birthdays | chocolate | cupcake photos | cupcakes | frosting | recipe | vanilla

Happy birthday, Grandma Dotty!

October 2, 2008

Today is Jay’s grandma’s birthday, so (of course) I baked her cupcakes!

Happy Birthday!

(For the cupcake curious: Billy’s vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, click the link below for recipes)



  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake, or use a pastry bag fitted with a fancy tip. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.



You will need:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place the butter and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is soft and well combined, 30 seconds.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and the vanilla. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more.
  3. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons more milk if the frosting is too stiff.
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  1. Those are so cute! Fantastic piping job, too…I always manage to muck that up.

    I just came across your blog and I love it!

  2. yeah, I was going to say exactly what Ley said – you always seem to pipe your icing so perfectly. When I get out the piping bag it just ends up an uneven mess, so I’ve really given up. I know practice makes perfect – but i go for that random spatula look. i think i have really cheap bag with really cheap attachments too. well…. i know they’re really cheap, i just suspect that makes a difference to the final outcome.

  3. Anudivya: Thank you, but no one had any qualms about eating them, pretty or not- they were gone almost immediately! And I hope you enjoyed your first visit here and come back often!

    Kitty: Is your frosting thick enough? If its not stiff enough, and its too soft, it can get “squishy” looking and uneven on the cupcake. Or if the cupcakes aren’t cooled completely the same thing can happen. Otherwise, maybe it is the cheap bag, haha. 😉

  4. that could be it. generally i’m making cakes at about midnight to take to something the next day, so maybe they’re not cool enough. or maybe i’m just a piping failure!

  5. Try letting them cool for like, 10-15 minutes, then popping them in the freezer for 5 minutes. Take ’em out and frost ’em and by the time you’re done frosting them they’ll be room temp.

    If that still fails: add shortening to your buttercream. Use like, one half the amount of butter and then substitute shortening for the other half. It’ll make it thicker and stiffer and it will pipe out better 😀

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