Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yellow Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

I have a few upcoming birthday cake orders next month and I wanted to try out a new yellow cake recipe.  I love the Nick Maglieri one that I usually use, but I wanted to find one that was a bit fluffier.  I tried the Joanne Chang recipe from her Flour book, and it's bang on.  Super moist and ultra fluffy, this is what birthday cakes are made of.

I actually made them into cupcakes and they got rave reviews from my lucky taste testers.  That said I still think that Nick's has a lot more vanilla flavor, so I plan to use his recipe but Chang's technique and see what I end up with next time.

The buttercream is super silky and has great strawberry flavor.  I used be quite on the fence with meringue buttercreams, a few recipes were like literally eating a stick of sweet butter.  But then I realized my problem was the temperature.  If Swiss meringue buttercream is even slightly cold it has a rather unpleasant consistency, this frosting must be served at room temp.  Then it's a smooth silky dream.  Enjoy!

Yellow Cake
from Flour

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks/342 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups (360 grams) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (240 grams) buttermilk

Adapted for making 24 cupcakes:

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachement (or a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for 3–4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This step will take 8–10 minutes if using a handheld mixer.) Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar.
in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla just until combined. On low speed, slowly pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture and mix just until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and paddle again, then beat on medium speed for 20–30 seconds, or until the mixture is homogeneous.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. On the lowest speed, add about one-third of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture and mix just until barely combined. Immediately pour in about half of the buttermilk and continue to mix on the lowest speed until the buttermilk is almost thoroughly incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well. Again on the lowest speed, add about half of the remaining flour mixture and mix just until barely combined. Add the rest of the buttermilk and mix just until combined. Be careful not to overmix.
At this point, it is best to finish the mixing by hand. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and, using the rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture just until the batter is homogeneous. As you fold, be sure to incorporate any batter clinging to the sides and bottom of the bowl. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  (The cooled cupcakes can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for up to 1 week. Thaw at room temperature, still wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.)

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
adapted from Martha Stewart

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries pureed in a food processor
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. 
Beat in strawberry puree, adding a few spoonfulls at a time until desired strawberry flavor and consistency is achieved.

Linked to:
Sweet Treats Thursday
This Chick Cooks Link Party 
Sweet Tooth Friday 
Sweets for a Saturday 
Melt in Your Mouth Monday


  1. These look great, and sound amazing. Love a flight and fluffy yellow cupcake!

  2. These look completely YUMMY! I have yet to try SMB so I appreciate the tip ion temps.

  3. MMM...these look delish. Your icing looks amazing. I think I must bookmark and make these on a cool day. Or move next door to you. Lol!

  4. I want the buttercream frosting....the chore would be having enough for both me and the cupcakes. ;)

  5. Mmm, I love this, Simple and beautiful, and probably really tasty too!

  6. This looks like a great cupcake recipe. I'm excited to try it!

  7. Wow, that frosting looks so light and fluffy. Very tasty looking, too. One day I may get up the ambition to try to make some buttercream frosting.

    I'd love for you to link this and any other cupcake post you have at the month long Cupcake Link Party!


  8. I know what you mean about buttercreams being like a stick of butter! But this looks wonderful, and I love the strawberry flecks in the buttercream.

  9. This looks like another winner from your kitchen. I love the frosting! I'd like to invite you to share your recipe on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  10. I may be a chocoholic, but this is, by far, one of my favorite cupcake flavor combos! They look great! Thanks for linking up to sweet treats thursday! Swing by next week!!

  11. Beautiful cupcakes. I love strawberry flavored anything. Thanks for linking up to Sweets for a Saturday.


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