Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream

A fast post here: as part of my "thank you for helping out with the website" I was asked to make "vanilla cupcakes with sort of spring-looking frosting" so I baked up Smitten Kitchen's vanilla cake recipe, topped with a lime buttercream.

The results: mmmm. The cake is moist and tender and the frosting has an addictively pleasant zing.

(Note to Jordan, another website helper: I brought your scones in today. I emailed you twice. They were here all day, but you didn't arrive. I could not keep my co-workers at bay -- sorry!)

Yellow Vanilla Cake (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line two muffin tins with muffin cups.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. 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 eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spoon batter evenly in muffin pans, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cook fully on cooling rack.

Lime Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest from 2 limes (about 2 teaspoons)
Juice from 2 fresh limes (about 1/4 cup)
6 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in lime juice and zest. Scrape down the bowl and gradually add the powdered sugar, beating just until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.