Old-Fashioned Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
This Old Fashioned Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting recipe from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day is a classic, homespun cupcake. These days you can find cupcakes that look like camouflage and others flavored with chili pepper. Every now and then we just want the cupcake of our childhood and this one fits the bill. Perfect for bake sales or a hit of nostalgia. Don’t miss their Chocolate Bread; it’s a new breakfast fave around here.
Excerpted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day & Griffith Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Squire Fox.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ pound (2 sticks)
- unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 to 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Liquid gel food coloring (optional)
- For the cupcakes: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
- In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), combine both flours, the sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until thoroughly combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the cubed butter a few pieces at a time, mixing for about 2 minutes, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Turn the speed to low and gradually add the milk and vanilla, then mix for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, incorporate any ingredients hiding at the bottom of the bowl, making sure the batter is completely mixed.
- With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling each baking cup about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
- For the Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 4 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, the milk, and vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add up to 3 cups more sugar, mixing on low speed, until the frosting reaches the desired light and fluffy consistency, 3 to 5 minutes.
- If desired, to tint the frosting, add a drop or two of food coloring to the frosting, mixing well; add more coloring as necessary until you reach the desired shade. If you want multiple colors, scoop the frosting into several bowls, then add the food coloring. The frosting can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- To frost the cupcakes: Using a spatula or a butter knife, spread the tops of the cupcakes with swirls of frosting. Top with sprinkles, if desired. The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.