Sunday, January 23, 2011

Best vanilla cupcake? (and a birthday!)

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I have a couple of chocolate cake/cupcake recipes that I'm very happy with, but I'm still on a quest for an ideal vanilla cupcake. I don't know what it is exactly that makes this a difficult search, but somehow, I have yet to find a perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. They're always either too dry, or too sweet, and above all, not vanilla-ey enough. And it's not as simple as doubling the amount of vanilla extract, either (then it's too one-dimensional). I should probably try getting some vanilla beans and see if that makes a difference (although that would make vanilla cupcakes rather expensive, sigh). Anyway, the latest recipe on the testing block is from Martha Stewart and I picked it because it calls for sour cream, which I figured would take care of the dryness problem (and also because I had bought some for potato salad). It was in fact a nice, moist cupcake with a good rise, and it was really good right out of the oven. I'm not as crazy about the texture after it cools though. To be fair, we are having a cold snap here, and I cooled the cupcakes on my windowsill, which is probably close to freezing point (my windows have actually frozen over! Brrr.) so I'm sure that didn't help the texture! Anyway, it's a decent cake, but the search continues.

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The frosting is my old standby from King Arthur Flour (you can find the recipe here) and is my all time favorite (and I'm not even a big frosting fan!). Plus, it's made with cocoa, which I always have on hand. And since these were for a birthday, I decided to forgo my usual restraint (haha) and showered them with sprinkles.

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Here's the birthday girl! We used to work together and now that I'm working elsewhere, I don't see her as often as I used to, but we had a fun time catching up (and I got to see her adorable kids and chat with her husband). I wish I had thought to bring my actual camera with me, but this crappy phone image will have to suffice--please pay special attention to her awesome gingerbread house which has lighting! And windows made out of butterscotch candies. I think the inhabitants were My Little Ponys, but they must have been out when I visited. Oh, and that blur in the corner is her younger kiddo, who was starting to resemble a Na'avi when I left. Heehee.

Anyway, I hope she had a good birthday, and we have plans to go to Dinosaur BBQ soon, woohoo!

And finally, a request--does anyone have a vanilla cupcake recipe they love? Please send it to me!

6 comments:

babykins said...

Soooo pretty cupcakes! It seems your recipe-exploration lasts forever. I've never used vanilla for cupcakes. Hope you find out a satisfying one.
I'm curious about Dinosaur BBQ!!

tofugirl said...

It's true, I am constantly trying out recipes--too picky, I guess :D But I do love the frosting recipe, sooo good.

Dinosaur is an awesome barbeque restaurant near my apartment! Their food is delicious--yummy brisket and ribs :D

Bentobird said...

Love these joyous cupcakes--chocolate, vanilla, a scatter of rainbow stars. Beautiful!

CC said...

I found your blog via Refinery29 and I'm so glad I did! Those look AMAZING. :)
Xx

tofugirl said...

Hi CC, thanks for visiting! I'll have to check out Refinery29--had no idea they had linked to me :)

tofugirl said...

Thanks Bentobird :) I've got to go find some more sprinkles--wish there was a "bulk store" where you could just buy sprinkles, hehe.