May 23, 2012
Last weekend I hosted a barbeque at my house and spent much of sunny Saturday cooking up a storm. I did everything from scratch — coleslaw, potato salad, dips, and so on. For dessert, I made cupcakes since they are perfect for informal gatherings where most people are eating standing up and often don’t have a plate. With Seattle just on the cusp of summer, I picked a vanilla cake topped with buttercream frosting with real raspberries in it! These little beauties were quite a hit.
3/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla (add more for a super-vanilla taste)
1 1/4 cups milk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Prior to starting, get the eggs and butter to room temperature. Grease and flour two cupcake/muffin pans, or add cupcake wrappers to trays.
1. Stir together the salt, baking powder, and flour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter with an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined. Continue to beat and add the eggs. Beat well and add vanilla.
3. Add part of the flour mixture then part of the milk, then beat on low. Repeat until all of the milk and flour mixture have been added. Pour batter into cupcake pans and fill 3/4’s of the way.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool for at least 15 minutes then remove from pans. Frost.
Yields about 16 large cupcakes or 22 regular sized cupcakes
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
dash table salt
dash vanilla extract
up to 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
1/2 pint fresh raspberries or to taste
1. Wash the raspberries several hours prior to preparing frosting and allow to dry at room temperature to ensure that nearly all the extra water has evaporated.
2. Beat butter for a few minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed.
3. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated into the butter.
4. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 3 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes.
5. Finally add the raspberries a few at a time and mix until desired color, texture, and taste is reached!