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Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

(by Jessie Oleson Moore)

2 1/4 c. sifted cake flour

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

4 large eggs, separated

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 t. vanilla extract

1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with liners.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

With the paddle attachment of the mixer, cream butter until fluffy and light, 2 - 3 minutes on medium-high speed.

Add white and brown sugars, and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, incorporating with a rubber spatula.

Stir in vanilla.

Add the buttermilk and flour mixtures alternately, in 2 - 3 additions each, mixing until the batter is smooth and fairly thick.

By hand, fold the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently and only until no streaks of white remain.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full.

Bake for 17 - 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.

When done, a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake should come out mostly clean.

Remove to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

Makes 2 dozen.


1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

6 to 8 c. confectioners' sugar

1/2 c. milk or cream

2 t. vanilla extract

several drops red food coloring

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until light, about 3 minutes on medium speed.

Add 4 cups of the sugar, milk, and vanilla.

On medium speed, beat until smooth and creamy, 3 - 5 minutes.

Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the frosting is thick enough to spread. (You may not need all of the sugar.)

Add a few drops of red food coloring, and mix to a desired shade of pink.

Keep at room temperature until frosting the cupcakes.

(Read Small Acts of Sweetness, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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