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For the cupcakes: 1 c. sugar 1/2 c. butter 2 eggs 2 tbsp. vanilla extract 1 1/2 c. flour 2 tsp. baking powder 3/4 c. low fat milk cream together butter and sugar add eggs, one at a time, mix thoroughly add vanilla and baking powder, mix thoroughly add flour add milk pour into cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners bake at 350 for 15-22 minutes, or until just beginning to brown allow to cool completely
For the Buttercream: 1/4 c. butter 1/4 c. shortening 3 c. powdered sugar 1 tbsp orange zest 3 to 5 tbsp orange juice 1 vanilla bean, split and beans scraped out for use food coloring – red and yellow, or orange
Cream butter and shortening together and add 2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, along with zest and vanilla bean scrapings add additional sugar and then thin out to the desired consistency with the orange juice, starting with 2 tablespoons, adding one more tablespoon each time (up to a total of 5 tablespoons) and thoroughly blend in. Add food coloring a bit at a time until you reach the desired color. I used liquid coloring and used 12 drops of red and 15 drops of yellow to achieve the orange color I got. You could use a paste or gel in orange if you desire. Fill a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton tip 1M) and pipe in a circular motion on top of the cupcake, starting from the outside, moving in toward the center. Yield: One dozen cupcakes
Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes
The Best Chocolate Cake With Vanilla Cream Cheese FrostingMakes 1 three layer 9-inch round cake, serves 10-12 people, or makes 15 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder2 teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt3 large eggs2 cups sugar1/2 cup butter, melted1 cup brewed coffee1 cup buttermilk1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350° F. In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together about 5 minutes, until pale in color. Add melted butter and mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with coffee and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add vanilla and beat well. Batter will be very thin. Pour into three 9" greased cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until knife tests clean. Cool completely. Frost between layers with cream cheese frosting, leaving sides unfrosted.
You may opt to make cupcakes instead by pouring batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Baking time may differ slightly. When cupcakes are completely cool, frost tops with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese FrostingEnough to frost 2 cakes or 2 dozen cupcakes
1/2 pound cream cheese, softened3/4 cup butter, softened4 cups confectioner's sugar2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In mixing bowl, or bowl of electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add sugar gradually, along with vanilla. Beat thoroughly until frosting is smooth and shiny.
To make chocolate cream cheese frosting, add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to above. Frost cake or cupcakes with chocolate frosting, for an all chocolate version of this cake.