Now that I have your attention with the cupcakes, relax and let me tell about my last three weeks :)
We were very fortunate to be able to take a short vacation to Southern California with good friends at the end of February where we enjoyed a little golf, hiking and relaxation. With all the rain they've had in California prior to our trip, everything was so lush and green! Even though the temps were slightly cooler than we would have liked, it was perfect weather for golf, hiking and scenic drives. I was a very happy gal to be able to golf for the first time after breaking my wrist last summer. And there were flowers! For a gardener from the Midwest, they were a sight for sore eyes.
In the photo below, you can see a few shots of the Scenic 'Palms to Pines' drive we took on Highway 74 near Palm Desert. The view from the lookout point was so beautiful that it was worth my white knuckles as we drove the steep hair-pin turns!
While golfing one day, we witnessed a crazy golf cart accident on the hole right next to us which you can also see below. Someone tipped over a golf cart while driving on a hill. Luckily, no one was injured (except for their pride, I'm sure). The cart landed nose up with the rear sinking into a drainage hole trapping their golf clubs.
The weekend after we returned home, we took care of our grandsons the entire weekend while our daughter and son-in-law enjoyed a special birthday weekend away. We tag-teamed with our son-in-law's parents. We took care of the baby on Friday through Saturday afternoon and they took the big boys. Saturday afternoon we met them and switched the baby for the two oldest boys for the rest of the weekend. It worked out really well, but after traveling and babysitting we definitely needed a few days to recuperate :)
It was while my grandsons were here last weekend that I made them these wonderful vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. The big boys loved them! The baby had less messy treats :)
Has this ever happened to you after cleaning your pastry bag and tips? The garbage disposal is not very kind to them. I guess I was a little tired :)
Watching my boys enjoy their cupcakes was worth it!
And, there's nothing a few flowering primulas can't cure ♥
Old Fashioned Yellow Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream FrostingPrintable Recipe
Yield: About 12 cupcakes
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (use ultra fine, if possible)
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon (1/2 + 1/4) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350F
Place cupcake liners in muffin tin and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition, scraping down sides of bowl. Mix in vanilla and almond flour. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Pour into prepared cupcake liners.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
A few drops of food coloring, if desired
In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with an electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.
I used a large, Wilton 1M Pastry Tip to pipe the frosting (you will need the Large Coupler for your piping bag) and I sprinkled the tops with Swedish Pearl Sugar.
Adapted from Williams Sonoma’s Heritage Cake Recipe (1/2 recipe), and Betty Crocker's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting