Vanilla CupcakesAdapted from Joy Of Baking
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set pan aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Buttercream frosting (reduced sugar)
1 cup sugar
1 cup egg whites (about 6 large)
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I used SCS)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
Few drops of red colouring
Place sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer set over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is heated and sugar is dissolved. Attach bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and continue whisking until cooled and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
With the mixer running, add butter, one piece at a time, until completely incorporated. Continue whisking until a light, fluffy cream has formed. Add in Vanilla