I found a scrumptious cupcake recipe yesterday!
Catalysts for said cupcakes were: a) a friend's birthday, and b) a persistently present carton of buttermilk in my fridge, taking up space and never quite passing its sell-by date, calling me wasteful and uncreative in its mocking little buttermilky voice every time I bypassed it.
It's been so long that I don't even remember what I bought it for. But I've tried to use it up twice, via two humungous batches of biscuits.
Ah, but today - today, with a birthday at hand - that buttermilk was going down.
twenty-four 2 1/2-inch paper muffin cup liners
4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk (two cups! Muahahahaha)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 1/2-cup muffin cups with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; with mixer on low speed beat in buttermilk until just combined.
Add flour mixture in 3 batches, beating until just combined after each addition.
Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, making each slightly less than half full. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of muffin trays halfway through baking, about 15 minutes, or until golden and a tester comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on racks 5 minutes and remove cupcakes from cups. Cupcakes keep in an airtight container at room temperature 2 days. Makes about 40 cupcakes.
(Recipes adapted from epicurious.com)
The only real adaptation I've made to this recipe is the amount of batter in the cups and thus the cook time. The original recipe said to fill the cups, but filled cups, I found, overflow distasterously. With paper liners, you don't even want the side of the cake to rise above the edge of the paper, because then they're hard to remove. Also, if the top overflows onto the flat of the pan, that part gets dry and crusty. Bottom line: the springy, airy texture of the cake was lovely, so I didn't want to adjust the amount of baking soda/baking powder - so just be sure not to fill them too full, or you'll have dry cakes and burnt batter on the bottom of your oven.
I made two different cream cheese frostings for the cupcakes, as per the original recipe, but I found the lemon to be in all respects superior, os I'm only giving you that one (if you're dying for chocolate, I'll bet bakingsheet has a killer chocolate frosting recipe somewhere what doesn't involve cream cheese).
LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy.
Spread generously over domes of cupcakes (or squeeze through a pretty little squeezy-thing, if you have that). Garnish with a twist of lemon zest.
(Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com)
This was DIVINE and makes plenty, even for forty cupcakes. It's one of those things like lemon curd that I could just eat guiltily with a spoon. In fact, seeing as how I only used half of it (because I also made the chocolate frosting), I know what I'll be doing with the lemon leftovers!
PS. Here's what it was doing in New York this morning: (???!!!)
Closing comment: shoutout to PostPunkKitchen and her amazing cupcake series.