No holiday is ever complete unless I make cupcakes. I've had this recipe bookmarked since last 4th of July from Sing for your Supper and I wanted to make it a point to make it this year. I loved how these cupcakes turned out. Especially the different layers of color. They look so festive. And they taste like the ones I buy at one of my favorite cupcake shops. Especially the frosting. I've actually been looking for this frosting and I'm glad to have encountered them in this recipe. You can definitely omit the food coloring if you want to make them a plain, white cupcake.
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2) Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Whisk together buttermilk and egg whites. Set aside.
3) Place sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub them together with your fingers until sugar is moist and fragrant. Add butter, and using a paddle attachment, beat at medium speed for 3 minutes until mixture is very light.
4) Beat in vanilla extract. Gradually add one-third of the flour mixture. Beat in half of the of the buttermilk mixture, then half of the remaining flour mixture until well incorporated. Add the remaining buttermilk mixture and beat until homogeneous. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Continue beating for another 2 minutes to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
5) To color the batter, divide batter into three medium bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl until desired color is reached. Add blue food coloring in another bowl until desired color is reached. Place about a good tablespoon of of blue colored batter to the bottom of the cupcake liner. Top with another tablespoonful of white batter. Then add a tablespoon of the red batter. Cupcake liner should be half filled. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1) Place butter in a bowl of a stand mixer. Add milk, vanilla, and 4 cups of confectioner's sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
2) Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading or piping consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Use and store icing at room temperature as the icing will set if chilled.