Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creamsicle Cupcakes on Accident

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First off, frosting just hates me. I've never been able to make the luscious topping in one go. Every time I end up dumping this thin sugary concoction into the trash because something just has to go wrong. This time I tried making a simple confectioner's sugar and butter frosting in attempts to make a mango buttercream. FAIL. I wasted the liquid gold, the mango purée, after trying to incorporate it into the butter and sugar. Maybe I added too much, but without the amount I introduced it just tasted like butter. In the end it was a curdled mess even after 20 minutes of constant beating. Into the trash can it went.
I had no mango left and so I had to scratch that flavor off my list. Instead I had some lovely oranges I bought last week and well they seemed promising. Look at how juicy it is!
So I started to make a cooked frosting that seemed simple enough and boy was it worth it. The frosting was creamy and tart and apparently tasted like a creamsicle according to my family. Now the sad part... I had no clue what they were talking about. I've only had one of these childhood staples once in my life, which was recently when I revealed to my eldest sister I was deprived of them. Heck. I didn't know what a creamsicle was. I mean what kind of name is that!?

The cupcake was pretty delicious too. I've been on the quest to find that perfect vanilla cupcake recipe because some just fall flat in my opinion *cough* Magnolia's *cough*.  They always seem to turn out dense and flavorless. How much vanilla extract do I need to add!? Then a thought came to me, Remember those Betty Crocker box cake mixes? I recall a little icon saying there was pudding added and so I took the initiative and added instant jell-o pudding to my batter. The result... DELICIOUS. I have no other adjective in my vocabulary to describe something that tasted good. It was concentrated vanilla in a cupcake. It was also moist but not to the point where it falls apart because it's so delicate. Yeah, that's happened to me too.

Now since this was a basically an experiment I shall give you guys the recipe that I can devise after sifting through my thought process when making these cupcakes. Please remember that I can't really remember. Lol. Uhhhh. Okay. I add ingredients according to how it tastes. A dash more salt. A splash more vanilla. Whatever seems to be missing I throw it in. I will continue to modify this vanilla cupcake to fit my tastes. Someday it will become the golden.


Vanilla Cupcake
Loosely adapted from smittenkitchen
Yields 6 cupcakes

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
Preheat oven to 350°F
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pudding and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add egg, beating well and scraping down the bow to incorporate well.
  3. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined Add flour mixture in three batches, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
Orange Buttercream
Loosely adapted from Magnolia
Yields enough to frost 6 cupcakes

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a small sauce pan reduce the orange juice until thick over medium heat. Then add the  milk, flour and orange zest, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes thick. About 10 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl beat the butter for a few minutes. Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Do not worry, it should look grainy.
  3. Add in the cooked milk mixture and beat until frosting becomes significantly lighter in color.
  4. Add in the orange and vanilla extract. At this point you can also add more sugar and beat until dissolved if you prefer a sweeter frosting. Use immediately!

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