It’s my SIL’s birthday today so I made her these delicious cupcakes. Gotta fatten her up! (Just teasing, T!) Happy Birthday! Can you feel the love?
I stuck to regular sized cupcakes instead of jumbo ones for this batch. That makes them ‘light’ cupcakes, right?
I like playing around with doctoring cake mixes to make them more interesting and moist. I am often too lazy to make a scratch cake recipe. Too lazy for that but I’ll make you a cookie bar that takes 24 hours. . go figure.
The icing is where I really like to shine. Icing is more fun to play with then cake batter. That said, I did make a little bit of cake batter the other night. We put it in the waffle maker and made a couple quick cake waffles that we used as the base for ice cream sundaes! They were yummy and super easy. You should make them.
Aren’t those gummy cherries adorable! I was thinking about what flavor cupcake to make for my SIL and had a few ideas but, when I found these cherries I knew exactly which flavor the icing would be. So cute! I love little finds like these.
This is the really good vanilla. I used this in the cupcakes. A tablespoon is the equivalent of a whole vanilla bean. It makes such a difference to use good quality vanilla. This made the cake really smooth with a deep vanilla flavor. Plus it gave the cake those little black flecks that using a whole vanilla bean will give you. Mmmm!
The cake batter made 24 cupcakes and I had enough batter leftover to make 12 super cute mini cupcakes. One bite each. Pretty much zero calories I would guess!
The buttercream is simple and freezes well. I had some leftover and threw it in the freezer to use later. (Along with about 6 other flavors of leftover icing. One of these days I’m going to have to make a very tall cake and use all those leftover icing bits to fill the layers!)
Cherry Buttercream Icing
3/4 cup butter, room temp
2/3 cup cherry preserves (I used Polaner brand)
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt
3-4 cups powdered sugar (more or less depending on how stiff you want it to be)
pink or red food coloring, optional (I used about 15 drops of red food gel coloring)
In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a hand mixer on high until it is smooth and creamy. Add the preserves, vanilla and almond and salt. Mix together well. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat on slow until incorporated. Once the icing is the consistency you like, add your food coloring and mix in.
This makes enough icing for 24-30 normal sized cupcakes.
Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
2 cups buttermilk (I used lowfat)
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Line your muffin tins with cupcake wrappers and fill each 2/3 full.
Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before icing. This will make 24-30 regular sized cupcakes.