Wednesday, March 11, 2009

vanilla cupcakes

This blog may be called Sprinkle with Salt, but as you might have guessed, I have a serious weakness for sweets. There is not a day that goes by when I don't eat something sweet. After ever dinner I crave dessert...I just can't help it! I think it runs in my family :)

I was craving something sweet, but light. So I made some vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting topped with toasted coconut. Did I say light?!

The vanilla cake is very versatile, and very good. I like it because it's light and airy. And you can pretty much add anything you'd like...cream cheese frosting, chocolate frosting, ganache, lemon curd, fresh strawberries...not that I've been thinking about it at all.

Quick Yellow Cake
makes one 9x13 or two 9-inch cakes, or about 20 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Take the butter out of the fridge to soften and preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare one 9x13 pan or two 9-inch round pans by greasing them thoroughly with butter or non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening. You can also flour them, if you want, although this isn't strictly necessary. Sprinkle a little flour over them, tilt and shake to distribute evenly, then tap out the excess over the sink.

Mix the ingredients together in the order they're listed - creaming the softened butter and sugar first, then adding the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and finally the liquids. Using an electric beater, beat everything together on low for 30 seconds, then high for 3 minutes.

Immediately pour into the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops spring back slightly when pressed.

Let cool on wire racks for at least 15 minutes, then flip each pan over onto the rack and tap gently all over. Lift the pan slightly. If the cake doesn't feel like it's falling out smoothly, lay a slightly damp kitchen towel over the pan and tap again. If necessary, let the cakes cool more. If they have been baked thoroughly, however, they should fall right out of the pans once they've cooled a little and the sides of the cake have shrunk back from the pan.

Cool completely then frost and eat!

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