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Basic Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes




For all that I like to make fussily decorated cakes and cupcakes or inventive flavors, sometimes all I want is a basic chocolate or vanilla cupcake with chocolate or vanilla frosting. I require smooth, buttery frosting and tender, moist cakes. These are the recipes that I fall back on time and time again. They are foolproof and delicious. Basic flavors, nothing fancy and plainly decorated, but absolutely sinfully delicious. Enjoy!

Vanilla Cake:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
2 1/12 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Method:
Prepare 2 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder,  and salt.

In a jug combine the vanilla extract, vegetable oil, sour cream and milk. 

Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined, Spread batter evenly into the muffin tins.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. 



Vanilla Buttercream:
Ingredients:
8 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups softened butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Method:
In a standing mixer fit with a paddle attachment, add the butter and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until light, white, smooth and spreadable. Add the vanilla and beat until well combined. If the frosting is too thick, add heavy cream once tablespoon at a time until spreadable. Frost cupcakes as desired!



Chocolate Cake:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream
3 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature


Method:
Prepare 2 12 tin muffin pans with paper liners. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.

In a jug combine the vanilla extract, vegetable oil, sour cream, and milk. 

Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tin cups.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until the cupcakes bounce back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.



Chocolate Buttercream:
Ingredients:
2 sticks of softened butter
1/3 cup chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Method:


In a large bowl with an electric mixer of stand mixer, cream together the softened butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and combine. Add the melted chocolate and beat well. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar while beating. Sieve in the cocoa powder and beat the whole mixture for 5 minutes, until lighter in color and until spreadable and fluffy. Add whipping cream if needed. Frost cupcakes as desired!


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