for 2 or 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, ¼ cup of milk, and the vanilla and mix on low speed, until smooth and creamy.  Add the remaining ¼ cup of milk and mix until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.  Gradually add 2 cups more sugar, then add up to 1 cup more sugar if the frosting seems thin, and beat on low speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy.

If you want to tint the frosting: Add a drop or two of food coloring to the frosting, mixing well, then add more coloring as necessary until you reach the desired shade. If you want multiple colors, scoop frosting into several bowls, then add food coloring. 

The frosting can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 1 week.  If you refrigerate, bring to room temperature before you use it.  Then transfer the buttercream to a mixer.  Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.  

Happy Birthday Pancakes

My sweet, energetic, determined, little boy turned 7!  The sky was the limit for his birthday dinner.  He could go to his favorite restaurant, order pizza, whatever… William requested I make breakfast for dinner.  I wanted to whip up a special treat.  Our Happy Birthday Pancakes, complete with sprinkles, create a celebration.  Warning: They are very sweet so you will need a large glass of milk.  Happy Birthday, William!  Love, Mommy

Happy Birthday Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 T sugar
3/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1-2 cups milk
assorted sprinkles

Combine flour, cake mix, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix. Add 1 cup of milk, eggs, and vanilla and stir until smooth. You want the batter to look like regular pancake batter; not too thin, not too thick. This will vary greatly on the brand of cake mix you use. You might need to add a little more milk.  Take a small taste test as well to see if the pancakes are flavored enough.

Preheat a skillet on medium heat.  Fold desired amount of sprinkles into batter. Pour batter in 1/4 cup measurements onto skillet and let cook until bubbles form on top, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with vanilla glaze.

Vanilla Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 T milk
1/2 t vanilla extract
assorted sprinkle

Mix milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar until glaze forms. You may need to add a little more sugar or water/milk to reach desired consistency. Mix sprinkles into glaze and drizzle on pancakes.

Happy 7th Birthday, William!

Happy Birthday Meal: Starter: Caprese Skewers

I LOVE birthdays!  It is a perfect time to celebrate and of course, cook.  Today it was time to celebrate Chris.  William and I whipped up a four course meal fit for our king.  After consulting various cookbooks and notes, our menu was filled with his favorites.  I will be sharing all four courses over the next few days.

Birthday Menu

Our first course started with Caprese Skewers.  These bite size appetizers made it easy to mingle and make casual talk about the day.  Chris loves the combination of tomato, basil, and mozzarella.  The drizzle of a balsamic vinaigrette completes the taste.

Caprese Skewers

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 T + 1 t extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t ground black pepper, divided

1/8 t kosher salt

12 small mozzarella balls

24 grape tomatoes

24 small to medium leaves of fresh basil

24 toothpicks

Cut the mozzarella balls in half. In a small bowl, toss mozzarella with the 1 t of olive oil and 1/8 t of the pepper. Set aside to allow the mozzarella to absorb the flavors.

In another small bowl create a vinaigrette by whisking together balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 T of olive oil, 1/8 t pepper, and kosher salt. This vinaigrette will be brushed on the skewers, once assembled.

Create skewers:

Slide 1 grape tomato onto a toothpick. Fold 1 basil leaf in half; pierce with toothpick and slide up to the tomato. Slide 1 mozzarella piece onto the toothpick.  Continue assembling skewers laying them on serving plate.
Once all skewers are assembled, brush them with the balsamic vinaigrette.

Cover until serving.