Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Raspberry Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes

On June 8, Monica turned one! She started walking the day before she turned 11 months old, so turning one sealed the deal of her becoming a toddler (sniff).
While I had a secret Pinterest board filled with birthday party ideas, I didn't go over the top crafting elaborate decorations. I ran a half marathon the day before her birthday, so we decided to keep things simple. We catered Buona Beef, served food on pink plates with pink silverware, bought a canopy for the backyard which we decorated with pink paper lanterns, and had several coolers of chilled beverages. 

One thing I didn't want to skimp on was the dessert. I had pinned several mini layer cakes as inspiration, but ultimately decided to bake cupcakes. Since the loose party theme was pink, the cupcakes had to be pink. In addition to baking exactly what I Monica wanted, I could avoid hard to pronounce food additives and artificial food colors.
Monica has been enjoying berries lately, so I decided to bake vanilla cupcakes with raspberry buttercream (strawberry being a close runner up). These weren't organic by any stretch, but I felt a little better knowing exactly what was in the cupcakes.

In addition to Monica's current love of raspberries, these cupcakes were inspired by The Cup's Raspberry Beret cupcakes. I don't think I ever had this flavor, but The Cup can do no wrong, in my opinion. Monica's birthday cupcakes are also reminiscent of the first recipe I shared on this blog, raspberry champagne cupcakes. Obviously there wasn't champagne in these cupcakes.

This may be one of my favorite pictures of Monica eating her birthday cupcake. Yes, there are other pictures of us singing to her and her enjoying her cupcake, but I love the expression on her face in this photo. It's like she's thinking, "Oh no! Cupcake down!"

One last minute (and extremely playful) detail I loved from the party was using one of Monica's bath toys as a paperweight. I just grabbed the purple walrus and it just went perfectly with the pink napkins. The napkins and walrus might still be sitting on the buffet.

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla cupcakes adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Raspberry buttercream adapted from Eat Live Run (where she shared strawberry buttercream)

Vanilla Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes (I tripled the recipe, which made 45)

1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup yogurt (The original recipe called for vanilla greek yogurt. I used strawberry greek yogurt since that's what we had.)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350*. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Transfer this to the bowl of your mixer. Using the paddle attachment, stir in sugar (the mixture will be gritty). Add in the egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

Raspberry Buttercream
Note: I was able to frost all 45 cupcakes using one batch of this recipe

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 pound)
1/2 cup pureed raspberries (about 1 cup whole raspberries, optional: strain out the seeds for a smoother frosting)
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 cups powdered sugar (from two 1-lb boxes or one 2-lb bag)

Beat the butter using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer until creamy.

Add in the pureed raspberries.

Slowly add the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time.

Finally, add the lemon juice and sea salt. Continue beating until very light and fluffy.

Pipe* or spread frosting on each cupcake. Enjoy!

*I bought the Bake it Pretty Best-Ever Cupcake Icing Kit (5 jumbo pastry tips and 1 pastry bag) just for these cupcakes and it was fantastic! You can currently save 10% off your order using coupon code "BALLOONS".
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  1. Happy birthday, little girl! I really like the simplicity of the pink theme. Looks great!

    1. Thanks Stephanie! I've also heard of using polka dots or stripes as a simple party theme.


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