Birthdays and Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcake

What is better than celebrating those you love? May is birthday month for my nephews and for the party I decided to whip up Vanilla Cupcakes topped with a vanilla frosting. One of my nephews  is born at the beginning and the other at the end so we party through out the month. I love celebrating birthday’s and honoring them with homemade touches.

I used a recipe by Martha Stewart for the cupcakes. I took some of the batter to create a  small individual birthday cake to put the candles in and get the classic candle blowing shot. I discovered that a small cake topped with 10 candles looks like it is ablaze.

These cupcakes may be basic but the kids love them, especially the frosting. When I asked Chase what he wanted for his birthday he told me “the same thing – just bigger!” He is a boy who knows what he wants and is not afraid to ask for it. They didn’t even mind that I topped each one with a cute flower I had bought at ABC Cake Decorating.

I am fortunate to have a cake decorating store just blocks from my house. It is a dangerous place filled with handmade gum paste flowers, rows of colored sugars and walls of cookie cutters.

For his birthday I debuted a few paper products I have been creating the last few months. I will post pictures and templates soon. I created Luke’s birthday water bottles and personalized birthday card to celebrate his 10th birthday. We sat around dinner, talked about the day he was born and shared favorite memories. We savored each moment of the dinner.

How do you celebrate birthday’s in your family?

Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl, beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to assure the batter is thoroughly mixed. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling papers about 2/3 full. Bake on the center rack of the oven until tops spring back to touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Frosting

1/4 cup  unsalted butter, softened
3  cups  powdered sugar
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoon milk

Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, if necessary, for desired consistency.

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