birthday cupcakes

These aren't just any old birthday cupcakes...

These cupcakes are to celebrate the birth of our little Jellybean!  Hannah was born on July 20th and I can't believe she's one month old already.  I love her so much and my heart absolutely melts every time she gives me a big toothless grin, snuggles her head into my chest or wraps her tiny fingers around my finger.  I find myself staring into her beautiful blue eyes and wondering who she will be as she continues to grow.  What will her personality be like?  What will she be interested in?  What sorts of adventures will we have together?  I'm looking forward to all the things that come along with little girls, like playing dollies, dress-up & tea parties.  In fact, these pink cupcakes would be perfect for a tea party!  I'm sure Hannah and I will enjoy spending time together in the kitchen making all sorts of yummy treats :)

What better way to celebrate my baby girl then with pretty cupcakes?  I chose to make vanilla cupcakes with strawberry buttercream.  The cake recipe makes tasty cupcakes with excellent vanilla flavour.  The cake is a bit dense, but in my opinion that gives them a lovely homemade feeling.  I used fresh strawberries to make the puree for the buttercream, and they gave it a really wonderful flavour.  It was seriously hard to resist eating the frosting by the spoonful!  I made a small mistake with my buttercream, and didn't let the egg/sugar mixture cool enough before I started adding butter - this, combined with the warmer temperatures outside, resulted in runny buttercream because too much of the butter had melted.  Lesson learned!  (The cupcakes still tasted great though)

Yellow Cupcakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs plus 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350F and line muffin tins with paper liners (recipe makes 24 cupcakes)

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in the bowl of the stand mixer.  Add the butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla to the bowl, then beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients at medium speed, until well combined - about 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and stir the batter to combine any last bits of flour mixture.  Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins - I like to use a cookie scoop.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lb unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 lb strawberries

First wash and trim the tops from the strawberries and puree them in the food processor or blender.  Put the puree in a small saucepan and reduce by half.  Use a fine mesh sieve to strain out the seeds; you will need to push the puree through with a spatula or the back of a spoon.  Set the strained strawberry puree aside.  Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Set the bowl over a small amount of simmering water in a saucepan - make sure the bottom of the mixer bowl doesn't touch the water.  Continue whisking the mixture until it is foamy and has reached 160F.  Put the bowl onto the stand mixer and whisk the mixture at medium-high speed until it has cooled to room temperature; at least 5 minutes.  It's important to make sure the egg/sugar mixture has properly cooled or the butter will melt when added.  Cut the butter into 16 pieces and add the butter one piece at a time while the mixer runs at medium speed.  After all the butter has been added add two tablespoons of strawberry puree and mix to combine then add another two tablespoons and mix again.  Add more strawberry puree to taste (I used 6 tablespoons).  Increase the speed of the mixer to high and whisk for a further one minute until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Recipes adapted from Baking Illustrated.